Southeast Asia is an immense region with many cultures, traditions and mythologies. It has a rich history of trade and wars, migration and occupation. There are records of merchants from as far as Ancient Greece who have come to the region to ply their wares, and emperors from China have demanded tribute from subordinate kingdoms. From these encounters with distant empires come ideas, iconography, religions, and philosophies that have combined with local lores and sensibilities, giving rise to the glorious architecture of Angkor Wat, the outpouring of religious stories and texts like the Ramayana, the syncretic practices of Islam and Buddhism across the region. More recently, the horrors of the Japanese Occupation, the Khmer Rouge, and the Vietnam War have left an indelible imprint in the collective psyche and memory of Southeast Asian people, both within and beyond. The current political climate, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, has created outcries in several countries.
The Strange Horizons Southeast Asian special welcomes non-fiction, fiction and poetry from Southeast Asian writers living in Southeast Asia as well as the diaspora. We especially welcome writers who have never submitted to an international speculative fiction venue before.
We are not seeking writing from non-Southeast Asians for this special issue. Please feel free to submit your work to Strange Horizons’ regular submissions at any time.
The editorial team for this special issue will comprise of:
Dr. Jaymee Goh (she/her) for Fiction (2,000 – 7,000 words; please query if longer).
Ms. May Chong (she/her) for Poetry (of any length or complexity).
Mx. Joyce Chng (she/they) for Non-Fiction (2,000 – 3,000 words).
We would like stories that are joyous, horrific, hopeful, despondent, powerful and subtle. Write something that will take our breath away, make us yell and cry. Write unapologetically in your local patois and basilects in space; make references to local events and memes to your heart’s content. Write something that makes you laugh and cry. Indulge in all the hallmarks of your heritage that you find yourself yearning for in speculative literature, but know that we will not judge you based on your authenticity as a Southeast Asian.
The submission window for the SEA Special Issue will run from 28th February to 30th of April. As Southeast Asia is technically in the future for the rest of the world, the window will close at 5pm Eastern Standard Time.
Submit via the Moksha portal specific to this special issue. We accept only RTF, DOCX or DOC files.
In the SUBMISSION TITLE in Moksha, please write [SEA SUB] before the title/name of your work. You are strongly encouraged to include the name of the editor who you are submitting work to. An example would look like this:
[SEA SUB/Fiction: __(title of story)__ - Jaymee Goh]
Please address the appropriate editor in your cover letter. You can address us by given name, but if you use honorifics, please use the proper ones.
If you would like to include content warnings for your submission, please list them in your cover letter.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification on any concerns you may have, except for whether or not you will be rejected. We’ll probably just tell you to submit it anyway. Do not self-reject. Likewise, use the email for queries only. DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR WORK THERE.
Please note: we do not allow simultaneous submissions or reprints for this issue.
We look forward to reading your works.