Update, May 29 (yes, this is long overdue)

I didn’t realize how much time had passed since the last update to this blog. Mostly this was to do with needing to finish my PhD, which I did — a year ago. I suppose the interval since then has been about recuperation. The PhD was an intense experience, not least because I did it part-time in less than three years while holding down a full-time teaching job on the other side of the planet. So there’s that. Where writing and publishing are concerned, here’s what’s new: I have been shopping my novel Inhospitable to select literary agents and presses. There have been nibbles, but there’s no news on that front just yet. Although I can and will publish it via Signal 8 Press if no other opportunities come along, I’d prefer for...

“Too Much Light Makes the Day Go Blind”

Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction has accepted my short story “Too Much Light Makes the Day Go Blind” for its upcoming issue 51, which should be out in April or thereabouts.  I haven’t done much with my short fiction in the last few years (I wrote a few stories, including this one, when I finished the first draft of Murder in the Cabaret Sauvignon, but haven’t shopped them around much), so this is kind of cool, and I like what these guys are doing with the ‘zine.

$2.99

My backlist books (which is to say, all of them at the moment) are now all priced at US$2.99 each.  This includes Bitter Orange but not The Queen of Statue Square, as I have no control over the latter.  In case there’s something of mine you’ve been wanting to read, now’s your chance. CCCP, the publisher of The Queen of Statue Square, is in the process of reissuing the e-book.  Look for that to become available again in another couple/few weeks.  I do not yet know what the price will be but will post a link to it once it goes live. There’s not much else writing-related to report.  My beta readers are still reading Murder in the Cabaret Sauvignon; two have gotten back to me, and I’m waiting to hear from three more.  The comments from...

#JeSuisCharlie

I have this bad habit of checking my email and taking a spin through Facebook (even Twitter sometimes, unless I really have to pee) when I wake up first thing in the morning, before I get out of bed. Waking up to the news of the vile tragedy in Paris… was not what I would call the ideal start to my day, and seeing vaguely Islamophobic comments like “most Muslims tacitly approve of such things” from people who ought to know better made me want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. (In fact, that is exactly what I did.) In general, I struggle with religion. Like many Americans, I was brought up in a church-going family, but we stopped around the time I started middle school. My parents, to their credit, decided Sunday drives would be more meaningful,...

Hong Kong: Aftermath of the Umbrella Revolution protests

So, the aftermath of the Umbrella Revolution protests (not the whole movement itself, just the beginning stages) is upon us. I didn’t comment earlier because I wanted to wait and see what was going to happen. Now it seems clear that there are indeed going to be repercussions, some of which could be ugly. There have already been a number of articles about surveillance: calls being intercepted and eavesdropped upon, people being followed, and so on. The received wisdom is that Beijing is snooping, gathering intel to use against key figures in the protests. This is worrisome, of course, especially in light of the Sony email hack (which despite the implications for free speech, I have to admit I’m enjoying — it’s rather fun to see a...