Monday, March 8, 2010

Anger Management – pros and cons

I am sure that the people who know and work with me will be surprised to know that I used to have an anger management problem.

The following incident will clarify any questions as to this matter.

When there is horse racing on a Wednesday evening or Saturday at the Shatin Jockey Club some of the Lo Wu trains are diverted from Fotan to the Race Course Station. Under normal circumstances announcements are made at the earlier stations where I might board the train so that I know to wait for another train. Occasionally the staff forget to make the announcement and many is the time I have watched in dismay as Fotan flashes past and I arrive, reluctantly, at the Race Course. Here I have two options, get off the train, cross the platform, get back on the train, return to Shatin and wait for the next train which is going to Fotan. The second option is to stay on the train and go to the Chinese University Station and do the same thing.

A few weeks ago I got on the train at Kowloon Tong and forgot to double check as to whether the train was going to Fotan. This was my fault. However, I was annoyed; quite rightly so on this occasion because there were no announcements, and I ended up at the Race Course. I got off the train and made a point of telling the platform supervisor that there had been no announcements on the train. Much to my surprise this gentleman could not have cared less and my respect for the management of the MTRC fell a few notches. I wasn't going to get any sense out of this fellow so I just waited for the next train and returned to Shatin.

On arrival at Shatin I went up to the concourse which I crossed and descended to the correct platform for the Fotan train. It arrived shortly and I boarded and moments later arrived back at the Race Course Station. Once again there had been no announcements.

Three months ago I would have had a long conversation with the Station Master in which I would have seriously questioned his pedigree. However, on this occasion I meekly crossed the platform, boarded the train and returned to Shatin where I left the station and walked back to Fotan, a distance of just over a mile. It seemed to be the less complicated and safer option and it made the beer taste better.

Now what were you saying about my anger management?

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I confess, I'm blowing my own horn here but I recently came across two very flattering bits of news on the internet. The first entails a review of Temutma, the book I wrote in partnership with Rebecca Bradley. Temutma was published by Asia 2000 who was remiss in informing us that they had sold the publishing rights to a German company, Union Verslag, who are now producing audio copies of the book. Neither Rebecca nor I have ever seen a penny in royalties from the sale of these audio books. However, the review, which is copied here, soothes my wounded pride somewhat.

Possibly the BEST vampire novel since Dracula. March 9, 2005
By Devlin Tay (Adelaide, Australia)
"Temutma" is a little gem of a horror novel from Hong Kong that most readers would unfortunately never have heard of. It is quite possibly the BEST vampire novel I've ever read since Dracula (take that, Anne Rice) - and I say this not because of Temutma's literary merits, but because of its frenetic pacing and the atmosphere of sheer terror that it evokes. Set in Hong Kong in the early 1990s, an ancient horror awakens deep within the catacombs of Kowloon's famed Walled City. A series of grotesque murders are committed on one single night, leaving the Hong Kong police completely baffled. The murders are seemingly unrelated; but for the fact that the crime scenes all fall on a direct line of sight beginning from the Kowloon Walled City, across the narrow strait separating Kowloon from Hong Kong island, to the Bank of China building, and finally ending at a luxury home at the Peak. All victims had been drained completely dry of blood. Even more strangely, one of the first victims had been seen following a subsequent victim hours after he supposedly died, according to forensics. As the chief investigating officer, Superintendent Michael Scott of the Royal Hong Kong Police, delves deeper into the mystery, little does he know that he will soon come face to face with a being more ancient and powerful than he could ever imagine - an amoral being whose only instinct is to satisfy his own bloodlust. Rebecca Bradley and Stewart Sloan successfully weave Chinese superstition with vampiric lore into a melange of fear and action so thick one could almost imagine watching the story unfold in a Cineplex with full DTS surround sound. The characters are believable, the action is evenly paced, and the horror is conveyed though a finely-balanced mixture of suspense and gore. Temutma, the eponymous vampire, is a creature so believably alien, repulsive and evil - and yet strangely compelling. There is none of that vampiric angst, the likes of which authors like Anne Rice are so fond of, to be found anywhere in this book. Here, at last, is a creature that stalks, tortures, kills and inflicts pain simply because it is what it does - much like the way a cat hunts for, and plays with, its prey purely out of instinct, the way all cats do. Five stars and two thumbs up!

The other bit of news that cheered me up was the news that my first book, 'The Sorceress' which was published in 1994 and sold for the grand sum of HK$ 70.00 is available on a second hand book website for the price of HK$ 168.20!

The question that now begs to be asked is, if I'm that good, why aren't I sitting on a beach somewhere sipping champagne?