Swords and Spaceships

An East Asian SFF Smorgasbord

Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, with some news items to take you into the weekend and a list of some of my favorite SFF that’s been translated to English. My big adventure this coming weekend is I’m going to be attempting to clean out my closet via garage sale, including offloading some old books that I no longer want (including a seven book series by someone who shall not be named), which is a weird feeling after 2020. Hoping to see you on the other side with a bag of nickels and dimes and not too bad of a sunburn. Stay safe out there, space pirates, and I’ll see you next week for new releases!

Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start: and

News and Views

Mercedes Lackey’s Valedmar series is finally getting a TV adaptation

Uncanny issue 41 has too many awesome essays in it to list them all here, so I’ll just link to the TOC

Seven Seas announced they will be translating three of Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s novels (including the one on which The Untamed is based)

Rewriting the Tradition: Destiny and Diaspora in Shelley Parker-Chan’s She Who Became the Sun

Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings Series Sets 2022 Premiere With First Look at Tolkien Epic

Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children Series Is in Development at Paramount

SFF eBook Deals

Agency by William Gibson for $1.99

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh for $1.99

Beowulf: A New Translation by Maria Dahvana Headley for $2.99

On Book Riot

Silkpunk: what is is & what it definitely is not

Coming of age in space stories for teens

This month you can enter to win a $250 Barnes & Noble gift card, a $100 gift card to a Black-owned bookstore, a pair of airpods pro, and a QWERKY keyboard.

Free Association Friday: East Asian SFF in Translation

In celebration of English translations coming for three of Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s novels, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite Chinese SFF in translation… and then I got overenthusiastic and wanted to throw a few more novels in here that I also love that aren’t Chinese. So it’s an East Asian SFF in translation smorgasbord!

cover of Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge

Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge

The fictional Chinese city of Yong’an is occupied by both humans and an astounding array of cryptids who live alongside them, mostly hidden. An amateur cryptozoologist sets out to document each one of these beasts, and along that journey is drawn into a deeper mystery that asks her to question her very self.

Broken Stars edited and translated by Ken Liu

An anthology of contemporary Chinese science fiction short stories in translation, translated by the inimitable Ken Liu. It’s got three essays within as well, examining the state of Chinese sci-fi and the fandom that’s grown up around it.

Cover of A Hero Born by Jin Yong

A Hero Born by Jin Yong, translated by Anna Holmwood

I have seen Jin Yong called “the Brandon Sanderson of China” which I think honestly downplays his reach a little bit. This is the first volume of an excellent and very famous wuxia series — one that involves Genghis-freaking-Khan — and to the best of my knowledge, a completely excellent translation.

A Summer Beyond Your Reach by Xia Jia, translated by Ken Liu, Emily Jin, Carmen Yiling Yan, and R.F. Kuang

A collection of SFF short stories by Xia Jia, launched using a Kickstarter by Clarkesworld, which has featured some of her stories before. You can read five of her stories over at Clarkesworld for free, actually, to get a taste for why this is a must-have collection.

Cover of I'm Waiting For You by Kim Bo-Young

I’m Waiting For You by Kim Bo-Young, translated by Sophie Bowman

A science fiction collection from Kim Bo-Young, but it’s not quite the typical set of separate stories. Rather, it’s four stories in one volume — two pairs of linked stories. One set is about an engaged couple trying to coordinate their relationship and wedding through space and time. The other is about godlike alien beings for whom humans are mere extensions of their will — and a rebellion against that order is coming.

Vampire Hunter D by Hideyuki Kikuchi, translated by Kevin Leahy

This is actually the first of a new omnibus that contains the first three of the Vampire Hunter D novels. (And there are a lot of these novels.) It’s a bonkers post-apocalyptic far future with vampire lords and a gothic sensibility, where D is an incredibly hot guy who hunts vampires and solves mysteries. I love this whole series.

Cover of The Book of Heroes by Miyuki Miyabe

The Book of Heroes by Miyuki Miyabe, translated by Alexander O. Smith

When Yuriko’s brother gets in a fight with bullies, that’s bad enough. But then he disappears, and she finds a magical book in his room in his place — The Book of Heroes, which has possessed him. She must unravel the mystery of the book in order to save her brother and defeat the evil King in Yellow.

All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, translated by Joseph Reeder and Alexander O. Smith

The way-better-than-its-tepid-title-suggests film Edge of Tomorrow was based on this book, which is an excellent time loop action story about an alien invasion that the humans are fighting a losing battle against. And one of the new recruits, Keiji Kriya, gets sent back to the dawn of his final day alive every time he’s killed.

See you, space pirates. If you’d like to know more about my secret plans to dominate the seas and skies, you can catch me over at my personal site.