Part of the process of being a writer building a science fiction tradition for the community has been trying to find ways to help a community imagine itself in the future. And frankly, this isn't quite easy. Even with some of our most talented artists, I've found the effort stymied by a tragic lack of imagination in many, and a question of egos with others that unfortunately undercuts much of their effectiveness getting their work out there.
That's why I'm happy to see the work of artists like Sayon Syprasoueth and Nor Sanavongsay who are consistently getting imaginative work out there in the Lao speculative tradition. But one of my side projects this year has also been commissioning concept art that will one day serve as inspiration and sparks for my students and proteges about the possible. Some have expressed concerns that I'm using many non-Lao artists to handle Lao subjects, but that's part of the process: That Lao artists can see how non-Lao do or don't get elements right when trying to present a topic.
But here are some of the fun results that have come in this month. Some original concepts, others inspired by classic science fiction scenes of the 20th century, but re-imagined. Some of the upcoing images comes from the development phase of my current Laomerica project, which postulates an alternate history where, instead of forming in North America, the United States had emerged in Southeast Asia instead with the 16 provinces rather than the 13 colonies.