Asian Short Fiction/ posted in: Reading The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho
Published by Book Smugglers Publishing on March 10, 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction
In the tenth court of hell, spirits wealthy enough to bribe the bureaucrats of the underworld can avoid both the torments of hell and the irreversible change of reincarnation.
It's a comfortable undeath … even for Siew Tsin. She didn't choose to be married to the richest man in hell, but she's reconciled. Until her husband brings home a new bride.
I loved Zen Cho’s novel Sorcerer to the Crown so I was excited to read some of her shorter fiction.
This story takes place in Hell. In the Chinese version you can advance through levels. If you have descendants who burn paper offerings for you regularly, you can make a pretty nice life for yourself in the Tenth Court of Hell. If you don’t have the money to live well or bribe the officials, you will have to reincarnate and start all over.
In this story a girl is taken as a second wife of a well off man. The first wife is estranged. Everything is going fine until he brings home a third wife. This wife is made of animated terra cotta. These terra cotta people are designed to be perfect servants but it doesn’t go the way he planned.Hunting Monsters (Hunting Monsters #1) by S.L. Huang
Published by Book Smugglers Publishing on October 7th 2014
“Happy birthday, child. Careful not to shoot any grundwirgen.”
Ever since she was a small girl, she has learned to be careful on the hunt, to recognize the signs that separate regular animals from human-cursed grundwirgen. To harm a grundwirgen is a crime punishable by death by the King's decree - a fatal mistake that her Auntie Rosa and mother have carefully prepared her to avoid.
On her fifteenth birthday, when her mother is arrested and made to stand trial for grundwirgen murder, everything she thought she knew about her family and her past comes crashing down.
Auntie Rosa has always warned her about monsters. Now, she must find and confront them to save her mother, no matter the cost.
I didn’t realize that this was a fairy tale retelling or a short story when I started reading it. A girl has been trained to hunt since she was small. There are people who turn into animals and animals with higher consciousness around so you have to be careful not to hunt them. Her mother is arrested for a long ago murder of someone and all the secrets of her mother and her mother’s lover come out.
I don’t want to say a lot more about it because I think seeing it unfold without preconceived ideas of what would happen was part of the fun. Read this one if you like updated fairy tales with twists.
Both of these are excellent short fiction pieces that can introduce you to these authors. They each feature lesbian characters and Asian or multiracial leads. Pick them up.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Books Set in Asia
- LBGTQ authors/characters
- POC authors