I’ve been wanting to expand my reading to include more international speculative fiction, and more non-white American authors. I am privileged to know a couple of brilliant writers who also happen to be Asian, and that seemed a good place to start my reading*. I put together a list of work I’d been meaning to explore, and then solicited ideas from Twitter and the SFWA forums. Most people suggested the same couple of names over and over again… while it’s, honestly, wonderful that we’ve reached a point in SF/F where these authors are being read and discussed at all, there’s so much more diversity in our fiction, if we just look for it. There’s almost a hundred published writers on this list, and I know it isn’t everyone.
The authors are listed alphabetically by given name, so the list doesn’t imply hierarchy. I also didn’t sort by ancestry, current geographic location, or place of birth (though I noted it where it’s listed in author bios**), because the writers listed here have placed varying degrees of importance on those facts. Some work in American tropes, subverting the “classic” science fiction of the 50s, while others retell the myths of their homeland in new and unique ways. Some look to the future, extrapolating possibilities from their own experiences. There’s no one style, structure, or emotional context that can be called “Asian writing”. What these authors have in common is that they’re all of Asian descent, and they all write speculative fiction***. These authors write primarily in English–I’ve included a few translated works, but I can’t vouch for the authenticity of voice, so I tried to choose English-language stories wherever possible.
I want to thank Clarkesworld, Apex Magazine, Crossed Genres Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, Strange Horizons, Giganotosaurus, The World SF Blog, and Daily Science Fiction for repeatedly publishing these authors. Looking for diversity in short speculative fiction? Look to those publications.
When I could find it, I’ve linked to the author’s Twitter, website, blog, list of publications, and/or a sample short story. I’ve also noted if the author works primarily in YA fiction.
- Alliete de Bodard (French/Vietnamese, shorts stories/novels, Nebula and BFSA winner) twitter website publications story: “The Weight of a Blessing“ Clarkesworld
- Amitav Ghosh (Indian, novels, Arthur C. Clark award, Man Booker shortlist) website publications blog
- Andrew Fukuda (Chinese/Japanese, novels) (YA) twitter website blog
- Anil Menon (Indian, shorts/novels/editor) website blog story: “Archipelago” Strange Horizons
- Ashok Banker (Indian, novels) wikipedia
- Benjanun “Bee” Sriduangkaew (shorts) twitter blog story: “Annex” Clarkesworld
- Brenda “B.W.” Clough (shorts/novels, Hugo and Nebula nominee) website publications
- Bryan Thao Worra (Laotian-American, shorts/poems) twitter blog story: “A Model Apartment” Innsmouth Free Press (scroll to page 47)
- Budjette Tan (Filipino, comics/shorts, Philippine National Book Award winner) twitter blog story: “The Last Full Show“ Alternative Alamat
- Cecelia Manguerra Brainard (Filipino-American, novels/shorts/editing) website wiki
- Cecilia Tan (novelist, editor, shorts ) twitter website publications free fiction (sample chapters/serials)
- Charles Tan (Filipino, shorts/editor) twitter blog publications story: “The Fortunes of Mrs. Yu” The Dragon and the Stars”
- Charles Yu (shorts/novels, John W. Campbell nominee) twitter
- Chitra Divakaruni (Indian-American, shorts/novels/poems, Pushcart prize) website blog
- Cindy Pon (Taiwanese, novels) (YA) twitter website blog sample: first 70 pages of Silver Phoenix
- Claire Light (Chinese, shorts) website blog publications story: “The Apocalypse Artist“ Stretcher
- Dean Francis Alfar (Filipino, shorts/novels/plays/editor) twitter story: “The New Daughter” Philippine Genre Stories”
- Derwin Mak (Chinese-Canadian, shorts/novels/editor, Aurora award) twitter website publications blog novella: “Kleinheimat“
- Dinesh Rao (Indian, shorts) blog story: “The Portal Plague” The World SF Blog
- Don Pizarro (Filipino-American, shorts/editor) twitter website publications story: “Combat Stress Reaction” Crossed Genres Magazine
- Dung Kai-Cheung (Chinese, novels/plays) bio