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This final double-sized issue of LONTAR presents speculative writing from and about Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea and Vietnam.
- sightings of a strange astronaut in an infinite library by Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, illustrated by Eisner winner Sonny Liew;
- the meeting between weretigers and Sang Nila Utama by Manish Melwani;
- the enlightenment of a politician’s wife by Cyril Wong;
- a Pygmalion-esque tragic romance by comic artist Drewscape;
- weaponised merlions in WWII-era Singapore by Kevin Martens Wong;
- an unexpected offer of omniscient immortality by Eliza Victoria;
- gods and mango tree spirits united in song by Vida Cruz;
- post-apocalyptic satay cookery in Marina Bay Sands by Wayne Rée;
- domestic strife and changeling tigers by Natalie Wang;
- the magic of folding origami cranes by Topaz Winters;
- a panadería that guarantees pregnancy by Gabriela Lee;
- surrogate speaking to the dead by Patricia Karunungan;
- a dating app for interdimensional monstrosities by Marylyn Tan & Graeme Ford;
- and speculative poetry by Kevin Minh Allen, Davian Aw, F. Jordan Carnice, May Chong, Genevieve DeGuzman, Lawdenmarc Decamora, Joses Ho, Judith Huang, Sithuraj Ponraj, Bronwyn Sharman, Lakan Umali and Natalie Wang.
Also included is a special supplement: the exciting conclusion of Dean Francis Alfar’s brilliant novel Salamanca, winner of the Palanca Award Grand Prize for the Novel and the Gintong Aklat Award for Literature.
Salamanca – Part Three
Dean Francis Alfar
Sejarah Larangan; or, The Forbidden History of Old Singapura
A Merlion for His Majesty
Kevin Martens Wong
Marylyn Tan & Graeme Ford
The Filial Tiger’s Wife
Song of the Mango
The Bodhisattva Makes Her Case
Stranger Tales from the Nanyang
According to Our Wishes
Kevin Minh Allen
Space Ship Island Number One
A different story
On the Evening an Autocrat Experienced Synaesthesia
F. Jordan Carnice
Tuan Puteri Mayang
Iterative Translations from the Output Layer
Mara’s Mother Introduces the World
Mara’s Mother Warns Her of the Outside
Extract from “A Merlion for His Majesty”
He feels what it feels. The ocean. The songs. The food. The cold. The cold that is not cold, just like the invasion that is not an invasion, permeating the smooth, slippery folds of his brain and taking up permanent residence in the reefs and caves of his mind.
It knows what he knows. The beatings. The executions. The desires. The quiet that is not quiet, a silence that is not silence, but a searing defiance, a hatred that courses silent and red through the rushing waters of the boy’s veins.
They blink again, and they are one. The cold and the silence. The ocean and the wavering flame.
The anthropozoologist nods, and the boy’s father unfolds his arms. The boy and the creature watch him impassively.
“How do you feel?” says King Mansour.
“Extended,” says Haidar, as the anthropozoologist pulls the needles from his arm.