• Eliza Chan

Museum Audio Tours, Cons and Blogs

Hey world

News the FIRST

I am going to my first Eastercon, Mancunicon, next week which is exciting. I’ve been to Worldcon and WorldFantasyCon before but Easter tends to be a busy time of year for me (holidays rather than religion). Luckily this year it’s in Manchester where I am currently living. I do feel like a wee bit of a fraud since most of my writing is more fantasy than science fiction unless you squint at it sideways through a door, but I figured I’ll get to catch up with the GSFWC crew and squeal at my writing idols.

I’ll also be on a panel for the first time! Eek. Thought I’d go ahead and volunteer myself for once. I am by no means an expert on anything but I do like to talk! 😀

FridayDiversity in UK SF: Why are we lagging? (Panel) 19:00 (1 hour) in Room 8&9 Meg Frank (m), Eliza Chan, Christopher Hwang, Tej Turner and Jacq Applebee Genre fiction seems to be lagging behind the mainstream. SaturdayAnime (Panel) 16:00 (1 hour) in Room 6 Emmeline Pui Ling Dobson (m), Eliza Chan, Tej Turner, Bill Sellers and Mad Elf A hook to hang a conversation on!

Whilst there’s part of my which acknowledges I’m being a complete stereotype, I also want to start on topics that I’m passionate and knowledgeable about. Don’t worry, next con, I’m volunteering myself for board gaming, procrastinating and eating. 😛

My writing group Manchester Speculative Fiction are also hoping to run crit workshops on Saturday and Sunday morning. They are a good group of beta readers and we still have space if anyone has a story that needs some feedback.

News the SECOND

My blog post about “Yukizuki” is being hosted on the Fox Spirit website with a bit more detail about the inspiration about the story. Please read it and I hope you are inspired enough to support this great indie press (and me) by buying the Winter Tales book!

New the LAST

And finally. This happened the same time as Winter Tales came out but I was so overwhelmed by having more than one publication that I didn’t blog about it. My short story “The Water Museum” has been published on Holdfast’s website in their Love, Sex and Relationships issues. Holdfast have a British female editing team and you can tell by the powerful voices that shine through. It reminds me of the many diverse US magazines at the moment and I have remind myself that for UK-based speculative fiction magazine, this is still a rarity. A British Fantasy Award winning rarity! 😀  I really enjoyed the other stories in this issue and in the magazine as a whole. In my head, I’m also claiming that my work was next to Aliette de Bodard’s even though that’s strictly speaking not true!

Before you read what inspired “The Water Museum”, I suggest you go read it at the Holdfast magazine website for free. It is beautifully illustrated by Luke Spooner and is about a date at the museum.

Okay, read it? Then continue.

“The Water Museum” originally came from a call for Manchester-based stories. At the time I had just recently visited the vast and impressive Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. I love museums. I love the hands-on exhibits they have for children, the glass cabinets and the factoid filled video clips. But I am also as impatient as a five year old. I tend to look at exhibits in the wrong order, zigzag across the room towards whatever takes my fancy and trying to figure out what it is first before succumbing to reading the information panels. I rarely get an audio headset because of this reason. If someone tells me to do something, I’ll often do the opposite. Nonetheless it has always amused me to see people with the headphones in, following each other from display to display, engrossed in the facts and taking their time.

When I was last in Hong Kong we went to the Hong Kong History Museum. Now my parents are for Hong Kong and I’ve been visiting the country for years but it would mainly be to eat and see relatives. And my family celebrate the big Chinese cultural celebrations such as Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival and others. But at this museum, for the first time, I learnt about the four major ethnic groups who originated from the area: Hakka, Hoklo, Tanka and Punti. Don’t get me wrong, I had heard of some of them, I just didn’t realise they were the indigenous groups! I shook my head in embarrassment as I discovered all of this and more, much more.  (More includes Kowloon Walled City, with which I am fixated).

If I was to point to anything, I would say these are the inspirational seeds for “The Water Museum”. The audiotour leading the reader through the narrative. The idea of living somewhere without really knowing its history. And why did I made the couple gay? There was no particular reason. It didn’t matter what gender they were at all. But I wanted to highlight a world where no-one even bats an eyelid at a same-sex relationship. It’s the extra dimension that makes them a bit different. And love is love.

In turn, the world of “The Water Museum” has mutated into something else, which you can read about in summer when another of my stories is published in the World Weaver Press Sirens anthology. Or in my novel, which I need to finish.

Details to come, but for now this is what’s going on in my head…

#panel #holdfast #yukizuki #thewatermuseum #eastercon #museum #blog #foxspirit #mancunicon #manchester #wintertales

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