Monday, October 04, 2010

Mailbox Monday: Star Sapphire

Mailbox Monday by Marcia at The Printed Page is hosted by She Reads and Reads in October. For this week, I am glad to have in possession a copy of Star Sapphire by Joan Hon written under the pseudonym Han May. The book was passed on to me by Jo Lau, whom I finally met on day one of the Blogfest Asia 2010 event that concluded on Sunday.

Star Sapphire (ISBN: 981-00-0890-0)

Star Sapphire won a High Commendation Award from the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) in 1986. I can't wait for the Singaporean author to be here in Penang for her book talk on October 12, 2010. I'll also be doing an interview with her on the same day.

Here's an excerpt from Chapter 1 on page 7:


It was not proper, said my grandmother, for a girl to venture into space. If one needed help in a hurry, she said, think of all the light years separating one from where help might be forthcoming.

Since Grandmother had gone into space herself—else how would she have come all the way from Ganymede to marry Grandfather?—I took her remarks lightly. The fact that my parents had died in space was forever dangled by her before my mind as the best possible deterrent to my own compulsion to set off amongst the stars.

I argued within myself that my parents had died in space because they themselves had wanted it that way. They had been happy there, they had lived their time out there—for whatever reasons—and they had chosen in all probability to depart from there. One might argue that one should not be on Terra for the same reason: all my other ancestors had passed away on Terra, with most of them in bed. Hence, being in bed on Terra was the most hazardous place in the Universe to be!

That was how Gran herself finally went: in bed, after a short illness, and on New Terra. [...]

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book. If Frederik Pohl, the four-time Hugo Award winner, had enjoyed her story, I reckon this must be good stuff!