Where the Stars Rise

Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Pub Date Oct 08 2017 | Archive Date Nov 30 2017


SHORT DESCRIPTION: Take a journey through Asia and beyond with twenty-three original thought-provoking and moving stories about identities, belonging, and choices—stories about where we come from and where we are going—each wrestling between ghostly pasts and uncertain future.




Follow twenty-three science fiction and fantasy authors on their journeys through Asia and beyond. Stories that explore magic and science. Stories about love, revenge, and choices. Stories that challenge ideas about race, belonging, and politics. Stories about where we come from and where we are going. Each wrestling between  ghostly  pasts  and  uncertain  future. Each trying to find a voice in history.

Orphans and drug-smuggling in deep space. Mechanical arms in steampunk Vancouver. Djinns and espionage in futuristic Istanbul. Humanoid robot in steamy  Kerala.  Monsters  in  the  jungles  of  Cebu.  Historic  time  travel  in Gyeongbok Palace. A rocket launch in post-apocalyptic Tokyo. A drunken ghost in Song Dynasty China. A displaced refugee skating on an ice planet. And much more.

Embrace them as you take on their journeys. And don’t look back . . .

AUTHORS: Anne Carly Abad, Deepak Bharathan, Joyce Chng, Miki Dare, S.B. Divya, Pamela Q. Fernandes, Calvin D. Jim, Minsoo Kang, Fonda Lee, Gabriela Lee, Karin Lowachee, Rati Mehrotra, E.C. Myers, Tony Pi, Angela Yuriko Smith, Priya Sridhar, Amanda Sun, Naru Dames Sundar, Jeremy Szal, Regina Kanyu Wang (translated by Shaoyan Hu), Diana Xin, Melissa Yuan-Innes, Ruhan Zhao, and Elsie Chapman (Introduction)

EDITORS: Lucas K. Law, Derwin Mak

RECOMMENDED AGE: Mature Readers (ages 16 and up)

CATEGORY: Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy

FIC009040 FICTION / Fantasy / Collections & Anthologies
FIC028040 FICTION / Science Fiction / Collections & Anthologies

SHORT DESCRIPTION: Take a journey through Asia and beyond with twenty-three original thought-provoking and moving stories about identities, belonging, and choices—stories about where we come from...

A Note From the Publisher

Available in Hardcover (9781988140049) US$28.00 and EBook (9780993969669) US$7.99
• A donation of $1,000 CAD goes to Kids Help Phone upon its publication.
• A portion of the anthology’s net revenue goes to Kids Help Phone
• Kids Help Phone: Canada’s only 24/7 free and anonymous counselling and information service for young people.

Available in Hardcover (9781988140049) US$28.00 and EBook (9780993969669) US$7.99
• A donation of $1,000 CAD goes to Kids Help Phone upon its publication.
• A portion of the anthology’s net...

Advance Praise

“. . . this collection is essential for anyone interested in the diverse and engaging possibilities of fantasy and science fiction.”  Booklist

“. . . this fascinating collection addresses issues of immigration, dual cultures, and ethnic issues through genre devices such as ghosts, steampunk robots, and planetary exploration. Sf readers looking to discover new voices will enjoy this volume that reflects the eclecticism of Asian culture.”Library Journal

“This anthology was good, with the majority of the stories being either good or very good page-turners.”  Tangent

“A wealth of stories running the gamut from poignant to mind-blowing, 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)

“. . . this collection is essential for anyone interested in the diverse and engaging possibilities of fantasy and science fiction.”  Booklist

“. . . this fascinating collection addresses issues of...

Marketing Plan

• Advance reading copies sent to print and online media, including Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, School Library Journal, and BookList
• NetGalley distribution
• Book display at BookExpo/BookCon America 2017 and American Library Association 2017 annual conference
• Book launches, author or editor appearances at select festivals and genre conventions
• Print and digital advertisements
• Pre-order campaign

• Advance reading copies sent to print and online media, including Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, School Library Journal, and BookList
• NetGalley distribution
• Book display at...

Average rating from 59 members

Featured Reviews

This amazing anthology of brilliant works transcends past and present, delves into history and mythology, while dabbling in political commentary in these imaginative worlds.

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Such a treat. It is so nice, and quite a revelation, to read Science Fiction/Fantasy authored by members of the Asian community. I loved the diversity of ideas and styles.
A recommended read.

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The Good
There was a good deal of variety in these stories, jumping between time periods and cultures, which made it fun to read because every story was new and different. It’s hard to review an anthology as a whole, because there will always be weaker and stronger stories and stories that each individual reader connects to more than others. Nevertheless, overall I found this to be a strong collection presenting a fresh perspective on science fiction and fantasy.

There’s also a great afterward on the state of Asian science fiction and fantasy, providing a lot of suggestions for further reading.

The Bad
As I said, I liked some stories more than others. Some had a particularly obvious moral (“The world must know that there are Asian superheroes!!”, but for each of those there was another story that was more nuanced and intersting.

The Verdict
This was a solid little anthology. Definitely check it out!

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I think pretty much all short story anthologies are uneven -- it's a grab bag, you're not going to like everything you grab -- but I was a little disappointed by how few of the stories really captured my attention, given how many of them there were. (Fonda Lee and Minsoo Kang's stories were the the only real standouts for me, and I'll be keeping an eye out for Kang in the future as he's a new name to me.) It felt like the intended audience wavered between YA and adult from story to story, and that made it hard to adjust my expectations; almost none of the stories were *speculative* enough for me, and most of them were too short to pack the kind of punch they wanted to deliver. I did very much appreciate the afterword discussing the recent explosion of Asian sci-fi/fantasy, but it made the lack of big name anchors in the anthology that much more obvious (where are Zen Cho and Ken Liu and Alyssa Wong?), which may have been the real problem now that I'm thinking about it. All of that said, every story in the collection was competently written and well edited, and mileage on short stories varies widely, so I would encourage any fans of speculative fiction to try the anthology out rather than taking my word for anything!

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3.5 stars. I love the breadth of stories and settings in this Asian SFF collection. While overall, I found the collection a little uneven (there were a number of stories that did not grab me at all), I'm very pleased to have read it, and expect that many readers will find some stories of interest. Most of the authors were new-to-me, and it was great to delve into some of the up-and-coming Asian writers in this genre!

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A wonderful, diverse collection of stories. A perfect anthology that dives into the world of myths and history with a good balance of past and present.

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I can be fairly clueless.

I love anthologies and picked this one solely on the basis of its cover. I was not aware until I started reading the introduction (yes, I read the introduction and you should also) that it was a collection of Asian SF & fantasy.

Second background tidbit: I have been involved in fandom in one form or another for over 40 years until I mostly passed the baton on to my three minions (two females and a male).

This means, as a female heavily involved in fandom in the late 60's through the 00's, I've been marginalized, patted on the head, straight up disdained, called names, and worse. Some of the nastiness came from my 'peers' in non-fandom of course, but a discouragingly large amount came from other fans. Generally caucasian, nearly universally male. You grow a tough skin, you move on (or quit).

Fast forward to the time period between 2000 and the present day. Non-white-non-male fans and authors seemed more welcome to the dialogue and to bring N-W-N-M voices to the chorus. Things seemed to be going ticketty-boo. Then the backlash. There always seems to be a backlash. Puppygate, calling out Social Justice Warriors, etc etc.

For people who will read the description and think 'Where the Stars Rise is not for me'. Or 'these authors' voices are not speaking to things which concern me', this is a collection of well written (in some cases transcendent) stories which speak to our common existence. They're not all perfect of course, but all of them are worthwhile.

As stated on the cover, this is a collection of 23 short works written by Asian authors. As with all anthologies, it's a mixed lot. They're all in the 3-5 star range, well weighted to the upper 4 star range. There are some truly standout pieces; Memoriam by Priya Sridhar, Back to Myan by Regina Kanyu Wang, and The dataSultan of Streets and Stars, by Jeremy Szal were amazing for me. There are many more well written stories included, but just these three alone are worth the price of the anthology.

Why is it important to read and expose oneself to other voices and other ideas? It's precisely because our strength is in our diversity. Unity and understanding can only come from growth. What other people have to say is vitally important and if we're going to live together on this planet and not die together, we desperately need to stop marginalizing one another.

Four stars

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I received an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was one of the few times a publisher on NetGalley granted my wish! And this anthology was an adventure, though space and regions where every part of the human psyche was covered. From lovers and drug dealers to revenge and politics this book has a gorgeous cast, amazing authors who I am going to check too (since I know only Amanda Sun!) and a glorious representation of the Asian culture, even through the spectrum of the sci-fi genre!

Truly recommended!

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I enjoyed this, for the most part. As with most short stories I've read, this was hit and miss. My favourite was Memoriam by Priya Sridhar. Overall however, they were pretty decent and varied and I love that the anthology itself is so diverse in Asian fantasy characters. Would recommend.

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I very much enjoyed this short story collection. The stories are a mix of sci-fi and fantasy and there are some absolute gems in it. I have loads of authors now I want to read more of!

My favourite stories include Back to Myan by Regina Kanyu Wang, Weaving Silk by Amanda Sun, A Star is Born by Miki Dare, The Bridge of Dangerous Longings by Rati Mehrotra and Old Souls by Fonda Lee.

Back to Myan is pure sci-fi. A mermaid on an alien planet whose home world overheats. She is evacuated and her tail replaced with legs so that she can live on other planets.

Weaving Silk is a beautifully written story about two sisters trying to survive in a city after an earthquake killed their parents and cut the city off from the outside world.

In A Star is Born an old lady in a home has found a way to time travel back to earlier points of her life.

The Bridge of Dangerous Longings is an unusual story about a bridge that will kill you if you try to cross it.

Old Souls is a tale about reincarnation, and a young woman who can not only remember her own previous lifes, but also see the past lifes of everyone she comes into contact with.

There are a couple of stories that I didn't get on with, one that I just couldn't follow and one that I didn't get the point of, but overall the quality is very high.

I highly recommend this, it's an interesting and high quality collection and it's probably going to be one of my favourite books of this year. I hope they make volume two soon!

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A great anthology for any sci-fi or fantasy fan looking to discover new voices. All are written by Asian authors and I found the themes and styles to be exceptional.. I felt the stories were predominantly in the fantasy realm. My favorite stories were Old Souls and The Orphans of Nilaveli. Orphans was my top pick but there wasn't a single story I disliked. I am glad I had the chance to read such unique and well told stories with a different spin.

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I'd say 80% of these stories were 3* or higher. Well done! There were literal mermaids, reincarnations, creepy-ass spiders, stories about grief, racism, kinship, oppression, and even superheroes! All either set in an Asian country (including West Asia... not always represented) or had an Asian main character. Truly loved it.

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Anthologies are hard to write reviews for so I choose to review this one a little differently.

Five Reasons to Get Where the Stars Rise

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.

Novella Ratings
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.

Weaving Silk
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

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Honestly, this was a wonderful collection of Asian inspired science fiction short stories. t breaks away from the Asian stereotype. The authors did a wonderful job t storytelling and creating beautiful worlds. I did prefer some stories over others but I did enjoy them all.

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<i>Copy given to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.</i>

First time a wish of mine has been granted on NetGalley!! I was so happy!! This was a fantastic collection of truly diverse and fascinating SFF.

I wanted this mainly for Karin Lowachee's <i>Meridian</i> since I'm a huge fan of her Warchild books - and I found it excellent. I loved Paris Azarcon's character, and oh how much it <i>hurt</i> to read his story. Especially since I love Cairo Azarcon so so much. Just. Oh my god.
And I love how she writes, how you can gain so much insight into a character with her concise, vivid language, how well she captures the state of mind of a traumatised child.

I also really enjoyed <i>Back to Myan</i> by Regina Kanyu Wang and <i>Weaving Silk</i> by Amanda Sun. Wonderfully inventive and emotional stories.

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Twenty-three authors come together to offer readers stories in a combined genre that, at first glance, seems to sit oddly: Asian science fiction/fantasy. Long-time readers of both genres may eye this collection with some skepticism. Rest assured, however, that these tales exhibit excellent storytelling. Each piece settles comfortably within the parameters of the science fiction and fantasy categories while at the same time providing glimpses into the beauty and mystery of Asian cultures.

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.

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