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Bonus poem notes: Travel-charm

Travel-charm is a very short poem of mine that appeared in the Cascadia Subduction Zone in 2015. (I have a backlog of bonus notes, can you tell?) I wrote it for my friend Shweta Narayan upon their move to the US.

This poem was inspired by Mippo, even though Mippo is not an elephant. You can also read other poems inspired by Mippo!

For more elephants + Shweta, this is a drawing of Ganesha playing the trombone.

In this poem I tried to use inversions for surreal effect :) See if you can spot them?

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing |
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Bonus poem notes: Skin the Creature

My short poem Skin the Creature appeared in Through the Gate in December 2015. It is eligible for the Rhysling award if you are so inclined. I didn’t manage to get around to posting my customary bonus notes sooner – sorry! Here they are now 😀


This poem is a kind of ars poetica – if I ever have a collection, this can be on the first page. I need to write poems faster to have a collection eventually, though! People have been asking for a book, but sadly I’m not sitting on a huge treasure trove of unpublished poems. I sell most things I write, so what you see online is what there is, basically.


I wrote most of this poem while half-asleep, in bed. (Many of my poems start this way.) I needed to get out of bed to scribble it down. I have a notebook for this purpose.


The “creature in the shape of a pig’s stomach” is the kisgömböc, a Hungarian folk monster. I talked about the kisgömböc in the Diverse Mythical Creatures Round Table at The Book Smugglers in 2014.


There is a mention of tactile hypersensitivity in the poem. 😀


I wanted to write about something that shows active resistance but also caring, both for others and the self. I’d like to believe these aren’t mutually exclusive!


“The gaps of stories and verse” are very dear to me in general; I enjoy reading about the stories that are seldom told, or if told, not widely promulgated. Recently, Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here tackled this topic very directly, with the characters of the novel being background characters in another, paint-by-the-numbers YA novel. But even if done in a more indirect way, this kind of approach is something I’m really glad to see, and is something I strive to approximate in much of my work.

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing |
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Big thank you post

I’m very behind on posts I intend to make, I’m trying to catch up…

I got so many gifts and surprises from you good people over the holidays and even afterward! I have been really struggling with my health since October and I’m in the process of being diagnosed with an all-new chronic illness (it feels like Pokémon, how many do I have at this point? :( ). I am spending a lot of my time on various doctor appointments, blood draws, etc. and I have even more mobility difficulties than usual.

I still can’t work off campus due to my visa restrictions, and this semester I’m again spending a lot of money on commuting (not easy with mobility issues) and rent, so it’s tough right now. But G-d willing I’ll soon be able to apply for a visa status change. And I have my wonderful Partnerperson and Childperson, who cheer me up, though it is hard when they are far from me due to the commuting.

I am really grateful for all your support!!!

In order of receiving the gifts, I got:

* Charles A. Tan sent an ebook of Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales by Yoko Ogawa

* Gillian Polack sent an upcoming audiobook of her work

* Anonymous Benefactor sent a box of lemon pound cake protein bars

* Mina Li sent Lush bath things

* Anonymous Benefactor sent The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

* Ann Leckie sent a board game, Ticket to Ride: Europe

* Beth Wodzinski sent a crate (!) of almond milk

* Merc A. Rustad sent a box of boxes of chocolate chip cookies

* Em of Polychrome Ink sent various kinds of bars and granola

* My brother Marcell Géza Takács & my mom and my grandma sent a pasta pot and a gigantic heap of books: The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin, Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie, Steel Closets: Voices of Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Steelworkers by Anne Balay, Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry, The Golden Scales by Parker Bilal, Regeneration: New Zealand Speculative Fiction 2 edited by Anna Caro and Juliet Buchanan, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond edited by Bill Campbell and Edward Austin Hall, Concrete Park vol. 1 by Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander. They also separately sent a large box full of all sorts of goodies, including some recently published Hungarian books!

* My dad & his current partner Magdi sent beautiful traditional Hungarian folk embroidery, and a fun bag for Mati

* Polenth Blake & family sent boxes of banana bread and apple pie bars, and my favorite body wash

* Anonymous Benefactor sent a large box full of sweet potato chips

* Jaymee Goh sent The SEA is Ours: Tales of Steampunk South Asia ed. by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng

* Via Farkas and Ádám Dobay sent a bunch of cute stickers for Mati

* Jill Seidenstein sent Queers Destroy Fantasy and Horror

* Debra Fran Baker sent dried mushrooms and a large box of basmati rice

* Andi C. Buchanan sent The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, a shampoo, a bottle of soy sauce and a bag of teff

* Janet Mock’s #transbookdrive sent Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

* Shira Glassman sent a tangerine bubble bath

* Kate Heartfield sent Ms. Marvel vol. 4

* Olivia Waite sent A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

* Rose Lemberg’s mom sent a warm multicolored scarf

I never, ever got this many gifts from this many people in my entire life. You people made me cry several times over.

If you are listed as anonymous but sent the gift non-anonymously: third party sellers on Amazon often don’t attach the gift note. Please comment and I’ll be happy to add your name.

I might be missing some things, especially ebooks. I am really sorry!! There were weeks when I was basically existing in a painful, immobile haze. Please comment and I’ll add you in! I can assure you I really appreciated your gift even if I left you out of this list :O

I also got many cool recommendations of free stuff – too many to list here, but I am very grateful for those too!

If you follow me on Twitter, you can see pictures of most of these gifts – I try to take a photo of everything with my cell phone but sometimes I fall behind.

Written by prezzey in: misc |
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Another end-of-year surprise for you!

This took me by surprise, too! My poem Travel-charm, published in the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the summer, just became available online. This magazine puts back issues online with a six-month delay.

Travel-charm is short, cute and heartwarming, entirely appropriate for New Year’s Eve 😀 I wrote it for my friend Shweta Narayan on their move to the US earlier this year.

You can download the issue pdf here; my poem is on page 7. I am very happy to share a ToC with great people like Sonya Taaffe and Amal El-Mohtar.


I just realized that I also haven’t announced another poem of mine? Skin the Creature also just launched in the 2015 December issue of Through the Gate, edited by Mitchell Hart!

This is somewhat of an ars poetica poem, though I did not set out to write it with that intent. If I ever manage to write enough poems for a collection (G-d willing!), this can be on the first page…


Thank you everyone for your awesome support all throughout this difficult year!! The latest #diversepoems / #diversestories update is also coming soon, G-d willing, with many many thank yous to specific people for specific things. 😀

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing | Tags:
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The new issue of inkscrawl is up!

Issue 9 of minimalist speculative poetry magazine inkscrawl is finally available! I was the guest editor this time and I chose the theme Atypical Weather.

Many many short poems here! I am very happy with how the ToC turned out.

(Content warnings: Alcohol mention – Reed, Illness and pain – MacNutt, Death mention – Taaffe, Telidevara, Sundar, Sereno.)


I am very happy that many people sent me poems with unconventional formatting. As I just said on Twitter, I am turning into Bogi the Unconventionally Formatted Person 😀

I will also be guest-editing the next issue, please see the call for submissions – opening on Jan 1.


Thank you to Jennifer Smith and Naru Dames Sundar for technical help, and to publisher Rose Lemberg for asking me to edit this issue 😀

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing | Tags:
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My birthday! It’s tomorrow!

People have asked me what I’d like for my birthday. There are multiple versions!

No-cost version:

Recommend me things I might like! This worked wonderfully in past years. You can recommend anything from a Youtube video to a 12-novel series of books. Cool research papers from your field are also fine. Anything really. I’ll post this on Twitter and FB, but please comment on this entry too, so that I have it all in one place.

For SF fans, I wrote this list for I don’t even know what reason (online survey?) a while ago, and it might be cool to post now:

What Are Some Issues or Conflicts I’d Like to See Explored in Speculative Fiction?

* Queer and/or trans people in happy relationships solving difficult problems of any kind together
* Solid stories about trans people in general
* Characters collaborating on something hard, but not against other people – e.g., defense from a force of nature
* Issues of race and ethnicity in general
* Mixed-race and mixed-ethnicity characters with a thoughtful exploration of their backgrounds
* Oppressive regimes treated with more subtlety than the typical dystopian SF fare
* Environmentalism, also on other planets, related ethical issues
* Disabled characters, especially intersectional disabled characters
* Nonconventional forms of narrative (also includes nonlinear, poetic, etc.)
* Explorations of magical and/or spiritual themes grounded in real-life traditions done in a clueful way
* Power asymmetry in personal relationships of any kind. Especially teacher-student relationships and mentoring. Another thing I see infrequently even in Western-European-based fantasy is discussion/awareness of the feudal relationship
* Major social-political transitions (regime changes, joining a different political bloc, etc.)
* Issues of social class and characters from a wider variety of class backgrounds. Everypeople characters
* Resource scarcity, issues of resource allocation (often intertwined with class)
* Aspects of everyday life infrequently discussed at length in SF. For example fashion, street sports, popular or folk music…

And of course I usually want to read about cephalopods and psychic space marines, too 😀

Writers, you are very welcome to take these as story prompts.

More-cost version:

My Amazon wishlist is probably what you want! I am also prezzey on Steam, but right now we are playing through some PS3 JRPGs of epic length that my brother sent me, so it might take me time to get to the games you send me.

If you know my address and want to just send me things in the mail, or give them to me in person – please don’t send food items containing dairy or yeast, as I cannot eat them. This holiday season I already got dairy items from 3 people. That’s about the only important thing, anything else is fair game 😀

I already got SO MANY THINGS this holiday season from you great people, I’ll post a big thank-you list once the holidays are over, IY”H. 😀 THANK YOU! You make me very happy.

Written by prezzey in: misc,sf,writing |
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A new thing in Strange Horizons!

I have been updating only sporadically because I am having health issues, including limited mobility, which made the end of the semester really rough. I did finish all my coursework, so maybe I’ll be able to post more now!

Strange Horizons just ran a discussion I had with Polenth Blake on gender, sex and sexuality in SF. Read it, it is ~5k words of thoughts that are very much NOT restatements of what you’ve already read elsewhere ten million times. Polenth also has bonus notes!

There were also no #diversestories / #diversepoems updates on Twitter last month, but now those updates are back too – you are all very welcome to join in 😀 I hope the discussion in SH makes up a bit for the lack.


I will also have a poem forthcoming in Through the Gate soon. I think this is the only poem I wrote since the beginning of the semester that just concluded, and it’s only two stanzas. I need a spoon drawer!


I will also have a story in an anthology, more later (soon, G-d willing). I wrote this one back in June.


I want to launch the Inkscrawl issue I guest-edited before the secular year ends, I’ll see if I manage to do it (G-d willing). I am very sorry for the delay! I also have the next theme, but I haven’t written the call for submissions yet. I’m still mulling it over…


I am planning on doing larger #diversestories group chats, but this is still very much in the initial stages. Stay tuned!

Written by prezzey in: sf |
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2015 award eligibility post

For your awards reading; I especially recommend Forestspirit, Forestspirit, in the short story category (and under 4000 words!), or The Iterative Nature of the Magical Discovery Process, in the long poem category.

I am still not able to work off-campus due to my student visa restrictions, so I had to decline payment for all these. If you are interested in seeing more of my work, I have an Amazon wishlist you can use to buy me Chanukah and birthday presents 😀


Short stories


Forestspirit, Forestspirit. Clarkesworld, ed. Neil Clarke.
– A poetic hard SF story set in a forest in far future Hungary, this one was vaguely inspired by my day job. It also features a non-binary-gendered protagonist. Read my bonus notes and content warnings here!

“Shaped as a children’s story but filled out with nano-tech, this fable’s science is so fluid it’s magic” – Gillian Daniels, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination

“This story does a great job of showing that violence doesn’t have to be the answer” – Charles Payseur, Nerds of a Feather

“Imaginatively told and beautifully written” – Sam Tomiano, SFRevu

“An entertaining venture owing much to Cordwainer Smith” – David Wesley Hill, Tangent Online

+ Short Fiction Favorites of April 2015, Lady Business

+ Top 10 Stories of the Year, Quick Sip Reviews

+ Favorite Short Fiction of the Year 2015, A.C. Wise

+ SFWA Nebula Suggested Reading List

The Need for Overwhelming Sensation. Capricious, ed. A. C. Buchanan.
– Space magic and copious amounts of trans people! You can read my bonus notes and content warnings here.

“Very solid work, and I would buy the hell of out of a novel or collection of these stories. Just saying.” – Quick Sip Reviews

Increasing Police Visibility. Lightspeed – Queers Destroy SF, ed. Sigrid Ellis.
– A hard SF flash story with mathematics and politics; it’s sadly not available online.  You can read some bonus notes at the end of this post about Syrian refugees in Hungary.


Poetry: Long poem


The Iterative Nature of the Magical Discovery Process. Through the Gate, ed. Mitchell Hart.
– An epic poem featuring lesbian wizards and math. Actual math. + Bonus notes


Poetry: Short poem


Skin the Creature. Through the Gate, ed. Mitchell Hart.
– Somewhat of an ars poetica.

The Bursting Season. Polu Texni, ed. Dawn Albright.
– A poem inspired by a dream involving flesh-eating flowers. + Bonus notes

Travel-charm. Cascadia Subduction Zone, ed. L. Timmel Duchamp.
– A small, cute poem for Shweta Narayan.


Hugo for Best Fan Writer


A sampling of my recent work, besides the story and poem recommendations at #diversestories and #diversepoems on Twitter:

Gender, Sex and Sexuality in SF: A Conversation. With Polenth Blake, in Strange Horizons.

Alien of Extraordinary Ability? Migration in SFF and in My Life. Guest post on Jim C. Hines’ blog; reprinted in Invisible 2.

Dear Tip, in Letters to Tiptree. (Not available online.)

Flavorless and Colorless? Minority Experiences in MG/YA Books about Autism in Disability in Kidlit.

Roundtable on Diversity, alongside Aliette de Bodard, M Sereno, Zen Cho, JY Yang; moderated by Charles Tan, on Book Smugglers.


Hugo for Best Related Work


I am in Letters to Tiptree, ed. Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce (Twelfth Planet Press). Alternately, you can also nominate my essays above – I especially recommend Gender, Sex and Sexuality in SF: A Conversation that I co-wrote with Polenth Blake, published in Strange Horizons.


Also, I am not eligible for the Campbell award. I’ll do my best to make Campbell award recs about other people you could pick instead.

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing |
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Upcoming novelette in GigaNotoSaurus!

First some bad news before the good news. I’m sorry I haven’t been updating lately. If you’re following me on Twitter, you’ve seen that I have been having health issues necessitating many doctor visits, blood draws, and so on. It is very aggravating and I find it hard to cope with all this on top of work and classes. I’m also in more pain than usual, so it is more difficult for me to move around.

Everything is delayed, including the inkscrawl issue, #diversestories / #diversepoems updates, end of year summaries, etc. I’m trying to focus on just finishing the semester somehow, it’s hard enough as it is :(

People have asked how they can help. I’m not sure…? Be patient with me? Show me random cheerful things? You can always surprise me with food from my wishlist. I have a lot of books at hand now and very, very little time to read anything that does not look like a research paper, so books are not very urgent right now. I should probably put more food on there, because you good people got me a lot of it, so now it’s mostly gone. I like receiving random small things in the mail if anyone feels like doing that; just postcards etc. are really heartwarming.


I also have some good news! My secondary world fantasy novelette “Walking Along the Floodbanks” has found a home – it will be published in GigaNotoSaurus sometime in the spring. It will also probably have a different title.

This is the second novelette I wrote – the first one was also published in GNS. 😀 “Walking Along the Floodbanks” was inspired by the 2013 flood of the Danube, which I lived through in Győr, and it took forever to write. It became about 40% longer after my first beta reader comments, from Rose Lemberg.

Some themes: magical mentorship, Hungarian political baaaahhh, a deconstruction of mages’ guild tropes, more political baaaahhhh. Yes, we really did have a prime minister who thought he could stop the water with the force of his personality. You will see, IY”H…

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing |
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Back the fundraiser for Rochita and get my exclusive ebook!

SF writer and activist Rochita Loenen-Ruiz is experiencing great hardship after her husband’s sudden death. The fundraiser set up by Aliette de Bodard and M Sereno has been going on for quite some time now, and I talked about it on Twitter a lot, but I haven’t posted here yet.

There is only one day left to donate! You get a huge amount of SF stuff, including my exclusive ebook (you can’t get it elsewhere!) that looks like this:

Changing Body Templates + bonus content!

Changing Body Templates + bonus content!

I made the ebook in epub, mobi and pdf formats, so there is hopefully something for most people. The ebook includes my story Changing Body Templates, originally published in the collection Strange Bedfellows: An Anthology of Political Science Fiction, with a lot of bonus material!

As I say in the foreword:

…it is a political story with themes overlapping with Rochita’s, and a story that greatly benefited from her encouragement and example of writing about one’s experience with the invading oppressor.

The story is almost novelette length, so you will have plenty to read. The ebook also features my previously posted bonus notes, and bonus content that’s not available anywhere else – I share some bizarre and …appealingly horrible Hungarian political jokes from the late 1980s and the early 1990s. (Yes, this is perfectly relevant to the story. And yes, I warned you.) If you want to know which cute animals get shot when Communism triumphs in the forest, or what social progress looks like in Hungary, or why Mr. Fox finds himself dealing drugs to Little Rabbit, make sure to back the fundraiser!

Written by prezzey in: sf,writing | Tags:

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