Woot! Always an honour to be nominated, as they say, and Long Hidden has already been nominated for a prestigious award (Sofia Samatar’s “Ogres of East Africa” was nominated for a Locus Award, and so was Long Hidden) — but this feels especially “big”: Long Hidden has made the shortlist for the World Fantasy Award.
Full props to publishers Crossed Genres and editors Rose Fox and Daniel José Older for making the anthology happen, and to all the artists and authors who contributed. Yes, I’m biased! So what. If there was any anthology in English that strove to put the “world” in world fantasy in 2014, Long Hidden was it.
It’s official: my short story, “Black Smoke and Water Lilies,” is in the new edition of Insignia Volume 2: Chinese Fantasy Stories, edited by Kelly Matsuura.
If you’re not familiar with the Insignia series of anthologies, each one groups stories set or inspired by a different region in Asia. Volume 1 features Japanese fantasy stories and the upcoming Volume 3 features stories of Southeast Asia (submissions for that one are still open, by the way; the deadline is August 31).
When it comes to future tech, variations on a phrase in a roleplaying game sourcebook always stuck with me: “POOF: YOU’RE HEALED.”
That was the description for the top-level, beyond super-science medical technology of the far future. (For weaponry of that advanced era, it was “POOF: YOU’RE DEAD”; for transportation it was “POOF: YOU’RE THERE.” You get the idea. Also, possibly, I played far too much G.U.R.P.S. if its metaphors remain fixed in my head.)
One thing unquestioned, of course, and not within the scope of RPG rules, is the question: “for whom?”
I was invited by Mary Pletsch (with whom I have the honour of sharing a table of contents with in Kneeling in the Silver Light and Wrestling With Gods) to write a guest post at The Fictorians, on the subject of writing conflict in fiction.
Here’s a little bit of what I had to say:
Don’t say what you mean: writing conflict through dialogue
There are a lot of ways to express conflict through dialogue in a scene, but it can be very effective – and a lot of fun – if it isn’t done openly.
People (and characters) hate conflict. They usually do everything they can to avoid it, unless they’re devoid of empathy. But readers… they love conflict. It makes for great dialogue, exciting scenes, and a plot that keeps moving.