Wednesday, March 04, 2015

[Poem] Narcissus of Vientiane, 5225

image by Romain Chauvet
“I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait.”- Salvador Dali

Here, observe:
Betrayal is common currency,
Pursuing truths going rightfully extinct.

Preserving your memories
As if they are celestial jewels,
Only the false seem authentic
Among modern souls, a liability
Between these circuits and glass
We mistake for meaningful eyes
Caked with detritus
After so many stellar centuries.

To remember invites accusation
By which your children prosper.
Loyalty is a labyrinth with many ends.

We have become gilt eidolons
Marching towards our disintegration.
Our furnaces are our future.

Flee as you will, innocent as you believe,
Judgement is passed, if not for this lifetime
Than your next, in the absence of evidence,
Or incriminating coincidence.
Enormous justice, worth enormous expense.

Returning, just to hear
A sincere sabaidee

She welcomes us in the salon
Of her heart, one day a mother
Dreaming of the devouring.
Her devoted children cannot
Subsist on baubles of mere fact,
Appraising her for a plausible rumor,
A good night’s sleep.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Building A Lao Science Fiction Tradition

Part of the process of being a writer building a science fiction tradition for the community has been trying to find ways to help a community imagine itself in the future. And frankly, this isn't quite easy. Even with some of our most talented artists, I've found the effort stymied by a tragic lack of imagination in many, and a question of egos with others that unfortunately undercuts much of their effectiveness getting their work out there. 

That's why I'm happy to see the work of artists like Sayon Syprasoueth and Nor Sanavongsay who are consistently getting imaginative work out there in the Lao speculative tradition. But one of my side projects this year has also been commissioning concept art that will one day serve as inspiration and sparks for my students and proteges about the possible. Some have expressed concerns that I'm using many non-Lao artists to handle Lao subjects, but that's part of the process: That Lao artists can see how non-Lao do or don't get elements right when trying to present a topic. 

But here are some of the fun results that have come in this month. Some original concepts, others inspired by classic science fiction scenes of the 20th century, but re-imagined. Some of the upcoing images comes from the development phase of my current Laomerica project, which postulates an alternate history where, instead of forming in North America, the United States had emerged in Southeast Asia instead with the 16 provinces rather than the 13 colonies.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Laos in the House: Voices from Four Decades of the Lao Diaspora

Catzie Vilayphonh in Philadelphia had an exciting announcement this week:
"After what seems like years of preparation, we are proud to announce the opening of our very gallery first exhibit "Laos in the House: Voices from Four Decades of the Lao Diaspora" running from March 6 - May 1, 2015 at the Asian Arts Initiative. Presented for the very first time in Philadelphia, this visual exhibit from Lao American artists reflects over 40 years in diaspora. Featuring historic war drawings by survivors of the U.S. bombings, illustrations of refugee camp photos, and digital interpretations of Lao folk tales, this integration of storytelling with art seeks to engage community members to share their own personal stories, adding their voices to the larger collective narrative that makes them uniquely Lao American."
Be sure to check it out when it opens!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Guest of Honor at CONvergence 2015: Doubleplusgood

I'm delighted to announce that I have accepted an invitation to be one of the Guests of Honor at the 2015 CONvergence convention in Minnesota this July. I look forward to seeing everyone there that weekend!

CONvergence is an annual convention for fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy in all media: a 4-day event with more than 6,000 members, and the premiere event of its kind in the upper mid-west. This year's theme is Doubleplusgood,