- File Size: 811 KB
- Print Length: 254 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Solarwyrm Press (April 29, 2014)
- Publication Date: April 29, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00K1HS7UW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,472 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
5: Where The Fireflies Go by N.J. Magas
I'll admit as I was getting near to the end of the book, I thought I'd already picked my favourites from it, but then this story happened. The perspective in this tale was unlike anything else in Amok, it leapt from the page as a visual and cultural feast of fantasy, both dark and light and truly fascinating.
4: When The Rice Was Gone by Dominica Malcolm
I am already a fan of Dominica's work, but this story really hooked me in. In such a short amount of pages there is a rich world created that is easily pictured and genuinely disturbing, plus a fascinating representation of an unconventional relationship which is totally believable considering the dire circumstances of the speculative world that's been developed.
3: Dreams by Tabitha Sin
This story had to go in my top 5 because the horrific imagery of it has stayed in my head for days and days after reading it. Any author who can consume my thoughts and have me thinking back to that tale over and over again deserves a serious mention. A tragic and beautiful story that gripped my heart and imagination.
2: Bright Student by Terence Toh
I have a personal connection to this story as will any young student who has felt the crippling pressure of the pursuit of academic success. Here the idea of success at the expensive of one's welfare is dealt with in an amazing paranormal fashion. So much vivid imagery and a strong cultural and social message that resonated within me. Unmissable.
1: In Memoriam by Fadzlishah Johanabas
I need more from the keyboard of Johanabas! The cultural setting of this tale is an area I know absolutely nothing about and have never encountered before. To be honest at first glance I didn't expect to like it. How wrong could I get??? In Memoriam was a stunning, heart-wrenching tale with a fascinating narrative structure that keeps you desperately flipping the pages. It's ending is so incredibly powerful and an important one for people to consider. This story is also highly impacting as it's so close to reality, things like this could well be sitting in our future and that's an insightful and compelling thing to read about.
I received a complimentary copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.
This collection of short stories is absolutely wonderful. I liked some stories better than others, but for the most part I enjoyed them all to some level.The author of The Moon Rabbit, Jo Wu, is the one who contacted me and her’s turned out to be my favorite (I promise I didn’t plan that!) I loved it because it reminded me so much of Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, which many of you know I am totally obsessed with. All the stories were short (hence the name) interesting and easy to read. I loved how they mixed the fairy-tales and myths with modern and futuristic plots and themes. This made them more interesting to me, and helped make the stories more understandable. They also cover a lot of areas on the globe, including India, China and Australia. Also, many types of people, (different races, genders, etc.) are included in the stories, so that already makes it different than most books today.
My only problem was that some of the stories were a little too quick to the point. I would have liked more description and world building in a couple, but of course in short stories, you miss out on some of that.
I recommend Amok to anyone looking for a book to read little by little over time, or who’s interested in some lesser-known myths.
(I also love that cover!)
Amok consists of 24 short stories, all set in Asia and the Pacific Islands, and all are in the speculative fiction genre. The editor, Dominica Malcolm, says in the introduction that she sought to have a diverse cast of characters in the anthology, and she has delivered. Each of the stories is unique and distinct from one another.
I noticed that many of the stories feature an impending natural disaster. Perhaps this is because of the nature of island life or coastal areas where tsunamis are a real threat. I imagine that the 2004 tsunami that devastated Indonesia is not forgotten and continues to lurk in the back of the mind of authors in the region.
The last four stories of the anthology are, in my opinion, the best of the collection.
Agnes Ong’s “The Seventh Month” takes the reader into the gritty world of a Malaysian gangster. The story takes place during the “Ghost Festival” that falls during the seventh month of the lunar calendar, a time when spirits are believed to wander the streets at night.
In Rebecca Freeman’s “And Then It Rained” a young woman must survive as well as care for her little brother in a post-apocalyptic Australia reminiscent of Mad Max. It is most certainly not a knock off, though, as Freeman’s world feels much more realistic, and the characters have a much greater depth than those in the movies. I would love to see this one turned into a full length novel.
NJ Magas’ “Where the Fireflies Go” is a superb tale of ancient Japanese mythological beings battling to survive in the modern world. The ceramic creatures that appear only as outdated statues akin to garden gnomes are in actuality guardian spirits dedicated to protect the home of whoever owns them. After the old man who cared for them dies, his estate is scheduled to be bulldozed, but worse than that, a “bone demon” is making its way from the cemetery to eat the body of their dead master. This is easily one of the best stories in the anthology.
Tom Barlow’s “The King of Flotsamland” takes place on a garbage island in the Pacific Ocean. A lone man has been stationed on it to protect the trash from a corporation that plans to harvest the entire island for profit. A faceoff ensues and the protagonist slowly realizes that this trash heap is the only place he has ever really called home.
A few of the other stories are definitely deserving of individual mention as well. These are some of my other favorites:
Jax Goss’ “Love and Statues” is a great, albeit very short, story that captures some of the romanticism of poet Robert Burns, whose statue plays an important role in the tale. A young man sits in a garden at night to see for himself if the statues come to life at night, like the exchange student he had a crush on told him.
Terence Toh’s “Bright Student” is another of my favorites from the collection. A student makes a deal with a mystical shop-owner in order to get an elixir that will make her excel at school, and all he wants in return is her shadow.
In KZ Morano’s “Kitsune”, a small town boy makes the mistake of moving to the big city with his were-fox/vampiric girlfriend. Unfortunately, she doesn’t take to the change of scenery well.
Fadzlishah Johanabas’ “In Memoriam” is the saddest story in the book. In the near future a mother wants to forget the car accident that took her son away. But in order to do so she will have to forget more than just the accident, much more.
All in all, Amok was an interesting read that I would recommend.
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