Friday, April 26, 2019

Isekai is not Japanese Europe in a Video Game

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Isekai stories are a staple of modern Japanese fiction. Featuring humans from modern-day Japan transported to another world, it seems there's a new isekai story published every month. Today, isekai stories are extremely popular.
And they are becoming extremely ridiculous.
The discerning reader will find much to complain about. Fanservice in place of character development. Main characters denser than neutron stars. Plot holes barely smoothed over by huge tracts of land. Coveniently overpowered magic, cliched societies, plot developments, over-reliance on gaming mechanics, the list goes on.
Most damning of all, in many isekai stories, after the protagonist is transported to his new world, his backstory no longer matters. His experiences, knowledge and culture are rendered either utterly irrelevant or pop up only to justify OP magic or technology.
That's not the point of isekai.

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Way of the Pulps

A few days ago, I had the privilege of reading the synopsis of a trilogy being written by a fellow Singaporean. It was an honest-to-goodness Sword and Planet story, like Star Wars crossed with Final Fantasy. Holy warrior maidens, mind-altering magics, political intrigue, interstellar travel and warfare, it was like reading a revival of an old school pulp story. It had incredible potential.
Which is why it will never be published in Singapore.
I'm not exaggerating. The writer had shopped the first book in his trilogy to several Singaporean publishers. Only one responded, and he said that there was no market for science fiction in Singapore.
His tale affirms my stance: the Way of the Pulps is the only way for me.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A Thirst for Beauty

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For a published writer, I realize I don't read a lot of fiction.
Between my work and my other responsibilities, I don't have a lot of spare time. A not-insignificant fraction of that time is usually spent chasing down avenues of research related to my current story. What little reading time I do have left is stolen from train rides, mindless chores, the odd half hour before bed.
Reading time is extremely precious to me. And I won't waste it reading trash.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Dungeon Samurai Vol. 1 Cover Reveal!

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It is my great pleasure to announce that the cover of my Dungeon Samurai Vol. 1: Kamikaze is complete!
Dungeon Samurai Vol. 1 will hit shelves in May, as planned. Kickstarter backers will receive their copies at least 2 weeks before the official release date. Volumes 2 and 3 will be published in June and July respectively.
In case you're wondering what it's about, please see the description below:
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Yamada Yuuki is an ordinary Japanese college student with an extraordinary hobby: the classical martial art of Kukishin-ryu. Until one fateful day when a demon rips through the fabric of space-time, abducts everyone in his dojo, and transports them to another world.
To return home, Yamada and his friends must join forces with other displaced humans to conquer the dungeon that runs through the heart of the world. Standing in their way are endless hordes of bloodthirsty monsters and countless traps. Armed only with steel, faith and guts, they must battle their way through the winding catacombs to confront the demon waiting on the bottom floor.
Yamada was once a student. Now he must become a samurai.
--
I'm excited to see this project to fruition, and I look forward to your support when it is finally published.
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In the meantime, if you want a book you can buy and read now, check out HOLLOW CITY exclusively on Amazon. It's the tale of a superpowered cop forced to become a vigilante after he's abandoned by his superiors; with a price on his head, he must battle gangsters and supervillains while staying one step ahead of the law. Fans of superhero stories and police procedurals will love this.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

HOLLOW CITY is live!

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Super powered cop Adam Song has dedicated his life to the law. In the military and the police force, Adam ruthlessly protects the innocent.
But this time he’s killed the wrong bad guy. Now the local drug lord’s son is dead, and the boss is out for Adam’s blood. Even his secret identity won’t keep him safe. The police department hangs him out to dry, his years of exemplary service forgotten. Adam must take justice into his own hands to keep his family safe.
Because Adam is a Song. And Songs take care of their own. No matter the cost.
When does justice become murder? And just how far will he go to protect his clan?
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It is my great pleasure to announce the publication of my latest novel, Hollow City, Book 1 of the Song of Karma series.
Song of Karma combines superpowers with firepower, tactics and technology, ninja and noir in Silver Empire's Heroes Unleashed universe. Adam Song is the Punisher combined with Daredevil, with the training and the weaponry to take on the hardest of the hardcore villains who walk the world. Once a cop, he must now become a vigilante.
But even he can't escape his karma.
It was a blast writing this novel, and I hope you enjoy the future installments in the series.
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