Asians have rarely been the stars of modern mainstream science fiction. Japan has had a long history of science fiction media from Godzilla to Akira, while Chinese scifi literature in currently its golden age with writers gaining recognition globally through translations into English.
But what about Southeast Asia?
Our story maps out the state of Southeast Asia’s science fiction by showcasing the region’s diverse collection of sci-fi stories and their talented creators. Drawing from the story structure of the Hero’s Journey, we created a data story based on historical research and our crowd-sourced database of Asian sci-fi works that resembled an actual sci-fi novel. We combined an exciting plot with natural language processing, data visualisations, breathtaking illustrations in the style of comics, and a “choose-your-own-adventure" mechanism.
This was a labor of love that paid tribute to the books, anime, and movies I and other team members grew up with. Aside from project management, story pitching and data collection, I drove the creative direction of the data story, and contributed writing and editing. I also performed data analysis on the crowdsourced database by applying TFIDF and t-SNE onto keywords that described each works’ key tropes.