I haven’t been around much due both to the Jewish holidays and to Rose Spouseperson having had a health emergency. Rose had minor surgery (which went well, thank G-d) and is recuperating now.
In the meanwhile, many things came out that you can read online free of charge!
My literary, very non-speculative poem Periodicity was published in Little Village, the cultural and all-round newsmagazine of the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids metro area. In Iowa City, you throw a rock and it hits two writers, so I am really proud of this acceptance. If you are in the area, you can get a print copy for free! I am happy to sign it for you. Content warnings: mentions of genocide and destruction of nature.
(I get this question a lot, so I will preempt it: No, I have nothing to do with the extremely prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I work in a psycholinguistics lab and write in my spare time.)
Also, my science fiction flash story Increasing Police Visibility that originally appeared in Lightspeed – Queers Destroy Science Fiction has just been reprinted and podcast in Glittership, edited by Keffy R.M. Kehrli. As mine was one of the QDSF stories not available online, I was especially happy! Now you can read it and/or listen to it, as is your preference. It has
* A relationship between a nonbinary trans person and a cis man. Someone (I sadly don’t remember who) was talking about the lack of this pairing in SF on Twitter, so I did my part and wrote a short story
* Math, real-life math that works as described
* Actual trans scientist person – I am one too!
* The Hungarian government being awful – the details ended up being scarily prescient, as I discussed in a previous post.
Now you can go read and / or listen!
And since Periodicity had no bonus notes before, here they are now…
Bonus notes for Periodicity
I wrote this poem two years ago, but I have very little idea about where to send non-genre work, and I find it confusing to this day that literary magazines seem to prefer simultaneous submissions. It had been to two places before, and one of those lost the poem, which I found out after I finally dared to query upon the one-year mark.
This poem was inspired by multiple events, among them the 2013 flooding of the Danube and its aftereffects, which I experienced back in Hungary. I also wrote a fantasy novelette inspired by this flood, which is scheduled to appear in GigaNotoSaurus later this year.
The other major source of inspiration was the rise of the extreme right in Hungary, and how it has all been reminiscent of an era we had thought bygone.
Miklós Radnóti was a Hungarian poet, Jewish by birth and Catholic by choice, who was brutally murdered in the Holocaust. He wrote quite an amount of work inspired by nature, even in the most dire conditions. I recommend his collection Foamy Sky, translated into English by Zsuzsanna Ozsváth and Frederick Turner.
This is one of his classic poems about Hungary, his beloved country, in English (with a few typos introduced by whoever typed it up from the book) and Hungarian. “and one day it will brighten, hid now in safety’s bark, / till peace shall write upon our land its shining mark / and answer our choked words in sentences of light. // With great wings cover us, O guardian cloud of night.”
Everything in Periodicity is about something specific and sadly factual. There was news coverage about how the floodbanks were invaded by moles because the municipality had neglected maintenance, and how this made the banks less likely to hold. Likewise, trees by the riverside were cut down en masse, claimed to have gone to rot, but I saw the remains and they looked fine. Of course I am not an expert, but at this point, I am not very inclined to believe the municipality on anything – especially considering they had also cut down several mature trees nowhere near the river, some 100+ years old, for no particular reason, or to build football fields (association football, ie. soccer). The current government’s massive investment in football has so far yielded little success, and I say this as a person who both likes to kick the ball and watch others kick it too.
This poem is especially timely in light of the first round of the Austrian presidential election results just the other day. I remember when Austrian newspapers had articles after the rise of the extreme right in Hungarian elections: “are we next?”. Now we know the answer is yes.
Wishing all of you a periodicity of more pleasant experiences!