Jason sepia

moving to wordpress

Hi all,

Just wanted to write a brief note that I'm moving blogging platforms to Wordpress. I officially migrated to LiveJournal from JournalScape back in February 2005, so I've been at LJ for almost exactly seven years. I've used Wordpress a bit during that time, and have always enjoyed the experience, so in honor of the New Year (both Chinese and Regular), and of the fact that I'm setting some definite writing goals this year, I decided to migrate not only my blog, but my entire website as well. The details of which can be found here.

So I hope you'll update your bookmarks and keep following me over at Wordpress, where I hope to increase my blogging output this year as well. And you can still keep track of me on Facebook and Twitter too.

Jason sepia

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!
Jason sepia

2011 Books Read

Going back to 2006, I've had a tradition of posting the books I've read each year, as a way of keeping track of my reading habits and preferences, and will do so once again here. The list is provided sans commentary, although I will say that the books I've bothered both to pick up and to finish are ones that I consider worth reading. And I would ask that if mention of the titles below strikes your fancy, please consider picking them up through IndieBound and supporting your local independent bookstores.

Only 66 books finished this year, but it was a rough year, and 1Q84 took me five weeks to finish by itself (although it was also an omnibus of three novels as well).

2011 Books Read:

01. *Pump Six and Other Stories* by Paolo Bacigalupi
02. *To Kill a Mockingbird* by Harper Lee
03. *The Sandman Presents: The Furies* by Mike Carey & John Bolton
04. *Astonishing X-Men Vol. 3: Torn* by Joss Whedon & John Cassaday
05. *Dreadnought* by Cherie Priest
06. *Satori Blues: A Poem* by Cyril Wong
07. *Astonishing X-Men Vol. 4: Unstoppable* by Joss Whedon & John Cassaday
08. *Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of "To Kill a Mockingbird"* by Mary McDonagh Murphy
09. *Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows* by J.K. Rowling
10. *The Enchanter* by Vladimir Nabokov (Trans. Dmitri Nabokov)
11. *The Last Book* by Zoran Zivkovic
12. *The Ghostwriter* by Zoran Zivkovic
13. *The Executioness* by Tobias S. Buckell
14. *The Alchemist* by Paolo Bacigalupi
15. *The Man in the High Castle* by Philip K. Dick
16. *The Things They Carried* by Tim O'Brien
17. *Cages* by Dave McKean
18. *The Broken Kingdoms* by N.K. Jemisin
19. *The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World* by Paul H. Ray & Sherry Ruth Anderson
20. *Tales of Freedom* by Ben Okri
21. *The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ* by Philip Pullman
22. *Drawing Out the Dragons* by James A. Owen
23. *A Wild Sheep Chase* by Haruki Murakami
24. *Brighten to Incandescence: 17 Stories* by Michael Bishop
25. *Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was* by Barry Hughart
26. *Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?* by Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert, et al.
27. *The Happiest Toddler on the Block* by Harvey Karp
28. *The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch* by Philip K. Dick
29. *Four Novels of the 1960s (LOA)* by Philip K. Dick
30. *The Story of the Stone* by Barry Hughart
31. *Starve Better* by Nick Mamatas
32. *The Five Wonders of the Danube* by Zoran Zivkovic
33. *Sensation* by Nick Mamatas
34. *The Merchant of Venice* by William Shakespeare
35. *A Visit from the Goon Squad* by Jennifer Egan
36. *Akata Witch* by Nnedi Okorafor
37. *Borges and the Eternal Orangutans* by Luis Fernando Verissimo (trans. Margaret Jull Costa)
38. *Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Last Gleaming (Season 8, Volume 8)* by Joss Whedon et al.
39. *The Tiger's Wife* by Téa Obreht
40. *A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia and Other Stories* by Victor Pelevin (Trans. Andrew Bromfield)
41. *Kraken* by China Miéville
42. *Manhood for Amateurs* by Michael Chabon
43. *Mary* by Vladimir Nabokov
44. *Wonderland* by Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew
45. *Noise* by Darin Bradley
46. *Blockade Billy* by Stephen King
47. *How we Got Insipid* by Jonathan Lethem
48. *King, Queen, Knave* by Vladimir Nabokov
49. *My Suit* by Jason Wee (Babette's Feast #1)
50. *You Cannot Count Smoke* by Cyril Wong (Babette's Feast #2)
51. *Black & White* by Lewis Shiner
52. *Eight Skilled Gentlemen* by Barry Hughart
53. *The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox* by Barry Hughart
54. *The Luzhin Defense* by Vladimir Nabokov
55. *Half World* by Hiromi Goto
56. *Rossum's Universal Robots* by Karel Čapek
57. *Bloodshot* by Cherie Priest
58. *Vania (Extended Version)* by Vania Zouravliov
59. *Birds of Prey: Death of Oracle* by Gail Simone et al.
60. *1Q84* by Haruki Murakami
61. *The Eye* by Vladimir Nabokov
62. *Glory* by Vladimir Nabokov
63. *The Wild Girls* by Ursula K. Le Guin (PM Press Outspoken Authors #6)
64. *Zoo City* by Lauren Beukes
65. *The Sense of an Ending* by Julian Barnes
66. *The Infernal Desire Machines of Angela Carter* by Jeff VanderMeer

Previously: 2010 Books Read, 2009 Books Read, 2008 Books Read, 2007 Books Read, 2006 Books Read

Jason sepia

red dot irreal now available to order (updated)

If you live in Singapore, Red Dot Irreal is available for purchase at BooksActually and, by next week, at Kinokuniya. Since the awesome folks who published the book through Math Paper Press also run BooksActually, if you buy the book there until 31 December, you'll also get a coupon code for the free e-book version of the book.

For those of you outside of Singapore, the book is now available for ordering!

The paperback can be ordered from the main book page. The shipping zones are set by Singapore Post, although it's a good bet that many of you who may want to order are in Zone 3; if you're not sure, just read the description for each PayPal button on the page. I'm happy to sign and personalize your copies. Prices are in Singapore dollars (SGD), with the book at $25.00 SGD plus variable shipping (Z1 = $5.00 SGD, Z2 = $7.50 SGD, Z3 = $10.00 SGD); currency will automatically be converted by PayPal upon transaction. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.

The e-book edition can be purchased and downloaded from Smashwords for only $3.99 USD. I've just been informed that it has been accepted into the Premium Catalogue, which means it'll be available at the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble NOOK bookstore, Kindle ebook store, and several others in a couple of weeks; I'll update here once this is the case.

In the meantime, you can buy the DRM-free multi-format e-book directly from Smashwords. You only need buy it once and you can download it as a PDF, ePub (for Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others), mobi (for Kindle devices & apps), Palm Doc, RTF, and Plain Text. Then, all you have to do is upload it to your preferred e-reader(s). Since there's no DRM, you're free to move the e-book between devices. Easy!

I'm going to be getting the word out on the book soon, so if you're interested in reviewing a copy for a print publication or high-profile blog, please let me know.

Update: The paperback has now been confirmed as stocked at Books Kinokuniya on Orchard Road, and the e-book is now available at the Apple iBookstore, the Barnes & Noble NOOK Book Store, and the Diesel eBook Store.
Jason sepia

red dot irreal and the power of fiction

This past Saturday night, Red Dot Irreal, my debut short story collection, was launched at the Singapore Writers Festival as part of their "Brand New Books" programming track. About 30 people showed up, only half of whom I actually knew, and I spent an hour reading selections from the book, talking about the publishing journey, and answering questions from the audience. On stage with me were Karen Wai and Kenny Leck, my awesome publishers at Math Paper Press, as well as Jasmine Tan of You & Me Creative, who designed the cover and formatted the interiors. Afterward, to my surprise, a signing queue actually formed, and I happily chatted with those who'd attended the launch and decided to buy the book. (And after that, I got the chance to reconnect with Mario [ demonsismondo | @mingolbacon ] and Juria [ lilredbite | @JuriaTRM ], two good friends that I really need to do a better job keeping in touch with.)

It's been about a year from submission to publication, and at this point, it seems very strange to think that the book is now out there in the world, having to survive on its own, not completely "mine" anymore. I'm simultaneously excited that people are now able to read and (hopefully) enjoy the stories, and also terrified that those readers might instead demand their money back, decry me as a fraud and charlatan, and tell all their friends to boycott my writing from now on.

And it's an entirely different feeling from publishing a singular story in an anthology or magazine. The fact that it's a book, that it's a collective artistic statement about the strange experience of living in Singapore, that it represents years of hard work and an incredible amount of faith from Karen and Kenny -- it's as if somehow things have gotten much more serious, that my writing (and therefore I myself) is being intensely scrutinized for what I have to say.

Scott McCloud, in one of his amazing books of sequential art analysis starting with Understanding Comics (I forget exactly which one), details the different stages of an artist's development, starting with the imitation of other artists, all the way up to a profound self-examination of one's motives in creating art. I'd like to think that I've passed into that upper stage in the last decade, and that the choices I make as a writer have become much more considered and deliberate, to use fiction as the most apt vehicle for what I have to say, not only as a form of entertainment (although the entertainment cannot be divorced from the text either; if the reader isn't entertained on some level, she's not going to keep turning the pages).

In my story "Ikan Berbudi (Wise Fish)" (the second piece in Red Dot Irreal), there's a passage where I briefly lay out my philosophical justification for both writing and reading fiction. The protagonist, Mrs Singh, has complained to her son Vishal that fiction just isn't practical, like reading a medical or law text. This is his response:

He’d tried to explain how experiencing life through someone else’s eyes would make him a more empathetic and understanding person, less likely to be closed-minded or judgmental, more willing to think for himself rather than blindly follow a given ideology. But she wasn’t sure she accepted his argument.

Karen re-read this passage during the book launch in order to talk about why she and Kenny decided to publish the book in the first place, in that they feel much the same way about the power of fiction. BooksActually is a physical manifestation of this same mindset, in the carefully curated literary stock that they sell to the willing Singaporean public. She also talked about the effect of my writing style, that my decision to work within the tropes of slipstream consequentially result in the feeling of passing through or within a dreamscape, with all the wisdom and weirdness that come from dreams.

I hope that this level of profundity exists within my fiction, but on the surface, I also just hope that people enjoy the writing, and come out of the experience of reading my fiction with a slightly expanded sense of how strange and wonderful our own world can be.

I'm very proud of this book. I'm glad that it's only 160-odd pages long, so as to be a pleasant and brief introduction to my work. I'm ecstatic about the design and production of it as a physical object; it's just damn beautiful to look at, and the layering effect of the translucent dustcover adds to the multi-layered motif of the writing inside. Here I am unwrapping a hot-off-the-press copy about a week and a half ago, after the copies were finished printing and delivered to BooksActually:

As of right now, the original paperback version of the book is only available in Singapore, at BooksActually and (starting tomorrow) Kinokuniya. I'll put up a link soon for anyone to buy a signed copy via PayPal, and will be officially releasing the e-book in the next week or two. I'm also looking into possibly having a POD version available for folks outside of Singapore to be able to order. More on this later. If anyone has any suggestions for distribution (especially in the US), please let me know.

These are exciting times.
Jason sepia

nabokov reading challenge (updated)

Prior to this year, I had only a passing interest in the fiction of Vladimir Nabokov. I read Lolita several years ago to see what all the fuss was about, and found myself utterly seduced by Humbert Humbert's language, and discomfited and disturbed by my empathy for such a charming pedophile. Nabokov challenges all kinds of assumptions of acceptability in that novel, and does it in a way that entrances you, as if putting the reader under an incredible spell for the length of the book.

At that point, I did want to find out more about Nabokov, but got a bit intimidated by the size of his published oeuvre. I had heard of Pale Fire, but many of the other titles were unfamiliar to me, and so I didn't know where to start, with the result that I didn't.

Time passed, and then I came across a copy of The Enchanter on the shelves of BooksActually, an exquisitely designed edition with watercolor cover art, and the look of uniform series design (which, when I found other Nabokov titles, turned out to be the case). Penguin had begun reissuing all of Nabokov's books in 2010 with these beautiful covers and high-quality paper, and I was immediately attracted, much as I had been with the man's language.

So I bought The Enchanter from Karen at BooksActually (who is also quite the Nabokov fan), took it home, and read an alternate, much shorter version of Lolita, a version that predated that much more famous work, and could almost be thought of as a dry run for it. A version that works on its own merits; the unnamed enchanter is less successful in his attempts to seduce his own nymphette, and comes to a much worse end.

Some time later, on a visit to Kinokuniya, I spotted other Penguin Modern Classics of Nabokov's titles, and plunged in, steadily filling in the gaps of Nabokov's bibliography with visits there and back at BooksActually (where the shelves were now more fully stocked). At this point, I'm only missing four books for the full set (Transparent Things, Look at the Harlequins!, The Original of Laura, and Strong Opinions). And though the books look beautiful on a bookshelf in their uniform simplicity, I had yet to get to the words inside.

Yesterday, I decided that this was the time, and issued myself a Nabokov Reading Challenge: to read the entire oeuvre in chronological order, starting with Mary. This way, I also get to chart Nabokov's progression as a writer, and really get a sense of the differences between his books originally written in Russian and those in English.

I started Mary last night, and am already about halfway through it. It's a short book, and this is a characteristic of much of his Russian writing (with The Gift being a notable exception). I'm hoping that the brevity of a good many of his works will enable me to finish all of them by the end of the year, but I won't be too strict about this. I do have other books that I want to read, and may intersperse them as well.

I'm also hoping that reading the man's writing in such a concentrated way will have a subconscious effect on my own writing. I did notice that whilst reading Lolita my own fiction was wittier and more language-conscious; I don't read writers like Nabokov or Mieville to improve my vocabulary (a sentiment that some of my students actually subscribe to, as if this is all that reading literature is good for), but this tends to be a nice side effect.

So that's, what, 23 books in just over four months? Certainly possible, though like I said, I'm not pushing it. Anyone want to join me?

Update (31 August): Based on dsmoen's excellent suggestion in the comments to this entry, I've decided to make this reading challenge more reasonable: instead of cramming 23 books into four months (which may exhaust me and inadvertantly turn me off from Nabokov forever), I've decided to read one title per month. Which means that I'll be done sometime around June 2013, give or take a couple of months. This way, I have an attainable goal, and it allows for the reading of other authors during that time, which I'll absolutely want to do.

I've created a Goodreads group, Nabokov in Two Years, to organize the reading challenge, and hopefully to invite others to participate as well. The group is open, so please join today!
Jason sepia

drawing out the dragons: a review and appreciation

As a writer, it's sometimes very easy to get discouraged with this career I've chosen. Rejection rather than acceptance is the norm, a book may sell to a publisher then get dropped because of financial reasons, work that does gets published may get panned or, even worse, ignored. Holding onto that motivation that made me want to be a writer in the first place can sometimes seem a futile endeavor.

And so when James A. Owen released Drawing Out the Dragons: A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power of Choice as an e-book (on April Fool's Day, of all days), it was like an inspirational bolt from heaven, exactly what I needed to read right now at this point in my life and career.

One thing the book does is to humble me utterly. Owen has gone through ten people's worth of seemingly-insurmountable challenges, and yet he has never lost his faith in himself as an artist and creator. Not when he was expected not to survive a mysterious childhood illness, not when his drawing hand was crushed in a car accident, not when he sold everything he owned to move overseas for his dream job and then watch that job evaporate before his eyes. Owen's consistently positive outlook enabled him to not only meet these adversities (and many more) head-on, but to turn them into opportunities for life-changing triumphs.

In the telling of his life's lessons, Owen consistently relays the impression that while his experiences may have been unique, the way that he handled them was not, that any of us can maintain the same mindset toward success. That the choices we make -- moving long-distance for a new career, quitting a safe regular job to focus on one's passion, taking inspiration from Superman and visualizing oneself healthy, or simply making lines on paper -- are always up to us to make the best of.

Unlike normal types of self-help or motivational books, Drawing Out the Dragons provides inspiration through experiential storytelling. Owen never lays out the "keys to success" or the "steps to happiness," but through his actions and the wonderfully fluid way in which in relays them in this book, any reader can glean these keys and steps for oneself. A modern riff on the idea of giving a man a fish versus teaching a man to fish, and Owen proves himself a master teacher.

I've known James Owen for a number of years now, but only online. We've never met in person, but he has done more for me as a friend and "big brother" than many people I know in real life. But perhaps the best thing he's yet done is to write Drawing Out the Dragons and present it to the world, and for this I am infinitely grateful. If I am ever lucky enough to meet James in the flesh, you can bet I'm going to ask to see his Superman ring.

Buy Drawing Out the Dragons as a DRM-free PDF ebook at Coppervale International for only $4.99. Or you can get it for the same price for the Barnes & Noble NOOK or the Amazon Kindle.
Jason sepia

books, actually


I had been in Singapore for about a year before poet Cyril Wong recommended I check out BooksActually. I'd shopped at Borders and Books Kinokuniya and Select Books, as well as the smaller chains like Popular and Harris, but Cyril assured me that based on our few conversations (at the time; we've had many more since) and shared literary sensibilities, I'd find something unique at BooksActually.

So a week or two later, I looked them up, and found the store on Ann Siang Road, tucked into a space surrounded by upscale clothing boutiques, gastropubs, and fancy restaurants. It wasn't a huge shop, but the shelves were packed, and their titles trended away from popular fiction and more toward those with a love for language. They also displayed lots of interesting knick-knacks, like old manual typewriters, vintage metal toys, instamatic cameras, and full runs of special Penguin paperback series.

I picked out a lovely Hesperus Press edition of Bulgakov's A Dog's Heart, and the young lady who rang me up did so with a smile, remarking that Hesperus always did a really nice job with their books. The owners of the shop, Karen Wai and Kenny Leck, were not in that day, but I was to meet them later.

On my next visit, some months later, that same employee was working, and almost as soon as I walked in the door, she said, "Hi! You're the one who bought that Hesperus Bulgakov, right? We have another one, if you're interested."

I was stunned and mightily impressed. In my history of shopping at bookstores, never (and this includes Quail Ridge Books, my all-time favorite bookstore in the USA) has an employee remembered me after a months-long absence, remembered the book I last purchased, and then recommended another similar title all in the same breath. It was astonishing, and in that moment I became a superfanboy of BooksActually for life. (I also bought the book she recommended: The Fatal Eggs.)

(And I wish I could remember who this young lady was, but I just can't. I don't think she even works at the store anymore. Whoever you are, awesome person, thank you.)

As I say, eventually I met Karen and Kenny, and we became fast friends. They agreed to let Janet and me launch A Field Guide to Surreal Botany at the store, and have, since the book's publication, faithfully kept copies of it in stock. They invited me and Janet to various other literary events hosted both at the store and elsewhere. Last year, they agreed to publish my first fiction collection, Red Dot Irreal, through their imprint Math Paper Press (forthcoming in June September). In sum, they made me feel as if I had a literary home in Singapore, which was something I'd dearly been missing since moving from the US.


They've moved twice since my early visits, once into a three-storey shophouse at Club Street around the corner from Ann Siang Road, and again recently to Yong Siak Street in the heart of Tiong Bahru (one of Singapore's oldest neighborhoods). A week ago, they celebrated their grand reopening with an all-day sale and then a nighttime party with wine (and ginger-ale for vinophobes like me) and cheeses and bite-sized eclairs. I posted my photos of the event on Facebook. The new location is far and away the best space that I've seen for the store, the biggest advatage being the actual space itself; at last, there is a feeling being able to breathe easy, to traverse the aisles without worrying about bumping into someone else. It'll be a great venue for upcoming events.

Jeremy Tan at Rediscover Singapore recently paid his own visit to the new store, and provided a wonderful write-up, accompanied by a beautifully shot video and series of photographs that provide a sense of the quirkiness of the store's (and its owners') sensibilities.


Big congratulations to Karen and Kenny and all of BooksActually's staff on their gorgeous new home. Long may you stay and feed the heart of Singapore's literary culture.

(All photographs are copyright © by Rediscover Singapore.)
Jason sepia

thoughtspeaking truth to power

Earlier today, I posted the following thoughts on George Orwell's novel 1984 (my number one all-time favorite book) at SF Signal as part of their new social community, and it's worth cross-posting here:

There are very few writers whose work have been so profound that their names have become adjectives. Shakespearean. Kafkaesque. Orwellian.

1984 remains George Orwell's greatest legacy, a fact shared by Roberto Bolaño's novel 2666; both books with a four-digit number as the title, both written frantically by authors who knew they were dying, both profound in their exploration of human cruelty, both lifting the veil of propaganda and rhetoric to get to the Truth underneath.

I try to re-read 1984 every few years or so, so as never to forget Orwell's powerful message (We Must Not Let This Future Come To Pass), and to rekindle the tingling literary joy I experienced when I was first exposed to the book in my last year of high school. The clandestine budding romance between Winston and Julia; the ever-present terror evoked by the telescreens and the Thought Police; the Party's final solution of engineering humanity out of every human being; the hope and optimism that lives in Winston's heart, which is then crushed by O'Brien in the Ministry of Love's Room 101, and which returns, oddly enough, in the form of the book's appendix on Newspeak.

Totalitarianism is still very much a reality around the world, with civil liberties always under attack, and so it's important to keep the nightmare world of Oceania and Airstrip One alive in the mind. One must be ever vigilant for signs of the watchful eyes of the Thought Police in CCTV cameras and internet wiretapping, of the destruction of language resulting from devolution into contextless acronyms and SMS-speak, of the censorious invasion into our very minds by authoritarian and corporate influence.

1984 can only be described as a tragedy. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy loses self. With the final lines, Winston Smith gloriously professes his love for Big Brother and thereby takes the final step in becoming an unperson, but his suffering and rebellion serve as inspiration for us all to never take our lives and freedom for granted. Orwell's literary sacrifice of his most human protagonist remains one of the greatest contributions to the world of letters and to the continuing species of humanity.
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Jason sepia

big publishing news: book book book! (updated)

I've been sitting on some pretty cool publishing news for the last several months, but have been waiting until details were ironed out before I felt I could announce it here. Tonight, before the launch/reading for Ceriph issue no. 2 (which contains my story "Air is Water is Air," the first part of which I read to this packed audience at BooksActually), finalized contracts were signed, and so now it all feels official and very very real.

In June September 2011 (only five eight months from now), Math Paper Press, the independent press run by BooksActually's amazing proprieters Kenny Leck and Karen Wai, will publish my debut collection of short stories, Red Dot Irreal!!! Yay and W00T!

The book collects many of my fantastical short stories set in Singapore, and one in Bali (just for shiggles), what I'm calling Equatorial Fantastika. With Math Paper Press, Karen & Kenny have begun branching out into publishing, and will be bringing their considerable talent for design and presentation (not to mention bookselling) to my little volume. I actually sold the book back in September, and have shown an unbelievable amount of restraint not to blab it all over the internets before now.

This isn't a full collection, it's only about 36,000 words and has a fairly tight focus, but I'm really jazzed about it. We're currently discussing whether the budget will handle interior illustrations, which I think would be really cool. I'm also talking with Karen & Kenny about possibly having copies available to be distributed in North America, so my USian peeps could also have access to it, but nothing's concrete yet.

Here's the proposed table of contents for Red Dot Irreal (subject to change):

01. Bogeymen
02. Ikan Berbudi (Wise Fish)
03. Hero Worship, or How I Met the Dream King
04. Lion City Daikaiju
05. Dragging the Frame
06. Kopi Luwak
07. Paper Cow
08. Taxi Ride
09. Coast
10. In Jurong

"Dragging the Frame" and "Ikan Berbudi" have been drastically expanded from their original flash format into fully-fledged short stories; I wrote like mad during the holidays in November and December so that I could get them done before the school year started again last week. "Bogeymen" sold to Bill Schafer for Subterranean Magazine nearly four years ago now, but I don't know if it'll show up there before the story gets published in the book.

So anyway: eeeee! Book book book! Happy happy happy!

N.B. This entry has been updated with the new release date; the book will now be published in September rather than June. Things were pushed back a bit by Math Paper Press' ambitious publishing schedule, and the many many other events and activities being organized by Kenny and Karen. Still, all told, a three-month delay is hardly anything, and is still in time to launch for the 2011 Singapore Writers Festival.