PseudoPod 492 Replay: The Fisher Queen & The Eugie Award

Escape Artists would like to draw your attention to a fantastic event happening next week at DragonCon, the Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction.

Eugie Foster

This annual award will be presented for the first time in 2016—for works published in 2015.The Eugie Award honors stories that are irreplaceable, that inspire, enlighten, and entertain. It will shine the spotlight on stories that are beautiful, thoughtful, and passionate. That change us and the field. The recipient will be a story that is unique and will become essential to speculative fiction readers.

The finalists for this award are:

“The Deepwater Bride” by Tamsin Muir
“Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong
“The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild” by Catherynne M. Valente
“Pocosin” by Ursula Vernon
“Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight” by Aliette De Bodard

To highlight how fantastic these authors are, we are re-running three stories on Escape Pod, PodCastle, and Pseudopod:

Escape Pod 408: Immersion by Aliette De Bodard
Podcastle 198: Urchins, While Swimming by Catherynne M. Valente
Pseudopod 492: The Fisher Queen by Alyssa Wong

Also make sure to check out Ursula Vernon’s story “Jackalope Wives” available to read for free at Mothership Zeta. And mark November on your calendar for an upcoming story by Tamsin Muir.


Pseudopod 492: The Fisher Queen

Alyssa Wong

by Alyssa Wong

“The Fisher Queen” was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2014. It is available to read free online at fu-GEN.org. “The Fisher Queen” was on the shortlist for the 2014 Nebula along with Eugie Foster’s last story, “When It Ends, He Catches Her” which ran last year on Pseudopod. It has been translated into Chinese, French, and German. “The Fisher Queen” is set up in the fashion of traditional oral storytelling, where truth and myth blend together. However, it’s about the very real effects of societal, systematic violence against women.

Alyssa Wong is a Shirley Jackson-, and World Fantasy Award-nominated author, shark aficionado, and 2013 graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. She made the shortlist for the 2015 Stoker Award and won the 2015 Nebula Award for “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” which you should go check out at Nightmare Magazine. Her work has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and Black Static, among others. She is an MFA candidate at North Carolina State University and a member of the Manhattan-based writing group Altered Fluid, and can be found on Twitter @crashwong. Alyssa Wong has been deservedly shortlisted for the Joseph W. Campbell Award for New Writers this year, and “The Fisher Queen” is part of why she made it to the list.

Your narrator – Mae Heaney is originally from Manila, Philippines and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her Irish husband, 2 young children and Parmi the Chook. She is an IT professional who once briefly dabbled in theater, and loves to bake to tame the voices in her head. She is very successful in changing nappies under five minutes, but fails miserably in trying to read her toddler’s mind and in updating her blog celticpinaymom.blogspot.com.

Your guest host this week is Associate Editor Dagny Paul. Dagny is an 8th-grade English teacher who lives in New Orleans with her husband and four-year-old son. She has an unhealthy (but entertaining) obsession with comic books and horror movies.

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MY MOTHER WAS A FISH. That’s why I can swim so well, according to my father, who is a plain fisherman with a fisherman’s plain logic, but uncanny flair for the dramatic. And while it’s true that I can cut through the water like a minnow, or a hand dipped over the edge of a speedboat, I personally think it’s because no one can grow up along the Mekong without learning two things: how to swim, and how to avoid the mermaids.

Mermaids, like my father’s favorite storytale version of my mother, are fish. They aren’t people. They are stupid like fish, they eat your garbage like fish, they sell on the open market like fish. Keep your kids out of the water, keep your trash locked up, and if they come close to land, scream a lot and bang pots together until they startle away. They’re pretty basic.

My sisters tried to talk to a mermaid once. It was caught up in one of Dad’s trammel nets, and when they went to check the net out back behind the house, they found this mermaid tangled in it. It was a freshwater one, a bottom-feeder, with long, sparse hair whose color my sisters still argue about to this day. Iris, the oldest, felt bad for it and made May splash some water on its fluttery gills with her red plastic pail. She asked the mermaid if it was okay, what its name was. But it just stared at her with its stupid sideways fish eyes, mouth gaping open and closed with mud trickling out over its whiskers. Then Dad came home and yelled at Iris and May for bringing in the nets too early and touching the mermaid, which probably had sea lice and all kinds of other diseases.

Pseudopod 428 Replay & The Eugie Award

Eugie Foster

Pseudopod would like to draw your attention to a fantastic announcement this week, the Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction. The Eugie Award will celebrate the best in innovative fiction. This annual award will be presented for the first time in 2016—for works published in 2015—at Dragon Con, the nation’s largest fan-run convention.

The Eugie Award honors stories that are irreplaceable, that inspire, enlighten, and entertain. It will shine the spotlight stories that are beautiful, thoughtful, and passionate. That change us and the field. The recipient will be a story that is unique and will become essential to speculative fiction readers. We look forward to seeing the list of finalists, which will be announced in the not too distant future.

This award reflects what Eugie gave to us. She was inspiring, enlightening, and entertaining. Words fail to convey how much she meant to us as a creator and as a human.

To remember how irreplaceable Eugie is to us all, we are re-running episode 428, “When It Ends, He Catches Her” which includes the Escape Artists memoriam at the end. It was a Nebula finalist along with this week’s story, “The Fisher Queen” by Alyssa Wong. For those of you who are new to the podcast, this is an essential part of the back catalog not to be missed. For those of you who have stuck around these parts, I encourage you to give it another listen.

We look forward to celebrating Eugie and other authors and their unforgettable stories through this new award.

To find out more about and keep track of this new juried award, please check out the award page: http://www.eugiefoster.com/eugieaward

Pseudopod 428: “When It Ends, He Catches Her” by Eugie Foster

“When It Ends, He Catches Her” was originally published in Daily Science Fiction in September 2014. Many thanks to Matthew Foster for sharing this story with us and you.

Eugie Foster was an American short story writer, columnist, and editor. Her stories have been published in a number of magazines and book anthologies, including Fantasy Magazine, Realms of Fantasy, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, and Interzone. Her collection of short stories, Returning My Sister’s Face and Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice, was published in 2009. After receiving her master’s degree in psychology, she retired from academia to pen flights of fancy.  She also edited legislation for the Georgia General Assembly, which from time to time she suspected were another venture into flights of fancy. She was also a director for Dragon Con and edited their onsite newsletter, the Daily Dragon.

Eugie received the 2009 Nebula Award for Best Novelette for “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” which you can listen to over on EscapePod. There are over twelve hours of Eugie Foster’s stories and narrations here at Escape Artists. We encourage you to (re) listen to them.

She’s also been a finalist for the Hugo, Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press, and British Science Fiction Association awards. Foster died at Emory University Hospital on September 27, 2014 from respiratory failure, a complication of treatments for Large B-Cell Lymphoma. The day Foster died, Daily Science Fiction published her last story, “When it Ends, He Catches Her.” This story was short listed for the Nebula Award.

Check out all her fiction showcased on Escape Artists here: http://escape-artists.wikia.com/wiki/Eugie_Foster

Your reader – Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series, from Tor Teen. Ironskin, her first fantasy novel, was a Nebula finalist. Her stories have appeared in Women Destroy SF, Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many more. Her narrations have appeared in audiobooks and podcasts including Podcastle, Pseudopod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, John Joseph Adams’ The End is Nigh series, and more. She runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. SERIOUSLY WICKED for Tor Teen will be released May 5, 2015.

Music in the outro is “Cylinder Nine” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive.

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“The dim shadows were kinder to the theater’s dilapidation. A single candle to aid the dirty sheen of the moon through the rent beams of the ancient roof, easier to overlook the worn and warped floorboards, the tattered curtains, the mildew-ridden walls. Easier as well to overlook the dingy skirt with its hem all ragged, once purest white and fine, and her shoes, almost fallen to pieces, the toes cracked and painstakingly re-wrapped with hoarded strips of linen. Once, not long ago, Aisa wouldn’t have given this place a first glance, would never have deigned to be seen here in this most ruinous of venues. But times changed. Everything changed.

Aisa pirouetted on one long leg, arms circling her body like gently folded wings. Her muscles gathered and uncoiled in a graceful leap, suspending her in the air with limbs outflung, until gravity summoned her back down. The stained, wooden boards creaked beneath her, but she didn’t hear them. She heard only the music in her head, the familiar stanzas from countless rehearsals and performances of Snowbird’s Lament. She could hum the complex orchestral score by rote, just as she knew every step by heart.

Act II, scene III: the finale. It was supposed to be a duet, her as Makira, the warlord’s cursed daughter, and Balege as Ono, her doomed lover, in a frenzied last dance of tragedy undone, hope restored, rebirth. But when the Magistrate had closed down the last theaters, Balege had disappeared in the resultant riots and protests.”

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