Tag Archives: Crystal Koo

[GUEST POST] Crystal Koo on Spaces for Speculative Fiction in Hong Kong


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.

Spaces for Speculative Fiction in Hong Kong

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.
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INTERVIEW: Berit Ellingsen, Uko Bendi Udo and Crystal Koo on THE APEX BOOK OF WORLD SF 3

This is part of a series of Q&As with the authors of The Apex Book of World SF 3 edited by Lavie Tidhar.

The stories in The Apex Book of World SF 3 run the gamut from science fiction, to fantasy, to horror. Some are translations (from German, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Swedish), and some were written in English. The authors come from Asia and Europe, Africa and Latin America. Their stories are all wondrous and wonderful, and showcase the vitality and diversity that can be found in the field. They are a conversation, by voices that should be heard.


1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a Korean-Norwegian writer residing in Norway and writing in English as my second language, but the one I prefer to work in. I write short stories and novels, set in our world and the imaginary. So far, one of my novels have been published, The Empty City (Une Ville Vide, PublieMonde 2013), and one collection of short stories, Beneath the Liquid Skin (firthFORTH Books 2012). My short stories have been published in literary magazines such as Unstuck, Birkensnake, The Weird Fiction Review, and SmokeLong Quarterly, and more.
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