In 1997, Tunku Halim published two books simultaneously, a collection of short stories and a debut novel:
The Rape of Martha Teoh & Other Chilling Stories (1997) & Dark Demon Rising (1997).
He had started his collection of scary short stories five years before.
One story, called "The Inheritance", grew into the novel. It was inspired by KM Endicott's book entitled An Analysis of Malay Magic (1970).
Dark Demon Rising was nominated for the 1999 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. It was also analysed by University of Sterling Professor Glennis Byron in her essay "'When Meaning Collapses': Tunku Halim's Dark Demon Rising as Global Gothic" in Asian Gothic (edited by Andrew Hock Song Ng, 2008)
A short story from the collection, "Biggest Baddest Bomoh", was republished in Malaysia Airlines's magazine Going Places (1999) and in an anthology The Apex Book of World SF (edited by Lavie Tidhar, 2009)
Tunku Halim's second collection of short stories included the The Fellowship of Australian Writers prize-winning and surprisingly mainstream story "This Page is Left Intentionally Blank".
BloodHaze: 15 Chilling Tales (1999)
This was followed a year later by a second novel :
Vermillion Eye (2000)
The book was used as a study text in the Language and Literature course at The National University of Singapore and was analysed as a "masterpiece" in the NUS's Professor John Phillips in his essay "Torn Pieces: A New Aesthetic of Trash" in Postmodern Singapore (edited by William SW Lim, 2002).
Malaysia's national newspaper, unknowingly, gave the novel a huge compliment:
“... one of the most unpleasant books I have read in many years.”
New Straits Times
In 2001, he published a third collection of stories:
The Woman Who Grew Horns and Other Works (2001)
The collection, for the first time, included a play; a short one entitled "Pig Heart" which has yet to find its way on stage. "I wanted these stories to be longer, so that they could have a better resonance," says Tunku Halim. "I also wanted to create some connection between the stories. Most of these tales were a deliberate move away from horror".
A twin-volume retrospective of Tunku Halim's short stories was later published:
44 Cemetery Road (2007) and Gravedigger's Kiss (2007)
Both volumes included several new stories. One entitled "Hawker Man" found its way into the anthology Dark City 2.
A 20,000 word story from The Woman Who Grew Horns and Other Works was republished as a novella:
Juriah's Song (2008)
He then spent five years working on his novel, Last Breath, and whilst looking for a publisher wrote a collection of seven short stories called 7 Days to Midnight.
7 Days to Midnight (2013)
Two of the tales were previously published in Exotic Gothic 3 (Ash-Tree Press, Canada 2009) and Exotic Gothic 4 (PS Publishing, UK, 2012), both edited by Daniel Olson.
Tunku Halim was then approached by Fixi Novo to republish "a mid-career retrospective" of his short stories "over 15 years in the making". Surprisingly, the collection has become Tunku Halim's best-sellling book.
Horror Stories (2013)
His latest novel, Last Breath could be seen as change of direction in his writing. It is described as serving "alternate history, magic realism and gothic spooks with a healthy dollop of satire". But the author says that "the elements of what I'd previously written are fundamentally the same, they have just been extrapolated".
Last Breath (2014)
Tunku Halim has also published in various magazines including Men's Review, Commentary, Going Places, Pop Club and Quill.
He has also written several non fiction books