Where Am I Published?

Sci-fi Book Release: “Binary Stars” – Androids, Enlightenment, and Gender, Oh My

Binary Stars available in paperback or eBookHello all you strange and dear people somewhere out there in the vast, sprawling web of intangible interconnectedness. It’s always tricky to write about a new book release, because I am rather allergic to self-promotion, and while I want readers out there to experience the book, it is hard for me to try and sell you anything. So instead of crafting a half-hearted sales pitch, I am going to try and just be authentic and talk a little bit about my process writing this little-big sci-fi novel that is so important to me. Maybe you’ll get something out of hearing a little about my journey and maybe you’ll relate to some of it.

I started out writing Binary Stars at some point in 2017 as a loose sequel to my first novel, The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence. Back then the book was this huge, sprawling thing beginning with the vastest world-building I had ever attempted—not only did I have to develop two entirely new species from which my main characters would stem—I had to invent an entire planet!—complete with its flora, fauna, societies, religions, and economic structure. It was a much more ambitious undertaking than anything I had written so far—so much had to be unearthed directly from my imagination and from research rather than relying on the easy satire of the near-future, or fictionalized versions of places I had visited. I often doubted if I was up to the task—there was so much to keep track of. Still, I kept plodding away at it and crafted an unusual narrative of love and malfunction between Jensun—a translucent, bigender farmer with depressive tendencies stemming from his residual guilt from his previous lifetime as a charismatic and insidious cult leader (a.k.a. Janus Jeeves of Saint Fox and The Independence), and VV—a biosynthetic android with a sharp tongue and a penchant for installing illegal software updates into themselves that end up triggering an “accidental” electronic enlightenment. The back cover copy goes on to tell you that Jensun and VV work together at a high-tech agricultural facility called mTac, that Jensun is reluctantly placed under VV’s supervision, and oh, that a global frost is threatening to destroy the planet—because even if this story is really about reincarnation, the metaphysical reality of our true nature, and finding love where you least expect it—it is still Sci-Fi!

So, why did it take me until 2022 to release this book into the wild? Well, shortly after releasing Saint Fox, I got into grad school, and let me tell you, if you think your creative writing MFA is going to give you time to work on your novel, you may be surprisingly mistaken. I did workshop some of it, and got some incredible feedback from my peers, but the length of my thesis would not accommodate a full novel, the workshop format better accommodated short stories, and the program itself, while masquerading as one open to different types of work, was not terribly accommodating to speculative fiction work—although I did find some support among peers and faculty alike, and their responses to what they saw of this book were overwhelmingly positive. Not to mention I had a huge work load from both teaching and taking classes, and then graduated in 2020 into a pandemic, followed by a new job as a university professor and a move to a different city.

Now, even without the snafus, a book taking five years to get published is hardly unheard of. And I’m particularly proud of this one, as I not only wrote the book but curated the entire experience from start to finish. I had worked with a small press before on my previous release, but also have years of graphic design experience under my belt and really wanted to be involved in every step of the process—nothing makes me geek out like selecting fonts for the layout of a book or getting the hair’s breadth of white space around an em dash just right—I knew I could create a stunning book, this time for myself rather than others. With my spoon in every pot on the stove (apologies for the metaphor I was trying to avoid saying “with my fingers in every pie…”), I feel I can truly be proud of the end result—a sweet, sad, funny, and edgy story in a galaxy far, far away that I truly believe in and that shares my unique vision of the world more vividly, honestly, and chaotically than anything else I have put out into the world so far.

I am so happy to share it with you.

Binary Stars by Kristin Yuan Roybal can be purchased in paperback or eBook on Amazon or at your favorite retailer. ISBN: 9798817267570.

– Kristin

The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence, Where Am I Published?

Dismantling the Patriarchy with Top 5 Lists

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

I’m here on my oft-neglected blog to share an article I’ve written in partnership with Shepherd Books on the 5 Best Speculative Fiction Books for Dismantling the Patriarchy. Shepherd pairs with authors to promote their work and found Saint Fox and The Independence through their network of recommendations. As you may know, I quite lack in the area of promoting my own work, but this opportunity came at the right time, and it was nice to champion some of my favorite spec and LGBTQ+ authors alongside Saint Fox.

Meanwhile, I continue to be challenged and rewarded within the world of teaching writing, though looking forward to having some more free time to focus on my own work soon. Hope everyone out there in the stratosphere is doing okay. Here where I am now in Northern California the sun is finally out. Hoping it’s a sign of new and better things on the horizon.


Lots of love,
Kristin/Corin

The Writing Process, Where Am I Published?

“Separation Theory” rec’d by Tor.com

As I embark on a new teaching assignment, I’m grateful for any reminders that I’m also still a writer. The pandemic has taken its toll on many areas of our lives, and I for one have barely written lately as my story well appears to be dry and my energy is drawn outwards into the creation of educational materials for both my day job as a university instructor and a side project intersecting tea, writing, and witchcraft. That is to say, I feel far removed currently from my own work as a fiction writer, so it was nice to see this shout out from Tor.com in their list of short fiction recommendations for December 2020, where I was surprised to see my story “Separation Theory” from the most recent issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet included.

Thanks to Tor and to all the spec-fic loving weirdos hanging out there/in there somewhere in the ethersphere~

– Kristin/Corin

Where Am I Published?

“Separation Theory” Out in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet

My first short story published under my multiracial, gendered legal name (Kristin Yuan Roybal, as opposed to my ambiguous pen name Corin Reyburn), is out now in Issue 42 of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, the speculative fiction magazine carefully and lovingly crafted by Gavin Grant and Kelly Link. This story happens to be the opening piece of my MFA thesis, and is a short and strange tale about star-crossed love, particles, remembering and forgetting, and bittersweetness. It is available through Small Beer Press as a print zine or ebook, and features fellow writers Sarah Langan, Vandana Singh, Stewart Moore, Jack Larsen, Holly Day, and Nicole Kimberling.

I’ve come a long way. Thanks for being there with me.

– Kristin/Corin

Where Am I Published?

“Rabbit’s Foot” out in Mojo/Mikrokosmos Journal…and Thoughts on the MFA

golden gate bridge during nighttime
Photo by James Donovan on Pexels.com

My short story “Rabbit’s Foot” is out now in Mojo, a publication run by MFA graduate students at Wichita State University. This story got me into my own MFA program at OSU—a place where I’m learning, thriving, and working harder than I ever have. While MFAs aren’t for everyone—and I’m in the camp that doesn’t believe you necessarily need one to be a successful writer—it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life so far, largely due to the network of people I’m privileged to be working with, and the challenging but rapid growth opportunity of teaching college English right off the bat.

Interested in an MFA? My advice—research, research, research. I’d also advise against programs that aren’t fully funded. Many funded programs are notoriously difficult to get into, but depending on your economic situation (and if you’re a writer, odds are it is indeed a situation), you might not want to go thousands of dollars into debt when considering the potential financial payoff of the degree you’re seeking. For me, the payoff of the experience so far is largely untethered to my career and finances—I am rewarded in so many other ways.

A great resource for checking out what different programs have to offer is Poets and Writers MFA database. Be sure to research the faculty, too, they can make or break the experience for you.

Back to “Rabbit’s Foot.” This story is about a mixed-race stoner kid who befriends a man called Pigeon at the retirement home where he works. It deals with complicated morality, among other things, and is set in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, where I grew up.

“Pigeon hasn’t said a word to me in five days. But that’s not unusual.

By now I know the signs so he doesn’t have to bother with talking. A slap of his wide palm on the side of his chair means dim the lights. That clucking noise he makes in the back of his throat means close the window. A grunt means change my fucking man diaper…” [read more >>]

Thanks as always,
– Corin

The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence, Where Am I Published?

The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence Available Now

stfox_cover_RGB_WEBToday The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence is officially released into the wild. Thanks so much to everyone for their support, especially the brilliant team at Unsolicited Press for all the time and hard work put into the book’s creation and promotion, and to Erin B. Lillis for the rockin’ cover art (and upcoming audiobook version)! Putting this book out into the world has been a goal I’ve worked hard towards over the past few years, and to see everything finally coalesce has been so fulfilling.

Some early review snippets:

“Reyburn’s speculative fiction rebels, recoils, and launches debates across the table.” – PR

“An absolute gem! Corin Reyburn writes speculative fiction to be read with great fervor.” – wordybirdy

“If rebellion is what you like, then you will LOVE Corin’s book. I read to the end and wanted more!” – Miriam L.

The book also received a shout-out on Tor.com’s list of new genre-bending books available this month.

An excerpt is up at Medium.com.

For press information, get in touch with Unsolicited.

Want a rebel playlist to go with your rock n’ roll revolution? Saint Fox and The Independence is all about the power of good music, so here’s a YouTube playlist of some hot tunes that inspired the book.

Thank you!
– Corin