Spirits Abroad

Zen Cho

17 August 2023
352 pages


Taking us from the mundane to the magical, this collection of short stories will entertain and delight.

Drawing inspiration from East Asian and Malaysian myth and folklore, Zen Cho guides the reader through enchanted realms inhabited by dragons, vampires and incorrigible grandmothers.

We’ll meet an elderly ex-member of parliament, who recalls her youthful romance with an orang bunian. This was forbidden. Not because her lover was an invisible jungle spirit, but because she was Muslim and he was not. A teenage vampire struggles to balance homework, bossy aunties, first love . . . and eating people. A mischievous matriarch returns from the dead to disrupt her own funeral rites, pitting granddaughter against granddaughter. An earth spirit becomes entangled in protracted negotiations with an annoying landlord. And Chang E, the Chinese moon goddess, spins off into outer space – the ultimate metaphor for diaspora.

Spirits Abroad won the Ray Bradbury LA Times' Prize for science fiction and fantasy and contains the Hugo Award winner If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again.

‘Among the best short fiction I've encountered . . . This collection was a joy to read’ – Veronica Roth, author of Divergent

'Absolutely fantastic . . . A wonderfully satisfying and immersive reading experience. Get it, stat’ – KJ Charles, author of The Magpie Lord

‘This collection is a delight . . . Just as I'd decided on a favourite, along came ANOTHER FAVOURITE, and ANOTHER’ – Freya Marske, author of A Marvellous Light

Spirits Abroad is a fantastic and fun exploration of the borders between human and spirit and life and death, by one of the best fantasy writers working today
By turns hilarious and heartbreaking - and always sharply smart
Spirits Abroad is speculative fiction at its best! Zen Cho has created a collection of modern-day classics . . . Charming, warm and heartbreakingly relatable, Spirits Abroad is pure magic!