Tag Archives: china

The Naked Lunch: Christmas and capitalism

Here’s a great opening ‘graph for a seasonal cyberpunk satire:

“I heard my first Christmas music of the year in District 1. It was the 1st of August, 27ºC outside and All I Want For Christmas was drifting out of a market stall dedicated to selling Santa hats.”

Only it’s not from a piece of fiction at all; it’s from the first installment of @iamdanw’s account of his travels across China with the Unknown Fields expedition. Having talked to others who were on the same adventure, the megamarket of Yiwu is likely the least weird part of the story.

Bill Burroughs used the phrase “naked lunch” to describe “[the] frozen moment where everyone sees what’s on the end of every fork”. Dan’s essay above, then, is Naked Christmas — where everyone sees what’s on the end of every supply chain.


A multi-million reader science fiction market

Via the inimitable Jason Stoddard comes news of a genre fiction con that anyone with a serious interest in promoting their writing should consider attending – if only for the fact that the magazine sponsoring it has a claimed readership of 5 million (yes, million) people.

Of course, the Chengdu convention, like the magazine in question (Science Fiction World), is based in China, which may put it out of your financial league – unless you plan to bolt it on to your attendance at this year’s Worldcon in Japan, in which case the power of my searing jealousy will keep you awake for weeks to come.

But fear not, my economically-challenged friends! Because they’re planning on running the Chengdu convention virtually in Second Life in parallel with the meatspace version, which means the financial issues aren’t anywhere near as bad as they could be if you have access to a broadband internet connection and a reasonably pokey computer.

I assure you that I’m going to be there with bells on – and hopefully by then I’ll have my own little patch of SL land developed enough to entertain visitors who tire of panels …