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Ciguties Posts

How I became a paracetamol millionaire

It was one fine Saturday afternoon in Hong Kong, and I was late. It was really a beautiful day, neither too cold nor too warm, and so perfect for strolling around aimlessly. There were scores of tourists in Central, everywhere from the Man Mo temple up to Lyndhurst Terrace, and down to Central’s glittering shops. It was the perfect weather to have an ice-cream or an egg tart, and stop every two meters to gaze at…

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Toni Erdmann

2016, Maren Ade, with Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller. 2h42. Premise: In order to see his daughter, a busy strategy consultant, an estranged father with clownish tendencies insinuates himself into her life by pretending to be a life coach — with the help of a cheap suit, a shaggy wig and a set of crooked, fake teeth. Comments: A sweet, deeper-than-it-seems movie about life, work, and father-daughter relationships. Surprisingly long (2h42) but never boring. I really recommend it. Interpretation…

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How Westworld’s soundtrack echoes its themes

I’ve just finished watching the first season of Westworld, and I enjoyed it very much. I was hooked from the moment it was suggested that there was a deeper mystery within the park, behind all the recorded quests made available to the guests in that real-life version of Zelda or World of Warcraft. The fact that the park’s founder himself (Robert Ford / Anthony Hopkins) didn’t seem to be completely sure about what it was only…

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Whatever happened to the punk movement?

[Beta version. Please feel free to comment!] What is (or was) punk? Is it still relevant? 2016 was the 40th anniversary of the release of Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols — and as a consequence, the opportunity for London to hold a number of celebrations around the Punk movement. Punk is one of the things I’ve been researching these past two years, in preparation for a French anthology of short stories. Its theme,…

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Crumbs

Liars’ League HK posted another video of a piece I wrote for them. The theme this time was “Presence & Absence” (or “Presents & Absence,” in an early post), which I found rather difficult. In the end, I used some of my memories to tell something about loss and longing — this is not a funny story like last time. The piece was brought to life by the charming Grace Fung. And here’s the video:  

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Favourite albums of 2016

I’ve always been skeptical about suggesting albums — in my experience, people’s tastes in music differ far more widely than for books or movies.  While you can guess that a friend who likes thrillers will probably enjoy House of Cards, the fact that she likes Kraftwerk doesn’t mean that she will enjoy Daft Punk; or if she does, she might get her kicks out of different albums from you (Homework rather than Discovery, or their soundtrack for Tron: Legacy). I suspect that individual…

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Wrecks from the past, cameras from the future

It was during our last dive in Coron, in the Philippines.  For three days, we had been descending on Japanese shipwrecks from WW2 — the Sangat gunboat, the Morazan Maru, the Akitsushima and its crane for lifting seaplanes out of the water, the 170m-long Okikawa Maru oil tanker — all sunk on the same day, September 24, 1944, by the US Air Force. Swimming around — and sometimes inside — these behemoths was truly awe-inspiring.  It almost reconciled me…

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Speed Dating

Liars’ League HK just posted the recording of a short comedy sketch I wrote this summer. The theme was “Hello & Goodbye,” which inspired me to look for a situation where characters say these words repeatedly. Speed dating events imposed themselves – -and their intrinsic absurdity dictated the genre. The piece was read on September 26 by the amazing Angus Gallagher, who did a fantastic job of it. The video is below, and the full text is…

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The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Thirty Second Annual Collection

Very happy to announce that my novelette “The Rider”, originally published in F&SF, reappears this week in the latest annual issue of The Year’s Best SF, edited by Gardner Dozois. Here is the full list of content: The Fifth Dragon, Ian McDonald (Reach for Infinity) The Rider, Jérôme Cigut (F&SF) The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile, Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Online) The Burial of Sir John Mawe at Cassini, Chaz…

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