Awards Eligibility and 2021 Round-Up

I have a grand total of one (1) delightful story for your awards consideration!

He Leaps for the Stars, He Leaps for the Stars (5300 words) was published in Clarkesworld Issue 178 in July 2021. It’s a science fiction story about Yennie, a lonely 22nd century pop idol on Enceladus. It features quantum entanglements, yearning, superfans, machine learning, duplication, and duplicity.

I’m incredibly grateful to Neil Clarke for the publication. Thank you also to Karen Burnham for Locus Magazine for including it as a Recommended Story: ‘This portrait of fame with its costs and benefits is very well done.’

He Leaps for the Stars, He Leaps for the Stars was also praised in Maria Haskins’s July 2021 Short Fiction Round-up: ‘Science fiction with a tender, gentle heart and spirit, this story is bittersweet and lovely through and through.’

And in Vanessa Fogg’s July-August 2021 Short Fiction Recs: ‘Wildly inventive, lyrical, and ultimately moving.’ Thank you!


I am also eligible for the Astounding Award for Best New Writer!


Looking ahead to 2022…

I’ve been working on a bunch of things due for publication in 2022.

  • Look out for two new short fiction pieces: As Though I Were a Little Sun in Fireside Magazine, and Nobody Ever Goes Home to Zhenzhu in Lightspeed Magazine.
  • My debut novel, Every Version of You, is steadily approaching the final stages of the editing process! Also, I’ve had a first sneak peek of the cover design! Publication has been shifted from February to September 2022.
  • I have an illustrated poem in the works, accepted for publication in Going Down Swinging online.
  • And finally, I’ve written a short story for a major game franchise, and I look forward to sharing that early next year.

Thanks again for following my work. I’ll probably do a bit more of a reflection on writing and growth in my newsletter. So if you haven’t signed up for that, take a peek at the link above.

Between work, life and extended lockdowns, I haven’t been able to prioritise writing as much as I’d hoped this year, but I do feel like I’m gradually finding my voice: figuring out what I want to write about and what I’d like to channel my time and energy towards.

I look forward to working on more writing projects in the new year. I hope you’ll stay tuned!

Of Hunger and Fury – Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women

I can’t believe it was only in June that I was wrangling my Malaysian Chinese gothic ghost story into shape. I’m pleased to share that the twisty, creepy, moody, indigestible thing has become Of Hunger and Fury, my original fiction contribution to Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women.

At risk of being expelled from the horror community, I will admit that, at the start of my writing journey, I didn’t intend to write horror. I wanted to write stories that explored the interior world of marginalised women of colour, and demonstrate the multitudinous forms of quiet resilience. I wanted to contribute to a collective pulling-apart of existing stereotypes and make these characters fascinating and terrifying in their unfamiliar three-dimensionality.

I enjoy using empathy as a specific language to the reader. In this piece, I played with sensuality and body horror to force the reader to experience being the monster. I transpose you into the character’s skin–to make you feel what she feels, to become her.

That’s why, for instance, I thought Jordan Peele’s Us was so clever. [WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD!] Us was jarring and memorable because, for the duration of the movie, you are Adelaide. You live in her skin. You feel the horrific other-ness of the doppelgangers. And then, finally, in a compelling twist…you become them. The forced becoming of the other is powerful because it challenges your notions of who deserves to be centred and who deserves to be excluded.

I’m incredibly thankful to editors Geneve Flynn and Lee Murray for inviting a newcomer like me to contribute to this anthology. I’m so glad that your convention-hall chat morphed into this darkly delicious project, and I’m grateful for all the hard work you put in behind the scenes to craft Black Cranes.

A reprint of my Aurealis and Norma K Hemming Award shortlisted story, The Mark, also appears in Black Cranes.

Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women is available from the publisher (paperback), Amazon (ebook) or Amazon AU (ebook).

Jigsaw Children – Clarkesworld

I think I’m reasonably lucky, only having five parents. I guess my donors didn’t have too many risk mutations. Some of my classmates have been spliced together from eight, nine, even twelve donors. I don’t envy them the task of juggling their Chinese New Year dinners.

In 2018, I scribbled an opening line in the back of my diary: ‘I have three mothers and two fathers.’

A few weeks later, I had an unwieldy sci-fi story about gene splicing, mothers, attachment, and identity, set in near-future Hong Kong. It was too long. It had a terrible first title (which I changed, thanks to my writing bud’s feedback).

But I liked Lian’s story. I reworked it. Submitted.

And held my breath.

And screamed a bit (OK, a lot) when I saw the acceptance email.

Jigsaw Children has just been published in Clarkesworld’s February 2020 issue, alongside five other fascinating stories–and that sweet, sweet cover art!

I hope you stop by to hear Lian’s story.

PS. This is my first publication for 2020. There are a couple more things in the works, so do follow, stay tuned, and maybe even drop me a line…we of the writer-hermit folk subsist on little nuggets of feedback!