It’s been a while since we checked in with our fellow Awesome comrades to see what they are up to worldwide, so today we’re checking in with our Awesome friends over in Singapore to learn about which initiative they gave their money to in April. Read about their winner’s idea below, and check out Awesome Singapore here!
Of all forms of literature, Speculative Fiction is the only one that primarily concerns itself with imagining the future and the fantastical. As a recent article in Smithsonian Magazine pointed out, it deals with “thinking about what’s possible for humanity and for civilization”.
LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction is the world’s only biannual literary journal focusing on Southeast Asian speculative fiction. The journal was founded in 2012, in order to spread awareness of this literature to readers who might not normally be exposed to it, and to celebrate its existence and diversity within the region. “Lontar” is the Indonesian word for a bound palm-leaf manuscript, which is among the oldest forms of written media, dating as far back as the fifth century BCE (and possibly earlier). As such, this ancient form of writing is the perfect symbol for the curation of Southeast Asian speculative fiction: it is an early technology that revolutionised the dissemination of knowledge, and it was used predominantly in India, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.
Despite nine issues with contributors from writers and artists who have won major literary and genre awards—such as the Hugo, Nebula, Palanca and Seiun Awards, and the Singapore Literature Prize—the double-sized 10th issue needs your help.
The magazine is actually ready for printing but our team ran out of funding after the National Arts Council stopped funding regional publications,. We had raised money through Patreon but we are short SG$1,000 to start printing.
Your contribution to LONTAR for this publication supports the growth of a literary scene in Singapore and Southeast Asia that is all about the implications of change in Arts and Science on human lives.