This is a short book that began its life as a zine. (what's a zine? Well, let me tell you.) A zine is a self-published, paper-based piece of writing (so: neither a blog nor something that’s gone through layers of editorial gatekeeping). To some extent, the internet makes zine publishing obsolete, but there’s a certain charm to zines’ low-tech, hand-folded, hand-stapled nature - well, until you re-publish them as eBooks, anyway. They also enjoy a historical pedigree, having a lot in common with the subversive, political pamphlets of the 16th-18th centuries. And pamphlets were powerful: the word libel (written slander) comes from Latin libellus, meaning small book.
Read alsoDeviant Acts
Jackson Hurst lives his nightmares with his eyes open. Only the heroin he’s been addicted to since Vietnam keeps the horror at bay. A poster child for losers, Jackson’s addiction has cost him his job, his girlfriend—and unless there’s a change soon—his life. That change comes in the form of the wicked Aunt Camille, a Vermont millionaire who…
This particular zine started life as a travel journal, written in Japan, China and Mongolia in May-June 2008. From there it moved to my laptop in front of the fire, in the cold, Adelaide evenings of July 2008 when I wanted to hibernate: I would come home and detach myself mentally from work by re-living my trip. Anyway, from writings came pages, then printouts, then copies. Ta daah.
Why did I write it? Well, why not? I love travelling and writing, and this is a celebration of both. But also because there’s stuff in here that needs saying. And because it’s fun to pontificate on this and that, and not to shove it in anyone’s face, unlike, e.g. saying it – this way if people are bored or don’t like it they can just turn the page. And because writing means not being outside in the cold, and not cleaning the house. And because I live in a free and free-thinking country where I can bitch about political stuff without going to jail. And because I believe we have a moral obligation to create and not simply consume culture. And because I call myself a writer And because I’m pretty sure that writing will impress boys. And just because.
Anyway, that’s me on the front cover, rolling around with a Mongolian dog that looks distinctly like his ancestors have been dancing with wolves. There I was, sitting on the ground in the sunshine in Terelj national park when the dog sat down beside me, had a good lean, and then pushed me over and began licking my face. Or that’s my story – the dog might tell it some other way ;-)