deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Universiti Malaya
contact email: 



Vol. 57, No. 1, July 2020

Guest Editors: Susan Philip and Surinderpal Kaur


“Re-visions and Re-imaginations in Asian Speculative Fiction”

 Speculative fiction of all kinds has long been seen as something of a niche market, the purview of nerds and small fandom communities. More recently, however, there has been an upsurge of interest in the genre, as well as an increase in the number of subgenres within speculative fiction. Apart from the more traditional epic fantasy, sci-fi and horror, we now see dystopia, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, zombies, steampunk, magic realism, gothic, horror and so on as subgenres within this growing field of research and academic interest.

Part of this increasing popularity and diversity has to do with society’s fears, hopes, desires, dreams, nightmares. As Bruce Sterling points out, “A genre arises out of some deeper social need; a genre is not some independent floating construct” (2011). Much as these works represent vast leaps of the imagination and, often, wholesale invention, they are grounded in some “deeper social need”, and are therefore in some way expressive of the conditions of society. This idea is emphasized by Margaret Atwood, who contends that her own speculative fiction “invents nothing we haven’t already invented or started to invent” (2005).

 Works of speculative fiction address or embody questions that affect us, even when dressed up in the seemingly medieval garb of epic fantasy, or the futuristic space stations of science fiction. Because speculative fiction is not tied to the strict demands of realism, it enables us to play with reality in exciting ways. It may help us to examine pressing and urgent questions, while allowing for critical distance, or to explore and expand our mythologies, dreams and legends, or to highlight and focus on that which is not dominant or mainstream.

 In line with the potential of speculative fiction to shine a light on the margins, this special issue will focus on speculative fiction with a strong Asian connection. It could be written by Asian authors, be set in Asia, make use of Asian mythologies, feature Asian lead characters. The sub-genres to be covered include (but are not limited to) fantasy, science fiction, horror, gothic, dystopia, steampunk, and magic realism.

 We invite papers that explore the interweavings of alternative and, even, radical possibilities of imagined futures as well as the re-imagination of current socio-political metanarratives. We also invite short fiction or poetry, as well as reviews of Asian speculative fiction.

 Some of the issues that could be explored are speculative re-visionings of:

  • Language
  • Race
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Technologizing Asianness/Orientalism/Race
  • The Asian body and (dis)ability
  • Belonging and marginality
  • Nostalgia
  • Migration
  • Environment
  • Power
  • Medicine
  • Justice
  • History
  • War

This special issue will be guest edited by Associate Professor Susan Philip ( and Dr Surinderpal Kaur ( Abstracts (maximum 200 words) with a short bio (of up to 50 words) are to be sent to The Editor, SARE at (with a copy to the Guest Editors at and Our call for abstracts has been extended to 30 November 2019.

Decision notifications will be sent from 1-5 December 2019. 

The deadline for the submission of full papers (6000-7000 words) is 15 March 2020. All papers should be in English and uploaded to the SARE website through the “Make a Submission” portal at 

Further submission guidelines can be found on our website.

If you have any questions related to the special issue, please direct your inquiries to the The Editor, SARE at or