Tag: the jaguar house in shadow

Brief update


OK, so work continues on the novella–I took a brief break for some flash fiction. Temp title is “The Heartless Light of Stars”, though I’m not necessarily convinced by it.

Vu had never been able to speak to Thuy. Even when they were children, he’d had got on well with the rest of his siblings–had chased lizards with them in the courtyard of their house, clung to them as the family scooter, laden with fish and fruit, wove its way through the congested traffic; and had breathed in their dreams, sharing their longings and aspirations as though they were his own.

Uh. Yes. More Vietnamese in space. Why do you ask?

Hugo voting deadline came and went while I was on blackout; nwhyte has a recap here of people announcing their voting intentions online. Good news is, if we’re going by that, I don’t think I’m going to need that speech after all 😉

(I remain intrigued by the sharp divide between people who complained the story was too slight, and people who said it was too complicated to follow. The breadth of reactions to the same text is always something I find very much fascinating).

Currently finishing up my edits for Master of the House of Darts, writing up the historical notes and the acknowledgments. Next up: more novella work, in addition to preparing the California/Nevada trip (aka what am I going to read at both readings, and what kind of cookies I drag with me).

Since everyone is doing it… (honorable mentions in the Year’s Best)


So, apparently, you can search the contents of Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction on Amazon.com, and, hum, in addition to publication of “The Shipmaker” in the volume itself, I have 4(!) Honorable Mentions: for “Father’s Last Ride” in The Immersion Book of Science Fiction, “Desaparecidos” in Realms of Fantasy, and my two Asimov’s stories, “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” and “The Wind-Blown Man”. Particularly happy for “The Wind-Blown Man”, which was a hassle to write because of the world-building (making up a new kind of science based on Daoist alchemy and not overly polluting the text with references to current science was a tricky balance to strike).

(and huge congrats to the friends on the HM list, but most particularly to T.L. Morganfield for “The Hearts of Men” in Realms of Fantasy, a story I’ve always believed would go far; and to Lavie Tidhar, who’s just racking up the HMs)

Meanwhile, a further 1000 words on the novella. Stopped because my cool ideas weren’t integrated well enough (ie, need to think a little more on how the science would work on a day-to-day basis without sounding too much like an engineer). Also, I fear people will tear out their hair with names like “Lê Thi Linh”, “Lê Thi Huu Phuoc”, etc. Yeah, Vietnamese without the diacritical marks is a bit of a hassle as well…

In which I am translated, part the Nth


“Dom Jaguara pogrążony w cieniu” (“The Jaguar House, in Shadow” in Polish), courtesy of polter.pl. With nifty illustrations, and a complementary author interview! Courtesy of Bartek, Izabela ‘Isabell’ Mazur, Bartłomiej ‘baczko’ Łopatka, and Artur ‘mr_mond’ Nowrot
בונת הספינות (“The Shipmaker” in Hebrew) at sf-f.org.il. Courtesy of Ehud Maimon, and Ibar Inbar Grinstein (not entirely sure I got the names right, as this is the one page I cannot make head or tail of all fixed now!)
“Constructorul de nave” (“The Shipmaker” in Romanian) at srsff.ro, courtesy of Cristian Tamas, and Antuza Genescu.
“Casa Jaguarului, în umbră” (“The Jaguar House, in Shadow” in Romanian) at srsff.ro. Same culprits as above 🙂
D’Obsidienne et de Sang, of course, the French translation of Servant of the Underworld, courtesy of Eclipse. My awesome pretty pretty softcover edition 🙂
-and a forthcoming French translation of “Jaguar House” (“Quand l’ombre se répand sur la Maison Jaguar”) in Galaxies, courtesy of Pierre Gévart and Camille Thérion, which I’m currently rereading…

Still holding out for a Spanish translation, which would amuse me (because of the Mexico connection, and also because I speak the language…) But pretty darn happy with all of these.

In which I travel over the internet, and also for real


So… 2 days until I leave for Washington, where I shall be sharing a room with fellow nominee Amal El-Mothar (and, briefly, with Alethea Kontis). Trying not to freak out. It’s been a long, long time since I last was in the States (couldn’t believe it, but the last time I travelled over was for WOTF in 2007. I still have the slipcard from LAX in my passport to prove it). I’m really looking forward to meeting people I haven’t seen in ages, but the whole “fly over the Pond” is making me nervous in an odd way. Probably because my last US trip was such a nightmare (delayed plane, hellish changeover at Heathrow, but 2-3 hours stuck in the passport queue at LAX). Ah well. I’m sure I’ll do fine.

Not sure of how much blogging will take place while I’m there. Probably not much. In the meantime, however, you can join the Locus Short Story club: Karen Burnham is spearheading a discussion on multiply-nominated short fiction. It’s, er, a very, very short list, and not only does include “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”, the discussion also starts with the story. *speechless* So, if you feel like discussing my Mexica future, hop on over to Locus on Sunday. Other stories under discussion include fellow Codexian Eric James Stones’ “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made”.

Other places you can find me on the Internet: the awesome Alethea Kontis interviewed me for her Genre Chick feature (I swear that this has nothing to do with the room-sharing. I absolutely totally did NOT bribe her to get good interview questions *g*). While you’re at it, you can check out the rest of the lineup, which includes Leah Cypess, Rick Novy, Lon Prater, David B. Coe…

I’ll now go back to watching my phở broth happily boil…

Brief weekend wrapup, BSFA Award and Hugos



It was a very good Eastercon; and it was also a very frustrating one. Due to several other commitments, my roommate (the awesomely talented Rochita Loenen-Ruiz) and I arrived late on Friday evening, and as a result I ended up missing most of the action until Saturday morning (whereupon I had a brief moment for breakfast with Tricia Sullivan, Paul Cornell and Lauren Beukes, before I was whisked off for my signing, where I spent the rest of the afternoon). I watched the new Doctor Who episode, which was awesome but slightly frustrating–it’s all well and good for those who have BBC at home, but I’m going to have to wait for it to air in France or go to DVD before I can know the ending (interestingly, I prefer Matt Smith’s Doctor to Tennant’s Doctor, though Eccleston remains my favourite of those incarnations I’ve seen).

Then it was time for the BSFA Awards. As you can see, I hadn’t had much time to myself till then, so I wrote a very hasty and illegible speech on the back of a piece of paper while in the queue for Doctor Who, secure in the knowledge it wouldn’t ever be pronounced.

You can see this coming a mile off, don’t you. “The Shipmaker” won Best Short Fiction. Once I got past the OMG OMG moment, I just knew I was going to have to improvise something. I have no idea how it all went, because it’s a bit of a blur, but let me thank once again, everyone who voted in the short fiction category, the tireless people of the BSFA for organising the Awards, Paul Cornell and David Weber for presenting it to me, and Andy Cox, Andy Hedgecock, Roy Gray and the rest of the Interzone team for publishing the story in the first place. (I do have a shiny trophy, but due to various logistics problems it’s, er, temporarily elsewhere. Will take pics and display them when I have them). Major congrats as well to Paul Kincaid, Joey Hi-Fi and Ian McDonald for taking the prize in their categories; and finally, kudos to my fellow nominees, Nina Allan, Peter Watts and Neil Williamson. It was an honour to be with you guys.

Sunday, very fortunately, was quieter, allowing me time to browse in the dealers’ room, hang out with friends in the bar, and steel myself for the evening. Namely, something I had been sitting on for a couple of weeks–the Hugo nomination of “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” for Best Novelette.

The announcement is also a bit of a blur, but fortunately no speeches were involved. Very happy to see a number of friends on the ballot such as Lauren Beukes, Rachel Swirsky, Eric James Stone, Ian McDonald, and Mary Robinette Kowal. And very very happy to see Alastair Reynolds finally up for a Hugo (you’d think he’d have been nominated before, but apparently not). And also very happy to see so many women up for awards, especially in the fiction category. Though we were talking it over with the H yesterday, and we weren’t entirely sure that nominations would transcribe into wins due to the way the ballot was structured (not sure about the others, but I expect Ted Chiang to win the novella, and I also suspect that all the proponents of traditional science-driven SF–of which there are many–will vote for Ian McDonald, giving him a strong edge in terms of votes). I very much hope I’ll be proved wront there.

So, at any rate, the complete list of Hugo nominees is here; lots of good stuff to check out; and thanks to everyone who nominated me, or supported me, or cheered for me when the announcement came out. And if, you know, you happen to want Jaguar Knights to win the shiny rocket trophy, you know what to do 🙂

Other than that, it was a great but exhausting con. I did my reading (the cookies went down a treat at that one–and my deepest thanks to everyone who turned up to show support); got on a couple of last-minute panels on Monday about Race and Gender in SF and Self-Promotion for Writers; met lots of people–old friends, new acquaintances–and generally had tons of fun and many productive discussions. I’m only sorry it was so short, and that there were some people I managed to miss altogether. But hey, here’s to next year.

Linky linky


“Casa Jaguarului in Umbra”, aka the Romanian version of “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”, is up at the SRSFF website. Many thanks, as always, to Cristian Tamas and to Antuza Genescu for the translation. There is a French version forthcoming in Galaxies as well.
-Both “The Jaguar House in Shadow” and “Age of Miracles, Age of Wonders” make the 2010 Tangent Online Recommended Reading list . Lots of familiar names on that list, and plenty good stories too.
-And because it’s International Women’s Day, a video with Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Craig:

(even though I’m sceptical about the efficacity of International Women’s Day, I have to say the video sums up a lot of my feelings on the subject)

Shipmaker podcast and Jaguar House pdf


Little weekend shameless self-promotion:

  • You can listen to the BSFA-shortlisted “The Shipmaker” here on StarShipSofa, in a very dramatic reading by the awesome Amy H. Sturgis
  • Asimov’s has made its Nebula Awards nominees available, among which “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” in pdf format (html still available on my website here)

I have also received both my BSFA and my Nebula voting ballot (and a neat little booklet with all the BSFA nominated short stories). As I said to the H, seeing my name on there feels really weird.

Ah, well. Back to the grind–in this particular case, fighting with a rebellious short story (right now, it’s winning).

The Jaguar House in Shadow nominated for a Nebula Award for Best Novelette


It’s now official: my alt-hist Aztec novelette, “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”, originally published in Asimov’s, July 2010, has been nominated for a Nebula Award.

This would be the bit where I feel faint (I’ve known for a week, but it still feels very unreal. In my book, Nebulas are pretty much a thing which happens to other people). Many many thanks to everyone who nominated it, and I guess I should start looking into the following things: a ballgown, a hotel reservation, and plane tickets for Washington…

Here’s the complete list of nominees (plenty of familiar names in there, too, how cool–special congrats to Chris Kastensmidt for making the ballot!). I’ve put together links fairly quickly; should update this when I get home and have more free time.

Short Story
‘‘Arvies’’, Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed Magazine 8/10)
‘‘How Interesting: A Tiny Man’’, Harlan Ellison® (Realms of Fantasy 2/10)
‘‘Ponies’’, Kij Johnson (Tor.com 1/17/10)
‘‘I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno’’, Vylar Kaftan (Lightspeed Magazine 6/10)
‘‘The Green Book’’, Amal El-Mohtar (Apex Magazine 11/1/10)
‘‘Ghosts of New York’’, Jennifer Pelland (Dark Faith)
‘‘Conditional Love’’, Felicity Shoulders (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine1/10)

‘‘Map of Seventeen’’, Christopher Barzak (The Beastly Bride)
‘‘The Jaguar House, in Shadow’’, Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 7/10)
‘‘The Fortuitous Meeting of Gerard van Oost and Oludara’’, Christopher Kastensmidt (Realms of Fantasy 4/10)
“Plus or Minus’’, James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine12/10)
‘‘Pishaach’’, Shweta Narayan (The Beastly Bride)
‘‘That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made’’, Eric James Stone (Analog Science Fiction and Fact 9/10)
‘‘Stone Wall Truth’’, Caroline M. Yoachim (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 2/10)

Novella The Alchemist, Paolo Bacigalupi (Audible; Subterranean)
‘‘Iron Shoes’’, J. Kathleen Cheney (Alembical 2)
The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
‘‘The Sultan of the Clouds’’, Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 9/10)
‘‘Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance’’, Paul Park (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 1-2/10)
‘‘The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window’’, Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine Summer ’10)

The Native Star, M.K. Hobson (Spectra)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit UK; Orbit US)
Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
Echo, Jack McDevitt (Ace)
Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW)
Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)

The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Despicable Me, Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud (directors), Ken Daurio & Cinco Paul (screenplay), Sergio Pablos (story) (Illumination Entertainment)
Doctor Who: ‘‘Vincent and the Doctor’’, Richard Curtis (writer), Jonny Campbell (director)
How to Train Your Dragon, Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders (directors), William Davies, Dean DeBlois, & Chris Sanders (screenplay) (DreamWorks Animation)
Inception, Christopher Nolan (director), Christopher Nolan (screenplay) (Warner)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Edgar Wright (director), Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright (screenplay) (Universal)
Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich (director), Michael Arndt (screenplay), John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, & Lee Unkrich (story) (Pixar/Disney)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
White Cat, Holly Black (McElderry)
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press; Scholastic UK)
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, Barry Deutsch (Amulet)
The Boy from Ilysies, Pearl North (Tor Teen)
I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett (Gollancz; Harper)
A Conspiracy of Kings, Megan Whalen Turner (Greenwillow)
Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)

For more information, visit http://www.sfwa.org/
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go for a liedown…

The Jaguar House in Shadow online


For those who might be interested: my novelette “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”, first published in Asimov’s, July 2010, is now available for free on my website for your reading pleasure. (and, of course, if you happen to be in the right fraction of the population, it’s eligible for the Hugos/Nebulas/Locus Awards/Asimov’s Awards etc.).

Jason Sanford listed it as one of the three best novelettes in Asimov’s for 2010; so did Richard Horton; and it’s already received at least one Nebula nomination.

Go here to read it, and don’t hesitate to pop back here and tell me what you thought!

Monday monday


  • In techie notes, I’m now proudly powered by Chrome (which is just way faster than my creaky safari, especially on my odd connection–the one that’s supposed to have a 54MBits/s bitrate but always ends up as a 200 kbits/s). Also sorted out plugins, in order to crosspost to Twitter, and to post to LJ (yes, I know, that was happening beforehand, but the update de-activated the “mirror to LJ by default setting”). And uploaded a raft of new ebooks to my Bebook mini, including a lot of Lord Peter Wimsey (I love those. Delightfully old-fashioned).
  • Bones: I have now officially reached the end of season 3, and therefore of my Spanish-dubbed DVDs. Had to switch back to English for season 4, which is a bit of an annoyance. Mind you, the first two episodes of season 4, “Yanks in the UK”, were just…painful. In a “let’s take every preconceived idea about the UK and write an episode around it without bothering to factcheck them first. Oh, and let’s give everyone exaggerated accents to make it clear we’re in the UK” way. (and, er, death penalty in the UK? Maybe, y’know, it’s been suppressed for a while now…)
  • Bunch of reviews for my short fiction
    • Matt at Garbled Signals on Asimov’s, July 2010, which contains my story “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”:

      This is a great mix of world-building, character, and action in one story.

    • Tangent Online reviews my story “Desaparecidos” in this month’s Realms of Fantasy:

      (…) her story is both well told and entertaining, and there is a nice plot twist at the halfway point (look out for the character Miguel) that does a good job of taking “Desaparecidos” in an unexpected direction

      I find it fascinating when the reviewer says that the story “never touches on religion”, because for me it’s very much one of my quintessential stories about religion–about faith and hope and the belief in some larger meaning or purpose, and how they can (or cannot) sustain us through our darker moments. And, in the end, it’s about miracles, what is just and what is fair–very much religious topics as far as I’m concerned. [1] I’m assuming what he did mean is that there was no preaching in the story, but still… Kind of struck me as odd.

[1] Not to mention the angels in the story, of course.