For those who are new to Uncanny Magazine, all of the content will be available in the eBook version on the day of release. The free online content will be released in 2 stages- half on day of release and half on February 2, and my poem will be part of the release on February 2nd.
Readers who are interested in science fiction and fantasy from Uncanny Magazine can also get eBook subscriptions to Uncanny Magazine from Weightless Books, and you can support them on their Patreon. eBook subscriptions are also available through Amazon, so you can have the new issue of Uncanny Magazine sent directly to your Kindle device!
This issue's cover is by Priscilla H. Kim and is entitled "Round Three."
The other fiction for this issue includes “The Virgin Played Bass” by Maria Dahvana Headley, “The Creeping Women” by Christopher Barzak, “The Sincerity Game” by Brit Mandelo and “The Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar” by Rose Lemberg. All pieces worth taking a look at!
"The Narrative of the Naga's Heirs" blends a number of my poetic priorities this time around. A free verse piece,the most obvious reading will be one tied to the present Lao diaspora in the aftermath of the Southeast Asian wars of the 19th and 20th century, alluding to the legendary guardians of the Lao Theravada Buddhist temples, the Naga, who some sources consider serpent dieties or demigods before they took vows to protect the dharma and the Buddhist sangha.
To put together a poem like this is a challenge because I feel a complusion to hedge my bets a little. On the one hand, I'd certainly be happy if a thousand years from now, the Lao culture and society are still around, and this poem remains meaningful to them and speaks of our conflicted era in the 21st century. But I would hope it's not impossible for it be read if someone is non-Lao or if, later on down the road, our culture was taken off of the board. And in that reading, hopefully it might be of some deeper use or significance that inspires another generation.
In the US, it's very difficult for many of our culture makers to accept the idea that in some future Americans might not be a significant influence on global matters. When the US still possesses so many guns, atomic bombs, universities and law schools, how can it envision such a massive sea change?
But where all of this fits into my new poem will become apparent very soon.