Three Views of Singapore Speculative Fiction

Over at the Apex Blog there are two new posts from Singapore.

First is State of Singapore SFF: Hopeful for the Future, by (WSB contributor) Joyce Chng. She writes:

We do exist. We do write SFF. We just need enough publicity to get the word out.

I sometimes surf the Internet for that elusive Singaporean SFF writer I might have missed. And in forums, I have found a few, all trying to find kindred spirits and like-minded folk. I even hang out in a local gaming store where you get gamers, geeks and the SFF author – and why is looking for Singaporean SFF writers so difficult?

Are we just too shy (blame Asian reticence) when it comes to promoting our reading? Are we just too… quiet? Are we unable to find the right venue/platform to publish?

There is hope though.

People are writing and getting their works out. Check out Happiness At The End Of The World by the Happy Smiley Writers. They have a collaborative SFF novel titled Bubble GUMM soon to be released and launched. Check out Crossed GenresExpanded Horizons and M-Brane SF – and you find Singaporean writers there. Check out the Singaporean chapter of Nanowrimo and you find a horde of SFF writers writing … SFF. We do exist. We even have a Google group for it (just look for “Speculative Fiction Writers Of Singapore”). – read the rest of the post.

The other post comes from Sarah Coldheart, a pseudonym for another Singaporean writer. In Speculating Speculative Fiction in Singapore, She says:

Singapore is not a part of China nor is it a part of Malaysia.

It is a first world country (albeit a small island) with a high rate of literacy amongst its people with the majority communicating in English to each other.

And yet Singapore speculative fiction is a speculation in itself.

Confusing? Yeah.

Here in Singapore, our fiction titles are overwhelmed with ghost stories. Not the sort where it is some supernatural fantasy, no. They are folk tales or urban legends that are generally told around campfires or by young students wanting to have supernatural encounters.

Ask any Singaporean here about local books and the first thing they’d think of is ghost stories. There are very few fantasy or science fiction books being published here as the publishers are more into churning out assessment books or self help books. We’re a very academic orientated country after all. – read the rest of the post.

Finally, this gives me an excuse to post something I meant to post last year! Here are some of the faces of Singapore SF/F, taken on my visit last year. Photo courtesy of a random guy outside Starbucks on Orchard Road.

Photo (L-R):
Joyce Chng, Sarah Coldheart, Dave Chua, Yuen Kit Mun, Anders Brink, Lavie Tidhar, Edwin Tam, JF, Lisa Poh


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