Malaysia, Malaysian writing, My Stories, Other People's Stories, SFF

Aliens, Love in Penang and KL 50 years in the future

Aliens: Recent Encounters has been sighted in bookshops! Editor Alex Dally MacFarlane reports. Aliens contains my story The Five Generations of Chang E, which — considering it also features Le Guin, Ken Liu, Yoon Ha Lee, Lavie Tidhar, Sofia Samatar, Nisi Shawl, etc etc etc — is the least of its attractions. Table of Contents here; info on how to get a copy in Alex’s post.


I’m delighted that my story Double-Blind will be appearing in Fixi Novo anthology Love in Penang, due out in November. This isn’t a SF or F story, but one of my occasional mundane ones. I secretly envision it as being part of a series of short stories I will do some day, which will be interlinked within a framing narrative about a KL dating agency run by a burnt out businesswoman under the name Janelle Looi (her real name is Janet, but Janet was insufficiently romantic). It would basically be a written romcom set in urban Malaysia! (My first, unlamented drawer-novel about the romance of a crossdressing academic who wins a reality TV beauty pageant was also supposed to be part of this series.)

So far I only have Double-Blind, though:

Swigging her seventh glass of orange vodka, Mei Yi climbed to her feet and announced:

“It is time!”

She was a woman with a flair for the dramatic, who could not ask someone to pass the toothpicks without imbuing her voice with tragedy. Bee had met her when they’d both joined an amateur theatre group. Bee had done so in the grip of a quarter-life crisis and had withdrawn shortly, reassured that the mundane corporate life had been the right choice. Mei Yi remained a leading lady and now did voice-overs for milk powder advertisements.


I tell you what is SF, though: Futura! This is a collab between indie pulp press Fixi Novo, online mag, and #Word: The Cooler Lumpur Festival, which is a terrible pun and also an arts/media festival taking place this summer. (The programme looks really cool! Sigh, wish I could go.)

Futura brings together six writers and illustrators to imagine Kuala Lumpur 50 years in the future. Two short stories have gone up so far, The Domed City by Angeline Woon (art by Yeoh Yi-Piao) and Lungs by Shivani Sivagurunathan (art by Shahril Nizam). Checks it out!


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