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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:58 am 
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Coming up on Wednesday August 10th from 7:00 pm at For Walls (Miss Libertine), we'll be doing the Melbourne launch party for my novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat - so, if any of you can make it along, bloody brilliant.

:smt003

A synopsis? In a tightly-wound nutshell, think sci-fi/noir/post-apocalypt​ic tones (with a somewhat bent sense of humour) set in Melbourne, Australia, as the last city in the world.

Melbourne is, after all, my home town.

But the novel's also heavily influenced by Tokyo, a city he's lived in for the past 10 years, and 'Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat' also owes about 60% of its content to classic noir cinema. You can find out more about the novel here: http://tobaccostainedmountaingoat.weebly.com/

The novel's currently the Book Of The Month @ the Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) website - where we've been getting into the nitty-gritties including the ideology, character development, background music, the implanted red herring numbers, etc, etc. Find out more here:
http://chuckpalahniuk.net/forum/1000029/tobacco-stained-mountain-goat-book-club-july-11

The launch party's on Mushbook here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=152173894856521

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We've also got great feedback/reviews from sources like The Age, ABC Radio, Impact magazine, Farrago, Vice, Inpress, Filmink, Lip Magazine, etc, and this will be the only Australian book launch party, with me popping in from Tokyo to wax waffling (sorry!) and do some book scrawling with a big fat black texta.

Plus there'll be suitably noir visuals and an appropriate soundtrack: a lot of my hack Little Nobody tracks, and diverse music that influenced the book from the 1930s to 2010, and we'll be doing the kitsch-cabana-and-cheese routine.

And, as an added bonus if we can get the DVD player operational, @ the book launch we're going to play a sneak preview of the Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell) anime production Drawer Hobs, for which I did the English subtitles; it hasn't been released in Australia yet but is doing the festival circuit:
http://janica.jp/pja/main.html

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Anyway, enough propaganda humbug - hope to see you there!

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Last edited by Andrez on Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:59 pm 
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awesome.. nice work man..

Hoping to be there :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Cheers, ADD_Boy - come up and say 'allo! ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:56 pm 
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im excited!

the book is awesome, highly enjoyed.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:01 am 
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Thanks, B - and for all the encouragement and support early on as well. :angel4:

There's actually an interview about the development of this novel (and my hack musical asides as well) up today on the very cool UPSTART site; big thanks to the writer, Radhika, for making it an interesting exercise - and for reigning me in and making sense out of my waffling. Here's some of it:

***********

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Perhaps the book industry isn’t doing so well, but that hasn’t stopped Andrez Bergen from writing.

The Australian-born expat recently added the title of novelist to his extensive list of achievements. And in true Aussie fashion he says that to be a writer ‘you have to love the written word and the way it interacts with its little mates on the page.’

Living in Tokyo, Japan for the last ten years, this self-described ‘idiosyncratic’ released the book Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat in April, and has achieved what some others may only ever dream.

From musician to writer and journalist, Bergen grew up early on a diet of Cat Stevens, art and words. He developed a passion for writing very early on, describing it as being his first passion, says he wrote ‘as soon as I could hold a crayon and put words together.’

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His professional writing career began when he was a university student, with a fierce drive to be published. Fiction writing paved the way to journalism, which appealed to him because of the creativity within the medium.

‘I’m not good at study,’ he says. ‘If I love something I just jump into it. It means there are less constraints.’

‘At uni I discovered the joy of writing about stuff I liked – movies and music especially – for university newspapers…the interest dovetailed after that.’

Over the years Bergen made a name for himself writing about pop culture, anime and music, for Australian publications like The Age, Herald Sun, Vice magazine, Oyster, and street press publications Beat, Inpress, Rip It Up, Rave, and 3D World. Not to mention the countless online and Japanese publications that pop up when you Google him.

One of his first print jobs though, spawned from an entirely different art form – electronic music. In 1995 Bergen and his friends, Mateusz Sikora and Brian Huber, started up a record company called IF? Records. The label was created to spotlight ‘excellent, young unsigned Melbourne electronic producers’ and out of the project spawned Little Nobody, Bergen’s DJ alias. Starting out as a ‘joke’ Little Nobody became an important part of his artistic endeavors.

‘Little Nobody started out as a joke – a non-existent act we could add to event flyers and pad out the bill at the IF? gigs’ says Bergen.

‘I thought ‘Little Nobody’ was a healthy poked-out tongue at some of the pretentious people involved in the scene at the time. Then somehow the creative bug bit me on the bum.’

BLAH, BLAH.

********

There's more here if you're not asleep by now - sometimes I do that to people! ;)
http://www.upstart.net.au/2011/07/27/once-a-little-nobody/

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:53 pm 
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think i might pop in and say hi


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Brain wrote:
think i might pop in and say hi


Brain, that'd be brilliant - ta! Be sweet to hook up.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:37 pm 
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If you see a brain in a jar at the book launch - that's me!

BTW, can you please explain what the hell this is?

http://boingboing.net/2011/07/26/%E3%81%8D%E3%82%83%E3%82%8A%E3%83%BC%E3%81%B1%E3%81%BF%E3%82%85%E3%81%B1%E3%81%BF%E3%82%85-ponponpon.html


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Brain wrote:
If you see a brain in a jar at the book launch - that's me!

BTW, can you please explain what the hell this is?

http://boingboing.net/2011/07/26/%E3%81%8D%E3%82%83%E3%82%8A%E3%83%BC%E3%81%B1%E3%81%BF%E3%82%85%E3%81%B1%E3%81%BF%E3%82%85-ponponpon.html


Jars will be on the look-out list, esp. ones with brains in 'em. Pickled?

And as for that link... ha ha ha... ahhh, Japan. I love this place. I have no idea!! ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:37 pm 
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OK, I'm out the door tomorrow to get the flight from Narita Airport - about bloody time! ;)

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I'm all class, traveling Jetstar with a 5kg limit. Sigh. Anyway, I did an interview yesterday for the arts section in Inpress mag, so that should be published next Wednesday 10th August - the day of the book launch. Fingers crossed. Unless they hated my rambling responses.

I'm also popping in to Kiss FM to do more inane waffling on Timmy Byrne's on Wednesday, around 5:30pm, just before the launch party. I'd suggest listening but I don't want you falling asleep and missing the jaunt itself.

Soooo, the ball is well and truly rolling. Be nice to spend some time in a place that isn't shaking every second minute. Hopefully see some of you while I'm in town.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:31 am 
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Just a quick word of thanks for the support here re: the book launch last week; I just got back to Tokyo and wanted to hop in to express thanks to the peeps who matter for that support and/or popping in. You guys seriously rock!! ;)

I also did the inane blog thing about it here in case you're bored:
http://iffybizness.blogspot.com/2011/08/melbourne-book-launch-of-tsmg.html

Cheers,
Andrezzz

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:29 am 
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sorry couldn't make it dude, i got the flu the day before and was bed-ridden for a week. Glad it went well.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:53 pm 
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I too, am sorry I missed the launch. And sorry I missed you at the shop, as well.

I'm going to start the book tonight!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Andrez wrote:
Just a quick word of thanks for the support here re: the book launch last week; I just got back to Tokyo and wanted to hop in to express thanks to the peeps who matter for that support and/or popping in. You guys seriously rock!! ;)

I also did the inane blog thing about it here in case you're bored:
http://iffybizness.blogspot.com/2011/08/melbourne-book-launch-of-tsmg.html

Cheers,
Andrezzz



Nice one Andrez, it was nice to meet you :) reading your book right now too!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:57 pm 
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Brain, no worries - just get better, matey! Lizkins, was brilliant to touch base and cheers for coming along... hope the book is OK!

Quiet Roar, I took this happy-snap (yep, it made me bloody happy!) of the novel on shelf @ Brunswick Bound. Thank YOU yet again for stocking it and supporting the beastie in-store from scratch, when a lot of other shops haven't bothered. Hope you enjoy the actual contents! ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:31 pm 
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Half way through, and really enjoying it. I'm a fan of old films, too, so the references are making me smile. And "Where are all the films?" is something I regularly say to mrs roar while trawling through the tv guide looking for something that isn't a csi or reality show.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:39 pm 
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quiet roar wrote:
Half way through, and really enjoying it. I'm a fan of old films, too, so the references are making me smile. And "Where are all the films?" is something I regularly say to mrs roar while trawling through the tv guide looking for something that isn't a csi or reality show.


Wunderbar!! So chuffed you're digging ...and you know what? I think I wrote that line one evening when I had precisely the same problem!! :shock:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:38 am 
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Don't know if you have seen this Mr Bergen but think you'll like it.

Toshiro Mifune. Dressed as Yojimbo. Driving an MG. Top-down. With his Samurai sword on the dash.

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Now that's cool.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:44 am 
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^^ Awesome!

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:06 am 
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Oh flipping heck - no, I've never seen that picture - but you're right, I LOVE it!!! Ta, matey!!! :smt005

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:17 pm 
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Finished it yesterday, Andrez, and it's a wee ripper!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:28 pm 
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quiet roar wrote:
Finished it yesterday, Andrez, and it's a wee ripper!


WOW. Thank YOU. Simple as that. :wink:
Chuffed you dug it.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:33 pm 
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BTW, speaking of rippers, today we also got a wunderbar review from American magazine Verbicide as follows (hell, I'll admit it - I wanna share this round!)...

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“And then the girl from the Activities was standing before me. You remember her, the one from my recurring dream. The one I murdered, even if I don’t exactly remember the details. She stood before me, a hole the size of a football cut into her stomach, her hands cradling her innards.”

Those are the kind of stark descriptions of the grotesque and fantastic that litter Andrez Bergen’s debut novel. Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat is a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi noir caper that comes on quick and relentless, and doesn’t quit until the last words.

The protagonist, Floyd Maquina, is a messed up guy. Living in Melbourne, Australia (which happens to be the last city on Earth) he hunts Deviant citizens with government sanctioned vigor and a wicked drug and alcohol dependency. There’s violence, humor, and some tugging of heartstrings, but all in all, Bergen manages to keep things light despite a setting of pure bleakness: constant rain, depression, drug addiction. Somehow, among all of the drabness and desolation, Bergen crafts a tale that is full of fun dialogue, quirky idiosyncrasies, imaginative, lively characters, and a relatable world to put it all inside of. The image of Floyd sitting on a cramped train with his head pressed against a rain washed window reflecting bright with neon advertisements still sticks with me.

At the heart of Bergen’s novel is the love affair our author has with popular culture. This book is bursting with nods and homages to everything from Humphrey Bogart to Mobile Suit Gundam. At times I thought that his continuous placement of sly cultural references would weigh the narrative down and Bergen’s original thoughts would get lost in the milieu. Not the case. His sensitive placement and explanations of these references binds them firmly to the story and are vital to the reader’s sense of place and feeling. The idea could have gone overboard, but the execution remains poignant. And just in case some things go over your head (example: a tosser cracking foxy with a twist) there is a glossary and an encyclopedia in the back.

Bergen’s style doesn’t coddle the reader. His sometimes informal voice and penchant for showing and not telling require a little extra participation on the reader’s part. The result, though, is a quick but memorable excursion to a unique place that rewards the reader with invigorating style and a very satisfying ending. Check this one out.

reviewed by Evan Pearson

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:14 am 
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Just in case anyone's vaguely interested...

I've started the next hefty tome (75 pages in the past four weeks, tho' poorly edited/structured and in need or a loving overhaul once I stop brainstorming!).

Title at moment is One Hundred Years of Vicissitude, and it's 5% sequel/prequel of Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat—and 95% something else entirely. That's what I'm telling people, anyway. It sounds neat. Quite honestly I haven't got a clue how this one's going to end up.

You can keep a tab here if you wanna:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Hundred-Years-of-Vicissitude/251245908254339

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:13 pm 
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hey Andrez, i read it! Loved it! I reckon it stopped to soon, i wanted more tbh :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:43 pm 
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Lizkins wrote:
hey Andrez, i read it! Loved it! I reckon it stopped to soon, i wanted more tbh :)


Ha Ha Ha - zounds... wunderbar, Lizkins; thank YOU!! A few people have said the same thing (too short)... thanks for reading the bugger! I'm actually starting work shortly on a short story for an Australian noir/hardboiled/pulp anthology. 3-5,000 words. Mulling over whether Floyd Maquina might make a comeback for this... ;)

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:35 am 
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Well, I bit the bullet and did another one.

I recently finished my second novel, One Hundred Years of Vicissitude (http://onehundredyearsofvicissitude.weebly.com/), this time with the focus on Japan from 1929 on into the near future - plus a smattering of Melbourne in the '70s and '80s. A mix of surrealism, mystery, a smattering of dystopia/steampunk, a tad hard-boiled, and there's sci-fi/fantasy in there as well.

Image

Included in the mix are nods and references to classic movies by Akira Kurosawa, Kon Ichikawa, Seijun Suzuki, Masahiro Makino, Mikio Naruse, Satoshi Kon, Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu. Some manga-ka you might know also get the homage thing - including Osamu Tezuka - along with the only visit to Tokyo by the Graf Zeppelin, sake, sumo, The Tale of Genji, James Bond, and the 1945 fire-bombing of this city.

The novel will be published in paperback via new imprint Perfect Edge Books, in the second half of 2012.

Anyway, here's the synopsis:

"First up, a disclaimer. I suspect I am a dead man. I have meagre proof, no framed-up certification, nothing to toss in a court of law as evidence of a rapid departure from the mortal coil. I recall a gun was involved, pressed up against my skull, and a loud explosion followed."

Thus begins our narrator in a purgatorial tour through twentieth-century Japanese history, with a ghostly geisha who has seen it all as a guide and a corrupt millionaire as her reluctant companion.


More news soon. Ta for reading this waffle! ;)

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 1:25 pm 
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ohhhh looks the goods Andrez. i hope its a longer book this time, your last one was too short, wanted more :D

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:55 am 
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Lizkins wrote:
ohhhh looks the goods Andrez. i hope its a longer book this time, your last one was too short, wanted more :D


Ha Ha Ha - ta, Lizkins! Actually, it is a bit longer - 253 pages this time. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:39 pm 
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looks like some 'millennium actress' influence here what with the jumping through time thing and the ghostly geisha guide


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:18 pm 
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Andrez wrote:
Lizkins wrote:
ohhhh looks the goods Andrez. i hope its a longer book this time, your last one was too short, wanted more :D


Ha Ha Ha - ta, Lizkins! Actually, it is a bit longer - 253 pages this time. ;)



good stuff! :D

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 10:25 pm 
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:kooislayer.:

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 12:09 pm 
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Onya Andrez!

Reminds me I need to re-stock Tobacco-stained Mountain Goat, too.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:29 am 
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Brain wrote:
looks like some 'millennium actress' influence here what with the jumping through time thing and the ghostly geisha guide


Definitely an influence, Brain. I love Millennium Actress (good pick-up on that), and I was devastated when Satoshi Kon died as we'd hooked up just a few months before. I'm actually dedicating another book to him.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:30 am 
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quiet roar wrote:
Onya Andrez!

Reminds me I need to re-stock Tobacco-stained Mountain Goat, too.



Awwww... TA, mate (as always!!) x

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