Jumat, 27 Maret 2009

Delighted to be able to say that MBT 2, Lamplighter has been shortlisted in the 2009 NSW (meaning New South Wales for the uninitiated) Premier's Literary Award's The Ethel Turner Prize for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry written for young people of secondary school level. The list of us all goes a little like this:

Dianne Bates - Crossing the Line
Michelle Cooper - A Brief History of Montmaray
D.M Cornish - Monster Blood Tattoo Book Two: Lamplighter
Alison Goodman - The Two Pearls of Wisdom
Nette Hilton - Sprite Downberry
Joanne Horrniman - My Candlelight Novel

I feel like a bit of an upstart occupying a list with such luminaries. VERY VERY gratified to be recognised in one the countries big awards, thank you so much to those that put me there. With all this good news I just might explode with joy... if, of course, my stupid character flaws would just stop getting in the way and spoiling the glee...

For all the shortlistings for the entire gamut of the NSW Premier's Awards for this year go here!

Rabu, 25 Maret 2009

Regardless what one's option about Dan Brown, he is a well known author for his thriller fiction books. However, it seems he did not do a very thorough research before publishing Digital Fortress.

Dan Brown / Digital Fortress / Page 11

Dan Brown / Digital Fortress / Page 12

Linguaphiles in Livejournal have already pegged Dan Brown as an idiot.

Alan and I are annoyed with Dan Brown, especially considering he is interested in cryptography.

The excerpt is so painful and moronic quoting about "Mandarin symbols" and "Kanji language", where there is no such thing as "Mandarin symbols" or "Kanji language". Mandarin is a spoken oral dialect, and Kanji is part of Japanese writing system.

Alan also had this to say:

Apparently Dan Brown is just as ignorant as those tattoo yahoos. He thinks you can just "translate symbols" and have it make sense. Any code based on the translation of single characters from Chinese or Japanese to English, and then subjecting this to subsequent processing is bound to fail because of multiple meanings. (Sorry, Dan, but just picking the "Kanji" rather than the "Mandarin" meanings does not solve the problem.) Simply sending a coded message that included plaintext Chinese or Japanese would be such a stupid code because any translator could intercept and read it. And the topper is the assumption that someone could possibly translate something written in Chinese or Japanese out of sequence. Try to read any English text scrambled out of order! If it is to be possibly deciphered, first the message has to be put into proper order.

Senin, 23 Maret 2009

'Bout time I posted don't we think!

E N Reinmuth was pondering... "If memory serves me right it was your interview on either the Today show or Mornings with David and Kim that got me out searching for MBT-Foundling, (technically I saw the gudgeon design before Lamplighter was even published, whoot!) and you said that you had gone to a publisher for a different story, and upon leaving you had dropped your notebook which held details of the world of the HC, and in turn the publisher asked you to write as many words a week, etc etc, leading to Foundling. Might I ask what that initial story was?"

Yes you may! It goes a little like this...

'Tis a long story I shall attempt to make short. I trained back in the early 1990's as an illustrator in Adelaide, South Australia. In 1995 I moved to Sydney to pursue illustration work with magazines, newspapers and advertisers. In 1997 I began as a cartoonist at Burgo's Catchphrase working there and as a freelance illustrator until I followed adventure overseas to the US in 2003, before crash landing back in Adelaide again.

Looking for illustration work, I went to a local publisher - Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia - on the recommendation of a fellow illustrator friend, Cheryl Johns. At Omnibus, the publisher, Dyan Blacklock, gave me a cover to complete, then a whole picture book (Grannysaurus Rex written by Tony Wilson, which is that "different story" I mentioned).

I used to sit in her office and talk about life the universe and everything and one day one of my many small black notebooks fell out of my bag as I reached for some gum. The book had the number "23" boldly on its cover and snatching it up, Dyan immediately began to peer within, wondering (she later told me) where the previous 22 notebooks were. Inside she found my crabbed notes about a pretend world I had been scribbling about since about 1993 (hence the then 23 and now 32 - almost 33 - notebooks). Dyan tells it that she felt the hairs on her neck raise; she asked me if I had written any stories about this pretend world.

I said, "No."

She returned, "Do you have any characters from this world?"

To this I responded "Yes," and began to list some off, including Rossamund, a boy with a girl's name.

Dyan thought he sounded interesting and persisted, "Put him down somewhere in the Half-Continent and tell us what happens."

So I did... and here we are.

Rabu, 18 Maret 2009

from: xxxxxxxx@ucmo.edu
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 12:09 AM
subject: kanji paranoia

Hi! I got this tattoo a little over a year ago. It's supposed to mean "pure child", as I am a Christian. My tattoo artist is very careful and we even referenced a Japanese children's workbook to make sure that's what it meant.

I stumbled onto your site and now I am a little paranoid. Can you set my mind at ease?

I attached a pic :)it's my boobs, hope you don't mind. it's a little blue Kanji on my left boobie.


First of all, Alan and I welcome boobies!

I have always wanted Cornershop's Brimful of Asha as one of my party anthems, especially the chorus says "everybody needs a bosom for pillow, everybody needs a bosom."

Although are technically translated as "pure" & "child". A Japanese person would surely first assume that 清子 tattooed on a woman is supposed to be the common Japanese girl's name Kiyoko. But then the cognitive dissonance would set in.

Judging from certain, er, attributes of the tattooed subject, we would have to assume that she is not ethnically Japanese, so the question arises: why does she have a Japanese name?

Anyway, as a name, 清子 can be read several different ways including, in order from most to least common: Kiyoko, Seiko, Sugako, Sayako, Sukako.

Matter of fact, most Japanese would think this is a tattoo paying homage to their former princess 黒田清子, Sayako Kuroda.

Minggu, 08 Maret 2009

The name Ed Hardy probably does not mean much to us, unless you have stepped into high end boutique shops.

Don Ed Hardy used to be a tattooist (or still is), but in these days, he has whored out his name and artistic integrity to hawk women hand bags and other fashion garbs.

The phrase printed on this Ed Hardy handbag was intended to represent "die before dishonor", however it is gibberish in Japanese. This phrase is not even close in Chinese. It is read as "die first, insult (later)".

The printed phrase sounded more familiar to the practice of 鞭尸, a punishment where buried body is unearthed and whipped in front of his/her surviving family members, than "die before dishonor". Plus, Chinese already have an idiom, 寧死不屈.

This gets better after I received this email:

from: Rachel S.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com

date: Sun, Mar 1, 2009 at 6:06 PM
subject: Tattoos, do they really mean this?

Hi, a guy I went to high school posted this picture of his new tattoo on Facebook and I was wondering if they really mean what he claims them to say.

The tattoo he says it reads, "Death before dishonor."

Someone actually copied the phrase from Ed Hardy's pseudo-Japanese handbag and tattooed on himself.

Rabu, 04 Maret 2009

I have received many emails about some idiot posting this photo in BME's tattoo gallery (Feb. 24, 2009):


The caption says:

While spending some time in Japan, I was lucky enough to get the kanji for "Dragon soul" tattooed on my arm at a studio in Tokyo. The artist helped me translate the phrase into kanji.
(Tokyo, JP)

Hmm.... but does he really think it means "Samurai" or "Dragon soul"? The story is a bit inconsistent. Or does he really know his tattoo 外人 really means "foreigner" and is he just yanking our chains?

Anyway, it's funny either way.

Selasa, 03 Maret 2009

Very very delighted to tell that Monster-Blood Tattoo 2, Lamplighter has been shortlisted in the Andre Norton Award (the YA section) of the 2009 Nebula Awards. Given that some of my favourite authors have been past recipients (Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, Orson Scott Card) amongst many of other lights of spec fic (Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Gene Wolfe, &c &c &c... including last years Andre Norton winner, Ms Rowling herself) I am most utterly astonished, gratified and thrilled.

It is my pleasure to also boast that Lamplighter was included on Locus Magazine's 2008 Recommended Reading List (as released last month), so happiness all round.

I shall stop showing away (again...) and get back to editing.

(Book 3 better be good, dang it! my fears cry)

Minggu, 01 Maret 2009

If you ever wanted to know when first misuse of Chinese character ever started in Western culture, I may just have the answer for you.

from: Nam See Kim
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 2:24 AM
subject: the history of misuse of chinese characters

Hello Tian,

My name is Nam-See Kim, Korean, studying in Germany.

In Cultural studies of Humboldt University Berlin I wrote my doctoral thesis about the western reception of Chinese characters since 16th century. I find your blog very interesting.

I would like to send you some images which show how long is the history of "misuse of Chinese characters in western culture".

The first Image of "Chinese characters" comes from the Book by Martino Martini, "Sinicae historiae decas prima" in 1658, page 23.

The second from the book of Bernardino de Escalante in 1577, where the so called "Chinese characters" introduced for the first time to Western world.

The third image is the most famous from "China Illustrata" by Athanasius Kircher in 1667.


Nam-See Kim