My Stories

New-old story in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 54

I’m so blur lah — apparently ASIM 54 came out last month and I didn’t even notice. My story is in it! That’s pretty cool. The story is called The Earth Spirit’s Favourite Anecdote and is Malaysian fantasy not set in Malaysia (at least not the one we know). Some of you will have read an earlier draft of this lo these many years ago — it’s the one about an earth spirit who moves out of her parents’ place and sets up house, but finds herself having to negotiate with an annoying landlord.

Yeah, my thematic preoccupations are super deep!

The story is told in Manglish. IIRC my main influences were Manglish, hobbits, and the Legolas/Gimli relationship. If those are the kinds of things that interest you too, you can buy a copy in print, pdf, mobi or epub format at their website: Latest Issue (scroll down past ASIM 35).

Table of Contents below.

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My Stories

Fiction: The Perseverance of Angela’s Past Life

A sequel to Prudence and the Dragon, published in Crossed Genres Quarterly #1 in February 2011 and reprinted by The World SF Blog in March 2012. You can download an epub of this story here: click here to download ebook.


The Perseverance of Angela’s Past Life

by Zen Cho


Angela was stalking herself.

She was packing for Japan and she had better things to worry about than doppelgangers, so she was trying to pretend her self wasn’t there.

She thought she would probably need one pair of formal shoes, but she couldn’t decide whether she should pack the new fancy shoes—which were beautiful and appropriate, but untried—or the old stalwart black peeptoes. They were a little manky, but they had seen her through May Balls and medsoc dinners alike.

“Bring both,” said her old self.

Her old self could not enter the room without Angela’s permission. She hovered at the window, peering in.

Angela was not going to invite her in. It was a cold night, but the dead don’t feel the cold.

“I’m travelling light,” said Angela. She set the new shoes down and picked up the old pair. What did it matter if they were scuffed? They had never let her down before. “I’m not bringing you also. All the more I shouldn’t be bringing extra shoes.”

“What lah, not bringing me,” said her old self. “I’m part of you what.”

The thaumaturge had confirmed this.

The problem was that Angela’s best friend was dating a dragon. Initially Angela hadn’t noticed any side-effects. Just the usual sort of thing. Outrage that her best friend was no longer as available as she used to be, that Angela was no longer the first person she called when she wanted to watch a musical or go to the park.

But these were ordinary incidents of the readjustment of a best friendship. Angela had got over it in time.

She was having difficulty getting over being split into two people, though.

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My Stories

Fiction: Chicken Chicken Bang Bang (Issue 14, The Selangor Times)

Reprinted with the permission of Selangor Times editor KL Chan. A JPEG version displaying the original layout is available at Amir Muhammad’s blog: Short story by Zen Cho in the 14th issue of Selangor Times.


Chicken Chicken Bang Bang

by Zen Cho


Eileen knew she shouldn’t have listened to her brother.

Confucius should have included a get-out clause in the Analects, she thought. Respect your elders–except when they are idiots.

“Come, I drive you to work,” Ko had said in the morning. “I fixed the Proton last weekend. Want to see whether it works or not.”

Eileen had demurred: “No, it’s OK. I’ll take the LRT.”

“Come lah,” said Ko. “No point you drive to the LRT station and then have to wait for the train. Might as well I drive you all the way.”

“But you know I hate the jam,” said Eileen.

“Don’t worry. We’ll go by highway,” said Ko. “I know a special way to get there. Very fast one! I tell you, you won’t even notice the jam.”

Now here they were, stuck in an unmoving car, in a sea of unmoving cars. They hadn’t even got to the toll. The toll booths wavered in the distance like a mirage.

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