The first thing that drew me to this book on Netgalley was the cover, I’ll admit it. It is absolutely stunning and just for that reason I don’t understand why I haven’t seen this book around the blogging sphere more. But the second was the anthologies under title; ‘Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy’. I love fantasy, and while I might not read it enough, I am also quite fond of Science Fiction. But let us be honest, it is a very white and male domineered genre. This is why I really wanted to give this book a chance.
+ One of the things that drew me in all of these stories was that they were all so very character driven. It all starts with the character. They are the center, the middle point. Everything else is woven around it. The fantasy and science fiction settings are the backdrop, not the foreground as you sometimes see in other short stories. This anthology tells the story of characters that feel so real. Of characters that are trying to find themselves in difficult worlds, throughout racism, prejudice, war and their own self doubts.
+ All of the characters are Asian characters. There are stories with Malaysian, Korean, Philippine, Chinese, Japanese characters and many more. There is such a richness and diversity to this book. No matter the setting, the culture and background of each character was brought into the story which created something unique.
+ The settings of these books all are diverse too. Some of these stories take place on our Earth, in the Philippines or America. Other stories take place in space, on ships or on the moon. There are so many amazing ideas in this book. So many settings I would love to see back in a bigger story. This goes for most of the characters too.
+ As you will see down below I rated all the short stories 3 stars or higher except one. That was also a very personal thing as I am sure that others might be able to like this story better than I did. For me, it doesn’t happen that often that I rate short stories in anthologies this highly. I think my favorite was Weaving Silk by Amanda Sun.
+ A portion of the anthology’s net revenue will go to support kids help phone. Isn’t that a great reason to go out and buy this anthology?
The afterword was filled with other fantasy and science fiction by Asian authors that you can go check out. I know I am going to check out a few of these mentioned.
I tried to write my thoughts down on all short stories initially but there are so many stories and I feel like I would do none of them any justice with just a few scribbled sentences in between reading.
2 stars –Spirit of Wine
3 stars – Vanilla Ice / Looking Up / A Star is Born / My Left Hand / DNR / A Visitation For the Spirit Festival / Joseon Fringe / Wintry Hearts of Those Who Rise / Crash / Memoriam
3,5 stars The dataSultan of Streets and Stars / Udatta Sloka
4 stars Weaving Silk / Rose’s Arm / Back to Myan / Meridian / The Observer Effect / Decision / Moon Halves / The Bridge of Dangerous Longings / Old Souls / The Orphans of Nilaveli
The Data Sultan
I would love to get more in this futuristic setting of Djinn-Robot. I loved that Istanbul was the first Metropole with a space station. And the idea of Djinn-Bots was great but I wasn’t sure I quite grasped them either. In that I think that a bigger novella or a full novel would work out a lot more.
I loved the details in this dystiopian. There is no real conclusion which is why it isn’t a 5 star read. But there are details in it like a younger child growing out of their clothes when there is no possibility to get bigger ones and things like that. I loved also the metaphors with silk that were used.
A Star is Born
Trigger warning for racial slurs
Back to Myan
It was good to see a story that was translated to English as well. There are many good authors that don’t write in English but in their own native language and we should seek out more often to translate these to English I feel.
The Bridge of Dangerous Longings
Trigger warning of rape
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book: Where the Stars Rise: Asian Fantasy and Science Fiction. Edited by Lucas K. Law and Derwin Mak
Release Date: October 8th 2017
Tags: Adult / Fantasy / Science Fiction / Anthology / Short Stories / Aliens / Space / Dystopia / Diversity / Asian MC’s / Trigger Warnings / Rape / Racial Slurs
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars