Crystal Koo‘s short stories have been published widely, including venues such as The Apex Book of World SF 3, Maximum Volume: Best New Filipino Fiction 2014, Abyss & Apex, and Shanghai Steam. Her latest publication will be forthcoming in Philippine Speculative Fiction 9. She recently won in the 2013 Hong Kong Top Story Competition and was a Carlos Palanca awardee in 2007. Crystal was born and raised in Manila and currently works in Hong Kong, where she has been involved in the local music and theatre scenes. She blogs at http://cgskoo.wordpress.com and tweets @CrystalKoo.
by Crystal Koo
A lot of people expect speculative fiction in Hong Kong to be a little hard to distinguish from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That retinue of berobed, be-sworded warriors with noble hearts is the Chinese water chestnut for all things speculative and it’s part of a very old genre called wuxia. Wuxia‘s imagery and principles can be found in popular Hong Kong fantasy films like Clarence Fok’s The Iceman Cometh and Tsui Hark’s steampunk Detective Dee series, both set in Imperial China. This imagery gets repeated time and time again, and for good reason – it’s familiar. It’s easy to do your world-building when people already know the lore, so it’s understandable why the tropes get reused (though sometimes very creatively). Spoiler alert, though: there are a lot more possibilities to Hong Kong speculative fiction than just finding out that the eunuch did it.