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Showing posts from October, 2017

Review: Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra (coming out from Harper Voyager in 2018)

Disclaimer: Rati Mehrotra is a friend, and I received an advance review copy of this book from her.

I’ve been looking forward to Markswoman since first hearing about it. Rati is an accomplished short fiction writer (see links to her short stories at https://ratiwrites.com/ ) and I was eager to see what she could do in the long form. Reader, I was not disappointed.
Markswoman takes place in a world I’ve never seen before: a seeming post-apocalyptic Asia which mixes science fiction and fantasy. In the distant aftermath of a Great War, five Orders keep peace over the numerous clans of Asiana--Orders of warriors who are telepathically bonded with their magical knives. Kyra Veer is the last of her clan and a young warrior in training in the sisterhood of the Order of Kali. As the novel opens, she is completing the last task needed before becoming a full-fledged Markswoman of her Order. Kyra’s future should be relatively set after this. But, of course, there is no smooth sailing for our hero…

New story out: Taiya

A few weeks ago, my latest fiction story was published. It’s called "Taiya," and you can read it here at The Future Fire.It’s a ghost story set in an imaginary country. And it’s been getting some wonderful reviews.
Maria Haskins included it in her September 2017 Short Fiction Round-up

A.C. Wise featured it (and me!!) in her series, Women to Read: Where to Start: October 2017 post.
The website Lady Business also has a lovely review (warning: spoilers! I’d suggest reading the story first before reading the very perceptive analysis here)
As a writer, I am of course always thrilled by good reviews and attention to any of my stories. But this one is particularly dear to me. I wrote it three years ago, and it was the first story that truly scared me to write. It wasn’t the (named) ghost in the story that scared me. What scared me was the feeling of exposure, of revealing something about myself that I perhaps didn’t want anyone else to see.
This is why some of us  write fiction. Becaus…

Jenny Zhang's writing is a knife in the heart.

"It was my mother who tucked him in and told him that there exists a sort of love in the world that only survives as long as no one speaks of it, and that was the reason why he would never have to worry because my grandmother was never going to be the kind of mother who held her children in her arms and told them how smart and beautiful and talented they were. She was only ever going to scold them, make them feel diminutive, make them feel they were never good enough, make them know this world wouldn’t be kind to them. She wasn’t going to let someone else be better than her at making her children feel pain or scare them more than she could, and to her, that was a form of protection.
That’s how we will be with our own children, my mother told my uncle, proud that she had realized this."               --Jenny Zhang, "Our Mothers Before Them," from her collection Sour Heart

Aug-Sept 2017 Short Fiction Recs

On gray autumn days, there’s nothing I want so much as a cup of hot tea, a blanket, and a good story. Here are some good things I read over August and September—stories to drink in with your tea (or beverage of choice) as the season darkens and chills.
Stories strange and beautiful, dark and light

These Bones Aside by Lora Gray in The Dark
Each month, Yagra plants a new goddess to swallow the moon and save the world. This is such a hauntingly beautiful and painful story of motherhood, loss, sacrifice, and innocence. It marries mythic imagery and imagination with intimate feeling. Absolutely gorgeous.
Red Bark and Ambergris by Kate Marshall at Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Sarai was kidnapped to be a maker of perfumes for a Queen. She has the talent for it—to be a scent-maker—but what she wants is to be a poison-tamer, for it’s only as a poison-tamer that she may be able to escape her island prison. This is a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love, loss, bitterness, and accepting one’s true t…