First off: I now have my copy of Moment of Change. Hooray!
(Unfortunately, instead of receiving the copy at my own door, I had to trudge to the Makati Central Post Office because the parcel was held up by Customs. A book! And I had to pay P40. This is the second time.)
Listening to Aliette de Bodard’s “Immersion”
“Immersion” is a science fiction story by Aliette de Bodard published in Clarkesworld. I haven’t read the story in text form, but I was able to listen to the audio download while jogging yesterday. It was such a compelling story, and such a beautiful audio adaptation by Kate Baker, that I didn’t notice the time passing by.
In “Immersion”, locals use immersers to assume the appearance, language and body cues of Galactic, a former colonizer. At the end of the reading, Kate talked a bit about the story, and I found it strange that she would read it simply as a story about addiction, that she would identify with Quy as a young woman who wants to help a junkie break a habit. It is not just about addiction. It is about being ensnared by the power of a (former) colonial master even in the age of (supposed) freedom. It is about being jailed in a mindset that there is a superior race, and you do not belong to it because your language is wrong, your skin color is wrong, your faith is wrong, you are wrong. It is about giving up your identity to join the majority, to avoid the hate, and how there is a price, and sometimes the price is too high.
I live in a country with a colonial past: 300 years under Spain, 50 years under the US, and there was a time when the Japanese took over and raped our women. Aliette is of French-Vietnamese descent (and she dedicated this story to Rochita Loenen-Ruiz), and you can see her understanding of the horrible effects of being a colony in this story. A colonizer’s hold doesn’t end with the declaration of a colony’s independence.
I’m so glad you wrote this story, Aliette. I could have cried.
Finally! I think I am a decade too late. I knew how the film would end (the Internet is rife with spoilers) but David Fincher’s masterpiece remains as powerful and as disturbing as ever. Watch it, if you haven’t already.
Adam David posted these on Facebook. Can’t wait for the launch!