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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  12 reviews
This premiere issue of LONTAR presents speculative writing from and about the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Laos, and Vietnam.

Inside these pages, you’ll find: a young Laotian journalist’s place in the sensationalist future of news reporting from award-winner Paolo Bacigalupi; a post-apocalyptic Manila from Kate Osias; a utopian Kuala Lumpur from Zen Cho; a ha
Paperback, Autumn 2013, 104 pages
Published September 2013 by Math Paper Press
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  36 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Tyrannosaurus regina
I thought I was going to pick this up and read a story or two and instead I blew off everything else I was doing and read the issue cover to cover. I'd love to be able to pick out a favourite story and talk about it but there wasn't anything here I didn't like, there wasn't anything that didn't make me think or see the speculative possibilities outside my own small sphere of experience. Oh, the stories, the wonderful stories. ...more
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have to admit I skipped the stories I didn't find so interesting and all the poems. But there are some amazing gems of Southeast Asian speculative fiction here. My personal favourite is The Gambler by Paolo Bacigalupi - as someone with some acquaintance with Lao culture and my own interest in environmental interest stories I could empathise with the struggles of a Lao reporter in modern American media.

The other story I liked was Zen Cho's Love In The Time Of Utopia, set in a future Malaysia.
Tanushri Saha
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Discovering Lontar a few years back at Gerak Budaya in Penang has been a true life blessing. I am reading these in a very non-linear way and only just coming around to #1 after maybe 2 years because I started with the ones with the cover designs I was most drawn to bc I can't help myself and I am a bad nerd (and the graphics really are so, so beautiful). The journal is so consistently edited generally speaking, and this edition is no exception. My favourite pieces were Departures by Kate Osias, ...more
Sara J. (kefuwa)
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of South East Asian speculative fiction & poetry.

I was delighted with the Zen Cho story and piqued by the Bacigalupi ones.

Skipped the poetry as I wasn't in the right mind for it.

As a whole it was quite an interesting issue... moving on to next 4 issues... and will probably go on to get the remaining 5 afterwards.

first read: 3dec2019
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fantastic first issue of Southeast Asian speculative fiction full of Filipino magic, Vietnamese ghost stories, Laotian gamblers, Malaysian lovers, and Indonesian dragons. I'm not sure why it took me so long to finish (I may have been intimidated by the poetry), but I'm glad I finally did :D ...more
Rick Silva
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the debut issue of Lontar, a magazine of speculative fiction from and about Southeast Asia (the countries it lists as its focus are the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Laos, and Vietnam).

The journal contains four short stories, three poems, and an article on magical beliefs and traditions in the Philippines.

I enjoyed everything here. The opening story by Kate Osias presents a unique vision of a postapocalyptic Manila inhabited by the shades of those who died in a supernatural
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
The LONTAR collection of short stories was something I just stumbled upon. And I’m so glad I did. It’s a collection of Southeast Asian speculative fiction from Southeast Asian authors. Too often when I read something for this challenge, it’s written by an American or Brit with an American or British main character that travels to somewhere exotic. It’s almost always an "outsider looking in” perspective. Sometimes I really enjoy that kind of writing. But sometimes, I want to read something local ...more
Pearse Anderson
The Gambler was a great tale, but of course Bacigalupi pulled it off, riding that Pump Six wave. Overall, I love Lundberg's project here. Southeast Asian speculative fiction deserves its own study, magazines, mythos. But I didn't love this issue. The pieces did not feel as coherent (incoherent != experimental) as I think they should have been. I know if I was a citizen of Kuala Lumpar or Jakarta or Manila I would get more out of them, but should such a broad magazine attempt to write only to a l ...more
Departures: 3 stars
Love the idea of this fantastical ghost world but it is painted too thinly. Main theme of this story is memory and identity.

Love in the time of Utopia: 3 stars
Typical Zen Cho style: cute little story with an overly neat Dickensian ending.

Philippine Magic: A Course Catalogue: 5 stars
This is the coolest thing ever.

Jayawarman 9th Remembers the Dragon Archipelago: 4 stars
This poem was much better than I expected it to be. Gorgeous imagery.

The Immortal Pharmacist: 4 stars

Jericho Eames
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I didn't know how futile Asia is for speculative fiction. I love the course notes of Philippine magic, it was such a refreshing way to present a narrative. ...more
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first few stories weren’t really my cup of tea, but the last two were some of the most interesting things I’ve read in a long time.
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Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Jason Erik Lundberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and has lived in Singapore since 2007. His latest publications are his first novel (and 25th book), A Fickle and Restless Weapon (2020), a related novella, Diary of One Who Disappeared (2019, recipient of a 2013 Creation Grant from Singapore's National Arts Council), and a "greatest hits" short fiction collecti ...more

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LONTAR (10 books)
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  • LONTAR #3
  • LONTAR #4
  • LONTAR #5
  • LONTAR #6
  • LONTAR #7
  • LONTAR #8
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