The Dragon and the Stars

DATS_AuroraEditors:  Derwin Mak and Eric Choi
Paperback:  312 pages
 DAW Books
Language:  English

The Dragon and the Stars is the first collection of science fiction and fantasy stories written by authors of the Chinese diaspora.  It was the winner of the 2011 Aurora Award in the Best English Related Work category.  Available in mass market paperback (Amazon, !ndigo, Barnes & Noble) and ebook (Amazon, !ndigo, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play).

Critical praise for The Dragon and the Stars:

“A dozen and a half tales that in small and big ways transform and subvert Chinese tradition, pop culture, folklore and history, from a first-person (and fantastical) perspective.”

– Jeff Yang, San Francisco Chronicle

“There are wonders aplenty in this hegemony-challenging volume.”

–  Claude Lalumière, Montreal Gazette

“The fact that all the stories draw upon ‘the rich cultural heritage of China’ to tell stories of the fantastic makes it interesting, and gives us some milieus not commonly used, making almost all of the stories worth reading.”

Gardner Dozois, Locus

“Looking to read something a little different in SF and fantasy?  The Dragon and the Stars features eighteen (in Chinese lore, a lucky number) new tales written by English-speaking writers of Chinese ancestry…I would be hard-pressed to select the best story from this collection.”

– Jeff DeLuzio,

“A taste of Chinese culture and fine story telling.”

– Barry Hunter, The Baryon Review

 “Given the broad mandate of The Dragon and the Stars and the variety of the stories, it is a solid collection that should appeal to a wide range of readers.”

– Cathy Green,

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling novelist.

“The Character of the Hound” by Tony Pi (Canada)
During the war between the Southern Song and the Jin Dynasties, a soldier allows a spirit to possess his body so he can solve a murder.  [Excerpt]

“The Fortunes of Mrs. Yu” by Charles Tan (Philippines)
A Filipino Chinese woman is horrified that each of her fortune cookies has a blank strip of paper inside it.  [Story]

“Goin Down to Anglotown” by William F. Wu (United States)
In an alternate America that is dominated by Asians, three young Asian men go out for a night of intrigue in exotic “Anglotown”.

“The Polar Bear Carries the Mail” by Derwin Mak (Canada)
Chinese investors and a Chinese Canadian pilot try to start a space tourism business in northern Canada.  Unfortunately, they have bad feng shui at their spaceport.

“Lips of Ash” by Emery Huang (United States)
During the time of a historical dynasty, a cosmetics artist uses dark magic to help the ambitious mistress of a nobleman.

“The Man on the Moon” by Crystal Gail Shangkuan Koo (Hong Kong)
Yue Lao (月老), the Man on the Moon, hosts a beauty pageant to find a bride.  [Story]

“Across the Sea” by Emily Mah (United States/United Kingdom)
A Tlingowa Native American woman’s aunt tells a legend about mysterious visitors who came to America hundreds of years ago.  [Excerpt]

“Mortal Clay, Stone Heart” by Eugie Foster (United States)
During the reign of the First Emperor, a clay sculptor finds love and tragedy with a soldier.  [Excerpt]

“Dancers with Red Shoes” by Melissa Yuan-Innes (Canada)
In Montréal, magical red shoes dance by themselves.  [Story]

“Intelligent Truth” by Shelly Li (United States)
A young Chinese-American woman discovers truths about herself and her mother’s intelligent robotic servant.

“Bargains” by Gabriela Lee (Singapore)
A young woman meets a strange shopkeeper in Chinatown. The shopkeeper sells success as a writer – but with a terrible price.  [Story]

“Threes” by E.L. Chen (Canada)
A Canadian man thinks his dead wife has become a Chinese dragon in Lake Ontario.

“The Son of Heaven” by Eric Choi (Canada)
The Chinese rocket scientist Tsien Hsue-shen (钱学森) is persecuted during the Red Scare in America in the 1950s.

“Shadow City” by Susan Ee (United States)
In a fantasy universe, a gatekeeper must stop people from leaving an evil place called Shadow City.  [Excerpt]

“The Water Weapon” by Brenda W. Clough (United States)
The British police are suspicious of a talking Chinese dragon and a Chinese princess who appear at the Great Exposition of 1851 in London.  [Excerpt]

“The Right to Eat Decent Food” by Urania Fung (United States)
Two American English teachers in China will do anything to get decent food during the SARS epidemic.  [Excerpt]

“Papa and Mama” by Wen Y Phua (Singapore)
A Chinese daughter struggles to remain dutiful to her late parents, who are inconveniently reincarnated as a fish and a bird.

“Běidŏu” by Ken Liu (United States)
In the Ming war against Japan, an ingenious Chinese army officer invents new weapons to defeat the Japanese.  [Story]

Afterword by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi