Free fiction: Beloved.


Beloved, based on/inspired by the Song of Songs

You have wings, therefore you must fly

The Book of Imaginary Beasts: Book #53: Erase and Rewind

Contains a story by me.

Also an awesome publication that is sadly ending its run.

ICFA: thoughts, reflections and ruminations

My trip to Orlando for ICFA was nothing short of a tale worthy of “An Incredible Journey” proportions. Seven hours to Dubai, then a two hours transit before flying to Orlando with a total of thirteen hours.

I landed at Orlando International and the first thing I saw were raptors in the sky. To me, seeing raptors with their huge wings soaring on thermals is a good sign. That means that things will/would go well. But Customs was something else for me: it was more than a hour’s wait to have my passport checked! I am glad that Jaymee waited for me patiently and I got to Orlando Marriott in one piece, very thirsty and very jazzed.

Walking into the corridors of the hotel and seeing the ICFA standee was mind-blowing. I am here! I am finally here! I went mad over the table with the free books (by the end of my stay, half of my luggage was books). Then we managed to get our room and gosh, a hot shower was the best thing on the planet.

Dinner was at the Crimson Tide and the company was solid: Jaymee Goh, Isabel Yap, Alyssa Wong, Fran Wilde, Ted Chiang, Sam Miller and Bradford Lyau. Then it was bed-time and my body clock trying to adjust to the time zones (Singapore is technically in the future).

The next morning saw us at Denny’s: John Chu, Emily Jiang, me and Jaymee. I loved the omelette. At the same time, while we ate, I saw an ibis!

I am fast forwarding a little,  bear with me.

Met Nisi Shawl and had a total fangirl moment. Met Tempest and I love her to bits! Then I met Nalo Hopkinson. And you know what? My mind is blown and I am in total awe of these fierce women.

Caught up with Helen Young. We had mussels. Talked about Australia and that we really need diversity in fantasy, not just lip service. Then I also met up with Keffy, Julia Rios, her husband Moss, Amal El-Mohtar, Rachel Swirsky, Gail Carriger, Mari Ness – and of course, the story of Febreezed male huly dulies is now storified. 😛

Friday morning saw me reading The Lessons of the Moon from the Accessing The Future anthology edited by Kathryn Allan and Djibril al-ayad . I thought I really garbled the reading, especially from the start – and was surprised that people actually loved it, to the extent of nominating it for the Hugos! I was – and still am – very flabbergasted. Thank you, Shaun! The reading taught me never to self-reject, that my voice does matter. My work is good and I am proud of it.

And met Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman! It was warm and fun resting on the huge cushion (need to get one for the house)

Saturday morning, before I flew off, was a panel with Eric Flint, Madeleine, and me. Publishing, the hard work, the reality of it etc.

Thank you so much for welcoming me to ICFA. I loved the dawn swim with Fran, Julia, Amal, Moss and Rachel. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity, Karen. It has been a very powerful experience for me. I do not get to attend conferences and conventions frequently – and this has been a miracle. ICFA this year was right smack in the week-long term break for me. Thank you so much for the conversations, for the hugs and for the encouragements.

I am very very very  grateful.

I can’t tell people that they must go to ICFA. This year was a confluence of luck, finances and timing for me. For me, I can’t drop everything just to attend a con or conference – so this is a very big miracle for me. For many, it’s just time, finance and work that affect our decisions to attend a con. Accessibility in so many levels matters – I hope to see that such opportunities can be given to people. Many thanks to Con or Bust for their help!


Gardens By The Bay, Flower Dome, 26/3, Hanami.


The Two-Headed universe, rebooted

I ought to write something about ICFA, but my head and heart are so full, I need time to digest things.

So, I distracted myself with making new covers for the Two-Headed universe YA books.




Sword And Silence


I am so glad that The Lessons of the Moon touched many people during the reading at ICFA.

The short story (starts with a poem) is in the awesome Accessing The Future, edited by Kathryn Allan and Djibril al-Ayad, an athology that looks at disability in science fiction.

I am flabbergasted that it is even Nebula or Hugo standard. I should not  self-reject – but there are days when I feel that my story is not that good, or Clarion-level, or even readable.

It was inspired by my biopsy. In 2014, I discovered a lump in my breast. I was given a breast surgeon who then sent me immediately to do a biopsy. It turned out benign, but it scared me. The following year where I underwent treatment was harrowing as the medication was strong and I was often chronically fatigued.

The day of the biopsy was just as harrowing. My breast was so inflamed that the local anaesthetic did not work; I literally spent the entire procedure in pain as the extractors stabbed in and I could actually feel the thud when they bit into flesh and fat. I was bleeding quite a fair bit too. I spent the day recovering at my parents’ – and it was during this time the words of the poem first entered my head. I just had to write them down.

So, to the many people who loved the story, thank you so much. I am very very very grateful to have shared this story and a very dark moment in my life.

T-minus 6 hours to flight.

I will be on radio silence since I will be away for ICFA until Sunday (one day will be spending transiting in airports).


So, onwards to ICFA

Finally on my week-long term break – and now, I have the time to plan. What to pack? What to buy? When to panic?

I am going to get my hair cut (I hope), get another pair of good walking shoes – and hopefully, not to panic when I reach Dubai International.


About Chaser

I have been mulling about Chaser, the third book in the Rider YA trilogy about a desert planet, flying pterosaur aliens and a girl’s coming-of-age.

It being published is put on (infinite?) hold since the sales of Rider and Speaker are poor, and Math Paper Press is a small press struggling to survive. They have many books out at the moment, and I am afraid that my YA books are being drowned out by lit fic, poetry and hipster photography books. They just aren’t moving, due to lack of publicity and marketing.

At the moment, Rider is getting some eye-balls, but that’s like after three years(?) after it’s been published. I know I am not like a Big Name author or Big Six person with books on the NYT list nor am I hyped by the sff circles – so at the moment, as for Chaser, I am resigned, you know. Tired of beating my head against a hard wall all the time.

Now since it’s out…

The SEA in SEA itself!

I am so excited!

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