“The Thick Night” now up at Strange Horizons

The subject line says it all: my sf short “The Thick Night” is now available to peruse for free on Strange Horizons.

This was actually a story that I wrote for an auction to support aid efforts in flood-stricken (at that time) Pakistan. A friend won me, and said she wanted to see something about gender and women and robots, which was something that we had been talking about anyway. Where Uganda came from, I’m not entirely sure, except that perhaps I just was having a hard time thinking of any other stories that had featured robots and androids in a non-Western setting–I know there are some, I just couldn’t think of any at the time–and it seemed like something that might make for an interesting time.

In the end, it was also a love story, a story about free will, a meditation on the failures of development and humanitarian aid, and an attempt to write explicitly about postcolonialism in a fictional setting… something that has been done many other times and done better than this, but I hope I did at least a passable job.

I’ve never been to Uganda (or anywhere in Africa), I’m extremely privileged, and I’m white as the driven snow. I made a sincere effort to get past these things and deal respectfully and intelligently with my subject matter. That said, I may have gotten some things wrong. I’m almost sure that I have. If so, cry pardon–I am always trying to do better than I did before.

Special thanks to Jed Hartman for being great to work with and really proving instrumental in pulling this thing into the best shape reasonably possible.

I hope people enjoy the story.

4 thoughts on ““The Thick Night” now up at Strange Horizons

  1. Kim says:

    Just read your story over at Strange Horizons, and I absolutely loved it! I will be looking for more of your writing in the future. : )

  2. Erin Cole says:

    I enjoyed this story very much. Mkali was indeed a proud woman, not afraid to plead and be bold at the same time. Love the mix of non-Western civilization, robots, and mixed-gender love, how unusual is that?

  3. S says:

    Thank you so much, Erin! I really was trying to do something unusual and it makes me happy that you liked it. 😀

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