Immersion Editor #3 Interview – William Tham2 min read

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Immersion: An Asian Anthology of Love, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction is a special anthology book project between Ricepaper and Dark Helix Press which is open to submission from February 15, 2018 – December 31, 2018 (extended).

The anthology editors are Allan Cho (Inside the World’s Major East Asian Collections), JF Garrard (Trump: Utopia or Dystopia, The Undead Sorceress) and William Tham (Kings of Petaling Street). Each editor was interviewed to introduce their roles and to give some insight into what they hope to see from submissions: February 15 post – Allan Cho, March 1 post – JF Garrard, March 17 post – William Tham.

This post shares the musings of William Tham, enjoy!

Ricepaper Magazine (RM):  Can you give a brief into to yourself and your role at Ricepaper Magazine/ACWW?

William Tham (WT): My name is William Tham, the nonfiction editor of Ricepaper magazine. I am also the author of the novel Kings of Petaling Street, published by Fixi London in 2017.

RM: What attracted you to the Immersion project? What do you hope to accomplish?

WT: I am interested in seeing speculative fiction written from an Asian perspective, and I would love to see a broad variety of new voices with unique takes on the genre. I would like to work on a collection similar to Zen Cho’s Spirits Abroad or The Sea is Ours, edited by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chang, only with the vast stretch of continental Asia (and the diaspora) as a backdrop.

RM: Are there particular genres or types of stories you wish to see?

WT: Asia has had a long history of development and decline, with empires and technologies developing in South Asia, the Pacific Rim, and the Middle East. When you add imperialism and post-colonial politics to an already convoluted history, there are so many possibilities where stories can emerge from. I want to see works that challenge dominant conventions. Bonus points if they are inspired by obscure events or scientific developments. Something bold and unique, regardless of genre, would be very welcome.

RM: Is there anything you don’t want to see?

WT: Stereotypes, stock characters, and unnecessary plot twists.

RM: Any tips for writers in general?

WT: Write something close to your heart and let your personality and views spill on to the page. The best writing is done from the heart.

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