Reviews: Cho, Zen

Don’t Fear the Reaper

The Terracotta Bride — Zen Cho

My main complaint about Zen Cho is that she doesn’t publish as much and as often as I would like1. Still, not only can I gleefully anticipate the second Sorcerer Royal book, but 2016’s The Terracotta Bride has just been released. And just purchased by me.

You might think death is the end to all of life’s problems. If you do, then some day you will discover, as did the unfortunate Siew Tsin, that this is not at all true.

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A Malaysian Cornucopia

Cyberpunk: Malaysia — Zen Cho

It may seem a little odd to publish a cyberpunk anthology a quarter century after American cyberpunk devolved into an aggregation of simplistic conventions 1. But sub-genres may die in some cultural environments and thrive in others. American 2 cyberpunk may be a shambling zombie (even post-cyberpunk is pretty wheezy), but as 2015’s Cyberpunk: Malaysia proves, in Malaysian hands cyberpunk is alive and well.

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Some days I wake up wanting to read a Zen Cho work

The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo — Zen Cho

This review came about because Romantic Times editor Regina Small very considerately assigned me Zen Cho’s upcoming novel Sorcerer to the Crown (of which more later, over at Romantic Times, which if you are not reading you should be). The wheels of reviewing grind slow but sure. Today I woke up thinking “I am really in the mood to read an unfamiliar to me Zen Cho work!” but … alas, the book is still on its way to me.

Then I remembered: the author has a website and on that website she has links to works of hers one can buy in ebook form. While I have read and reviewed Spirits Abroad], I had not yet read her 2012 novella The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo! Which, to be honest, is an epistolary historical romance, a genre in which I am not well read and with whose conventions I am unfamiliar. There are many pitfalls for reviewers dabbling in new genres, but, in the same bold spirit that led Napoleon to Moscow and Vercingetorix to Rome, I forge onwards!


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Award worthy fiction

Spirits Abroad — Zen Cho

Zen Cho, a Malaysian author living in London, is familiar from the late, lamented World SF blog, the 2013 Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the 2015 IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award (a literary award given to a writer whose first fantasy book was published during the preceding 18 months) but I do not think I had actually read anything of hers before I started the work under review [1], Cho’s 2014 collection Spirits Abroad. Not to leave you in suspense or anything, I liked it a lot and hope to read more of Cho’s work.

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