E.G. Condé writes speculative fiction, fantasy, and horror.
E.G. Condé (he/him/Él) is a queer diasporic Boricua writer of speculative fiction and fantasy. Condé is one of the creators of “Taínofuturism”, an emerging artistic genre that imagines a future of indigenous renewal and decolonial liberation for Borikén (Puerto Rico) and the archipelagos of the Caribbean.
Condé (he/him/Él) is the author of Sordidez, a climate fiction novella set in the Yucatán peninsula and the Caribbean sea, forthcoming with Stelliform Press in July 2023. His short fiction appears in Anthropology & Humanism, If There’s Anyone Left, Reckoning, EASST Review, Tree and Stone, Sword & Sorcery, Solarpunk Magazine, and FABLE: An Anthology of Sci-Fi, Horror & The Supernatural.
Condé is also an anthropologist of technology and a freelance writer on the sustainability of digital infrastructures (as Steven Gonzalez Monserrate). When he isn’t conjuring up faraway universes, you might find him hiking through sand dunes or playing 2D JRPGs from the 1990s. Follow him on social media via @CloudAnthro
steven.conde.writer (at) gmail dot com
- Review | “Linghun” by Ai Jiang
HOME is where the heart is. It’s one of those cliché expressions that never dies because there is a kernel of truth to it. HOME is an idea. A dream of belonging, fulfillment, and constancy in a world so turbulent and unforgiving. In Ai Jiang’s Linghun, HOME is much more than that. It is a place people go to chase ghosts. A wound in the spiritual fabric where those long vanished might decide to haunt the living, if they are so fortunate. Unlike so many ghost stories you might have read, the ghosts of Linghun are not only welcome but sought after by those that mourn their absence. Desperate to reunite with those that they have lost, they uproot themselves from their homes to relocate to HOME, an enchanted community where the dead cohabitate with the living. But the path is not so simple. HOME does not have an endless supply of homes.
Lured by a charismatic realtor, who convinces them to empty their life savings and live out of their cars, hopefuls come to bid on houses, squatting on the lawns of their prospective neighbors, waiting for their turn. Like their deceased ancestors and loved ones, they linger, sacrificing everything for even a fleeting glimpse of departed spirits. This is the horror of Linghun. Not the spectral shapes that stalk the halls or the phantom voices that whisper in the dark. The shadow that haunts HOME is the shadow of greed – those dark depths of grief that transform us into something monstrous and selfish as we chase after ghosts. For anyone who has mourned, or anyone who has had to say goodbye and didn’t want to, Linghun will haunt you, but it will also help you heal, as it reminds us that letting go of those who have gone is also about letting them rest.
- Review | Voodoonauts Presents: (ReLiving) Mythology, A Collection of Black Magical Stories & Poetry
“Her Black was Beautiful, expansive, endless, eternal, the only”
– L.P. Kindred
“I write to create myself.”Octavia Butler
These are the words of the late Octavia Butler, a legend whose creativity and brilliance continue to dazzle our world; a trailblazer who recognized that writing is genesis, and that words are worlds. Pitted against a racist and sexist literary elite, raised in a world where her story was deemed unworthy of telling, where the wonder and beauty of Black voices and storytelling traditions were devalued and dismissed, Butler achieved the impossible. What she accomplished in her luminous career was nothing short of magic.
“Her Black was Beautiful, expansive, endless, eternal, the only” writes L.P. Kindred, one of many magnificent contributors to (Re)Living Mythology: A Collection of Black Magical Stories & Poetry, published by Android Press. Kindred’s “Stars Born Blue” is a creation myth in poetic verse. A Voodoonauts project, the anthology celebrates the diversity of magical traditions and genres of storytelling in the African continent and the diaspora. The collection’s editors, which include Shingai Njeri Kagunda, Yvette Lisa Ndlovu, H.D. Hunter, and L.P. Kindred, have carefully curated a range of stories, poems, and voices with unique styles in settings that range from Nigeria to Zimbabwe to South Carolina. In their introduction, they address you the reader, a reader they do not presume to be white, and invite you to “see yourself in blackness” (ix), to ‘create yourself’ as Octavia Butler did.
The journey begins with Lysz Flo, a spoken-word artist whose poem and its sequel, “La Siréne”, plunges you into the searing depths of Afro-diasporic seas, of Middle Passage and Mermaids, and “the creators of civilization” for whom the sea is both a tomb and a catalyst for libète. S.O. Arogunmati’s “The Names We Take”, tracks a parent on the run, a “thief of destiny”, whose daring quest to grant their child a better future invites spiritual repercussions. You might find yourself scratching after reading “The Feeding of Closed Mouths” by Eden Royce, which I read as a parable about fraught mother-daughter relationships and the pain that comes with transformation. Ernestine-Vera Kabushemeye Gahimbare’s “Paying Forward” will immerse you in the heart of an enchanted Burundian forest, where you will find death, mystery, and extraplanar intrigue. “The Visit”, by Tina Jenkins Bell, set in Chicago, will haunt you long after the last page is turned.
Tola Owolabi’s “Searching for Duni”, is a mythical commentary on the spiritual poverty of capitalism. Jermane Cooper’s “Adobe” will make you rethink what you know about tailoring. “A Missile Against the Darkness”, by Yvette Lisa Ndlovu, explores the messy paradox of Christians who by day “spit on ancestral magic” but at night seek the spiritual counsel of their Sangoma counterparts. “Seeds of Sisters” by Wesley Fox, might be the entry that is most science fiction, were it not for its breathtaking mythological structure. T.L. Huchu’s “Gogo Maroto”, is a surreal tale of ancestral legacies and self-discovery, set in Zimbabwe. Christopher Caldwell’s, “Both Hands”, is a quiet tragedy about the transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next. Referenced in the anthology’s vibrant cover art, Shingai Njeri Kagunda’s “The Lotus Woman”, is a poem about the scars we conceal in layers of shimmering blue fabric.
(Re)Living Mythology feels more like a continent than an archipelago; its poems and stories are an ensemble, like a choir of griots and sarunganos, they sing as one, resonating with the beauty and splendor of a thousand Black suns, of African worlds and ancestral realms, and the colorful looms of Matrons who spin the fabric of the cosmos into being.
- Review | “Arboreality” by Rebecca Campbell
“When they used the spotty satellite link at the library to hear the news, he saw bits of the other world, cities and crowds and concerts and coffee and a new Mars mission, somewhere far away from this rainy corner of nowhere, where his only future was in undoing what had been done by generations who’d lived brief golden lives, sucking all the sweetness from the world before he was ever born,”– Rebecca Campbell, p. 74
Arboreality isn’t a story about arboreal salvation, a tree-inspired techno-fix to our climate disaster named Arbutus. Instead, it is like a seed, something small and ordinary that sprouts into many branches and reaches for the sky in a slow, beautiful flourish that exceeds a single human lifespan. Arboreality is a series of interconnected dreams; monuments that are grown rather than built; music wrought from the corpses of living things; treasures that are molding books; youth finding love at the end of all things; the peril and promise of sowing in soils that are dying; or the weary musings of an old man who is too scarred and too weathered to be convinced that technology can undo the rot and sins of previous generations. Arboreality is us, it is who we might become if colonial capitalism is left unchecked, if we allow the wealthy, privileged few to continue to burn our world.
- Review| “The Impossible Resurrection of Grief” by Octavia Cade
We learn to protect ourselves in the ugliest of waysOctavia Cade, p. 21
Octavia Cade’s haunting novella, explores this question in a climate-ravaged world where “extinction is a familiar odour” (22). In less than a hundred pages, Impossible Resurrection of Grief, plunges us deep into “The Grief”, a mental syndrome spurred by climate trauma and cascading mass extinctions. We meet a cast of characters who differently navigate this affliction, which always terminates in self-destruction. Some conjure illusions of a world that is flourishing rather than wilting, of long-disappeared species tenuously remade by the means of technological sorcery. Others plummet into despair, fashioning hideous simulacra of the extinct using capitalist debris, like jellyfish spun from plastics. By the story’s end, the reader is marooned on an island of tomorrow’s turbulent shores, forced to confront their own complicity and numbness with the climate disaster that is slowly unfolding around us. The author takes care to remind us that the capacity for silence, the capacity to be a passive bystander to climate change, is a marker of privilege, as indigenous communities and people living in the Global South are already living in a climate dystopia.
- 2022 Awards Eligibility List
As this year comes to a close, I remain awestruck that I managed to get six short stories published. As an emerging writer, I am proud of the work I have done and very grateful to all of the wonderful editors and publishers who have provided a platform for my art. Below, I list my stories and provide synopses (and behind the scenes info) in order of priority for awards eligibility consideration. Thank you for supporting SFFH writers.
“Somnambulist” (Reckoning 6)
They had survived extinction before. They could survive it again.E.G. Condé
Synopsis: The last remnant of the Taíno awakens in the cosmos to rekindle the flora and fauna of extinct Caribbean archipelagoes, but horrifying abominations of techno-capitalism stand in their way.
- Somnambulist (2022), Reckoning (🎧) | Science Fantasy & Indigenous Futurism | ~ 2,500 words
Author’s Note: I envision this as the first of a far-future story cycle (Taínofuturism) where Taíno Cemís & Yoruban Orishas must wrest the cosmos from the vestiges of a vast techno-capitalist empire.
“Sumerki” (Tree and Stone: Queer as F Issue 2)
I can still remember the pyres where they heaped the “apostates” they used as scapegoats to explain why the world was burning. But it was not God or queers that made the world hot.E.G. Condé
Synopsis: A Novemberist revolutionary defends his Siberian homeland from a neo-monarchist regime that has risen in Petrograd in the aftermath of climate disaster.
- Sumerki (2022), Tree & Stone | Queer Military Science Fiction | ~ 3,500 words
Author’s Note: An entry in the vast interconnected web of my story universe, the events of this story are referenced in my forthcoming novella, SORDIDEZ. With its queer characters, I see this story as an intervention to a subgenre of SF that tends to be hypermasculine and heternormative.
“Sidereal” (Solarpunk Magazine Issue #6 Lunarpunk)
Things had been good before the aliens came.E.G. Condé
Synopsis: In the island formerly known as Puerto Rico, a pair of sisters lead a Taíno chiefdom that can no longer thrive under the light of their sun due to a climate change technofix gone terribly wrong.
- Sidereal (2022), Solarpunk Magazine | Lunarpunk | ~ 4,500 words
Author’s Note: This story is based on a Taíno myth cycle that explains the origins of day and night, and the sun and the moon, respectively. The story directly overlaps with the events of my forthcoming novella SORDIDEZ, featuring some of its characters. *Please note that this story is currently only available for purchase.
“Skylark” (EASST Review)
There isn’t even a whisper of birds anymore. This world is quiet. Empty. Like the blank, barren sky, bereft of those formless flocks of white that now only live in memory.E.G. Condé
Synopsis: A climate scientist recounts the tragic disappearance of clouds from the world and his failure to understand their true nature.
- Skylark (2022), EASST Review | Climate Fiction |~ 2,000 words
Author’s Note: This story is a narrative expansion and adaptation of a collaborative speculative film project I helped create called “World Without Clouds“. This story was the winner of the EASST Science Fiction Sub plenary Short Story competition.
“Sonoran” (If There’s Anyone Left Vol. 2)
Sometimes I remember the shadows of vaulting hawks cascading over rosy buttes, I remember the sun, when it was not yet too bright to see.E.G. Condé
Synopsis: A botched climate technofix has depleted the ozone layer resulting in the Bright. A disillusioned construction drone operator devises a way to survive beyond the UV-shielded walls of their city.
- Sonoran (2022), If There’s Anyone Left | Climate Fiction |~ 1,000 words
Author’s Note: This was my first story acceptance so it has a special place in my heart. It is the first installment in my universe of near-future climate fiction. *Please note that it is currently only available to read in print or ebook.
“The Fulminous” (Sword & Sorcery Magazine)
Over the course of his long life, many of his elder kin had fallen ill, their bodies withering as they transformed into the Fulminous, ascending past the weepers to the ever-torch, where they would begin their drumming, spawning again as the blue serpents that now brilliantly illuminated the ebon vale.E.G. Condé
Synopsis: A legendwalker teams up with an unlikely ally to protect his people’s way of life and secure the future of his ancestors who have become sapient lightning.
- The Fulminous (2022), Sword & Sorcery | Fantasy |~ 5,000 words
Author’s Note: This is my first published Fantasy story and my only story set in a secondary world.