Sixty-Four Chance Pieces: Machines, Mathematics, Organs and Pandas

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I’ve just about finished the proofs for Sixty-Four Chance Pieces, my I Ching-based novel-of-sorts, ready to send off to Earnshaw Books. All being well, I’ll be launching the book in a few weeks at the Beijing Bookworm book festival. But just to whet the appetite, here’s an extract from the book’s index. All novels, I feel, should be equipped with …

Amateurs, Professionals and Bullshit Going Forwards

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The new academic year has started at De Montfort University, and I’m teaching a course on Professional Writing Skills. It’s good to be back in the swing of teaching, and a pleasure to see my students from last year once again. This is a course that I love teaching, because of the way that it directly mixes philosophical, technical and practical …

Productivity and Failure with Éireann Lorsung

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For all those who are concerned with their writerly productivity, you absolutely need to listen to this terrific talk by the writer, Éireann Lorsung, given recently at the University of Iowa. It’s a hugely thoughtful reflection on the problems with the issue of productivity, the obsession with publishable outcomes, the importance of dormancy, and the role of failure in life …

A Book of Changes

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I’m very pleased to be able to announce that I’ve just signed the contract on my novel-of-sorts, “A Book of Changes: Sixty-four Chance Pieces” with the excellent Earnshaw Books, purveyors of all good things China-related. The book should be out some time in the first quarter of next year, and will be available in the UK, USA and East Asia. …

Gilgit - Image Courtesy Hashoo Foundation.

Unmapped: Flesh and Stones

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I’m very pleased to have another article in Unmapped Magazine. This time the subject of the magazine is books, and the piece is a short story about corpses, cherries, perilous roads in the north of Pakistan, and one of my early encounters with Buddhism, by means of an old and mildewed book that I picked up in a second-hand bookshop. You …

On Pakistan, Bicycles and Religious Experiences: Unmapped Magazine

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I’m delighted to have another article in the most recent edition of the truly wonderful Unmapped magazine. Unmapped, for those of you who haven’t come across it, is a magazine for travel writing from all those hidden places that are off the map (whatever this map might be). The piece is called The Domed Heaven, the Domed Earth, and is …