‘Dream Command’ on Harlot Media

This is my first ever publication on a non-SFF venue. It’s still science fiction, but it’s very nearly devoid of science fictional or fantastical elements. Quite pleasing, altogether. One day I’ll write real literature yet.dreamcommand_1

‘Dream Command’ was written before ‘That Which Stands Tends Toward Free Fall’, and shares common ground with the latter (soldiers, sex), though it takes place in a different future. For what it’s worth, ‘That Which Stands’ – well – stands alone entirely, while ‘Dream Command’ shares a continuity with ‘Vector’, ‘Five Hundred and Ninety-Nine’ and ‘Ningyo’. Yes, I know: they all take place in relatively near-future Thailand (‘Ningyo’ in near-future Hong Kong). The main difference is in the shape of geopolitics. The world of ‘That Which Stands’ has none of the magic-realist engines present in ‘Dream Command’; instead, it has nation-warden AIs.

As with most of my stories featuring lesbians taking place in the immediate contemporary reality or near future, I’m acutely aware of the femme-butch identity map (or scale, or whatever). Depending on where you are from, I suppose, that may or may not be an inescapable part of subcultural queerness. The default assumption is usually that a butch woman will pair up with a femme one. Whenever possible, then, I write stories where multiple couples are femme/femme or butch/butch or neither, or poly. The same holds true here.


It’s a military SF thriller, but it’s also – as per tagging on Harlot – a queer, kinky story (whether it has sufficient sex to qualify as a erotica is your call). I had never written anything quite like it. Editorial guidance made me go outside my comfort zone, in a good way. A writer’s toolbox that doesn’t have a lot in it isn’t worth very much.

Altogether, I’m super delighted to have had a chance to work with Harlot, which is a most fine intersectional rag with best-in-class comment/community policy and timely commentary on transphobic bathroom bills, sex work, and decolonizing education. You can support them here.