I’m trying to build up momentum, in terms of writing, since a few very encouraging pushes I got during my WorldCon trip this summer. On the suggestion of my pal Jeremy Tolbert, I’ve been trying to put in a couple of hours a morning on writing, and it’s working well for me. I’ve managed to rework, revise, or completely rewrite a bunch of stories since returning to Korean. A bunch, here, means four big stories revised, and one new (very) short story, plus finalizing one of the two co-translations I’m working on with Mrs. Jiwaku—about which I’ll say more below.
Like I say, I’m trying to build a little momentum. Next up: that second co-translation, tidying one more story, and then diving back into my Gin Craze novel.
In any case, the time away from writing new fiction—stressful though it’s been—has served me well, it seems. One nice surprise is that I’m much more merciless when it comes to editing. Most of those stories were cut radically—12,000 words turning into 8,000, and 9,000 turning into 6,000. I’m getting better at getting the hell out of the way of the story. (Finally.) Perhaps it helps that I read some fiction I wrote fifteen years ago, when I was terrible at getting out of the way. But I think the break helped, too. Also, embracing the “entertain” aspect of fiction. Trying to be more entertaining, and less of a taskmaster to the reader. (Unlearning the literary lessons of Ezra Pound, I suppose.)
As for publishing news:
First off, I am shocked and embarrassed to discover I missed the reprinting of my novelette “The Bernoulli War” (which originally ran in Asimov’s SF in 2012) in Forever Magazine back in issue 14, back in March of this year. All I can say in my defense was… er, baby?
The issue’s contents are as follows:
- Editorial by Neil Clarke
- Mr. Boy by James Patrick Kelly (novella)
- A Few Words with James Patrick Kelly (interview)
- Tideline by Elizabeth Bear (short story)
- The Bernoulli War by Gord Sellar (novelette)
- Cover Art by Ron Guyatt
Besides that, I’ve got a couple of stories coming out in Analog. The first one, titled “Prodigal,” was one of the stories I drafted in Seattle back in 2006. It’s about dogs modded to have human-level sentience, a dysfunctional Seattle family, and international animal rights terrorism. Also, police dogs. Like, smart ones.
The other story coming out in Analog is titled “Focus,” and it was inspired by some riots that happened in Bình Dương province while I was living in Saigon…
… as well as some of what we saw through our contact with Korean families involved in running the
sweatshops factories there. Besides factory floor imperialism and the ever-encroaching global obsession with efficiency at all costs, it’s also about teenagers, study pressure, and the forceful aspirational vibe I felt in the air in Saigon.
Also forthcoming are two more co-translations of Korean SF to English. My wife and I are working on them together. We’re contracted to deliver them to Kaya Press, for an anthology of Korean SF in English translation that should be coming out in 2017 (or maybe 2018). One of the two stories is tentatively completed and about to be submitted for editing feedback, while the other is approaching halfway done. They’re great stories and we’re really excited to be working on them!
Finally, for those of you out there who are gamers, work proceeds apace on my Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventure “The Wondrous Ales of the Abbey of St. Christopher.” It’s in the layout stage now, and from what I’ve seen so far, I’m excited to see how the hardcover turns out.
I’ve been working on some other game-related projects, when I’m not busy with fiction and the baby and work, but I’ll say more about those when they’re ready to materialize.