The Wave from the Edge

Summary: I've had the dubious honor of living in the world's gutters. Despite this, I've wanted to make waves around the world. Here's one way I found out.

Hello, dear readers. I'd like to pull back the curtain a bit on a fairly serious manner here. You know I love writing about techno-political dystopias, the heat death of the universe, dark fantasy, and some lighter topics, but today I'd like to step away from the fiction for a bit. Truth is stranger, anyway.

I was on FictionPress before September 11, 2001, back when it was the same site as . I was in high school then, and I'm sure you can figure out how old I may be from that very fact alone. I'm pretty sure, in fact, you could figure out who I am, at least in part, by looking at some personal information sprinkled through my writing over across nearly two decades. I hope, at least as far as writing quality goes, you can see a clear progression from cringe-worthy teenage fiction to something more professional.

My day job is not a writer, at least not a fiction one. I am an engineering researcher, with experience in academia and industry in 4 countries. I've worked in a large megacorporation and grungy startups in Singapore. I've taught in a rural Korean university, far from Seoul, Busan, or many other English speakers. I've lived in Christchurch, New Zealand, just a year after the fateful earthquake and mercifully long before the March 2019 terrorist attack. I've worked in a certain American military lab, although the topic of my research was fairly mundane.

My professional experience includes electrical engineering, experimental archeology, military history, forensics, signal processing, machine learning, blockchain systems, 3D printed materials, biomechanics, electrophysiology, medical ultrasound, and neuromodulation. Outside of my official work, I had interest in martial arts, military re-enactment, target shooting, archery, videogames, tabletop roleplaying, sailing, and writing. I am happy to detail these, and my professional and academic publications, in private if you wish.

I've had the dubious honor of being a real-life cyberpunk character, handling the bleeding edge of technology from the world's gutters. I feel only thing missing is the steroid-addled street samurai companion. I've primarily spent the last few years living a rather nomadic, sometimes precarious, life, although one that is never boring. I've handled and documented technologies others consigned to the realms of science fiction. That is partially related to my current predicament.

I am the founder of a rather unique publication, an annual anthology magazine for Southeast Asian writers: Ombak Magazine. Ombak is a weird fiction magazine, aiming to help publish and expose new writers to the world. A prior speculative fiction magazine for Southeast Asia, Singapore-based LONTAR, sadly folded before we started. I know we'll never be as famous as Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, or Asimov's, but that is not my purpose for this magazine. The first purpose, of course, is to produce a good, quality weird fiction magazine.

I've published two issues of this magazine, entirely at my own expense. Even when such expenses brought me to the point of dumpster-diving for food. You find interesting things in the trash. With luck, some of them are still packaged and edible. I found motivation to keep going, to keep pursuing my obsessions. What sort of mad scientist gives up halfway? At my lowest point last year, a friend helped me out.

Yet there are other purposes to my magazine. We are independent of any government censorship. We have no advertisements on our magazine or site. We do not advance any political, religious, or social agenda. We give away our issues for free. We pay at a rate that makes authors eligible for membership in the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), a professional organization for speculative fiction writers, and similar organizations worldwide. We aim to provide a foothold, a stepping stone, for writers. We have done this for two years.

Due to a complex, unpleasant series of events, I am trying to ensure we can publish a third issue. If you'd like to help support us, go review us on GoodReads, Smashwords, or Amazon. We have a SubscribeStar and Patreon, if you'd like to support us that way. We even set up a Youtube channel recently, Radio Ombak, which will detail Southeast Asian literature, writers, and innovations. All I ask is help let others know of us.

Ombak is the Malay word for 'wave.' Please help us make waves.

It will help a lot of people living on the edge.