Category: Writing (page 1 of 8)

Reviews for Nueva Madre en Español

Editorial Cerbero’s Spanish edition of “The New Mother” (translated by Arrate Hidalgo) has been out for a few months now, and Nueva Madre‘s reception by its Spanish readership has been supremely heartening. The Goodreads responses—which I’ve never felt a desire to read for my publications in English, but discover I’m fascinated by now that I’m in translation—have been consistently positive. My most common reason for signing into Twitter lately has been to see if Arrate has flagged a new review for my attention.

The first one I can recall seeing was David Pierre’s review on his personal site. Machine translation informs me that he recommends the book, and says, “Nueva madre is a short science fiction novel that, in a masterly way, poses a future that seems odd to us, but that could destroy us as a society.”

Miriam Beizana at A Librería is not a frequent reader of SF, and seems skeptical of novella-length fiction, but seems to have enjoyed Nueva Madre despite those reservations. She says something that Google thinks means:

I have read many precious short novels that I will recommend ad nauseam. Virginia Woolf is an expert in this format, I could also quote The Hours of Michael Cunningham; or in a more indie look There are no fair men left in Sodoma by J. Font and the wonder of O derradeiro book by Emma Olsen by Berta Dávila. I can not avoid making a comparison between these titles and Yabarí , Mud or Chlorophilia . While the first ones remain as a reminiscence in my head, the seconds have a more fleeting life in my memories.

I have to say that with New Mother , maybe, maybe, I have found in this little book what I hope to find in a novel of these characteristics. Noting, that yes, that the 187 pages indicated in the technical sheet would be about 100 in a more common A5 size, which the achievement is even greater.

Ester Barroso Jaime wrote a review that I actually have a human translation of, thanks to my mother posting it on Facebook and getting a reply from a bilingual friend. They write:

Not all writers are so brave when it comes to writing, but Fischer is in The New Mother. With mastery, the author puts the finger on the sore spot, he makes the reader wonder and question things; he leads him, page after page, to think about the possibility that he has created. To what we give for granted and normal, he gives it a whole turn demonstrating that the meaning of “normal”, in any field, is arbitrary. And what is worse: the things that humans are capable of doing in order to maintain that structure called “normal”. Who are the monsters then? The “normal” ones who prefer to walk on the safe side or those who suffer from this pathology? Survival in its pure state is served.

It’s lovely to see a new group of readers engage with my story. Gracias a todos ustedes que compartieron sus reacciones a Nueva Madre.

Andy Duncan recommends “My Time Among the Bridge Blowers”

Among many other excellent things on his long list of 2017 science fiction, fantasy, and horror worthy of people’s attention, Andy Duncan was kind enough to include “My Time Among the Bridge Blowers” from The New Voices of Fantasy. I’m grateful to have a recommended reading list from someone who seems to have read so widely from last year’s publications. When it comes to fiction from 2017, if it wasn’t nominated for the Tiptree Award then I didn’t have a chance to read it. I’ll definitely be revisiting this post to catch things that I’d’ve otherwise missed. So for both the list itself, and my story’s inclusion thereon, thanks Andy.

Cover reveal for Nueva Madre

Here’s what the Spanish edition of “The New Mother” is going to look like. It’s the work of Cecilia García, and I adore it. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen an image of Tess, and she looks so much like she did in my head. I love the press badge, and the little picture of identical GDS siblings on her phone, and her wavy hair, and I especially love the uncertain look on her face. The bustle and blur of the city rising behind her is perfect, suggestive of the complex interplay of social forces Tess tries to navigate as she moves through the story. And that bright, full moon dominating the human skyline and framing the main character is symbolic of the themes in ways I’m sure don’t require elaboration. I’m also very pleased to see not just my name on there, but also Arrate Hidalgo’s, without whom Nueva Madre would not exist.

This beautiful thing will be available from Editorial Cerbero in November.

The New Fantasy anthology from Tachyon

Look at that gorgeous cover. This book is going to be amazing, and I’m pleased to announce it will include a new short story of mine, “My Time Among the Bridge Blowers.” I’ll have more to say about this story once it comes out, but for now I’m just thrilled to be a part of this collection with so many other writers I admire.

You can pre-order the anthology from the Tachyon Publications website here.

“The New Mother” in Science Fiction World

2016-09yiwen“The New Mother” was translated and published back in September by China’s (and the world’s) largest circulation science fiction magazine, Science Fiction World. In fact, given the circulation, it’s entirely possible that more people will have read this version of “The New Mother” than the one I originally wrote.

Now the contributor’s copies have made their way across the ocean to me.  Looking through it, though I can’t read the text, I notice a lot of interesting things.

  • My name, when translated into Chinese, is 尤金 费雪. I’m told this contains characters for both “gold” and “snow.”
  • There are many translation footnotes, most commonly for elements of the story dealing with acronyms and initials. All acronyms and initials are rendered in English characters in the text, then contextualized below. There is one footnote that, from context, is clearly explaining why, in English, a group with a condition called HCP might name their news magazine “The Hiccup.” More common acronyms, like DNA, are still printed in English, but not footnoted.
  • In the English version of the story, the journalistic passages that made up every other section were distinguished from the narrative passages by italics. In the Chinese version there is clearly a typeface distinction going on, but I don’t know how to characterize it. I want to say that the parts that were italicized in English are here rendered in sketchier, less blocky looking characters. I don’t know if that’s just same typeface’s equivalent of italics, or something more like a different font.
  • There’s a fantastic, manga-style illustration to open the story; a double page splash of angry people shouting across a hospital as young girls are pulled away from their mother, while in the center a religious figure with hooded eyes reads from a book while standing beneath a sign that says “KEEP QUIET.” Here’s the best scan I was able to get:

SFW Illustration

The Coode Street Podcast with Jo Walton and Me


At WorldCon in Kansas City I got the chance to join Jo Walton on the Coode Street podcast, hosted by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. We talked about writers that characterize different eras of science fiction, how science fiction differs rhetorically from fantasy (more detail on that here), and whether there’s a difference between the kinds of literary experimentation in the past and what is pursued today. As tends to happen, I fell a little bit into just listening to Jo be enviably clever, but I did get a chance to talk about the Iowa Writers’ Workshop’s modern support for genre writing, and contemporary writers who inspire me (going on for a bit about  Carmen Maria Machado and Meghan McCarron and Carola Dibbell). You can listen to the episode on the Coode Street site, on your podcast player of choice through iTunes, or via the embedded player below.

“The New Mother” included in Heiresses of Russ 2016


I’m quite please to say that “The New Mother” has been selected for inclusion in Lethe Press’s Heiresses of Russ 2016: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction, edited by A. M. Dellamonica and Steve Berman. This will be the first time my work appears in a reprint anthology. It looks to be a gorgeous book, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it and learn who I’m sharing the TOC with. “Heiress of Russ” is an appellation I never would have claimed for myself, but couldn’t be happier to receive. You can buy the book from Lethe’s site here.

“The New Mother” Places 2nd in Sturgeon Awards

Or, as I prefer to think of it, earns first place among all stories not written by Kelly Link, who won for “Game of Smash and Recovery.” Coming in second behind Kelly feels a hell of a lot like winning. It was also completely unexpected. In her opening comments at the Campbell & Sturgeon Memorial Awards Reception, Kij Johnson said that the conversation over picking a winner was always “peppery,” but that this year it was especially so. When she announced my name I was astonished. Here’s what she said:

Second Place, “The New Mother,” Eugene Fischer, Asimov’s, Apr/May 2015.

A new disease makes women able to have babies without sexual reproduction. The story, broken by a pregnant lesbian reporter with her own worries, interestingly explores a multiplicity of legal and cultural complexities that could arise in this situation, without compromising the personal angle. The story was masterfully written and exhibited some of the best craft of anything we read this year.

After the ceremony, she and several others approached me to reiterate how much they loved the story, and what a close choice it was. I spent hours drunk on the experience. Much thanks to the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction and the Sturgeon Award jury. Here are some photos.

“The New Mother” is a Finalist for the Sturgeon Award

Sturgeon-trophy-sThe Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction seems to have sent out a press release today, because various editors began congratulating their authors, so I think it’s safe for me to announce that “The New Mother” is a finalist the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. SFSignal has a list of all the finalists. I found out I was a finalist on the same day I found out I had won the Tiptree Award, a surreal 24 hours in which I got a wave of wonderful news that I was unable to talk about publicly. I told my parents though, and they were perhaps even more excited that I’m a finalist for the Sturgeon Award than they were that I won the Tiptree. As I’ve mentioned before, they spent some time with Sturgeon when they were both in Lawrence, Kansas, and credit him with strengthening their then-nascent relationship. So it’s arguable that I owe Ted Sturgeon some credit for my existence, and it’s certain that I grew up reading him, often from copies of books signed with his “ask the next question” symbol memorialized on the Sturgeon Award permanent trophy. So this particular award has tremendous personal significance.

“The New Mother” Won the Tiptree Award


I’m overwhelmed to announce that “The New Mother” has won the 2015 James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award, alongside the novel Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz. In addition, I’m sharing an honor list and long list with so many writers and artists and critics I admire that I don’t even know where to start. Just click through the link, and look at all the wonderful work that the Tiptree jury have highlighted this year. I’m sure I’ll have more to say soon, but for now I’m just gobsmacked and grateful.