Category Archives: Awards

A Stargirl for Your Consideration

Even though Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume Three and LONTAR issue #8 and issue #9 were published last year, as well as my introduction to The Infinite Library and Other Stories by Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, only one of my own original* fiction works also appeared, although it’s one I have some definite fondness for. And since awards season is coming up once again, I thought I’d present it here for your consideration.

The Stargirl and the Potter” was published last July in Daily Science Fiction. Thank you again to editors Michele-Lee Barasso and Jonathan Laden for taking the story and giving it such a nice home. Here’s how it starts:

I tell you this tale as it was told to me so very long ago.

She appeared one day in the town. Nobody knew where she had come from, or who her family might be, or what she was called, or why her skin glowed ever-so-slightly with a sparkling luminescence. Nobody saw her enter the town from the main road, or alight from a carriage, or dismount from the back of a horse. One moment she was not there, and the next she was. Although she had a laugh that filled the air with musicality, she did not speak; after some time, most came to the conclusion that she simply did not wish to. She kept her thoughts to herself, and so the townspeople collectively named her the Stargirl.

And here’s the author’s note I wrote to accompany it:

“The Stargirl and the Potter” had three sources of inspiration: 1) Pablo Neruda’s love poem “The Potter” (from the collection The Captain’s Verses), 2) Gabriel García Márquez’s short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” (about a very different kind of stranger who comes to town), and 3) a former lover with a celestial nickname. Having lived in Singapore for over a decade, I’ve written about the island-nation and the wider region for quite some time, but I needed to depart from that focus with this story; it felt more “Wild West” to me, a calm tale set in a steampunk frontier (although the locale is purposefully ambiguous). It was written as a Christmas gift, and as an optimistic expression of love, which I was pleasantly surprised still existed after my divorce. It is also about acceptance, respect, and healing, and is almost gleefully free from conflict. It is a gentle story, an urban legend, a fairy tale. All of it is true, except the parts that are not.

Read the story here, and if you feel moved to nominate it for something, that’s awesome. If not, that’s cool too. I’m just glad it’s out there.

* Two other of my stories also appeared last year in Alluvium: The Journal of Literary Shanghai, “Bodhisattva at the Heat Death of the Universe” and “Occupy: An Exhibition“, but they were reprinted from my collections Strange Mammals and Red Dot Irreal (Revised Edition), respectively, and are therefore not eligible for awards consideration for 2018.


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Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Happy Friday the 13th! Just in case you missed it, or if you don’t regularly follow my Facebook feed, I released a LOT of announcements this week:

1) Fish Eats Lion is now available as an ebook from Infinity Plus Books, at all major ebook stores [full post].

2) My next picture book, Bo Bo and Cha Cha Cook Up a Storm, will be released in October from Epigram Books [photo proof].

3) LONTAR issues #1 and #2 took the top bestselling spots at Weightless Books for May 2014, and are also now up at the Nook and iTunes stores [full post].

4) The contents for LONTAR issue #3 were finalized, and the journal will hereon be published by Epigram Books [full post].

5) My story “Taxi Ride” appears in the Summer 2014 “Starry Island” issue of MANOA Journal, which will be available at Kinokuniya near the end of July, and can be pre-ordered now [press release | order page].

6) Amanda Lee Koe’s fiction collection, Ministry of Moral Panic (which I edited), made the 2014 longlist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award [award site].

7) I will be in New York City in early October, appearing at a WORD Bookstore event in Brooklyn and at the inaugural Singapore Literature Festival at the 92nd Street Y [full post].

A very fortuitous week, the best in some time, career-wise. I am doing my best to be grateful for the influx of good news, rather than expecting a falling anvil from the sky at any moment.

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Filed under Awards, Lit Festivals, LONTAR, Publishing, Singapore, Writing

BB&CC 2 Nominated in Popular 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards!

Bo Bo and Cha Cha’s Big Day OutSome cool news this evening: Bo Bo and Cha Cha’s Big Day Out has been nominated in the Popular Bookstore 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards!

The awards are organized in conjunction with Bookfest@Singapore 2013 (which will be happening in December), along with the National Arts Council and the National Book Development Council of Singapore. Voting is open until 30th of September (you can vote for your favorite three books in each category), and as a nice bit of promotion, the book is discounted 20% in all Popular shops until 30th of November.

Also in the English (Children) category are three other Epigram Books titles: Sherlock Sam And The Ghostly Moans In Fort Canning by AJ Low (aka my good friends Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez), Justice Bao: The Case Of The Missing Coins by Catherine Khoo, and Whoopie Lee: The Big Spell Off by Adeline Foo.

If you’re a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident, please give the ballot a look; as an incentive, you’ll be entered in a drawing for $50 Popular vouchers and a one-year Popular card if a book you’ve chosen wins. So vote today!

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Published Works Eligible for the WFA

The judges for the 2012 World Fantasy Awards have just been announced; for those of you who are attending WFC 2012 in Toronto, or attended last year in San Diego, or in 2010 in Columbus, Ohio, and who might be nominating works for this year’s WFA, following is a list of my eligible fiction published in 2011, should you feel so inclined to do me the honor of placing any of it on your ballot:

  • Red Dot Irreal, Math Paper Press (collection)
  • “Bogeymen,” Subterranean Magazine no. 8 (novella) (rep. in Red Dot Irreal)
  • “Coast,” Coast (short fiction) (rep. in Red Dot Irreal)
  • “Dragging the Frame,” Red Dot Irreal (short fiction)
  • “Ikan Berbudi (Wise Fish),” Red Dot Irreal (short fiction)
  • “Kopi Luwak,” Red Dot Irreal (short fiction)
  • Strange Mammals,” Zouch Magazine & Miscellany (short fiction)
  • Taxi Ride,” Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (short fiction) (rep. in Red Dot Irreal)

So it appears that the overwhelming majority of my fiction published last year was also reprinted in Red Dot Irreal, or saw publication in the collection for the first time; the only outlier is “Strange Mammals,” which can be read online for free.

So, that said, if you are a WFC attending or supporting member for 2010, 2011, and/or 2012, and can email me proof of your membership, I’ll send you a coupon code so that you can download the DRM-free ebook version of Red Dot Irreal for your nominating consideration. Offer expires on June 1, 2012, when WFA nominations are due.

Happy voting!

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