What a happy, odd, and stressful thing to write for the first time. In 2017 I saw my first fiction and poetry sales going public – and I managed to slip in a second fiction piece right before the year’s end! Older and wiser people tell me that this makes me Campbell eligible, which sounds like a great opportunity to find out other new writers in my cohort 🙂 To my pleasant surprise, this is the year I realised that writers talk to other writers (!) and made many friends along the way.
I had two stories out this year.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2017.
Someone is coming in. Someone found Folu out. The Grey Men are coming to take Folu and there’s nowhere to go. Too cold, too tired, too hungry. Shrink, play dead. The Grey Men won’t notice; the Grey Men will go away. The cards gave no warning. Folu forgot how to read them. Nothing matters anymore.
Think of Winter is a tender fantasy story told from the off-beat perspective of a clairvoyant child. It touches on the relationship between coloniser and colonised, and on the agency of people we seemingly cast as helpless. Available in audio too.
Charles Payseur wrote, [i]t’s a story to me about trauma and surviving, and in that it’s a very bleak story, one that doesn’t offer much hope because of the setting, because of the uncertainty and violence of it. But still it is a fascinating read with a great momentum and style to it, a language that draws on divination and a plot that tips heavily toward tragedy, though it does leave a little room at the end for something more. For the possibility of something more.
It is eligible for Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards (short fiction).
It has already won the “My mum is super proud of me” award for 2017.
Clarkesworld, December 2017.
I’m one of my mother’s kind. Numbers speak to us in whispers and screams. We weave the world in complex mathematics and the world weaves us back, keeping our sky above and our earth below, keeping our organs inside our bodies, keeping us here, keeping us together.
Darkness, Our Mother is a sci-fantasy story of dysfunctional families and unconditional sibling love, loosely based on the mythological figures of Ariadne and the Minotaur. It is a story about seeking freedom from our parental shackles and the burden such a responsibility entails.
It is eligible for Hugo and Nebula awards (short fiction).
And has already won the “SHIT, I SOLD A STORY TO CLARKESWORLD” award for 2017.
Please note that this is also my first year of Campbell eligibility – woohoo!
Eye To The Telescope, October 2017
Winters, what am I?
Published in the Evolving Gender issue of ETT, this poem is told from the perspective of a planet in orbit to its star. It’s about binary gender being constructed by ‘othering’ processes, yet in those very processes the possibility for something more becomes apparent.
It is eligible for the Rhysling Award.
Thanks for reading!
In the meantime, I’m putting together my own recommendations for 2017. I will keep updating this list and also boost it on Twitter. If you have something you want me to read please send it my way!