Aspiring science fiction author Kushairi Zuradi got tired of publishers telling him that there was no market for science fiction in Malaysia. So the medical-school grad started his own publishing company, Simptomatik Press.

Not only did Kushairi publish his own book of stories about micro-organisms, called Biohazard (pictured above), but he also started publishing books by other local authors. He’s published four books thus far, with a fifth coming soon, and he sees this venture as part of increasing scientific literacy in Malaysia: “I want to increase the science knowledge among Malaysians. I believe once they show interest in science, they will pick up Malay science fiction novels to read. That way, we will see a growth in the Malay science ­fiction readership, he tells The Sun Daily.

And Kushairi wants to start another publishing company to put out books of science non-fiction. “I have a dream where ­Malaysia will one day host a ­science fiction literature ­festival.”

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