Category Archives: My Stories

SPIRITS ABROAD and CYBERPUNK: MALAYSIA at Nine Worlds

I am going to have copies of the super rare and totally awesome SPIRITS ABROAD and CYBERPUNK: MALAYSIA paperbacks at Nine Worlds! A few of them are already reserved:

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I KNEW I was going to find a retrospective excuse for having bought these incredibly cute post-it notes at Daiso.

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And here’s what CYBERPUNK: MALAYSIA looks like in the flesh. Shiny and chrome!

I’m hoping the books will be available at the Nine Worlds dealers’ room, but I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to arrange that. However, you can place an order for the books now and/or buy them from me directly at the con!

I am selling the books for £5.00 each, and I am happy to sign and personalise them for you. You can even ask me to do a doodle! I can only draw friendly elephants, though. Also, there will be ultra secret, super exclusive SORCERER TO THE CROWN swag, which I will totally give you FOR FREE. (I mean, I don’t want to inflate expectations. It’s just stationery. But I think it’s going to be nice stationery!)

If you think you’d like to buy them from me in person, I will beg you now to bring a £5 note if at all possible. Of course, it’s easiest if you pre-order using the form below — that will enable me to put aside a copy for you, as stocks are limited. And also it means I don’t have scrounge up £5 bills!

RESERVE YOUR BOOKS

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SORCERER TO THE CROWN is up on NetGalley!

You can now request an electronic review copy of SORCERER TO THE CROWN on NetGalley!

SORCERER TO THE CROWN on NetGalley

This is the American version (though they left me my British spelling because it’s historical fiction \o/) so US and Canadian residents are preferred, but I am hearing from non-US/Canadian readers who are getting their requests approved. So you may as well try! I believe Macmillan will be getting the UK & Commonwealth version up on NetGalley soon as well.

Speaking of Macmillan, I went in yesterday to sign a few UK galleys and they let me take this away …

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It’s a printed proof of the UK cover! The gold stuff is embossed. It is SO beautiful. Every time I look at it I swell with maternal pride.

San Diego Comic-Con 2015: a report

I’ve been kind of anxious to bash out a con report for SDCC because I knew it would never happen if I let life get ahead of me. Chuck Wendig did his the day after! Some people are so efficient.

I try to avoid having blog posts publish on weekends because apparently people look at the Internet less during the weekend (why? what are you all out doing??), but SDCC is OLD NEWS now so let’s get it out.

I’d known SDCC would be big and crowded and overwhelming, but I don’t think I’d realised what an institution it was. We took the train down from LA to San Diego on the Thursday and the train driver announced that there were extra carriages because of Comic-Con, and could everyone be sure to fill out all available seats because the train was going to be crowded. And these weren’t little UK train carriages, right — these were hulking two-storey behemoths.

And when we arrived in San Diego, everything was Comic-Con! There were banners everywhere and ads for geeky things on buses and people in costume and/or geeky T-shirts waiting at all the traffic lights.

San Diego itself is sun-drenched and relaxed. We looked around ourselves and decided to go to the zoo.

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‘Nuff said about that!

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My publishing journey: How I wrote three novels and binned two of them

After I figured out how to write regularly and how to sell short fiction, I decided I wanted to write novels. There was only one minor hitch to the plan. I didn’t actually know how to do it.

It seemed like it should be a straightforward exercise. After all, I’d read enough of the damn things. (It might give you some idea of my childhood when I say I don’t remember any of my classmates from Standard 4, but I remember the books I read. I also don’t remember anything I learnt in Kemahiran Hidup in secondary school, but I remember the book my Form 1 KH teacher confiscated because I was reading it under my desk while she was trying to tell us how often we were supposed to change our bedsheets. It was Dickens’s Hard Times and I was only halfway through. >:( Now I write novels set in 19th century Britain and I never change my bedsheets, so take that, cikgu!)

But I couldn’t work it out. It took me three years to complete a 25,000-word fanfic I’d started when I was 16: length was not my strong point when it came to writing. But your average novel is a little longer than 25,000 words and I knew that was what I wanted to do, so I resolved to write a drawer novel. (A drawer novel is a book you write and then put in the drawer, rather than selling it or letting anyone else read it.) It would be a bit depressing investing all that work and time in something that would never be seen by anyone else, but I knew I would never start if I had the pressure of thinking, am I going to sell it, how do I make it good enough to sell, who do I submit this to, etc. I just needed to know I could write something of the approximate length of a novel.

So that’s what I did.  Continue reading

Link roundup: SORCERER TO THE CROWN &c.

Sorcerer to the Crown UK cover Sorcerer to the Crown US cover

I was interviewed by Australian fantasy blog Smash Dragons! I talk about Sorcerer to the Crown, explain what measures I’d institute as Empress of the Earth, and quote Diana Wynne Jones and S. I. Rosenbaum on historical novels and writing respectively.

Smash Dragons interview – Zen Cho

A couple of nice mentions of Sorcerer to the Crown in the book press:

It was one of Publishers Weekly’s top 10 SFF picks for Fall 2015, along with such fabulous books as Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Shattered Wings and Fran Wilde’s exciting-sounding Updraft. You need a PW subscription to read the piece, but it calls Sorcerer a “glorious debut”. :D

And it showed up in Kirkus‘s feature on What to Read in the Second Half of 2015. Again, Sorcerer is in fabulous company, cited alongside, among others, Cindy Pon’s Serpentine and Kate Elliott’s two (!) new books this year, The Black Wolves and her YA debut Court of Fives.

An excerpt of Sorcerer will also be included in Apex Magazine’s special world-themed issue this September, guest-edited by Cristina Jurado. There’ll be interviews with me and Escape from Baghdad author Saad Hossain.

Finally, a new pro-rate SFF magazine from the fine folks behind Rosarium Publishing: Shattered Prism will open to submissions in August for its first issue, due out in November. Check it out! Write! Submit!

SORCERER TO THE CROWN UK cover reveal!

I’m thrilled to be able to share the gorgeous UK cover for SORCERER TO THE CROWN! Here is a teaser:

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You can view the whole at the Tor UK post:

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – UK Cover Reveal!

It’s so pretty and shiny and ornate. *_*

The UK edition is available for pre-order now at all the usual book retailers:

Pan Macmillan (click on “Other sellers” for links to all major UK retailers, print and digital)
Foyles
Blackwell’s
Waterstones
WH Smith
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)
Amazon UK

And of course, don’t forget your friendly local indie bookstore, if that’s an option! Big Green Bookshop is a nice one in North London. The book’s out in September.

Win a signed ARC of SORCERER TO THE CROWN

The time has come to give away free books!

You’ve already seen what the SORCERER TO THE CROWN galley from Ace looks like …

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The back also features a familiar (in more than one sense) dragon!

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All you’ve got to do to have a chance to win is log in via Rafflecopter. You have to answer a question because that’s the way Rafflecopter works. You do not have to sign up to my mailing list in order to participate, but if you do subscribe (or confirm that you are already a subscriber), that raises your chances in the prize draw. Further details below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway details

  • Open worldwide.
  • Giveaway closes at the end of the day on Sunday, 7 June 2015 (00:00 British Summer Time).
  • 2 winners will receive an Ace Books advance reading copy (ARC) of my debut novel SORCERER TO THE CROWN signed by me. The ARCs are uncorrected proofs and are not for sale.
  • Entrants must log in via Rafflecopter and answer the question. This is the only mandatory task. You can gain extra entries in the draw by subscribing to my mailing list, or confirming your email address if you are already a subscriber.
  • The winners will be chosen at random with Rafflecopter’s help.
  • I will inform the winners by email within 7 days of the closing date, and may also announce the winners’ names on social media. Winners must respond within 14 days of notification to claim their prize. I will dispatch the prize within 14 days of receiving confirmation of your address.

Good luck! The book is out in September from Ace in the US and Pan Macmillan in the UK and Commonwealth, and you can find out all about it here.