Vajra Chandrasekera

Vajra Chandrasekera

Creating stories and essays

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Thank you! You're supporting me to create new work that would not exist with your help, which I deeply appreciate. You'll also get exclusive access to some patron-only work, including some behind-the-scenes commentary as I navigate the somewhat weird experience of being a third world writer publishing his debut novels with a Big Five publisher. (Some of this commentary will just be frantic screaming and running around in circles, but I suppose you could have guessed that part.)

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About Vajra Chandrasekera

Hi, thanks for coming over! I’m a writer from Colombo, Sri Lanka. That's me holding up a copy of Science Fiction World, a magazine that carried a Chinese translation of my story "Pockets Full of Stones" in 2016.

I write speculative fiction: sf, fantasy, horror, the weird. I've published over fifty short stories so far in half a dozen languages and in magazines and anthologies from the US, UK, India, China, Pakistan, and France, among others. I've been nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and as part of the then editorial team at Strange Horizons, won the inaugural Ignyte Community Award for Outstanding Efforts in Service of Inclusion and Equitable Practice in Genre. My first novel, The Saint of Bright Doors, will be published by Tor in 2023, with two more novels to follow.

In nonfiction, I also write short reviews of what I've been reading, and longer essays on various subjects, usually literary and political. For example, I wrote on the various incarnations of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris; on the dangerous romance of desirable futures via Aliya Whiteley's The Arrival of Missives and many other different kinds of time travel story; and on halves and mirrorings in the work and worlds of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jess Barton, Shakthika Sathkumara and Ahnaf Jazeem. The latter two are Sri Lankan writers who spent months in prison for their work. That's something I've been writing about for some years now, too: the politics of art and repression in Sri Lanka.

With Sri Lanka's crises escalating so much as to draw global notice in recent months and years, I've been writing more directly about them in various ways: on the 2022 protests and how we got here for the Los Angeles Times; on how our state's repressive machinery works for Index on Censorship; on my relationship with Buddhism and on the twisted histories of the Sri Lankan flag

Why a Patreon?
All these different kinds of writing are important to me. Thanks to the novels, I'm a full-time writer at present. Before that, I paid my way by doing a great deal of freelance editing on the side. I'm good at it, but that's not the work I want to do: it takes up a lot of energy and time, and I would rather be writing—there are so many projects, fiction and nonfiction, short and long, that I want to work on. So I made a Patreon to support that. You can help me make space for it.

If you've enjoyed any of my writing, and would like there to be more of it in the world, I deeply appreciate your support!

Small pledges are very welcome! Of late, Sri Lanka's exchange rate and inflation crises have only made every dollar go further.

What will I do with it?
This is not presently a Very Fancy Patreon. I have not set up elaborate tiers or rewards, and there is no official publishing schedule. This is meant to be a very simple machine for the lovely and wonderful people who want to support me generally as a writer, and to enable me to write more frequently and more freely, not to introduce a new hamster wheel of deadlines for me to chase. The money goes directly to my living expenses. It largely covers my utility bills already! Which is awesome! I'd love to get the Patreon up to the point where it can cover some of my rent and groceries too, some day—it would put less strain on me as a novelist, where the payments tend to come at long intervals. So that's the next goal: if I get that far, I'll start including interviews with other writers and people in publishing. That's something I've always wanted to try but couldn't spare the time and energy to do.

I'll add a second and more utopian goal, too: to build up to a long-threatened podcast.

With your support, I will write and publish new work as often as I can, and some of this material will exclusive for patrons only, including some behind-the-scenes commentary as I navigate the somewhat weird experience of being a third world writer publishing his debut novels with a Big Five publisher. (Some of this commentary will just be frantic screaming and running around in circles, but I suppose you could have guessed that part.) You can see in my archive of posts here and on my blog that the Patreon has already made it possible for me to write much more than I used to. You all also covered my bills while I busted my brain writing three novels in these strange years of pandemic and national collapse. I'm very thankful. Much love to you all.

I hope to do more of all that. I hope you will walk with me while I do, in the even stranger years to come.

Thank you for reading, and for your support!

(Cover pic: Allegory of Death and Fame, 1518. Agostino Musi)
Goals
$45.32 of $150 per month
If I reach $150 a month, that will cover a substantial chunk of my living expenses! I will mark this milestone by introducing a new kind of content on this Patreon: interviews! With other writers, artists, critics, editors, journalists, activists, whoever I find interesting.
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 4 exclusive posts
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 4 exclusive posts
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Writings

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