Jemisin’s Story for Haiti (and New Orleans)


I don’t know how I missed that one of my favorite authors wrote a novella set in New Orleans during the Haitian migration to the city in 2010!!! So glad this post connected me to “Effluent Engine”–and I can’t wait to read it!

From 2010:

“I heard through Cheryl Morgan’s blog about A Story for Haiti, a fundraising effort on behalf of the victims of the Port-au-Prince quake. Basically, a bunch of authors are posting free short stories online, some set in Haiti and some not, and asking people to decide how much those stories are worth. And instead of paying that money to the author, we’re asking that you please donate that amount to one of the charities that’s trying to marshal supplies or housing or other necessities for the quake victims. Some absolutely amazing stuff has been posted for this effort already, much of it involving authors or protagonists of color, so please take a look at all of it if you’ve got the time. (Or if you’re an author reading this, consider posting something yourself.)…

“….“The Effluent Engine” was solicited for a very particular forthcoming anthology of lesbian steampunk tales (unnamed as yet), to be edited by author JoSelle Vanderhooft for Torquere Press…”

More details on the story and the story itself here:

Read the first few paragraphs….

Effluent Engine

by N. K. Jemisin

New Orleans stank to the heavens. This was either the water, which did not have the decency to confine itself to the river but instead puddled along every street; or the streets themselves, which seemed to have been cobbled with bricks of fired excrement. Or it may have come from the people who jostled and trotted along the narrow avenues, working and lounging and cursing and shouting and sweating, emitting a massed reek of unwashed resentment and perhaps a bit of hangover. As Jessaline strolled beneath the colonnaded balconies of Royal Street, she fought the urge to give up, put the whole fumid pile to her back, and catch the next dirigible out of town.

Then someone jostled her. “Pardon me, miss,” said a voice at her elbow, and Jessaline was forced to stop, because the earnest-looking young man who stood there was white. He smiled, which did not surprise her, and doffed his hat, which did.

“Monsieur,” Jessaline replied, in what she hoped was the correct mix of reserve and deference….


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