Melon 2019

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I had a fantastic time at the Melon science-fiction conference in Hong Kong today. I was asked to give a presentation on the top 10 coolest trends in recent science fiction–which was fun, because I don’t actually write sci-fi, so I got to approach it as a very enthusiastic fan! Unfortunately my speaking time was quite short so I had to cut it down to five, but here are the slides I’d prepared for the longer version of the talk. Take a peek if you’re interested–I hope you find your next great read there 🙂

 

announcing THE DRAGON REPUBLIC!

Hey readers,

Long time no see! I’ve been overwhelmed with life, settling into Cambridge (I LOVE IT HERE), drafting Book Three, and cranking away at revisions of Book Two.

Speaking of Book Two…

The Dragon Republic will be out from Harper in summer 2019! The B&N Sci-fi and Fantasy Blog ran the cover reveal today, as well as the synopsis AND an excerpt of the first chapter. You can read it all at this link.

Meanwhile, here’s the cover!

I absolutely love it. I think it’s so beautiful; the colors are perfect, Rin’s expression is spot-on, and the whole thing SCREAMS symbolism. The cover design process this time around was so smooth and easy. Every time my editorial team showed me what they’d done at each stage in the process I screamed YES, THAT IS WHAT I WANT!!! It really felt like we were all on precisely the same wavelength and had identical visions for the book, and I’m just so grateful I have such an amazing team to work with at Harper Voyager. Credit also due, of course, to the incredibly talented artist JungShan, who has managed yet again to capture exactly what Rin looks like in my mind.

I’m generally not a fan of covers that depict the characters themselves. So often they just go wrong; the characters look awkward, they don’t mesh with how I imagine them, they’re positioned funny, etc. I suspect that danger is why we’re seeing so many more abstract covers, or covers that focus on still objects or symbols, for fantasy releases. I lucked out. I’m biased, obviously, but I think I have the best covers in the world 😛  (Okay, the cover to Rebecca Roanhorse’s upcoming Storm of Locusts looks hecking RAD.)

I’ll try not to say too much about the symbolism because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. For now, let’s just all take some advice from the cover blurb:

Brace yourself!

it’s a map!

A few readers have been asking for an image of the map in THE POPPY WAR, since it doesn’t come with the audiobook. So here you go! All resemblances to real countries are totally, completely unintentional.

“But doesn’t that look like–”

Shhh.

“But that’s definitely–”

Shhhh.

🙂

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THE POPPY WAR Excerpt Live Now!

What’s good, friends?

To everyone who’s been asking when they can read an excerpt of THE POPPY WAR: the answer is NOW! The Barnes & Noble SFF blog ran the first chapter today. They’re calling it the “buzziest fantasy debut of 2018.” That’s right, motherforkers. I am an infernal horde of BEES.

Go check it out, and I hope you like it! (And if you do, won’t you consider pre-ordering? ❤ )

PS! If you dig the prose and still can’t wait for May 1, Tor.com is running an excerpt of Chapter 17 later this month! It strikes an entirely different tone from the opening and it’s gruesomely creepy. I can’t wait for you to read it.

Updates and Misc

Hey, friends. What’s new with you?

I haven’t blogged much lately, which I attribute mostly to being a second-semester senior and having a thesis to worry about (not to mention committing myself to hammering out at least 1500 words a day in Book 3! slow and steady!). But I have some writing updates, small and large, so here’s a messy accumulation of just about everything that’s been going on with me.

What I’ve Published 

I’ve had some non-fiction essays come out the last time I posted here!

“The Racial Rubber Stamp” came out on the SFWA blog back in January, and it’s a lengthy tirade on some of the micro-aggressions non-white writers often face in mostly white writing spaces.

“How to Talk to Ghosts” dropped on the Uncanny Magazine website today. It’s about historical and intergenerational trauma, bare family trees, and white appropriation of diasporic pain.

What I’m Reading 

I recently committed myself to reading War and Peace, all the way through, without breaks. This ended up being awful idea, but I keep my commitments. (Angry Natasha botched her engagement to Prince Andrey like that, but excited to see where Natasha+Pierre is headed. Also, pretty certain things are not going to end well for Sonya and Nikolay, but a girl can hope.)

Other than that, here’s a list of recent reads that I enjoyed very much:

  • The Dream-Quest of Vellit Boe, by Kij Johnson (a reimagining of the H.P. Lovecraft original that actually has WOMEN! and is beautifully rendered, like everything else by Kij ever)
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (and all of its sequels! I’m mad my friends haven’t forced me to read these earlier. This trilogy was a delight and I’ll be crying over Holland forever.)  
  • Jade City by Fonda Lee (which was recently nominated for a NEBULA AWARD and absolutely deserves it! I’ve tweeted about this book before, but I’ll mention again how nostalgic this book makes me for the Hong Kong action films my family watched when I was little.)
  • Definitely Maybe by the Strugatsky brothers (wow, this one freaked me out. Like most Russian scifi does.)

I’m open for suggestions for what to tackle after I’m FINALLY done with Tolstoy. I really want to get my hands on Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning, but that’s not out from Saga until June. Let me know what you’ve enjoyed recently! Just preferably something not Russian, please >.>

Where I’m Going

ICYMI, I had my first reading last Friday with the Washington Science Fiction Association and it was tons of fun! Here’s a photo courtesy of the lovely Elly Ha. (Thanks again #TeamThao for coming out to support me <3)

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I’m next reading with the Baltimore Science Fiction Society on April 14 (time and location to come) so stay on the lookout if you’re in the Maryland area.

Slowly and surely my summer con schedule is coming together. I’ll be at ICFA in two weeks to receive my Dell finalist award, WisCon in May (fingers crossed I get on some cool panels), and likely BookCon. Then–who knows? Anyone have the lowdown on fun cons in the UK? ^_^

And…what’s going on with THE POPPY WAR?

Still coming out in May. Still available for pre-order, if you’d like to help boost my sales rankings 😉 It’s also been getting some pretty nice reviews, which is exciting! Publisher’s Weekly called it an “ambitious fantasy reimagining” that is a “strong and dramatic” launch to my career. It made Amazon’s list of 10 Highly Anticipated New SF&F Books, and it’s been chosen as a main selection for the Science Fiction Book Club! Lotta buzz for a debut book that won’t be out for months. And I’m told Goodreads has been very kind to it too (I have a policy of not looking, but my friends flag the nice reviews for me!).

That’s all for now on my end. More updates to come as we get closer to publication date…get excited!

The Poppy War: Cover Reveal

The cover art for THE POPPY WAR is finally here!

I can’t even express how much I love this. (I may have shed a single tear when I saw the art for the first time.) The title font, the smoke, the brushwork, the colors, Rin’s clothes, Rin’s bow, Rin’s expression, everything.

It is very, very strange to see an illustrated depiction of a character that until now has only lived inside your head. Even stranger to see an illustration that matches exactly your mental image. I mean, look at her. Look at my baby. Look at her hair. IS SHE NOT GORGEOUS?

There was a lot that went on behind the scenes with the cover design and I couldn’t be happier with what we ended up with. I have to thank my editor and the entire team at Harper Voyager for listening carefully to my cultural feedback and making sure the cover aligned with my vision for the story.

THE POPPY WAR is out in May this year. The cover was designed by Dominic Forbes with art by Jung Shan Chang. You can read more about the cover design process over here at the Barnes & Noble SFF blog.

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hello, world

Hi! Welcome to the personal website of SFF writer Rebecca F. Kuang.

In the upcoming months I’ll use this space to update everyone on book news–cover art and release date coming soon, I hope. I’ll also likely blog about writing, books, movies, and historical tidbits (probably about thesis research) that I find interesting.

In the meantime, here are some photos of me dabbing in front of national landmarks during a recent research trip to Taiwan and Nanjing.

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Thanks for visiting, and I’m so, so excited to share my book with you.