Earlier this year, my new short story, “The Burn,” was published as part of the Verge’s Better World series. It’s about how augmented reality helps researchers decode a global affliction up at! Inspired by the prescient themes of Hideo Kojima‘s Metal Gear Solid 2, I had a really fun time writing this.
On top of that, the audio adaptation is fantastic and I loved the production of it. Starring June Yoon, Jen Sujin Yoon, Isaac Lee, Andrew Hawkins, and adapted by Gautam Srikishan, I’ve listened to it multiple times and have enjoyed it each time.
The art by Arik Roper is wonderful and mysterious and so awesome. It was also great to work with the editorial team at the Verge as they helped shape the story. Check it out if you have a chance and make sure to listen to the audio adaptation too.
The last time I had a normal conversation with my brother, Tommy, we’d spent the afternoon painting mythic figures from Chinese lore in our garage. It was his final day of vacation before he went back to teaching at the art academy. We were both painting in the traditional style of guóhuà, using brushes dipped in ink and painting on paper. Although I wasn’t at his skill level, he was patient, giving me tips (and critiques) as needed. My subject was the legendary archer Hou Yi, who’d shot down nine of the 10 suns that revolved around Earth. I liked depicting Earth as a fiery inferno. By the time we finished, it was evening and my fingers were covered with ink calluses so I went to wash my hands. That’s when Tommy began screaming.