links for 07-04-29

  • King of the blogs (Shift, Summer 2001)
    Weblogs are everywhere these days. A Nebraska man named Evan Williams has a lot to do with that. Here’s the story behind his community-building tool, which allows you to blog-blog-blog the world within minutes.
  • Cambodia cyclos may soon disappear
    PHNOM PENH’S crowded streets have become the loneliest of places for the city’s cyclo drivers as peddle-power is making way for a faster pace of life in the Cambodian capital.

links for 07-04-27

  • Writers in Guatemala
    If Shakespeare or Lao Tzu were teenagers today would they have their own weblogs? We’ll never know, but we can be sure, thanks to Renata Avila’s review, that up and coming poets and novelists in Guatemala are taking to the Internet as a medium of expression and community to interact with their readers. In a country where people purchase more beer and sports magazines than books, where several languages are spoken (not only Spanish), and where a considerable number of people is illiterate, the context is challenging for a writer.

The author of “The King’s Last Song” in the Phnom Penh Post

It was this April last year that I met Canadian-born Geoff Ryman, and read one of his latest novels, The King’s Last Song, just a few days later. It was great being at his book launch, held on the top roof of Foreign Correspondent of Cambodia/FCC, where he presented his books to a dozen of people, mostly international travelers.
The King's Last Song by Geoff Ryman
Just before the Khmer New Year I began to read another short story of his. England-based travel writer Andy Brouwer has just pointed out an email interview of Cat Barton of the Phnom Penh Post with novelist Geoff. The full article is available on the Phnom Penh Post’s Web site. The interview gives an overview of Geoff’s recent writings, the major one is his 2006 novel “The King’s Last Song,” and his very latest short story “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy),” which has just been nominated for a 2007 Hugo Award. The two stories have not been made available in Khmer language just yet. The Post reporter asked that “Would you be interested in doing a Khmer translation of your work?” Well, this is Geoff’s response:

“There was talk about serializing “The King’s Last Song” in a newspaper, but [it] would be a huge task. I think out of them all I’d most rather “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter” was translated. It’s a manageable length and I think it deals in a recognizably modern Phnom Penh. The question is how to use sales abroad to fund publishing in Cambodia in Khmer.”

Last year, I read The King’s Last Song or Kraing Meas (Golden Palm-Leaf Book), a fictional story of how the twelfth-century King Jayavarman VII delivered his inspirational message to present Cambodia. I personally find his book sub-title interesting. It simply says: A Voice from the Past Brings Hope for the Future. It touched my heart so I began to write a review for the first time. And of course, I am going to write another review of the “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter,” and publish it some time soon. It is interesting, if you believe him, that there is place like Hilton Hotel in the Cambodian capital. And there is no doubt that he clearly illustrates the social trend of young Cambodians, self-indulgence in new gadgets: Nokia and iPod.

This short story is available on the Internet. Please click here for the download page.

Also: Cambodian-penned Khmer Rouge genocide history book to be unveiled