7 weeks to go

The whirlwind is picking up!

We have a lot of new faces here so I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for subscribing and welcome to my little corner of the world. I’m A.Y. Chao, Alice/she/they, and I write fantasy inspired by my Canadian Chinese heritage. This post is a catch up post for all the things that are coming soon!

Preorder Campaign Closes 15 April

First up is my preorder campaign which closes in a couple days. I’ve had a wonderful response and am busy packing up the swag. Still a couple days to sign up for the swag packs which include the two art cards above, and a book mark with the beautiful calligraphy done by Jing Sha, a family friend who passed away shortly after painting it. The calligraphy reads Shanghai Fox Spirit in Chinese.

I capped the special teahouse pop-up art cards and will randomly add the remaining pop ups to swag packs for those who sign up after the cap. For a peek at the making of pop-up teahouses, I made a video here on in my insta.

You can add your name to the pre-order swag form. Hui Qing Ang is the talent and genius behind the character art and the special teahouse pop-up art card, so you are in for a treat!

Open worldwide. One swag pack per person while stocks and postage funds last.


If you haven’t yet, please add Shanghai Immortal to your Goodreads here. It really helps with visibility and discoverability to help make sure the book is a success. Thank you!

April Events

I had my first in person panel this past weekend which was great fun. Even did a reading! There are number of events coming up in April (all times in BST) and it would be great to see you there.


Sat April 15 11am

Creating Belonging panel where Jennifer Spirko and I will discuss how we create found family connections in our stories, moderated by A J Fitzwater

Sat April 15 12pm

I’ll be reading from SHANGHAI IMMORTAL, talking about the Easter eggs and language conventions.

Sun April 16 1pm

Debuting in 2023 chat where J R Dawson and I will talk about what it’s been like to debut in 2023, moderated by Steven D Brewer.

There are a ton of other fabulous events—check out the ones with Erik Grove and Victor Manibo!


Sign up here for free tix

Monday April 24 7pm

Chinese SFF

This panel is part of the run up to Glasgow 2024 Worlcon.

There is a rich history of Chinese speculative fiction writing, from wuxia and xianxia (historical martial arts stories, with and without magic) to science fiction, made more accessible with Netflix and other streaming services as well as more readily available translated works. This panel will discuss Chinese speculative fiction across multiple media from writers such as Jin Yong and Liu Cixin to Ken Liu, Fonda Lee and Shelley Parker Chan. With two of my fellow Canadian writers—Ai Jiang and Tao Wong, and Chinese translator Xueting C. Ni, we will chat all things Chinese SFF, moderated by Caroline Mersey.


Very excited to report that my narrator has been chosen and will start recording this month! She has the most perfect voice for Lady Jing. I can’t wait. Sent her this dream cast list as reference for the characters to give a sense of how I imagined them:

Lady Jing: Scrappy, a little bit like a feral fancy cat. If you’ve seen the K-drama Mr Queen, she’s a lot like Mr Queen, though not as conceited. Obnoxious, yes, conceited no.

Tony Lee: Sexy cinnamon roll. Like Dongfang Qingcang’s dragon bodyguard in Love Between Fairy and Devil—very innocent but brawny. Or think of the guy from Business Proposal—not the main character but the main’s secretary. The guy with glasses. In my mind I pictured him like the late Godfrey Gao.

Lord Black: I pictured this guy as Shao Xunmei, a Chinese Adrien Brody.

Gigi: Posh girl, no nonsense.

Ah Lang: Country bloke. Upright and honourable. Similar to Tony but Ah Lang is like the more experienced older brother.

The hulijing ladies—very posh, clear and slightly more sonorous/nasally tones.

Kitchen God Old Zao—Non binary. Kindly and patient. A bit of a gossip!

Horsey —An old nag but good heart beneath all the old aunty nagging.

Bullhead— Slow moving silent type. Still water run deep and all that.

Hoping to be able to visit the audio production and see how they do it!

Recent and Current Reads:

Legends and Lattes by Travis BaldreeThis was a hug in a book. It has the gentle humour and compassion of a TJ Klune novel, set in a Discworldesque AU of Lord of the Rings.

Yellowface by R F KuangSharp, insightful, and thought provoking.

Babel by RF KuangLoved this book though it was emotionally very difficult to read. Much anger and catharsis. So much that was on point regarding colonial attitudes that sadly exist to this day. There was a missing layer regarding the main character’s mixed race heritage and the additional marginalisation (and likely confusion re identity) that would have caused him especially on return to China, something I hadn’t been aware of until a friend who is mixed heritage herself pointed it out but was a crucial issue of identity.

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha SuriMy current read—almost done and my goodness, a masterclass in world building and character arc. Adore the love story here, the bonds of family, duty, and the ease with which good and evil shift depending on whose lens we’re using to view the world. Brilliant.

Next reads: Perilous Times by Thomas D Lee, The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty, Black Water Sister, Zen Cho

Speak anon,

Alice x