Yes, we do exist!
We, meaning SFF writers of Singapore.
I could see the evidence in the SFF panel. We are around. We are outspoken. We are here to stay. The panelists spoke with passion. Dave Chua, Rosemary Lim, Sarah Coldheart and myself.
We covered the publishing debate, the trials and tribulations of publishing genre in Singapore [note: difficult - focus overseas]. Basically, Singaporean publishers are not willing to publish things that are not profitable. Rosemary brought up an important point: publishing is a business. Publishers have to know if that particular book is able to sell to a wider market. Genre fiction is too niche in Singapore. That’s why we end up with the memoirs, the poetry books, the recipe books and ghost stories – simply because they sell.
Then we talked about increasing the profile of SFF writing in Singapore. A few of us likened the SFF writer to an unicorn. Rare, special and obviously hiding. Do we need a princess to lure the elusive beast out of the forest? SFF writers do exist. The trick is to group everyone together into an united front. Should a SFF zine do it? Then, who will make the effort and commit to this?
Honestly, I ended up with more questions in my head. We are here now. What should we do? I am all for the SFF zine. But talk is cheap. Let’s make it happen…
Because after all, we do exist.
Many grateful thanks to the panelists who contributed to the ongoing discussion and to those who attended the panel. The book signing was great. Hint: I want to see more of this in the future.