Book Review: Melayu dari Marikh [Malay From Mars]

July 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

Title: Melayu dari Marikh | Author: Raja Faisal
Series: Short Stories Compilation Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Paperback | Date Finished: July 15, 2014
Rating: 3 Cups of Coffee

“Perception is not just three dimensions, because the fourth dimension is imagination

A man and his robot dog fight with life, when a mysterious footprints haunt an office in the middle of the night. When two species face on the battlefield, a knight fulfill its sacred mission at sunset in Kuala Lumpur and an accompanying Jerangkung key adventures of three companions to planet Earth. – Translated from Backcover

My Review

Light and imaginative reading. Melayu dari Marikh (Malay from Mars) is a compilation of 8 short stories; @Seramsial, Arnab dan Kura-kura (the Hare and the Tortoise), Kunci Jerangkung (Jerangkung’s Key), Hari-hari Terakhir Seorang Superhero  (The Last Days of a Superhero), Aku dan Robot Anjing Bernama Marty (The Robo-Dog, Marty and I), Izaq, Sepetang di Kuala Lumpur (An Evening in Kuala Lumpur), and Malam Pertama (The First Night) with brilliantly written prologue: Sekapur Sireh  and epilogue: Selamat Hari Jadi (Happy Birthday) by local sci-fi author Raja Faisal.

Raja Faisal, for me, is a writer with so much ideas to give to the readers. I think it’s brilliant of him to write science fiction which have the elements of Malaysian custom and culture. This book is not only for you to have fun and being imaginative, but the subject matter, for example the relationship between different races in Malay from Mars, and The hare and The Tortoise brings the reader  to think about what it’s mean to live within a multiracial country like Malaysia. In this anthology, there are a few good story with so much moral stories but there are also a few stories which are hard to decipher the hidden meaning the author would like to tell the reader.

In regard to the author’s inventive ideas, I have to give much credits to Raja Faisal for his fresh and imaginative ideas. However, his language style is just so inappropriate (instead of horrible). He used broken language, slang, wrong vocabularies, and a lot of street language which some people might think that this kind of thing shouldn’t be used in Malay creative writing. I have to admit that in Malaysian society nowadays this kind of language is more close to them because they use it in their daily life, so maybe in order to approach the readers, Raja Faisal uses this kind of language for his writing. However, in my humble opinion, even though it is a creative writing, this kind of approach should not be implemented since it gives the impression that our language is degenerating.

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