- Series: Laksa Anthology Series: Speculative Fiction
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Laksa Media Groups Inc. (March 27, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780993969652
- ISBN-13: 978-0993969652
- ASIN: 0993969658
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,448,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy (Laksa Anthology Series: Speculative Fiction) Paperback – March 27, 2017
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“A wealth of stories running the gamut from poignant to mindblowing, rewarding journeys both faraway and familiar.”
—Aliette de Bodard, Nebula Award-winning author of the Dominion of the Fallen saga
“Where the Stars Rise is a hell of a lot of fun. Great writers, magnificent storytelling, and worlds I wanted to spend a lot more time in—no matter how dangerous they were. I had a blast reading it.”
—Rob Boffard, author of the Outer Earth series (Tracer, Zero-G, Impact)
About the Author
Fonda Lee is the award-winning author of Zeroboxer (Flux), which was a 2015 Andre Norton finalist, Junior Library Guild Selection, and ALA Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Her most recently released novel, Exo (Scholastic) is also a Junior Library Guild Selection, with a sequel scheduled for release in Summer 2018. Fonda is a former corporate strategist who worked for or advised Fortune 500 companies before she turned back to her first passion of writing science fiction and fantasy. Born and raised in Calgary, she now lives with her family in Portland, Oregon. When not writing, Fonda can be found training in martial arts or searching out tasty breakfasts. She can be found online at www.fondalee.com and on Twitter @fondajlee.
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At no point did I want to put this book down. I actually finished the book and thought "I wish I had been able to read this in one go." It is such an amazing collection that it has introduced me to so many things I didn't know I didn't know, you know? I now need to look up books about King Sejong. I need to find recipes for idlis and onigiri. I need to know more about spider-jinn. Spider-jinn! I wanted to learn Chinese because, as beautiful as "Back to Myan" was in English, how much more beautiful is it in its original language?
This book was such a welcome change of pace and scenery for me. The authors are so very creative and engaging. Though my copy of this book was free, I ended up purchasing my own copy. Where the Stars Rise has raise the bar for all future anthologies that I read. And has also greatly expanded my "Want to Read" list on Goodreads. I happily give 5 hoots and encourage you to pick up a copy!
As is almost inevitable in such a broad-ranging anthology, not every story appealed to me, but by and large I enjoyed this. My personal favorite was Karin Lowachee’s "Meridian," a strong, dark tale with a haunting end. I’ve had Lowachee’s first novel waiting on my to-read shelves for a few years, and now I’ll be promoting it in the ranks. I also particularly liked Minsoo Kang’s chilling "Wintry Hearts of Those Who Rise," Fonda Lee’s story about choices and possibilities, "Old Souls," and Naru Dames Sundar’s brief but effective "The Orphans of Nilaveli."
As readers progress with the book, they’ll wonder why more Asian writers aren’t tackling science fiction and fantasy stories. For anyone with an Asian background or knowledgeable about Asian cultures, the connection makes sense. The traditions of the Far East offer a deluge of magic and mysticism; in many cases, those ideas are celebrated and woven tightly into the fabric of Asian societies. It’s an easy stride, then, to science fiction and fantasy. Yet short stories in speculative fiction with strong Asian ties have just begun their ascent, which is probably why the anthology received the title it did.
The stories in this book detail characters all at once familiar and wondrous. The authors relish the risks they take in leading readers across different planets and the solar system. Even though the landscapes may feel unfamiliar the characters’ challenges and questions certainly do not.
The collection includes tales about the following:
Readers will meet a pair of sisters in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. The girls, orphans, have managed to stay safe and hidden, despite the immense challenges provided by severe food shortages. On the day in the story, though, the older sister knows the two of them will witness great change. Scientists have scrambled to assemble parts to launch a rocket so the Japanese people still alive can alert the rest of the world they exist. The sisters make the arduous trip from their suburb apartment building to downtown Tokyo, certain their horror-filled days are at an end.
A scientist receives an invitation to join a one-way mission to Mars. She finds relief in the opportunity. Life here on Earth has become just too much. A childhood tragedy leaves her estranged from her sister, and the scientist can’t carry the burden of guilt anymore. Maybe, she reasons, that burden will become much lighter in space.
Deep in space a man recounts the many “lives” he’s lived—that is, he started as a younger brother but then became an orphan. He joins a family aboard one ship, only to be told that he doesn’t fit in with that family and will join another. The second ship gives him a brotherhood to join and a comfortable living as a drug dealer—although he certainly wouldn’t call it that—but when he finds his real brother, all his worlds and his old selves collide.
Visitors to the tropical Indian state of Kerala come because of the rumors: a great man they once admired has died, and his son has immortalized him in a way that is horrifying and fascinating all at the same time. The son doesn’t quite understand the commotion. His appa (father) was the most important person to him and almost equally important to so many others. Why can’t they see his gesture as a tribute fitting to the man?
The complexities of the stories and the characters and the stories will delight readers, but they will also elicit a reaction all too familiar to book lovers everywhere: the stories will leave readers wanting much, much more. I recommend readers Binge Where the Stars Rise and also encourage this new subset of science fiction and fantasy.