2013 was a good year to me. On the story front, the first semester wasn’t a strong one; too much work at my day job at the university (and the non-stop work translating SF works from English to Brazilian Portuguese) prompted me to create a blog just to jot down a few unfiltered thoughts in the form of flash fiction. Narrative Textures had a very brief life – 3 or 4 months tops, I guess; I saved the cache but I deleted the blog, so I don’t have the precise number.
It was a lifesaver, though – it helped me to keep focus through a rough patch in my personal life. It was a year for trying to achieve some peace of mind, and writing was part of the process. But I wasn’t aiming at anything in particular then: I had no stories published in any venue in 2013, but until May I had written at least thirty pieces of flash fiction or fragments of larger stories. It was good practice. Because the next step would be the best and the hardest.
In the end of June I went to Seattle to be a member of the 30th class of the Clarion West Writers Workshop, the most thrilling experience I ever had in my life. Six weeks of full immersion, where I made many new friends (seventeen colleagues, classmates coming from India, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, England, and different regions of the United States – and I’m not counting the fabulous roster of instructors: Elizabeth Hand, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Margo Lanagan, Samuel Delany, and Ellen Datlow) and managed to have no less than eight new stories written – an all-time personal record (these stories still need much polishing, naturally, but at least I finished them, and that was something I wasn’t been doing a lot until 2012 – still have a fair share of unfinished stuff lying in my virtual trunk).
Speaking of 2012 (don’t worry, I won’t stray further than a couple of years ago), that was the year I decided to accept a challenge and try my hand at editorial matters. So I applied for a chance to edit one of the two special editions of The Future Fire magazine for 2013. Both would become anthologies in book format. The first, Outlaw Bodies, edited by Lori Selke and The Future Fire’s founder and publisher, Djibril al-Ayad, was published in the end of that year. The second one, We See a Different Frontier, took more time because of a crowdfunding initiative. It paid off handsomely: we asked initially for $3000 and we got $4,611.00, which enabled us to pay professional rates for 15 authors, plus the cover artist.
We See a Different Frontier, an anthology of postcolonial speculative fiction, was my first anthology edited in English and I couldn’t be happier: we’ve been getting many positive reviews and two stories have been chosen by Gardner Dozois for his next Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology. Gardner himself reviewed the anthology in the Jan 2014 issue of Locus Magazine. One of our authors, Sunny Moraine, was the pick of Lois Tilton for the 2013 new author of promise. And, as I write this post, the BSFA nominations are coming to a close, and three stories of the anthology are in their long list so far.
Finally, in the last days of the year, I got an acceptance e-mail for a story from Scigentasy. This, along with the last reviews of #WSaDF (most of them very complimentary) and the creation of my new blog, DIFFERENT FRONTIERS, made the end of 2013 incredibly auspicious to me and to many friends. There will be many stories to tell in 2014.
(a shorter version appeared at Different Frontiers)