Works in Progress

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes at Meursault HQ recently – and I don’t mean getting raped by Harvey Weinstein. Tired of short little shitposts about panda jokes or Stephen King, I’ve been attempting to create something of more substance again, something I haven’t done since Party Members was shat out into this world last year.

Possessing the attention span of an ADHD-diagnosed gnat I find it difficult to concentrate on just one thing at a time, so I’m foolishly trying to spin three plates right now which will no doubt result in three small stool samples rather than one big steaming pile of crap.

Here’s what I am working on right now when not putting food on the table or trying to understand the idiosyncrasies of the French language (yes, another futile project I have undertaken is to try and get my French back up to acceptable standards which is pretty pointless really when we are dealing with a language that feels the need to imbue chairs with a gender).

The Flock of Ba-Hui

For reasons that will become clear in the next part, I was searching the internet one day for something to satisfy my hunger for anything Lovecraftian. I’d been wondering for some time if anybody out there had combined my two interests of Lovecraftian cosmic horror and China – and I’m not talking about the Cruel Empire of the Tsan-Chan. To my delight I stumbled across the blog of one “Akira” – a mysterious entity who I was already connected to on Twitter. Akira has a lot of similar interests to myself – accelerationism, Sinofuturism, Ted Kaczynski – and basically all the other dark things I rarely mention on this piss-taking blog. Akira had discovered a wonderful Chinese language story set in the Cthulhu Mythos on a Chinese creative writing site called The Ring of Wonder and had begun the task of translating this beast into English. The density of the language makes it a particular fucker to translate so I volunteered my services; thus condemning myself to many long nights spent hunched over teeny tiny Chinese characters. My eyesight is now screwed but it was worth it.

The translation is almost complete and interested readers can see the published work so far over at Akira’s site. I’ll be posting updates here on its progress. The picture at the top of the page should give some clues as to what exactly is The Flock of Ba-Hui, but anybody who appreciates grand Lovecraftian horror will love it. Don’t read it with the lights off.

The kind-of-but-not-really sequel to Party Members

I won’t reveal too much at this stage as I have no idea how long this will take me to complete, but I have begun work on a kind-of sequel to Party Members. Except it isn’t really. Yet it kinda is. It’s hard to describe. It probably won’t result in a full-length novel, and it’s also a straight-up horror rather than the dark comedy that was Party Members.

Working title is either The Shadow over Kezhankou or The Milk Factory depending on how I feel on any given day. The former title should provide clues to any Lovecraft fans out there as to what the story is about, though don’t expect any fish people. These Deep Ones are a different breed entirely.

The Adventures of Tim Budong

And finally, in the tradition of the light-hearted “and finally” moments that used to end news broadcasts in the UK, something a bit fluffier. I’ve been messing around with the Twine engine and have outlined a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style game about a naive young English teacher who just arrives in China. I’ll probably never finish this, but if I did you can expect lots of this type of thing:

It’s Friday morning and the Foreign Liaison Officer at Happy Giraffe School suddenly announces that you will need to work over the weekend because the bastard son of a fuerdai scumbag needs to cram for his exams. 

Do you:

  • Happily agree as you believe in helping the future generations of China in their quest to stand up and integrate with the world?
  • Knock back the emergency bottle of erguotou that you keep in your drawer for such occasions and make a mental note to go for a happy-ending massage once this is all over?
  • Burn down the school and everyone in it?

Wow, thinking about it, maybe I should make The Adventures of Tim Budong my priority after all.

***

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy my book Party Members – a dark comic fantasy that exposes the corrupt underbelly of modern China.

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