Tag: the shipmaker

Recent publications


Just a quick note that my Xuya short story “The Shipmaker” is now reprinted at Clarkesworld. This was the first of the mindship sequence (AIs incubated in human wombs and becoming part of human families). Bit of nostalgia for this one: it won me my first major award (British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Short Fiction), and was also the first story I wrote that had actual Vietnamese characters (more accurately, Vietnamese immigrants in a Chinese-dominated society. But still).

Also, my longer Xuya novelette, “Pearl”, a retelling of Da Trang and the Pearl, is available as part of The Starlit Wood, Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe’s anthology of retold fairytales. More info here.

“The Shipmaker”/”La Mère des Nefs” in Orbs


Quite happy to announce that “La Mère des Nefs” (lit. “Mother of Ships”, except “nefs” has a grandeur to it that “ship” doesn’t quite have in French…), the French translation of “The Shipmaker” will be appearing in the inaugural edition of Orbs, L’Autre Planètea cross between a bound book and a magazine (“beau-livre magazine” as they say in French).

Many thanks to Maxence Layet and Nathalie Barneix and the rest of the Orbs team for the opportunity and the translation–it’s always fascinating to see the process of translation into another language you speak, and this was no exception. Also, I have seen the galleys, and it all looks quite gorgeous. Looking forward to it!

Progress, progress


Hit 3k on a sekrit project, and started planning another round of edits to Foreign Ghosts (following very perceptive comments from my agent). And got to the end of book 2 (out of 3) in the novella, which makes 22k words. Cool bits: inserted a school called “The Abode of Brush Saplings” (a reference to the Hanlin academy, aka Court of Brush Wood, the Chinese office reserved for the very highest-ranked scholars. My students aren’t there yet, so I needed a name for the incubator 🙂 ). Mixed up all my generation references when I attempted to get the name of a particular ancestor and their generation number–this baby is going to need a complete pass to clarify the family relationships and the generations when I’m done… And put in more nice food (more pittaya aka dragon fruit) and extra references to dragons and storms. Now I probably need more actual, you know, SF and techno-porn in there… *embarrassed shrug*

We are also very rich in fruit and veggies currently, following a weekend at the in-laws where we picked apples from a farm (and got 4 kg’s worth of sub-varieties I’d never heard of, an example of how sadly normative the high-street grocery market has become in France), and a weekend where my mom dropped off some more fruit and vegs (tomatoes, raspberries and potatoes). I’m planning Singaporean croquettes (a recipe I filched from Charmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook, which involves ground beef, cumin, potato purée and breadcrumbs. Yum yum).

And this is made of awesome: the newest edition of the Czech magazine XB-1, which contains “Stavitelka korábů”, the translation of “The Shipmaker” (with thanks to Martin Šust and my nameless translator–I’m pretty sure they’re not nameless, but I can’t navigate the Czech website well enough to find out their name…).

(and yes, before you ask, quite obviously “-ard” is a masculine name ending in Czech, therefore I get to be known as “Aliette de Bodardová”, which is pretty darn cool)

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.

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.

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).

World domination is near…


Well, not for me, but “The Shipmaker” is obviously getting some massive doses of love this year. It’s been picked up by Allan Kaster for his The Year’s Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction 3, which is going to be available as an audio book and as a ebook some time in April. Haven’t seen a TOC, but I believe it will include “The Things” by Peter Watts (also on the BSFA shortlist and in Dozois’ Year’s Best) and “Re-crossing the Styx” by Ian MacLeod (also in Dozois’ Year’s Best). Pretty good company so far.
(I’ve actually known this for a while, but clean forgot to post about it due to some RL stuff).

This post brought to you by the department of shameless self-promotion. See previous post if you want actual blog content.

The Shipmaker picked up by Dozois’ Year’s Best SF


Wasn’t sure how public this was, but apparently people have already been announcing their own acceptances over the Internet. So…

Gardner Dozois has picked up my Xuya story “The Shipmaker” (which is in the current issue of Interzone) for his Year’s Best.

Er, wow? Particularly pleased, as this was the first story where I attempted to put Vietnamese on the map of my alternate universe–there aren’t that many Vietnamese main characters in spec-fic[1], and it’s high time I did my bit to remedy this.

If you need me, I’ll be in the corner, jumping and squeeing…

ETA: and it looks I get to share a TOC with Yoon Ha Lee’s “Flower, Mercy, Needle Chain”, which is one of the absolute best SF stories I read this year. W00t.

[1]There’s plenty of Vietnam War stories, which tend to be told from the American point of view–so not really fitting the billl. Plus, while the war was definitely traumatic for the country, it’s not the only thing that defines Vietnamese culture…

Interzone 231, and author’s notes for The Shipmaker


So, I thought I’d trying out something new when a story comes out: author’s notes, the equivalent of DVD extras. Might contain mild spoilers, though this time they don’t. Every story has those extra little bits that I couldn’t fit into the main narrative, and I figured I’d share some of them with you.

We’ll start with “The Shipmaker”, which is in issue 231 of Interzone, now out in the wild. It’s the Jason Sanford special issue, with three stories by him (you can see previews here, here and here), and an interview. The remaining stories are by Matthew Cook, and by me.

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