a.k.a. Retepunk: fiction writer, narrative designer
Drawn as much to ancient mythology as cutting-edge technology, Inara Enko remixes cultural research and lived experience in her art and fiction. She comes from a mixed ethnic/ racial/ cultural background, and in a life that has been filled with international moves, she feels rooted in the night sky as an enduring source of familiarity.
She has published some short fiction and is currently wrangling with a novel draft. She also dabbles in making video games.
Other passions and influences include: astrolabes, botany, Indian classical dance, and languages. She speaks English and Mauritian Creole fluently, and also has some capability in Arabic, French, and Mandarin.
"By the Hand of Sorayya"
in the Nightmare Sky anthology by Death Knell Press
A dark horror story inspired by Arabian star-lore and terrible rumours of a sacred place.
"The Hologram Wears Concealer"
in Cold Signal Vol. 1: Mnemosyne
Sci-fi flash fiction about the perils of attending your sister's traditional Mauritian wedding as a hologram.
"The Mechanical Astrologer"
(published in Dodos & Dragons Vol. 2)
An engineer of ingenious automatons pursues his obsession with a dancer in pseudo- Mughal/Safavid times. (This one is early work published under a different name, but it remains close to my heart.)
The Basin of the Reckoner, dispersed manuscript, 1315. The Museum of Fine Art, Boston.
Original photo by Photo by Arnaud Mariat on Unsplash.
A "rete" (pronounced "RAY-teh") is the part of an astrolabe which shows star positions. I like how they weave together stars from all over the sky, ignoring constellation boundaries - much like my work (and indeed, identity) cuts across categories.
Also, even though a rete is a functional part of a device, it is also designed to be beautiful and expressive, contradicting the idea that functional objects have to be minimalist or that science is supposed to be void of aesthetics. As with other "-punk" genres like cyberpunk, silkpunk, etc., my work often adopts concepts or aesthetics in ways that challenge the dominant assumptions around them. While I celebrate culture and try to avoid irreverence, I also believe that an important role of fiction is to shed light on what slips through the cracks.
Astrolabe rete from 19th century Lahore. © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
(This form may not display properly on tablets; if that happens, please try a desktop or phone instead.)