Tag Archives: love in penang

A couple of belated updates: interview and book giveaway

Interview

Bristol Festival of Literature organiser Peter Sutton posted an interview with me on his blog:

Interview at Bristol Book Blog

I talk about writing, and my plans for conventions and festivals this year, and the fact that I secretly want to be a sort of Power Ranger giant robot combo of Edith Nesbit and Pankaj Mishra. Which is something I had not known until I did the interview, but is now my life mission!

Book giveaway

Anna Tan edited the Fixi Novo short story anthology Love in Penang which I’m in, and she is running a Love in Penang giveaway! I will put the giveaway code at the bottom of this post so you can enter it from here if you would like. She is giving the book away to one person based in Malaysia and one person based elsewhere.

I wrote a bit about my story in my post about the anthology here, but it’s basically a romcom about mistaken assumptions and misunderstandings. As all romcoms are, I guess! There is a happy ending, of course.

Here is the blurb for the book (it’s in English, in case you were wondering):

Penang, with its mix of old world charm and modern bustle, has captured the hearts of many – making it the ideal place for a little bit of romance. Bask in the sweetness of young hearts falling in love and cheer them on when circumstances stand in their way. Walk through the pain of broken relationships and rejoice at unexpected reunions. Whether you prefer it happy or bittersweet, straightforward or a little complicated, LOVE IN PENANG offers you 18 morsels of love in various forms.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The annual awards eligibility post, plus other things

I really didn’t want to make this post this year, which probably means I should. >_< But first, links to other people’s posts!

Aliette de Bodard has done her usual round-up including excellent Asian SFF by other people as well herself. Check out her links and download a free novelette at her post: Awards eligibility and awards recommendations.

Ken Liu has also got a fabulously comprehensive post linking to his favourite (mostly short) fiction of the year, plus his own eligible work (which includes two stories about litigators!): Nominating Stories for Awards.

Short stories I’ve had published this year:

Love in the Time of Utopia in Issue #1 of LONTAR, ed. Jason Erik Lundberg and Kristine Ong Muslim, Math Paper Press (September 2013). 6,200 words.

“You’re missing out. At least love is available to everybody, high station or low. It’s the one thing you can get without having to sit exam.”

The Fish Bowl in The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic, ed. Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber, Alchemy Press (November 2013). 5,600 words.

The koi’s mouth opened and closed, an intermittent surprised O. Its white skin was so smooth it seemed scaleless. It would feel like silken tofu if you touched it. Seen from above, the fish’s one eye looked heavy-lidded and wise.

“Are you a magical fish or a door-to-door salesman?” Su Yin whispered.

Balik Kampung (Going Back) in End of the Road, ed. Jonathan Oliver, Solaris Books (December 2013). 4,700 words.

Hungry ghosts were the spirits of the unfortunate, unlamented dead: those who were killed violently; who died burdened by unfulfilled longings; who had been greedy or ungenerous in life; who were forgotten by their living. It was obvious to Lydia which category she fell into.

These are all eligible in the short story category, and I’d be happy to provide copies to anyone who’d like to read them for awards — just comment with your email address, or email me. No obligation to nominate after reading, obviously!

(There were two more — Jebat Dies in Esquire Malaysia and Double-Blind in Fixi Novo’s Love in Penang (ed. Anna Tan) — but the first is Hang Tuah fanfic and the second is a totally non-speculative love story, so they don’t really count for these purposes.)

If you have had things published that are eligible, and you are dithering over whether to make this sort of post or not — do it. Do it even if you don’t think anyone reads your blog or follows your Twitter account who even votes for this kind of thing. Do it even if making the post makes you cringe. My blog doesn’t get a lot of pageviews, but I am absolutely certain that I wouldn’t have got the Campbell nomination if I hadn’t made this post last year.

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I am going to piggyback off this post to post about two more things!

For some reason Fixi always gotta publish all its calls for submissions in pictorial form. Their English-language imprint is now seeking short stories and creative non-fiction of 2,000-5,000 words for a new anthology called Lost in Putrajaya. Deadline 28 February. See the call for submissions here.

If I were a better and braver writer I would venture out of my comfort zone and write hardbitten crime stories and political satire to submit to Fixi’s English-language anthologies. Sadly I am a wimp + lazy, so I don’t! You should do it for me.

Also, if you go to Google.com.my today, it has a picture of beloved filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad which makes me all misty-eyed — like her work itself. She would’ve been 56 years old today (going by Malaysian time la). Faster go! The art is lovely.

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.