Happy New Year!
A recap of 2022, and 🤞🙏💪 for the year ahead.
New Story! The Bright in the Gyre, Reckoning, January 2023
I’m pleased to be able to start the new year off with a new publication in Reckoning 7! Reckoning is an absolutely gorgeous magazine that features speculative climate justice stories. I’ve followed it a while and been so inspired by the work there, and I’m honored that my story is the opening fiction piece of their “Oceans”-themed issue. (Incredibly, I share the table of contents with Ruth Joffre, the instructor of my very first workshop class taken with Hugo House!) 💙
The Bright in the Gyre is a hopeful climate fiction story, stewed together into a soothing broth (I hope) from some of my stress about microplastics, and the North Pacific Garbage Patch, and the lingering effects of COVID/respiratory illness around the world and in my family.
The eBook of Reckoning 7 is available to order now, and the print release (!!) will be this upcoming July. As for my story, it will be free to read on January 15th at the same link to order.
A 2022 recap: my first submissions, first rejections, first acceptances, first publications…
2022 has been a whirlwind and emotional year. I’m happy I’ve been able to achieve so much, including qualifying for SFWA full membership. I also attended Cascade Writers Three-Day Critique Workshop, my first in-person event with other writers, and was astonished at the amount of support and camaraderie—I hope in 2023 to be able to do more for other writers as well!
It was my first year submitting, and of the 22 submissions that I made last year, I managed 6 acceptances! Including The Bright in the Gyre, this year should also have the publication of DIY 5-Step Homemade Polycephalic Hound Chow—EASY! in 99 Fleeting Fantasies. It is a fantasy flash about preparing food for your finicky three-headed dog. 🐶🐶🐶
Since this is my first newsletter entry, I’ll also recap my 2022 publications.
Story: Obsolesce (7000 words), Strange Horizons, August 2022
This is my first short story sale ever, and I’m grateful to the editor, Dr. Jaymee Goh, for selecting it for Strange Horizon’s Southeast Asian Special Issue. It’s about a nurse who provides caregiving services to robots going obsolete; and her client, a
sexbot companion model based off a singer-actress diva, who is also a war veteran eagerly awaiting transportation to their next life.
This was also one of two short fiction pieces that the Strange Horizons editors nominated for a Pushcart Prize last year 🎊
You can read Obsolesce here.
Story: Balikbayan (250 words), Solarpunk Magazine, May 2022
Last March, I attended a talk that had Salesses (in conversation with Ruth!), who spoke about the limits of Western-style narratives in climate fiction. If we can only tell stories that center a single individual’s agency in solving a problem, where does that leave us with ways to imagine overcoming climate change, which is a problem that no one individual can fix?
Since this talk, I’ve been fascinated with climate fiction and writing stories about pollution and apocalypses that involve communities and cooperation—like my flash piece Balikbayan, which was written for Solarpunk Magazine’s May Microfiction Contest!
You can read Balikbayan here; it’s a story that mixes the utopian solarpunk aesthetic with Filipino ghost stories.
Other stories I’ve loved recently:
How I ________ Your Mother by Tina S. Zhu, The /temz/ Review
Son, I hear you want to know about your mother. You’ve been running around accusing me of hiding the truth. Well, I’ll tell you everything. We were very happy together. It was love at first sight—I knew she was going to be my queen the first time I laid eyes on her. How did we meet, you ask? I was traveling through a dangerous ________ when I came across a ________ defended by an angry, treacherous ________. You see, she was ________ so she had no idea I was going to pay a visit.
I really love this flash piece, written by one of my cohorts in this year’s Yearlong in Speculative Fiction with Ruth Joffre at Hugo House. It makes me think so much about “who gets to tell the story,” about the pressure a woman of color feels to fit into spaces, and how directly the lack of words in this story has SO much presence.
Three Reincarnation Rituals by Lilian Liang, The Margins
I killed my old self to see if I would finally return home to myself. But I just came back worse and hotter. I reshape my silicone body mold to give myself an itty-bitty waist and the fat ass that I deserve. I reconfigure my brain chip so I only fall in love with ratty skater boys who are actually men that are too old to be doing this shit anymore.
I had the opportunity to workshop this piece in last year’s Yearlong in Speculative Fiction at Hugo House, and I’m so happy that it’s finally out in the world. Its imagery is so visceral and funny; I love the intersection of androids, human body parts, mothers, and astrology.
Reservation Fairy Tales 101: Final Exam by Marsheila Rockwell, in Augur 4.1
1.Once upon a time:
(Choose all that apply)
a) In 1492
b) That time you read about in the news
c) All the times you didn’t
d) Every 92 minutes*
e) Right now
2.A girl went missing:
(Choose all that apply)
a) Little Red Something-or-Other
b) A daughter, a sister, a wife
c) A maiden, a mother, a crone
d) A mindimooyenh (noun 1. old woman 2. revered Elder)
This is an emotional and impactful speculative poem about missing indigenous women, in the form of a multiple-choice quiz. I heard about this poem from Terese Mason Pierre’s class on speculative poetry, given as part of the Clarion West Flash Fiction Workshop last summer. I was amazed that the quiz form this story has seems to engage with the idea of what happens when you try to “just find a simple answer” to injustices like these, and seems to also address the reader directly with questions about complicity and awareness.
Cult of the Lamb, by Massive Monster
A roguelike and farm simulation where you play the last lamb in the world who, after being saved from sacrifice by a god, acts on that god’s behalf to create a cult. I love the cute-and-dark art style, the beautiful environments, and the humor and how this version of building a town involves performing ritual sacrifice and scooping poop. There’s something refreshing about how this game’s gimmick provides an answer in its world-building for why all the cute animals in your village live there and happily obey everything you say (mostly) morning til night (they are literally indoctrinated to do so).
Here’s a photo of Ichi, enjoying running free and wild and muddy and salty on the coast last summer.
I hope your new year is off to a peaceful start. See you next time!
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