Tag: after the fire

HMs, darkness notice


And my own Honorable Mentions in the Year’s Best SF: I have four (?!), for “After the Fire” in Apex, “Dancing for the Monsoon” in Abyss & Apex, “In the Age of Iron and Ashes” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and “Ys” in Interzone. Rather amusing that only one of those is SF 🙂

Your daily Aztec dose is this review of Servant of the Underworld. Not so much with the liking, but the book is being handed to someone else, so still pretty good 🙂

In other news, just a heads-up that the H and I are headed to Brittany to my parents’ until Wednesday, and that I won’t have internet access there. (but there will be tanning. Well, I hope. Currently I go all lobster rather than gracefully brown).

(there’s a scheduled blog post at the beginning of this week, too–just in case you’re wondering how it is that I manage to post without internet access…)
(I swear, next week there’ll be bona fide content here–with planned stuff on steampunk and Aztecs)

Shameless self-promotion


My story “Desaparecidos” is now available in the June 2010 issue of Realms of Fantasy. This was actually the one that got me pulled from the slush, so I’m very pleased to see it published (with Realms closing for a while, it did end up feeling like forever…). Like the other writers in the issue, I’ve written a piece on the origin of the story, which you can read here (and be sure to check out the other background pieces–sounds like a set of fascinating stories). And the table of contents is here. (as an aside, isn’t mine the best story description ever? Kind of sums up a lot of my fiction…)


Caldera de los Angeles (Crater of the Angels)
About 15 km (10 miles) from downtown El Águila. Count about three hours of a fairly taxing climb to reach the top, but the inside of the caldera–with its magnificent lake and forest–is well worth the exertion.
Legend has it that the Crater marks one of the numerous places where the rebellious angels fell down from Heaven–hence its name.
From A Traveller’s Guide to the Acamba Valley

In other news, I was pleased to see that “The Lonely Heart” (published in Black Static, to be reprinted in Panverse’s Eight Against Reality), garnered an Honorable Mention in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year, and that “After the Fire” (published in Apex, podcast on StarShipSofa), is a notable story of 2009 for the Million Writers Award

Misc. self-promotion


-My novelette “The Wind-Blown Man” (aka the Daoists in space story) is now available in the current issue of Asimov’s (along with “The Stone Wall Truth” by fellow Codexian and writer extraordinaire Caroline Yoachim, which has a tantalising snippet up on the website). And, er, I would appear to be on the cover, right there with the famous people…

Here’s a snippet:

On a clear day, you could almost see all the way into Heaven.

That was what Shinxie loved about White Horse Monastery: not the high, lacquered buildings scattered across the mountain’s face like the fingerprints of some huge Celestial; not the wide courtyards where students sat like statues, the metal of their second-skins gleaming in the sun; but the clear, crisp air of the heights, and the breathless quiet just before dawn, when she could see a flash of light overhead and imagine it to be the reflection of Penlai Station.

In those moments, she could almost imagine herself to be free.

Quite curious to see the reaction to this one, as it was a bit of a challenge: it’s got a completely different scientific history of the world, a weird melding of science and religion, and it’s entirely told from the point of view of insiders to the culture (unlike “The Lost Xuyan Bride”, where having a European as the viewpoint character made a number of things easier to deal with exposition-wise).

-Apex is organising a Story of the Year Award. Up for consideration is my Chinese post-apocalyptic story “After the Fire”, but there is a lot of fine stuff on display. My personal favourites were Peter M. Ball’s “To Dream of Stars: An Astronomer’s Lament” and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz’s “59 Beads”. Both horrific in quite different ways. But go ahead, read and vote :=)

-Over at Strange Horizons, Andy Sawyer reviews The Apex Book of World SF, and says very nice things overall.

“After the Fire” up at Apex Magazine


My story “After the Fire” is now up at Apex Magazine, as part of the special World SF issue edited by Lavie Tidhar. It’s, er, sort of a post-apocalypse story, set in a China where the Empire never fell. Well, sort of set in China…

In her dreams, Jiaotan saw Father: hands outstretched, the flesh of the fingers fraying away to reveal the yellowed, tapered shape of bones, the deep-set eyes bulging in their sockets, pleading, begging her to take him away.

“You’re dead,” she whispered. “Rest in peace, with the Ancestors–watch over us from Heaven.”

But the Ancestors were bones and dried sinews, shambling upright from the wreck of their graves–anger shining in the hollows of their eye sockets as they walked past the devastated gardens, the withered trees, the dried-out waterfalls and rivers. And clouds marched across Heaven, a billowing mass of sickly grey spreading to cut the path of The Red Carp as it rose away from Earth…

The issue also includes Nir Yaniv and Aleksandar Žiljak, and an interview with Maylasian writer Tunku Halim (courtesy of the tireless Charles Tan)

I workshopped “After the Fire” (as “In Our Minds, In Our Hearts”) on OWW rather close to the deadline for handing it in–so many thanks to Mark Hünken, Tom Crosshill, Sylvia Volk and Max Griffin for helping me whip this into shape. And thanks to Lavie for the editing and the title help, as well as giving me the opportunity to write in a genre and a length I don’t often try.

And don’t forget that The Apex Book of World SF has been released, giving you a chance to read “The Lost Xuyan Bride” on paper alongside many other tales from cool writers such as Mélanie Fazi, Jetse de Vries and Kaaron Warren. You can read a sample of the book online, Aleksandar Žiljak’s “An Evening In the City Coffeehouse, With Lydia On My Mind”–as Lavie puts it, a mixture of Boogie Nights and Men in Black.