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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
My cat Keeno is dying. She’s been unwell for a few weeks now, and she’s getting thinner. But today I found her lying on her side on the carpet, unmoving. Her breaths were shallow, and when I stroked her back, her meows were half-hearted. She didn’t even open her eyes.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2018 at Murky Clarity
You are beautiful, but I bet you already know that. You turn heads wherever you go, while I can disappear in a crowd of two. You outshine a thousand suns. You light up the room even in your darkest moments, while I am the shadows that form behind those who... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2018 at Murky Clarity
He stood in the shower For maybe an hour Long enough for fissures To form on his fingers. He whispered, “why am I here?” A question no one could hear. He swallowed his tears He calmed his fears And took the blade That sealed his fate. He stammered, “should I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2017 at Murky Clarity
Name by Fadzlishah Johanabas First published in Love in Penang; Fixi Novo, 2013 I pluck the guitar strings together with my eyes closed. Picking up the discrepancy in sound, I turn the peghead and try again. I smile a fraction when the two strings sing as one. “What are you... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2017 at Murky Clarity
"So remember when we were driving driving in you car Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk City lights lay out before us And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder And I...had a feeling that I belonged And I...had a feeling I could be someone Be... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2017 at Murky Clarity
All the hospitals I’ve worked at have these big, unflattering OT scrubs that aren’t even comfortable (it’s true). In 2010, I started wearing non-standard scrub caps because I developed contact dermatitis toward the rubber band and the material. However, only when I was in the Master’s Degree program I felt... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2017 at Murky Clarity
This is an open letter that I hope will reach you. But it’s not just for you. This letter is also meant for those whom I have never personally met. This letter is for those in the future, as well as the past. I’m sure by now you’ve grown tired... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2017 at Murky Clarity
Let it be known that for me, 2016 has been The Stagnant Year aka The Year Where Nothing Happened (except for an ever growing list of celebrity deaths). 2015 had been a whirlwind: I published my collection of short stories Faith and the Machine at the same time I was... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at Murky Clarity
Do me a favor and listen to the song while you read this. It doesn't matter if you don't understand the words. That's the beauty of it. I haven't watched anime for the longest time, and I don't know why. It's not that I've outgrown it; I still read One... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2016 at Murky Clarity
If my thoughts were butterflies fluttering by I would catch them with a net lest I forget I would pin them on a board Each wing a swirl of thought And put them on display So I'll never run out of things to say. Fly, fly, my butterflies Spread your... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2016 at Murky Clarity
In the wake of singer Christina Grimmie's tragic and senseless murder, I came across a random tweet. Paraphrasing it, it goes like this: Muslim killer - 7 days before name is released. Black killer - 3 days before name is released. White killer - name released immediately. The source of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at Murky Clarity
Let me start with a disclaimer: I’m not a football fan. You Americans call it soccer (because apparently football is what you call a game where you clasp the ball under your armpit most of the time, but I digress). I wanted to watch Ola Bola because of the hype.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2016 at Murky Clarity
My friend Abu Sufian recommended me A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara for the feels. He got me at ‘feels’. When I hefted the book – yes, hefted – I was daunted by the size of the tome. Also, there was the issue of it being over 700 pages long.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2016 at Murky Clarity
One word: WOW (caps lock intended for added emphasis). As with all storybooks, I opened Hungry in Ipoh hoping to fall in love, and I have fallen head over heels with this book. From the cover to the contents. Just. Wow. Hadi M Nor, editor of this book, opens the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2015 at Murky Clarity
I wasn't supposed to buy books anymore. I wasn't supposed to be browsing for new ones. Then serendipity happened, just when I needed inspiration the most. Just look at the cover. The words. The instant feels. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson tells the story of a pair... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2015 at Murky Clarity
Laknat is a debut novel by Fahmi Mustaffa, published by Fixi. Laknat is also the first Malay novel that I finished reading. I think. There’s something about the book that’s unputdownable; this is coming from someone who has a difficult time reading Malay fiction. There’s a certain poetry and lyricism... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2015 at Murky Clarity
Next month, a local writers’ Facebook group, #MYWriters, which I am a part of, will be celebrating its first anniversary all month long, and in a big way. The masterminds behind this group, Tina Isaacs and Gina Yap, are also the moving force behind this celebration, which will take place... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2015 at Murky Clarity
Like many other Malaysian Science Fiction fans, I was excited by the very thought of this anthology, which is the first--to my knowledge--Malaysian English Science Fiction anthology. I love the cover: plain foil that doubles as a murky mirror. Perhaps it's a nod to Mirrorshades, a Cyberpunk anthology published in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2015 at Murky Clarity
As someone who loves watching Science Fiction movies and shows, and who is also a Science Fiction writer himself, I had a total fanboy moment when I watched the trailer of Ex Machina for the first time. Go ahead and watch the trailer I've embedded. I'll wait. You're back? Good.... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2015 at Murky Clarity
OK folks, let's make this a quick one. I'm cramming for my final exam (May 4-5, 14-16), so there. I'm not going to tell you I've always wanted to write since I was a little boy. Well, I did do pages upon pages of squiggly lines in those brown paperback... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2015 at Murky Clarity
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