As for con news, FIYAHCON and BonFIYAH were a blast!

I did not win the IGNYTE Award but I am super happy and honored that I was a finalist. It is so important to me that I was even on that list. The amazing C.L. Clark was the winner with their story “You Perfect, Broken Thing,” published in Uncanny Magazine issue #32, the same issue “My Country Is a Ghost” was in! This issue seriously slaps. The other awesome finalists were Nicasio Andres Reed with “Body, Remember,” Innocent Chizaram Ilo with “Rat and Finch are Friends,” and Congyun ‘Mu Ming’ Gu, translated by Kiera Johnson with “EXPRESS TO BEIJING WEST RAILWAY STATION | 开往西站的特别列车.” Please check out these very talented authors. 

The author with her finalist medal 🙂

I was also a panelist and got to talk about futuristic food with many cool and knowledgable people. Namely: Katherine Denby, Jeannette Ng, Rafeeat Aliyu, and Lavanya Lakshminarayan. I added so many books on my book pile. I seriously need a second lifetime to read everything at this point. 

BonFIYAH had double the programming they had last year! There is so much knowledge in those panels and the FIYAHCON panels, and so many new authors to follow and read. I am saying this because there is a possibility that FIYAHCON and bonFIYAH won’t be returning next year.

It has been such an influential con for me and so many other people that it’s hard to not mourn already. But no matter what happens I will keep following and supporting both the organizers and all the people who participated in one way or another. 

Thank you to the team for all the hard work they have done for the community. Please follow and support them.  

Nebula con and New story out: How the Girls Came Home!

With Her Familiars on Mars by Galen Dara

Nebula Con just finished and I am both tired and elated.

My story “My Country is a Ghost” was a finalist for the Nebula Awards in the short story category. It is also a finalist for the Ignyte Awards and I could not be more honored. I did not make a blog post at the time the nominations were announced mostly because I was so overwhelmed. But now things have quieted down I can finally scream about it!

Big shout-out to all the wonderful winners and finalists and especially the fellow short story finalists. John Wiswell (who won the Nebula Award!), Rae Carson, Aimee Picchi, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, and Jason Sandford. I am in awe at your talent and extremely privileged to occupy a space next to you.

As for the con itself, it was a blast! As someone for whom it is really hard to attend cons in North America, virtual cons are a great opportunity to keep up with friends and make new ones. I got to be in two panels with some very smart people and hang out with them in the rooms afterwards.

Now to more cool news…

I am super exited to share my new story “How the Girls Came Home” in Uncanny Magazine issue #40! There is even audio, narrated by the amazing Joy Piedmont. Lynne Thomas asked me some very insightful questions for the podcast–and was also very understanding of my nervousness. Give it a listen!

This is a story I wrote during Week 4 of Clarion West, and one that’s closest to a fairytale than anything else I have written. The idea came to me as I was reading about the earliest version of Cinderella, which is said to be of Greek origin. A story called Rhodopis. I started thinking of all the ways these magical shoes (and magic in general–can change a woman’s life in stories and what if someone were to push back on that change.

Every morning Amalia’s feet change. They transform into different animal feet that come with different abilities and challenges for her. In a fairytale the happy ending would be for her feet to become forever human, but this is not quite the case here.

Here is an excerpt:

Each pair of feet has its own beauty. So she takes time to examine every new version of her feet, love them for what they are. Learn what she can do with them each day and start over the next, and the one after that. Her mother taught her this.

I am so happy Uncanny bought this story and I hope you enjoy it as well!