Hallucination in Hong Kong

EC1 Digital
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In Hallucination in Hong Kong by Rohan Quine, sliding from joy to nightmare and back, a plane-flight frames a journey into Jaymi’s and Angel’s polarised identities and perceptions, where past and present merge in an obsessive fantasy of love, death, horror and apocalyptic beauty.


As their plane takes off, Jaymi is warmed by the presence of his beloved friend Angel beside him. They are bound for Hong Kong, to perform a grand concert of unearthly music from a stage set high on the Peak. Jaymi starts to doze ... and enters a fog of horror in seeming to remember that this concert lies in their distant past, not their imminent future: it happened nine years ago, and straight after that triumphant occasion there occurred unexpected disaster and the permanent catatonia of Angel. Those terrible events were rendered all the more poignant by the idyllic chapter they had experienced upon first meeting and falling in love, which he now recalls in great detail.


In reality (it would seem), Jaymi is on this flight alone, on a mission to put a compassionate end to Angel’s life, in view of his continued catatonia. And in an atmosphere of escalating nightmare and disjunction, incongruously set against the beauty of night-time Hong Kong as seen from the Peak and the Midlevels, this grim mission of euthanasia is accomplished – perhaps. That nightmare atmosphere is magnified by the obsessive flicker of Jaymi’s mind through complex permutations of his own possible guilt at betraying Angel, and the latter’s possible knowledge of this guilt ... because hadn’t there actually been a mirror on the ceiling above the bench where Angel lay supine years ago, unnoticed by Jaymi at the time but in fact revealing to Angel certain things about Jaymi’s movements that he hadn’t known Angel could see?


Sliding from joy to nightmare, then back to a joy stained by the flavour of vanishing nightmare, Hallucination in Hong Kong explores those hellish possible events lying beneath the surface of our present and future, always ready to break through into reality if they become so inclined. In this journey, it conjures up from Jaymi’s and Angel’s polarised identities and perceptions an obsessive fantasy of dark androgyny, ironic horror and apocalyptic beauty.



Rohan Quine, Hallucination in Hong Kong, literary fiction, magical realism, dark fantasy, horror, gay, Hong Kong, catatonia, plane flight, The Peak, concert, imagination, transgender, contemporary

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In Apricot Eyes by Rohan Quine, a cat-and-mouse pursuit through the New York City night involves a preacher, a psychic and a dominatrix, broadcast live on air – until a horror is unearthed, bringing two of them together and the third to a sticky end.


Having partially regained a power of second sight that he’d once possessed but lost, Jaymi Peek uses this ability in a live weekly television show online, where he channels onto the screen those unexpected places, hidden colours and hatching plans that he can perceive throughout New York City. He applies this sight to the task of relocating his old friend Scorpio, who has gone missing, but succeeds in catching only a glimpse of him in some unidentified corner of the city’s underbelly.


Across a subway station, Jaymi notices an unwelcome visitor from his and Scorpio’s past – Kev Banton, who has now become a prominent evangelical preacher intent upon a moral cleansing of the population. Jaymi tails Kev discreetly through the subway, and is surprised when Kev’s journey ends at a waterfront waste ground in an industrial corner of the Bronx, where Kev slips out of sight amid an odd hum of underground engines...


The monstrous population beneath this waste ground, and the malign purposes for which the preacher and his wife have been feeding it, are revealed in the course of a triangular cat-and-mouse pursuit involving Jaymi, Scorpio and the preacher. This unfolds in Scorpio’s physical pursuit of Kev through the crackle and night-pulse of the streets, from Times Square to the marginalised fringes of the city; in Jaymi’s psychic pursuit of Scorpio, whether streaking up high through the skyscrapers’ shine or secreted on a tanker as it rattles through the Bronx; and on screen, in the colourised shimmer of what Jaymi broadcasts live.


In its rollicking journey through these hidden planes of New York, to the simplicity and sensuality of its ending, Apricot Eyes is a blast of fun that trumpets boldness, tolerance and voltage, celebrating the mystery and dangers furled just behind the surface of the everyday.



Rohan Quine, Apricot Eyes, literary fiction, magical realism, dark fantasy, horror, gay, New York, worms, Bronx, subway, Hunts Point, imagination, transgender, contemporary

From Hollywood Hills mansions and Century City towers, to South Central motels and the oceanside refinery, The Beasts of Electra Drive by Rohan Quine spans a mythic L.A., following seven spectacular characters (or Beasts) from games designer Jaymi’s game-worlds. The intensity of those Beasts’ creation cycles leads to their release into real life in seemingly human forms, and to their combative protection of him from destructive rivals at mainstream company Bang Dead Games. Grand spaces of beauty interlock with narrow rooms of terror, both in the real world and in the incorporeal world of cyberspace. A prequel to Quine’s other five tales (and a Finalist in the IAN Book of the Year Awards 2018), The Beasts of Electra Drive is a unique explosion of glamour and beauty, horror and enchantment, exploring the mechanisms and magic of creativity itself.


Jaymi is an independent games designer living on Electra Drive in the Hollywood Hills. Opposed to him are his former colleagues at Bang Dead Games. Their mounting competitiveness regarding his own extravagant game-creation reaches a point where they attack him physically with a flying drone.


Bang Dead is preparing the global release of a game called Ain’tTheyFreaky!, centring on five tabloid-flavoured social-media “Newsfeeds” for the victimisation of certain people by others—the “Gal Score”, “Guy Score”, “Trivia Score”, “Arts Score” and “Cosy Score”. Jaymi decides to fight back, for self-protection and to counteract this game’s destructive effects.


He takes an irrevocable step: after creating Amber, the most dangerous of the characters (or Beasts, as he calls them) who will populate Jaymi’s project The Platinum Raven, he releases Amber from that game, such that Amber slithers out from Jaymi’s computer monitor. Appearing human, this now-incarnated Beast is sent to stalk Ain’tTheyFreaky!’s creators in real life.


While Amber terrorises them, Jaymi creates a second Beast, Evelyn, a woman of ease and freedom, from his project The Imagination Thief. Incarnated too, she joins Amber in sabotaging a Bang Dead venture in the physical world.


As Jaymi’s output spawns three more titles—The Host in the Attic, Apricot Eyes and Hallucination in Hong Kong—he jumps into the creation cycles and subsequent incarnations of five more varied and human-seeming Beasts. These are Shigem, Kim, the Platinum Raven, Scorpio, and his own simulacrum the Jaymi Beast.


Targeted by a more lethal drone attack than the first one, he decides that his Beasts’ missions must escalate: they will infiltrate the very substance of Ain’tTheyFreaky!. Evelyn, Shigem and Kim therefore sneak into one of the game’s visual environments (a mythically seedy Downtown L.A.), where they try to put an end to some of the casually-programmed cruelty in the game. Shigem shames one Bang Dead programmer into secretly working for Jaymi instead; and Kim persuades another high-ranking Bang Dead employee to join Jaymi likewise.


Five of the Beasts proceed to sabotage Ain’tTheyFreaky! at code level, turning its own server farm into a radically different kind of environment than before. Their sabotage takes aim at the game in such a way as to break it down into its constituent glyphs and pixels—then electrifies these, recombining them into brand-new forms of such enchanted love and wickedness and originality that they’d certainly have been forbidden by Bang Dead.


Amid the resultant conflict, a Beast is sent to kill a human; a Beast is arrested, before escaping and wreaking revenge; and another human is lashed to the top of the transmitter tower above the Hollywood Sign, where...


After the ensuing convulsions of destruction and violent creation have run their course, Jaymi’s Beasts slip away to their appointed onscreen destinations, one by one; and he is left alone again, just as he was before he brought them into being. As he fires up his newly-completed game The Imagination Thief for the first time, however, it is clear that neither he nor the world around him will ever quite be as before.

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Additional Information

Publisher
EC1 Digital
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Published on
Jan 1, 2014
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Pages
50
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ISBN
9780957441989
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Magical Realism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Imagination Thief by Rohan Quine is about a web of secrets, triggered by the stealing and copying of people’s imaginations and memories. It’s about the magic that can be conjured up by images of people, in imagination or on film; the split between beauty and happiness in the world; and the allure of various kinds of power. It celebrates some of the most extreme possibilities of human imagination, personality and language, exploring the darkest and brightest flavours of beauty living in our minds.


Alone in his skyscraper office one night, Jaymi undergoes a transformation that will change his life: he acquires the power to see into others’ minds, and then to control and project their thoughts.


Realising the potential of this gift, he hypnotises a media mogul into agreeing to broadcast an electrifying extravaganza of sound and vision emanating from Jaymi, the like of which has never been witnessed before, that will captivate millions. However, one of the mogul’s underlings has more subversive plans for milking Jaymi’s talent, involving the theft of others’ imaginations and intimate memories for commercial gain.


The broadcasting of his visions plunges Jaymi and his best friend Alaia on a journey into the underbelly of Asbury Park – a seaside town once full of life but now half-forgotten. The town’s entire oceanfront is now almost a ghost town: ruled by gangsters and drug dealers, headed by Lucan, it is populated by lost souls and the beautiful who have fallen on hard times. Blackmailed into thieving the most private and primal memories and experiences from these people’s imaginations, Jaymi discovers a web of secrets and provocations simmering beneath the surface of the town, about to explode.


When a waxwork of Lucan’s decapitated head is anonymously planted in his own bar, fear bubbles up, as everyone becomes a suspect in this unforgivable challenge to Lucan’s dominance. Then when another provocative waxwork appears – a naked full-body modelling of Lucan’s beautiful but tortured lover, Angel – Jaymi knows he must use his own gift to discover the perpetrator before Lucan does.


Delving into and celebrating the most beautiful and extreme possibilities of human imagination, personality and love, The Imagination Thief is literary fiction, with a touch of magical realism and a dusting of horror. It explores the universal human predicaments of power, beauty, happiness, hopelessness, good and evil.



Keywords: literary fiction, magical realism, dark fantasy, horror, gay, Asbury Park, psychic, New York, broadcast, imagination, transgender, contemporary, enhanced ebook

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • From the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom.

“This potent book about America’s most disgraceful sin establishes [Ta-Nehisi Coates] as a first-rate novelist.”—San Francisco Chronicle

NAMED ONE OF PASTE’S BEST NOVELS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • NPR • The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • Esquire • Good Housekeeping • Town & Country • The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal

“Nearly every paragraph is laced through with dense, gorgeously evocative descriptions of a vanished world and steeped in its own vivid vocabulary.”—Entertainment Weekly

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.

Praise for The Water Dancer

“Ta-Nehisi Coates is the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race with his 2015 memoir, Between the World and Me. So naturally his debut novel comes with slightly unrealistic expectations—and then proceeds to exceed them. The Water Dancer . . . is a work of both staggering imagination and rich historical significance. . . . What’s most powerful is the way Coates enlists his notions of the fantastic, as well as his fluid prose, to probe a wound that never seems to heal. . . . Timeless and instantly canon-worthy.”—Rolling Stone
The Host in the Attic by Rohan Quine is a hologram of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, digitised and reframed in cinematic style, set in London’s Docklands in a few years’ time.


Brilliant software engineer Rik and executive Jaymi work at digital agencies in London (surely unaware that their fates are destined to echo those of Basil and Dorian, respectively the painter and the subject of The Picture of Dorian Gray). Rik uses Jaymi’s appearance as the model or “skin” for a cutting-edge interactive hologram that navigates the Web in enhanced ways, tailored to every user. The dissolute bigwig “Champagne” Marc makes this into a business reality, and through his cynical eloquence electrifies Jaymi with the knowledge that Jaymi will hereby become the face of the Web. Throughout the film-shoot of Jaymi for the making of the skin, these honeyed words of Marc (like those of Wilde’s Lord Henry to Dorian during the portrait’s creation) light powerful fires of vanity and hubris behind Jaymi’s eyes.


As this holographic Web-guide’s hold over global information grows to a near monopoly, Jaymi is lionised, finding no door closed. But he yearns for still more: to see what the hologram itself can see online. So by trickery he succeeds in getting hold of a unique copy of the prototype hologram, with all regular filters removed.


In private files online he thereby discovers a not-yet-published novel that will come to be called The Imagination Thief, by Alaia Danielle, with whom he has an intense romance (echoing Wilde’s actress Sibyl Vane with Dorian). But when Jaymi brutally dumps her, triggering her suicide, he is shocked to observe, on the same evening, that the face on his private prototype hologram has become crueller. Fascinated, he realises its appearance is changing in accordance with his own behaviour – and he hides it in his attic.


For years he uses his unique online access for ever more megalomaniacal ends, ruining the lives of many whom he lures down into excess, addiction and suicide. While the hologram in the attic deteriorates into quite terrifying corruption, Jaymi’s appearance remains as sweet and youthful as the day he was filmed ... until the inevitable reckoning unfolds.



Keywords: literary fiction, magical realism, dark fantasy, horror, Dorian Gray, hologram, London, Docklands, attic, The Imagination Thief, corridor, Ontario Tower, imagination, contemporary

In Apricot Eyes by Rohan Quine, a cat-and-mouse pursuit through the New York City night involves a preacher, a psychic and a dominatrix, broadcast live on air – until a horror is unearthed, bringing two of them together and the third to a sticky end.


Having partially regained a power of second sight that he’d once possessed but lost, Jaymi Peek uses this ability in a live weekly television show online, where he channels onto the screen those unexpected places, hidden colours and hatching plans that he can perceive throughout New York City. He applies this sight to the task of relocating his old friend Scorpio, who has gone missing, but succeeds in catching only a glimpse of him in some unidentified corner of the city’s underbelly.


Across a subway station, Jaymi notices an unwelcome visitor from his and Scorpio’s past – Kev Banton, who has now become a prominent evangelical preacher intent upon a moral cleansing of the population. Jaymi tails Kev discreetly through the subway, and is surprised when Kev’s journey ends at a waterfront waste ground in an industrial corner of the Bronx, where Kev slips out of sight amid an odd hum of underground engines...


The monstrous population beneath this waste ground, and the malign purposes for which the preacher and his wife have been feeding it, are revealed in the course of a triangular cat-and-mouse pursuit involving Jaymi, Scorpio and the preacher. This unfolds in Scorpio’s physical pursuit of Kev through the crackle and night-pulse of the streets, from Times Square to the marginalised fringes of the city; in Jaymi’s psychic pursuit of Scorpio, whether streaking up high through the skyscrapers’ shine or secreted on a tanker as it rattles through the Bronx; and on screen, in the colourised shimmer of what Jaymi broadcasts live.


In its rollicking journey through these hidden planes of New York, to the simplicity and sensuality of its ending, Apricot Eyes is a blast of fun that trumpets boldness, tolerance and voltage, celebrating the mystery and dangers furled just behind the surface of the everyday.



Rohan Quine, Apricot Eyes, literary fiction, magical realism, dark fantasy, horror, gay, New York, worms, Bronx, subway, Hunts Point, imagination, transgender, contemporary

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