Monthly Archives: February 2016

SORCERER TO THE CROWN UK paperback cover reveal

My UK publisher Macmillan/Tor UK have just put up the UK paperback cover of SORCERER TO THE CROWN! It’s like the hardcover, but also different: much more red, just as foiled.

STTC PB excerpt

Admire it in its full glory at the Tor Books blog:

Crowning Glory: Unveiling Zen Cho’s paperback cover

The paperback is out on 28 July 2016 and you can pre-order now (link to Amazon, but you can ask your friendly local indie for it too!). I’ll put up other purchase links closer to the time.

Bare Lit Festival 2016

Wah, Bare Lit will be happening next weekend already! I’ll be participating in the UK’s first literary festival celebrating BAME/non-white writers. Details of my panel are below. (Doing one panel only — quite chilling compared to conventions!)

(Re)writing Pasts & Futures

Date: Saturday, February 27, 2016
Time: 1:00pm-2:30pm
Venue: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road London, EC1R 3GB United Kingdom

Enter a space of unfettered imagination as we bring together fantasy and science fiction novelists Tendai Huchu, Zen Cho, Haris Durrani and Tosin Coker, in an exclusive discussion chaired by genealogist Patrick Vernon OBE on Historical Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Sci-fi and Afrofuturism.

I’ll also be attending the launch party on Friday. Should be good!

You can check out the full programme here: What’s On at Bare Lit Festival.

Rambling about writing at Kinokuniya KL: a report

As I mentioned in my previous post about my event at Kinokuniya KL last Saturday, Kino is the bookshop of my teenage years, because it was so huge and had what was at the time an unmatchable selection — not only of SFF, but YA/MG, manga, Asian literature, etc. etc. etc.

Then later a giant Borders or two opened closer to home in PJ, rendering the long trek to KLCC unnecessary, so my memories of Kino are really crystallised in time. It was nice to go back, especially as I got to admire the World SF table they’d kindly let me curate in person. (I didn’t put my own books on the list lah obviously. They added those themselves.)

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To my left (your right) there used to be an excellent Japanese stationery section. I didn’t go there that often because I’d’ve spent all my money on books by the time I got there.

A closer look at the selection, from Nigerians in space through Paris in the wake of a magical war to Hitler as a PI!

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As for the event itself, it was really fun! I’d planned to fill up one hour but ended up taking around two. It was nice of Kino not to chase us out!

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Here’s me holding forth

I was really worried that people would do that Malaysian thing of being too shy to raise their hands, and then only creeping round to ask questions afterwards one-on-one. (I mean, I can raise my hand as one of the people who does this. Except I wouldn’t raise my hand, of course.) I even prepped a friend to keep the chat going if no one volunteered questions: “Ask me about law! I can tell them about EU directives!”

But fortunately everyone was awesome and there were lots of questions! Thanks to everyone who asked — you are my hero and I am eternally grateful.

The only specific thing I remember saying was my explanation of the importance of plot. It goes like this: I used to think I didn’t really care about plot as a reader, but I’ve since learnt a bit more about how stories are made, and I now think that plot is to story like bones are to a person you fancy. You might say, “I’m not attracted to people based on their bones, I’m really more interested in their personality or whether they have a full head of lush hair.” But if you met someone who had no bones, at all, whatsoever, you might rapidly reconsider how important bones are to their attractiveness.

Anyway, so I’m still trying to figure out the bones of story.

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My Stormtrooper ring is so photogenic! Nowadays I pretend John Boyega is secretly inside it.

The highlight of the event for me was meeting readers, obvs, but a close runner-up is the fact that illustrator Charis Loke gave me what, as far as I know, is the first piece of fanart for Sorcerer to the Crown!

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I love it. I am so happy.

A close-up:

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There really is nothing like seeing the figments of your imagination being brought to life by another so sympathetically. I’m going to sleep with it under my pillow eat it so it becomes a part of me frame it and put it on my wall and admire it forever.

I also signed some stock for Kino, so if you missed the event you can still pick up an autographed copy there! If you’re not that fussed about autographed copies or a 20% discount on your second item (also available in-store), you can buy the books online: they stock the US hardcover and the trade paperback with the UK cover, both RM75.

Photos are by me, Daphne Lee, Aaron Lim and my BFF Maxine Lim, who combines with all other ideal qualities of a best friend that of taking only flattering pictures of me.