Fantasy lights up the small screen again; ESEA Lit Fest kicks off in London; After The Rain enters British photobook archive; Russell Brand’s publisher suspends future activities with comedian.

Fantasy returns to streaming channels

The good thing about the end of summer is that the shows get better on the streaming channels. On the small screen, we celebrate the arrival of Ashoka, another Star Wars franchise.

Ashoka has some fancy moves with the light sabres. Don’t miss the action with Anakin Skywalker. Trailer: ©Disney+

We also welcome Season 2 of The Wheel Of Time, Jujutsu Kaisen and Arthdal Chronicles. Things are getting a bit intense now with the Aes Sedai ladies in The Wheel Of Time. And Rand. Why is he a rent boy of the Forsaken? Is this a case of tainted love? Why is the Forsaken a dominatrix? We’re confused.

The power struggle amongst the Aes Sedai women are intriguing. If you like powerful female characters, this is the show to watch. Trailer: ©Prime Video

We think Studio Mappa left it too late with Jujutsu Kaisen, giving Demon Slayer and Chainsawman a head start with their amazing animations and powerful storylines. Fans are emotionally invested now with the two animes. But have you seen the fight scene in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2? What in the seinen? Is that poetry or excessiveness? Are they trying top the fight scenes in Demon Slayer and Chainsawman? It’s beautiful though. We love it.

Be careful of Satoru Gojo’s eyes. Trailer: ©Crunchyroll Collection

Also, if you’ve watched the South Korean fantasy Arthdal Chronicles, don’t you think the characters look a bit like the ones in Kingdom, the anime by Studio Pierrot? If it is, we hope it’s complimentary. The custom designers and makeup artists did a very good job in interpreting the characters for the small screen.

Get to know more East and Southeast Asian authors

September is also the East and South East Asian Heritage Month in the UK. The British Library had already organised a talk on 11 September 2023 featuring local writers of ESEA ethnicity.

ESEA has contributed significantly to the fantasy genres, especially via manga, manhwa and anime. There are authors whose romance and comedy titles are familiar to the UK readers, such as Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood) and Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians). But it’s also good to know other authors from the emerging regions.

On the besea.n website, you can find literary events including:

  • The Asian Writers Group’s Workshop with Mai-Anh Peterson, hosted by Scottish BPOC Writers Network (20 September)
  • The ESEA Authors Lit Fest @SOAS, hosted by ESEA Authors from the Bubble Tea Writer’s Network (21 September)
  • Meet The Author with Cynthia So, hosted by Imperial As One, Imperial College London (21 September)
  • ESEA Lit Fest, hosted by ESEA Publishing Network and Foyles (23 September)

The ESEA Lit Fest is the UK’s first East and Southeast Asian literary festival.

If you’d like to know where to begin with ESEA authors, we’d recommend you check out their horror and fantasy genres. Horror and fantasy are very much an ESEA thing. Here’s one recommendation.

After The Rain enters Photobook Café’s collection

In August 2023, we mentioned that our parent studio ran Mindful Photography spring and summer workshops inspired by our magazine, After The Rain.

Earlier this month, we submitted Number 1 and 2 of After The Rain to Photobook Café at Shoreditch, London. The manager kindly invited us to check out Nicky Carvell’s exhibition at their gallery. We didn’t expect a huge cut-out of Brian Harvey of East 17 to be part of the exhibition.

This entry into the British photobook archive followed a similar move in Malaysia in 2022, when we entered the titles into the Malaysian Photobook Archive.

You can now check out After The Rain Number 1 and 2 at the Photobook Cafe. Image: ©Story Of Books
Larger than life: The cut-out figure of Brian Harvey, one of Nicky Carvell’s art installations, a nod to 90s pop culture. Image: ©Story Of Books

More on After The Rain

Russell Brand: Bluebird suspends future publishing with comedian

Pan Macmillan’s imprint Bluebird has announced that they will suspend future publishing activities with Russell Brand. The British comedian is currently embroiled in a scandal involving rape allegations.

The release of Recovery: The Workbook, due in December 2025, is being halted for now.

Image source: ©Pan Macmillan

Brand has published two books with the imprint, Mentors: How To Help and Be Helped (2019) and Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions (2018). The latter was a nominee of the 2018 British Book Awards: Fiction Lifestyle Book of the Year.

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Editor, Story Of Books. Co-founder, GLUE Studio. A writer since 1995.