Results tagged “writing” from Andy Best

2013 hiatus

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crop hk gaze
Oh it's that time again.

Oh shit time flies I don't wanna die Not so long ago, I took a break from the blog and other stuff in order to push through and get a first draft done of a novel. It was across the first half of 2011 and the book made it out at the end of the year.

My Shanghai-set novel on Amazon (cheap)

After a long period of fucking about on three new ideas, I've picked one and have to get on with it. The last one needed six months off the blog and most other net stuff, it was about 210 pages. This one is more than double that length and way more involved. 

I dunno, it/me is not important and we've got a bunch of other blogs and sites doing stuff now. But according to the stats we got up over 15 000 individual IPs a month ago, so if you are one of the people who has been reading: thanks very much. 

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Twelve

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom.

Vaughan's presence in their lives has invigorated Ballard's sex life with his wife Catherine. It has also triggered multi-layered psychological games.

In this short (four-page) chapter we see it in practice. Catherine takes Ballard's almost self-righteous obsession with Vaughan and first shows him that he is possessive over it. Then he realises she gets off on the fantasy herself ... but her pushing of him, and near goading of him to extrapolate on the admiration into homosexual attraction strikes a chord. He has thought about this and Catherine reaches another level of fantasy visualizing them. 

Ballard and Catherine are now willingly immersed. What we are waiting to see in the narrative is if this will lead them back into the physical and dangerous part of Vaughan's world. That is assuming that Ballard has ever been away from it since his first accident.

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Eleven

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom.

The landscape, inner and outer, is now set and the action, and the threat of action, begins in earnest. Ballard's surreal images and juxtapositions achieve deep resonance here. 

Ballard, the character, works at Shepperton Studios where Elizabeth Taylor is filming. He goes on set to find them prepping a car crash scene. There are two cars, the before and after. Taylor is made up in fake injuries. Meanwhile, Seagrave the damaged stunt driver sits a top the before-car in full drag, caked make up and fake breasts. Vaughan flanks him, camera in hand. Ballard tries to protest but is absorbed into the sinister entourage.

Almost as a punishment, Vaughan later drives recklessly around Ballard's wife Catherine on the highway. Ballard had been thinking over his mental image of Catherine, her purity, her impossible cleanliness. He entertains definite notions of post-crash superiority over her. But Vaughan's actions ignite her sexually and reveal to Ballard the impulses that are in all of us.

Continuing on from last post, I find this reading keeps bringing up memories. I'm sure this is a familiar story, although I'll avoid names or details. While I was at university, I casually knew a guy from another year. He was handsome and healthy, strong yet unimposing. He had an assured manner that made him instantly popular. He held the right amount of eye contact, was always friendly and yet none of it was forced or fake. He seemed supremely comfortable in society and an expert, natural player of its rules, as well as having many natural advantages. He exuded control but no one felt controlled. One summer we heard he'd crashed his car. 

It had all the features of the serious crash. Friends or relatives had died in the crash. He had an extended stay in hospital. His legs were severely broken and he was on a morphine drip for pain. His spleen had been removed. What I expected when he returned was a kind of nobility in the face of sadness, like a distant stereotyped World War One veteran. But, from my casual point of view, it was quite different. He seemed dangerous, unpredictable and reckless in a way. You couldn't expect a certain reaction at a certain time. But I think, and I've personally seen four of these cases in my life, that he ceased to exist in the conventions of society described before. Not a conscious rejection, the rules and conventions simply didn't exist anymore, they had been dispelled. 

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Ten / Interlude

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom.

I took a break from blogging Crash in order to read Ballard's autobiography, Miracles of Life. It had coincidentally arrived in the post as I finished chapter ten and got to the halfway mark. 

In Miracles, he talks about Crash and all the controversy around it and his pre-novel art installation of crashed cars. It was fascinating to me because it made me realise something. My reaction to this book is the opposite. I have spent the whole time nodding gentle approval and recognition internally. 

Ballard's world of car fetishization, sex and death, accidents and the advertised glossy lifestyle commercials of near religious fervor is one I am intimately familiar with.

Car adverts are just that, sexual and fetishized. And death and injury are all around. I have been in a crash, and my home area has the A41, a road famous for its roadside wreaths. I can recall many stories of sex in cars, of accidents, of friends on morphine drips with shattered legs, and of sperm on the plastic back seats. All the while, TV, magazines and leadership lead us by the nose into this landscape using unsubtle sexualized symbolism developed through actual psychology research. It is real and uncontroversial to me.

Now Ballard has entered Vaughan's inner circle and gazes at his own photo dossier. There is Seagrave the stunt driver and his wife Vera, Vaughan himself, Gabriel the young social worker crippled by her crash whose leg braces and wasted muscles show new sexual possibilities, there is now Helen ... and Ballard himself. The chapter ends when he stops short after Vaughan mentions Elizabeth Taylor and he realizes the extent of Vaughan's plans and how complicit he will be in the outcome.

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Nine

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom.

This pleasant domestic idyll, with its delightful promiscuities, was brought to an end by the reappearance of Robert Vaughan, nightmare angel of the expressways.
Let's recap a bit, because the story is about to plunge back into the spaces of the mind hinted at in chapter one.

James Ballard had his life transformed by a near fatal car crash in which another driver was killed and the man's wife, a doctor named Helen Remington, was injured. The transformation was internal and his perception has been altered. He is now alive to the  psychogeographical landscape of motorways, vehicles, concrete and airports - and the inevitable promise of fetishized death they bring.

Ballard and Helen has started an affair, reliving the accident through sexual encounters so powerful that arousal has ceased to function out of this context.

They now attend a stock car rally held by stunt car drivers working on the nearby Elizabeth Taylor movie at Shepperton. Part of the entertainment is a re-creation of a real crash which itself goes wrong creating a crash. The scene director was none other than Vaughan himself and Ballard and Helen help him take the injured driver to the hospital. All the set up, the characters, the ideas and the symbolism, are now coming together and paying off. Ballard sits in the car out front of the hospital and marvels at Vaughan's scarred body and confident manner. The real revelation comes at the close of the chapter, a shocking physical realization of Ballard's dreams and feelings about the crash.

In the lavatory of the casualty department I stood beside Vaughan at the urinal stalls. I looked down at his penis, wondering if this too was scarred. The glans, propped between his index and centre fingers, carried a sharp notch, like a canal for surplus semen or vinal mucus. What part of some crashing car had marked this penis, and in what marriage of his orgasm and a chromium instrument head? The terrifying excitements of this scar filled my mind as I followed Vaughan back to his car through the dispersing hospital visitors.

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Eight

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom.

The inquest for the original accident has now come and gone. Ballard has been cleared of all charges and accidental death has been returned. But the transformation in Ballard's thinking stays. He is now having regular car fetish sex with Helen Remington, who herself is taking a new job in the Road Research Laboratory.

Six hundred yards behind us the traffic waited on the raised deck of the motorway, the afternoon sunlight crossing the windows of the airline buses and cars. My hand moved around the outer curvature of Helen's thighs, feeling the open zip of her dress. As these razor-like links cut my knuckles I felt her teeth across my ear. The sharpness of these pains reminded me of the bite of the windshield glass during my crash.
Their encounter in this chapter is detailed, precise and very specific with both of them following a kind of ritual. Many juxtapositions and images flood his mind at the height of his ecstasy.

This small space was crowded with angular control surfaces and rounded sections of human bodies interacting in unfamiliar junctions, like the first act of homosexual intercourse inside an Apollo capsule.
Finally he notes that over many encounters, the transformation has become complete with both of them now fully associating sexual acts with cars, motorways and the accident. They try to have sex in Helen's house but she is distant and Ballard cannot get an erection. How much farther can this go? We move towards the midway point with the mysterious Vaughan waiting in the wings.

Procrastination spasms

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fishproc
Picture by Ren Hang

According to Wikipedia, Procrastination is: In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. 

While talking with my casual friend journalist Patrick Alleyn today, I said out loud one of my most perplexing habits. I imagine a quick check would find others who do it and even an official medical term. It's pretty weird though. 

He was quizzing me about the writing process for novels and I was telling him how I broke down the targets by word count and overall time into how many words per session I needed to reach. Like if you want 500 pages, at 250 words per page standard average, that's 125 000 words. So if you wrote four times a week and did 500 words a session ... you'd need a year and two months just to get a first draft in. The thought of that defeats me mentally before I even start trying. As does the idea that you realistically need to double up that output, at least.

We then talked over pre-planning and mapping the novel first, all that stuff, then he asked me what was the hardest part of writing and two things immediately came to mind. The first is that the hardest part for me is the ten seconds between sitting down to start typing proper prose in a draft and the moment I start to type. That is where hardcore procrastination attacks. I may have easily and enjoyably done a month of planning, inventing and preparing but those ten seconds are killer and I may find anything else to do.

The second thing is what I can only describe as procrastination spasms. I sit down, I look at the screen ... then, I stand up and walk off to another part of the flat - for no fucking reason. After a few seconds of walking, I realise that I'd had no reason to get up and walk away - it was a subconscious involuntary physical act. My subconscious actually takes over, stands me up and marches me off, hoping I'll bump into another task I presume. It's not the same as being in those ten seconds and thinking, wait, I'll just get a cup of tea before I start, then getting up - it's a physical spasm and it is not proceeded by identifying another task.

Weird.

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Seven

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom.

Now that Vaughan is haunting the margins of Ballard's post-crash life, things start to accelerate with immediate results.

James gets round to buying a new car and much to the horror of his wife and her companion it is exactly the same make and model as the one he crashed. He has even chosen all the same optional fittings down to custom wing mirrors. Relieved of most of his work duties due to his fragile temperament, Ballard drives the new car down to ... ... the yard where the wreck of the old one is impounded.

Here's the clincher, while he is examining the wreck, who should come along but Helen Remington, the other crash survivor and widow of the man killed in their accident. Ballard can't believe it, but it seems she has been going through the same experiences as he has. He offers to drive her to her office by the airport and things really kick off to the next level.

First they are stuck in heavy traffic and the atmosphere is tense and surreal:

'Do you want a cigarette?' Her strong fingers tore away the cellophane. 'I started to smoke at Ashford - it's rather stupid of me.'
'Look at all this traffic - I need every sedative I can get my hands on.'
'It's much worse now - you noticed that did you? The day I left Ashford I had the extraordinary feeling that all these cars were gathering for some special reason I didn't understand. There seemed to be ten times as much traffic.'
'Are we imagining it?'
She pointed to the interior of the car with her cigarette. 'You've bought yourself exactly the same car again. It's the same shape and colour.'
And then ... ... yes, he drives them to the exact spot of the crash and piles down the off ramp at full speed, losing control, bouncing off the centre island and careening out of control through the traffic circle at the bottom. Miraculously, all the other cars swerve out of the way. During this, his erect penis rubs up against the steering wheel and he cums in his pants. 

Helen doesn't mind. She has her hand on his shoulder and they drive off into the night, drifting through the featureless new housing estates, coming down from their sexual experience. 

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Six

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom

Ballard, it has been established, works for a TV studio that makes commercials. He uses their regular car rental service to try out all kinds of cars now. Then he drives around the various highways of the airport zone, taking in the flyovers, bland hotels, 24 hour supermarkets, traffic islands and new apartments. The cars seem alive to him with the previous drivers.

Like the other cars I had hired, this one was covered with scratches and heel marks, cigarette burns and scuffings, translated through the glamorous dimension of Detroit design. On the pink vinyl seat was a deep tear large enough to take a flagstaff or, conceivably, a penis.
Driving about the surreal artificial landscape by night, and experiencing the traffic around his crash site, proves too much. Ballard picks up an airport prostitute - who waits on a traffic island of all places - and takes her to the deserted open roof of a multi-storey carpark.

His blowjob is suddenly interrupted by a flash of light and then a noise and commotion below. An airport bus has rear-ended a taxi and the bloodied driver is being pulled out by the light of police headlamps. But Ballard turns to see the original flash was in fact from a camera. Vaughan has been stalking him again. This time he recognizes him as the famous TV scientist.

As he reached the balcony his face was lit by the headlamps of the police car. I realized that I had seen his pock-marked face many times before, projected from a dozen forgotten television programmes and news magazine profiles - this was Vaughan, Dr Robert Vaughan, a one-time computer specialist. As one of the first of the new-style TV scientists, Vaughan had combined a high degree of personal glamour - heavy black hair over a scarred face, an American combat jacket - with an aggressive lecture theatre manner and complete conviction in his subject matter, the application of computerized techniques to the control of all traffic systems. In the first programmes of his series three years earlier Vaughan had projected a potent image, almost that of the scientist as hoodlum.
Now it is Ballard's turn to follow him deeper down the rabbit hole.

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Five

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom

The chapter starts with Ballard home after his discharge from hospital and ends with him driving again for the first time. He has become hyper-aware of psychogeography. He sits on the veranda of his house contemplating the motorway, the flyovers and the airport.

I realised that the human inhabitants of this technological landscape no longer provided its sharpest pointers, its keys to the borderzones of identity. The amiable saunter of Francis Waring, bored wife of my partner, through the turnstiles of the local supermarket, the domestic wrangles of our well to do neighbours in our apartment house, all the hopes and fantasies of this placid suburban enclave, drenched in a thousand infidelities, faltered before the solid reality of the motorway embankments, with their constant and unswerving geometry, and before the finite areas of the car-park aprons.
He returns to his office and orders a rental car. After a brief and distracting meeting he takes his coworker Renata out for a drive. They clearly have had regular sexual encounters in the past. This time he drives back to the site of his accident, parks and starts to initiate the sex. Someone has been following them and taking photos. It is Vaughan.

At my feet lay a litter of dead leaves, cigarette cartons and glass crystals. These fragments of broken safety glass, brushed to one side by generations of ambulance attendants, lay in a small drift. I stared down at this dusty necklace, the debris of a thousand automobile accidents. Within fifty years, as more and more cars collided here, the glass fragments would form a sizable bar, within thirty years a beach of sharp crystal. A new race of beachcombers might appear, squatting on these heaps of fractured windshields, sifting them for cigarette butts, spent condoms and loose coins. Buried beneath this new geological layer laid down by the age of the automobile accident would be my own small death, as anonymous as a vitrified scar on a fossil tree.
Cometh the autogeddon.

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Four

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom.

Spurred into action by his first erection since the crash, James starts to get focused and active about recovery and by the end of the chapter he has left the hospital.

His mental awakening continues.

The crash was the only real experience I had been through for years. For the first time I was in physical confrontation with my own body, an inexhaustible encyclopedia of pains and discharges, with the hostile gaze of other people, and with the fact of the dead man. After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.
As he makes himself useful around the hospital he sees who we assume is Vaughan. A youngish looking man in a white doctor's coat going around the building confidently, consulting with staff and patients alike. There are some tell-tale details: he is bare chested under the coat, his face is criss-crossed with scar tissue and he carries a briefcase of photographs. Ballard imagines he is pedaling pornographic x-rays, or maybe he is one of the new doctors who is fashionably aggressive to his patients.

James briefly meets the widowed Helen Remington, whose husband was killed in the crash, and, of course, fantasizes about her. Finally, the saga of the erectile awakening closes when Catherine, his wife, masturbates him in the ward.

Did Catherine respond to the image of these which had been caught, like a photographic plate or a still from a newsreel, in the dark bruises of my body and the physical outline of the steering wheel? In my left knee the scars above my fractured patella exactly replicated the protruding switches of the windshield wipers and parking lights. As I moved towards my orgasm she began to soap her hand every ten seconds, her cigarette forgotten, concentrating her attention on this orifice of my body like the nurses who attended me in the first hours after my accident.

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Three

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom.

Now James Ballard is recovering in a hospital ward next to the airport. In a wonderful turn of detail, it is a special ward kept open for the survivors of airplane crashes and he is the only resident. 

Every detail is filtered through the juxtaposition of sexuality and death, violence ... the crash. We also meet his wife Catherine and learn about their complex sexual and emotional relationship. In another satisfying Ballardian turn, we discover that James works in television commercials. This is also how he comes across Elizabeth Taylor.

Ballard is mesmerized by the new landscape of his body. His injuries map out both the physical interior of the car, the action of the crash and the symbolic meaning of the event. Even what he thought of as the complex, perverse and dark games he played with his wife pale before his new reality. After musing on dreams where her breasts shoot out faecal matter, he finds all other matters to be trivial and annoying.

I stared pointedly at the clock over the door, hoping that she would soon leave. This bogus commiseration over the dead man irritated me, merely an excuse for an exercise in moral gymnastics. The brusqueness of the young nurses was part of the same pantomime of regret. I had thought for hours about the dead man, visualising the effects of his death on his wife and family. I had thought of his last moments alive, frantic milliseconds of pain and violence in which he had been catapulted from a pleasant domestic interlude into a concertina of metalized death. These feeling existed within my relationship with the dead man, within the reality of the wounds on my chest and legs, and within the unforgettable collision between my own body and the interior of my car. By comparison, Catherine's mock grief was a mere stylization of a gesture - I waited for her to break into song, tap her forehead, touch every second temperature chart around the ward, switch on every fourth set of radio headphones.
Finally, he is spurred into recovery and motivation by the rumbling of his first erection since the accident.

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter Two

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom.

I think my psyche is bruising.

I began to understand the real excitements of the car crash after my first meeting with Vaughan. Propelled on a pair of scarred and uneven legs repeatedly injured in one or other vehicle collision, the harsh and unsettling figure of this hoodlum scientist came into my life at a time when his obsessions were self-evidently those of a madman.
Chapter two is taken up wholly by James Ballard describing a car accident he had in great detail. 

He skids in the rain, blows out a tyre and then goes hurtling the wrong way up an off-ramp at sixty miles per hour. He hits the third oncoming car head on. The other driver is thrown through the windshield and half through Ballard's too - and killed, splattering Ballard with blood. Ballard and the other man's wife are partially injured and left staring at each other.

As he witnesses the bizarre ritual of the crowds and the rescue, in a daze, he can't help but focus on details such as the woman's thighs and the fact she is involuntarily urinating. His mind muses that the ambulance man could take out his penis and jam it into his bloody armpit and it wouldn't seem out of place in this headlight soaked surreal scene.

I sat there, dressed in another man's blood while the urine of his young widow formed rainbows around my rescuers' feet. By this same nightmare logic the firemen racing towards the burning wrecks of crashed airliners might trace obscene or humorous slogans on the scalding concrete with their carbon dioxide sprays, executioners could dress their victims in grotesque costumes. In return, victims would stylize the entrances to their deaths with ironic gestures ...
Ballard has seen the horrific and surreal inside of the crash and he won't look upon the world the same way again. 

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Chapter One

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crashcoverTo access the whole series of posts just click on the tag crash at the bottom.

Where can I begin? Chapter one introduces Vaughan and his obsession with the intersection of sexual pleasure and car crashes. Every paragraph is brutal poetry and every sentence burrowed its way into my mind. It is even more explicit than the hyperbolic reports suggest.

the retired prostitute crashing into a concrete motorway parapet, her overweight body propelled through the fractured windshield, menopausal loins torn on the chromium bonnet mascot.
Vaughan and Ballard cruise the highways around London Airport at night photographing accidents, imbibing all the details. Then Vaughan walks erect around his apartment going over over the videos and photos as he imagines and creates myriad violent and sexual possibilities. It is only when recounting the details of his planned death with Taylor that Vaughan can achieve calm.

Vaughan was obsessed by many wounds and impacts - by the dying chromium and collapsing bulkheads of their two cars meeting head-on in complex collisions endlessly repeated in slow motion films, by the identical wounds inflicted on their bodies, by the image of windshield glass frosting around her face as she broke its tinted surface like a death-born Aphrodite, by the compound fractures of their thighs impacted against their handbrake mountings and above all by the wounds to their genitalia, her uterus pierced by the heraldic beak of the manufacturer's medallion, his semen emptying across the luminescent dials that registered for ever the last temperature and fuel levels of the engine.
Hail, the dark poet of the autogeddon.

By the way, you may want to do a brief check into the stats for car accidents, injuries and deaths in countries like the U.K. and the U.S.A. to remind yourself how it is basically a 'fact of life.'

Liveblogging Ballard's Crash Intro

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Crash is J. G. Ballard's landmark novel published in 1973. In it, he looks at our worship of technology through the sexual fetishisation of cars. He does this brutally and without flinching, combining sexual fetish with death and injury in car accidents. 

The result is to uncover some harsh truths about ourselves and our deep psychology and to get at the often absurd and destructive meanings in our society. It famously led one reader at his publisher to note "This author is beyond psychiatric help. Do Not Publish!"

I'm going to push out a post after every chapter. There's 24 chapters. This is the intro so lets start at the beginning:

Vaughan died yesterday in his last car crash. During our friendship he had rehearsed his death in many crashes, but this was his only true accident. Driven on a collision course towards the limousine of the film actress, his car jumped the rails of the London Airport flyover and plunged through the roof of a bus filled with airline passengers. The crushed bodies of package tourists, like a haemorrhage of the sun, still lay across the vinyl seats when I pushed my way through the police engineers an hour later. Holding the arm of her chauffeur, the film actress Elizabeth Taylor, with whom Vaughan had dreamed of dying for so many months, stood alone under the revolving ambulance lights. As I knelt over Vaughan's body she placed a gloved hand to her throat.
The narrator, a fictionalized version of the author called James Ballard is going to recount his friendship with Vaughan, whose ultimate fantasy was to die in a head on car crash with Elizabeth Taylor. See you after chapter one.

Robert Westall's Futuretrack5

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Robert Westall was a British author most famous for his story The Machine Gunners. I knew his name after seeing the BBC adaptation of that book on T.V. That was in 1983. To quote the Wiki entry, "Many of his novels aimed at a teenage audience deal with complex, dark and adult themes." Futuretrack 5 was published the same year, I probably came across it a year or two after that, when I was around thirteen or fourteen. 

Despite being a teenager, I consciously avoided what is now known as YA or Young Adult fiction. I found the whole concept insulting. I was getting to grips with Elric of Melnibone and Nancy Drew didn't bear well by comparison. But I was browsing my local library in Neston, Wirral, one day and Futuretrack 5 caught my eye as I was ironically scanning the YA section and feeling all pompous and superior.

What I found was a thoughtful and bleak dystopian vision that pulled no punches and asked more questions than it answered. And, as with all the classics of the genre, no matter how some parts get dated the key concepts are icily familiar today. Strange that I should revisit it it now, the action is dated by the hospital death certificate of dystopia architect Charles Scott-Asbury - 26th September 2012 - who they "had missed him by four days."

The story follows Henry Kitson a young British lad coming out of the education system at twenty. To his knowledge, the country is split into two parts now, the unnems and the ests. The unnems are an underclass who live in large city-based fenced ghettos and are placated by entertainment complexes called Futuretracks that naturally attract then destroy leader types. The ests are a perpetual yuppie class enjoying the best of everything. The problem is that the ests breed too fast in their prosperity so come exam day, any students failing the tough tests are sent 'behind the wire' to the ghettos, on that very day.

I'm in Shanghai Talk this month

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parkour girl detail
Pic: Parkour Girl detail. From my novel Parkour Girl and Yellow Fish Car.

Shanghai Talk magazine have a 'summer reads' feature this month. They selected four authors to give their advice on what to read in Shanghai when the heat drives you inside ... and also let them plug their own books.

Editor Kerry Allen was nice enough to include me as one of the four authors.

If you can find the print version it looks great and is very well laid out. For the basic text and photo version, it can be found online here:


I give shout outs to 2000 A.D. and J.G. Ballard. Lets face it, either Shanghai or Guangzhou is going to be Mega City in the not too distant future.

My novel reviewed at China Rhyming

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book amazon.jpgMy novel Parkour Girl And Yellow Fish Car is starting to spread around a bit.

If you've not checked it out go to the lovely professional standalone site for it here if only for a quick peek.

Enter an underground world of Chinese vigilantes and heroes.

It has just been reviewed over at the blog China Rhyming which is written by Paul French. Paul is a prolific and respected author, especially on all things China, and his latest book is Midnight In Peking. 

Go here to find a list of his stuff.

Dissident Voice article

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dissident voiceJust a quick post to link to some writing I did which is now running at Dissident Voice. A quick warning - it's political. Maybe you guessed that from the Dissident.

Here is the article.

And here is a sample:

 

Whether life is imitating art or art is imitating life, mainstream society is in pretty bad shape right now. I am a self-confessed movie addict and 'nerd' and recently watched three movies that culturally literate society, and the media, have been very excited about: 300, Wanted, and The Dark Knight. What shocked me more than the movies themselves was the almost complete lack of outrage from the majority of people who saw those movies.

Back to blogging

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Me and Cam are not far away from starting our Web 2.0 Kung Fu magazine and we have this nice software in our new space (Movable Type 4). So, I have a personal blog again. Well, I stopped the last one because I was too busy to actively market it and Facebook is fine for social stuff.

For those of you who don't know me I'm from Liverpool UK, I graduated in drama and have worked the first ten years of my career in writing and education. I will stick up an about page soon. I am based in Shanghai and get up to all kinds of stuff.

This post is mainly for me to start of the site widgets so I can have a think about them.

Tarra for now.

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