Aliette de Bodard writes about her story “Scattered Along the River of Heaven,” now available at Clarkesworld. I really love it when people talk about where stories came from or how they were written.
This one started with poets: to be more specific, Aimé Césaire and Qiu Jin. . . .
The whole Qiu Jin angle tied in with some thinking I’ve been having about revolutions and wars of liberation; and about messy transfers of power. Mainly, that revolutions always have a losing side, and that they create exiles . . .
I wanted one of the strands of the story to be poems: the idea was that Anshi’s life would be seen through her writings; and what better writings for a scholar than poems? Most scholars in Vietnam or China composed poetry; and the ability to do so was widely praised; in a quasi-Asian future, it made sense that poetry would still be very important.
I linked to this on Twitter but it’s worth linking to again: What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland’s School Success.
Decades ago, when the Finnish school system was badly in need of reform, the goal of the program that Finland instituted, resulting in so much success today, was never excellence. It was equity.
I meant to link to Malinda Lo’s post A Year of Thinking About Diversity back when she posted it about 2 weeks ago, but here it is now, ever relevant.
So, writing from personal experience is important. Writing about people who are different from you is important. These two beliefs sound like they’re contradictory, but they’re not; they’re complementary. Diversity is complex. It’s slippery. I think there’s room for more than one way to negotiate it — something that is both wonderfully flexible and frustratingly difficult.
There were some other brilliant things, but I was visiting relatives over the holiday and did not do a good job of keeping track.
Tomorrow I will have a guest post from Benjamin Tate whose fantasy novel, Leaves of Flame, is just out.