Calls for submissions, Malaysia, Personal

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.”

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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.)

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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but aren’t sure, check out the Writertopia Campbell Award page and the Eligibility FAQ in particular (it’s slightly out of date but I assume is accurate if you move all the dates one year up).

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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!)

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Books, Other People's Stories, Writing

Writing, adopted tigers, forgotten Jews and a small press

Graceling author Kristin Cashore’s Pictures of a Book Being Made, wherein she chronicles the agonising process of writing her much-garlanded novel Bitterblue, made me feel better about the slow stop-and-start of being a writer on a day when I really needed it. I confess I’ve only read Cashore’s Fire*, but I really liked it, and I really like her blog. I admire her willingness to be vulnerable and her great sincerity.

My friend Katy posted an amusing description of a BBC News fluff piece about a dog adopting tiger cubs. I link to her post rather than directly to the video because I think her description makes the video all the funnier. The “I can’t be fucked”ness of the reporter’s voice is brilliant.

I thought this article about Malaysia’s forgotten Jewish community was very interesting. Thousands of Jewish people! Apparently they are mostly Arab and Chinese (the latter is so unexpected that the Malaysian friend I was talking to about the article initially thought I meant Chinese people who marry white Jewish people, like Amy Chua and her husband).

New Malaysian small press Ianslip books is seeking English-language submissions for publication. They’re interested in “fiction/nonfiction/poetry … dude, whatever it may be”.

*I always start series at some inconvenient middle point — my very first introduction to the wonderful sprawling Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian, a 20-book epic which I profoundly love, was the tenth book, The Far Side of the World (great introduction). The first Discworld book I read was The Last Continent (terrible introduction). My first Tori Amos album was From the Choirgirl Hotel — rather challenging; Little Earthquakes would probably have been easier. I basically only got into Tori Amos because I wanted to make full use of the cassette I’d paid good money for, never mind whether I enjoyed the music or not. (I listened to it religiously, frowning in perplexity, until I started enjoying it. I imagine you could train yourself similarly to enjoy opera, or Tibetan throat singing.)

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