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My Jewish-themed poetry and fiction

I write speculative / magical-realist fiction and poetry. There is quite a bit of it by now, and most of it is available free of charge online. If you like this kind of stuff, you can support my Patreon.

A specifically Jewish list seems timely; my bibliography is long and messy, and it is hard to separate works out by topic. I will probably also make a QUILTBAG-themed list too.


If you want to read about anti-Semitism specifically: Periodicity, The Tiny English-Hungarian Phrasebook for Visiting Extraterrestrials, Never Cease (this last one is in a book you can buy; the first two are free)

If you want to read something that awakens your fighting spirit: Torah and Secular Learning, This Secular Technology

For a QUILTBAG intersection: Three Partitions, Six Hundred and Thirteen Commandments

And now on to the complete list…


The Size of a Barleycorn, Encased in Lead, in TBA (Forthcoming, 2017) – Prose poem combining my interests in Talmud study and nuclear power

Synthesis: This Shining Confluence, in Sunvault anthology (Forthcoming, 2017) – solarpunk science-fantasy about riding the Livyatan

Marginalia to Eiruvin 45b, in Bracken (2016) – Talmudic cycle #2, tractate Eiruvin

Never Cease, in Spelling the Hours anthology (2016) – about Hungarian Jewish computer scientist Péter Rózsa, and the Holocaust

Periodicity in Little Village (2016) – on the current rise of neo-Nazism in Hungary, in memory of poet Miklós Radnóti

Six Hundred and Thirteen Commandments, in Ideomancer (2014) – on Sha’ar haGilgulim

The Tiny English-Hungarian Phrasebook for Visiting Extraterrestrials, in Stone Telling (2013) – on violent anti-Semitism and other forms of ethnocentrism in Hungary

How (Not) to Avoid Harmful Spirits – A Talmudic Guide, in Through the Gate (2013) – Talmudic cycle #1, tractate Berachot

Torah and Secular Learning, in Strange Horizons (2012) – on Torah u-madda

A Hail of Pebbles and Dust, in Astropoetica (2011) – a hard-SF poem with serafim and exoplanets

Tangentially related:

Skin the Creature in Through the Gate (2015) – my ars poetica, sort of… Brief Jewish mention


Three Partitions, in Giganotosaurus (2014) – science-fantasy novelette examining the gender binary in Judaism.

This Secular Technology, in Mirror Shards 2, reprinted in Drabblecast (2012/2015) – Orthodox Jewish girls fighting demons on a space station

Tangentially related:

Forestspirit, Forestspirit, in Clarkesworld (2015) – Set in far-future Hungary, the protagonist belongs to an unnamed but persecuted ethnic minority, and another character too. (The ambiguity was deliberate, because sadly there is more than one such group. You can read them as either Jews, Roma or Beás people)

Recordings of a More Personal Nature, in Apex (2013) – quasi-Jewish secondary world fantasy, with a Sanhedrin

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing |
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Patreon bonus story! Good People in a Small Space

If you are interested in my thoughts about the elections, I wrote about them on Bogi Reads the World. Now that I’ve separated the reviews and recommendations to a separate site, I need to revamp this one and make it tidier. I’ll be working on that soon, IY”H… in the meanwhile, I have something for you.

This is the free story I promised to post when my Patreon reached $50 / month. It happened (it is actually now at $62 $63! / month) so here you have it! Thank you so much for your support! I am overjoyed 🙂

I wanted to post the story directly on Patreon, but the Patreon post editor is very finicky and keeps on deleting and adding line breaks in a way I don’t seem to be able to predict. Owch! So since this is a reward that is public and is for everyone, I will just put it here. I will try to figure out what to do about it later…

Note that the $75 / month goal is also going to be free for everyone, but backers will be able to vote on it! I will do a poetry reading video, and backers will be able to pick which of my poems they’d like me to read. I only need $13 $12 to get there, so it might also happen soon!

(O.o my backing is increasing as I am writing the post. Thank you!!)


Notes on the story: This is a warm and fluffy science-fantasy story with a nonbinary trans protagonist. I think we could all use a bit of warmth after the elections, though I actually wrote this story two months ago when I was working on setting up my Patreon. It is about 2300 words long, so you can read it fast.

It has a brief mention of consensual sadism, a (very non-graphic) description of painful things, and also someone swallowing a sentient being (which the sentient being actually appreciates).

The story is set in the Eren universe like many of my other stories, and we might see the protagonist elsewhere at a later point, too…

Good reading, and wishing all of us strength!


Good People in a Small Space

by Bogi Takács


My best friend Naho is three jump points away; I don’t know the distance in light years. We cling onto the old Imperial network, using it without understanding. It is fast, convenient – except when it’s not, when a stray solar flare hits the Moon at exactly the wrong angle and the controllers at Tsiolkovsky Station scream at the bulkheads as if that could change anything.

I am stranded, with thousands of travelers from all corners of the Alliance: Ereni in long robes embroidered with bright, glowing thread; furry, quadripedal Ámal-Máúli; steel-plated grunts from the Aruanar Combatspace. I need to meet Naho, in person, in physicality. I need to meet her because our fuduh want to do Exchange, and it would be mean of us to deny them the opportunity. Besides, meeting in person is fun, though I do not really sense the difference from a simulation all that well. But we will be able to say that we’ve done it, and we can hug and go on wild toboggan rides and get into very regrettable adventures.

Except the jump point off the Moon is out of commission, no one knows what’s going to happen, and my fuduh are so nervous that they are making my skin crawl.

I scratch my arms, my fingers leaving large green welts in the soft turquoise lattice. The fuduh make a low, droning sound. I wish I could perceive their minds directly, but I am not sensitive. Three fuduh live on me: one on the skin of my arms and my upper back, one inside my lungs, and one on my footsoles and all the way up along the sciatic nerves on both sides. If I were sensitive, there would be a vague point to all this, besides fun: some fuduh can induce a kind of coherence in the nervous system which can help with things magical. Or a kind of incoherence? I never remember. In any case, that does not concern me, having the sensitivity of a well-shaped halfbrick. We do this just because. It’s fun?

Certainly the fuduh benefit, except when I scratch them and they are annoyed. They get to move around, meet other fuduh and do Exchange, produce new blooms and lattices.

But right now, no one goes anywhere – the grunts are crouching and playing some kind of game involving rapid beating on their chestplates, the three Ereni look like they are about to keel over, and there is someone who looks like a noble from some ridiculously feudalist world who is busy with an elaborate toss juggling routine. I want a nervous tic like that. I scratch my arms again, and wish the fuduh would harmonize something somewhere in my brain.

I also kind of eavesdrop.

“We really need to get back to Eren,” one of the very faint-looking people says. “This is such a low-māwal area, I don’t know if I can sustain…”

Another one adds: “Do you think we could get someone to jump us out of here?”

They all sigh and shake their heads. “No, too much energy.” “Not going to happen.”

The noble gathers the juggling paraphernalia, steps to the Ereni. “Maybe we can join up?”

I also clamber to my feet. I don’t think I could help in any plausible way, but I don’t want to feel left out. “Hi, I heard you were talking…” And then I have no idea what to say. I know the Ereni have all sorts of elaborate social formalities. The noble probably had no clue about those either, because the three Ereni look confused and slightly intimidated. I always thought humanoid people would understand each other well, but I guess they don’t.

My fuduh buzz, all three of them, and I don’t really like the buzzing in my lungs. The lattice on my arms changes color from turquoise to bright purple, and nodes start to contract and expand, letting my skin show. Purple on brown actually looks much nicer than turquoise on brown, I think, but I have no clue what’s going on.

“Ā,” one of the Ereni says, a small, barrel-chested person of – I quickly check their profile – no particular gender. It’s always good to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a gender, and this makes me feel a bit better. They lift a hand and wave it in my direction – in the direction of my fuduh, more likely. The noble makes a face, discomforted at being ignored in favor of the young Earthling with the purple sentients embedded into their body, that is, me.

I cough, because this amount of agitation in my lungs is a bit too much. I cough up what looks like fairy glitter, gleaming in the oddly drafty air of the station. I hope my fuduh are all right.

“Do you need help?” an Ámal-Máúli trader says right behind me. I should be startled, but her booming bass reminds me of my second-dad and that’s always nice.

“Ā,” the genderless Ereni repeats, looking back and forth between the trader and me. The Ereni looks kind of stuck. This complicated social situation must be hard on them, especially since none of us are likely to know the Ereni Way that covers all manner of social interactions.

“Um… Muyewen…” Well. I got their first name from their profile, but for all I know, it might be incomprehensibly rude to address an Ereni only by first name. First names are good to get the attention of dazed people, though.

“Y-yes?” Muyewen looks at me, or more through me. I wonder what they perceive. They can probably sense my mind directly, but I am told my mind makes a rather oddly lumpy impression on people.

“I think my fuduh want to talk to you or something,” I offer.

“My ship used to have fuduh,” the trader remarks. “It’s quasi-organic.”

“You have a ship?” The noble seems oddly cheered up.

Muyewen looks about to cry, completely lost by these rapid turns in conversation.

“Um, I think you people need to take it a bit slower,” I say. “One topic at a time? And Muyewen here can start?”

“I – uh. Esteemed fellow sentient?” they ask.

I assume that refers to me. Esteemed fellow sentient is probably a monosyllabic expression in Eren-sā, but we are all talking in Alliance Common. I nod eagerly. “Sure, go ahead.”

“You do know your fuduh have excess…” They are searching for a word. “…Energy? Power? Magic? Ā.” They sigh and wave. “Māwal.”

Excess magical energetic power? Sure. Wait, what?

“I’m afraid I don’t know about that,” I say slowly, carefully. Naho would know, but I’ve been trying to ping her, to no avail. The solar flare knocked out so many systems.

“The three of us are running on a deficit here,” Muyewen says, nodding at their comrades. “Too much time Earthside, and we were really hoping to get back to Eren today. This place is hard on us. Too little ambient māwal. But your fuduh are asking if they could share.”

Share? More likely to just dump the excess, get rid of it, because with being attached to clueless me, it’s not like they have plenty of opportunity. This sounds just fine by me, but why do all the Ereni look discomforted? At least the noble only seems vaguely put-off.

“Your fuduh want to detach from you and re-merge to us,” one of the other Ereni says. I look at his profile and he is a dude by the name of Osanawu. Not just a man – very specifically a dude. “It makes the process easier.”

“Okay then,” I say. The noble blanches a bit and I enjoy my moment.

“You don’t mind?” he asks. “It’s supposed to be painful.”

I shrug. “I’m a masochist.” I’m actually not, but my second-partner is a sadist and I frankly don’t care about pain either way, so I might as well indulge her. That’s wayyyy too complicated to explain to a bunch of strangers, though, and involves my second-partner’s amazing soft-baked cookies. I really am fine with pain, especially if I get cookies afterwards. Or at least a ride out of here. For a ride out of here, I would tear off my fuduh node by node, and yes, even from my lungs. Though that would kind of defeat the purpose of getting out of here, since the whole reason of visiting Naho is to get our fuduh to do Exchange and have fun. We could still have fun, though my fuduh would be terribly resentful of having left behind, and that is past what I generally find ethically acceptable.

I start to peel at the edges of the lattice, but then I pause. “Wait, I do get my fuduh back afterward, right? I mean they do want to come back?”

Osanawu the dude chuckles. “Yes, they very much enjoy your company.”

The Ereni have all manner of weird neuroregulatory things in their body so I assume they can just downregulate pain sensations if they don’t want them. Muyewen looks like they might want them, but that’s not something I would want to casually assume about anyone.

I fiddle with one edge, then run out of patience and just yank the fuduh off. Should I even do this in public? It does hurt and my skin is bleeding, but I still don’t really mind. I hand a slightly bloody mess to Muyewen, and behind me I think the trader just licked her teeth. I hope she won’t eat my fuduh, we are good friends for sentients who have very limited ways to communicate. And they want to come back.

Muyewen holds out the fuduh, and there is a bright blue flash – I assume some kind of sanitization process, getting rid of problematic microorganisms? Then they remove their headscarf and just put the fuduh on their bald head. The fuduh shifts around, extends tendrils along their spine. Muyewen closes their eyes and I am sure they actually like this.

Of course, running so low on magical energetic powerthings might be very harmful to Muyewen, so maybe it’s as if they were hungry and now they finally get to eat. Except it involves a kind of lumpy lattice with nodes and tendrils and whatnot attaching itself to their head in a rather painful way. Some of us would do a lot for cookies.

Muyewen draws in a very deep breath, then exhales, again looking like someone about to cry. It must be really intense, having the Ereni cognotype. Though the two others don’t look so cry-y, at least not now.

I will also get cry-y if I start to consider that there are three of them, I have three fuduh, one in my lungs and in so much distress in there that somehow glitter is being produced in my body.

I try not to consider it. Onward.

I cough again, a long series of hacking, harking wheezes. I projectile-glitter on Muyewen and the third Ereni who came up to me to – help maybe? I’m not really thinking straight. She offers her arm and I hold on to it. The fuduh comes out, much smaller than expected, but kind of swollen. “I hope you’re hanging in there, buddy,” I say. The third Ereni looks at me quizzically, then after the mandatory flash, just straight-up swallows the fuduh.

This might be a bit too much for me.

And why am I still coughing? This is not good at all. There is still the third fuduh and my sciatic nerves are sensitive.

I… think I black out a little. When I come to, the Ereni look fine – not just more alive, but actually fine –, the noble looks very angry, and the trader is oddly bored.

“No, we cannot jump all of us out of here,” the Ereni woman says. Her name is Rawanaseā and her profile has a ream of great information about collectible miniatures of the… I am so distractible. I close her profile with a mental command.

“But you said–”

“I said that now that we stabilized energetically, we can serve as a beacon for other people to jump in and get us out of here,” she says patiently. “But we still need to convince other people Erenside that we are worth the trouble.” She grins. “Maybe you have something to offer?”

“A chateau on a yet uncrowded leisure planet?” the noble says weakly.

“They are probably thinking of more liquid assets,” the trader adds.

The noble turns to her, his voice crammed full of cynicism. “Well, maybe you have just the thing?”

“I have fifty-eight crates of artisanal logic puzzles, each one unique and comes with its individual hand-carved display case,” the trader says, entirely deadpan. “My negotiation algorithm is in my profile.”

“Quiet, please?” Muyewen raises a hand. “I am trying to reach the System and it is not easy with all these magnetic fluctuations brought on by the solar flare.”

We all fall silent, a circle of quiet in a sea of noise all around us.

“Deal,” Muyewen says.

“What?” The noble takes a half-step back.

“We are taking the puzzles as auto-negotiated just now, with a discount for jumping costs. The Earth-person gets back the fuduh. The three of us serve as a jumping beacon. The System of Eren takes care that everyone gets jumped to their desired location.” Muyewen speaks on an even, detached tone, likely just relaying what the System of Eren told them.

“Including my ship?” the trader asks.

“Including your ship.”

“What will I do?” The noble seems desperate.

Rawanaseā grins. “Keep us company.”

“A lot of good people can fit in a small space,” I add. “Earth-human saying.” It’s a Hungarian saying, actually, but that would be too complicated to explain. Probably even more complicated than my second-partner’s cookies. “Now let me get my fuduh back, and we can all be on our merry way.”

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing | Tags: ,
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#diversestories roundup! (Oct 10)

I am dragging myself out of the rather bad health situation in September (and also before that…) and finally catching up on things! This is the latest #diversestories recommendations roundup.

A reminder that if you like my recs, now you can back my Patreon to support me! I have also transformed from a nonresident alien to a resident alien.

I haven’t been able to read a lot of the free online stories this year so far, because I was keeling over most of the time, but I do intend to catch up. There are still quite a few print things I want to recommend that I’ve already read, but I’ll do my best to intersperse them with free stuff. 🙂

Written by prezzey in: sf |
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Worldcon Panel writeups: SFF in Translation

I am so sorry this took me so long to post! September was a really awful month for me healthwise, and I also wanted to put together some resources I could link.

I made Goodreads lists of current & upcoming SFF translations, for award nomination purposes:

Rachel S. Cordasco has been immensely helpful in assembling these – you can follow her on Twitter at @Rcordas and she also has a hashtag #SFinTranslation. Do not miss her website Speculative Fiction in Translation either!

So the writeup:

First, Nick Wood had to be absent because his plane left earlier, so he asked me to mention the launch of the African Speculative Fiction Society. There is also a pdf leaflet you might like to have.

What would be my first recommendations from Eastern Europe in general:

  • The Strugatsky brothers (whatever you can find – some of their work is being rereleased in English)
  • Stanisław Lem’s Cyberiad

Hungarian authors translated into English:

There is very little in science fiction & fantasy:

  • Raana Raas (Etelka Görgey) recently ran a translation fundraiser for the first book in her Csodaidők (Wonder Times) series. I really enjoyed this series – the future of Christianity and Judaism, in space, with telepathy. (The author is a Calvinist pastor.) A great range of protagonists, I especially appreciated seeing an older, more experienced character.
  • Csilla Kleinheincz has some translated stories too!

There is more in magical realism:

  • The Sinistra Zone by Ádám Bodor – Just as ominous as it sounds
  • György Dragomán’s work, especially The White King and the upcoming Bone Fire. The Bone Fire is about a young girl growing up in Romania (where the author is from) and there is plenty of witchcraft.

Alex Shvartsman mentioned Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko among recent work from his region and I seconded this. This is a magical-school book and kind of an anti-Harry Potter, with a rather abusive magical learning environment. It is a cruel book, but it made me think quite a bit about fantasy tropes.

I did not manage to mention some of my favorite translated Japanese SFF work in the Japanese section, so I thought it might be useful to put them here:

Both Haikasoru and Kurodahan Publishing have a variety of great titles in translation.

I don’t have the lists of other panelists, sadly, but if I receive them, I will be able to put them here too.

If I missed something that I mentioned during the panel, do please ask! I don’t think I made note of everything.

Written by prezzey in: sf | Tags:
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I have a Patreon now!

My application for permanent residency has been approved, so I have been able to launch my Patreon earlier today.

Visit my Patreon to find out more; there is going to be a new webserial, a new site specifically for my reviews, and all manner of good things! Some of these I’ve teased previously, and some have been well-kept secrets… 🙂

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing |
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Come see us at the Examined Life conference in Iowa City!

I will be presenting jointly with Rose Lemberg at the 10th Examined Life conference at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City. As I am spending this academic year in Kansas, this is a good opportunity to meet me if you are usually in Iowa City!

The conference focuses on the intersection of the health sciences and the creative arts. We will read from our speculative fiction work related to disability and illness, and then lead an audience discussion. Our presentation is scheduled on Oct 7, 8:30-9:45 in 2126 MERF.

This is our abstract:

Speculative Literature, Disability and Health

Bogi Takács & Rose Lemberg

Authors of speculative literature have often attempted to tackle health-related and medical topics, frequently through an outsider perspective of researchers and doctors. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on storytelling from the margins, encouraging insiders to tell stories of their own experience. Disability, neurodiversity and chronic illness advocacy are coming into focus in the field of speculative writing, as a part of this wider movement. The two of us have been involved in these currents as authors, as chronically ill and disabled people, and as researchers. We will read from our short-form fiction and poetry relevant to health and disability experience, followed by a discussion with audience participation. Participants will be able to discuss how diverse influences can converge in depictions of disability and illness, and to examine how both personal experience and a research background can enrich genre writing and inform readers about the human condition.

Written by prezzey in: sci,sf,writing |
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Bonus story notes: Toward the Luminous Towers

My SF story Toward the Luminous Towers is coming out in Clarkesworld tomorrow! I thought I would preempt it with the bonus notes which usually come the day after publication, because I would really like to forewarn you this time. This story is probably one of the most upsetting things I’ve ever written.

Edited to add: Toward the Luminous Towers is now online!


Specific content warnings for the story: warfare and combat injuries described in detail, medical abuse specifically directed at a disabled person, oppressive political regimes, detailed discussion of suicide.


Spoilery notes:

This story is a prequel to a series of stories I’m working on, Iwunen Interstellar Investigations (I3) – about two queer, nonbinary trans people who are a couple, and who fight crime! with magic! in space!

The series is going to be much more cheerful in tone, but I wanted to show separately that the characters have rebuilt their lives starting from very difficult places; something that I think resonates with many trans people, immigrants, and so on – people like me. The protagonist of this story is going to be one of the two investigators in I3. And yes, e is going to remain disabled, though differently than at the end of this story (in some aspects more disabled, in others less) – the teleport jump will also affect em permanently. I just want to write about the facts that disability is not a singular, unchanging thing, and that even in the amazing magical space future, there will be disabled people.


The protagonist is gender-unspecified here simply because it is a first-person story and it is not so relevant to the plot, but in I3 we will see that e is agender. (There will be multiple sets of nonbinary pronouns in I3, similarly to my story in Capricious last year, and similarly to… um… real life? 🙂 )

Eir former teacher is also a nonbinary person and this is mentioned only so that I can use the appropriate pronouns – specifically, they pronouns -, but this fact is not in focus. There will be Many Genderthings in I3, though, and all the trans feels 🙂


The old song about the night sky quoted several times is not an actual song; I had people ask me if it were. I made it up from scratch – I wanted it to sound a bit Soviet-style, but the setting is not based on the Soviet Union or even the Eastern Bloc in general. (Beyond the fact that I am from a former Eastern Bloc country, which no doubt influences my storytelling.) I simply wanted the lyrics to have a flavor that reminded me of my childhood.


Character names are not meant to evoke a specific culture. I spent a lot of time fussing over this and even changing a name in the proofing stage (sorry!!). The names do not have a canonical pronunciation; for the podcast reader, I recorded them with my rather haphazard pronunciation that ended up being a mix of Hebrew, Hungarian, and maybe even German??

*I wrote the story while being very unwell. I have an inflammatory disorder that occurs in waves, and at that point I had trouble just moving around at home in our apartment. This probably accounts for the very cynical and bitter voice.I do have all my limbs, though, unlike the protagonist; I’m just not always able to use them very well. I also have motor dyspraxia, which means I can’t use them very well even when I have no inflammation flareups; but that is an entirely different issue and I do not want to claim similarity. Losing limbs is different and is not something I am writing from experience. If you want to read an #ownvoices story about motor dyspraxia by me, I have one in the recently released anthology Defying Doomsday. This one is #ownvoices on different axes :)*As mentioned in-text, the protagonist is neuroatypical, like me; I do not get into the details in this story (this is why I am planning on having a very sprawling series of stories!), but e is autistic, specifically. This will be plot-relevant later, but is not plot-relevant here.*

The drugs are futuristic and all-powerful, but they were vaguely inspired by real-world drugs: GS-10 by modafinil and VPR-56 by valproic acid. I haven’t taken either, I just know about them related to work. Valproic acid is an anti-seizure medication, but it also has an effect of promoting neuroplasticity, as it has been recently described in a human study involving the acquisition of absolute pitch. (Hungarian first author!)

Disclaimer: do not take any drugs based on my story; I do not recommend this.


The story was beta read by Rose Lemberg. Thank you Spouseperson!!


The neuroplasticity theme was inspired by a doctoral seminar I was taking on developmental trajectories, led by Karla McGregor. She bears absolutely no responsibility for this story and hasn’t seen it before publication.

The bits about the logistic function, etc. are likewise based on actual science, and I was talking quite a lot about this the previous semester, when I was teaching labs for Psychology of Language.

…I guess this is a hard SF space fantasy story. *throws up hands*


I think many people do not really think about how librarians specialize in managing large amounts of data. It seems like such an innocuous occupation. I had this realization quite recently, and it stopped me in my tracks.


The very prima facie meaning of the ending is that the protagonist does not die but instead escapes, but I am sure there will be many people who read it as a suicide scene; it is kind of inevitable. What I was trying to express was that there are situations from which the only potential escape might as well look like suicide; both from an inside and an outside point of view. This point is very personal to me in ways that are probably not readily apparent from the story itself.


For people who like to keep track of such things (I know there are many of you!): this story found a market on the second try.


Finally, thank you everyone who came to my Worldcon reading to listen to this story! It meant a lot to me that I had an audience despite the fact that my reading was rescheduled multiple times and the wrong time was printed in the schedule. Thanks again!!

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing | Tags: , , ,
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Inkscrawl #10: Living Bodies in Motion!

The new issue of the speculative micropoetry magazine inkscrawl, guest-edited by me, is here! Inkscrawl #10: Living Bodies in Motion – 18 poems, each 10 lines or fewer. Section headings are quotes from the poems in each section.

A few words about the issue:

I was so happy to see a diversity of authors and approaches and emotions and voice. This is probably the longest issue of inkscrawl, but I hope it will be worth it for you. Poems range from the cheerful to the sublime to the defiant to the terrifying. The beginning even ties into the theme of my previous guest-edited issue of inkscrawl, #9: Atypical Weather… and from there we move through a kaleidoscope of flora, fauna, dancers and killers and toddlers and sportspeople, until we reach the absolutely bloodcurdling conclusion. (I mean it!)

Stylistically, I prioritized heterogeneity over cohesion – I didn’t want to end up with “Inkscrawl: The Bloody Murder Issue” (it could have happened!) and did not want to pass on my favorite cheerful or happy poems just because there were a lot of strong, grim poems; this was very much a conscious decision. I think in the end, an arc to the issue emerged, and there will be hopefully something for everyone. 🙂

The next issue’s theme and guest-editor will be announced in late 2016!


Since last time people asked for subject warnings, here they are. I will not list allusions, only direct mentions, because allusions are less straightforward to interpret, and I do not want to forcibly impose my reading on the poems.

Mentions of death: Shuttlecock, A Gun and a Boy (Le Cercle Rouge), Plate 24, The Dancer, the commute

Mentions of self-injury: marsyas

Mentions of medical abuse: quiet hands

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing |
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#diversestories / #diversepoems weekly roundup Aug 28

The roundups of awesome SFF by diverse authors are back! Links point to my recommendation threads on Twitter.

(Reminder that these are 1. my recommendations, i.e., I read a lot more than I recommend; 2. my recommendations, which only reflect my own taste and nothing else.)

  • (Non-free) (Novel) Infomocracy by Malka Older, published by Tor.com in 2016
  • (Free) (Poem) To My Shyaam by Shweta Narayan in Strange Horizons, Aug 2016
  • (Non-free) (Novel) Bereft by Craig Laurance Gidney, published by Tiny Satchel Press in 2013
  • (Free) (Poem) Children of the Geese by S. Qiouyi Lu in Zetetic Record, Aug 2016
  • (Free) (Short story) Pimp My Airship by Maurice Broaddus in Apex, Aug 2009

I also had some related threads:

  • How (not) to get non-native speakers of English to submit to your magazine – reflecting on some of the side threads in the current conversation wrt anti-Blackness in SFF
  • Goodreads lists of 2016-17 adult SFF by authors of color – I didn’t start these, but I added a lot and the lists are a great resource to me. Please add books; if you can’t, let me know and I can add them. Tell me about your own books, too!
  • My recs of awesome Black SFF writers
    I actually have a lot more, so if you just follow my #diversestories & #diversepoems hashtags, you can find more. But I was very upset by the suggestion in my Twitter feed that Black SFF writers did not exist beyond a few popular names, so I did this thread for an hour and a half, before my arm started to really hurt. (Literally, the bottleneck was not the number of absolutely awesome authors I could mention, it was the amount of very rapid typing I could accomplish.)
  • Diversity and free books
  • Reviewer copies, library copies, Little Free Libraries… Many things about who has the money/resources for marketing their book (it’s usually not marginalized people)

Worldcon-specific threads will go into a big Worldcon post after I am done with the panel writeups.

How to support me:

If you enjoy my roundups and threads and things, you can surprise me with food from my Amazon wishlist! …or books, books are always cool. But, food. 🙂

Next up (G-d willing): Worldcon translation panel writeup!

Written by prezzey in: sf |
0 C

Many announcements!

Sorry, no panel writeup or story recommendation today – I spent a lot of time just sleeping, and the remaining time reading work-related stuff and having minor epiphanies connected to it (I suppose that’s a good thing?).

I have many announcements to make, though!


The new issue of inkscrawl, guest-edited by me, is coming just in a few days, G-d willing – almost all poets have responded to their proofs by now, and everyone signed their contracts. Behold the amazing table of contents! All credit is due to the great poets who sent their work to me. I am truly honored!


I will have a story in next month’s Clarkesworld, titled Toward the Luminous Towers. If you met me at Worldcon, you’ve probably already heard about it! This will be my second appearance in Clarkesworld, and probably one of the most upsetting things I’ve ever written. (Yes, I am planning on having story notes, with copious warnings.) Toward the Luminous Towers also serves as the first prologue to the Iwunen stories, about which more later as I actually end up writing them… They will be very different in tone and much more cheerful (though also depicting many difficulties), but it is important for me to establish where the main characters will be coming from.


I will have a poem in the upcoming next issue of Bracken Magazine, Marginalia to Eiruvin 45b – it is a very brief magical-realist poem about the riverside, and a Talmudic reflection at the same time.


My story This Secular Technology will be reprinted in the anthology “Menschen and Minyanim” featuring Jewish-themed SFF.


I will have both a science-fantasy poem and a full-page line art drawing in a… something whose table of contents hasn’t been released yet. 🙂 I ACTUALLY DREW A THING I HAVEN’T DRAWN ANYTHING IN SUCH A LONG TIME. And it found a venue!


Also, I’ve found a home for my fantasy story To Rebalance the Body in another something whose table of contents… etc. You will see, G-d willing! This is the story I mentioned several times that forms a pair with my story in Capricious, The Need for Overwhelming Sensation. Both feature similar characters and dynamics, but a diametrically opposite setting.

You might also remember this as the story which led the chief editor of a “trans-friendly” “QUILTBAG-inclusive” venue to publicly, repeatedly misgender me, while attempting to summarize my story in rather confusingly misleading ways… AKA, the vampire story which features no vampires. So, if you wanted to read that one, it is coming! It took a bit, because after that fiasco, I was determined to see it published in an explicitly trans context and not as much in general SFF markets.


I am also almost completely out of things to send out, so if you told me at Worldcon that you’d like to see more work from me, you’ll unfortunately have to wait for me to write it first…

I did manage to settle in in Kansas, and my visiting year at the University of Kansas started relatively smoothly after the two weeks of utter paperwork chaos. So things might happen… In the meanwhile, the #diversestories and #diversepoems (and even #diversebooks and #diversecomics) recommendations have resumed on Twitter – the first roundup is coming this weekend, IY”H. Enjoy the ride!

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing |

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