Tag: rochita loenen-ruiz

“Immersion” published in Clarkesworld


And you can now read my story “Immersion” at Clarkesworld. This is the rant against globalisation, tourism and cultural imperialism that I wrote in a single sitting (but after 3 weeks of intense reflexion 🙂 )

It’s dedicated to the awesome writer and friend Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, without whom this story wouldn’t have come to be (and I also owe massive thanks to her for suggesting I flesh out Quy a little bit more). Thanks are owed also to Glen Mehn, who volunteered to read it in spite of my warning that it was unkind to white men [1]; and to the Villa Diodati crew: Ruth Nestvold, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, Floris M Kleijne, Stephen Gaskell, John Olsen, Nancy Fulda.

It’s, er, another of those ambitious pieces where I’m unsure if I succeeded or fell flat on my face; if you have a minute to read it and comment, I would love feedback on how it strikes you.

In the morning, you’re no longer quite sure who you are.

You stand in front of the mirror—it shifts and trembles, reflecting only what you want to see—eyes that feel too wide, skin that feels too pale, an odd, distant smell wafting from the compartment’s ambient system that is neither incense nor garlic, but something else, something elusive that you once knew.

You’re dressed, already—not on your skin, but outside, where it matters, your avatar sporting blue and black and gold, the stylish clothes of a well-travelled, well-connected woman. For a moment, as you turn away from the mirror, the glass shimmers out of focus; and another woman in a dull silk gown stares back at you: smaller, squatter and in every way diminished—a stranger, a distant memory that has ceased to have any meaning.

Read the rest at Clarkesworld!

The issue also includes fabulous writers E. Catherine Tobler, An Owomoyela, and non-fiction by VD co-conspirator Stephen Gaskell, Daniel Abraham and Jeremy L C Jones. Quite an impressive lineup!

[1] I mean, it does contain the line “their faces an unhealthy shade of pink, like undercooked meat left too long in the sun” 😀 😀

Shameless plugging


Because, you know, I enjoyed those things when I critted them, and now they’re out in the wide world!
-T.L. Morganfield sidewise-nominated “Night Bird Soaring” is up at Escape Pod. I’ve loved this story since critiquing an early draft of it five or six years ago, and I’m definitely tickled pink that it’s had such a good career. And the ending is a killer (though T.L. might not agree with me on this, but hey, I’m entitled to my personal early reader opinion :)).
-Rochita Loenen-Ruiz “Return to Paraiso” is going to be in the October issue of Realms of Fantasy. It’s a fantastic, magical story with Rochita’s wonderful and ethereal use of language. You can get a peek at the illustration for it here.
-And now, for something I didn’t crit: Lavie Tidhar’s Osama is available from PS publishing and for the Kindle (US, UK). From the blurb:

Osama tells the story of a private detective hired to locate the obscure writer of pulp novels featuring one Osama bin Laden: Vigilante. The detective’s quest takes him from Vientiane to Paris, London, New York and Kabul, across a subtly-changed world where nothing is quite as it seems – including himself.

I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve enjoyed the short stories, and Lavie’s interview about its release (in Interzone this month) brings up fascinating topics about terrorism and the myths it engenders, and how to use the pulp fiction frame to tackle hard truths. And the book has been getting rave reviews, too, so definitely worth checking out.

Linky linky


So, not up to much that I can safely admit (sekrit projects, plus speaking about the novel in progress on this blog seems to curse me to a halt in the writing of the manuscript). To tide you over until the weekend, a few links:

-I’m guessing by now most people will have seen the Amy Chua piece on the Washington Post, about why Chinese mothers are superior. I don’t have much to say about it other than “batshit crazy Asian mother”–and yes, I have an Asian mother, so I can speak from my (admittedly limited) experience. I can see some of the points, and some things Amy Chua mentions are certainly familiar from my own childhood, though not pushed quite this far. My TV time was limited; so was my video game time; neither of my parents were particularly happy when I brought home bad grades, and yes, both of them always pushed me to go further because they believed I could do better. And I’m glad they did it; I’m glad they placed a higher value on education than on sparing my feelings, and nurtured my ambition and drive–to the point where I thought of doing something as crazy as writing in a second language and getting away with it.
But, seriously, not allowing your children to be in school plays, forcing them to play a musical instrument and tormenting your daughter until she gets the piano piece right? Wow. That’s some serious going south here.
Allow me to dig up quintessential Chinese wisdom here, in the person of Confucius: “To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.” Ie, balance and perspective. Something that seems to be missing from all the horror stories about Asian moms (there were quite a few flying around on the internet in the wake of that article).

-And, in a lighter vein: Mature people truths (via Cat Rambo). Some of these are oh-so-painfully true.

-Finally, I’ve posted (with permission) on the SFWA forums “Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life”, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz’s awesome story about expatriation, identity and what it means to be an immigrant in a strange land. Recommended by Richard Horton in his year-end summary of Interzone, and generally quite made of awesome. (and I’m not only saying that because Rochita is my friend). Well worth a read if you have forum access.

EDIT: apparently, the Amy Chua thing is only an excerpt from a larger book, which is intended to deal with the problems of her education system as well. Mea culpa.
EDIT #2: and, apparently, the WJS just quoted the most controversial part of Chua’s book without bothering to add a corrective, because controversy makes for more readers. Great. As I said on LJ, I feel like hitting something, preferably a WJS editor.