Updated 8 January 2018:
Hello, I like to do yearly review posts rather than merely eligibility posts because I strongly believe that things like accolades and awards are outside of my control. Besides, I’ve been raised to be a very proper lady and though I always failed and disappointed elders while growing up — there’s still a lot of those imperatives hiding inside me, telling me not to push myself forward too much. But it’s become an industry norm so I decided to capitulate and make this a bit clearer for everyone. I would be very happy indeed if nominated, yes. So thank you if you’re nominating — I don’t know you, and I don’t know if you will but if you do, <3 <3 <3
I don’t really think it would happen so I’d be quite contented with more readers. I say this every year, and it’s true every year.
Anyway, before I get into my rambling holistic review of the year, here’s what I have published in 2017. I have three eligible works of short fiction, and I think the IF may be eligible for *some* things but I’m not sure what so I’ll let you decide if you liked it enough 😀
- Prosthetic Daughter in Clarkesworld (Issue 125), February 2017. (SF: time-travel cyberpunk space opera, eligible for Hugos, Nebulas, SF thingies) — placed in Nebula Reading List.
- Reversion in Clarkesworld (Issue 131), August 2017. (SF: planetary romance, space opera, eligible for Hugos, Nebulas, SF thingies) — placed in Nebula Reading List, Tangent Recommended Reading List (2 stars)
- When The Night Blooms, An Artist Transmutes: A Three-Act Play in The Dark (Issue 31), December 2017 (Gothic/dark fantasy/horror, eligible for Hugos, Nebulas, fantasy and horror thingies) — placed in Charles Payseur’s Recommended Reading List.
- Bungalow Sari One (Twitter Interactive Fiction/poll story), on Twitter, December 2017. (Gothic/science fantasy/Horror, ???)
- Jean-Luc, Future Ghost, in Uncanny Magazine (Issue 14), January 2017. (SF, eligible for Rhyslings)
- Tinwoman’s Phantom Heart, in Strange Horizons (Fund Drive Special Issue), August 2017. (SF, eligible for Rhyslings)
- Spice Islands, in Uncanny Magazine (Issue 19), December 2017. (not SFF)
Reprints (not eligible!)
- Auto-Rejection: An Outro (2016) was reprinted in Lackington‘s Summer Issue, 2017. Edited and improved version with a slightly tweaked ending because I felt I needed to make the irony more overt.
- Tower of the Rosewater Goblet (2016) was reprinted in Shirtsleeve Press’s Event Horizon anthology for people who were eligible for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
Note: I’ve also recommended some of my favourite short fiction, novelettes, novellas, and novels by others in 2017 here.
My Personal Review of 2017 in Writing
2017 has been good to me in some ways, not so good to me in other ways. I’ve written 14 new stories thusfar, inclusive of 1 new novella. I finally finalised Watermyth, the first novel of the Cantata of the Fourfold Realms and started querying it. I then started working on Rosemirror, the second novel of the sequence. I’ve had some publications and good reviews.
On the academic front, I jettisoned my Helen Oyeyemi monograph (for now) because a chapter I wrote was published in Telling It Slant, a Helen Oyeyemi collection (Sussex Academic) — and that collection overlaps too much with my PhD research on Oyeyemi. Therefore, a great deal more work needs to be done before I can make a monograph I’d be happy sending out to publishers. Instead, I started work on my Malaysian Genre monograph and have done quite a bit on it thusfar and am fairly confident about sending out a proposal. I have also embarked on exciting new research collaborations, and am working on new articles and research ideas.
Things I like about 2017
I’ve managed to get coveted acceptances at both The Dark and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. It’s been my most prolific year in terms of poetry publication — and I’m not really very prolific where that’s concerned. All up, I had three poems published in professional poetry venues — two in Uncanny Magazine as one of their solicited poets for Year Three, and one in Strange Horizons for their Fund Drive Special. I also wrote a blog post for Strange Horizons. I also can’t get over the fact that I had TWO Clarkesworld publications this year: which means I’ve had FOUR Clarkesworld publications, and have been in at least one issue yearly since 2015. I like numbers and I like continuity so this pleases me a lot. I’ve been more low-key in promoting my stories this year as this is my post-Campbell year but this year a lot more random readers have reached out to me to tell me they liked my stories. This means a lot to me and I’m really grateful/humbled people are reading and recommending my works.
Apart from that, my short story Auto-Rejection: An Outro was reprinted in Lackington’s Magazine, with an improved ending, and a gorgeous illustration by Pear Nuallak.
I was also quite excited when Clarkesworld got a review in Kirkus Reviews in February because Prosthetic Daughter was up so by proxy I indirectly finally got into Kirkus Reviews. Hey, I’ll take it, man. Other indirect things: Lightspeed’s People of Colour Destroy Science Fiction (2016), edited by Nalo Hopkinson, Kristin Ong Muslim, Berit Ellingsen et al. won the British Fantasy Awards. OMG! As some of you already know, Morning Cravings is in that anthology, which means a Sesen story is in an award-winning anthology. Fourteen year old me is still doing cartwheels inside my head! Another Sesen story, Tower of the Rosewater Goblet (2016) made it into the Locus Recommended Reading List so that was another awesome validation for me in 2017, even if I didn’t wind up being nominated for the awards.
Apart from that, I didn’t get published much in 2017 in comparison with 2016 which was quite epic (and exhausting!)
But all the stories I had published, have now placed on recommendation lists! Three for three is not a bad thing at all! I am really grateful that both Reversion and Prosthetic Daughter have now been placed on the Nebula Reading List. When the Night Blooms, An Artist Transmutes: A Three-Act-Play is also now in Charles Payseur’s excellent year-end recommendation list, while Reversion made its way into the two-star category for Tangent Online’s annual recommended reading list! I’m not really super-optimistic that they’ll go further than this — I’m just happy to be on a list where more people will read them 🙂
Thank you, from the bottom of my faulty heart. I appreciate everyone who read, recommended, accepted, and published my works.
Stats for people who like these things, according to the submission Grinder for 2017:
66 fiction submissions (give or take a couple I may have forgotten to log)
4 fiction acceptances. (1 acceptance from Clarkesworld + 2 from The Dark + 1 from Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
I tend not to log my poetry submissions. There may have been 5-6. I got 2 poetry acceptances in 2017.