31 DAYS OF ASIAN AUTHORS, DAY 19: Yoon Ha Lee

Name: Yoon Ha Lee

Website:
http://yoonhalee.com

Asian background:
Korean-American

What is it about your experience and upbringing that inspired you the most to write?

I spent half my childhood in South Korea (the other half mostly in Texas), and growing up, there was almost no sf/f that had Asian characters or settings. For years I wrote about Western characters and settings because those were what I had read during my childhood. Then I realized that, hey, I can draw upon my own background for my fiction, and I started doing that.

Name 3 authors and 3 books

S. L. Huang, Zero Sum Game.  A gun expert with math as a superpower and a hidden past!  (And it has sequels!)

Liam Liwanag Burke.  Dog Eat Dog.  A brilliant tabletop roleplaying game on the dynamics of colonialism/imperialism.

Kate Elliott.  Unconquerable Sun.  Space opera gender-bent Alexander the Great!

What do you think is the best quality a writer can have?

Persistence.  Anything can be learned if you put enough work into it.

The most useful is actually luck, but you can’t control that.


Any last words? (Fun facts, comments, something you’d like to share with the world, etc.)

I have been entertaining myself lately with digital art and watercolors! This is the only way I will ever get to visualize my characters (I have aphantasia) and it’s a lot of fun.


Challenge: Write a one-sentence story!

“It was a delicious universe while it lasted,” said the cosmic monster with a burp.

Dragon Pearl is a brilliant space opera that blends Korean mythology and features a kumiho, a Korean fox spirit! I also enjoyed his short story “The Mermaid Astronaut” from Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

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