LONTAR and the Locus Awards

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I am very excited to note that this is the first year that LONTAR has been listed on the Locus Awards ballot, under the Best Magazine or Fanzine category. It’s a terrific honor to be included. For those who may be unaware, Locus is the trade journal for the science fiction and fantasy community, and they have covered news of the publishing field, with extensive reviews and listings of new speculative fiction books and magazines, since 1968. The annual Locus Awards are a prestigious recognition of the best science fiction and fantasy produced each year, voted on by the magazine’s readers. (“Reader” here is specifically open, meaning that anyone can vote, not just subscribers.)

Not only is LONTAR eligible for Best Magazine, but the stories we originally published in 2014 are also eligible as write-ins for Best Short Story:

From Issue #2

  • “The Tiger in the Forest Between Two Worlds” by E.C. Myers
  • “What Is Being Erased” Tiffany Tsao
  • “Entanglement” by Victor Fernando R. Ocampo
  • “The Floating Market” by Eliza Chan

From Issue #3

  • “Setting Up Home” by Sabrina Huang (trans. Jeremy Tiang)
  • “Resort Time” by Ben Slater
  • “Mother’s Day” by JY Yang
  • “An Unexpected Stop” by Nikki Alfar

“The Apartment” by John Burdett from issue #2 is also eligible in the Best Novelette category.

Likewise, I am eligible for Best Editor, and Math Paper Press and Epigram Books are both eligible for Best Book Publisher, but the priority here is to shine the light on our contributors and their fantastic works of fiction.

Both issue #2 and issue #3 are now available in ebook format from Weightless Books (and #1 and #2 are bundled for free when you buy #3, this week only). Please consider picking up the issues and then giving the stories some love. (Poetry, reprinted fiction, and nonfiction is not eligible, but you should read them too!)

The deadline for voting is 15 April, less than a month from now, so if you’ve enjoyed what we’ve been doing here at LONTAR, please take some time and vote accordingly. Thank you!

LONTAR #3 Ebook Now Available!

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For those of you lamenting the absence of an electronic edition of LONTAR issue #3 (Autumn 2014), rejoice! The DRM-free ebook is now available at Weightless Books, for the mere paltry payment of $2.99 USD! As with the previous two issues, this one is available in both ePub and Mobi formats. Many thanks once again to Gavin and everyone at WB for their support of our little journal.

And, to entice you even further, Weightless Books is offering a special deal for this week only, where you get issues #1 and #2 completely for free if you buy #3. That’s like getting each issue for only one US dollar! If you haven’t already jumped aboard the LONTAR bandwagon, there’s no better time to do so!

Contents

  1. The More Things Change | Jason Erik Lundberg (editorial)
  2. A Field Guide to the Roads of Manila | Dean Francis Alfar (fiction)
  3. Setting Up Home | Sabrina Huang (trans. Jeremy Tiang) (fiction)
  4. Resort Time | Ben Slater (fiction)
  5. The Elephant in the Room | Anne Carly Abad (poetry)
  6. Before the Last War | David Wong Hsien Ming (poetry)
  7. Signs, or The Fate of Big-Footed Individuals | Daryl Yam (poetry)
  8. Harbour | Tse Hao Guang (poetry)
  9. Since We Stopped Communicating | Cyril Wong (poetry)
  10. Three Poems | Arlene Ang (poetry)
  11. Mother’s Day | JY Yang (fiction)
  12. An Unexpected Stop | Nikki Alfar (fiction)
  13. The Last Ten Years in the Life of Hero Kai | Geoff Ryman (fiction)

I’m very glad that this issue is now available for e-readers everywhere. For those of you outside of Singapore, this is probably the best (or at least the least expensive) way to read it.

So go ahead and nab your own ebook copy of issue #3, and get issue #1 and issue #2 bundled for free. Remember, that the offer only lasts until the end of this week, so get them today!

Joint Book Launch at BooksActually this Friday

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Lontar Event Poster

This coming Friday night at 7.30pm, Epigram Books and Math Paper Press will jointly launch LONTAR issues #2 and #3 at BooksActually!

The Facebook event page is here. I will be joined by contributing writers from both issues for an evening reading, Q&A and autograph session. Our invited readers are:

  • Cyril Wong (3)
  • JY Yang (3)
  • Shelly Bryant (2)
  • Victor Fernando R. Ocampo (2)
  • Tse Hao Guang (2 & 3)
  • Patricia Mulles (for Nikki Alfar) (3)
  • Ang Si Min (2)
  • David Wong Hsien Ming (3)

This is an excellent chance to hear some fantastic readings of prose and poetry, and pick up some Xmas gifts for the special people in your life who dig on literature of the imagination!

LONTAR #4 Contents

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I am happy to announce that the contents of LONTAR issue #4 have been finalised! This fourth issue of LONTAR presents speculative writing from and about Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. Inside these pages, you’ll find:

LONTAR is the world’s only biannual literary journal focusing on Southeast Asian speculative fiction. In this issue, seven contributors have won major literary awards in Singapore, USA, UK, Japan and the Philippines. The issue is scheduled for April 2015. Also, if you couldn’t guess from the description above, the novelette from Paolo Bacigalupi is “Yellow Card Man,” which was originally published in the December 2006 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction, and was a finalist for the Hugo Award; the story serves as a prequel to his celebrated debut novel The Windup Girl, and has now been updated in this version so that it is consistent with the characters and events in the novel. Poetry Editor Kristine Ong Muslim and I are now reading for issue #5, to be released in Autumn 2015, so if you want your work to be considered, send it to us via the Submittable portal. If you’re still waiting for a reply on your submission, please be patient and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

LONTAR 2 and 3, out in paper!

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Issues #2 and #3 are back from the printer!

This is a very exciting day. The print edition of #2 has been a long time coming (the ebook has been out since April), and both the print and ebook edition of #3 mark the beginning of publication by Epigram Books. They were both printed at the same time to save costs, which means that they look and feel very much the same. And all three issues look fantastic together on the bookshelf.

Issue #2 is available now at BooksActually (as is #1), and issue #3 will be at all major bookstores in Singapore within the next couple of weeks. We’re planning on a joint launch for them sometime in December, so stay tuned to this space.

Bestsellers at Weightless Books for May!

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Wow! Dovetailing on the exciting news about issue #3 in the previous post, Weightless Books has just released their list of bestsellers for May 2014, and issue #2 and issue #1 have taken the respective #1 and #2 spots!

Thanks go first of all to Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing, for signal-boosting the journal and driving traffic to Weightless; secondly to the readers who have thus far bought the ebook versions of both issues in such great numbers and shown the journal such wonderful support; and thirdly to Gavin, Michael, Andrea, and everyone at Weightless for providing such a great independent alternative for the distribution of ebooks.

If you enjoyed either issue, or both, please spread the word, and rate them on Goodreads (here and here). Small ventures like LONTAR depend very much on word-of-mouth. Let’s keep these sales coming, folks!

We prefer that you buy the issues through Weightless (especially since it’s the only place to find them DRM-free), but if your preferred method is to use the Nook or iTunes ebook stores, both issues are now available in both places (with Kindle, Kobo, etc. to come). Just click through the links on the Buy page to buy them through those venues.

LONTAR #3 Contents and New Publisher!

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Two big pieces of LONTAR news:

1) As of issue #3, LONTAR will now be published by Epigram Books!

Epigram Books logo

We had a great time working with Math Paper Press for the first two issues, and it was a mutual agreement to part ways. However, I’m very much looking forward to bringing LONTAR into the fiction stable at Epigram Books (where, it should be noted, I am the literary fiction editor), which includes work of the literary fantastic such as Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe, The Space Between the Raindrops by Justin Ker, The Wayang at Eight Milestone by Gregory Nalpon and The Tower by Isa Kamari. Epigram Books is epitomized by high quality and beautiful design, which makes LONTAR a perfect fit.

2) The contents for issue #3 have now been finalized! This issue of LONTAR presents speculative writing from and about Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia and Taiwan.

Inside these pages, you’ll find:

The issue is scheduled for October/November 2014, and I can’t wait for you all to see it. Each one keeps getting better and better, and this feels like our strongest issue yet!

I’m now reading for issue #4, to be released in Spring 2015, so if you want your work to be considered, send it to me via the Submittable portal. If you’re still waiting for a reply from me, please be patient and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

LONTAR #1 and 2 now available for Kindle, plus interview with E.C. Myers!

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The awesome folks at Weightless Books have now made Kindle-ready versions of LONTAR #1 and #2 available on their site! Supplemental to the last post, this is the MOBI format that I was talking about. So if you have a Kindle, congratulations! You can now buy both issues without having to do any conversions first. This is of course in addition to the ePub format that was already there, which works on any other e-reader and Adobe Digital Editions.

So to sum up: MOBI = Kindle; ePub = everything else. Both formats are DRM-free.

In addition, Weightless has just posted an exclusive interview with issue #2 contributor (and Andre Norton Award-winner) E.C. Myers!

Q. Your story takes place near the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea. What was it about this region that inspired you to write about it?

This is a case where the story was shaped a lot by my research and ended up far richer than I first imagined. I wanted to do a contemporary version of the Korean folk tale “The Tiger-Girl,” so I started reading up on Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers. It was rather depressing, because there are very few of them remaining in the wild, and particularly in the wilds of Korea. They can be found in the mountains of the north, but they’re absent from the southern peninsula—a shame because the tiger is such an important part of Korean culture.

The more I read about the DMZ, the more fascinated I became, and I decided that if a tiger could still exist in Korea, it would be there; because that territory is largely off-limits to humans, it essentially functions as a gigantic nature preserve. Many references in the story to the DMZ and the cameraman Lim Sun Nam are real, albeit a few years out of date. There’s a free film you can watch online called Tiger Spirit that documents Lim’s quest to find tigers in the DMZ.

Catch the entire interview here!

A Note on ePub Format

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I’ve had a few queries from people wanting to buy LONTAR about the journal being available and/or readable for the Amazon Kindle. The format currently being sold at Weightless Books is ePub, which is the industry standard for ebooks, but which can’t be read on a Kindle.

ePub can be read by the iBooks app running on Apple’s iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad), Barnes and Noble NOOK and the NOOK app running on iOS devices, Kobo eReader, Blackberry Playbook, Google Books app running on Android and iOS devices, Sony Reader, BeBook, Bookeen Cybook Gen3, COOL-ER, Lexcycle Stanza, BookGlutton, AZARDI, FBReader, Aldiko, CoolReader, Mantano Reader, Moon+ Reader on Android, the Mozilla Firefox add-on EPUBReader, and Okular. Plus maybe some more that I don’t know about.

The Kindle is the only e-reader device that does not read ePub; Amazon uses their own proprietary format, called MOBI, that can only be read on Kindle devices; this is to lock you into their architecture, and make it prohibitive for you to switch e-readers (since you’d have to buy your ebooks all over again). You can use a program like Calibre to convert ePub to MOBI, but the results are never guaranteed, and the formatting can look wonky.

Both LONTAR issue #1 and issue #2 will soon be available on the Kindle, NOOK, Kobo, and iTunes ebook stores, but it will take some time; distribution is currently pending. Plus, I wanted to give Weightless a sales head-start, since they’ve been good to us, and are run by some pretty amazing people.

So if you’re dead set on buying the issues in the Kindle store directly for your Kindle, you’ll need to cultivate patience for a bit. In the meantime, you can buy the ePub versions DRM-free (which will not be the case at the other ebook stores) from Weightless Books and read them on any of the devices mentioned above, or on Adobe Digital Editions for PC or Mac (which can be downloaded for free).

One final note: if you have bought either issue (or both), please do take a moment to rate them on Goodreads, and possibly write a short review (issue #1 | issue #2).