New Story: Variations on a Theme from Turandot

A new story is out today, “Variations on a Theme from Turandot,” in the May 14 issue of Strange Horizons.

This is a story with an unusually long story behind it. I first started wanting to write something like it in 2010. What started as a vague “I want to write a fix-it fic” urge became exponentially more complicated and strange the more I thought about it, and then the various beta reads, personal rejections, and rewrite requests I received only complicated it even more.

Turandot is an absurd, racist, sexist, Orientalist, rape-culture-endorsing, absolutely-no-sense-making opera that Puccini never actually finished writing. It is also my favorite opera. I am a complicated person.

As I have time (which is unfortunately in short supply right now, because grad school) I will hopefully be able to post some story notes, talking about the research and rewrites that went into this story. For now, you can simply read and enjoy. But do take care to check the content warnings first, please, because shit gets dark in Turandot and my feeble attempts to grapple with that subject matter have only made it darker.