Check this out! I guess nobody noticed it before today. My novel The Wan was reviewed in Strange Horizons in april! Strange Horizons! Yay!
“And in The Wan, Bo Balder takes this idea and gives it two thoughtful twists. The first is that, after several generations of colonisation, this colony is dying. Human fertility plummets, and the implication is that it’s because the interaction between coloniser and colonised is fundamentally toxic. Humans can survive for a while, but their digestive system is simply not adapted to the vegetation that evolved on this new world. The plants and animals they originally brought with them from Earth are no longer sufficient, and the fundamental mismatch between organisms is slowly killing the planetary interlopers.
This is a great idea. It is supplemented by an ever better one, an idea that really piques that sci-fi staple, the sense of wonder.”
It’s a very long and thoughtful review, and in spite of some criticism, I really appreciate it.
Every year Lethe Press does a roundup of the Best Lesbian Fiction of the year, called Heiresses of Russ. This year my F&SF story ‘A House of her Own’ is in it, in an awesome TOC full of famous writers, edited by Alyx Dellamonica.
Here’s the line-up:
Grandmother ley-neylit’s Cloth of Winds by Rose Lemberg
The Occidental Bride by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
The Devil Comes to the Midnight Café by A.C. Wise
And We Were Left Darkling by Sarah Pinsker
A House of Her Own by Bo Balder
Love in the Time of Markov Processes by Megan Arkenberg
Where Monsters Dance by Merc Rustad
Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong
Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma
The Wollart Nymphs by Melissa Scott
The New Mother by Eugene Fischer
Eldritch Brown Houses by Claire Humphrey
The Tip of the Tongue by Felicia Davin
Where Can a Broken Glass Mend? by Sonya Taaffe
A Residence for Friendless Ladies by Alice Sola Kim
The Deepwater Bride by Tamsyn Muir
Doubt the Sun by Faith Mudge
A week after acceptance, my story “Follow the White Line” is up at Clarkesworld! I can’t quite believe it. It’s gone so fast. Normally you wait weeks and more usually months for an acceptance ( it was 5 days), then wait more months for the story to appear ( it was a week.)
But it’s real! I’m super excited and proud to have a story in a magazine as fabulous as Clarkesworld.
Finally my sf book The Wan is published.
Quote from Jeff Vandermeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy:”Inventive and energetic, with a truly unique SF premise. A promising debut from one of my favorite publishers.”
Quote from Ferret Steinmetz, author of Flex: “A near-perfect blending of fantasy and sf, The Wan takes a crazy biological idea and pushes it to its limit.”
Quote from Sylvia Volk, author of City and Dragon: “”Bo Balder’s The Wan is bizarre and gritty sf, funny when you least expect it, with no-holds-barred weirdness at every turn of the plot. The heroine Frog will win hearts. She’s the lowest of the low – abused, attacked, abandoned – but she never gives up, and her journey from slavery to empowerment takes place against the backdrop of nothing less than an apocalypse …”
Read my time travel story ” The MEaning that You Choose” in Crossed Genres November 2015.
– Tell us a bit about “A House of Her Own.”
It’s set on a human colony world which has been cut off from Earth for a long time. Humans have gotten into a symbiotic relationship with local flora/fauna, the hice. They’ve replaced the hice’s old commensal species. When tax collectors from Earth return to reclaim the old colony, they don’t know how to deal with this relationship; they can’t even see it.
– What was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?
As a teenager when I was taught English in school, I’d wonder at the lack of regularity in plurals and always thought house should be conjugated like mouse. One day, decades later, that notion popped up again in my head and the hice grew from there pretty quickly.
I’m always fascinated at humanity relating to the other, to creatures that have goals and worldviews completely unlike their own.
– Was “A House of Her Own” personal to you in any way? If so, how?
I think a story is always personal. But specifically, I was an odd, fierce little girl. I dressed as a boy whenever I could to escape the strictures of being a girl in those days. I had a lot of freedom, I could roam our village without any supervision all day long, climbing trees, making fires, fighting. That gave me independence and also the idea that adults were idiots. I thought I knew everything.
My protagonist is a girl who doesn’t have to deal with notions about girlhood, but she’s as fierce and stubborn as I was.
At the same I’m writing this as an adult, my readers are adult, so that gives this story more layers, because adults see the gray instead of the black and white and look ahead for the inevitable consequences.
– What would you want a reader to take away from this story?
Primarily, I hope they’ll just enjoy it. And for those readers who want more, maybe remember their own childhood state of mind and how different they view things now. And there’s the clash of cultures, of colonization, and how easy it is to think from the preconceptions of your own culture.
“A House of Her Own” appears in the September/October 2015 issue of F&SF. You can buy that issue here: https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/toc1509.htm
And, you can subscribe to F&SF here, and never miss another great issue: https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/subscribe.htm
CONTRARY to the title of this anthology, working with such a talented cast of writers is an opportunity that usually comes once in a lifetime. From best-selling to greenhorn, independent or traditionally-published, the authors in this anthology span all ranges in addition to spanning the globe—from England to Australia and all over the United States. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know each and every one of them, and they have become a part of my extended family. I’ve even caught a glimpse of a secret side of them that only another writer…editor…is privy to witness through their words.
Through this series of posts, I plan on introducing you to my new family through a mini-interview of each. You may not get a chance to see their secret side, but you’ll get a sneak-peek into their minds, their passions and inspirations, and what made them the writers they are today.
..The Mini Interview..
1. At what age did you start writing?
As soon as I could—6 or 7?
2. Which book introduced you to Speculative Fiction?
John Christopher‘s Tripod series. I was stunned to realize people could think about exciting stuff like that. I wanted more…
3. Do you have an all-time favorite book? What about it makes it your favorite?
The Crown of Stars by Kate Elliott. Not only does it depict a greatly realistic, detailed early Middle Ages, it has a kickass heroine, a wide scope, mythic creatures, love, wars, magic…
I can keep rereading it, it’s too complex to keep in your head so there’s never any boredom.
4. Which author and/or book inspired you to start writing?
Jack Vance. I just loved his ironic details and grotesque imagination. I wanted to be just like him…all my teenage work is one big Vance pastiche.
5. What would you say is the most important lesson all writers should learn?
You have to find a way to show yourself through your words.
6. Of the entire publishing process, which would you say is the most difficult aspect to endure?
The waiting. Months, sometimes even years, to get an answer from a publisher or a magazine.
7. From where did the inspiration for your submission arise?
The Yde Girl was an actual bog corpse found in my country.
8. If applicable, did you have a favorite character (to write) from your story? If so, what sets them apart from the others?
My protagonist, because she tries so hard to fit in and to be loyal, and she has to make a choice to leave her family.
9. On what projects are you currently working?
A near-future, optimistic sf novel/series of shorts. I took up the challenge to write utopian instead of dystopian for a change….
Read Bo’s story, Bog Trade, in your very own copy of Twice Upon A Time today!
..About the Author..
Bo is a freelance writer who lives and works in the ancient Dutch city of Utrecht, close to Amsterdam. When she isn’t writing, you can find her madly designing knitwear, painting, or reading anything and everything from Kate Elliott to Iain M. Banks or Jared Diamond.
Her fiction has appeared in Penumbra, Electric Spec and quite a few anthologies. Her sf novel, The Wan, will be published in 2015 by Pink Narcissus Press.
..Connect with the Author..