Pre-orders for The Apex Book of World SF 3

Making this a quick one because I just got back from Japan –

oil noodles

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…and have the dayjob’s work in front of me, and Karen’s staying over this weekend. 😉

Anyway, the pre-order (and deals!) page for The Apex Book of World SF 3 in print and ebook format is here, and editor Lavie Tidhar’s own announcement in his website here. Apex will be running special features and promotions in the next month, so that’s something to keep an eye on!

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Happy New Year and Writing News!!

Writing news first!!

1. My story “Heartland” is now live on Abyss & Apex!! Many thanks to editors Wendy Delmater for having faith in it and Carmelo Rafala for putting it up! I’m particularly fond of this short story because it took 5 years of revisions and rejections from other magazines before A&A bought it!

2. Roberto Mendes from Portugal-based International SF has approached me asking if I would let them reprint “The Man on the Moon,” the story I have in The Dragon and the Stars! I’m very excited, considering that International SF has been publishing some big SF names, it has Ellen Datlow and Paul di Filippo in its consultant panel, it’s got good words from Gardner Dozois, and Locus Mag is doing a piece on them soon. And look at the pretty covers!

3. Thursday Never Looking Back, which includes my story “What’s as Inexorable as an Ice Cream Meteorite Approaching Earth”, is now available on Amazon!!

And round about New Year, I was in Taipei with my family watching the Taipei 101 burst into fireworks, like so. Happy 2013!!

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The Kai Tak Heart Attack

This is a very iconic photograph of Hong Kong found in many souvenir shops and books; a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-367 descending into the middle of Kowloon City to land on the old Kai Tak airport right below. Kowloon City is surrounded on three sides by mountains, on one by the South China Sea, AND ON EVERY SIDE BY APARTMENTS, and planes had to go very low over the rooftops before a dramatic last-minute turn to align themselves with the runway. Landing there used to be called the Kai Tak Heart Attack.

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Kai Tak closed on July 1998 (and Hong Kong International Airport moved to Chek Lap Kok, where it is now and where landings are much less thrilling). The photograph was taken by Daryl Chapman just weeks before the old airport closed. I have very vague memories of what it felt to be on a plane landing there when I was much younger (I do remember that the experience of landing on Hong Kong used to be much more scenic than it is now. Now it’s just…water, water, water, bump, oh we’re here. No more peeking into people’s apartments to see what they’re watching on TV).

Anyway, since it’s my sixth year now of living in Hong Kong, I thought it was high time that I bought an original 12″ x 15″ photo print of it. Which I did this afternoon. It’s a great reminder of how I’ve never had a single moment of boredom in Hong Kong.

I’m leaving here a video of a Malaysia Airlines 747 doing a Kai Tak Heart Attack from back when. LOOK AT THAT EFFING TURN AT 0:33 and how the plane straightens itself immediately and slips into the middle of town like it’s no big deal. Terrifying.

Clockenflap Music Festival 2012

Sooo….Clockenflap 2012!

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(Photo by Ricko)

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clockenflap

(Photo by Ricko)

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This year’s was held at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade, close to Elements. I went with Ricko, my Indonesian friend from Beijing who’s here in Hong Kong looking for a job, to the December 1 event, 12-pm – 10pm, 390 HKD per head. We got there at 2pm after lunch at Stormies at the Civic Square terrace (fancy!) in Elements. Weather wasn’t at its best; I was pointing out to Ricko the Ozone bar on the 118th floor of the ICC but the top of the building was totally covered by fog.

Anyway, Clockenflap! where coupons were currency.

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(Photo by Ricko)

Luckily it wasn’t too crowded then and we could get pretty close to the stages during all the performances. Sets were half an hour each.

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Stuart Lennon and Marie Witt. Acoustic rock. (Photo by Ricko)

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The Sleeves. Arcade rock (at least that’s what they call it). (Photo by Ricko)

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Buskers playing gypsy music.

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Bella Elektra. Jazz hip hop. (Really enjoyed this one.)

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Poubelle International. Indie rock. (Photo by Ricko)

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Tom Read / The Vine Band. Christian rock (though the stuff they played there were more pop).

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OK. I did not expect to see Sandwich here!!! Sandwich is a rock band from Manila / home. They were given a great introduction from one of the event organizers and they played an AWESOME, AWESOME set. They were a huge hit and got the crowd totally worked up. (“I just wanna go to the beach!” “SUNBURN!” is now stuck in my head.) More Sandwiches!

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Shamus Dark and Eugene Pao. Noir jazz, that’s the best I can put it. (Photo by Ricko)

Ricko and I left around 5:30pm, though the party and the crowds were only really starting by then, but we were pretty tired. I got my Clockenflap T-shirt and the Hungry Ghosts EP and had a good, decadent dinner at Spaghetti House back in Jordan.

Til next year!

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Recording session photos!

In the cold and drizzle of last Sunday, my friend Cyrus (vocals, rhythm guitar, bass), Candice (keyboards), James (cajon drum, backing vocals) and I (lead guitar) were recording at Koya Hisakazu’s studio in Sheung Wan! A lot of of local bands (even Beyond) have had their albums recorded and mixed by Koya and it was a fantastic learning (and adrenalinic) experience for me. Cyrus wants to release an EP next year and he invited me to play lead for one of his songs, “Never Too Late”, and hopefully we can collaborate more in the future. Last Sunday we put down the guide track and got my and James’ tracks down as well. Pics of me and James! Cyrus and Candice will be finishing their tracks one of these weeks.

Here’s an interview with Koya Hisakazu in HK Magazine and a vid below of Cyrus at Backstage Bar playing bass and doing backing vocals. I’m totally looking forward to doing more of this.

How I Spent My Mid-autumn Festival

Summary: stuffing my face.

Friday after work, Daisy and Stan and I headed to Tsim Sha Tsui for dinner at Applegreen (I totally recommend their grilled sausage platter and their mushroom spaghetti), drinks at the usual 8 Fine Irishmen, then dessert at Sweet Tooth, a new breakfast and dessert place in Carnarvon Road, which had the poster below and which made me grin because I have it in my flat too (also, a killer mango cheung fun).

From Holstee

Saturday, I lazed around the flat (the most productive thing I did was take out the trash) and watched Magic Mike with my friend Melissa. Yes, I am going to put the poster up here because it was a very entertaining movie. Yes, I am totally going there.

From ImpAwards

Sunday, the actual festival day, we had hotpot at Theresa’s flat and the following happened:

Monday (public holiday because of National Day!) Nell was here from Manila, and we went to Mui Kee to continue the stuffing of faces with shrimp deep fried in salted egg,  lamb pot, and eggplant and minced pork, then a return trip to Sweet Tooth. Then we spent the rest of the day in Gabe and Haruka’s house and played with baby Ren, and now I smell like a baby.

Tomorrow (still a public holiday!), I’m joining a band session in Wan Chai with some friends who want to do a recording or two, then Ted with Melissa and Joyce.

Then it’s back to work. asdlkjasdjhkajsd. Unreal concept after a long weekend like this.

Wedding Pics! (In which everyone is gorgeous!)

Two months late but it always takes a while for the pictures to come in.

May 6, 2012! Stan and Daisy at the Hebe Yacht Club near Sai Kung! The gang and I were sort of the errands people for the event!

Manning the reception table. Is it hot in here? YOU BET IT IS.
Photo by T

Staking seats before most of the guests arrived. Took me 12 hours to get that red packet to Daisy.
Photo by Anna Yeung

Mid-reception but not half as boozed up yet! L to R: T, Dickson, Annie, me!
Photo by Anna Yeung

We realized only later that we never got proper photos with Stan and Daisy; too much running around!
Photo by Anna Yeung

Daisy’s dress is AMAZING. As much as that ventilation duct is not.
Photo by Anna Yeung

Didn’t get the memo this was supposed to be pucker-up shot, sorry!

T and I playing bodyguards to Annie’s playboy bunny.
By the way, that whip is still in our office cubicle.

Lost in Tai Long Wan

So I was wrong in thinking that my last misadventure in hiking (i.e. lost in the dark with no flashlight, no food, hills away from the nearest road) would be the one that had involved Nell and Lion Rock and all-around silliness five years ago.

Tai Long Wan feeds into the MacLehose Trail, from which people get airlifted out all the time, as we found out much too late afterwards. (25/03/2012)

The best beach in Hong Kong, Tai Long Wan. Inaccessible by road.

If you're ever going to be lost hiking, let it be with these people and the one holding the camera. It's that kind of smiling that leads to silliness.

Because when it gets dark and ABSOLUTELY NO ONE HAS A FLASHLIGHT, you want to be with people who don't get cranky when they're cold, hungry, and HOLDMEI'MABOUTTOPASSOUT tired. I'm still impressed by the fact that no one hit someone else with a rock.