Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind: a Review of Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary

Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary is about a man who wakes up to find himself on life support while being cared for by a not-very-bright AI. He has retrograde amnesia—he does not know where he is or how he got there. He does not even remember his name. What he does remember is a lotContinue reading “Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind: a Review of Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary”

Spirited Away in 19th Century Malacca: a Review of Choo Yangsze’s The Ghost Bride

I was born on the 14th of July and growing up, my grandmother told me that if I was born on the 14th day of the 7th month (七月十四) according to the Chinese calendar, my birthday would coincide with the Ghost Festival when the gates of hell are open and ghosts would be free toContinue reading “Spirited Away in 19th Century Malacca: a Review of Choo Yangsze’s The Ghost Bride”

A Malaysian-Chinese Immigrant Speculative Fiction Story: a Review of Elizabeth Wong’s We Could Not See the Stars

When publishers or authors reach out to me to ask if I am interested in reviewing an advanced reader copy of any book, I rarely assent—not because I have anything against that but because I already have a mountain of backlogged books I have been studiously neglecting. I make exceptions sometimes though, and this isContinue reading “A Malaysian-Chinese Immigrant Speculative Fiction Story: a Review of Elizabeth Wong’s We Could Not See the Stars”

The Controversial Politics of Fantastical Wish Fulfillment: a Review of T. J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea

We used to have a rescue, a Siberian husky, whom we named Lucy. And it was quite apparent to all who met him that Lucy is a boy and because we live in a deeply gendered society, people naturally wondered why we named him that—and I, naturally a troll, enjoyed everyone’s bafflement so much thatContinue reading “The Controversial Politics of Fantastical Wish Fulfillment: a Review of T. J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea”

The Grandaddy of Vampire Stories: a Review of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

I have read little vampire fiction aside from Ms Kostova’s The Historian, the first Twilight book, and one of George R. R. Martin’s earlier published work, Fevre Dream, but vampires aren’t alien to me since they often pop up in other fantasy works as villains or side characters. Full disclosure: the Dracula I am mostContinue reading “The Grandaddy of Vampire Stories: a Review of Bram Stoker’s Dracula”

A Fable of Auschwitz: a Review of John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Last year, John Boyne made the news for making the mistake of including ingredients from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild video game such as Octorok eyeball, hightail lizard, red lizalfo tail, and Hylian shrooms into his serious literary historical fiction novel, The Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom. It appeared that heContinue reading “A Fable of Auschwitz: a Review of John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”

Over Sideways and Under, On a Magic Carpet Ride: A Review of R. B. Lemberg’s The Four Profound Weaves

The first of the Four Profound Weaves is woven from wind. It signifies change. I am a little speechless, and I don’t really know how to talk about this book, because The Four Profound Weaves is the sort of book that makes me not want to do anything except stare at nothing for awhile. ItContinue reading “Over Sideways and Under, On a Magic Carpet Ride: A Review of R. B. Lemberg’s The Four Profound Weaves”

Going South by Southeast: a Film Review of Raya and the Last Dragon

Being a Malaysian and Southeast Asian (and literally writing a review blog called A Naga of the Nusantara), I was naturally excited to see that Disney is finally turning their profit machine to exploiting my regional culture. Okay I know that sounds cynical but I am realistic about these things—the House of Mouse is inContinue reading “Going South by Southeast: a Film Review of Raya and the Last Dragon”

Red, Brown, and Yellow in Tooth and Claw: a Review of Indra Das’ The Devourers

I can’t remember it’s provenance, but I once heard someone joked that Tolkien characters don’t exist from the waist down. No one fucks, shits or pisses in Middle-earth. Now, it is generally true in fiction that bodily functions are never mentioned unless they are relevant to the story, something that Mitchell and Webb made funContinue reading “Red, Brown, and Yellow in Tooth and Claw: a Review of Indra Das’ The Devourers”

Not Over the Moon Over Over the Moon: A Film Review of Netflix’s Over the Moon

Chang’e is the Chinese goddess of the moon. As the legend goes, there used to be 10 suns which took turns to cross the sky every day, but one day, all 10 of them came out, roasting the world with their combined radiance. In response, Hou Yi heroically shot down 9 of them, and inContinue reading “Not Over the Moon Over Over the Moon: A Film Review of Netflix’s Over the Moon”

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