Xuya page (and questions thread)


Have had a couple questions about my alt-history universe Xuya (where the Chinese, the US and the Aztecs share North America), I decided to take the plunge, and transcribe my notes into a more legible form. I figured that with three stories out (two in Interzone and one in this month’s Asimov’s, the universe had cemented well enough that people might want extra explanations.

So behold the brand new spiffy Xuya page: all you’ve ever wanted to know about Xuya (well, not quite yet, but it does have a few pointers about the chronology, where the stories fit in there, and a few items of general interest).

BTW, since I’ve locked the comments on the page, this post here is as close as it’s getting to the official question thread–in the (unlikely[1]) event that you have any interrogations about Xuya-related stuff, ask in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer.

[1] I’m a natural pessimist, and those are only short stories after all, with a small audience…


  1. I’ve got a question, maybe not central to the story but maybe something that will come into play sometime:

    If the capital of Chinese North America is Dongjing, what’s the capital of Japan called?

    Dongjing is the Chinese name of Tokyo, although I guess it could make sense in the Xuya world for Japan to still be calling that city Edo, and Chinese (I guess) still calling it whatever those characters transcribe to in Chinese.

  2. That’s a pretty interesting one, thanks for bringing it up!
    I’m not that up to speed on Japanese history yet (focusing more on China and Vietnam at the moment), and what happens to Japan in this universe is very much one of those holes I have to fill–I think it unlikely it would rise to become a world power capable of invading China, but other than that I haven’t committed to anything yet.
    The way I understand it at the moment, Tokyo is a fairly recent designation by the standard of my divergence point (it stopped being Edo to become Tokyo, ie Eastern Capital, at the end of the 19th Century, when the Meiji Emperor moved to it). I’m not sure whether that sequence of events would still happen the same way (rise of the shoguns, growth of Edo, move of the Emperor to Edo to acknowledge its status as largest city in Japan).
    But if it does happen, then I will indeed have a problem, because East Asian capitals tend to be named very prosaically, which means some of them are going to have the same name: Nanjing is the capital of the South, Beijing is the capital of the North, Seoul and Kyoto both mean “capital”; and, unfortunately for me, the old name of Hanoi is Đông Kinh, which is eastern capital as well. Plenty of potential for confusion…
    I suspect there’s some context that allows people to make the difference between “the Eastern Capital of Vietnam” and “the Eastern Capital of Japan”. Clearly I need to investigate this more closely: right now, I’d tend to using “Tokyo” to avoid the confusion, but perhaps there’s a better system…

  3. Wow, I went to look up Hanoi on Wikipedia, and they give 8 different names for that city through history (with characters helpfully provided).

  4. Well, Vietnam does have a bit of a checkered history… (and it doesn’t help that capital names tend to be eminently flexible according to the needed symbolism). My personal favorite is Thăng Long (Ascending Dragon).

  5. I definitely see the resemblance between Mexica and the whole universe of the Aztecs in so many of your other short stories. Is that universe going to get a page too, or are you waiting to see if you decide to combine them?

    I’ve just read all the free fiction I can get my hands on of yours and am considering my meager stores of pennies carefully.

  6. Fair point–it had just never occurred to me that I ought to make a specific page on the Obsidian and Blood universe… I probably am going to create a specific page when I find some time to write it up properly.
    Glad you’re enjoying my fiction, and thanks for dropping by!

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