Brief post


Had a lazy weekend, which involved much writing, eating Russian food (thanks to a friend who made us discover borscht, dressed herring, pierogi, and grilled pork), and of course Vietnamese food (a rather copious shrimp curry, thanks to my grandma).

Entering my second-to-last week of the job; also, entering French summer, which means everything suddenly is going very slowly, and people are unavailable… (frustrating). On the plus side, this week is the annual picnic of the department; I volunteered for salad. I hesitate to make bò bún, but I think I’ll go for a more classical French or Italian dish, if only because leftovers are more easily recycled.

In other, more exciting news, slowly filling in the holes on the novella, and answering a couple questions about the French translation of Harbinger of the Storm. The new novel project is going to be, er, an old one, ie revising Foreign Ghosts [2] before it is sent out. (with a side order of brainstorming sequels).

*rolls up sleeves*

[1] Apologies for the inevitable spelling/usage mistakes: I’m doing my best to retranscribe from Cyrillic, but Russian is nowhere near my native language…
[2] Foreign Ghosts is the Xuya novel. In the words of the blurb I wrote a couple years ago:

The year is 2009–but the world is profoundly different. China’s discovery of America before Columbus has given rise to a West Coast ruled by Xuya, the former Chinese colony. Now, instead of San Francisco, the bustling metropolis of Fenliu is Xuya’s second-largest city, where Irish-Americans walk side by side with Aztec warrior-spies, and the vermillion-painted houses of Xuyan gentlemen-scholars contrast with the grime of Inca clan-compounds. Transportation is done by aircars and maglev trains; and technologies such as network sockets, communicators and weapons are routinely implanted into human bodies.

In this bewilderingly foreign world, PI Jonathan Brooks is desperately looking for a way to fit in. His latest gamble was to rent a flat in one of the posher Xuyan areas of town–but it backfired with the flat turned out to contain a cache of illegally imported mummies. Expropriated and considered a suspect, Brooks must discover the truth and clear his name before he is arrested and tortured.

But Brooks’ hurried and careless investigation may have unintended consequences: Fenliu is a city of many cultures, perpetually poised on the cusp of dislocation, and the racial riots of five years ago need only the flimsiest of excuses to flare up again…


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