*Original credit to Carrie Cuinn’s list where I got most of these titles from her website*
A Bottle of Storm Clouds: Stories by Eliza Victoria - Award-winning author Eliza Victoria mixes magic with the mundane in this special concoction of 16 short stories. A girl meets a young man with the legs of a chicken. A boy is employed by a goddess running a pawnshop. A group of teenagers are trapped in an enchanted forest for 900 days. A man finds himself in an MRT station beyond Taft, a station that was not supposed to exist. A student claims to have seen the last few digits of pi. Someone’s sister gets abducted by mermaids.
The Fragipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith - Based on traditional Vietnamese ghost stories told to the author by her Vietnamese grandmother but updated to reflect the contemporary ghost of the Vietnam War, here is a mesmerizing collection of thematically linked stories, united by the first and last story of the collection.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki - In Tokyo, 16-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.
Alice in Deadland by Maninak Dhar - Civilization as we know it ended more than fifteen years ago, leaving as it’s legacy barren wastelands called the Deadland and a new terror for the humans who survived- hordes of undead Biters. 15-year-old Alice has spent her entire life in the Deadland, her education consisting of how best to use guns and knives in the ongoing war for survival against the Biters. One day, Alice spots a Biter disappearing into a hole in the ground and follows it, in search of fabled underground Biter bases. What Alice discovers there propels her into an action-packed adventure that changes her life and that of all humans in the Deadland forever. An adventure where she learns the terrible conspiracy behind the ruin of humanity, the truth behind the origin of the Biters, and the prophecy the mysterious Biter Queen believes Alice is destined to fulfill. A prophecy based on the charred remains of the last book in the Deadland- a book called Alice in Wonderland.
Barrow by Bryan Thao Worra - The second book of speculative poetry by Laotian American writer Bryan Thao Worra, BARROW includes all-new poems as well as journals such as Whistling Shade, Northography and Tales of the Unanticipated between 1991-2009. BARROW continues an experimental journey across cultures and language to examine themes of multiplicity and meaning in an uncertain universe.
Mikey Recio & The Secret of Demon Dungeon by Budjette Tan - Mikey had other plans on his Holy Week holiday. Driving for his grandfather was not part of it. Nor did it involve running into a very unholy secret.
The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri - Vishnu, the odd-job man in a Bombay apartment block, lies dying on the staircase landing. Around him the lives of the apartment dwellers unfold: the warring housewives on the first floor, lovesick teenagers on the second, and the quietly grieving widower on the top floor of the building. In a fevered state Vishnu looks back on his love affair with the seductive Padmini and wonders if he might actually be the god Vishnu, guardian of the entire universe. Blending incisive comedy with Hindu mythology and a dash of Bollywood sparkle, The Death of Vishnu is an intimate and compelling view of an unforgettable world.
The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss #1) by Marjorie Liu - Demon hunter Maxine Kiss wears her armor as tattoos, which unwind from her body to take on forms of their own at night. They stand between her and her enemies, just as Maxine stands between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veils. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment—and one man— changes everything.
Drifting House by Krys Lee - Set in Korea and the United States, from the postwar era to contemporary times, Krys Lee’s stunning fiction debut illuminates a people struggling to reconcile the turmoil of their collective past with the rewards and challenges of their present.
Escape from Arylon (Silverskin Legacy) - Megan and Ainsley have lived next door to each other their whole lives, but their relationship is anything but neighborly. Ainsley is the cutest, most popular guy in school, and even has a group of girls who call themselves his fan club. Outspoken and fiery, Megan is an individual who thinks Ainsley is full of himself-and she doesn’t mind letting him know what she thinks. The two stumble upon a neighbor who is performing some sort of strange magic, and find themselves transported into a magical new world. Stuck together in an unfamiliar land with no escape, Megan and Ainsley encounter floating cities inhabited by magical creatures of all kinds-and find themselves pursuing a thief who has stolen a staff with magical powers. Can Megan and Ainsley work together to find the staff of power and save the kingdom, or will they find that there is no escape from Arylon?
“Pain is strange. A cat killing a bird, a car accident, a fire…. Pain arrives, BANG, and there it is, it sits on you. It’s real. And to anybody watching, you look foolish. Like you’ve suddenly become an idiot. There’s no cure for it unless you know somebody who understands how you feel, and knows how to help.”—Charles Bukowski
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading in order to write. A man will turn over half a library to make a book.”—Samuel Johnson - 18th century poet, essayist, literary critic, and lexicographer.
Stand down: literature has defeated the Thought Police. Belgium’s supreme court has defeated the mischief-making of the whining PC brigade. Tintin is not banned. Huzzah!
The badness of the bad faith involved in the commentariat’s discussion of this issue, the relentlessness of their categoric elisions, the unpleasantness of their crowing over the victory, should come as no surprise. This was never, at root, about banning. Yes, Bienvenue Mbutu Mondondo was applying to the court to have Tintin in the Congo declared unacceptable under the Belgian race relations law. However, he had made clear for years that he would be satisfied if, as in Britain, the book was published with a visible warning, a reminder of the context in which it was written (maybe even of the toxic ideology enshrined within). What Mondondo wanted was an official recognition that this text was a spitting in his face. That it came down to what was always clearly a nuclear option was due to the steadfast refusal of the publishers to countenance this - and thereby take responsibility for what they publish. The Belgian establishment went to cultural war, & it did so not for free speech, but for their right not to apologise for racist slander.
Sometimes I think of Paris not as a city but as a home. Enclosed, curtained, sheltered, intimate. The sound of rain outside the window, the spirit and the body turned towards intimacy, to friendships and loves. One more enclosed and intimate day of friendship and love, an alcove. Paris intimate like a room. Everything designed for intimacy. Five to seven was the magic hour of the lovers’ rendezvous. Here it is the cocktail hour.
New York is the very opposite of Paris. People’s last concern is with intimacy. No attention is given to friendship and its development. Nothing is done to soften the harshness of life itself. There is much talk about the ‘world,’ about millions, groups, but no warmth between human beings. They persecute subjectivity, which is a sense of inner life; an individual’s concern with growth and self-development is frowned upon.
Subjectivity seems to be in itself a defect. No praise or compliments are given, because praise is politeness and all politeness is hypocrisy. Americans are proud of telling you only the bad. The ‘never-talk-about-yourself’ taboo is linked with the most candid, unabashed self-seeking, and selfishness.
”— Anaïs Nin, from The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 3: 1939-1944
“There is a major difference between liminality and interstitiality. Unlike the liminal, the Interstitial is not implicitly transitory - that is to say, not on its way toward becoming something else. The liminal state in a rite of passage precedes the final phase, which is reintegration, but an interstitial work does not require reintegration - it already has its own being in a willfully transgressive or noncategorical way.”—Heinz Insi Fenkl, INTERFICTIONS
In a relationship, one mind revises the other; one heart changes its partner. This astounding legacy of our combined status as mammals and neural beings is limbic revision: the power to remodel the emotional parts of the people we love, as our Attractors [coteries of ingrained information patterns] activate certain limbic pathways, and the brain’s inexorable memory mechanism reinforces them.
Who we are and who we become depends, in part, on whom we love.
“Whiteness is not a culture. There is Irish culture and Italian culture and American culture - the latter, as Albert Murray pointed out, a mixture of the Yankee, the Indian, and the Negro (with a pinch of ethnic salt); there is youth culture and drug culture and queer culture; but there is no such thing as white culture. Whiteness has nothing to do with culture and everything to do with social position. It is nothing but a reflection of privilege, and exists for no reason other than to defend it. Without the privileges attached to it, the white race would not exist, and the white skin would have no more social significance than big feet.”—Noel Ignatiev (via sonofbaldwin)
The beginnings of the American Revolution, simplified
BRITISH EMPIRE:All right, fine, your stupid embargo worked. We won’t levy any more taxes-
AMERICAN COLONIES:Huzzah! Time to get drunk!
BRITISH EMPIRE:Except on tea.
BRITISH EMPIRE:Get over it, it’s just tea. Seriously, where do you get this idea that you’re special and should never have to pay taxes? We hope that idea doesn’t go on to infect your political discourse centuries from now.
AMERICAN COLONIES:We’re not buying your stupid tea.
BRITISH EMPIRE:Are you being serious right now? What are you going to do, just stop drinking tea?
AMERICAN COLONIES:Yes. We’ll drink coffee.
BRITISH EMPIRE:Do you even know what that is?
AMERICAN COLONIES:No, but we’ve heard it’s good and we’re feeling surly.
BRITISH EMPIRE:Fine, whatever, we don’t even care what you do anymore.
BRITISH EAST INDIA COMPANY:Actually, we are pretty much bankrupt, so you need to make them drink the tea.
BRITISH EMPIRE:Oh, for—just drink the tea.
BRITISH EMPIRE:Do it.
BRITISH EMPIRE:Drink it.
AMERICAN COLONIES:Fuck you.
BRITISH EMPIRE:Drink it or we’ll punch you in the face.
AMERICAN COLONIES:*Boston Tea Party*
BRITISH EMPIRE:What the hell?
AMERICAN COLONIES:We heard it was Indians.
BRITISH EMPIRE:That’s interesting, because we heard it was a bunch of colonists wearing paint and dressed in costumes that were remarkably similar to what a crowd of drunks who wanted to look like Indians would assemble if the only supplies they had were found in an alley behind a bar.
“All the atoms of our bodies will be blown into space in the disintegration of the Solar System, to live on forever as mass or energy. That’s what we should be teaching our children not fairy tales about angels and seeing grandma in heaven.”—Carolyn Porco (via know-knowledge)
“I think there’s a perception that making an effort to be inclusive means artlessly shoehorning a bunch of unnatural “politically correct” material from a master checklist handed down from the Office of the Liberal Elite.
First of all, the OLE doesn’t hand those out, you have to request them. Second, you don’t need the list anyway. Just stop going out of your way to do things like this:
(spoiler alert: it is actually super easy not to do that)
One “defense” for not making the effort to be inclusive is, “Aw, but man, I don’t want to have to think about this stuff, I just want to read/write stories.”
And, y’know what? We’re sympathetic to that. Thinking about it can be really taxing, confusing, and depressing. Imagine if you had to think about that stuff all the time. Perhaps due to being not white? Or not male? Or not straight?
We want our dumb robot comic to be the easiest thing in the world to enjoy, and that means it doesn’t get to make anyone feel icky when they read it.”
“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”— Sir Francis Bacon, “Of Studies”