I’m really looking forward to having this story in audio format! This is my first reprint sale, so it’s a milestone, too. Yay!
Lackington’s Issue 20 is now free to read online! If you didn’t buy this double anniversary issue when it came out last autumn, now’s your chance to read all these bird stories!
You can read my story “City of Wings and Song” here.
I remain very proud of this story of songbirds, rebellion, and a poet changing the world.
Ever since King Reia (blessed-chime-their-name) declared their passion for birdsong, Mereveh has become a haven for all who desire a pretty creature in a cage to sit on their balcony and proclaim to the city their loyalty to the undying king. The people of the city—the rich, the honey-lipped, the gold-bangled, at least—have never been happier.
But what of the birds?
The other stories in Issue 20 are also fantastic. I love what a diverse combination of stories this issue is! Lackington’s truly has some of the best editing in this field. The editor Ranylt Richildis’s vision is glorious.
Some particular favourites include Heavy Reprises of a Dark Berceuse, by Priya Sridhar; Shaman, by Damien Mckeating; and ” A Map to a Future Unlike Any Past“, by Karolina Fedyk. I got to beta read Karolina’s story: it’s so beautiful.
The issue is currently available for purchase in ebook form, and I definitely recommend getting it — Lackington’s is impeccably edited and their stories always work in conversation with each other, so it’s a treat reading the entire issue. The stories will all be available online eventually, though!
“A whir of wings, a stir of song. The market is waking.”
In a queernorm world, Talirr enters a city of captive birds; rebellion and the dangerous magic of poetry ensue. I’m really proud of this story, and am especially pleased with my poet protagonist (and that I included poetry within the prose!). I hope you enjoy these birbs.
I’m looking forward to reading all the other stories in this issue! I can already recommend one of them to you: I beta-read Karolina Fedyk‘s story ” A Map to a Future Unlike Any Past”. What a beautiful and melancholy meditation on that fairy tale with the swan brothers.
I received my contributor copy of Fireside Quarterly already a couple of weeks ago, but life has been so busy I’m only blogging about this now. But isn’t this magazine beautiful! Such great design. Some stories, including mine, have a fold-out of the illustration, which is super cool.
Of course, Fireside Quarterly is also full of excellent stories and nonfiction. I’m so proud I have a story in this gorgeous print magazine in addition to the online version! And how amazing is it that Satu Kettunen’s illustration for my story is on the cover <3
In other news: I was quiet about it, but I did Nanowrimo again this year, and completed the zero draft of a new space opera novel. I’m excited to start revising the novel sometime next spring when it’s had enough time to rest!
Tuesday was a happy day — my story “Birch Daughter” appeared in the wondrous Fireside Magazine.
If you like Finnish-inspired folklore, forests, bears, and queer women, this one’s for you. Fireside describes it as “a magical short story about where the search for heart and home takes us”.
My father told me that the spell was too strong to break, that I should never trust the forest-folk. But the thought of my mother trapped within a gnarled birch tree in the far north was too much for me to bear.
“Birch Daughter” is set in the same ‘verse as my poems Raw Honey and Wolf Daughter (both published in Strange Horizons). I get a very specific pleasure from spinning my Finnish heritage into stories in English.
Also, isn’t the illustration amazing? It’s by the Finnish artist Satu Kettunen; I love it so much. Satu really managed to capture the atmosphere of my story and incorporated lovely details in the artwork. Having such amazing art for my story is a dizzying thing!
This news is a couple of weeks old, but it’s wonderful news despite that: my story “Birch Daughter” has sold to the amazing magazine Fireside. I’ve loved the stories in Fireside for a long time and am super excited that my story will appear there in 2018!
I should write my award eligibility post soon (it will probably be after Christmas at this point): I’ve been procrastinating doing it because of busyness and brain weasels. Things have been super hectic and stressful after getting home from my two-month visit to the UK, alas. But it’s all finally quieting down a bit: I’m on holiday, and hope to have the energy to write a lot. In any case, getting the Fireside news has buoyed me up in this dark season. And we’re already past Midwinter Day. I can do this. We can do this.
Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation has its release day today, 29 August! (It’s still just about the 29th in Finland as I type this at a few minutes to midnight.)
Get your copy in ebook or paperback! (Other retailers also have it!)
I got my contributor’s copy already two weeks ago, but alas, have not had the time to start reading it yet. SOOOON. The table of contents looks so enticing – a lot of amazing writers in this anthology.
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I got my contributor's copy of Sunvault from the post office today! It's so beautiful aaaahhh! The cover art by Likhain is so glorious. And it is always special seeing one's own work in print in an actual physical book. (The antho will be available for purchase soon!) ☆ #contributorscopy #sunvault #sunvaultantho #solarpunk #squeee #nofilter
My poem, “Sunharvest Triptych”, was written at the end of May in 2016 – written specifically for the exciting call for solarpunk sent out by the Sunvault editors Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland. I’m still so amazed that this poem got included in the anthology, especially since I almost didn’t submit it in the first place!
The process for this poem was more structure-oriented than most of my poetry. The three-part structure was there from the first sketch, and a basic idea for what the sections should contain, and some worldbuilding notes such as “solar energy harvested in summer primarily, stored and used through winter (cf. potato stores and grains in the olden days)”. But the sketch was very much a sketch, not a full poem yet. Just ideas coalescing into words. Usually the first drafts of my poems come out with words and ideas in one intense burst, but this time there was more of a cerebral process.
I wrote the first proper draft a couple of days later; it already looked pretty similar to the published version. I took it to my writing group in early June, feeling very insecure about the whole poem because my brain was telling me it was boring and badly written. But my fellow writers’ encouraging and useful feedback convinced me I should revise and submit the poem – and so I did. I’m very grateful to Helsinki Writers’ Group: I would probably have self-rejected this poem if not for the feedback I got. Thanks, peeps. <3
I can’t believe Worldcon75 is starting tomorrow! So much excitement!
I am already primed and ready for Worldcon, mostly because I spent the past few days in Uppsala at Reception Histories of the Future: A conference on Byzantinisms, speculative fiction, and the literary heritage of medieval empire. I will probably write another post on the Uppsala conference, but suffice it to say that it was transformative for me. I met so many amazing authors and writers, and for the first time felt truly a part of the SFF writers’ community.
But so – WORLDCON! I’m participating in three panels, one of which I’m moderating:
Thu 10 Aug, 17-18: Polyamorous Relationships in Fiction (room 101d)
Thu 10 Aug, 21-22: Reimagining Worlds with Speculative Poetry (room 216)
Sun 13 Aug, 12-13: Why do Finns Love their Drabbles (room 103)
I’m moderating the poetry panel, which I suggested to Worldcon. SO EXCITED. The panelists are Julia Rios, Arkady Martine, and Mari Ness – I’m sure we’re going to have an amazing discussion. Here’s the panel description:
Speculative poetry contains multitudes: explorations of gender, queer readings of fairytales, far-off worlds where our social structures are subverted. How can poets coming from marginalised positions change the landscape of speculative poetry? Can speculative poetry reimagine our world and provide glimpses of a more inclusive one?
You will find copies of Cosmos Pen (the magazine my story “Don’t Look a Wish Horse in the Mouth” is in) for sale at The Finnish Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association’s table (Suomen tieteis- ja fantasiakirjoittajat). Do pick up the magazine – it’s got lots of great stuff in addition to my wish-horse story!
I will be at the table on Friday from 17-18.
Worldcon will also feature another project I’ve been working on this spring! A Finnish Weird anthology – Finnish SFF stories translated into English – called The Giants at the End of the World, edited by Worldcon75 GoH Johanna Sinisalo and Toni Jerrman. The anthology will apparently be given out to all Worldcon members!
I translated two stories for this anthology, by Tiina Raevaara and Jenny Kangasvuo. Translating SFF was a really great experience for me – challenging but rewarding. I’ve done a lot of translation work over the past 10 years or so, but translating fiction gave me new insights into the process because you have to pay so much attention to e.g. tone as well as just content. The anthology contains stories by lots of major Finnish SFF writers including Hannu Rajaniemi, Emmi Itäranta, and Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen.
I will be in social mode during the con, so feel free to come and say hi anytime!
I got my copy of Cosmos Pen: A Travel Guide to Finnish Weird today! Yaaay! The issue looks fantastic and I’m looking forward to reading all of it.
So, this special issue of the Finnish SFF magazine Kosmoskynä (which translates to Cosmos Pen) includes my story “Don’t Look a Wish Horse in the Mouth”. As I mentioned when I talked about the sale, this story has had quite a few rejections (although also good feedback), so I was very happy to have it accepted for Cosmos Pen. I don’t write a lot of stuff that could be considered “weird fiction” as such – but Wish Horse definitely counts. It’s set in my home town of Helsinki, and the first line pretty much tells you what you need to know re the weirdness:
When wishes became horses, beggars still couldn’t ride — for the horses were the size of Christmas tree ornaments.
I got the idea for this story, quite literally, as a fever dream many years ago. I was ill, unable to sleep, and suddenly the thought just popped into my mind. What if wishes really did become horses? But pesky tiny ones? I wrote the first version of the story in 2015, and revised it soon after to become pretty close to the published version. I’m proud of this ridiculous story and so happy it’s out now! I feel like I’ve captured some of my Helsinki in this story, too.
I think Cosmos Pen will be sold at Worldcon75, so buy a copy there if you can make it to the con! (A Worldcon post is forthcoming – I’m doing some exciting things there!)
And then more publication stuff – Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation! This solarpunk anthology – edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland – features fiction and poetry from a lot of amazing writers, including Nisi Shawl and Daniel José Older.
My poem “Sunharvest Triptych” is a fitting companion to the wish-horse story in that it’s also set in Helsinki – but a solarpunk Helsinki.
I’m so happy to be part of this anthology. Much awesomeness – and what a glorious cover, too. Likhain is one of my favourite artists and it’s fabulous to be in another anthology involving her art! (An Alphabet of Embers was illustrated by Likhain.)
Sunvault is currently available for preorder, so go ahead and order a copy from your online retailer of choice!
My weird Helsinki story “Don’t Look a Wish Horse in the Mouth” will appear in Cosmos Pen, the English-language special issue of the Finnish SFF magazine Kosmoskynä. The issue is going to appear around Worldcon. \o/
I’m so happy to have found this story a home. It’s received positive feedback from a few venues but been rejected; but I think Cosmos Pen, with its theme “Travel Guide to Finnish Weird”, is actually perfect for this odd little story. I don’t often write stuff that could be classified as “Finnish Weird”, but this one definitely qualifies. I’ll have more to say about the story itself when it comes out!