Space invaders

Space invaders (2019)

See ‘Bonus video,’ below, for the video version.

Soft drinks giant PepsiCo has consulted with a Russian space startup offering brands the chance to project their logos into the night skies via low-orbit satellites.

                              “Pepsi considers space billboards to project logo across night sky using satellites

                                          (The Independent)

No problem, eh? Just part of a global campaign to erode our private spaces and our private choices to vanishing point. More and more, without … Read more

One born every minute: Wherein Melrose rips Bangkok right off

Bangkok currently lies enshrouded in a great cloud of fine particulate matter. Hey, but listen to what an Andromedan named Melrose had to say about pollution back in the 1990s, back in the days of leaded gas and black-belching city buses. Chacun à son gout, eh? The following originally appeared in the Bangkok Post Sunday section, and was later collected in Bangkok Old Hand (Bangkok: Post Books, 1993).

One born every minute

As most of you already know, the … Read more

Mai pen rai (after all, mere humans could never change the climate)

Are you a Bangkok Old Hand?

bkk old hand coverTry this selection from the quiz, first published in 1993:

In which of the following situations would it be appropriate to use the common Thai expression mai pen rai (“never mind; no problem”)?

(a) A guest spills a little water on your coffee table.

(b) A waiter accidently dumps your beer into your lap.

(c) You go downstairs one morning in the rainy season and find that those of your possessions that float are

Read more

*Bangkok Noir*, French edition

A French edition of Bangkok Noir is due out from Editions GOPE in May or June 2012.

12 nouvelles de John Burdett, Christopher G. Moore, Colin Cotterill, Stephen Leather, Pico Iyer, Timothy Hallinan, Dean Barrett, Eric Stone, Tew Bunnag, Alex Kerr, Vasit Dejkunjorn, Collin Piprell.

Par-delà le sourire thaï et le wai plein de grâce, s’étend un paysage ravagé par les conflits, les rancunes, la colère, la vengeance, les disparitions et la violence. Un monde où perte de la face, … Read more

Chronicle of an urban drowning foretold

 

Almost exactly a year ago I posted “Submarine garrets for starving writers” (4 November 2010), which foresaw the entire city of Bangkok serving as a recreational dive site. And that piece itself contained a link to an article (“One Born Every Minute“) I wrote 25 years ago wherein I interviewed a visiting extraterrestrial who foresaw the submersion of Bangkok within another three decades. The TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand), I suggested, would hail his proposals … Read more

Writerly occupational hazards: Ersatz creativity (boozing)

Inebriation is a false Muse. As seductive as they may be, chemical substitutes for true creative intoxication don’t work.

Maybe there are exceptions that prove this rule. Malcolm Lowry, e.g., did much field research for his brilliant novel Under the Volcano, which included a main protagonist who was drinking himself to death. (Lowry, unfortunately, perhaps in his quest for verisimilitude, was himself to go all the way at an early age.) Emulating his own hard-boiled detective protagonists, writer … Read more

*Bangkok Noir* book signing — Kinokuniya, Siam Paragon

I’m a true genius at marketing.

I’m on my way to a book signing at Kinokuniya Books, Siam Paragon Centre. It’s 2.35pm, and I have to be there at 3pm. And I’ve just remembered I have a blog, and what a good opportunity to add this item, and everything. And I’m sure many other people will now rush into the street, as I plan to, and hail a motorcycle taxi to take me to a BTS station so I can … Read more

Hot times in Thailand

This morning I had an interesting experience, one that I will now relate, sparing you any need to conduct your own field research.

In short, don’t put namman muay (“Boxing Liniment”) in your eye.

I awoke with a sore shoulder and, in jockish high spirits, I splashed some of this fiery oil onto the offending muscles with such enthusiasm that quite a lot of it went instead into my eye. Both hands being already contaminated, I couldn’t rinse the eyeball

Read more