SOC Chapter 4: "Shaa Out of Practice"

When I was starting to pull together strands and turn them into a book, I sent an earlier version of Shaa as another standalone story to Gardner Dozois at Asimov's. At that time, the character's name was Sha. I recall the terse rejection letter noted that that the editor had been unable to read through the submission because he kept reading "Sha" as "She". Okay, I thought, reasonable enough, which is how the name acquired an additional "a".

For what it's worth, my vehicle license plate is "ZYN SHAA". It's now followed me through three cars, being re-registered three times. Of course, the plates do have the discontinued California rising sun design that's been unavailable for years.

Oh, so what does "zalzyn shaa" mean, if anything? It's from the Yiddish for "be still," often applied in practice as "shut up." It was my grandfather-in-law's favorite expression, although I'd already named the character before I met him.

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