Monday, 26 July 2010

Jaymee Goh's Intro to Malaysian SFF.

From Jeff Vandermeer's Ecstatic Days, Jaymee Goh writes (too) briefly about Malaysian science fiction and fantasy:
I’m not home enough to be able to judge Malaysian sf/f very much. I’ve got one book from PTS Publishing, and I didn’t like it. The writing was poor, like that of a new scifi writer who has yet to master the craft of storytelling before going on about How! Cool! This! Hero! Is! I like wish fulfillment fiction as much as the next person – it’s one of the reasons why I read sf/f – but like my friend cycads says, about another different genre of writing in Malaysia, “Can do better.”
However she fails to give any examples, save for a link to the science fiction section on the PTS website.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Thoughts on Recent Goings-on in My Life.

In past twelve months, I have worked in an art gallery, taught English to a variety of non-English speaking but very willing to learn students, taught English to unwilling students (ugh), programmed a computer game, formed a company to sell said video game, had a baby girl, got into a fight with my brother (jealous of the baby), got into a fight with my mother (protective of her favourite son, i.e. not me), and finally, moved into a new house, as far away as I possibly could afford from my insane family.

I can, with all honesty, say that writing is much better than everything I've mentioned above. Well... save for having a baby girl. That was pretty awesome. The new house is pretty nice too.

So! What's been going on with you then?

Thoughts on the New Layout.

PRETTY NEAT HUH!

Thoughts on Writing About Your Own Country.

Four years ago, around the time I started this blog, my wish was to write a novel about the country I live in, Malaysia.

I wanted to write my version of the Great Malaysian Novel, something that delivered the essence of Malaysia within 100,000 words or so. A novel that would bring together varied characters that reflected the many aspects of Malaysiana, yet without descending into the stereotypical tropes the Malaysian Tourism Board seems to celebrate.

That was then. I have since realised several awkward things about my ambition. I don't know enough about my own country to write about it. And the most awkward: I've fallen out of love with my country. I no longer want to write about the things I wanted to write about, because everything just makes me feel sick.

How to continue? My only solution right now is to wait for the malaise to fade away. In the mean time, my fantasy novel(s?) get written.

Maybe what I'm trying to say is, I'm just not old enough; not experienced enough.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy wins BBC Samuel Johnson Prize.

I have a list of 3 countries I really want to visit, and number one on that list North Korea. North Korea is fascinating in that it is now one of only two truly communist countries in our time and also the only country that is properly Orwellian, down to its worship of a Big Brother-type figure.

I've been reading in interest in how North Koreans live their lives, mostly from brief articles on the BBC News website, so when a book like Nothing to Envy, written by LA Times journalist Barbara Demick, gets published, my attention is piqued. But when it wins a prestigious literary prize, well! Consider that a must-buy then.

Check out a review at the Guardian, while I go to Kinokuniya and ask if they have it.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

A young Haruki Murakami.

Love, love, LOVE this picture. Via the very resourceful murakami Community Livejournal.

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