Sunday, November 21, 2010

Infinite Space, Infinite God II, with my story "Cloned to Kill", now available

This is the second anthology of Roman Catholic-theme science fiction edited by Karina and Robert Fabian. It includes my story "Cloned to Kill", about a teenaged girl clone who has been created as a military killer, but she rebels against her programming and clone master with the help of a priest.

Editor Karina Fabian says, "'Cloned to Kill' goes beyond the ethics of cloning to explore the nature of free will, forgiveness and belonging to community. As such, it's a story not so much about clones as about us."

"Cloned to Kill" is eligible to be nominated for a 2011 Prix Aurora Award for Best Short-Form Work in English.

Available at and

Kindle version also available at

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eric Choi's story "Dedication" translated and published in Japanese by Hayakawa SF

Congratulations to my Dragon and the Stars co-editor Eric Choi. His story "Dedication" has been translated and published in Japanese in the anthology The Astronaut From Wyoming and Other Stories edited by Toru Nakamaru, from Hayakawa Publishing, Japan's largest publisher of science fiction.

"Dedication" is the story that won the first Isaac Asimov Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Science Fiction, awarded by Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and Dell Magazines, in 1994. It's about a team of astronauts who struggle to survive on Mars after their rover is damaged by a meteorite shower.

To my Japanese friends: "Dedication" is eligible to be nominated for a Seiun Award in the Best Foreign Language Short Story category.

International Symposium on Chinese Canadian and Chinese American Literature in English, Waterloo, Ontario, Oct. 15-17, 2010

Getting ready to talk about fox demons, Anglotown, and spaceship engineers (photo by Donna Mak).

The editors of The Dragon and the Stars (photo by Donna Mak)

Eric Choi and I attended "Homeland, History, and Representation," an International Symposium on Chinese Canadian and Chinese American Literature in English, held by Renison University College at the University of Waterloo and sponsored by the Confucius Institute.

Professors, scholars, and authors from across North America and China attended this conference, where they presented papers on the literature of Chinese North American authors such as Judy Fong Bates, Amy Tan, Wayson Choy, Yan Li, and Fred Wah.

Imagine our surprise when a professor told us that a colleague of hers has been researching and cataloging stories by Chinese Canadians, including Eric's and my stories. She phoned her colleague, and he came running from across the university to see us.

We gave a presentation about The Dragon and the Stars and its authors, describing the stories they had written for our anthology as well as other stories they have written. The audience received our presentation very well, and professors from places as diverse as New Hampshire, Washington, D.C., and Inner Mongolia asked questions about our stories and Chinese Canadian and American science fiction and fantasy writers.

Ka Nin Chan, the composer of the opera Iron Road, asked me about the Chinese characters in Star Trek. My reply: "What Chinese characters?" Eric added that there has never been a Chinese character in Star Trek, but there was a Chinese actor (Garrett Wang) who played a Korean character who was the only officer never promoted throughout all the seasons of Star Trek Voyager.

On Saturday evening, we had dinner at Lucinda House, a 150-year-old house owned and restored by Wilfred Laurier University. After dinner, arts reporters from the Chinese newspaper Guong Ming interviewed me about Chinese Canadian and Chinese American science fiction writers and genre fiction in North America.

Jim Wong-Chu, poet (Ghosts of Chinatown), past editor of Ricepaper magazine, and founder of the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop, made my day when he said that Eric and I were "pioneers" and that we had to continue encouraging Chinese Canadians to write science fiction and fantasy.

We met some interesting people at this conference. Petra Fachinger, a German languages professor researching Chinese literature at Queen's University, told us that some Germans have recently developed a fascination with Chinese culture. Farah Moosa, a Ph.D. student studying Chinese Canadian literature at McMaster University, knew what Wiscon is (It's a feminist-oriented science fiction convention in Madison, Wisconsin.). And Professor Patricia Chu from George Washington University told us about her daughters' love of fantasy stories such as Harry Potter.

Many thanks to Professors Yan Li (University of Waterloo) and Eleanor Ty (Wilfred Laurier University) and Jun Liu (University of Waterloo) for organizing and inviting us to this conference. Thanks to Sue Anne Tu for interpreting between English and Mandarin for my interview with the Guong Ming reporters.

The Dragon and the Stars presentation (photo by Donna Mak)

Professor Zhongming Chen, from the Foreign Languages College, Inner Mongolia University, speaks on the writings of Larissa Lai, Sky Lee, and Yan Li. Interestingly, there is a Canadian Studies Centre at Inner Mongolia University.

Jim Wong-Chu, poet (Ghosts of Chinatown), past editor of Ricepaper magazine, and founder of the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop, reads some of his poems.

Professor Eleanor Ty (Wilfred Laurier University) speaks on old and new diaspora subjectivities in Judy Fong Bates' Midnight at the Dragon Cafe.

Professor Yan Li (University of Waterloo), novelist (Lily in the Snow), and organizer of this conference.

In the centre: Romulan Ale at the Renison University College cafeteria?

Lunch on Saturday. Eric is drinking the Romulan Ale.

Eric gets an autograph from Denise Chong, author of The Concubine's Children, The Girl in the Picture: The Kim Phuc Story, and Egg on Mao.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Shrine of the Siren Stone launched at Polaris Science Fiction Convention

My novel The Shrine of the Siren Stone had its book launch at the Polaris Science Fiction Convention in Richmond Hill, Ontario, on July 17, 2010. The maids of Cafe Delish, Anime North's maid cafe, assisted me in promoting the book (see photo). They performed a song and dance act at the launch.

The Shrine of the Siren Stone is published by Orchard House Press (formerly called Windstorm Creative) of Port Orchard, Washington. Thanks to Cris DiMarco, my editor, for publishing this novel.
The Shrine of the Siren Stone takes place in the same universe as The Moon Under Her Feet, but you don't have to read The Moon Under Her Feet to understand The Shrine of the Siren Stone.


Ishiro is an otaku, an anime-obsessed geek without a decent job or loving parents. His only friends are Mr. Endo, owner of a maid cafe in Akihabara, and Yuko, a waitress in a French maid uniform. Ishiro falls in love with Yuko, a but she turns out to be an android using him to learn about human love. Does she have real feelings for him or is she just programmed to act like a girlfriend? When Mr. Endo splits the couple apart, Ishiro joins the Japanese Navy and goes to war, and Yuko's behavior becomes increasingly human and rebellious. Their paths cross again at the mysterious Shrine of the Siren Stone, where a telepathic meteorite holds the secret of the human spirit...

"It's Romeo and Juliet meets Benny and Joon in a futuristic Japan. Then stuff blows up! The Shrine of the Siren Stone is a wonderful, female-friendly story and a welcome departure from the stereotypes of the science fiction genre. The plot twists surprised me, I got teary-eyed in a few places, and I laughed out loud in others. What's not to love?"
- Liana K., host of Ed and Red's Night Party on G4

"Derwin Mak creates a dazzling mix of artificial intelligence, future warfare, otaku romance, and Japanese religion. His characters are comic, then heroic, and finally self-sacrificing. He achieves something of great rarity in science fiction: a novel of heartfelt poignancy."
- John-Allen Price, author of The Mutant Chronicles

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Dragon and the Stars is in bookstores now

Photo: The Dragon and the Stars, World's Biggest Bookstore, Toronto.

The Dragon and the Stars, edited by me and Eric Choi, is in bookstores now!
It's in major bookstores like Chapters, Indigo, and Borders. Look for it in the section for science fiction and fantasy anthologies.

For those of you in the Toronto area, the Canadian book launch will be at the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, May 13, 2010, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Lillian H. Smith Branch of the Toronto Public Library, 239 College Street, Toronto.

It's also available at and now:

From the back cover of The Dragon and the Stars: This unique anthology of science fiction and fantasy tales includes stories by authors of Chinese ancestry, who make their homes in places as varied as the United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. The talented authors included here have drawn upon China's rich and venerable heritage as well as the traditions and cultures of their current homelands to create imaginative and fascinating stories. From the tale of a murder that can only be solved by spirit possession to a fortune cookie that offers an uncertain future...from a man who believes his wife has become a Chinese dragon to an inventive army officer in the Ming conflict with Japan...from a young woman's fateful encounter with a Chinatown shopkeeper to a Chinese rocket scientist caught in the perils of 1950s America -- here are eighteen science fiction and fantasy visions that showcase the diversity of the Chinese experience around the world.

Introduction by
New York Times bestseller author Tess Gerritsen. Stories by Tony Pi, Charles Tan, William F. Wu, Derwin Mak, Emery Huang, Crystal Gail Shangkuan Koo, Emily Mah, Eugie Foster, Melissa Yuan-Innes, Shelly Li, Gabriela Lee, E.L. Chen, Eric Choi, Susan Ee, Brenda W. Clough, Urania Fung, Wen Y Phua, Ken Liu.

Dead Genesis: made-in-Guelph zombie movie premieres in Toronto

Photo: the cast of Dead Genesis at the Fox Theatre, Toronto, April 18, 2010.

I attended the premiere of Dead Genesis, a zombie movie made in Guelph, Ontario. It's part of Guelph's growing independent film industry. Read about the premiere and view photos of it at

Saturday, March 20, 2010

With Fr. Jose Funes, Star Trek fan and Director of the Vatican Observatory

Photos: top: Father Funes talks about the evolving universe. Bottom: Derwin Mak and Father Jose Funes. Both photos were taken at the St. Thomas Aquinas Church in the Newman Centre, University of Toronto, March 16, 2010.

Father Jose Funes, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory, came to Toronto on Tuesday, March 16, 2010, to give a lecture as part of the Naming the Holy Lecture Series, sponsored by the Newman Centre and the Regis College Jesuit Community at the University of Toronto. His topic was "The Evolving Universe" and was about the scientific research being conducted by the Vatican Observatory.

Contrary to the stereotype held by many science fiction writers and fans, Christianity and science are not mutually exclusive. The Roman Catholic Church, one of the larger denominations of Christianity, has long supported scientific research. Catholic clergy, such as Gregor Mendel,
Georges Lemaître, and Christopher Clavius, have made contributions to science.

Father Funes's lecture, while describing the serious work going on at the observatories at Castel Gandolfo and Tucson, Arizona, had its humorous side. He showed a photo of Pope Benedict XVI holding an alien -- a meteorite from Mars. Newspapers put the caption "Mars is in the hands of the Pope" on that photo.

Particularly interesting is that the Vatican Observatory has a summer school for astronomy students. It asks universities to send the future leaders of astronomy. Students do not have to be Catholic. "We don't ask for baptismal certificates," Fr. Funes said.

He ended his Powerpoint presentation by showing photos taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. But he inserted a photo of U.S.S. Enterprise from Star Trek into the series of photos, and the music was the theme from
Star Trek - Voyager. He told me he is a big Star Trek fan. Ah, isn't that wonderful: the Pope's chief astronomer is a Trekker.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Family Tradition" published in Night to Dawn # 17

My story "Family Tradition" has just been published in Night To Dawn, issue # 17, a vampire fiction magazine edited by Barbara Custer. In "Family Tradition", the ghost of Abraham van Helsing pesters his great-great-great-granddaughter, a Hooters Girl who doesn't want to take up vampire hunting. Then a mysterious Romanian arrives at the local Hooters...

Order Night to Dawn here:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ming Pao Daily News article about The Dragon and the Stars: English Translation

Two Chinese Canadian Writers and Overseas Compatriots Together in Chinese Science Fiction Book

By Wendy Yang

Published in Ming Pao Daily News, Toronto edition, February 8, 2010, p. A2

Overseas Chinese writers are numerous, but those writing science fiction are few. Two Chinese Canadian science fiction writers, with overseas Chinese writers in different countries, have created a book of 18 science fiction and fantasy short stories, to be released on May 11. This will be North America's first all-overseas-Chinese anthology of science fiction and fantasy.

The anthology, called The Dragon and the Stars, will be published by well-known American science fiction publisher DAW Books. It contains 18 short stories from Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Singapore. The 18 Chinese authors wrote their stories in English over six months. Five of the authors are from Canada, and they are strong in Canadian sci-fi circles.

Tony Pi was born in Taipei, immigrated to Canada when he was 8 years old, and grew up in Toronto. He earned his Ph.D. in linguistics at Montreal's McGill University and has worked at several universities in Canada. At present, he is administering the graduate program in Cinema Studies at University of Toronto.

For the new book, he wrote the fantasy story "The Character of the Hound". The story centers on a war between the Southern Song and Jin. The ghost of a soldier adopts the word "Dog" as a tattoo on his body and acquires super powers to solve a murder in the army.

Tony Pi likes science fiction, in particular, Japanese manga (comics). "I like to use imagination to explore the present and the past and things that do not exist in the world. I like to create." In 2006, he wrote his first story, "The Stone Cipher", which won second place in the first quarter of the Writers of the Future contest, an international competition that finds cutting-edge science fiction writers. So far he has published 20 short stories, each of about 4,000 words.

Derwin Mak is another Chinese science fiction writer. He was born in Peterborough, Ontario. His father is from Hong Kong, and his mother is Malaysian Chinese. He is a chartered accountant, a member of Royal Canadian Military Institute, and a lecturer at the Institute.

He wrote "The Polar Bear Carries the Mail", about a Chinese company that joins with Inuit in northern Canada to build a spaceport but are opposed by environmentalists.
The main character is a Chinese astronaut, and the story involves feng shui problems.

Derwin Mak began writing science fiction in 2001. His 2005 story "Transubstantiation" won the Prix Aurora Award, Canada's national science fiction award, equivalent to the United States' Hugo Award.

He said the new book is significant in correcting the past image of Chinese people and their culture in science fiction, which has been often negative. "The stories in The Dragon and the Stars all have Chinese themes, and many have ethnic Chinese main characters. Chinese culture is 5,000 years old, there are four great inventions of China, and Chinese history is full of scientific and technological development. This is a rich basis for science fiction and should be reflected in current stories."

There are another three Chinese Canadian science fiction writers: Eric Choi, Melissa J. Yuan-Innes, and Elaine Chen. Eric Choi's first story, "Dedication", was published in 1994, making him the first Chinese Canadian science fiction writer.

Derwin Mak says that overseas Chinese are now writing science fiction because North American tastes are changing. First, North Americans are more accepting of Asian culture, such as Japanese manga (comics) and Chinese martial arts movies. Secondly, North American society has become more diverse and inclusive of ethnic minorities in popular culture and creative fields, resulting in the emergence of Canadian Chinese science fiction writers.

Addendum to the English translation:

Eric Choi is co-editor of The Dragon and the Stars. His story "Dedication" won the Isaac Asimov Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing (now called the Dell Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing).

The original Chinese text refers to The Dragon and the Stars as a science fiction anthology, but it also contains fantasy stories.

Ming Pao Daily News (Toronto) article about The Dragon and the Stars

Ming Pao Daily News, a major Chinese newspaper, published this article about The Dragon and the Stars in its Toronto edition, February 8, 2010. The reporter Wendy Yang interviewed me and Tony Pi.

English translation is coming.




作 品集名為《The Dragon and the Stars)》(龍與群星)﹐5月1日將由美國著名科幻出版商DAW Books出版。它收錄的18個短篇科幻小說﹐是由加拿大、美國、香港、菲律賓、新加坡等國家的18位華裔作家﹐在過去半年內用英文創作。其中加拿大有5 位﹐他們是加拿大科幻圈中頗具實力的華裔作家。

畢家怡(Tony Pi)出生於台北﹐8歲移民加拿大並在多倫多長大。他在滿地可的麥基爾大學獲得語言學博士學位後﹐在加國一些大學教授語言學。目前在多大電影研究系做行政工作。

他此次為新書創作的奇幻作品為《The Character of the Hound》(犬的特點)。故事以南宋和金國之間的戰爭為背景﹐講述一個鬼魂通過士兵身上的「犬」字圖騰進入其身體﹐使士兵具有超能力﹐解決發生在軍隊內的謀殺案。

畢 家怡從小就喜歡科幻作品﹐尤其喜歡看日本漫畫﹐「我很喜歡用想象來探索現在和過去都不存在的世界﹐我喜歡進行創造。」2006年他創作了第一篇科幻小說 《The Stone Cipher》(寶石密碼)﹐為他贏得了當年第一季度未來作家競賽二等獎﹐這是一項旨在發現新銳科幻作家的國際性賽事。至今他已出版了20篇、每篇大約 4000字的短篇科幻小說。

麥家瑋(Derwin Mak)是另外一位華裔科幻作家。他出生安省彼得堡﹐父是香港移民﹐母是馬來西亞華僑。目前他是加拿大皇家軍事學院的一名註冊會計師﹐也是學院的委員和講師。

他此次創作的科幻小說《The Polar Bear Carries the Mail》(北極熊拿覑信)﹐講述一間中國公司要在加國茵紐特人地區修建一座太空站﹐但因為環境問題﹐遭到當地人反對。主角是一位華裔宇航員﹐故事涉及風水問題。

麥家瑋從2001年開始創作科幻作品﹐其中2005年的作品《變體》獲得「極光獎」(Aurora Award)﹐這是加拿大國家級科幻小說獎﹐相當於美國的雨果獎。

他 說﹐此次新書出版的意義在於﹐糾正以往科幻小說中對華裔形象和文化的負面描寫﹐此次收錄的小說都具有中國元素﹐且不少以華裔為主角。中華5000年文化博 大精深﹐還有四大發明﹐中國是一個充滿科技發展歷史的國家﹐具備相當豐富的科幻創作基礎﹐這些應該在科幻小說中得到展示。

另外3位加國華裔科幻作家是蔡文信﹐以及兩位女作家Melissa J. Yuan-Innes和Elaine Chen。其中蔡文信94年的處女作《奉獻》被看成加國首位華裔科幻作家的誕生。


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nominate Andrew Gurudata (the Constellation Awards) for a Prix Aurora Award for Fan Achievement - Organizational

The Prix Aurora Awards has a category for Fan Achievement - Organizational.

I attend various science fiction awards ceremonies, and one of the best organized and entertaining is undoubtedly the Constellation Awards, held annually at the Polaris Science Fiction Convention. It's got videos that work, comedy skits, celebrity emcees, and Canadian actors, actresses, and models. And it's also the best-dressed of the Canadian science fiction award ceremonies (Fashion TV should do a report from the Constellations).

Andrew Gurudata organizes this ceremony, so please consider nominating Andrew Gurudata for the Constellation Awards Organization.

You can nominate him online at:

Also please nominate people and works in other categories as well.

Act now! The nomination deadline is February 15!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nominate Eric Choi's story "Another's Treasure" for a Prix Aurora Award

Eric Choi is my co-editor of The Dragon and the Stars.

Eric Choi's short story "Another's Treasure" is indeed that rare treasure: a humorous science fiction short story published in a time when most science fiction writers are trying to exceed each other with serious, pessimistic themes. My warped sense of humour liked it, which is why I'm nominating it for Canada's national science fiction award, the Prix Aurora Award, in the category of Best Short-Form Work in English.

"Another's Treasure" was published in the anthology
Footprints, edited by Jay Lake and Eric T. Reynolds, from Hadley Rille Books. See it here at

If you're a Canadian citizen (even if not necessarily living in Canada) or permanent resident of Canada, you too can nominate the story for the Prix Aurora Award, Best Short-Form Work in English category, online at:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Year 2009 in Photos

January 1: meeting David Miller, Mayor of Toronto, at his annual New Year's Day levee at Toronto City Hall. Levees are an old Canadian tradition for mayors to greet the people. In the background is City Councillor Pam O'Connell.

February 6: an otherwise dull winter livened up when Robot Chicken made a surprise appearance at the Scotibank Theatre to promote the Teletoon TV network.

April 6: with my fellow announcers at the Constellation Awards press conference: Liana K. (host of Ed and Red's Night Party) and Andrew Gurudata, chairman of the Constellation Awards, Canada's awards for science fiction film and television. The press conference to announce the nominees was held at the Royal Canadian Military Institute, Toronto.

June 6: With Major General Richard Rohmer, the D-Day 65th Anniversary Ceremony, Queen's Park, Toronto, June 6, 2009. Gen. Rohmer flew over Normandy on D-Day. His daughter, Anne Rohmer, is a well-known City TV presenter. Interestingly, Gen. Rohmer is also a science fiction writer of a sort; in the 1970's and 1980's, he wrote some "future history" novels such as Separation (Quebec separates) and Ultimatum (U.S. invades Canada) and technothrillers such as Starmageddon (U.S.-Soviet space war) and Periscope Red (Soviet submarine).

July 11: I might not win many science fiction awards, but I'm lucky enough to present them with some awesome women. The awesome woman this time is Pamela Mars, an actress and model who has appeared in the movie Land of the Dead, four Playboy special editions, and fashion shows at Toronto Fashion Week. We're holding the envelope containing the title of the winner for Best Overall 2008 Science Fiction Film or Television Script. Constellation Awards at Polaris Science Fiction Convention, Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Pam and I on stage.

With Karen Cliche, actress from Mutant X, Flash Gordon, and Vampire High. Karen was mistress of ceremonies of the Constellation Awards.

With CP 24 traffic and weather reporter Pooja Handa and Paul Bliss, CTV Queen's Park Bureau Chief, who were presenters at the Constellation Awards.

With actress Kate Hewlett from Stargate: Atlantis, another presenter at the Constellation Awards ceremony.

With actor Michael Hogan from Battlestar Galactica at the Constellation Awards ceremony.

The presenters and performers of the Constellation Awards after the ceremony.

August 7: at Anticipation, the World Science Fiction Convention, in Montreal, I represented China by announcing the winners of the 2008 Galaxy Awards, awarded by the Chinese science fiction magazine Science Fiction World. At this event, science fiction writers and fans from nine countries announced their countries' various awards for science fiction writing, as well as the Canada's Constellation Awards for science fiction film and television.

Immediately after the International Awards Showcase, I went to the ceremony of the Prix Aurora Awards, Canada's national science fiction writing awards, to present one of the trophies.

With my fellow presenters at the Prix Aurora Awards: Liana K. (host of Ed and Red's Night Party), Gina Desjardins (from Musique Plus), and Donna Mei-Ling Park (from the TV show The Electric Playground). Other writers got shiny aluminum trophies. I got to have dinner with these three beautiful, talented and incredibly intelligent ladies.

September 17: with British actor James Purefoy, who plays the title character in the movie Solomon Kane, based on the character by Robert E. Howard. Purefoy also played Mark Antony in the HBO TV series Rome and Vlad the Impaler in the Doctor Who audio drama Son of the Dragon. Toronto International Film Festival, Scotiabank Theatre, Toronto.

October 28: I gave the annual Hallowe'en lecture at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto. My subject: Mary Shelley and the creation of Frankenstein.

December 19: I met Margaret Kerry, the reference model for Tinker Bell and a red-haired mermaid in Walt Disney's Peter Pan, aboard the Disney Cruise Line ship Magic as it sailed from Port Canaveral to Key West. Here we are at the ship's art gallery.