My newest book, A Cup of Smoke: stories and poems, is now available for purchase for $ 4.99, at Amazon here A Cup of Smoke: stories and poems, and in epub format at Smashwords. It contains six short stories, twenty poems, and a rodent zodiac.

In a steampunk Wild West, women with nothing left to lose walk into the desert, and emerge soul-bonded to giant robots...

A pair of bickering angels try to re-create Heaven in a Tokyo subway station...

A woman warrior matches swords and wits with a many-headed demon in mythic India...

These stories and more appear in "A Cup of Smoke." The anthology includes the Rhysling Award-winning poem "Nine Views of the Oracle" and the Rhysling nominee poem "Minotaur Noir."

Contains lesbian gunslingers, prophesying ravens, a martial artist on an interplanetary mission of revenge, three golems, and a one-eyed, hopping sandal.

Two of the short stories and eleven of the poems are original to this collection. The other stories originally appeared in Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk I, Strange Horizons, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, and Cabinet des Fees. All the short stories have new afterwords by the author.

The lovely cover is by Stephanie Folse. Huge thanks to Cora Anderson and Larry Hammer for doing the surprisingly difficult formatting.

Please feel free to link to, tweet, or otherwise publicize this book.

If you would like to review it, please let me know and I will give you a free copy. I don’t usually read reviews and am so busy right now that I’m almost entirely offline everywhere but my own sites, so please review honestly. I am highly unlikely to ever even see it, and I do not expect everyone to love everything in any collection.
I am delighted to announce that Stranger, the post-apocalyptic YA novel that I co-wrote with Sherwood Smith, will be published by Viking (Penguin Group) in Winter 2014.

The acquiring editor is Sharyn November. I have wanted to work with her ever since we met twelve years ago, at World Fantasy Con in Corpus Christi, Texas. She said that she was reprinting classic children's fantasies. I grabbed her by the shoulder and said, no doubt with a mad gleam in my eye, "Lloyd Alexander's Westmark! Elizabeth Wein's The Winter Prince! Patricia McKillip's The Changeling Sea" She smiled and said, "We're doing all three. Got any other suggestions?" Sharyn, thank you so much for championing our book.

Also, thank you very much, Eddie Gamarra and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein of the Gotham Group!

Yes, it's the Yes Gay YA book. Here's a little more about it:

Many generations ago, a mysterious cataclysm struck the world. Governments collapsed and people scattered, to rebuild where they could. A mutation, "the Change,” arose, granting some people unique powers. Though the area once called Los Angeles retains its cultural diversity, its technological marvels have faded into legend. "Las Anclas" now resembles a Wild West frontier town… where the Sheriff possesses superhuman strength, the doctor can warp time to heal his patients, and the distant ruins of an ancient city bristle with deadly crystalline trees that take their jewel-like colors from the clothes of the people they killed.

Teenage prospector Ross Juarez’s best find ever – an ancient book he doesn’t know how to read – nearly costs him his life when a bounty hunter is set on him to kill him and steal the book. Ross barely makes it to Las Anclas, bringing with him a precious artifact, a power no one has ever had before, and a whole lot of trouble.

There are five main characters. One is Ross, who knows all about prospecting, fighting, and desert survival, but hasn't had to interact with other human beings on a regular basis since he was twelve. The others are teenagers from Las Anclas: Mia Lee, introverted genius and town oddball, who can design six different weapons before breakfast; Yuki Nakamura, an aspiring prospector who is dying to get out of his small town and explore the rest of the world; Jennie Riley, Changed telekinetic and over-achiever, who must choose between becoming the teacher of the one-room schoolhouse or joining the elite military Rangers; and Felicite Wolfe, the Mayor's narcissistic daughter, who likes to spy on people with the help of her pet mutant rat.

And yes. Yuki is still gay. So is his boyfriend, Paco Diaz, the drummer in the town band. And Brisa Preciado, who has the power to make rocks explode, is still dating shy Becky Callahan, who works after school waiting tables at the saloon. As you can see, this isn't so much a "gay book" or a "straight book" as an ensemble book.

Sherwood and I wanted to write something fun and exciting, with adventure and romance and mutant powers and martial arts and a vivid sense of place. And we wanted it to be about the people who are so often left out of those sorts of books: Latinos and African-Americans, Jews and Asian-Americans, gay boys and lesbian girls, multiracial teenagers and teenagers with physical and mental disabilities. We didn't do this to fulfill some imaginary quota, but because we wanted to write about teenagers like the real ones we know, the real ones in Los Angeles, the real ones we were.

We hope that, however flawed it may be, our novel will make even a few of those teenagers happy.

This is a very personal project for me. People often ask me if I'm ever going to write about coming back to America, after spending most of my childhood in an ashram in India. In a metaphoric sense, this is that book. To tell the story of what it was like for Ross to come to Las Anclas, I drew upon my own experiences of stumbling into an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar rules, beset by memories I couldn't bear to recall and reactions I didn't understand, longing for connection but with no idea of how to relate to people.

Stranger is a post-apocalyptic adventure, not an issue novel. But all stories have their genesis somewhere, and for me, it was my wish to say, "It's okay. You're okay. You'll get better. You'll make friends. You'll fall in love. You can be a hero." I hope it finds its way to the people to whom it will speak.

If you would like to be notified when the book actually comes out, please comment to this post to say so. I will reply to your comment when the book is published, and you should get an email notification. Or you can leave your email address in a comment. (I can copy the address, then delete or screen the comment.) If you're not on LJ/DW, you can comment anonymously (or email me) with an email address where I can reach you.

Incidentally, I am putting out an e-book anthology of my short stories and poetry in a couple months. If you'd like to be notified when that's available, please comment to say so.

If you're interested in reading our book, you may also be interested in this list of YA science fiction and fantasy with major LGBTQ characters. And here's a list of YA fantasy and science fiction with protagonists who aren't white..

I would be happy to answer any questions you might have, about the novel or anything else.

Finally, please feel free to Tweet, link to, or otherwise promulgate this post. Lots of people mentioned during Yes Gay YA that they would like to know what happened to this book, but the vast majority probably don't read my blog.
rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( Aug. 15th, 2011 11:30 am)
I was just accepted to Antioch for their MA program in clinical psychology, with a concentration in trauma. (I will take the MFT exam after that.) I start in early October!

I am thrilled to bits. Of all the programs I looked at, it by far seemed the best match for my beliefs and interests. Plus, I can bicycle to school! Seriously. I will buy a bicycle.

For anyone who hasn't been following this saga, no, I am not quitting writing. This will just be my new day job, or rather, my new fulfilling other career.
I realize that I am mentioning this a bit late, but nobody told me until [personal profile] asakiyume congratulated me.

"Nine Views of the Oracle" came in third in the short poem division! I am astounded, flattered, and thrilled. Especially since it was switched from "long" to "short" at the last minute, which I was certain would torpedo its already unlikely chances. Thank you to everyone who voted for it!

...I should write some more poems! I am thinking of crows and ravens and associated mythology, as a gift for an (offline) friend who likes them a lot. Anyone have any scraps of inspiring crow lore? Anyone recall any that's Indian? (As in India, not as in Native American; the idea with that is to jog my own memory with things I might have already known but forgotten.)
Last week I was at the Jim Henson Company, and a guy I know, a musician who works at the music studio which shares the lot, came up and said, "Got fifteen minutes? Want to see something amazing?"

I followed him into the music building, where I got to watch and listen to Abe Laboriel Jr, a drummer and the son of a famous bass player, drum on a track that was being recorded for... a singer-songwriter whose name I didn't recognize, sorry. His drumming was amazing and he moved like a dancer, like he'd lost himself in music, so fluid and impassioned and graceful that I could have watched him with the sound off.

I wish I could share that session with you all, but since I can't, have some videos instead, though they don't do anything like justice to being able to watch him from ten feet away, in bright light and with nothing between us but a pane of glass:

Assorted videos.
Last week I was at the Jim Henson Company, and a guy I know, a musician who works at the music studio which shares the lot, came up and said, "Got fifteen minutes? Want to see something amazing?"

I followed him into the music building, where I got to watch and listen to Abe Laboriel Jr, a drummer and the son of a famous bass player, drum on a track that was being recorded for... a singer-songwriter whose name I didn't recognize, sorry. His drumming was amazing and he moved like a dancer, like he'd lost himself in music, so fluid and impassioned and graceful that I could have watched him with the sound off.

I wish I could share that session with you all, but since I can't, have some videos instead, though they don't do anything like justice to being able to watch him from ten feet away, in bright light and with nothing between us but a pane of glass:

Assorted videos.
My poem Nine Views of the Oracle, published by Abyss and Apex, has been nominated for a Rhysling Award!
The winter edition of Goblin Fruit is up, with poetry by myself, Shweta Narayan, J. C. Runolfson, Larry Hammer, Sonya Taaffe, and more! I am still reading and listening, but what I have read and heard so far is great.

Please forgive my own reading. I have never read my own poetry before, and made the recording in great haste. Thanks to [ profile] yhlee for actually doing the recording, and patiently pronouncing Greek names for me. That'll teach me to fill a poem with words I'm not sure how to say!
rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( Oct. 26th, 2009 11:47 am)
My poem Nine Views of the Oracle is up at Abyss and Apex!

Second sale, first appearance!
rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( Sep. 13th, 2009 04:52 pm)
"Nine Views of the Oracle," to Abyss and Apex.

Second poetry sale ever!
He made two Editor's Choices from the poems in the Nov-Dec Star*Line, and "Three Letters to the Prince of Falling Leaves" is one of them.

As a result, the poem will appear online at the SFPA site,

rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( Jun. 29th, 2009 10:58 am)
My very first prose fiction sale is up!

River of Heaven, at Strange Horizons: a love letter to traditional Japanese sweets and modern Japanese subway stations. Long may they co-exist!
rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( Jun. 21st, 2009 11:40 am)
I sold a prose poem, "Three Letters to the Prince of Falling Leaves," to the Star*Line prose poetry volume.

Specifically, I sold it to Bruce Boston, the grandmaster of sf poetry, which is kind of mind-boggling. He said it was a beautiful poem and he invites me to submit "regular poetry" to Star*Line.

...I guess that means I should probably learn how to write some.
I sold the mochi story, "River of Heaven!" OMG! I sold it to "Strange Horizons!!! This is a total shock! I have sold other forms of writing before, but this is my first prose fiction sale!!!

I owe this to [ profile] yhlee, who convinced me to buy Wagashi, a gorgeous and expensive illustrated book on traditional Japanese sweets, by telling me to write a story using it as research to recoup the purchase. I also wrote portions of it opposite her in a coffee shop. Yoon, thank you so much!!!!
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Oct. 29th, 2008 06:12 pm)
Wow! Thank you so much to everyone who sent me birthday wishes, and mega-thank you to the awesome crew who gave me certificates for massages and amazon! You guys are fantastic!

Adrian took me to breakfast at the same Taiwanese place across from Din Tai Fung where he got me the taro/red bean cake, and we had a Taiwanese picnic in the Arboretum, where we ended up at a picnic table after repeated attempts to sit on the ground were foiled by ants. We had coffee, sticky rice stuffed with sausage and assorted good stuff, radish cakes with egg, beef rolls, "dragon tails" (crispy unsweetened churro-like things), and "multi-grain rolls" which Adrian unwisely ordered in the hope of being healthy. We fed those to a peacock. Then we went to Huntington Gardens, which was extremely hot but very relaxing.

I am briefly peeking into LJ while he is at a tutoring session, but am now leaving to read L J Smith. We will eat the cake when he returns. Bye!
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Feb. 27th, 2008 10:29 am)
In my continuing quest to tag all entries anyone could possibly ever want to read again with informative tags, I re-discovered The Tale of the Mud People.

UC Santa Cruz was a trip. It was broken into eight colleges, each with a different academic focus (now ten or more, I believe.) Mine was Porter, the arts college. The sculpture outside of Porter was known as "The Flying IUD." I was several times able to direct people to pick me up merely by telling them the correct road plus "Turn left at the Flying IUD."

Our mascot was the banana slug. They are shy creatures, rarely spotted, native to the California redwood forests which surrounded the school. The administration was against this choice, feeling that a slug, however large and yellow, lacked fighting spirit, and overruled the students' choice to institute the sea lion. The students rebelled, and the slug was once more crowned. I used to have a T-shirt reading "Fiat Slug." ("Let there be slug.") At my graduation, the provost amazed the audience by delivering portions of the commencement speech via ventriloquism with a banana slug puppet.
rachelmanija: (Heroes: support WGA)
( Jan. 26th, 2008 04:42 pm)
Sweet Charity raised $19,000 to benefit unemployed entertainment industry workers not covered by other benefits. NINETEEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!!! Woo-hoo!!!!

I eagerly await hearing from the people who won me. ;)

Click on the tag if you don't know what this is about. And yes. That is me with Masi Oka, at a WGA rally.
rachelmanija: (Heroes: support WGA)
( Nov. 21st, 2007 09:25 am)
In case you missed my hyperventilating last night, I met Masi Oka and now have pictures to prove it!!! (In a photo-essay on the WGA rally by the lovely and charming [ profile] dawnybee.)

Like she says, I am retrospectively amazed that in a crowd of 4000, two fans on Lj managed to hook up at random. Seriously, I think we only started talking because she, I, and a (also lovely and charming!) actress and her mother all happened to be standing next to each other at the same time, uselessly attempting to peer through the crowd despite us all (except Amber's Mom) being 5'1" or under.

We didn't even figure out that we were both fans until we'd already been wandering around celebrity-spotting, dodging Teamster trucks, and drinking hot cider kindly provided by CAA for at least half an hour. After the rally, we walked about twenty blocks back to where I'd parked, got some coffee, and discussed crazy actors and the allure of MPREG.

[ profile] dawnybee, it was so much fun! We must get together again!

[ profile] dawnybee's new camera failed to click when it took the photo, so she accidentally took an antire series of Masi and me. Not that I'm complaining.

His shoulder, me looking slightly demented.

What in the world are we doing here? It reminds me of Duo clutching his head for no reason in the Peacemillion cafeteria.

In shadow.

Same as in the photo-essay-- I think this one came out best.
rachelmanija: (Heroes: shaken not stirred)
( Nov. 20th, 2007 06:26 pm)
I MET MASI OKA AT THE WGA RALLY111111!!!!!!!!!!!

He is so cute in person! And he has a lovely voice which is quite different from Hiro's.

For no reason that I can determine other than that my brain had overloaded, after babbling something about loving his work, I proceeded to make a spontaneous and probably crazed (though thankfully brief) speech on the representation of Asian-Americans on TV. I really hope he did not think I was fangirling him solely on the basis of his ethnicity.

Then I said, "Um, can I take your picture with me?"

He spontaneously put his arm around me!!!!!!!!

(I swear, I did not glomp him.)

I also saw Jimmy-Jean Louis (HOT) and Jack Coleman. And many more!

Also, I met [ profile] dawnybee, who is so cool and fun, and she helped me spot many more celebrities. She will post photos of me and MASI OKA!!!!! on her LJ later, because it was on her camera.

[ profile] iamsab, sorry I missed you! I did get the text but was way away by then.

In short: Masi Oka!!!!!!!!!


rachelmanija: (Default)


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