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Fadzlishah Johanabas
Kuala Lumpur
Doctor. Author. Photographer. Gamer. Total procrastinator.
Interests: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fiction Writing, Landscape Photography, Figure Drawing, Reading
Recent Activity
I should be sleeping right now, but here I am, writing this. I am back in Kelantan for that final stretch of my journey as a Master’s degree candidate. But this is not about this particular facet of my life. Not yet, at least. I started a thread in a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2015 at Murky Clarity
Last weekend I wrote two sonnets on Facebook. I did not set out to write them, but I had the opening lines in my head. That's how poetry usually comes to me: an opening line or phrase. I don't sit down and think about the big picture that my poems... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at Murky Clarity
There is anger in the rain Each drop a pellet that doesn't break the skin But bruises deep There is anger in the air Each breath drawing particles that cannot be seen But burns the lungs There is anger in my tears Each rivulet too small to be called a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2014 at Murky Clarity
That feeling when your instinct urges you to buy a random book that you come across, and you end up falling in's indescribable. As usual, I was at Kinokuniya, looking for the final installment of the KL Noir series. Out of habit, I browsed the Young Adult section, and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at Murky Clarity
Author Stephanie Perkins made her name with the first book of this series, Anna and the French Kiss. And it's a goooood book. When I went to Paris, I wanted to experience the Paris Anna and Etienne St. Clair did in their grand teenage romance. When I bought the third... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at Murky Clarity
Synopsis: A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents. I didn't know about this movie when it came out. I don't even know if it was released here in Malaysia. I was just browsing... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2014 at Murky Clarity
It was love at first sight (Not true. You hated me when we first met) Well, it was love at first sight, for me at least. It was more than just the way you looked, though I couldn’t take my eyes off you. It was more than how you were... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at Murky Clarity
If one’s life can fit in boxes 1 trip, 2 trips, 3 trips down the corridor and packed in a car to be shipped (or flown, though it’ll be expensive) to a place used to be called home to a place where loved ones await to a place far away... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at Murky Clarity
I bought this book almost at random. I was looking for interesting YA books at Kinokuniya, and the cover intrigued me. Because of the headphones. And the redhead. So maybe I have a thing for redheads. It wasn't until after I bought the book that I found out how well-received... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Murky Clarity
I fell in love with Benjamin Alire Saenz's writing when I was reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Not after. During. What I did after was look for more books from Mr Saenz. Unfortunately, Kinokuniya only carried another title, Last Night I Sang to the Monster.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2014 at Murky Clarity
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. This is your captain speaking." The plane cruises over the South China Sea. The endless expanses of sky and sea are of the exact same shade of brilliant blue, and the clouds, patches of sun-kissed cotton candy, greet the rising sun as if they... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at Murky Clarity
If there is one word to describe this book, unapologetic would be it. Nazi Goreng by Marco Ferrarese is about a young Malay man, Asrul, who goes through a traumatic experience in the hands of a group of Indian thugs, and is then taken under the wings of one charismatic... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2014 at Murky Clarity
This post is long overdue, I know. I can say that I wanted enough space between the trip and writing this to have a precise, objective view. I can also say that the experience was so magical, so personal, that putting it down in writing would smear the memory. Truth... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at Murky Clarity
Like I do with all storybooks, I approached Tropical Madness with open arms, ready to love it. Besides, I've read Mr de Faoite's stories in other anthologies, and while I notice a certain lack of sense of place, which I will elaborate in a bit, I like his writing. There's... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2014 at Murky Clarity
It is the beginning of summer in 1987 and Aristotle Mendoza--Ari, as he calls himself--is a jaded, disillusioned 15-year-old who lives in the shadow of a much older brother who's not even there, who's not even spoken of by his parents. Ari only knows his brother is in prison for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2014 at Murky Clarity
A friend of mine called me out after reading my review of Love in Penang. She said I was being suspiciously vague. Apparently I'm known for being bold & direct (her words), and my review stank of my chickening out. My first instinct, of course, was to get defensive. After... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2013 at Murky Clarity
Disclaimers: I mentioned on Twitter that I'd rather not review locally-published English books anymore because of small-minded reaction by small-time author(s). However. This book has that much strength, leave that deep an impression, that I shall write a review anyway. You may notice my name as one of the contributors,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2013 at Murky Clarity
My kid brother is leaving the family. I know he sometimes wishes he can actually leave the family, but this is not happening in the forseeable future. Not if I can help it. Come to think of it, Kasha will kill him first before she allows this to happen. No.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2013 at Murky Clarity
September 29, 2013 Cattles, I tell you. "Where are you going?" he says. "Mainz," I say. (Main-z) He quirks an eyebrow. "What are you doing in MAI-NZ?" Oops. "Conference." "How long?" "Flying back on the 6th." He flicks my passport back toward me. Not even a smile. Sheesh. Anyway, the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2013 at Murky Clarity
September 29, 2013 It is 09:52 in the morning in Kuala Lumpur, but it is only 03:52 in Germany. We are 10 hours into the flight, with slightly over 2 more hours to go. I am currently over Ukraine, and outside the window, the world is still dark. A steady... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2013 at Murky Clarity
I have a suspicion that by now, I may have built a reputation of tearing apart Malaysian-English works. Oh, well. Moving on. "The Female Cell" is a collection of short works by Kedah-born Rumaizah Abu Bakar, published by Silverfish Books in 2011. Do note that I use 'works' instead of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2013 at Murky Clarity
Disclaimer: Breanna is not only a close friend of mine, but also my reviewer/editor/beta reader (and I am her reviewer/editor/beta reader). I helped review and edit several (but not all) of the stories in this anthology. Is my review biased? I try not to review books of people I know,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2013 at Murky Clarity
I originally intended to write a rant about immature authors reacting to in-depth book reviews, but that'll only make me sound defensive & equally immature, and I know I'm better than that. For the record, however, I am not a bitter author whose work has been rejected & in turn... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2013 at Murky Clarity
EDIT: I don't believe that there are spoilers without warning here, but to be fair to the author, I've highlighted the possible spoilers in white. Highlight those places using your mouse to see them. “Wedding Speech” by Khaliza Khalid is the fourth title and the third novel published by FIXI... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2013 at Murky Clarity
It has been months since I wrote a story or worked on my unfinished novella & novel. It has been months since I wrote a proper blog post (the movie review doesn't count). I have been silent for so long that my precious beta reader, Breanna, is officially worried. There... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2013 at Murky Clarity