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So there I was trying to pitch these stories of mine at publishing types, feeling bleak about my prospects of become a ‘young information professional’, and they asked for summary of what I’d written.

This is what I gave them.

The Unlikely End of Mei Mei’s Cat

Beijing man Zhang Wei’s life takes a turn for the weird when an unfortunate series of events involving his wife and an animal psychic leads to his apparently suicidal cat being posthumously accused of being a political deviant.

Unwilling to accept the idea his cat had any political opinions at all, the man’s scepticism soon gets him accused of suffering from the same malady himself.

Plucked out of his bed by the secret police and taken to a prison deep underneath Beijing, Zhang is horrified to discover that the authorities are determined that he will be made to answer for the alleged crimes of his departed pet.

What Everyone Should Know about the First Man in Space

An alternative version of how the first human got into space, this is the story of lost cosmonaut Alexei Lenovsky, who was launched into orbit two years before Gargarin’s famous flight, only to crash land near Shanghai and end up spending the next four decades years as a prisoner in the Chinese Gulag.

Released after 42 years and sent to spend his dying days in a Russian immigrant ghetto in Australia, Lenovsky, despite his eagerness to tell everyone his story, finds that he is completely unable to make himself heard.

Abdul Paton's all Pakistan Park for Penguins and Progress

From the age of ten Pakistani civil servant Abdul Paton has hidden a terrible secret from the world. He believes himself to a penguin trapped in a man’s body.

Appointed to a lonely customs outpost deep in Pakistan’s lawless northern mountains Abdul manages to successfully avoid facing the increasing violence and poverty that is overtaking the villages around him by putting his energies into the construction of a park filled with hundreds of ceramic penguins.

However, as the situation descends from mere chaos into outright insurrection, Abdul discovers that his Antarctic dream world is increasingly under threat from reality.

Life and Death in the Seahorse’s Garden

One hundred and forty million years ago, until he along with his tens of thousands of sisters and brothers were smothered by the fall out from a massive volcanic eruption, Scooty the seahorse lived a happy life in a slime garden under the sea.

Disintegrated over the course of geological ages into Eastern Europe’s largest oil field, with the beginning of the twentieth century it turns out that tens of thousands of disintegrated seahorses are the secret ingredient that make the oil pumped from this particular field uniquely well suited for refining into rocket fuel.

Now strategically significant in a way few seahorses have been either before or since, on the day after the end of World War Two Scooty becomes the cause of a strange final battle that will have surprising repercussions for the start of the space age, and the life of the first man in orbit, Alexei Lenovsky.

Brother Damien Takes Out the Moose

In an ice-skating rink surrounded by the broiling slums of West Jakarta, Jesus Squad, a neo-fascist militia for bible believing boys, has barricaded themselves against an angry mob. As the mob starts to batter down the door their leader, Brother Damien, tells them that the final battle between the forces of good and evil has finally arrived.

Starting from the siege at the ice skating rink, this story follows how corruption, a corpulent American evangelist, a guilt struck French Canadian economics teacher, Mikey the Magical Christmas Moose and a bloody minded school chaplain from Singapore who insists people call him Brother Damien, combine to spark off a terrifying confrontation between the rich and the poor of this decaying tropical city.

The Incredible Truth About Ludwig the Frog and the Cheesecake.

Ludwig Van Stug, colonial explorer of the Australian outback, thought of himself as a man of science, until the night he was snatched from his camp by a giant frog.

The frog, a powerful immoral creature known to the local Aboriginals as ‘the Frog That Make the Rain’, informs Ludwig that the colonisation of northern Australia by people like him has to stop.

Two hundred years later Ludwig’s warnings about angry amphibians hadn’t come even close to stopping the colonisation of northern Australia, and the original inhabitants of the desert have been reduced to living in spiritually defeated squalor.

But with the disastrous cheesecake famine of 1999 the Frog that Makes the Rain returns, and angry with the people who have stolen its land, exacts upon them an eerie and wonderful revenge.

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