I’m excited to announce that my poem “3D-Printed Brother” is now available to read in Strange Horizons! This poem is part of the Strange Horizons 2019 Kickstarter campaign.
This poem was inspired by childhood summers spent in Scarborough. Those were good summers: I wrote fan fiction, made Clow Cards, doodled cats and hung out with kids from the neighbourhood, who all seemed to come in pairs of two or more siblings. Due to China’s one-child policy, which was still in effect when I was born, I was (and still am) an only child. I wasn’t exactly lonely, but I did wonder what it would be like to have a younger sibling—like my friends had—who would look up to me and go along with whatever scheme I cooked up. At one point, I was supposed to have a kid brother, but that didn’t happen. I still think about him from time to time, so this poem is a kind of alternate reality, a reimagining of a possibility from the past, brought to life in a future where 3D-printing could give you the sibling you wished for.
Here are other poems from Strange Horizons that I loved:
Happy reading! And best of luck to those doing NaNoWriMo this month. 🙂
My poem “The Designs of Designer Baby” is available to read in Uncanny Magazine! The poem is about reclaiming your identity after living for other people all your (very, very long) life.
I got the idea for it after I read a news story about scientists editing the genomes of human embryos to make them perfect. Why did this hit me so hard? I didn’t know, but the idea burrowed into my mind and refused to leave. It was only after I started travelling around Asia that I realized what I wanted to say. In Ho Chi Minh City, I visited the War Remnants Museum. It was a deeply emotional experience, and I’m still processing what I saw. That experience, among other ones—like going to China and seeing, with my now-adult eyes, how certain family dynamics get passed down from generation to generation—shaped the poem into what it became.
Here are some of my favourite pieces from this issue:
My mother forces me to draw cats.
I draw them for her birthday, for my birthday, for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, and that time I left home for university for the first time.
“Why don’t you get a cat if you like them so much?” I asked her once.
She shook her head. “Cats are too complex for me.”
I took it at face value at the time, but saw into her soul years later, on a drive to a restaurant, when she started showing the cat drawings to relatives who couldn’t have cared less.
“I call this one lao hu,” she said, pointing to a cat with stripes in its fur and teeth as sharp as a fishbone comb.
Lao hu, tiger in Chinese, the symbol of war and strength.
It wasn’t the complexity she feared, I realized.
It was the attachment.
Cats are complex, even more so when they die.