Tag: beneath ceaseless skies

“The Moon Over Red Trees” up at Beneath Ceaseless Skies


My colonial Indochina story “The Moon over Red Trees” is up at Beneath Ceaseless Skies: you can read it here. This is something of a departure for me: I haven’t done historical fantasy in a while, especially not in that time period. Would be very happy to hear what you think.

I’ve updated the story page of “The Moon Over Red Trees” with copious author notes: go here, though they’re spoiler-filled and better read after the story.

Links aka Aliette on the web


Briefly emerging from my winter sleep, aka “full-time care of the snakelet while holding a day job and writing a novel/novella ™”, to point out a couple of places I’ve been this week:
-Roundtable on fantastical creatures at The Book Smugglers, with Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Shveta Thakrar, Octavia Cade, Marie Brennan, Whiti Hereaka, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, E.C. Myers, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Bogi Takács, Joyce Chng and me: part 1, part 2. I talk dragons (rồng) and turtles (rủa) in myths!
-My Beneath Ceaseless Skies Aztec steampunk story “Memories in Bronze, Feathers and Blood” is re-released as part of the Audio Vault, with a new introduction by me on the genesis and worldbuilding of the story: listen here.
-Still at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, the new issue, available at Weightless Books and Amazon, contains my colonial Indochina fantasy “The Moon over Red Trees”, as well as fiction by Richard Parks, K.J Parker (OMG I’m sharing a TOC with K.J. Parker!), and Gwendolyn Clare

May Locus reviews


Rich Horton:

Aliette de Bodard’s “The Breath of War” has a really neat science-fantasy premise: women in this world breathe people into life from stone, people who then become their companions and are necessary to breathe life, in turn, into children. Rechan is a somewhat rebellious woman, who abandoned her stone brother in the mountains as war broke out – and now that the war is over she climbs back to the place she left him. There’s a secret, of course: the true nature of the Stoneperson she gave life to, and it’s an interesting secret leading to a moving resolution. This, I suppose, is science fantasy at its purest: a rational-seeming world with mostly SFnal imagery, with a thoroughly implausible, but very fruitful, central conceit.

Gardner Dozois:

The best story in this issue is probably Aliette de Bodard’s “The Days of the War, As Red As Blood, As Dark As Bile”, another in her long series of Xuya stories, taking place in the far-future of an alternate world where a high-tech conflict is going on between spacefaring Mayan and Chinese empires. This one is a direct sequel to her 2013 novella ‘‘On a Red Station, Drifting’’, taking place on an embattled and somewhat rundown space station whose inhabitants are faced with the prospect of evacuating in the imminent threat of an advancing alien fleet. It centers on a young girl struggling against but finally being forced to accept a peculiar kind of apotheosis; the scene where refugees are trying to escape the station during an attack is quite harrowing, so be warned.

*happy writer* (and a shout-out to Benjanun Sriduangkaew, who gets called an “exciting new writer” and gets her story “Autodidact” recommended by Rich Horton. It is excellent, you should go read it–Benjanun is a finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer this year, and stories like this are an excellent showcase as to why). Meanwhile, I shall go back to knocking my head against the wall to work out my novel ending.

Various pubs


OK, slowly crawling back into some semblance of normal life (alas, the boxes are still winning the fight in our appartment, and I’m now officially behind on everything). But here’s a handful of things to keep you busy while I’m writing:
-First off, here are the first three chapters of Master of the House of Darts:

Aka, Teomitl finally gets a chance to be all official and formal, Neutemoc makes a much-awaited comeback. Oh, and a warrior dies of a curse.
The Best of BCS Year Two is now out, featuring stories by Marie Brennan, Saladin Ahmed, Yoon Ha Lee and more fabulous authors. And my own “Memories in Bronze, Feathers and Blood”. Scott H. Andrews does a tremendous job of publishing vivid and evocative fantasy, and if you haven’t already checked out BCS, this is a tremendous way to dip into the best of what the magazine has to offer. There are some really awesome stories here, and I put one of them (Kris Millering’s “The Isthmus Variation”) on pretty much every ballot I had for the year 2010.
-you can also get The Immersion Book of Steampunk, which also has “Memories…”, as well as stories by Tanith Lee, Paul di Filippo, Lavie Tidhar, and other cool writers. (and yay, I share another TOC with Tanith Lee. Nope, it never gets old…)

Beneath Ceaseless Skies’ Second Anniversary


The awesome Scott H. Andrews has reminded me that tomorrow marks the second anniversary of Beneath Ceaseless Skies‘ launch.
I always have a soft spot for BCS: not only did they publish a fair amount of my fiction, they also fill in the hole between plot-driven fantasy and more serious stuff. The prose is pretty, but it doesn’t get in the way of the story. And I’ve yet to find a bad story in there. Scott publishes a great variety of stuff, from Old West to Eighteenth-Century Paris, from China to Medieval London–and there’s bound to be something you enjoy in there.
If you’re just dipping in, may I suggest checking out “The Isthmus Variation” by Kris Millering (creepy as heck, perfectly paced in its reveals), or Yoon Ha Lee’s “The Territorialist” (awesome world building and beautiful prose), among the more recent offerings?
And, of course, there’s the anniversary double issue, which boasts Richard Parks and Tony Pi in its table of contents.

Er, wow?


Just found out that “Golden Lilies” was among the top five stories of Fantasy Magazine as voted by the readers–along with stories by Jessica Lee, Camille Alexa, Aidan Doyle, and Cate Gardner. My deepest thanks to everyone who voted for it!

In other news, I sold my Aztec steampunk story “Memories in Bronze, Feathers and Blood” to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, to appear in an upcoming issue. Many thanks to the Liberty Hall people who took a look at it, and to my WIBite pals for the help (including a new, catchier title and a better ending paragraph).

Quick roundup


So, back from Vietnam. I am officially 100% jetlagged, and propped up mostly by caffeine at this point. Here’s what seems to have happened on the interwebs (regarding my fiction) while I was away:

-Gill Polack offers thoughts on Servant of the Underworld, particularly on why it’s a very male-oriented book (on which I tend to concur)
-Antony at Science Fiction and Fantasy reviews the book:

Servant of the Underworld is an intelligent, involving and very rewarding novel which I have no hesitation in recommendation to one and all.

-Val reviews it at his blog:

An interesting and unusual setting, a well rounded main character (did you ever meet a priest of the dead being the good guy in a fantasy novel?) and a brisk pace. This novel has a lot going for it.

-Couple of reviews showed up at amazon, mostly bewildered by the names (a sentiment I can share, though I have to admit being puzzled by some of the names that gave them pause)
-Over at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, you can now listen to the podcast of my story “In the Age of Iron and Ashes” (it’s still up in issue 33 if you want to read it)
-Some love for “The Wind-Blown Man” (incidentally, the February issue of Asimov’s just turned up on my doorstep)

More reviews


Mostly of the short fiction kind:
-Lois Tilton reviews “Melanie” (in the February 2010 issue of Realms of Fantasy) and “Safe, Child, Safe” (an Acatl story in the last issue of Talebones). She thinks the learning displayed in glowing symbols on the arms in “Melanie” is “A Neat Idea”, and mostly likes the other story as well.
(she also lists her Top Ten for 2009, among which are several friends such as J.Kathleen Cheney, Sarah L. Edwards, and Lavie Tidhar. Go f-list!!)
-K.V Taylor mentions “In the Age of Iron and Ashes” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #33) over on her blog, as having this “killer South Asian influence”–quoting, in particular, the Shiva concept, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita (all of which were used at some point in the story, though more as a layer of pseudo-Hinduism over “traditional” fantasy tropes. This wasn’t meant to be authentic Indian, by a large margin). Neat. [1]
-Over at Fantastic Reviews Blog, “By Bargain and By Blood” (Hub issue 108) is Aaron’s Story of the Week:

This makes Aliette de Bodard only the third author to receive two different story recommendations on this blog, joining Paolo Bacigalupi and Catherynne M. Valente.

Er, wow? That’s some company…

[1]The particular setup of “In the Age of Iron and Ashes” refers to the Muslim invasion of India in the 13th Century. I read a series of elegiac texts about the loss this incurs, one of which featured a dancer on the walls of some Indian city, as a symbol of the beauty that was going to be lost in the carnage that followed. I can’t find the text for the life of me. I think it’s back at my parents’ place.

More audio fiction: Blighted Heart


For your listening pleasure: “Blighted Heart” is now available as a podcast (recorded by Beneath Ceaseless Skies). Go here (for the table of contents of BCS audio) or directly here for the mp3.

In other related news, “Blighted Heart” is also Story of the Week over at Fantastic Reviews Blog, courtesy of Aaron Hughes:

“Blighted Heart” is a powerful, beautifully written story, and a great example of why de Bodard was the runner-up for this year’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, losing out very narrowly to David Anthony Durham.