Tag: lonely heart

“The Lonely Heart” in Lightspeed Magazine


A belated heads-up, because it’s been one of those weeks…

My short story “The Lonely Heart” has been reprinted in Lightspeed Magazine. You can find it here.

A heads-up that it’s a very dark story (it’s a retelling of “The Painted Skin” in Pu Songling’s Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio), and it gets very graphic (as in “explicit violence and gore, and please don’t blame me if you get nightmares” :p). I also answer questions here.

You can buy the entire issue at the Lightspeed Magazine website, too–please consider doing so? Magazines like Lightspeed need subscribers and issue buyers if they’re to make money.


It was towards mid-afternoon that Chen became aware of the girl. She stood before Chen’s stall, watching the fake-jade effigies of the Buddha and the coloured incense sticks, her eyes wide in the sunlight — she was no more than thirteen or fourteen, with the gangly unease of that age. To her left, children shrieked as they passed the Bridge of Impossibility, holding each other’s hands, and went into the temple complex.

The girl’s hand reached towards a small statue of a demon, touched it — setting off a coloured lightstrobe which illuminated the statue from within.

Normally, Chen should have snatched the statue away, and pointed out to her, in a firm voice, that you didn’t touch the wares unless you paid. But the girl was so young: skeletally thin, her skin taut over high cheekbones, her eyes wide with fear.

Misc stuff


Mostly happy stuff:

-Illustration of “Ys” (story in Interzone 222) here, in colour, courtesy of the awesome Mark Pexton

-Came home to my May 2009 Locus, to find, rather to my surprise, a review of “The Lonely Heart” by Rich Horton (in a focus on the Campbell Award Nominees, which had lots of good stuff to say about Felix Gilman’s “Catastrophe” in Weird Tales, Tony Pi’s “Silk and Shadow” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Gord Sellar’s “Cai and Her Ten Thousand Husbands”:

Aliette de Bodard has caught my eye with some strong traditional fantasy tales and some fine work set in an alternate history ruled by the Aztecs”. “The Lonely Heart”, from Black Static for February/March is a different and darker tale (though de Bodard has always shown a great deal of range in both subject matter and tone)…

(the issue also had nice things to say about J. Kathleen Cheney’s “Early Winter, Near Jenli Village” in Fantasy Magazine, which you really should read if you haven’t)

-Also was pointed out to this by Scott H. Andrews: a list of writers in semiprozines to watch out for, in which, hum, I appear a bunch of times… (I second the recommendations for Shweta Narayan and Angela Slatter, BTW. They both write terrific fiction). 

In non-selfish self-promoting links, I’ve found a new webcomic to get addicted to: Freakangels by Warren Ellis and Paul Dufield. Set in a post-Apocalyptic, flooded London, this focuses around the Freakangels, a group of people cursed with strange powers. It soon becomes clear that it’s their combined powers that ended the world, and that they’re trying to make amends for it by making Whitechapel into a haven of peace for refugees in a world gone mad. Things would be going swimmingly well, were it not for the twelfth Freakangel–Mark, the one they expelled from their group, and who now plans to kill them one by one… It’s got great character interaction, vivid art and a plot that bites. Not sure where it’s going or how long it’s going to take to get there, but it’s a super nice ride.

(Iain Jackson had a column over at Strange Horizons about the best comics of the year, and I intend to check several others of those out, looks like a good list)