Angelica Chong

Orbit Books

My Manuscript Wish List®

I’m an Associate Editor at Orbit Books who is actively acquiring adult fantasy, science fiction, and horror. I’m looking for confidently written, well-plotted books that fit into the genre space, but do something a little different—whether it’s a literary bent to the prose, a blending of subgenres, or an exploration of underrepresented cultures and histories. I love to be surprised by what I read, and I find the best books to be ones that have me thinking about them long after I’ve read them, and finding something new each time.

Across genres, I’m looking for:

  • Stylish, confident, assured prose. I.e., the author is in full control of their voice, and intentional about how spare or lush or lighthearted or dramatic it needs to be.
  • A propulsive, page-turning quality. Whether it’s because there’s a mystery to unravel, compelling character interactions, or a thrilling cat-and-mouse political game, I want to find that ineffable, unputdownable quality in a book. (It doesn’t necessarily mean a nonstop action plot; some of the most compelling books I’ve read have consisted of scenes of people talking to each other.)
  • Cross-genre weirdness. Give me science fantasy, space horror, horror fantasy, space mysteries! I’m especially partial to these specific ones I listed, though I’m open to all genre-blending goodness.
  • Interesting narrative structure. I love epistolaries, a story within a story, the use of mixed media, nonlinear narratives.
  • Stories that evoke complicated emotional responses. I want something to chew over. I don’t normally read to feel happy or comforted by the end of a book (though there’s nothing wrong with that!); I’d much rather have messy feelings about a book than have my emotions wrapped up neatly.

In fantasy, I love high stakes and big emotions; interesting, thoughtful worldbuilding; and the use of speculative elements to interrogate something about society/humanity/the way we live. Specifically:

  • Whip-smart political fantasy that will break my heart: give me all the court intrigue, hidden agendas, betrayals, and plot twists (e.g. Captive Prince, The Traitor Baru Cormorant)
  • Epic fantasy that is mythic, full of ancient gods and dangerous magic (e.g. Black Sun, The Spear Cuts Through Water)
  • Romantic fantasy that is unabashedly queer and sexy.
  • Historical fantasy/retellings inspired by rarely explored time periods/settings, that are thoughtful and purposeful about where and when a story is being situated, that tries to be true to the spirit of its time (e.g. Wrath Goddess Sing, She Who Became the Sun)
  • Secondary-world urban fantasy (e.g. the Craft Sequence, City of Stairs, Jade City)
  • Cozy fantasy with an edge, by which I mean I need some angst to balance out the fluff (e.g. Silver in the Wood)
  • Hard sell for me: comedic fantasy, magical circuses.

In science fiction, I love epic wide-screen space operas, first contact stories featuring alien civilizations and interesting lifeforms. Specifically:

  • Political, intense, expansive space operas; a romance subplot is a bonus! (e.g. Ninefox Gambit, These Burning Stars, Winter’s Orbit)
  • Stories about humans going to space to find God/a new world, and encountering…something else instead (e.g. The Sparrow, Prometheus in book form, Planetfall)
  • Speculative ecofiction, especially if there’s a strong grounding in real-world biology/science (e.g. Jeff VanderMeer, Children of Time)
  • Hard sell for me: I’m lukewarm on near-future AI stories, steampunk aesthetics, and space comedies.

In horror, the weirder the better. I love anything that can be comped to a Channel Zero story: viscerally terrifying, with striking, distinctive visuals I have seared into my brain, and a strong emotional core that ties everything together. Also, I have a strong stomach for gore/violence and I want to be upset!

  • Gothic, atmospheric horror (e.g. Little Eve, Leech, Mexican Gothic)
  • Anything twisty that keeps you on your toes, where you can feel a jump-scare coming but you keep turning the pages anyway (e.g. Manhunt, Edenville, Brainwyrms)
  • Transportive horror, or what I think of as horror + something a little different, whether it’s another genre (+ science fiction, to get Dead Silence; + fantasy to get The Devourers) or a unique time period/setting (+ medieval, to get Between Two Fires)
  • Stories that feature an expedition to a strange, faraway place (deep sea, mountaintop, space, etc.) that goes sideways for weird and ominous reasons (e.g., Ascension, The Luminous Dead, All the White Spaces, Our Wives Under the Sea)
  • Hard sell for me: anything that’s too meta/self-referential regarding horror movie franchises and popular tropes (e.g., a riff on the Final Girl trope, slashers)

Lastly, here are some specific things that light up my brain:

  • Smart, incisive, speculative Shakespeare retellings (especially if it’s Richard II or Richard III)
  • If you have Alien:CovenantEvent Horizon, or 1899 in book form, please send it to me!
  • Favorite tropes: secret/hidden identities, unreliable narrators, toxic found families / codependent friendships, body horror, time travel/time loops.
  • Subversion of gender essentialist magic systems / apocalyptic premises (“In this world only women can wield magic” or “What if all the men died?”)

Fun facts about me:

I was born and raised in Singapore; I’m an avid fan of figure skating; and I’m a certified Shakespeare nerd.

Submission Guidelines

I am only open to agented submissions.

Vital Info