Author: Isaac Yuen

Neutrino

Proxies, Orca: A Literary Journal

Happy to have a new short story out in a special literary-speculative issue of Orca: A Literary Journal: “We champion language that is erudite, beautiful, and thought-provoking and stories that are engaging and rich in their depth. We are NOT interested in polemics or stories that tell a reader how he/she/they should think. Instead, we appreciate work that is high concept, imaginative, thoughtful, even speculative, and open to possibilities. The world is shades of gray and our written word should reflect that.” – An interview with Orca co-founder Zachary Kellian “Proxies” is a Donald Barthelme-inspired epistolary tale about someone who reluctantly agrees to go on a date with a neutrino, that most elusive and mysterious of elementary particles. An excerpt: “…I think it happened when she brought up Calvino. I had never met anyone who wanted to chat Calvino. I guess when you’re drifting through space and don’t have to worry about bumping into things you have time to mull over invisible cities and people living their entire lives in trees without ever coming down. …

Link and the Forest Temple Jeremy Fenske

Newfound, Journeys to HYRULE_

Delighted that my latest piece of creative nonfiction titled “Journeys to HYRULE_” has found the perfect home with Newfound, a nonprofit publisher and publication that explores how place shapes, identity, imagination, and understanding: “We believe that a richer experience of place—spaces human-made, natural, conceptual, or otherwise—is requisite in understanding ourselves and our world. Newfound is passionate about positively transforming how we relate to our habitats and bringing about better stewardship of our homes, neighborhoods, communities, cities, nations, and the globalized world at large.” —Why is Newfound important? Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda videogame series (both of which I have written about here on Ekostories), “Journeys” is a rumination on the lifelong bonds I’ve forged with a certain virtual world. I was particularly interested in exploring the notion of attachment to a digital realm that is constantly reimagined with each iteration, along with the feeling of returning to a familiar place I have never been: “…This is not my story but I know its shape. I am not the …

Life Lessons from the Odd and Ancient, The Hopper

Pleased to have a new natural history essay up at The Hopper, an environmental literary magazine from Green Writers Press. The germ of this came about when I was piecing together an impromptu interpretive talk on living fossils and extinct creatures a few years back. Looking through horseshoe crabs, replica Megalodon teeth, and Cretaceous cypress needles, I was inspired by the many bizarre and under-appreciated organisms throughout Earth’s history, and felt compelled to share some of their stories through wordplay and lyrical prose: “If you’ve been feeling adrift on the sea of life lately, it might be best to seek guidance from an elder. You may wish to fish one out of the drink, like Captain Hendrik Goosen did one salty morning off the coast of South Africa in 1938, but be sure to verify its credentials first, as curator Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer did after spotting the creature’s four fleshy fins and puppy dog tail. Surprised at being consulted after four hundred million years, the coelacanth may be inclined to impart its accrued wisdom onto receptive devotees. …

Lammergeir by Lip Kee

Lammergeier, Journeys to Earthsea

Thrilled that my newest personal essay has found a home in the debut issue of Lammergeier, a literary publication named after one of the coolest birds around: “Lammergeier, as with so many artistic visions, starts with a bird. Lammergeiers eat almost exclusively bones. Using its large, powerful wings, the lammergeier drops bones from the great heights to crack them open and access the marrow inside. The lammergeier is also renowned for its plumage: brilliant rusty-hued feathers and dark, bristled faces created both by the luck of birth and the wear and tear of its mountain habits. We here at Lammergeier look for the beautiful vulture, the wonder uncovered digging through the grotesque, the sustaining viscera inside the carcass.” – About Us, Lammergeier “Journeys to Earthsea” delves into the trips I’ve made over the decades to what is arguably the most famous fictional archipelago: “Narveduen. The name is what draws my eye. NAR-VE-DU-EN. The sound is what holds true. Surrounding it, the isles of Derhemen, Onon, and Hille. South and west, the scraps of rock above …

Big Blue

Our Museum of the Future – Shenandoah

Humbled and honoured to contribute a short story to the latest issue of Shenandoah Literary Magazine. I had the good fortune of working on “Our Museum of the Future” with editor Beth Staples, whose new vision for the venerable publication is one I find compelling: “…I consider it my job to privilege voices that don’t fit into that category, not just because it’s the right thing to do to counteract many years of established practice, but because reading is one of a very few ways we can jump into the mind of someone else.” The fundamental purpose of literature in Staples’ view is “to expand the reader’s sense of the world and their place in it. It should also be one of our goals for being alive: stepping into another person’s shoes and practicing radical empathy.” – Radical Rebirth, The Columns “Our Museum of the Future” grew out of the conceit that there exists a public space where words are showcased and curated in the same fashion as bones: “Welcome to a museum of words instead of bones. …