Tag Archives: fixi

Love in Penang: cover reveal and my story DOUBLE-BLIND

Love in Penang cover

The Love in Penang cover! This anthology of short stories is being launched at the Georgetown Literary Festival at the end of the month. (The programme looks so cool! I wish I could go.) But you can buy it now from the Buku Fixi online shop if you’re in Malaysia, or pre-order from Amazon.com if not.

(If you are wondering what those grey things are, they are not tong sampah, but phone booths. The picture is based on street art by Ernest Zacharevic, though the original has apparently been removed now.)

My short story DOUBLE-BLIND is one of my very few non-SFF stories. It’s basically a romcom inspired by a meet-cute story about how a relative met her spouse. (It’s obviously not actually about my relative and her spouse, that would be a bit weird.)

“It’s OK, Mei Yi,” said Bee. “I don’t have a girlfriend also. I don’t have a boyfriend, for that matter.”

“It’s different for you,” said Mei Yi gloomily. “You’re 12 years further from death than me. Anyway, you’re like an amoeba.”

It’s a very serious story. :| I have a vague plan at the back of my mind to write a series of interconnected romcom/chicklit-ish love stories set in contemporary urban Malaysia, but I don’t know when I’ll ever get around to it. Anyway, DOUBLE-BLIND would be one of them if I ever got going with that plan!

I am chuffed to be published by Fixi Novo. I’ve had a couple of fairly ephemeral publications in Malaysia, like CHICKEN CHICKEN BANG BANG, but I’d like to put out more there. I do have Plans, so watch this space. *mysterious* <– *not really that mysterious if you’ve seen my access-locked posts on DW*

Also,  just by the bye, you can now buy the ebook of The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic for your Kindle, if you so desire, on Amazon or Amazon UK.

Wah, it takes super long to do one of these posts lor. And the Stories page is getting kind of unwieldy! Let me know if you notice any broken links, OK. I should really go through them all and check them one by one, but am too lazy. >_<

Propaganda, the personal, and two calls for submissions

There’s been much justified indignation on my Facebook feed of late over Asmara Songsang, an absurdly embarrassing anti-LGBT musical produced with government money. I found Alia Ali’s review of the musical Oh, Inverted World useful — it includes pictures of the production as well as a synopsis of what could generously be called the plot.

Asmara Songsang, written and directed by Rahman Adam, is about the lives of the LGBT community encapsulated into a neat little microcosm. Three friends, who identify themselves as Nazirah, Latipah and Karim, lead a gang of queer delinquents. Headquartered in a public park conveniently situated between neighborhood homes and the mosque, they throw raucous parties that last through the night, fuelled by really loud music, substance abuse and casual sexual encounters.

(Obviously, don’t read the review if you don’t feel like reading about rampant homophobia!)

There’s some interesting discussion in the comments about whether the “objective” approach Alia is trying for in her review succeeds (she lists “good points” as well as “bad points”, though she clearly disapproves of the premise of the musical and says so). Personally I don’t think people like Rahman Adam, or agendas like his, deserve to be engaged with on their own terms, but from a tactical perspective I can see why Alia adopted the tack she took.

Coming at broadly the same subject from the opposite side, I liked Cris Beam’s discussion of their novel I Am J, about a trans* teenager: My transgender novel is too personal to be propaganda.

… literature, at its best, doesn’t live in this world of agendas and witch hunts, as tools for any side’s political purpose. Literature and its readers are in an alternate realm, and they’ll continue to meet in this quieter place.

MOTHERSHIP: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond is seeking submissions of original and reprinted genre material by, for and/or about persons of colour (not only stories that would count as Afrofuturism!). They’re interested in all flavours of speculative fiction and slipstream, and will take stories of any length from flashfic to novelettes. I understand it’s intended that contributors will eventually be paid, though there will be no advance. It looks like a really cool project — and the editors are non-white, which is still unusual in these days of cool anthologies seeking to collect the stories of those traditionally passed over. I’m pondering whether I’ve got anything suitable to send in, but in the meantime you should submit!

And Fixi Novo are still seeking submissions for their new anthology Love in Penang. The deadline is 30 April and they want love stories of all kinds set in Penang.

Malaysian science fiction and fantasy in English

Edited to add: From March 2015, this list will no longer be updated. Please check out the Malaysian SFF Directory instead for up-to-date details of the Malaysian SFF scene.

Following a Twitter exchange I drew up a list of all the Malaysian SFF writers in English I knew of. Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Joyce Ch’ng asked me to post it, so here it is. It is by no means comprehensive, and I welcome suggestions for additions.

Also, super a lot of links, so give me a shout if any of them are broken ya.

Please get in touch if you would like to be included on the list, or if you have any names to suggest, or if you would like to correct any errors.

Authors

Angeline Woon has a short SF story in Futura (see Projects below for details): The Domed City. Further details about her work are available on her website.

A. M. Muffaz has a long list of publications including short stories at Fantasy Magazine in 2008 and 2009: A Foreigner’s View of the River and Into the Monsoon.

Cassandra Khaw has a short story in Issue 5 of Lackington’s Magazine. She’s also Media Reviews Editor for SFF zine Strange Horizons.

Eeleen Lee‘s writing straddles a number of different genres – literary, SFF, horror, crime and erotica. Fixi Novo has published a collection of her short stories, 13 Moons. She also has a story at Futura (see Projects below for details).

Eeleen also wrote a couple of overviews of local genre fiction in English for SFF Portal: The Rough Guide to Modern Malaysian Science Fiction and Fantasy and The Magical Roots of Malaysian Horror Fiction in English.

Fadzlishah Johanabas writes SFF short stories, and I think also writes slice of life. Examples: Kuda Kepang; Act of Faith. Also has a story in the Fixi Novo KL Noir: Red anthology, an anthology of noir short stories set in KL (many of which are SFnal).

Golda Mowe is a Sarawakian writer of Iban and Melanau heritage. A commenter alerted me to her YA fantasy novel Iban Dream, which draws on Iban mythology, and is available as an ebook and in print — click on the title to go to the Monsoon Books website, which has links to retailers.

Ika Koeck used to go by Ika Vanderkoeck and had a short story called Crossing The Waters in DAW anthology Ages of Wonder. I understand she’s been working on novels, and has self-published a short story: To Kill A King.

Jaymee Goh does a lot of non-fiction writing about steampunk and race, which includes blog posts for Tor.com. She’s also published a few steampunk short stories, e.g. Lunar Year’s End.

Julya Oui is a horror writer who has published a couple of short story collections: Bedtime Stories: From The Dead of Night and Here Be Nightmares. She has also collaborated on a horror comic: Nefarious Nights, Dreadful Days.

KS Augustin writes science fiction, fantasy and contemporary romance. Her stuff’s been published by Carina Press, among others: In Enemy Hands.

Megat Ishak has a short story collection featuring zombies and other horrors, Dark Highways.

Nin Harris created and co-edits Demeter’s Spicebox, a Cabinet des Fees spin-off fairytale/folktale retellings zine. She’s had speculative poetry published in Goblin FruitThe Domestic Sundial — and I liked her essay in Stone Telling on Malay poetry, Visions of Courtly Life Translated into Contemporary Meditations: Muhammad Haji Salleh’s Sajak-Sajak Sejarah Melayu.

Shivani Sivagurunathan had a poem published in Abyss and Apex a while ago. Unfortunately you can’t access it without a subscription, but presumably it was speculative! I enjoyed her short story The Bat Whisperer despite the weird formatting – it’s not quite SFF, but probably counts as slipstream. Shivani also has a short story at Futura (see Projects below for details).

Stephanie Lai is an Australian-Malaysian writer of steampunk: The Last Rickshaw.

I’m not sure if Ted Mahsun has been otherwise published, but he’s self-published a couple of SFF short stories as ebooks. One of them is the entertainingly titled Zombies Ate My Muslim.

Tessa Kum is a writer and editor who’s done a bunch of things, including editing Weird Tales and collaborating with Jeff VanderMeer on a number of Halo tie-in stories. She’s also had short fiction published — see her bibliography on GoodReads.

Tunku Halim has been writing horror for a while – I remember reading his short stories in secondary school. They were memorably horrible! Most of his writing seems to be in dead-tree form and only available in Malaysia, but you can check out his ebooks. He also had a short story, Biggest Baddest Bomoh, in The Apex Book of World SF.

Fixi Novo has released a collection of Tunku Halim’s stories which is available on Amazon, Horror Stories, as well as a novel, Last Breath.

Yangsze Choo‘s historical fantasy novel The Ghost Bride is a literary ghost story set in 1890s colonial Malaya and the Chinese world of the dead, about a woman who “must uncover her dead suitor’s secrets before she is forced to become his spirit bride”.

Yen Ooi has published a science fiction novel called Sun: Queens of Earth. Read a teaser here!

Zed Adam Idris wrote a lesbian robot story I liked called Batu Belah in ZI Publications anthology Malaysian Tales: Retold and Remixed. His story The Hunter and the Tigress in Clutch, Brake, Sellerator And Other Stories was also fantasy.

Projects

A collaboration between indie pulp press Fixi Novo, online mag Poskod.my, and arts festival #Word: The Cooler Lumpur Festival, Futura brings together six writers and illustrators to imagine Kuala Lumpur 50 years in the future. Click on the link to read the short stories and admire the art!

Publishers & other languages

There’s also a thriving Malay-language SFF/horror scene, which I am not remotely qualified to go into – I mean, if you’re both able to read it and interested in reading it, you probably already know more about it than me lor. But e.g. a quick review of local indie pulp press Fixi‘s catalogue will turn up a number of SFF novels (zombies in Putrajaya! Aliens invade KL! Weretigers! I think there’s one about robots in the Golden Age of Melaka???). They’ve also got a new imprint for English-language pulp novels and anthologies, Fixi Novo – no SFF so far, but it’s only a matter of time.

ETA: Jaymee has pointed out that publisher PTS has an extensive Malay-language fantasy catalogue.

A cornucopia of fabulousness

King of All Cosmos bolster held up by me

We have a new roomie here in the House of Cho & Co! He is a gift from my spouse, who is a gentil parfait knight if there ever was one (mmm, parfait). He would be good for cosplaying with, only there are no eye holes. ONLY DREADFUL LASER EYES OF DOOM.

King of All Cosmos bolster chillin' on the sofa

This picture gives you a better idea of His Majesty’s vivid manly colouring. He talks when you hit his nose! Also when you hug him (he is very huggable), or accidentally sit on him. He doesn’t currently show up on Penguinotic Designs, but that is where we got him from, and I agree with that one reviewer who said: “They said money doesn’t buy you happiness. They were wrong.”

*

Here is an Economist article about population trends in Britain:

Those who define themselves as “white British” now make up just 81% of the population, down from 88% in 2001, when the last census was conducted. … In 2001 fully 45% of the minority population of England and Wales lived in London. Now, they are more spread out.

(Admittedly that is not the sexiest quote I could have chosen, but I found it interesting.)

*

Stupefying Stories is seeking material by 2013 Campbell-qualifying authors for inclusion in an awards pre-reading anthology. Check out the call for submissions for details. They’re only seeking reprints, and are not paying. The anthology will be available as a free download from 1 February through the end of April 2013.

Even if you don’t want to supply fiction for inclusion in the anthology, it’s probably worth getting in touch if you qualify, as they plan to include a full list of known, eligible candidates and details of their eligibility in the finished volume. If you think you might be eligible but aren’t sure, check out the Writertopia Campbell Award page and the Eligibility FAQ in particular (it’s slightly out of date but I assume is accurate if you move all the dates one year up).

*

Amir Muhammad’s pulp press Fixi is launching an English-language line, Fixi Novo: see manifesto and call for submissions. They’re seeking pulp novels (“crime, horror, sci-fi and so on”) and are interested in the “urban reality of Malaysia”. (Not as serious as it sounds — well, you can tell from their manifesto, but also Fixi’s Malay-language catalogue includes the novel Zombijaya. Rough translation of the back cover blurb: “Welcome to Malaysia. A country rich with Eastern tradition. But what happens when its people are suddenly surrounded by zombies?“)

Fixi Novo is also seeking short stories between 2,000 and 5,000 words on the theme “KL Noir” for an anthology. Details on their Facebook page. (All Malaysian presses seem to operate primarily out of Facebook — don’t ask me why!)