• Creative Metanonfiction,  Letters,  MFA

    Mistakes Were Probably Made

    As of this writing, 67 internationally recognized authors from around the world have petitioned to City University of Hong Kong to re-open its MFA Creative Writing Programme, the first of its kind in Asia, unique for its multicultural faculty and student body.   Although there is some circumstantial evidence that the CityU of HK MFA closure is politically motivated, I am beginning to believe the closure is primarily due to ill-informed decision making.  However, due to the utter lack of transparency in this matter, many possibilities currently co-exist.  It’s a Schrodinger’s Cat kind of thing.   Professor Hon S. Chan, an alumnus of the Maxwell School of Public Policy at…

  • Creative Metanonfiction,  Memoir,  MFA,  Satire

    A Report on the Ontological Status of Somebody’s Acting Head

    Subject: Update Concerning Somebody’s Acting Head Classification: Ultra Secret – For University MFA Eyes Only As none of you may know, I am a self-appointed detective investigating the current ongoing fiasco occurring in Hong Kong. But now I am depressed because I have discovered the truth about the Acting Head, my nemesis. My greatest fear was manifesting. Could I have been unwittingly wormholed into a Thomas Pynchon novel? When praying to the deities, Jesus, Peter Hessler, and Kim Kardashian didn’t work, I decided to take matters into my own hands and improvise a voodoo doll out of unwashed socks, a moldering potato, and my emergency sewing kit. Still nothing. Then…

  • Memoir

    Stop Renting White Guys!

    Chengdu made it on VICE on HBO, but not in a good way. When I first moved to the Hibiscus City a teaching company pimped me out to a snake-oil salesman. It was the ultimate gig. Approximately $1,000 for about two hours of work, which amounted to wearing a suit and white lab coat and some shit talk. All I had to do was read from a PPT to a room full of elderly Chinese people. This is when I was my most penniless. Ramen noodles, rent and Renminbi occupied my mind then. Friends invited me to dinner, and passed on second-hand laowai survival gear. Even the local dumpling peddlers…

  • MFA

    61 Distinguished Authors Protest Closure of City University of Hong Kong’s Creative Writing Programme

    May 12 update: 61 authors protest closure of City University of Hong Kong’s Creative Writing Programme. On April 27,2015 the students and faculty of City University of Hong Kong MFA Program received news that it has been “discontinued”. The CityU Senate’s decision was made without consulting the program director, Ms. Xu Xi, a prominent Hong Kong based writer with ties to New York City, and its rationale for closure appears to lack any substance. This is related to a global trend in which the Liberal Arts and Humanities are becoming more and more marginalized, devalued, and underfunded in an era of unprecedented wealth creation. CityU faculty, alumni, and students are…

  • Craft,  Memoir

    The Art of Juxtaposition: Visual Storytelling with Stephan Eirik Clark

    In a recent lecture at City University of Hong Kong MFA Program, Sweetness #9 author, Stephan Eirik Clark described how writers can borrow cinematic visual storytelling methods to enhance their prose. He illustrated his thesis, using scripts from two films from the year 1985, Witness with Harrison Ford and Rambo II with Sylvester Stallone. By using the later as a counterpoint, Clark showed the difference between image-driven storytelling and Tweedledee and Tweedledumb driven pulp: Co: How you get into this? Rambo: It’s a long story. Co: Long ride. Rambo: Well… after I left Special Forces, I… moved around a lot. A hollow tale requiring noise and flurry to mesmerize the…

  • Book Review,  Satire

    What’s so Golden About the Golden Age of SF, Anyway?

    Some Broad Sweeping Judgments on Golden Age Science Fiction Made a Sci-Fictioneer, 3rd Class Aboard the Great MFA Space Ark, S.S. Run Run Shaw (currently docked at Space Station Hong Kong, itself tidally locked in orbit above Planet China). Cultural Stability Minister’s Warning: Reading this pun-riddled text may be hazardous to your mental well-being. Not all SF is created equal as demonstrated by The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, a Hugo awarded SF author from the Golden Age of Science Fiction. His novel came to me highly recommended. Having never heard of him and wondering how that could be and being ordered to read him ASAP, I gave Bester,…