Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More shameless self promotion

The always enlightening Peter Rozovsky, in his Detectives Beyond Borders blog, has written recently about the title changes that sometimes occur when a book is published overseas.  The Shadow Walker remains The Shadow Walker for its US edition, but the German edition, to be  published later this year by those splendid folk at Goldmann, bears the title of Blutiger Schnee, which my feeble German translates as Bloody Snow.  Which seems a fine title to me.  More intriguingly, I've been translated into German as Mike Walters - which is also fine by me, though I'll be interested to see if I write differently under that name.  Goldmann are also due to publish The Adversary in Germany in 2009

Open manholes and stray dogs

Taken from the US Overseas Security Advisory Council, this splendid  report tells you pretty much everything you need to know (and quite possibly some things you don't) about how to avoid crime in Mongolia.  If you follow this wise advice, you won't need to seek the assistance of Nergui or his colleagues.

I was particularly struck by the statement that 'most drivers tend to ignore traffic laws and prefer to drive wherever there is an opening in traffic'.   Unlike drivers in, say, London or New York...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Morning Blue Dragon and White Big Bird

I imagine you're all desperate to know how Mongolian Sumo champion Asashoryu actually did in the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.  Well, it came down to a final between Asashoryu and a fellow Mongolian Grand Champion, Hakuho, with Hakuho emerging as victor.  Asashoryu is the sport's bad guy - 'brash and unrefined' - whereas Hakuho is seen as 'calm and prudent'.   I know which I prefer. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The call of stallion to mare

In case you were wondering, you're not yet too late to attend this year's annual Morin Khuur festival in Ulaan Bataar (the 21st such festival, for those who are counting).  The Morin Khuur is the famous horse-head fiddle - the most highly regarded of Mongolian traditional instruments. The title of this posting, incidentally, is taken from Paul Muldoon's splendid poem, 'Medley for Morin Khur', which I've quoted before when the mood's taken me. 

I was particularly charmed by the fact that the Union of Mongolian Composers  'felt that the audience last year showed signs of restlessness when composers in 14 categories performed during the gala concert'.  That suggests a sensitivity rare among the organisers of such events.  Perhaps the organisers of the Academy Awards ceremony might take note. 


Sunday, January 20, 2008

An onion may add some tang

I just thought I'd draw your attention to this highly entertaining account from New Zealand of nomadic life in Mongolia, with a heavy emphasis on the culinary aspects...

Shameless self promotion

Just to let anyone who might be interested know that the paperback of The Adversary will be published by our good friends at Quercus on 6 March.  Available from Amazon and, of course, all half decent bookshops. 


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A brain like the Mekon

Speaking of the excellent Peter Rozovsky, as I was just a moment ago (see below), he's currently hosting the rather dizzying Carnival of the Criminal Minds, a mind-expanding virtual travelling roadshow of crime fiction blogging (you'll realise from that description that I'm not entirely sure what I'm talking about, but it's a highly entertaining and informative concept, nonetheless).  In the course of the aforementioned hosting, Peter's been good enough to turn that razor-sharp intellect in our direction and has included a link to this humble blog.  Thanks very much, Peter, and welcome to anyone who stumbles across us as a result!

A 27 bout losing streak

We've talked about the Mongolian Sumo champion, Asashoryu, before (and I won't repeat Peter Rozovsky's intriguing, if scurrilous, suggestions about that name), so thought you might like an update on his progress in the New Year Sumo championships.  I know - we talk of little else in the pubs and bars of Greater Manchester...

Anyway, Asashoryu had a poor start, losing to an apparent 'rank and filer' but has now, um, bounced back to defeat his arch rival, Ozeki Kotomitsuki, who had vowed to stop him and so end a 27 bout losing streak.  Sadly, that presumably now becomes a 28 bout losing streak.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It's satire...

...I think.

Monday, January 7, 2008

More Coverage

A little while ago, I mentioned Richard Tuschman's excellent work on the artwork for the forthcoming US edition of The Shadow Walker - and in particular Richard's fascinating discussion of the thought processes that had led him to the final version. 

Well, I've now officially received a copy of the final artwork - you can see it in the Gallery section on here.  Still think it looks splendid! 


Sunday, January 6, 2008

A long way from Clare to here

Well, hello again, and a Happy New Year! 

Just returned from a week on the west coast of Ireland, celebrating the New Year with various members of the immediate and extended family.  And very nice it was too, thank you for asking.  It's difficult to think of a better location for any kind of celebration.  A few pints of stout, some excellent sea-food, winter sunshine, and a January walk on the extraordinary sea-swept landscape of The Burren. 

I took the opportunity to read a couple of recent Irish crime-novels of the kind so enthusastically espoused by Declan Burke on his fine Crime Always Pays blog.  Some may recall the mild spat caused by Clive James's New Yorker article on crime fiction.  Even those who disagreed with James's overall views should take note of his enthusiasm for Gene Kerrigan's The Midnight Choir (even though James's assessment of the book seems oddly to miss the point).  It's an excellent book - a police procedural which begins with a series of apparently fragmented vignettes and ultimately coheres into a genuine tragedy.  It also has a lot to say about the New Ireland, much of which resonated disconcertingly with the stories that seemed to be dominating the headlines while I was over there.

I also took the opportunity finally to get around to Benjamin 'John Banville' Black's Christine Falls.  I'll refrain from comment just yet as I haven't quite reached the end, though I can draw your attention to the comments by Martin Edwards who, as it happens, is also in the middle of it. 

Oh, and I was working on The Outcast.  Getting there, I think...