If you’re not already aware, the main project I’ve been working on for the last few months is Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction. Submissions closed November 30th last year, and I finished reading through them all by the beginning of this year.
I’m now at the stage of having the proof copy in my hands within the next week, and so I think it’s time I talk a bit about it here.
First of all, the stunning cover was illustrated by Jun Hun Yap. I had a great time working with him and highly recommend him if you’re looking for an artist yourself. Check it out:
Now let me tell you a bit about my motivations behind developing this anthology. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I write a bit about diversity in the media, or lackthereof. I thought, rather than complaining about the lack of diversity, why don’t I actually create something that represents what I want to see more of? And so came Amok.
Speculative fiction is the genre I’m most drawn to these days, both as a reader and a writer, and so it just made the most sense for me to focus the anthology there. I generally define the genre as real world settings with elements of science-fiction, fantasy, or horror. A nice mix of the real and unreal.
When it came to the selection process, I knew that the Asia-Pacific region would help me with the racial diversity I was looking for. I was also looking for diversity in the areas of sexuality, religion, gender, age, and ability. I was really lucky that I got submissions that represented all of these, though some areas were limited, and I particularly wanted more LGBT stories than I’d received. I ended up writing a story to fill the gap I felt had been missing from submissions, picking a location that no submissions had been set in (South Korea), and adding a non-traditional relationship to the mix.
I was able to include most of the settings that I received submissions for. Aside from my South Korea story, you will also find stories set in Australia (3), China (2), Hawaii (2), Hong Kong (1), India (1), Indonesia (1), Japan (2), Malaysia (4), New Zealand (1), Pacific Ocean (2), Philippines (2), Singapore (1), Thailand & Vietnam (1).
You may note that Malaysia and Australia have the most stories, and that would be because they had the most submissions, with a grand total of 13 for Malaysia and 12 for Australia. Limiting those stories was one of the hardest tasks because the quality was so great, and so sometimes it came down to the type of diversity in the stories themselves. In the Australian stories, there’s one with disabled children, one that includes an Aboriginal woman, and the final one has a single mother protagonist. The Malaysian stories are almost as racially diverse as the country and focus on different aspects of the culture I’ve grown familiar with in the last five years. I really wanted to showcase that diversity, and judging by the reviews so far, people have been impressed with the Malaysian stories.
“No messing around here. You MUST read this book as soon as it comes out. Anyone who likes anything even slightly science fiction will ADORE these stories.” — Read the full review by K.C. Finn
“I have to say that Amok is the most satisfying anthology I have read in years, and it will stay with me for a long time.” — Read the full review by Rumaizah Bakar
“[I]f like me you’re the kind of adult who still requires a story or two at bedtime, these will do nicely. If you’re a reader of Asian-American fiction or Hyphen magazine, you might be looking for just this kind of book.” — Read the full review at Books and Cleverness
“All lovers of speculative or quirky fiction should find something for them here.” — Read the full review by E A M Harris
In an anthology that spans from India in the west to Hawai‛i in the east, and as far south as Australia and New Zealand, 24 authors bring you an exciting range of tales set in the past, present, and future.
Discover characters like the Moon Rabbit from Chinese mythology, a kitsune from Japanese mythology, and the aswang from Filipino mythology.
Find out what arises when a struggling Malaysian student seeks help for her studies in Chinatown, and what happens when the garbage in the Pacific Ocean is seen as a valuable treasure.
Futures imagined stretch from amazing advances in technology to depressing dystopias.
Read these stories and so many more in Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction.
Featuring stories by:
Brett Adams, Jo Wu, Kris Williamson, Recle Etino Vibal, Tabitha Sin, Ailia Hopkins, KZ Morano, TR Napper, Terence Toh, Kawika Guillermo, Barry Rosenberg, Eeleen Lee, Jax Goss, Jo Thomas, Daniel A. Kelin II, Fadzlishah Johanabas, Shenoa Carroll-Bradd, Dominica Malcolm, Aashika Nair, Celeste A. Peters, Agnes Ong, Rebecca Freeman, NJ Magas, and Tom Barlow
As with Solarwyrm Press’ previous books, we are crowdfunding again. Amok is actually one of two anthologies we’re releasing at the same time. The other one is Allusions of Innocence, edited by Jax Goss, who previously edited our first anthology, Fae Fatales. Though the official release date for these books is April 30th, you’ll be able to get them early by ordering them through the campaign.
We are also coincidentally running the campaign at the same time Indiegogo is promoting campaigns that empower women for International Women’s Day next month. What this means is that, since we’re included in that, Indiegogo will give us $1 for every $25 raised on March 3rd. That doesn’t mean you should wait until then to buy a book or two. We’ve already gotten off to a great start with orders, but the amount we actually need in order to pay everyone who was involved in the books is a lot higher than the goal we set. We just set the goal low because we wanted to be able to get the books to people regardless of how much money we made from the campaign. That means every dollar we receive makes a difference!
Right now the rewards are limited mostly to the new anthologies and our back catalogue (including my novel, Adrift). However, if you love the book cover(s), I will most likely be adding a t-shirt reward in the next week, if you’d like to pick up a t-shirt with one of the book covers printed on it!
It would be awesome if you can help us spread the word about the campaign and the books. And if you can contribute by buying something, even better!