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Memory Manifesto

Memory Manifesto

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Jumpers

Jumpers

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The Age of Dis-Consent

The Age of Dis-Consent

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I’d like to recommend this illustrated memoir by Sam Sotha. On April 17, 1975 Sam Sotha and his wife Sony, along with thousands of others, were forced by the Khmer Rouge to leave Phnom Penh. Shot, tortured, starved was the fate of many Cambodians during the Khmer Rouge years. Millions died. Sam Sotha’s diary and drawings record their four-year journey through the killing fields.

This highly moving personal story describes Sam's and Sony's ordeal and how during the course of their struggle, they found strength in their Christian faith....
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Posted: 3/6/2007 5:44:36 AM 

 

Since the first novel was published, we can be certain there have been many incidents where a character or a story has changed the life of a reader or two. Fiction is a window on other worlds as well. My German translator (and friend) Peter Friedrich, has written to me: “Gambling on Magic inspired me to try online gambling (no games of pure chance, of course). And meanwhile I'm winning about 300 EUR per month by playing just for fun. Thank you!”

At this rate Peter may leave translation work and devote himself to full time gambling. I hope not. He’s one of translators working in Germany.

Take a card? Or hold? ...
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Posted: 2/27/2007 9:58:58 PM 

 

Ever so often I come across a price for my books that make me wonder if my publisher would be better off doing a print run of 500 and not send them to the bookstores. In fact, he should prohibit bookstore distribution of any book I write.

What gives? Why would any author want their publisher to horde books? Keep them in a secret stash and just put a couple of feelers out that something really valuable can be had for a mere eight hundred quid.

The laws of economics apply to books like they apply to most other things for which there are sellers and buyers. It seems that the more scarce a book is the higher the price it commands.

Take Spirit House the first Vincent Calvino novel, was published in 1992. You can now find reprints (not first editions mine you as those are kept in secure safety deposit boxes in the Jersey Islands) for sale on amazon.co.uk

Let’s ignore those cheap copies for £70.32 and go straight to the high end copies for real investors that with a price tag of £746.95 and £837.75.

Okay, let’s do the math. 500 x £837.75 = £418,875 so my royalty would come to £41,887.50.Where’s my cheque? Hmmm. Seems the publisher has a different accounting system. No surprise there. ...
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Posted: 2/26/2007 9:31:23 PM 

 

You’ve written a book and you want to know how to get a publisher. I receive weekly requests about information about how to get published. Everyone who writes book had the same problem. No one was born with a publishing contract in clutched in their fist.

First, you must be realistic about the obstacles and competition. There are 10 times more people writing books today from 20 years ago when I was first published in New York. And the number of publishers had shrunk to the point where it has collapsed into a black hole with 7 leading publishers. The number of people buying fiction is no greater (if not less readers) than before. Blame the Internet. Blame Reality TV. Blame Video games. The attention devoted to book reading diminishes every year. Understand what you are up against. ...
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Posted: 2/22/2007 5:39:05 AM 

 

I am back in Pattaya to give a talk before members of The Pattaya City Expats Club on Sunday 25th February 2007. The talk is held at 'HENRY J. BEANS' Restaurant & Grill, at the AMARI ORCHID RESORT, at the north end of Beach Road. A Buffet is available from 9:30 AM. The Meeting starts at 10:30 AM, and they try to finish by 12:00 noon. There is ample parking - the entrance to the parking area and to Henry J. Beans is on the left side just after the turn on Beach Rd., across from the beach.

I will be talking about The Risk of Infidelity Index and how I came to develop the character of Vincent Calvino.

If you are in Pattaya, please stop in and say hello. ...
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Posted: 2/21/2007 4:04:10 AM 

 

Finding a Publisher or an Agent: learn the probability of success by watching baby turtles.

Discovery Channel had a program about evolution. Featured in the high drama stakes of survival were baby turtles, freshly hatched, and making the run over open beach to the sea. On the charge to the sea, turtles were gorged on by birds. Others met their fate by being devoured by crabs. The crab grabbed hold and pulled a baby turtle, tiny legs flapping, down a hole in the sand. Those turtles fortunate enough to make it to the sea found little safety. Only a few out of the hundreds and hundreds that started the race survived. ...
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Posted: 2/19/2007 10:50:36 PM 

 

Over at Ben Hunt’s crime fiction website: Material Witness is a review of The Risk of Infidelity Index.

“Christopher G. Moore's fine novel, The Risk of Infidelity Index, the ninth in the Vincent Calvino series set in Bangkok, does not concern itself with September's bloodless coup, but it does conjure a dark and vivid picture of a society in which power resides with money and where that money can buy the status quo it needs to continue making money.” ...
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Posted: 2/13/2007 5:01:43 AM 

 

One of the risk of writing are reviews. After you finish the long process of writing, rewriting and editing your novel, it goes out to others who judge whether you’ve been wasting your time. When reviewers judge a book a success, it all seems worth the effort. When readers judge a book worth opening their wallet, then a writer feels it is worth keeping a series like the Calvino series alive.

On 9th February 2007, two reviews of Risk are in the local newspapers.

Legendary book reviewer and Night Owl reviewed Risk in the Bangkok Post, saying, “…this book shows that Chris Moore is at the top of his form.” You can’t ask for a better final judgment than that.

And over at the Pattaya Mail, Lang Reid, who has been penning book reviews for years, he says about Risk, “exciting, enthralling and entertaining writing.” ...
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Posted: 2/8/2007 11:58:41 PM 

 

The city woke up to find the Chief of Police had been transferred to an inactive position. This is the Police Chief for the entire country. For those living in the West that translates as a “soft” firing. Think of someone being shot out of the cannon but instead of smashing against a wall, he lands against a large foam mat where he stays until reaching 60 years old and then slides down with pension in hand into total oblivion.

Apparently Police Chief Kowit learned he was “out” of the job from the press. That is one way to deliver a pink slip in Thailand; it avoids the confrontation that Thais hate. Who wanted to be the guy who walks into the Chief’s office and says, “Hey you, clean out your desk. You’re outta here in five minutes.”

Apparently there was no volunteer. ...
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Posted: 2/5/2007 11:33:10 PM 

 

The Calvino novels will be translated into three new languages in 2007. The Vincent Calvino private eye series has been sold for Spanish translation rights. The publisher, Ediciones Paidos Iberica S.A., will translate Zero Hour in Phnom Penh into Spanish and release it in a hardback edition for 2007. The deal is for Spain and Latin America.

Other Calvino novels are scheduled for translation this year. ...
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Posted: 2/4/2007 11:29:46 PM 

 

The owner of the Texas Lonestar bar in Washington Square is 84-year-old George Pipas. The Risk of Infidelity Index is co-dedicated to George who has lived in Bangkok for many decades. He’s something of a legend in this part of the world. There is also a character in Risk based on George.

George will sign 20 copies of Risk and I will also sign the 20 copies.

It is first come first serve. The first 20 readers that order Risk and anyone other book from https://order.kagi.com/cgi-bin/r1.cgi?4D9 will get one of the signed copies.

With the second hand price of some of my books selling on the Internet for over a $100.00 that isn’t a bad investment. For the price of my second hand books check out this site. ...
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Posted: 2/4/2007 11:25:17 PM 

 

On Sunday 28 January 2007, I gave a talk about The Risk of Infidelity at the Pattaya Expat Club. here were many familiar faces among the 200 people who showed up to listen to me talk about Vincent Calvino. I had been asked by several people to post my speech. I would if that were possible. I spoke from a barebones outline. The main theme was the original of Vincent Calvino and how I have come to know the private eye over the past 9 novels amounting to more than a one million words. I also talked about Calvino’s relationship with his secretary Ratana, Colonel Pratt and his side-kick McPhail.

I also talked about the background to The Risk of Infidelity. Sharing how I came up with the original story, and the context of the story –the action takes places during the demonstrations that led up to the coup on 19th September. After the speech Niels Colov interviewed me for Pattaya People cable TV and the interview will air this week. ...
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Posted: 1/29/2007 4:05:02 AM 

 

Alex Kerr’s Dogs and Demons is a seminal study of how the combination of bureaucrats, politicians and business interest can use self-interest to destroy the future of a country. That country is Japan. Kerr’s account is poignant, incisive, brutal and beautiful at the same time. He draws upon both ancient and modern Japan to paint a picture of a country without zoning or sign control, pollution regulation, a country which has destroyed its forest, rivers, and sea coast. Kyoto is transformed from the ancient city spared by the American bombers in World War II into a shabby, trashy city with ugly apartment blocks, bulldozing the green spaces, and tearing down the ancient wood houses that once defined Kyoto. The allied bombers would not have done a better job. Kerr takes the reader through the inside world of inside dealing where civil servants and big businesses work together, share ownership, and control over budgets and resources. The stench of corruption rises from these relationships and the damage done from the conflict of interest is difficult to calculate. ...
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Posted: 1/24/2007 12:06:49 AM 

 

The classic spy thriller is dead and buried. Alive and well all through the Cold War, once the Berlin Wall fell, the shovels came out and the spy thriller was given an indecent burial. There are a couple of reasons for this to have happened. Spy thrillers were premised on an identifiable rival enemy with cities, armies, and heavy-handed autocratic governments, which violated all rules of fair play. Then the game changed. Change the game; you change the players, the field, the referees, and the way your score goals.

The current enemies are scattered, living in mountain caves or London, Berlin, Rome suburbs – not the place for spies to blend in and rout the forces of evil. A new class of spy thriller can indeed rise from the ashes. Though I would predict the weight and influence of the new class of spy thrillers will draw fewer readers. And that is a pity because the spy is an archtype hero from the days of Conrad and he brought us a foreign world. Travel, in the past, was a luxury few could afford. With globalization, cheap airfares, and general leveling of all cities to one faces global city, the new world is less exotic than Conrad’s world. And the crutch of high-tech overwhelms the morality and skill of the spy. The spy, in the new, flat world, is another computer technician. One with a gun. ...
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Posted: 1/22/2007 11:02:11 PM 

 


The crowd at the Lonestar Bar turned out in force on Saturday 20 January 2007 to support The Risk of Infidelity Index. The audience pictured here were part of the larger Lonestar Bar group that gathered on Saturday.

Thanks to all for turning up for the show and your warm welcome.

Next Sunday, 28th January 2007, I will be appearing before Pattaya Expat Club. The venue is The Grand Sole Hotel on 2nd Rd between the crossroads of Pattaya Central Rd and 2nd Rd and Big C. High rise white block on right of road. I will be signing books for 10.30 a.m. If you are in Pattaya on Sunday, please drop around.

...
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Posted: 1/22/2007 3:11:00 AM 

 

3,000 copies of the book was delivered on 15th January 2007.

In this 9th novel, Calvino goes up against a Thai-Chinese businessman who has high-level political connections.

The infidelity of farang expat husbands leads the private eye to uncover a large scale piracy operation in Bangkok.

As political demonstrations and coup plots gather like dark clouds, Calvino becomes a moving target inside a political danger zone.

Read an excerpt: http://www.cgmoore.com/work/RISK_excerpt.pdf
Then order: https://order.kagi.com/cgi-bin/r1.cgi?4D9

As Bernard Trink wrote many times in his Bangkok Post column, “you’ll be glad you did.” ...
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Posted: 1/15/2007 9:53:01 PM 

 

Calligraphy allowed the ancient Chinese to use kanji characters in many artistic forms. The art also was adopted in Japan. Alex Kerr, an Oxford/Yale educated American author and artist, has become a master of this art. His book Lost Japan is a classic written by someone with over 30 years of experience of living and studying in Japan. Alex Kerr is fluent in spoken and written Chinese and Japanese to a level that he is a native speaker. He is the right person to bring the essence of Japanese art, literature and culture to the outside world. One impressive way of accomplishing this task has been through his writing and calligraphy. In Lost Japan, Kerr writes: “Traditionally, calligraphy was the highest of the arts. The T’ang-dynasty emperor Tai-tsung loved the calligraphy of Wang His-chih so much he odered that his copy of Wang His-chih’s ‘Orchid Terrace Preface’ be buried with him in his tomb…Calligraphy held the highest rank because it was believed to capture the soul of the writer. There is an ancient Chinese saying, ‘Calligraphy is a portrait of the heart.’”...
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Posted: 1/11/2007 10:10:16 PM 

 


Around 7.30 a.m. this morning I was on Silom and Rama IV waiting for the light to change. A military vehicle pulled to the curb and a half dozen combat ready soldiers climbed out with M-16 rifles. With rifles slung over their shoulders they walked passed the nervous pedestrians waiting at the light. Some averted their eyes; others couldn’t help but stare, shuffle their feet. It seemed like forever until the light changed....
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Posted: 1/9/2007 10:20:30 PM 

 

by Barry Hughart
Del Rey Mass Marke: ISBN 0345321383

The novel has been called lyrical and won the World Fantasy Award in 1985. The novel has rave reviews on amazon.com including “the most effective, most moving fantasy novel I have read.” Another reviewer draws with Tolkiens’s Lord of the Rings. There is a powerful incentive to pick up a book: A Lord of the Rings set in China.

I must confess I am not a big fan of fantasy novels but this one has caught my attention and appears worth a read. It came to my attention for a review by Colleen Cahill, she says of Bridge of Birds: ...
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Posted: 1/9/2007 3:00:43 AM 

 

I was home when the bombs exploded about 6.30 p.m. It didn’t take long for the news to spread. I had several SMS messages and phone calls from friends. “Had I heard about the bombings?” One of the blasts in which one man died happened about 500 meters from where I live. I heard nothing that evening. From the 11th floor, I looked out on the city, quiet, silent, and dark. The promise of the New Year is not supposed to bring in fear and uncertainty. Many people recoiled from the usual celebration and the city disappeared into a cocoon of fear. Lives were lost, people injured, and the phantoms responsible for this dark angel of death faded into the night with blood on their hands where they remain at large. Linked to our imagination only as theories. So far there are no faces to these murderers. We live with an abstraction of evil waiting for the authorities to reveal the faces that visited us with death. ...
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Posted: 1/7/2007 10:47:16 PM 

 

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