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Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy

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ALL EMOTIONS ARE UNIVERSAL. WE LIVE, WE DREAM, WE STRIVE, WE DIE . . . 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. Ea ALL EMOTIONS ARE UNIVERSAL. WE LIVE, WE DREAM, WE STRIVE, WE DIE . . . 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 . . . Spirit of Wine by Tony Pi The Datasultan of Streets and Stars by Jeremy Szal Weaving Silk by Amanda Sun Vanilla Rice by Angela Yuriko Smith Looking Up by S.B. Divya A Star is Born by Miki Dare My Left Hand by Ruhan Zhao DNR by Gabriela Lee A Visitation For the Spirit Festival by Diana Xin Rose's Arm by Calvin D. Jim Back to Myan by Regina Kanyu Wang ; translated by Shaoyan Hu Meridian by Karin Lowachee Joseon Fringe by Pamela Q. Fernandes Wintry Hearts of Those Who Rise by Minsoo Kang Udātta śloka by Deepak Bharathan Crash by Melissa Yuan-Innes Memoriam by Priya Sridhar The Observer Effect by E.C. Myers Decision by Joyce Chng Moon Halves by Anne Carly Abad The Bridge of Dangerous Longings by Rati Mehrotra Old Souls by Fonda Lee The Orphans of Nilveli by Naru Dames Sundar


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ALL EMOTIONS ARE UNIVERSAL. WE LIVE, WE DREAM, WE STRIVE, WE DIE . . . 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. Ea ALL EMOTIONS ARE UNIVERSAL. WE LIVE, WE DREAM, WE STRIVE, WE DIE . . . 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 . . . Spirit of Wine by Tony Pi The Datasultan of Streets and Stars by Jeremy Szal Weaving Silk by Amanda Sun Vanilla Rice by Angela Yuriko Smith Looking Up by S.B. Divya A Star is Born by Miki Dare My Left Hand by Ruhan Zhao DNR by Gabriela Lee A Visitation For the Spirit Festival by Diana Xin Rose's Arm by Calvin D. Jim Back to Myan by Regina Kanyu Wang ; translated by Shaoyan Hu Meridian by Karin Lowachee Joseon Fringe by Pamela Q. Fernandes Wintry Hearts of Those Who Rise by Minsoo Kang Udātta śloka by Deepak Bharathan Crash by Melissa Yuan-Innes Memoriam by Priya Sridhar The Observer Effect by E.C. Myers Decision by Joyce Chng Moon Halves by Anne Carly Abad The Bridge of Dangerous Longings by Rati Mehrotra Old Souls by Fonda Lee The Orphans of Nilveli by Naru Dames Sundar

30 review for Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this, for the most part. As with most anthologies 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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    For me, the best speculative fiction seamlessly weaves together novel ideas and perspectives while keeping me enthralled in a good story. Where the Stars Rise promises just that, providing a wealth of viewpoints that are woefully underrepresented in much of mainstream speculative fiction. The stories range from Melissa Yuan-Innes' "Crash," a futuristic story of a sixteen-year-old's experience on a moon colony, to Ruhan Zhao's "My Left Hand," a short tale of high energy physics, time travel, and For me, the best speculative fiction seamlessly weaves together novel ideas and perspectives while keeping me enthralled in a good story. Where the Stars Rise promises just that, providing a wealth of viewpoints that are woefully underrepresented in much of mainstream speculative fiction. The stories range from Melissa Yuan-Innes' "Crash," a futuristic story of a sixteen-year-old's experience on a moon colony, to Ruhan Zhao's "My Left Hand," a short tale of high energy physics, time travel, and fortune tellers, to Gabriela Lee's "DNR", a story of personal tragedy and memory set in a world shattered by climate change and terrible earthquakes. In this myriad of interesting stories, I think the one I found most memorable was Amanda Sun's gorgeously lyrical "Weaving Silk." In this short vignette, the main character and her sister are scraping together ingredients to make and sell onigiri. As they travel through a Japan wounded by both volcanic eruption and tsunami, she muses on the country's struggles to regain contact with a world that, before Japan was isolated by natural disaster, was itself enmeshed in incipient global warfare. The writing is packed with metaphor, haunting, and utterly gorgeous. A few of my favourite quotes:"We are her [my mother's] bones, though. We are the tiny eggs left from the gleaming mouth, from the beat of her wings and the curl of her tired legs. We've awoken ravenous among the dark foliage, with only two thoughts in our heads--eat, survive. Eat. Survive. Silkworms, both of us, spinning our cocoons to blind ourselves.""We are all little cocoons, I think, as I look at the people in the train. We spin threads around ourselves, shutting others out as if we were the only ones struggling to survive. Hungry to survive, destined to die. And yet together, unravelled, our stories form yards and yards of beautiful silken thread." Each story was unique, but a few common themes wove them together. Perhaps the most common was a sense of difference and separation from the rest of society. For example, Ayla of S.B. Divya's "Looking Up" is hired for a journey to Mars as "one of our most diverse candidates" (sigh) but her cultural heritage combined with her physical disabilities and family history leaves her feeling isolated and adrift. The story is about forgiveness and finding a future while coming to terms with the past. In Diana Xin's "A Visitation for the Spirit Festival", Mrs. Liu finds herself revisiting her past when she travels to see her daughter who had quit her job in Silicon Valley to find her Chinese roots. A literal ghost becomes a metaphor for Mrs. Liu's complex relationship with her memories. "A Star is Born" by Miki Dare is told in a fascinating style, with alternating diary entries of an old woman with Alzheimer's who believes she can time travel to see alternate routes of her past interspersed with "timeline captures" of a Japanese girl dealing with tremendous prejudice in Canada during WWII. Like "Visitation", it deals with themes of tragedy, memory, and acceptance. Multiple stories centered around people with a foot in two cultures who feel that they belonged to neither. The most memorable for me was "Back to Myan" by Regina Kanyu Wang, where the protagonist is literally a fish out of water. When Kaya's oceanus planet is destroyed, the Union rescues her and brings her up as one of them, to the point of surgically modifying her fins into feet. Brought up to blend in, she goes on a mission to rediscover her roots and finds far darker secrets than she could ever expect. The theme of dual cultures is played straight in Vanilla Rice" by Angela Yuriko Smith, where the child of an internet bride grows up in a world that equates whiteness with worth and chooses to genetically modify her child to appear Caucasian. The child seeks to find a way "to belong in my world, not someone else's." Karin Lowachee's "Meridian" is a scifi take on adoption across cultures, where the protagonist is "saved" and, after a few rounds of foster ships, is eventually "adopted" into a pirate crew. Some of the stories deal with even more direct prejudice. In Jeremy Szal's "The DataSultan of Streets and Stars" the protagonist and his brother are forced to flee after their father was killed in an anti-Muslim pogrom. Years later, the protagonist is forced into stealing a djinn-bot (universal assistant) he had created in his previous career as a programmer and "dataSultan." "Rose's Arm" by Calvin D. Jim deals with cultural and socioeconomic barriers. In this futuristic world where "the poor pay with their bodies" is anything but metaphorical, Rose Ishikawa struggles seeks to help her ailing father and considers selling her eyes to get a mechanical arm. In Priya Sridhar's "Memoriam", Anish's droid father lands right in the middle of uncanny valley and unsettles religious neighbors. On of my favourite stories, E.C. Myers' "The Observer Effect", took the idea of being invisible out of the metaphoric sphere. It's a fun jaunt into an Incredibles-like world where the protagonist is positive that one of her coworkers is a retired superhero. It deals with expectations, casual prejudice, and the cultural invisibility of minorities and those with disabilities, all in an entertaining and amusing superhero costume. "The Orphans of Nilaveli" by Naru Dames Sundar also involves literal invisibility. The story takes place in a near-future Sri Lanka where everyone has implants that make the things they don't want to see invisible. Two adopted Tamil children grow up in a world that makes their people literally invisible and find themselves revolting against that blindness. Another common theme was leveraging cultural traditions, history, and folklore. The most memorable for me was "Decision" by Joyce Chng. Creepy and wild, it weaves together themes of gender fluidity with folklore of a young spider-jinn leaving the nest. "Moon Halves" by Anne Carly Abad is an interesting reimagining of Filipino folklore, where humans participate in a hunting rite that involves hunting and killing an immature Taung Asu (tree spirit.) "Spirit of Wine" by Tony Pi is short, entertaining yarn involving a prefectural exam and a wine spirit. "Minsoo Kang's "Wintry Hearts of Those Who Rise" reads like an early folktale with protagonists who outsmart the rich and greedy, but the story has a mildly disturbing bite at the end. Deepack Bharathan's "Udatta Sloka" is a reimagined origin story of a god that deals with change, death, and the destruction of the Indus Valley Civilization. "Joseon Fringe" by Pamela Q. Fernandes is an alternate history of Sejong the Great that also provides fascinating commentary on the divided Koreas. "The Bridge of Dangerous Longings" by Rati Mehrotra is less directly inspired by folklore. A fantastical tale in a futuristic island cut off from the rest of the world by a bridge that no one has come back from, it deals with themes of violence and rape. I think it might have packed more of a punch had it not answered its own mysteries. Last but not least, I found myself enjoying Fonda Lee's "Old Souls" as an echo of her wonderful Jade City. The protagonist can see the patterns of everyone's previous lives and wants to escape her own fate. The story is about choice, the need to forget and be able to start over, and patterns, personality, and what makes us innately ourselves. As one character says: "Our lives are shaped by circumstance; we have patterns, but we do change." Overall, it's a very interesting collection well worth reading if you're interested in scifi and fantasy a little off the beaten path. ~~I received an advanced reader copy (with huge apologies for how long it took me to read and review) through Netgalley from the publisher, Laksa Media Groups, in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!~~ Cross-posted on BookLikes.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)

    ASIAN SCI-FI AND FANTASY. ASIAN SCI-FI AND FANTASY.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    ↠ 4.5 stars "More variety in our books, more colour in our characters, more of all the things that shape the voices and hearts of both." A highly enjoyable, interesting collection of Asian-inspired science-fiction and fantasy short stories. The introduction to this collection was really thought-provoking ("It's no real secret that when it comes to Asian culture in books, much of what remains in the forms of stereotypes, tropes, cliches” ) and also gave rise to the quote up top. I was also very ↠ 4.5 stars "More variety in our books, more colour in our characters, more of all the things that shape the voices and hearts of both." A highly enjoyable, interesting collection of Asian-inspired science-fiction and fantasy short stories. The introduction to this collection was really thought-provoking ("It's no real secret that when it comes to Asian culture in books, much of what remains in the forms of stereotypes, tropes, cliches” ) and also gave rise to the quote up top. I was also very interested to read this in the wake of the controversy that arose when an editor told writer Leonard Chang his characters weren't Asian enough (see an article on this here) which I think demonstrates that diversity is still a battle we have to fight, especially when it comes to mainstream publishing. In Where The Stars Rise, the stories differed enormously, allowing breadth of genre and narrative. The only author in this collection I'd heard of before was Amanda Sun because I've read one of her YA books. (Her story was brilliant; a post-apocalyptic Japan, cut off from the rest of the world, with themes of fear and hope). The others were all new to me. The stories they brought to this collection were wonderful and interesting, with blends of history and the supernatural; space opera and sci-fi; post-apocalyptic settings and many more. Admittedly, some I did prefer to others simply because the narrative content aligned more with my interests. All in all, though, a wonderful read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shāfiya Mū

    This collection was extraordinary. While there were a few stories that resonated and reached out to me as a reader a bit more intimately than others, overall the experience was fantastic. This collection really emphasises the importance and storytelling potential that's derived from diverse cultural backgrounds, specifically in regards to Asian cultures and customs. One of my favourite tales consisted of a universe where djinns were artificially created intelligences that grew to be sentient, and This collection was extraordinary. While there were a few stories that resonated and reached out to me as a reader a bit more intimately than others, overall the experience was fantastic. This collection really emphasises the importance and storytelling potential that's derived from diverse cultural backgrounds, specifically in regards to Asian cultures and customs. One of my favourite tales consisted of a universe where djinns were artificially created intelligences that grew to be sentient, and unlike many other typical stories from the speculative genre, these beings weren't harmful towards humans. Instead, they sought to learn and live with them in harmony. The story also did a fantastic job of examining systematic prejudices towards people or things that societies don't understand. It was brilliant in scope and execution. There are many other narratives like this one that are filled with original and imaginative world-building, multi-faceted characters, and unique plot twists that take culturally familiar themes and utilise them in ways to write wondrous, contemplative stories while commenting on current societal problems and conflicts in ways that aren't thought about in a normal means. It also does an excellent job of breaking stereotypes associated with many of the cultural inspirations implemented. I highly recommend this collection to all fans of speculative fiction, in all of their forms and subgenres, as well as to people who are interested in challenging themselves by reading a title beautifully atypical of science-fiction storytelling. Collection rating: 4 outta 5 djinns!

  6. 5 out of 5

    ☙ nemo ❧

    anthologies, especially by multiple authors, are notoriously hit and miss; however i am pleased to announce that this one was mostly hits. the stories were very unique and varied, which meant i didn't get bored reading any of them. my favourites were old souls by fonda lee (which was absolutely bloody brilliant and one of the best short stories i've ever read; it's worth getting this anthology just for this one to be honest) and the datasultan of streets and stars by jeremy szal.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    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 homeworld overheats. She is evacuated and her tail re 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 homeworld 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 of reincarnation and a young woman who can not only remember her own previous lives but also see the past lives 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! I received a free copy from the publisher in return for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Szal

    I have a bad habit with anthologies I'm in. I put my contributor copies on my author shelf and leave it to collect dust, telling myself I'll get around to it one day. I've been trying to unmake that habit, and have been picking my way through this anthology's two dozen or two stories, all centering around an Asian sci-fi/fantasy inspired setting, or taking place in Asia. I'm biased with a capital B, obviously. But I really did enjoy this one. I tend to disagree with a lot of fellow editors with I have a bad habit with anthologies I'm in. I put my contributor copies on my author shelf and leave it to collect dust, telling myself I'll get around to it one day. I've been trying to unmake that habit, and have been picking my way through this anthology's two dozen or two stories, all centering around an Asian sci-fi/fantasy inspired setting, or taking place in Asia. I'm biased with a capital B, obviously. But I really did enjoy this one. I tend to disagree with a lot of fellow editors with what makes a good short story, and while a some of these had very abrupt endings, I liked the majority of them. Stand-puts include the storied by Fonda Lee and Karin Lowachee and Regina Wang, which happened to be the longer stories in the anthology. The antho skewed a little too much into fantasy, but that's a matter of personal taste. Again, I'm biased, but Asian and non-US settings and cultures are an incredibly important part of the genre, and there's a crazy-diverse range of stories here. Recommended for anyone hungry for some good short fiction.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    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 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!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Annemieke / A Dance with Books

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this review copy in exchange for an honest review. 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 Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this review copy in exchange for an honest review. 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

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sinead Anja (Huntress of Diverse Books)

    Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts! I received an ARC of Where the Stars Rise from NetGalley. I requested sci-fi and fantasy anthology, because I really enjoy the contemplative nature of short stories and short stories introduce me to the writing styles of many authors, thus I can figure out if I want to purchase the books of the authors that I liked. Most of the stories in this book are #ownvoices. __ So many of the stories were wonderful. However, there were some Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts! I received an ARC of Where the Stars Rise from NetGalley. I requested sci-fi and fantasy anthology, because I really enjoy the contemplative nature of short stories and short stories introduce me to the writing styles of many authors, thus I can figure out if I want to purchase the books of the authors that I liked. Most of the stories in this book are #ownvoices. __ So many of the stories were wonderful. However, there were some that I feel neutral about. I’ll just tell you a bit about my thoughts for some of the stories. One of the stories that made me think the most was Rose’s Arm. One of the main themes was that of artificial limbs and prosthetics. I thought it was great that the story kept emphasizing that they require upkeep and are not a miracle solution. This was one of my favourite stories due to the development of the relationship between the father and daughter. I also loved Back to Myan, which was a story that discussed the effects a colonising population’s invasion and ideology had on a planet. There were a lot of environmental themes, and the parallels to our planet can be found easily. Crash was a fascinating story that dealt with ethics. It definitely made me think a lot. As you know I love reading superhero stories, and thus I was really happy that this collection also included one! The Observer Effect discusses whitewashing and what it means to be a role model to someone. I would love to be able to read a follow-up to this story! Bridge of Dangerous Longings was another of my favourite stories. I loved the theme of the bridge, and how it was used for a metaphor of being stationary in life as well as connecting places and people. The word ‘Caucasian’ is used to mean ‘white’ in Vanilla Rice. However, the people from this region are usually not considered white and thus I’m never a fan of using this word as a synonym. This story was heartbreaking. It discussed a young mother and how she uses technology to create a perfect child, a decision that is heavily influenced by the racism she has experienced. __ I loved this collection. If you’re looking for an anthology of beautiful, contemplative sci-fi and fantasy short stories, I recommend getting Where the Stars Rise. Trigger warning: rape, slavery.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristene Perron

    Perfect read to kick off the new year! I love short stories and this collection had such a dynamic variety of them that it was difficult to put down. It would be impossible to choose one favourite but "Old Souls" by Fonda Lee, "Rose's Arm" by Calvin D. Jim, "The Bridge of Dangerous Longings" by Rati Mehrotra, and "Crash" by Melissa Yuan-Innes.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rob Boffard

    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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Story

    Holy fuck, y'all. This collection had so much. Historical fiction, sci-fi, steampunk, futuristic, apocalyptic. I. Loved. Every. Single. One. And just added a fuckton of titles by the authors to read this year. Fuck yeah.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lola Et La Vie

    I finally got round to reading this anthology of Asian science fiction and fantasy stories. I was not sure what to expect with a wide variety of authors I was not familiar with, but it was a treat. First of all, can I just mention how well designed the cover is. It really pulled me in. I know you should not judge a book by its cover, but it can help! This anthology leans quite heavily towards the science fiction / futuristic side and that is a genre that I am much less familiar with than fantasy. I finally got round to reading this anthology of Asian science fiction and fantasy stories. I was not sure what to expect with a wide variety of authors I was not familiar with, but it was a treat. First of all, can I just mention how well designed the cover is. It really pulled me in. I know you should not judge a book by its cover, but it can help! This anthology leans quite heavily towards the science fiction / futuristic side and that is a genre that I am much less familiar with than fantasy. However, I did thoroughly enjoy this collection. The stories were varied both in their content and location. I will not rate every story individually, mainly because this is an anthology and it should be looked at as a whole. As a whole, I feel this is a really strong collection in which the individual stories compliment each other and make them stand stronger as a unit. Of course, I had my favourites, such as ‘The dataSUltan of Streets and Stars’ by Jeremy Szal, which was based in a future version of Istanbul, and ‘The Bridge of Dangerous Longings’ by Rati Mehrotra, but there were not any I really did not like at all. If you like science fiction especially, you will enjoy this well thought out anthology,

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    This anthology has truly achieved diversity in more than one way. It contains stories that take place in all kinds of places, not limited to earth, under all kinds of circumstances and time frames. Even if they are all sci-fi and fantasy stories, they are incredibly different from each other in subject, style and mood. Some are light while others will leave you filled with emotions. The characters can be human or not, alive or death, from little kids to elderly, with superpowers, enhancements or This anthology has truly achieved diversity in more than one way. It contains stories that take place in all kinds of places, not limited to earth, under all kinds of circumstances and time frames. Even if they are all sci-fi and fantasy stories, they are incredibly different from each other in subject, style and mood. Some are light while others will leave you filled with emotions. The characters can be human or not, alive or death, from little kids to elderly, with superpowers, enhancements or handicapped. All these wonderful stories are presented with very unique and intriguing plots developed over Asian backgrounds (Chinese, Turkish, Indian, Japanese, Philippine, Korean, Indonesian, etc.) Most of the stories carry deep teachings, sometimes boldly presented as the main theme while other times it can be subtly left there for the reader to analyze. Loss, struggle, hope and the continuous search for ourselves and a place to belong to, were themes I felt constantly reappearing in these lovely stories. This book took me longer than usual to finish, partly because a couple of stories were most definitely not of my liking. I found them confusing and had to slow down to keep a good level of comprehension. That can ruin the mood for the next story, so I took more breaks than usual while reading this anthology. When I finished reading I realized I loved some stories, others remained in a gray area and couple of them I disliked. Yet, I could sympathize with all of them, which was great, because that's what happens when you are presented with diversity, with options that are truly different from each other. Quite probably you wont love them all, but you can get a real taste of diverse short stories that you will enjoy if you like science fiction and fantasy. My top 3 favorite stories were: Memoriam by Priya Sridhar, Old Souls by Fonda Lee and Rose's Arm by Calvin D.Jim I got my eArc from Laksa Media Groups

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sue Wallace

    Where the stars rise by lucas k law. 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. A good read. Some stories were more enjoyable than others Where the stars rise by lucas k law. 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. A good read. Some stories were more enjoyable than others. 4*

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ekta

    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 reade 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.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    First published on my blog: Nonstop Reader 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 hea First published on my blog: Nonstop Reader 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 Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    Diversity is really the best word for this book. There was a huge range of characters with backgrounds from all across Asia, showing the wide rage of different cultures that Asia has to offer. There were characters with all kinds of background, from rich to poor and so, so many characters with various scars or disabilities. Though there was a very sad lack of sexual and gender diversity, in all other respects, it showed so many different kinds of people. It also showed a huge range of sci-fi, fr Diversity is really the best word for this book. There was a huge range of characters with backgrounds from all across Asia, showing the wide rage of different cultures that Asia has to offer. There were characters with all kinds of background, from rich to poor and so, so many characters with various scars or disabilities. Though there was a very sad lack of sexual and gender diversity, in all other respects, it showed so many different kinds of people. It also showed a huge range of sci-fi, from very hard sci-fi to the softer stuff. I'm not a massive fan of the really hard sci-fi. I love a soft urban story, so there were a few stories that were a bit too much for me, but I have to say most of them I really enjoyed and there wasn't a single story I absolutely hated. There is so much I can say about the stories, but I'm choosing one to highlight and that's Back to Myan by Regina Kanyu Wang. This beautiful story of a girl returning to her native planet. A planet that she has no memories of and that has been completely changed. It shows the brutalism of humanity and I think would resonate with anyone who has had their homeland taken over or destroyed by Western society. Anyone who has even the slightest interest in Sci-fi or Asian culture should read this book. I guarantee you will find something to love.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. One of the more uneven anthologies I've read in awhile. Some stories were stellar (Weaving Silk and Old Souls) but some lost my interest pretty quickly. What's interesting about having a scifi&fantasy book written by all Asians is just how broad the stories get. The stories take a lot from many different cultures and find a way to mesh the past or a specific culture with a scifi or fantasy plot. For some stories, it's more about I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. One of the more uneven anthologies I've read in awhile. Some stories were stellar (Weaving Silk and Old Souls) but some lost my interest pretty quickly. What's interesting about having a scifi&fantasy book written by all Asians is just how broad the stories get. The stories take a lot from many different cultures and find a way to mesh the past or a specific culture with a scifi or fantasy plot. For some stories, it's more about just having "non-European names" for characters. There was one story about Sejong The Great and his invention of Hangul and many other things that I had a small problem with. While the story itself is fine, I view it the same way I view those "Aliens built the pyramids" things - human ingenuity doesn't need outside help. Humans have the capacity to do both great and terrible things all on our own. 3.5/5 rounds to 4. Very uneven with stories ranging from 2/5 - 5/5.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Copy given to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 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 Meridian 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 hurt to read his story. Especially since I love Cairo Azarcon so so much. Just. Oh my god. And I love how she writes, Copy given to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 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 Meridian 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 hurt 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 Back to Myan by Regina Kanyu Wang and Weaving Silk by Amanda Sun. Wonderfully inventive and emotional stories.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I really enjoyed this Asian-inspired sci-fi/fantasy anthology with short stories featuring Asian main characters in all different walks of life, scenarios, and situations. We’ve got traditional mythology retellings, a take on superheroes, historical Asia, outer space, regular people who are anything but ordinary… but what I loved most was that I could see myself through each and every single one of these stories. I think this anthology is the perfect collection of short stories to inspire Asians I really enjoyed this Asian-inspired sci-fi/fantasy anthology with short stories featuring Asian main characters in all different walks of life, scenarios, and situations. We’ve got traditional mythology retellings, a take on superheroes, historical Asia, outer space, regular people who are anything but ordinary… but what I loved most was that I could see myself through each and every single one of these stories. I think this anthology is the perfect collection of short stories to inspire Asians everywhere (especially younger Asian writers!), as well as for non-Asians who want a more-informed delve into Asian writing BY ASIAN WRITERS. Note: This e-ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. But thank you so much Laksa Media Groups!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sam H (Will Read for Booze)

    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. Received an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    J.D. DeHart

    Readers of steampunk and William Gibson, as well as fans of Ghost in the Shell and other such works, will find a quick kinship with this collection. There is a lot here to enjoy with some authors writing action-packed tales and others writing epistolary explorations, with a wide range in between. Although I was unfamiliar with these authors, there was much here to enjoy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    CR

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Review by Gardner Dozois: https://locusmag.com/2018/02/gardner-... Review by Gardner Dozois: https://locusmag.com/2018/02/gardner-...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Troy Campbell

    You had me at Istanbul. Across the Bosphorus. You had me at Istanbul. Across the Bosphorus.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Priya Sridhar

    Where the Stars Rise put out a call for Asian authors to submit science fiction and fantasy based on Asian cultures, and what we learned. Someone asked if I was properly Asian, since I'm Indian and not Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean or Japanese. I thought about it, and then I found out that one of the editors was Indian. That cemented my decision to write a tale that fit the guidelines, and see if it got accepted or not. Being published in this anthology is a privilege, and one that I will treasure. Where the Stars Rise put out a call for Asian authors to submit science fiction and fantasy based on Asian cultures, and what we learned. Someone asked if I was properly Asian, since I'm Indian and not Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean or Japanese. I thought about it, and then I found out that one of the editors was Indian. That cemented my decision to write a tale that fit the guidelines, and see if it got accepted or not. Being published in this anthology is a privilege, and one that I will treasure. The anthology has a spectrum of stories, but one common theme runs through them: the fear of belonging or not belonging, and our familial ties. My favorite tale discusses whitewashing in Hollywood and if Asians can be superheroes. Props to the author for tackling the issue, but also telling a proper superhero tale about if great power begets great responsibility, even when the world won't appreciate you and will have a white person portray you onscreen. Marvel's Iron Fist and Doctor Strange are modern examples of this whitewashing, and Death Note can only make it more interesting. I can't review my own tale, but I will say that the inspiration for it came from a dream about an author's home being turned into a tourist site. I also wish I could bring some family members back to life via an animatronic, though there are some that I would leave in the grave. Where the Stars Rise takes away the need to present Asian elements in a "right way". As long as we told a story with Asian characters, ideally from our unique experiences, with an Asian setting and Asian elements, we could submit what we preferred. The end result is a blend of SFF stories, that venture from the most remote villages to the depths of space. We even have space mermaids on ice planets, an idea that I've wanted to see for a long time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    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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