Ahead of the release of my verse novel Chiara in the Dark next year, I’ve made a new Twitter account for my writing. Check it out @MChhabraAuthor.
Two new poems out
The Plutocracy at The Deadlands and The Gifts They Gave While Beauty Slept at Sycorax Journal. Both dark, both very dear to me.
Short story sale to Shoreline of Infinity
I can now announce that my short story “The Anchoress” will be published in Shoreline of Infinity!
It’s about nuns, space, pride, asking for help, and the infinite (rather appropriately, given the venue).
Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao
Got an advance copy but DNF’d, I really like the premise, but the writing style wasn’t working for me. Pity as I enjoy the author’s Twitter threads.
I’ve got a new translation up at Meduza, “Monitoring for middlemen,” by Dmitry Kuznets, about new bank transfer regulations in Russia and how they interact with Putin’s crackdown on so-called “undesirable organizations.”
The Wolf and The Woodsman – Ava Reid
Originally, I was planning to review this formally; however, due to unforeseen circumstances, it’s a blog post instead.
There is simultaneously a lot I liked about this book and some things I was frustrated by. The writing was beautiful and the plot, dealing with mixed heritage in a sensitive way and exploring European Jewish history through a fantasy lens, was quite original. I also really enjoyed the characterization of the love interest, Gaspár, and was always left wanting more of his characterization. Évike, the protagonist, was a compelling character, alienated from the community where she grew up as an outcast, but ultimately choosing to defend it. I enjoyed the Hungary-based setting, while still questioning some worldbuilding choices/apparent inconsistencies.
The fact that some religions and historical figures were depicted as in real life, names unchanged, which others were reimagined for the fantasy landscape, left me slightly dissatisfied, as the boundaries between historical and secondary-world fantasy were blurred. However, this freedom allowed Reid to reimagine history in interesting ways–for example, the story ends with the building of a more equitable multicultural kingdom rather than an empire or a nation-state.
I have to agree with Liz Bourke on Twitter that the final battle came out of nowhere–it didn’t seem to be the type of confrontation or resolution that was being set up by the rest of the book. Overall, I enjoyed reading The Wolf and the Woodsman, thanks to its interesting themes, prose, and main characters. But it won’t become a favorite.
“The Plutocracy,” about death, wealth, and Achilles, just sold to the new magazine The Deadlands, which I am very excited about!
Check out my poem “Naked I Shall Return To It” in Liminality!
“Naked I Shall Return To It,” a take on the myth of Ishtar, will be published in Liminality.
Read “Owl Prowl”
“Owl Prowl” is now free from the paywall! Read it here.
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