Sometime around this time last year, I sent out a call for submissions to The Sea Is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia. Over the next few months, my co-editor Joyce Chng and I would receive many submissions. Many didn't make the first cut. A few got past, but eventually we could not use them. We were eventually left with twelve stories, with various levels of editing work required, each unique. After that it was a matter of deciding their order, and then getting a cover.
I approached Khor Shing Yin, an artist I found through Tumblr, who, it turned out, is Malaysian-Chinese, although she's spent most of her life in the States. We met briefly at San Diego Comic Con 2014, and more recently last August in Los Angeles. For SDCC, I made a frantic last-minute request for her to make up a promotional postcard that I could bring to raise awareness of the anthology. The result was the following:
I was elated! It was based off a photograph of a street in Melaka, with the kind of architecture one might see in many SEAsian cities. Also, there was food! Shing also works with very delicate watercolours, very different from the other kinds of art that Rosarium, my publisher, featured in their catalog.
When the manuscript was finalized, we needed a cover, and I asked her to re-visit the postcard again, update it a bit more, and thus:
The food stall remains, as did the streetway. But how we have even more of a glimpse into the worlds that The Sea Is Ours will offer! Without further ado, I present to you the table of contents:
"On The Consequence of Sound" - Timothy Dimacali
"Chasing Volcanoes" - Marilag Angway
"Ordained" - L. L. Hill
"The Last Aswang" - Alessa Hinlo
"Life Under Glass" - Nghi Vo
"Between Severed Souls" - Paolo Chikiamco
"The Unmaking of the Cuadro Amoroso" - Kate Osias
"Working Woman" - Olivia Ho
"Spider Here" - Robert Liow
"The Chamber of Souls" - zm quynh
"Petrified" - Ivanna Mendels
"The Insects and Women Sing Together" - Pear Nuallak
Several of these writers are no strangers to publishing, and I am pleased to introduce some new writers to the scene! They are all very talented and worked very hard, and I am proud to say that I am their editor.
I will post more details on ordering and the Kickstarter as they come!