Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Win a book and a glimpse of a weird new China

Lisa Brackmann's Rock, Paper, Tiger offers some of the most unexpected views you're likely to get of China short of visiting and hanging out with its squatters, scene-makers, disaffected artists, and others who struggle to stay one step ahead of the country's ruthless capitalistic socialistic-with-Chinese-characteristics wrecking ball.

Now you can meet them by answering this skill-testing question: What Chinese scientist was recently greeted with a hail storm of shoes and eggs in his appearance at a Chinese university? What electronic landmark is he famous for?

First correct answer wins a copy of Rock, Paper, Tiger. Send answers plus a postal address to detectivesbeyondborders (at) earthlink (dot) net
***
Lisa Brackmann was a member of  my "Flags of Terror" panel at Bouchercon 2010. Read her thoughts on architecture, demolition, and community in today's China.

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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17 Comments:

Blogger Solea said...

Fang Binxing, the Great Firewall creator, responsible for blocking websites and filtering searches.

May 24, 2011  
Blogger seana said...

I've noticed this one. Your description makes it sound quite interesting.

I have access, so I won't play the game.

May 24, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, it offers a view of China the likes of which I've never seen elsewhere.

And here's a bit of trivia: the protagonnist's occasional resorting to Starbuckses in China reflects the author's practice.

May 24, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're right, Solea, and here's the man himself. Send me a postal address, and I'll send you the book.

May 24, 2011  
Blogger Other Lisa said...

You know what rocks? Starbucks Via, the instant coffee. Don't leave home without it!

May 25, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lisa, I hear the next-generation of Starbucks Via will include a computer chip that plays an eclectic but never abrasive selection of jazz- and world-music-inflected pop plus actors who mispronounce doppio macchiato as badly as your local barista -- the complete Starbucks experience in one handy package!

May 25, 2011  
Blogger Solea said...

You are too funny Peter. I thought she was gonna write, "You know what rocks? Freedom rocks!",
quickly followed by "Drill Baby Drill!"

May 25, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Cleveland rocks!

May 25, 2011  
Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

My blog is blocked in China.

It's too scary, it seems.

May 25, 2011  
Blogger Other Lisa said...

Sign me up for the chipped version! I need those soothing smooth jazz sounds...

Truthfully, I go to Starbucks when I travel, especially in China because they make a reliable cup of coffee. I don't go to them much here (in California) because there are generally better local options.

Tales, all blogspot blogs are blocked in China. The Chinese government prefers blogs on local servers that they can easily censor. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube are all hard-blocked as well.

Solea, the odds of hearing "drill baby drill!" from my mouth are extremely small -- except perhaps directed to my dentist...

May 25, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Tales, I guess I must be blocked in China, too, then. I wonder if I've ever cast eggs or shoes in a favorable light.

May 25, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lisa, I may have mentioned when the Sino-Starbucks axis came to light that I visited McDonalds the first time I was in Paris. (I was young then.) There is something to ne said for familiarity.

May 25, 2011  
Blogger Solea said...

Sorry Lisa!

May 26, 2011  
Blogger Other Lisa said...

No worries, Solea! (said the woman who belongs to so many environmental orgs she needs a spreadsheet to track them...)

And Peter, I agree...and in the case of the Starbucks in RPT, it really is about the MC finding a familiar environment in times of crisis...cool world music jazz and all!

May 26, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lisa, Starbucks is a great avatar of American culture. A generation or two back, you'd have had to have your protagonist seek refuge in a dingy bar run by an enigmatic American ex-pat who made her uneasy but who had the advantage of speaking English.

That music thing -- Starbucks must do careful demographic research in choosing its music. The music is always cool enough that hipsters and NPR listeners can feel at home but never shocking or surprising. (I wonder how rigidly Starbucks world headquarters dictates the musical selection at individual outlets.)

May 26, 2011  
Blogger lisa_emily said...

I realized that reading a mystery novel taking place in China would be really cool. Thanks for this referral, I will check it out.

As the other Lisa, I too, have gone to starbucks in China as I knew someone working there would speak English and I could use the restroom. Plus, I knew what I would get. But I would never go in CA, or in France. (there's too many other better options)

June 02, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Exactly. Starbucks has managed the difficult feat of making a four-dollar-plus cup of coffee comfort food.

June 03, 2011  

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