A Parcel From China

David just kindly sent over another quick blog. Thanks, David! On a related note, has anyone who frequents here read Trillion Year Spree, the expansive history of science fiction by sci-fi heavyweight Brian Aldiss and our own David Wingrove? I’ve always meant to, and maybe this is the time to do it since we’re mid-cycle for Chung Kuo novels.

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A Parcel From China

Wednesday brought a parcel from the East. The Post Office, rather than buzz our buzzer
and hand the damn thing over for a signature, chose to leave me one of their red cards
instead, meaning I’d have to go to their offices to collect. Which I did, yesterday morning.
They handed me a heavy parcel, covered in Chinese characters and one side completely
covered in beautiful Chinese stamps (which I’ve kept). I knew what it was straight away. Two
months or so back – before the London book fair – I chased up my colleague Brian Aldiss’s
agents, Curtis Brown, regarding the Chinese edition of TRILLION YEAR SPREE, and whether
it had been published, and if so, whether we could have copies. They said they would, and
so they have… and, unwrapping the thing with an excited tremor, I found they’d sent three
copies of what is a most delightful-looking book. A real chunky volume of 659 pages, part of
a five book series they’re publishing for the Chinese market, and priced at 68 yuan. It really
is a good edition and makes me feel proud of it. But it also makes me think that maybe 2011
Anhui Literature And Art Publishing House might be a possible home for the Chung Kuo
series. They certainly put a great deal of care and effort into making TRILLION look quite
brilliant, and the thought of Chinese – in Nanking, or Beijing, or Xyan – reading it, quite
thrills me.

What else has been happening? Well, second daughter, Amy gave in her notice last Friday,
of a very well paid job that she does seemingly effortlessly, so that she could become a
writer, just like Mum and Dad. She’s organised and talented and there’s no earthly reason
why she shouldn’t make a go of it, but as things stand, they’ve offered her a compromise
deal of doing a three day week, which she might take, as it’ll take the pressure off her in
the first few years. Ten years ago, when she was just 15, she wrote a couple of Fan Fiction
novels, based on Final Fantasy and they were tremendously popular (she got over 7,500 hits
when the second one was posted on-line, and had a big following). So wish her luck, you
guys, and as soon as there is something to report, I’ll report it.

As if that wasn’t enough, number one daughter, Jessica, has also been making news by
winning one of the most prestigious awards in world advertising – in fact two of them! The
Silver Lions (awarded at Cannes, and advertising’s version of the Oscars) were won for work
she’d done on a Tourism Ireland campaign she ran with her partner Matt. It could have been
better – they could have got a Golden Lion, but hey… it ain’t every day you win something
like this, and I’m delighted for my girl, who’s a classic works-hard-parties-even-harder girl!

I’ll be blogging again tomorrow – about An Wei, the Chinese on Mars, Ray Bradbury, and
what’s happening on the publication front. Oh, and just to mention that I’ve copy-edited
roughly half a million words of CHUNG KUO since I last wrote. When my mother asked me
what I’d been up to, I murmured, “nothing much”.

Okay. More tomorrow.

David Thursday 21st June 2012

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