Saturday, January 4, 2014

Rounding up my year: 2013 in review

Hello! If you've come across me for the first time, please allow me to introduce myself: I write a lot of speculative things, but in 2013 most of what I've had published is postcolonial science fiction with a space opera and cyberpunk bent. It's been described as 'dazzling futures full of queer love and interesting gender thoughts'.

This is my first year of eligibility for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Nomination is open from 1 Jan to 10 March 2014.
Like the Hugo Awards, the Campbell Award voting takes place in two stages. The first stage, nomination, is open to anyone who had a Supporting or Attending membership in the previous, current, or following year's Worldcon as of January 31. For Loncon 3, this means members of LoneStarCon 3 (the 71st World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio), Loncon 3 itself, and Sasquan (the 73rd Worldcon in Spokane) can nominate any eligible author.

Looking back at 2013, I've had four stories published online and three in print anthologies. Two of those have been selected for reprints! Except one, they're all eligible for Hugo nomination for Best Short Story. All are, I understand, eligible for the BSFA Awards under short fiction (nomination open until 14 Jan 2014).


Here are, I think, the highlights. For stories unavailable online, let me know here or on twitter if you'd like to read them!

'Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade' (Clarkesworld) concerns General Lunha, a gender-fluid officer of the Hegemony who's been brought back from the dead to subjugate the world of her birth and her dissident wife. I like to call it military space opera, and so far nobody's corrected me, so I'll go with that! You can listen to this as a podcast read by the compelling Kate Baker. The nicest thing anyone's ever said about this story is 'Fans of Ancillary Justice, take note'. (!!!) To my surprise and delight, this comparison's been made more than once. This is one of my proudest stories and will be reprinted in Space Opera edited by Rich Horton (Prime Books).

'Annex' (Clarkesworld) concerns two revolutionaries, a resourceful subversive and a genderqueer cyberneticist, out to alter the laws of the universe and protect their world. I believe this has been classified as cyberpunk, and I'm not inclined to disagree! Here's the podcast also read by Kate Baker.

'The Crows Her Dragon's Gate' (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) is Chinese fantasy in immersive first person where the sun goddess Xihe finds her way through the role given to her by heaven and myth. It's the longest thing I've got published in 2013, at 8,500 words, but I like to think longer stories have their own way of being. This, unlike the others, is eligible for the Novelette rather than Short Story category.

'Fade to Gold' is a historical dark fantasy, referencing Queen Suriyothai (who went to war openly, as herself, accompanied by her daughter), where a soldier returns home and on the way encounters a mystery. This is my effort to touch on PTSD in a combatant fresh off the field. It appears in End of the Road, an anthology of weird, dark road tales edited by Jonathan Oliver. It will be reprinted in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Vol. 8, edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris Books).

'The Bees Her Heart, the Hive Her Belly' is magic-realist cyberpunk where a woman trades in her heart for a beehive and sets out to find her lost sister in a world where memory and reality are malleable while galactic empires duel in the background. This one appears in Clockwork Phoenix 4, an anthology of very unique science fiction and fantasy edited by Mike Allen. Rich Horton, reviewing for Locus, quite liked it; he will be including it in his The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2014 (Prime Books). It was also in the 2013 Locus Recommended Reading List - double yay!

I'm delighted that several people - A.J. Fitzwater, Sean Wright, and Allegra Hawkmoor - have included my stories in their lists of the best short fiction they've read in 2013. I'd also like to thank Bogi Tak√°cs for having motivated me to submit with more confidence. Lois Tilton, reviewing for Locus Online, also highlighted my Clockwork Phoenix 4 story in her year in review column.

I am, in all, very excited for 2014!


  1. It's been a pleasure discovering your work and I look forward to whatever you have got coming out this year

  2. Thank you! C:

  3. And in bee related stuff have you come across blue banded bees?

  4. I haven't! But now I have looked them up and they are incredibly pretty I want to turn them into some sort of personal mascot. *_*

  5. I found some in my garden today, fascinating to watch