John Chu

writer, improviser, microprocessor designer, translator, podcast narrator

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Defying Doomsday

Clearly, I’m still not blogging regularly. I can make all sorts of excuses, but it boils down to me not sitting down and just doing it on a regular basis. So, is blogging regularly something I even want to do? I’m not sure yet. Anyway…

Defying Doomsday is an anthology of apocalyptic survival fiction that edited by Holly Kench and Tsana Dolichva for Twelve Planet Press (who published the Aurealis Award winning YA spec-fic anthology, Kaleidoscope). It will be focused on characters with disabilities, chronic illness and other impairments. And I will have a story in it. It is also in the final days of its Pozible campaign

Normally, this is where I write about why we need this anthology. I’m not a big fan, though, of the idea of some anthology themes need to be justified while others we simply accept. I mean…

I can point out that we are used to reading disabled characters where their

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Free climbing is not about being at the top of the rock

To be honest, it’s been a while since I last climbed. I still have two pairs of ridiculously tight rock shoes, although one pair still needs to be resoled. My harness is still in good shape. Part of me thinks that I can hit the climbing wall today and pick up where I left off. The rest of me knows that, one, I’m rusty and, two, I’m about ten pounds heavier. Some of that extra weight might actually be useful–stronger back and legs, for example–and some of that might not. My bodyweight is distributed differently from how it used to be so there would have to be an adjustment in how I climb regardless.

That said, for years, I was free climbing at least once a week. It’s kind of like solving Go puzzles as you are doing squats and pull ups. You have to read the rock, then push and contort your body into the necessary positions to solve the climbing problem in front of you so that you can face

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It’s Boskone this weekend (and possibly yet another blizzard)

This weekend, it’s Boskone. Friday afternoon is free so you can try the con out to see if you like it before you commit for the weekend. (And since there may be a lot of snow coming Saturday night, Boskone may be quite the commitment this year.)

Anyway, here my Boskone schedule:

The Continuing Adventures of the QUILTBAG
Friday 18:00 - 18:50, Harbor II (Westin)

Our media may be starting to feature more characters and situations from the queer/questioning, undecided, intersex, lesbian, transgender/transsexual, bisexual, allied/asexual, gay/genderqueer (QUILTBAG) perspective, but there’s still a long way to go. How do we move from tokenism to full inclusion? We’ll discuss favorite characters, new challenges, and available resources for writers and readers.

John Chu (M), Susan Jane Bigelow, Justine Graykin, Julia Rios, Jill Shultz

Translation in SF and Fantasy
Saturday 10:00 - 10:50

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The Disadvantages of Living at the End of the T

Gales are diminishing somewhere. Tales are finishing somewhere. Somewhere out there. Not here. Here, we blog shows, arrange the snow mounds, go to lift.

If you don’t get the reference, I apologize. Actually, if you do get the reference, I apologize. Needless to say, we’re headed into yet another storm and I have a short story due. So, naturally, I’m going to blog about my weekend. As you do.

Saturday afternoon: Honeymoon in Vegas

Yes, it’s a musical now. And, oddly, an exceptionally expert pastiche of the sort of ‘60s musical that might have run for a season or two, become a modest hit, then forgotten. When I think of Vegas musicals, good or bad, I think of Golden Rainbow. While Honeymoon in Vegas does hit that very '60s ring-a-ding-ding rat pack vibe, we never get to Golden Rainbow levels of tackiness.

It’s a near thing though. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, there’s a

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Where I’ll be this weekend

Arisia! Here are the events I’m scheduled for:

Reading: Chu, Longyear, Shawl

Fri 5:30 PM 01:15

I’ll figure out what I’m reading between now and Friday. Probably something unpublished and still in-progress. In any case, the real reason to show up is for Barry Longyear and Nisi Shawl.

The Twelfth Doctor: Everybody Panic/Rejoice

Sat 2:30 PM 01:15

So we’ve now all seen Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. Is he everything we hoped for? He’s the first Doctor since Eccleston who has been prominent coming into the role; does that have an impact on how we view his character? Is the new Doctor too different from Smith and Tennant? How do folks feel about Stephen Moffat’s handling of the transition? We’ll talk about all our Twelfth Doctor thoughts in this panel.

Dialect in SF/F

Sat 7:00 PM 01:15

Classic literature and some SF have used dialect successfully, but much of our literature is written in received

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2014

The most important event of my life in 2014, unfortunately, was the death of my father in May. Nothing else stands up that. He’d been suffering from dementia for years. Maybe he’d already died when my mom had died. And yet, that, somehow, doesn’t make his death any less shocking or hurt any less.

The next most important event pales in comparison. 2014 is also the year I won a Hugo for my short story “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere”. That whole experience was fantastic in the literal sense. I keep expecting to wake up to find that I dreamed the whole thing. The story was my 3rd SFWA qualifying sale (and 4th overall). I’ll do my best to live up to the promise of that Hugo win.

In 2014, I published three short stories:

  • “Repairing the World” edited by Sigrid Ellis for Apex Magazine
  • “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade” edited

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Twenty-four hours can go so fast…

On the Town is an odd beast. It follows three sailors in 1944 (the year of the musical’s original production) on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City. One sailor, Ozzie, wants get laid. One sailor, Chip, wants to see all the famous sites. One sailor, Gabey, sees a picture of Miss Turnstiles on subway, falls instantly in love, wants find her. How the musical is constructed, though, and how much it is a work of its time makes it not the easiest musical to revive.

With character names like Brünnhilde Esterhazy and Claire de Lune, it’s clearly not a show you’re supposed to take all that seriously. Like many musicals, especially of the period, it takes place in a stylized fantasyland where, honestly, the innate redemptive nature of American Musical Comedy may be the only reason why everything works out by the final curtain. Naturally, all three sailors find and pair up with their true

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So I won a Hugo

I have no memory of winning the Hugo. I never heard John Clute say the name of my story or my name. I was sitting among friends so I have this vague memory of people screaming around me. I barely remember walking on stage and hitting my mark with the Hugo in hand. However, I don’t remember actually receiving the Hugo or setting it on the table near the podium.

When I realized that my acceptance speech was not in my pocket, my improv training kicked in. I remember recreating the speech in my head, saying the first sentence, and Steph running to the stage to give me the speech that fell out of my pocket when I stood to go to the stage. (Thank you, Steph, for preventing me from making a major fool of myself.) Once I started reading the prepared speech, though, my next clear memory is walking behind the stage with the Hugo. At some point, I must have delivered my prepared speech then picked

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Spec fic in August

 The Past

My story “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade” is now live at Tor.com. It was edited by the brilliant Ann VanderMeer and features an amazing piece of Julie Dillon cover art.

It actually went live on July 30th. I just didn’t have time to blog about it until now.

Here’s the teaser blurb:

Generation after generation, engineers have maintained the barricade, a shield that protects civilization against Turbulence, this strange force that destroys both minds and machines. As Turbulence grows ever more intense and the barricade begins to fail, can Ritter live up to the demands of his father, an engineer the equal of any hero in the Five Great Classical Novels, as they struggle to prevent this civilization from falling like every civilization has before it?

 The Present

Kaleidoscope, an anthology of diverse YA speculative fiction

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My LonCon3 Schedule

After a little back-and-forth, I now have my schedule for LonCon 3, aka the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, aka WorldCon. I’m a little sad that the panel discussing the Best FanCast finalists couldn’t find enough qualified panelists for the time slot. The 7(!) finalists are all awesome in their own way and it would have been fun to talk about them.

On the plus side, I have a reading! That’s genuinely a pleasant surprise. The programme committee has come up with a bunch of really interesting panels. (If I understand correctly, there should also be a “The World at WorldCon: Chinese SF.” I’m really looking forward to seeing that panel.)

We’ll see how it goes…

 Stroll with the Stars

Saturday 09:00 - 10:00, Front of Aloft (ExCeL)

This will be a nice morning stroll with some of our favourite Authors, Artists and Editors. (And we stress, “stroll” - def: a leisurely walk. This will

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