“The Centaur’s Daughter”

“The Centaur’s Daughter” (published in A Capella Zoo, 2015) was reviewed at New Pages:

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s “The Centaur’s Daughter” achieves a more nuanced approach to a queer text. First and foremost a coming of age narrative, Ruby’s queerness is one part of her character. Ruby is half centaur and queer, and Stufflebeam uses language reminiscent of a mixed-race family to discuss Ruby’s parentage. When Ruby narrates, “I’m a combination of my parents, and so they will never understand me,” she speaks from a place of real cultural confusion. Her teenage life is not like the “Centaursploitation movies” Stufflebeam references, and while Ruby loves her centaur father, she is also frightened of him and embarrassed by him. Stufflebeam’s piece makes queerness familiar because Ruby is a queer character, but she is so much more in ways that are both relatable and strange.

The story is available in print and free online.

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“Trickier with Each Translation” in Lightspeed: Queers Destroy Science Fiction!

Queers Destroy Science Fiction! is a special issue of Lightspeed; all the editors and writers who worked on the issue identify as queer. My superhero story “Trickier with Each Translation” is exclusive to the ebook/print edition, available to purchase at $3.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback. Buy it here!

“Everything Beneath You” — Beneath Ceaseless Skies (January 2015)

My short story “Everything Beneath You” appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies in January 2015.

beneath-ceaseless-skiesFirst line: You don’t know me, but I changed the world.

Inspiration: In the late winter of 2014 I was having a rough time with depression. I wasn’t feeling excited about anything I wrote, and that combined with a break in therapy and the lack of sunlight brought on the worst funk I’ve experienced. Fed up with feeling awful, I decided that I needed to force myself to grab hold of any opportunities that presented themselves. When my sister asked me if I wanted to go with her to a local Lantern Festival, I said yes even though it felt like the last thing I wanted to do.

Each lantern display at the festival had a plaque. Most described Chinese myths. The myth that stood out the most to me was about seven fairy sisters. Having to keep up with my nephews, I took a picture of the plaque to read again later and moved on. I stood on a lantern boat shaped like a dragon. It cost money to board the stationary boat, and my partner only had enough for one of us. As I stood there looking at the water, I told myself I’d turn it into a story, partly as a thank-you to him for letting me have the experience over him and partly because I had to do something, anything, to lift my spirits.

The beauty of the festival–the bright lights, brisk air, and the presence of family–brought me out of my depression just enough to allow me to start the story. I wrote about a woman who felt confined to a body and a world that constricted her. I wrote about a woman with grand ambition; she wants a ship of her own, a body that she can alter as she pleases, love. Once I finished, I felt invigorated. Though the depression hadn’t completely gone, I was inspired to keep working. I pledged to write a novel within the year. I did. And when Beneath Ceaseless Skies took the story, I completed another goal: publication in one of my favorite magazines.

Read it for free: http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/everything-beneath-you/

Art: Whisper by Jennifer Stufflebeam

Acceptance in Lightspeed Queer Issue + Publication in EscapePod

Two bits of great news to report.

First, my post-apocalyptic story “Blight” has appeared in EscapePod, the audio SF magazine. Read it here: http://escapepod.org/2015/03/17/ep486-blight/.

Second, my story “Trickier With Each Translation” was accepted for the Lightspeed: Queers Destroy Science Fiction special issue highlighting queer science fiction. I don’t normally announce acceptances here, but I’m really psyched. I love Lightspeed and I love what they’re doing with the Destruction Series. Here’s the rest of the awesome lineup.

To read my essay from their successful Kickstarter campaign on why queer representation in SFF is important to me, click here.

“Everything Beneath You” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Read it here: http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/everything-beneath-you/

Based on a medley of myths, “Everything Beneath You” concerns a goddess, a dragon ship, and woman who wants it all. It’s my first publication in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and I am psyched to have work in one of my favorite magazines.