Now that 2021 is almost over, and people will soon be throwing it in the trashbin of history with great contempt and welcoming in another year that will undoubtedly be worse (this is the era we live in; I do hope for another one sometime), here are the two stories of mine that were published this year, if you’d like to seek them out to read or nominate for awards and suchlike:
A Necessary Being:
Published in Gideon Lichfield’s Make Shift: Dispatches from the Post-Pandemic Future, the 2021 entry in the Twelve Tomorrows science-fiction anthology series from MIT Press. A short story about the developing relationship between a mecha pilot and his adopted daughter, a girl he rescues from floods during a superstorm, in a reforesting Kolkata well into the age of plagues. Publishers Weekly called it ‘Murakami-esque’ (not sure how, but kind) and ‘a breathtaking portrayal of parental intimacy’ (very kind). You can read it in the book, which is available to buy here.
Published in Issue #3 of The Against Nature Journal, a biannual arts and human rights magazine published out of Europe. A short story about an intelligent surrogate birthing robot in a future Kolkata, who is targeted by a majoritarian religious extremist mob, and is imparted with self-awareness by their human technician so that they can go on the run. The story forms a thematic continuum of sorts with my stories ‘Sita’s Descent’ and ‘Kali_Na’, all dealing with Hindu supremacist nationalism and technology, and artificial intelligences being gendered and mythified in specific ways, written at different points across a decade. You can read the story by subscribing to the journal, or buying a copy of the issue here.
And that’s it! Not a very busy year for publications, but I have been working on some writing I’m very excited for readers to see next year (hopefully), but can’t talk about yet. Anyway, strength and resilience to you all out in the global dystopia–onwards we go into unknown time again.