John Chu

writer, improviser, microprocessor designer, translator, podcast narrator

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Readercon schedule

(Actually, the con I went to next after Wiscon was 4th Street Fantasy. Accidentally did my first panel drunk. Accidentally ended up moderating my second panel. Messed up Hug Negotiation by not realizing that someone was asking for permission. Nobody got hugged although I would have consented had I realized. Oops. Lots of fun on balance. Met a lot of great people. Had a lot of terrific conversations. Also, there’s a supermarket right next to the con hotel! Yay!)

Readercon is coming up. My schedule goes like this:

Friday, July 10

12:30pm Reading

I’m going to read my short story “The Law and the Profits.” The story is a little too long to fit in the time slot. Hopefully, by Friday, I’ll have an adaptation that does fit…

7pm The Plausible Normal in Future Societies

Chesya Burke, John Chu, Sarah Langan, Adam Lipkin, Scott Lynch

According to author Charles Stross, “If you’re not doing...

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My WisCon schedule

For a bunch of years, I’ve wanted to go to WisCon but didn’t because of schedule conflicts. This weekend, I’m actually going, along with a bunch writers from my Clarion class. It’s been about five years since our Clarion and this WisCon is, as Leah Thomas puts it, our Clareunion.

Also, I’m part of a reading and am on two panels:

Saturday, May 23

Your Title Sucks! 10:30pm-11:45pm, Conference 1

A bunch of us from Clarion 2010 are going read excerpts from our work. I’m probably going to read the first scene from “勢孤取和 (Influence Isolated, Make Peace)”, my story that will be published in Queers Destroy Science Fiction in June.

Sunday, May 24

Towards More Realistic Fictional Diasporas 10:00am-11:15am, Conference 1

Many diasporic cultures in SFF are written shallowly. This is not how diasporas grow and change in our world’s actual history. Some diasporans freeze their moment of leaving...

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Life is a Ring of Keys

On Saturday, I saw Fun Home on Broadway and the Encores! concert production of Zorba. They both had amazing casts. I wish they both had amazing texts.

Fun Home is a musical based on the autobiographical comic of the same name by Alison Bechdel, best known for the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For and the Bechdel test. The musical (and I assume the original book) is centered around Alison and her father. As she discovers her own sexuality, she also discovers her father has been leading a closeted second life all along. I may be wrong about this, but Fun Home may be the first Broadway musical with a lesbian leading character.

After raves at the Public, it comes to Broadway with such expectations so high that they are essentially impossible to meet, much less exceed. If the show fails to run, it will be due to the inevitable backlash. And that would be a shame because the show is...

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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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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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