2020 Round-Up and Awards Eligibility

For me, 2020 felt slow, and at times painful, frustrating, and confusing. It was easy to compare myself with others who seemed to be having lots of short fiction publishing success, and feel demoralised. However, when I cast my mind back to where I was a mere one year ago, I’m reminded of how far I’ve come in a short space of time. I am immensely grateful: not only for my writing journey, but for the security of my day work and living situation, and for the support systems around me.

Here are the things I’ve published in 2020. My novelette, Jigsaw Children, is eligible for the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and grants me eligibility for the Astounding Award.

Jigsaw Children
Clarkesworld (Issue 161, Feb 2020)
Audio Version available on Clarkesworld Website / Podcast

13,000 words. A science fiction novelette set in twenty-second century Hong Kong, about gene splicing, mothers, attachment, and identity.

I think I’m reasonably lucky, only having five parents. I guess my donors didn’t have too many risk mutations. Some of my classmates have been spliced together from eight, nine, even twelve donors. I don’t envy them the task of juggling their Chinese New Year dinners.

Father’s House
Aurealis (Issue 29, Apr 2020)

2500 words. A short story touching on themes of brain connectome mapping, illness, immigration, and the things that parents pass on to their children.

He removes his shoes and places them neatly next to his father’s black sneakers.
His father’s voice floats from the kitchen. ‘Henry. How’s work?’
‘Fine, Ba. I’ve taken a few days off.’
‘Just to help me clean? Are you sure that’s a good idea?’

The Ethnographer
Andromeda Spaceways Magazine (Issue #79, Jun 2020)

5000 words. A far future science fiction story about inequality and powerlessness. A solitary, empathetic ethnographer travels to a far-flung planet and gradually discovers hidden ruptures in the alien society.

I step down from the Linnaeus into a crimson haze creased with shadows. The wind howls like a banshee symphony. At once, I understand why the Vullon have no hearing organs: the noise of this alien planet inspires madness.

Of Hunger and Fury
Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, Omnium Gatherum (Sep 2020)

3600 words. A Malaysian Chinese gothic horror story. When Fen Fang returns to her family home in Malaysia, long-forgotten ghosts begin to creep into her skin.

When I see my mother standing in the front yard, two decades disappear in a blink. I can hardly bear to look at the faded white walls, the creeping lattice of vines like bloated veins. She pulls the metal gate open. Her bare wrists look strangely vulnerable. My husband bounds over to her, grasps her hand in both of his, leans in to peck her cheek.

Mother of the Trenches
Unnatural Order, CSFG Publishing (Dec 2020, available to pre-order)

2700 words. A quirky, tentacled, symbiotic, fantasy tale about power, knowing yourself, ocean pollution, and deep, dark places.

You turn your little eyes to me, taking in my massive shapelessness, the dark patterns shifting over my skin, and my many arms, coiled around us like a nest—protecting, tasting, thinking. Your gaze flicks upwards and crosses paths with mine.
Your fear turns into disgust.

If you’d told me a couple of years ago that I’d have short fiction in two dream Aussie SFF venues, I wouldn’t have dared to believe it! The Ethnographer and Father’s House are very different stories, but both were a challenge and a joy to write. I feel very lucky to have had them edited and published by Andromeda Spaceways and Aurealis, respectively. And, of course, I’m perpetually over the moon that Clarkesworld accepted Jigsaw Children–which, now that I reflect on it, has many thematic overlaps with Every Version of You.

As I spent a large portion of the year studying for a specialty exam, I didn’t get to write and submit as much as I’d hoped. But with the exam well and truly behind me now, I’m set to dive into structural edits for EVOU and more short fiction projects!

As always, thanks for reading and lingering for a little while. May the end of your 2020 be reflective, restorative, and as peaceful as can be in these times.

Novel Announcement: Every Version of You

In a perfect, deathless world, what does it mean to love and let go?

OK so I kind of spoiler-ed myself a couple of weeks ago but I have some RIDICULOUSLY EXCITING NEWS.

Picture: primary-school-Grace, hunched over the dining table, scribbling stories in exercise books and dreaming of publishing a Real Book one day.

Now picture little Grace’s dream coming true. Yes indeed, the (electronic) ink is dry! My debut novel, Every Version of You, is going to be published by Affirm Press!!!

Every Version of You is a science fiction novel set in late 21st century Australia. It features a Malaysian Chinese Australian protagonist, Tao-Yi Ling, and her partner, Navin, as they grapple with the rise of virtual reality and mind-uploading technology. It explores continuity of identity, love, migration, consumerism, bodies, illness, change, loss, and cultural grief. It hopes to channel the spirit of Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, with a dash of Black Mirror.

Affirm Press is a wonderful, independent Melbourne-based publishing house who are behind Alice Robinson’s The Glad Shout, Pip Williams’ The Dictionary of Lost Words, and Christian White’s The Nowhere Child, amonst many others. Affirm Press are doing exciting things in the Australian publishing landscape, and their vision for Every Version of You closely aligns with mine. I’m so, so delighted to work with them to whip this thing into shape!

If you’d like to follow me on my writing journey, you can subcribe to this website for blog posts.

If you’d like to stan me in other media, I’m also on Twitter and Instagram, where in addition to word-wrangling updates I share my excitement about what I’m reading, watching, or, occasionally, munching.

For the ultimate fangirling experiencing, you can subscribe to my brand-spanking-new-shiny newsletter: Brains, Space, & Ghosts. If you like the sound of writing excerpts, behind-the-scenes info, inspirations, and occasional musings, I’d be honoured if you signed up! I promise not to contribute to loathsome spam, and will send out the newsletter no more than once a month, likely less often.

Thank you again, friends, for sharing in my excitement about my debut novel. Tao-Yi and Navin’s story means a great deal to me, and I can’t wait to bring it to life.

Every Version of You is due for release in early 2022.

Father’s House – Aurealis #129

My short story, Father’s House, is in Aurealis #129.

Here’s my ‘Story Behind The Story’:

Father’s House sprang from three concepts mashing together unexpectedly in my head. The technology to map and deconstruct the human brain is growing increasingly sophisticated. How long will it be before we try to replicate a human mind in digital form? More importantly, when we do so, how closely can we say it represents the original? At the time I was mulling about this, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act came into effect in Victoria—and with it, the crucial issue of determining capacity to consent. Finally, this story holds a great deal of personal significance. I was reflecting on the things that parents pass on to their children: stories spoken aloud, and stories so hidden they’re only a vague feeling. Like Henry, we carry pieces of previous generations in us, and we grapple with them throughout our lives.

You can purchase the issue or sign up as a subscriber through the Aurealis website.

Aurealis Awards 2019: Shortlisted!

Greetings, digital ghosts.

Just a little post to announce that my short story, The Mark, has been shortlisted for Best Horror Short Story in the 2019 Aurealis Awards.

 
Wang Yibo dancing on stage with a seductive twirl.
Mood

I’m feeling incredibly privileged and honoured that my second published work is an Aurealis Awards nominee.

Congratulations to all the other finalists: a stellar line-up!

https://aurealisawards.org/2020/03/25/2019-aurealis-awards-shortlist-announcement/

Viva La Novella Shortlist & Excerpt: The Ship of Theseus

Earlier this year, I found out that my near-future, virtual reality, mind/body splitting, Asian-Australian spec-fic novella was shortlisted for Viva La Novella VII.

Needless to say, I had to pinch myself, oh, several hundred times.

If you like the sound of The Ship of Theseus, you can check out an excerpt of it now at Seizure Online. Thanks for reading!