Tor UK acquires Zen Cho's magical Asian-inspired collection

Tor, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, is thrilled to announce the acquisition of Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho. Publisher Bella Pagan acquired UK and British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Gavin Grant at Small Beer Press.

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ZC-1 (c) Ilona Denton 2022.jpg

Drawing inspiration from Malaysian and East Asian myth and folklore, Zen Cho draws the reader through tales inhabited by dragons, vampires and incorrigible grandmothers. These nineteen sparkling stories are full of joy, humour and tenderness. And the collection contains the Hugo Award winner If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again. Shelley Parker-Chan, author of the Sunday Times bestselling She Who Became the Sun has called Cho’s work ‘Phenomenal’ and ‘Beautifully observed.’ International bestseller Naomi Novik said Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown ‘kept me turning pages into the dark hours of the night.’

Zen Cho says: ‘I've loved working with Tor UK over the years and am delighted to be partnering with them to bring my debut short story collection to UK readers. Spirits Abroad draws on the folklore of my childhood: in the book, Malaysian demons and lovestruck dragons mingle with university students and vampiric aunties. I hope readers enjoy these tales of first love and family drama, given a magical twist.’

Bella Pagan comments: ‘I’m such a huge fan of Zen Cho’s wonderful writing, so I’m really excited to be publishing this fabulous collection. These haunting, vividly imagined tales weave between the lands of the living and the dead – and the reader will delight in Zen’s lively wit and incredible characters.’ 

Tor UK will be publishing Spirits Abroad on 17th August 2023 – and it’s now available on for reviewers to request.   

About the author
​Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia and now lives in the UK. Her debut novel, Sorcerer to the Crown, won the 2016 British Fantasy Society Award for Best Newcomer. She was also a finalist for the Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Black Water Sister was also shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award and the Diverse Book Awards. 

Spirits Abroad won the Crawford Award, as well as the LA Times’s Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction.

About Tor UK
Tor UK specializes in speculative fiction and is a destination for the best in imaginative storytelling. A sister company to Tor Books in the US, Tor UK publishes an impressive array of award-winners, bestsellers, household names and talented debut authors. Tor’s mission is to publish out-of-this-world genre fiction and bring readers books that spark joy. It strives every year to increase the diversity of its list, publishing authors from minority backgrounds and increasing positive representation of gender issues through fiction. 

Reflecting all this, Tor UK was shortlisted for Imprint of the Year at the British Book Trade Awards this year. Bella Pagan, Tor’s Publisher, was shortlisted for Editor of the Year at these awards and received a ‘Highly Commended’ endorsement. Tor UK was also shortlisted for Imprint of the Year in 2022. Pan Macmillan publishes fantastic speculative fiction authors including Jennifer L. Armentrout, Douglas Adams, Olivie Blake, Zen Cho, Genevieve Cogman, Cassandra Clare, Peter F. Hamilton, Lucy Holland, TJ Klune, Freya Marske, Arkady Martine, Naomi Novik, Shelley Parker-Chan, Christopher Paolini, John Scalzi and Adrian Tchaikovsky.

About Pan Macmillan
Pan Macmillan is the UK general book publishing arm of the Macmillan Group, which operates in over 70 countries.  Its imprints include Macmillan, Mantle, Pan, Picador, Bluebird, Tor, Macmillan Children's Books, Macmillan Collectors Library, Kingfisher, Campbell Books, Two Hoots and Macmillan Digital Audio. Pan Macmillan won the Publisher of the Year award at The British Book Awards in 2015, 2017 and 2020.

Author photo: © Ilona Denton