Take My Money: Organizations to Donate to

This is not a definitive post of organizations to donate to, nor does it try to be one. This is just a place for me to note organizations I've either worked with or whose services I've used, and who I've found to be good people. If you're looking for a place to throw your money, I can happily vouch for these folks.

Disaster Relief

Team Rubicon | Scope: International with U.S. focus

Team Rubicon is dedicated both to disaster relief services and providing veterans with volunteer and work opportunities. They are more agile than the Red Cross, which has questionable efficiency when it comes to disaster relief, and are able to deploy quickly (usually within 24 hours). Full disclosure: I am currently contracting with Team Rubicon to help produce training courses for them.

Prison Abolition

Black and Pink | Scope: U.S. only

Black and Pink facilitates pen pal relationships between incarcerated LGBTQ and HIV+ people and those in the "free world." As prisons continue to restrict visitation rights and profit off exhorbitant phone call rates, contact between inmates and the outside world becomes more difficult even as it remains just as vital. Additionally, some inmates don't have family or friends who contact them regularly, making letters and mail all the more valuable. I've written to a number of pen pals who greatly appreciate the contact. Black and Pink also has some other prison abolition programs.

Mental Health

Crisis Text Line | Scope: U.S. and Canada

Crisis Text Line offers support and deescalation of crisis situations over text and Facebook Messenger. These crisis situations are not limited to suicide but include any event that involves painful emotions. I've used their service multiple times and found it very helpful to have a third party trained in deescalation to help me move to a safer place emotionally. Plus, I feel more comfortable over text than phone, which makes this service all the more valuable to me.

The Center for Balanced Living | Scope: Central Ohio, U.S.

The Center for Balanced Living is a treatment center focused on helping those with eating disorders, though an eating disorder was personally a secondary focus when I was treated at the Center. I found the people here compassionate and supportive; to date, it's the best mental health center I've been to. They serve a limited area, but central Ohio is home to the Ohio State University, one of the largest public schools in the U.S.; students in higher education often have high rates of mental illness (article is based in the U.K., but I find it parallels the U.S. as well).


Con or Bust | Scope: International

Con or Bust is dedicated to helping fans of color/non-white fans attend SFFH conventions, which can be cost-prohibitive for most people. Con or Bust is not merit-based or need-based and only requires that you provide an itemized list of what kind of support you need. All the fans need to do is be our awesome selves, which is incredibly liberating for segments of the population who often find it difficult to ask for any kind of help, especially monetary support. I've been a recipient of Con or Bust assistance twice now and have had great networking opportunities arise out of being able to go to those cons.

The Carl Brandon Society | Scope: International

The Carl Brandon Society focuses on increasing racial diversity among both creators and audiences of speculative fiction. To this end, they provide a number of awards and scholarships; in particular, I'd like to highlight the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship, which helps two people of color each year to attend Clarion and Clarion West. I received the OEB scholarship in 2016; going to Clarion West was a huge stepping stone in my SFFH career.


Clarion West | Scope: International, U.S.-based

The Clarion West Writers' Workshop, along with its cousin the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop, is a launchpad for emerging authors of speculative fiction. The six-week workshop is a place where friendships and connections are forged, where writers hone their skills and work with some of the best instructors speculative fiction has to offer. It's a worthwhile experience, and Clarion West's one-day workshops are also great places to learn more about writing and craft. I attended the six-week workshop in 2016 and have also been to one of the one-day workshops.

The Organization for Transformative Works | Scope: International

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) runs Archive of Our Own (AO3), which is probably now the most-visited English-language fanworks archive online. The OTW also runs Fanlore, a wiki for fandom history and culture, as well as a number of other projects. I would not be the writer I am today if I did not start out in fandom writing fanfiction, so the OTW's cause in preserving and supporting transformative works is near and dear to my heart.

I'll update this post sporadically. Please feel free to suggest organizations that might be to my interests as well; thanks!

Thumbnail photo by airpix.

Award-Eligible Work 2017

Another anxiety-inducing awards season! As a member of Team Don’t Self-Reject, here’s a list of what I’ve had published in 2017. If you have difficulty accessing any of the non-free content, please feel free to contact me for reading copies.

Campbell Eligibility

I am in my second and final year of eligibility for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.


Anthologies are eligible for the Anthology category of the World Fantasy Award and the Anthology category of the Locus Award.

Strange California edited by Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Batt, April 2017 from StoryJitsu.

Features my short story “From Something Emerging.”

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland, August 2017 from Upper Rubber Boot Books.

Features my translation of the short story “Speechless Love” by Yilun Fan.

Short Fiction

All my short fiction is eligible for the Short Story category of the Hugo Award, the Short Story category of the Nebula Award, the Short Fiction category of the World Fantasy Award, the Short Fiction category of the BFSA Award, the Short Story category of the Locus Award, and also the Theodore Sturgeon Award and the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award.

Möbius Continuum.” Translation of 《莫比乌斯时空》 by Gu Shi (顾适). Clarkesworld, September 2017. 4,400 words.

Five minutes ago, the skies were still clear and boundless.

The moment dark clouds bore down from between the mountains, I knew we were done for. The quarrel couldn’t have been smaller; I don’t remember what exactly I did to make Lin Ke’s eyebrows twitch, but I knew she was angry. So I poured her a cup of honey water and set it on the tea table as a silent apology.

But X drank it instead.

“Speechless Love.” Translation of 《不会说话的爱情》 by Yilun Fan (范轶伦). Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland, August 2017 from Upper Rubber Boot Books. 2,400 words.

Morning, April 6, 2279. As I dump eggshells into the Earth-bound trash, my hovership’s screen beeps and displays a neat line of black text:

“Hello! May I introduce myself?”

The Person Who Saw Cetus.” Translation of 《看见鲸鱼座的人》 by Tang Fei (糖匪). Clarkesworld, May 2017. 5,500 words.

Father stood beside her, looking at her homework. The computer had already gone into screensaver mode; bright green, heart-shaped clouds darted across the black interface. Father swept his hand over the screen. A depth view of the interior of a railway car burst onto the gallium nitride screen. The scenery outside sped by the windows; inside, fourteen pink goldfish sat stiffly on the same bench, their bodies swaying with the forward motion of the train, their eyes spinning as they watched the clouds whirling throughout the cabin. This was the screensaver that Father had programmed just for her.

The only one in the whole universe. He always took great pains to make strange and unique gifts for her.

“From Something Emerging.” Strange California edited by Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Batt, April 2017 from StoryJitsu. 5,000 words.

I’ve learned how to tilt my head at the right angle to lure someone in, how to fake a Duchenne smile. How to pretend to be prey when I’m anything but. Tonight, I’m out to dinner at one of the more high-end restaurants in downtown LA with a white guy named Kevin, and the only thing betraying my true nature is the side of deep-fried silkworm pupae that I’ve ordered.

A Complex Filament of Light.” Anathema 1, April 2017. 3,400 words.

After winter, spring in Antarctica is almost pleasant, most days just barely below freezing. As you make your way back to the station, you stop and glance at the horizon—you prefer these days of twilight, the soft orange glow of sun on the horizon contrasting beautifully with the deep indigo of the sky. It’s more interesting than never ending daylight, more comforting than the long nights of winter. And it’s still enough of a distinction to create the illusion of darkness, to trick your body into maintaining a circadian rhythm.

What Could Be.” Daily Science Fiction, August 24, 2017. 150 words.

My mother was from the sea, raised by the Pacific Ocean that laps at both China and the United States. When she rose salt-crusted from that amniotic love, she found that she could never stay long on either shore, that she needed to be traveling between them.

Introduction to the Journal of Interplanetary Lycan Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1.” Mad Scientist Journal, June 2017. 900 words.

The publication of the Journal of Interplanetary Lycan Studies is an opportune time to reflect on the history of our field and what we already know. Although lycans have existed in the histories of all human civilizations and have indeed been embraced in many communities, the rise of European colonialism in the 16th century spread lycanthrophobia worldwide, suppressing many lycan-oriented institutions around the globe. Asylums became the standard “treatment” for lycans; research on lycanthropy was forbidden. Lycans would not begin to regain basic rights until mass decolonization in the 20th century, and although lycan studies arose around that time, the field remained small until midway through the 20th century. At the same time, research on outer space began to take off. It took the space race of the 1950s and various concurrent movements to depathologize lycanthropy for lycans and non-lycans alike to unite to understand the factors that contribute to lycanthropy.

“Vector.” Gamut, April 2017. 1,000 words.

The crows spoke with the voices of dead children. They swooped through the air, black smudges against a tapestry of blue, cawing words torn from fevered throats. One landed on a branch outside Mei’s bedroom.

“Don’t want medicine,” it croaked.

An Abundance of Fish.” Uncanny, March/April 2017. 800 words.

Spring festival, before the fish arrive: Teresa Teng croons from the radio; I hum along as I hang paper decorations, the reds and golds bright against our cream-colored walls. You’re in the kitchen making dinner—Shanghai-style sauteéd niangao, braised cod, stir-fried green beans. Sizzle, pop. Water runs from the sink, interrupting the music for a moment, and then I hear your slipper-soft footsteps padding to me.

Curiosity Fruit Machine.” GlitterShip, February 2017. 700 words.

“What is it?” Alliq says.

Jalzy runs eir hands over the object. It’s a box of some sort, made from metal with organic paneling; a narrow lever sticks out from one side. Ey finds emself reaching out to the lever, eir fingers grasping the pockmarked knob at the end as if working from unearthed muscle memory.

“I have no clue,” Jalzy says. “But… I kinda wanna pull this and see what happens.”


All my poetry published this year is eligible only for the Short Poem category of the Rhysling Award.

Badwater.” Twisted Moon, May 2017. 26 lines.

I throw myself into your embrace, Death Valley;
your painted curves rise against the horizon, and I dip into
your navel, taste the waters that pool there: salt on my tongue,
salt slick against my fingers; salt and salt and more salt.

Inhalations.” Strange Horizons, January 2017. 30 lines.

I learned a new language today,
      one comprised
            of fragrances:

      each word a combination of
morphemes of scent,

the head note, mid note, and heart note
      forming footholds of syntax.


Please note that Arsenika is NOT eligible for the semiprozine or fanzine categories of the Hugo Award, as it has not yet the minimum issues requirement yet, but IS eligible, as far as I can tell, for the Magazine or Fanzine category of the Locus Award.

I am INELIGIBLE for the short form editor category of the Hugo Awards because I haven’t met the minimum issues requirement for the category; however, I AM eligible, as far as I can tell, for the Editor - Pro or Fan category of the Locus Award.

Thanks for your consideration and for taking the time to read my work!

Thumbnail photo by NASA.

Neopronouns in Speculative Fiction

I recently put out a call on Twitter for speculative fiction that uses neopronouns. I struggle with self-doubt, both in my personal life—it's rare for people to refer to me with a neopronoun, even if I may prefer it in the moment—and also in my writing—I want so much to use neopronouns for my characters, but I'm constantly scared of rejection on that basis. So, although it's not strictly necessary, it's still nice to have a list of precedents that show that people do put work with neopronouns out there.

Criteria for inclusion:

  • Must use a pronoun other than I, you, he, she, it, we, or they (singular or plural) to refer to at least one prominent character in the narrative.
  • Must not be cissexist or transphobic. (I have no interest in reading something for the pronouns if it's going to alienate me in other ways, after all.)

And that's it. This list will lean speculative, but I don't mind including literary/interstitial works or other media. "Prominent" is going to be a judgement call as well, but I tend to lean toward inclusion, especially if it's an #ownvoices story.

So here's the list of stories gathered from Twitter responses and my own poking around online, current as of 1/29/2017:

  • Anders, Charlie Jane. "Love Might Be Too Strong a Word." 5,700 words; be, po, y. June 2008/August 2012 (reprint). #ownvoices.
  • Bornstein, Kate & Caitlin Sullivan. Nearly Roadkill. 382 pages; ze. June 1996. #ownvoices.
  • Carter, CJ. Que Será Serees: What Will Be, Serees? 354 pages; ey. May 2011.
  • Edwards, RJ. "Black Holes." In Lightspeed 61: Queers Destroy Science Fiction! 8 pages; ze. June 2015 (reprint). #ownvoices?
  • Egan, Greg. Diaspora. 352 pages; ve. September 1997.
  • Lechler, Kate. "Selections from “Volume S” of the Intragalactic Encyclopedia of Habitable Planets." In Dear Robot. 3,100 words; zhe. November 2015.
  • Lee, Jenn Manley. Dicebox. Webcomic; peh. Ongoing.
  • Lu, S. Qiouyi. "Curiosity Fruit Machine." 800 words; ey, xe. February 2017. #ownvoices.
  • Mardoll, Ana. Poison Kiss. 252 pages; nee. November 2015. #ownvoices.
  • Piercy, Marge. Woman on the Edge of Time. 384 pages; per. May 1976.
  • Ryman, Geoff. "Capitalism in the 22nd Century." In Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany. 14 pages; zie. August 2015.
  • Stirling, Penny. "Kin, Painted." 4,400 words; e, ze. July 2015. #ownvoices.
  • Stirling, Penny. "Love Over Glass, Skin Under Glass" 3,800 words; ey. September 2013/May 2015 (reprint). #ownvoices.
  • Sylver, RoAnna. The Lifeline Signal. 370 pages; xie. March 2017. #ownvoices?
  • Takács, Bogi. "The Handcrafted Motions of Flight." 80 lines; e. March 2012. #ownvoices.
  • Takács, Bogi. "The Need for Overwhelming Sensation." 5,200 words; e. September 2015. #ownvoices.

I'll probably make a separate list later that includes stories that use singular they and/or stories about nonbinary characters in general, but I wanted to focus on neopronouns here.

Comments are open; I can also be contacted on Twitter if you'd like to send more suggestions.