Category Archives: Journal

Thanks to Our Patrons


Our patrons at the LONTAR Patreon have now been charged for issue #9, and I want to very publicly thank each and every one of them for coming to our aid in our time of need. They heeded the call for help after the funding rug was ripped out from underneath us, and I can’t put into words how much their financial generosity means to LONTAR and to me personally.

Because we had to send the print edition of L9 to press before all of the Patreon pledges were in, anyone who pledged in this last month may notice their name missing from the acknowledgements page. And even though it will be listed in the ebook edition (soon also available at Weightless Books), I want to recognise all of our wonderful patrons right here. Thank you for being such awesome human beings.

Universe Level
Carolyn Camoens

Dragons Level
Nuraliah Norasid

Cluster Level
Raymond Chan
Eliza Chan-Ma
Anh-Minh Do
Bob Helmer
Ho Zhi Hui
Ng Yi-Sheng
Erica Verrillo

Galaxy Level
Michaela Anchan
Nasayir Bedlam
Shelly Bryant
Chen Cuifen
Melissa De Silva
Philip Holden
Jennifer Hogan
Michael Janairo
Lo Hwei Shan
Manish Melwani
Andrea Pasion-Flores
Felix Pels
Sng Wei Tien
Phil Tatham
JZ Ting
Pete Young

Solar System Level
Richard Boulter
L. Chan
Julia Cheot
Caroline Chingcuanco
Dave Chua
Emilie Collyer
Tamara Craiu
Paolo Jose Cruz
Vida Cruz
Shana DuBois
Matthew Farrer
Jens Finkhaeuser
Lian Fournier
Liz Grzyb
Niall Harrison
Maria Haskins
Elizabeth King
Jan Larres
Lee Jing-Jing
Wei Fen Lee
E.C. Myers
Viet-Anh Nguyen
Cassandra Phillips-Sears
Francis Ramirez
Gord Sellar
Eric James Stone
Fernando da Silva Trevisan
Tiffany Tsao


One Week Left to Fund Issue #9


Many thanks to all of our new and existing supporters at Patreon for their generosity: we are now 65% to our goal of $1,250 USD for funding issue #9!

LONTAR #9As I mentioned in the previous post, we are having to make up the financial shortfall to publish L9 after NAC turned down our grant (along with many others). The print edition has come back from the printers and will be available in bookshops soon (although you can order it direct from Epigram Books right now), so the money to pay for the print run has already been spent by the publisher, but we still need to pay that money back.

Patron levels start at $3 USD, but if you’re unable to pledge to the Patreon directly, please do me a huge favour and spread the word about this online. We only have $430 USD left to go in order to fully fund the issue, and only one week left to raise it.

Thank you!

LONTAR Needs Your Help


Issue #9 has been proofread and sent to the printers, and will be coming out near the end of October. I’ll be revealing the cover art here soon, although our Patreon patrons have already gotten a sneak peek. Which leads me to the following.

The National Arts Council of Singapore rejected our grant application for L9, despite their history of supporting us since L3. This was extraordinarily disappointing, not least of all because it threatened an early cancellation of the journal; we came *this* close to disappearing altogether. However, Epigram Books will still be publishing the issue, thanks in part to our Patreon funding.

That said, we currently have a $1,300 SGD shortfall (~$950 USD), which I will have to pay out of my own pocket if further funding does not appear.

So please, do me a huge favour and become a Patreon patron (and spread the word) to help us make up this gap. There are many patronage tiers depending on your comfort level and financial situation, starting at $3 USD. And at the $75 level, you have the choice between signed copies of Here Be Dragons by Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, Salamanca by Dean Francis Alfar, or Red Dot Irreal by your humble founding editor.

I will be charging our patrons for issue #9 on 30 October 2017, so if you can help us out (and also be listed in the issue for your support), make sure to pledge by this date. Thanks in advance!


(Not) The End for LONTAR


After much discussion with my editors, and many sleepless nights in thought, I have decided to end the publication of LONTAR after the release of issue #10 in April 2018.

It’ll have taken up six years of my life by that point, and even as supremely proud as I am of what we’ve accomplished with this journal, it’s getting harder and harder to sustain my enthusiasm for it. It takes up a lot of time and mental energy, which could be applied to my own writing (which has suffered greatly in the last few years). Ten issues is a solid run for a project that didn’t exist in any form when I started it. And I want to say a very heartfelt thank-you to LONTAR’s staff, contributors and readers, for making it such a phenomenal publication.

That said, LONTAR is not going away completely. In print form, there are already plans for a retrospective anthology, as well as a literary folio in association with We Are a Website. In addition, I’ve been in talks about transitioning LONTAR into something more resembling a community organisation focused on outreach and recognition (including the establishment of an annual award). And for the first time in almost twenty years, I’ll be attending WorldCon this August in Helsinki, and moderating a panel on “Surreal Worlds of Southeast Asia”.

Issue #9 has been finalised, and will be released in October of this year. We’ll have part two of Dean Francis Alfar’s novel Salamanca, as well as fiction by Aliette de Bodard, Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, Philip Holden, KH Lim and Sean Jones, and poetry by Mariel Annarose Nicole Alonzo, Melvin Chen, Russ Hoe, DA Xiaolin Spires, Inez Tan and Lakan Umali.

Also, I want to end LONTAR with a bang; L10 will be a double-sized issue (around 70,000 words) and I want to invite you all to submit. I’ll be accepting submissions until 15 September 2017, and I would love to fill up our final issue with your stories, poems, essays and comics. This is your last chance to be included in the current incarnation of LONTAR, so please send me your very best.

Many thanks for joining me on this literary journey. Let’s send the journal off in style, and look forward to what LONTAR will turn into in the future.

Jason Erik Lundberg
Founding Editor

L8 Back From the Printers!


Issue #8 arrived this morning from the printers, and will be making its way to Singaporean bookshops within the next week or so. However, you can order it right now directly from Epigram Books!

This new issue presents speculative writing from and about Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. Check out the contents!



Salamanca – Part One
   Dean Francis Alfar



The Fisher Queen
   Alyssa Wong

   Wilfred Cabrera

The Road to Burabod
   Michael Janairo

Welcome, 265 Aggregate Scorers!
   Clara Chow



Swing Past Old Pluto
farewell, blue elephant

   Judith Huang

Independence Day, 1898
   Bernise Carolino

The Long Divorce
The Brain Train

   David Wong Hsien Ming

   Tilde Acuña

Two Stories About Bloomsday
   Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

Snap Chat
Same Ghost Every Night

   Sharlene Teo

Time Again for Life
Desert Interlude

   Christina Sng


“Une Nouvelle Vie” by Christina Sng


LONTAR #7“Une Nouvelle Vie” by Christina Sng, which appeared in LONTAR issue #7, is eligible for a 2017 Rhysling Award in the Short Poem category. To support one of our most regular contributors, we are posting the poem in its entirety for Rhysling voters. Enjoy.

Une Nouvelle Vie
Christina Sng

Through the viewing window
I watch as they prepare
My body for recycling.

Father tries to comfort me.
“I know you got used
To that body.

But it has now worn out
After a million cycles
In this Universe.”

He leads me
Through the stars
And the pulsars,

Past the event horizon
And into the

“Come, my child,”
He beckons,
“Let us choose

Another Universe,
Another body.
I promise you this,

We will find your mother.
There are countless
Universes to search,

But we have forever.”

“Une Nouvelle Vie” is copyright © 2016 by Christina Sng.

SWF 2016 Post-Mortem, LONTAR-style


The 2016 edition of the Singapore Writers Festival wrapped up last night, and it was once again a successful and energising event. If one complaint could be had, it was that there was so much to do and see that you simply couldn’t attend every panel or reading or activity you wanted to unless you split yourself four ways (which we wouldn’t recommend).

As mentioned in the previous blog post, LONTAR was featured quite prominently in two events:


L to R: Yong Shu Hoong (QLRS), Jason Erik Lundberg (LONTAR), Clara Chow (We Are a Website), Cyril Wong (SOFTBLOW, moderator)
photo by Aaron Lee, used with permission

The Role of Literary Journals

A fascinating discussion between four editors of four different literary magazines, told to a packed audience. Cyril very ably moderated the wide-ranging discussion, about the motivations for us starting our journals, the advantages and disadvantages of publishing online vs in print, the types of pieces we are most likely to accept, and self-publishing vs having a publisher. Shu Hoong is the essays editor at QLRS rather than its founder, but he still offered insight into what makes such a respected journal tick. Clara’s story about the generation of the name for We Are a Website was hilarious. And Cyril’s comment that he established SOFTBLOW as a way to feel less alone was beautifully poignant.

All four of us did an excellent job emphasising the importance of literary journals (especially in these days of waning empathy), and hopefully generated interest in submitting to all four of them.


L to R: Eka Kurniawan, Ng Yi-Sheng, JY Yang, Jason Erik Lundberg (moderator)
photo by Myra Garces-Bacsal, used with permission

The Rise of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction

The three panelists, all published in Issue #6 (among others), did a fantastic job talking about how Southeast Asian speculative fiction in English has become an increasingly important force in publishing, both locally and internationally. Eka’s story about being published first by friends and then larger publishers in Indonesia, and then translated into English and distributed worldwide (which he expanded on in his meet-the-author session the following day) was a unique look into his writing journey. Yi-Sheng presented a brief powerpoint presentation on more notable SEA SF works, and made the observation that some of the most well-known SEA writers are not actually writing about SEA in their novels (eg. Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown). JY brought up the problematic postcolonial nature of writing in the language of a nation’s former occupier, and the fact that she’s much more known in speculative fiction circles outside of Singapore.

I’d originally planned to have all three panelists read from their work, but the discussion itself was so fascinating that we continued in that manner instead. However, you can read their fiction in the pages of LONTAR and many other places just a google search away. Observations were made by audience members both during the panel and afterward that it would have been good to have a Filipino writer also on the panel, since speculative fiction is such a vibrant genre in the Philippines, and I couldn’t agree more.

This standing-room only event was the big one for us; it turned out to be so popular that even Festival Director Yeow Kai Chai wasn’t able to get a seat! This was incredibly gratifying after fears that only a handful of people would show up, and I’m very thankful to everyone who packed that room to beyond capacity. I made sure to mention our Patreon at the end of the hour, and I hope that we intrigued folks enough to both give our journal a chance and pique interest in other regional writers doing such incredible work.

LONTAR at SWF 2016


swf2016-sayangThe 2016 edition of the Singapore Writers Festival kicks off this coming Friday, and LONTAR will be featured in two panels:

1. The Role of Literary Journals
with Cyril Wong (mod), Jason Erik Lundberg, Yong Shu Hoong and Clara Chow
The Arts House, Living Room, 10 Nov, 830-930pm

Literary journals have become invaluable platforms for discovering new literary talent as well as showcasing new works from established authors. Three editors, Yong Shu Hoong (QLRS), Clara Chow (We Are A Website) and Jason Erik Lundberg (LONTAR) discuss the importance of literary journals.

2. The Rise of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction
with Jason Erik Lundberg (mod), Eka Kurniawan, JY Yang* and Ng Yi-Sheng
The Arts House, Play Den, 12 Nov, 230-330pm

Southeast Asia is a culturally rich source of inspiration, with histories rooted in the rise and fall of civilisations and colonialism. Eka Kurniawan is the latest literary star in the region, leading the charge with his ground-breaking speculative fiction novel, Man Tiger. This panel examines the global and regional impact of speculative fiction.

* Krishna Udayasankar (L6) was originally slated to be on this panel, but is unable to appear at SWF this year.


The second panel in particular is basically an unofficial LONTAR panel, since it will be moderated by me, and the three panelists have all been published in our pages (Eka in L6, JY in L3 & L6, and Yi-Sheng in L4–L6). Issue #6 will definitely be available in the festival bookstore run by The Select Centre, as will the brand new issue #7 and all our back issues as well, so be sure to nab your copies and get them signed by our fantastic authors!

Many of our other contributors will also be involved in the festival this year:


Hope to see you there!

L7 is Out Now in All Formats!


LONTAR #7The print version of issue #7 should be appearing in bookstores in Singapore this week (if it hasn’t already); the ebook version was released to our Patreon patrons yesterday, and I woke up to the news this morning that it was already up at Weightless Books along with an interview with L7 contributor Zen Cho!

So! Look over the contents for L7 on our website, and read Zen Cho’s story “七星鼓 (Seven Star Drum)” and the interview with her for free. If you’re in Singapore, stalk your favourite bookshops for the issue (if it’s not there, please ask them to order it!) or order it directly from Epigram Books. If you dig ebooks, nab it now from Weightless Books. Once you’ve read it, please rate and review it over at Goodreads.

And do consider becoming our patron, to ensure that we continue to bring you such dynamite issues!

The contents for issue #8 have now been finalised and the authors contacted, so if you’re waiting to hear from us, it means that your piece is still under consideration. We appreciate your continued patience.


L7 Available Soon, Plus Patreon Offer



LONTAR #7Issue #7 arrived from the printers yesterday, and will be making its way to Singaporean bookshops within the next couple of weeks. However, you can order it right now directly from Epigram Books!

Next week, I will be distributing the ebook to our Patreon patrons, as well as getting ready to mail the print edition to our Galaxy Level funders. So, if you want to get your name in the ebook edition of L7 (and for both versions in forthcoming issues), pledge before 12noon Singapore time on Saturday the 15th to begin your patronage with this issue!