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September 13, 2005

Table of Contents: American DiasporaEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This Table of Contents will be continually updated as new chapters are placed online.

Continue reading "Table of Contents: American Diaspora"

Amerocan Diaspora 31Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


Despite everything Mark Cuban had done for New Orleans, a warrant was still out on him

Continue reading "Amerocan Diaspora 31"

September 06, 2005

American Diaspora 30Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


I’m back in my home country again, and exhausted.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 30"

August 23, 2005

American Diaspora 29Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


One thing that is hard for newcomers to understand is just how far south we’re not in Joburg.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 29"

August 12, 2005

American Diaspora 28Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


“There is something quaintly British about a miner’s strike,” I’d written in my daily column, after gold miners had shut down 12 mines in early August.

One of the dumbest things I ever wrote.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 28"

August 03, 2005

American Diaspora 27Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


You can’t really run away. But you can try.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 27"

July 22, 2005

American Diaspora 26Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


My attempts to convince Chief Williams we weren’t dealing with a CIA plot were fruitless.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 26"

July 15, 2005

The Most Subversive Book Series EverEmail This EntryPrint This Article

harry potter 6.jpg Hear me out.

J.K. Rowling conceived her entire series on a train. It would be seven books, matching the years spent at an English boarding school such as Eton.

Book Six was released tonight. Rowling herself appeared at Edinburgh Castle at midnight, behind a puff of smoke, to read some of it to some of her fans.

The series was conceived, however, on a train, as a growing-up story. The first book would be an 11-year old's tale told from the point of view of the 11-year old. The final book would be an entrance into adulthood, a mature book.

No one could hit that kind of timetable. It's amazing to me that the 6th book went on sale just 7 years after the first one arrived.

My daughter is a big Harry Potter fan. Harry taught her to read, despite mild dyslexia. First my wife read it to her, along with the second and third books. Then she read them herself, several times. She has grown up on Harry but she will still be grown before Harry will. So will the actors who have been portraying the title character and his friends. It's very likely the actors will have to be replaced before the seventh movie can be produced.

But there's even more to it than that.

Remember that, as Arthur C. Clarke said, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

It's this that's the key to understanding what's really going on in the Harry Potter series.

Continue reading "The Most Subversive Book Series Ever"

July 14, 2005

American Diaspora 25Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


All I had done was let her sleep in.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 25"

July 05, 2005

American Diaspora 24Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.



Mark Cuban had already been to South Africa many times, coming with little fanfare, able to walk on the streets without notice, an investor stealing away like a thief in the night.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 24"

July 01, 2005

The King of CollaborationEmail This EntryPrint This Article

larry_niven.jpgHarry Turtledove is now advertised as the King of Alternate History. No argument.

Despite my criticism, Orson Scott Card reigns as the King of Morality-based Sci-Fi. (He can have either title, or both.)

But one man rises above all, and that man is Larry Niven, the King of Collaboration.

Niven, who made his own name with Ringworld, has since made a career out of collaborating with other people, and in every case the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. His strength is technical detail, but especially when he's working with someone else he manages, somehow, to humanize every character, and take the rough edges off his collaborator.

You can do worse than spend this summer with Larry Niven and Co. Following is a short course. Note that it's not exhaustive. The man types fast.

Start with the & Pournelle classics like The Mote in God's Eye, Footfall, Lucifer's Hammer, The Burning City, and their latest, The Burning Tower. Yummy!

That's a career for some people. For your Niven collaboration course, it's just an appetizer. Click below for more.

Continue reading "The King of Collaboration"

June 23, 2005

American Diaspora 23Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


How much can a man change in just one day?

That was the question all of South Africa was asking over its dinner, some in shock, some in awe, others with a rueful nod of recognition, as Mark Cuban was brought out for his arraignment.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 23"

June 21, 2005

American Diaspora 22Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.



Jenni’s report gave The Lady a heads-up, but nothing more than that.

The phone rang the next morning at 6 AM. “What the?” I mumbled as I went to get it from its charging stand.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 22"

June 20, 2005

House of CardEmail This EntryPrint This Article

orson card.jpgThanks to his political involvement many liberals are treating Orson Scott Card as a pariah.

I’m certain he doesn’t care. Many great writers have been men and women of uncertain, even unwelcome politics. Like all people they’re products of their environment.

This is especially true in science fiction, a subset of literature devoted to worlds far removed from our own time and space. I didn’t like Robert Heinlein’s politics, and I don’t discuss politics with Jerry Pournelle, either. But I enjoy both, immensely.

I also enjoy Card's work. I'm a fan, with eyes wide open to his faults and limits, but a fan nonetheless.

Continue reading "House of Card"

June 16, 2005

The Real Mark CubanEmail This EntryPrint This Article

cuban.jpgRegular readers of this space will know Mark Cuban as a recurring character in my two online novels, The Chinese Century and The American Diaspora.

I think it's important to note that the Mark Cuban of those novels is a fictional character. He has the same name, face, and background as the real Mark Cuban, but his motivations and actions are purely imaginary. The world of my alternate histories diverge from the real world right after the last election, with the imagined meeting of an American ambassador and a Chinese official. From there on out it's my world, not your world, not the real world.

There is, of course, a real Mark Cuban. You can find this Mark Cuban at his personal blog, BlogMaverick. It's telling that, to my knowledge, Cuban is the only blogging billionaire. I hope it's telling in a good way.

What's the real Mark Cuban like?

Continue reading "The Real Mark Cuban"

June 13, 2005

American Diaspora 21Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.



I was going to do something I never did before.

I was going to ask my own wife to cross an ethical line.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 21"

June 07, 2005

American Diaspora 20Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


What can a quarter-million American liberals do?

Quite a lot, it turns out.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 20"

June 06, 2005

Anakin Scott CardEmail This EntryPrint This Article

orson card.jpgAs a young writer the force was strong in Orson Scott Card.

His Secular Humanist Revival Meeting was a model of the form. He came on in the guise of a Baptist preacher to speak against creation science, and for a secular society in the humanist tradition.

The strongest statement he made in that talk was to note that any religion which gained the power of the state could lose its holiness because its first task once in power would be to oppress other religions. “This was even true for my own religion, in the Rocky Mountains,” he said.

His reference was to the Mormon Church, of which he is a lifelong member. To escape its secular hold he made his home in North Carolina. Still does.

Continue reading "Anakin Scott Card"

May 23, 2005

American Diaspora 19Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


It was our first fight in Africa.

Those 17 girls who drowned in Richards Bay weren’t ours, but the fact they were from Johannesburg had the American community buzzing.

Jenni had picked up the buzz. She was scared of South Africa’s AIDS epidemic, scared of South Africa’s high crime rate, scared for her children. Who wouldn’t be?

That’s the way it is on the frontier, I said. There’s risk. But there’s also vitality. There’s opportunity. I suffered an ordeal, but I came through it, and I’m stronger now than before.

The kids are going to grow up anyway.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 19"

May 18, 2005

Rushdie WorldEmail This EntryPrint This Article

rushdie_salman.jpgAs the U.S. Senate prepares to take up the nuclear option, as the U.S. steps gingerly toward a trade confrontation with China, as pensions and real estate hang as if on a precipice, I'm not worried.

My saintly wife will tell you how I do sometimes rant-and-rail, about this-or-that, how I promise to pull up stakes and move to, say, South Africa. But I never do. Because at the end of the day, I believe, we'll muddle through. Americans have seen worse and gotten by, I tell myself. The system is resilient. This too shall pass.

Not necessarily. I have spent the last few weeks reading Salman Rushdie's most recent masterwork, The Ground Beneath Her Feet. The Earth is constantly shaking, people are always dying, nothing is permanent in this book. Everything and everyone around the narrator is subject to sudden disaster and destruction. The survivor's job is to witness, then tell the tale.

In many ways 9-11 was a visit from Rushdie World. Rushdie himself had moved to New York by then, trading in his beloved Tottenham Hotspur for a New York Yankee cap. And the tragedy is a sub-text to the book. It can happen here. It does. It will. Think of it as evolution in action. Too many people are just no darned good. Their greed, their causes, their passions make them all like nitroglycerin. And the Earth itself is no better.

Yet Rushdie is still here. And I'm still here. And you're still here. For how long we can't know. And we all seem fairly prosperous. Those with talent, and those who are willing to change themselves, may witness more, may survive longer, and may (like Rushdie) leave a mark.

Continue reading "Rushdie World"

May 11, 2005

American Diaspora 18Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


The Lady was home at last.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 18"

May 02, 2005

American Diaspora 17Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


Mark Cuban was facing a personal crisis.

And he would get no sympathy from anyone.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 17"

April 26, 2005

American Diaspora 16Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


The survival of Virgin Maverick was celebrated long into the night.

But we knew we were far from being out of the woods.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 16"

April 21, 2005

American Diaspora 15Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


They were coming. We were doomed.

That was how I felt as the march began from the township of Soweto towards the Johannesburg CBD, where Virgin Maverick’s offices lay.

How did it all come to this, I asked myself, knowing the answer because I’d been there.

And knowing that maybe I had been the cause of it all.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 15"

April 12, 2005

American Diaspora 14Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


I had been expecting him, but it was still a shock.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 14"

March 31, 2005

American Diaspora 13Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


We have an unusual marriage, Jenni and I.

It’s nothing scandalous. But tor most of the last five years, I’ve basically been “the wife.”

Continue reading "American Diaspora 13"

March 22, 2005

American Diaspora 12Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


My mother once said that when you accept your own death then you don’t have long to live.

I don’t know about that. What I do know is that an awesome feeling of peace came over me in that house. I’m not a religious man, but I know a religious experience when I have one. This was one.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 12"

March 16, 2005

American Diaspora 11Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


I don’t know if you are reading this.

If you are, I have succeeded.

And I might yet live.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 11"

March 09, 2005

The American Diaspora 10Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


“I’m sorry but we can’t get you a direct flight to Johannesburg.”

“Are they all booked?” I asked.

Continue reading "The American Diaspora 10"

February 28, 2005

American Diaspora 9Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


This was not the country I remembered.

It was obvious as I cleared customs at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 9"

February 23, 2005

American Diaspora 8Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.


Lenora’s death made me drop all thoughts of moving “off-campus,” out of the Carlton Center’s shadow.

But I would soon regret that choice. Because the people were coming.

In fact, they were here.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 8"

February 16, 2005

American Diaspora 7Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.



I miss my children. I miss my wife.

But there is exciting business afoot here.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 7"

February 14, 2005

Gibson WorldEmail This EntryPrint This Article

Which sci-fi author did the best job of predicting what the 21st century would look like from the comfort of the 20th?

It wasn't Arthur C. Clarke. I still don't have my zero gravity toilet. It wasn't Isaac Asimov. Honda's Asimo is no Robbie. Allen Steele? No beamjacks in my world. Ray Bradbury? Larry Niven? Steven Barnes? Jerry Pournelle?

Wrong, wrong, and (sorry Jerry) wrong again. (But there are many centuries to go before your visions come up, so keep writing.)

It's William Gibson (right).

We live today in Gibson's Neuromancer. Cyberspace is everywhere, but so too are viruses. IBM notes they're appearing everywhere -- in our phones, in our cars -- and the people behind them are increasingly of very evil intent.

How did we get here? It wasn't inevitable.

Continue reading "Gibson World"

February 09, 2005

American Diaspora 6Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.



As the long summer months dragged on (February is August here), my days returned to something approaching a routine.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 6"

February 02, 2005

American Diaspora 5Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.



I’m not a PR man.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 5"

January 28, 2005

How The Colorblind Can Hear What They're MissingEmail This EntryPrint This Article

This is the kind of story that warms the cockles, and hopefully makes today's Friday dog blogging feature make some sense. (Dogs are colorblind.)

Ray Girvan brought us the story of Adam Montandon, who has invented a device that lets the color blind "see" what they're missing, by translating the colors into sound.

It goes by the name of the Eyeborg (Adam's an inventor, not a marketer). It takes a picture of the scene with a digital camera, then translates the colors to sound with a computer program.

Best of all, the first one cost under $100 (well 50 pounds) to make.

But here's the really cool part.

Continue reading "How The Colorblind Can Hear What They're Missing"

American Diaspora 4Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

The America Diaspora is a sequel to The Chinese Century.



My life has actually become routine.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 4"

January 21, 2005

American Diaspora 3Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is the beginning of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



There was much to do and not a lot of time.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 3"

January 14, 2005

American Diaspora 2Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is the beginning of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



Every other e-mail I get from America says the same thing.

What about security? How do you stay safe?

Continue reading "American Diaspora 2"

January 07, 2005

American Diaspora 1Email This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is the beginning of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



I wish I had time to tell you everything that has happened to me this week.

But before I collapse let me hit a few high points.

I’m sure you read the big news, about the contract we won for the Virgin Tsunami Warning Network. Of course it wasn’t written as a contract, but a donation.

That’s Branson genius in action.

Yeah, I met him. At the press conference announcing the UN’s acceptance of Virgin Maverick’s “donation,” over at the Technikon. He smiled a little broader when he saw my badge. It read, “Dana Blankenhorn, VM.co.za, JoBurg.”

You’ll never believe what he said then. “So this is the famous Dana Blankenhorn I’ve heard about.”

Yeah, right.

Continue reading "American Diaspora 1"

January 04, 2005

FinishedEmail This EntryPrint This Article

Today marks the end of my first Insta-novel, The Chinese Century.

It's been a trip.

Continue reading "Finished"

The Chinese Century: Table of ContentsEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This Table of Contents will be continually updated as new chapters are placed online.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century: Table of Contents"

The Chinese Century L: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is the conclusion of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


It was time to say goodbye.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century L: Fiction"

January 03, 2005

The Chinese Century XLIX: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


“You have read the Bush speech?”

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XLIX: Fiction"

January 02, 2005

The Chinese Century XLVIII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


“My fellow Americans,

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XLVIII: Fiction"

January 01, 2005

The Chinese Century XLVII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


“You don’t know me,” the voice says. “My name is Mark Cuban.”

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XLVII: Fiction"

December 31, 2004

The Chinese Century XLVI: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


It’s not safe out there.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XLVI: Fiction"

The Chinese Century XLV: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


Zhou Xiaochuan did not see himself taking anyone’s surrender. He didn’t see himself as a diplomat.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XLV: Fiction"

December 30, 2004

The Chinese Century XLIV: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


His peace mission had set Thabo Mkebi’s mind reeling.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XLIV: Fiction"

December 28, 2004

The Chinese Century XLIII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


The arrest of John Edwards caused a firestorm.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XLIII: Fiction"

December 26, 2004

The Chinese Century XLII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


A wise leader will strike when the opportunity is greatest.

America’s internal distress was China’s great opportunity.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XLII: Fiction"

December 24, 2004

The Chinese Century XLIEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


Owing to recent events, Senator Stevens made the announcement.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XLI"

December 22, 2004

The Chinese Century XLEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


Evil truly IS banal, I thought.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XL"

December 20, 2004

The Chinese Century XXXIXEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


Anyone wondering about China’s historical isolation need only look at a map.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXXIX"

December 16, 2004

The Chinese Century XXXVIIIEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


The room marked “closet” in the basement of the White House was his inner sanctum.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXXVIII"

December 15, 2004

The Chinese Century XXXVII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


If an American were asked, on January 2, whether he would trade his country’s position with that of China, he might just say yes. That's the way the papers made it seem.

Jin Renquin certainly wouldn’t. The government finance minister looked at his desk and saw a thousand problems, all intractable, many of them contradictory.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXXVII: Fiction"

December 14, 2004

The Chinese Century XXXVI: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


It was not a happy New Year on Nantucket.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXXVI: Fiction"

December 13, 2004

The Chinese Century XXXV: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


New Year’s Eve dawned with good news.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXXV: Fiction"

December 10, 2004

The Chinese Century XXXIV: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


The President’s speech was timed to coincide with the opening of markets in Asia.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXXIV: Fiction"

December 09, 2004

The Chinese Century XXXIII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


The wheels came up, the plane arced toward the sky over Qunu, and The Lady leaned back in her seat, closed her eyes, tried to remember.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXXIII: Fiction"

December 08, 2004

The Chinese Century XXXII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


Up in Peacham, Vermont, Jock Gill opened his e-mail after Christmas weekend and found a very strange missive inside.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXXII: Fiction"

December 07, 2004

The Chinese Century XXXI: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


My fellow Americans.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXXI: Fiction"

December 06, 2004

The Chinese Century Chapters 1-30 Summary: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

For those who don’t like jumping into a novel in the middle, and who are intimidated by the large number of chapters already written, here’s a review of The Chinese Century so far.

Consider this another invitation to join the fun.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century Chapters 1-30 Summary: Fiction"

The Chinese Century XXX: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


We had decided on a Christmas at home long before the economic crisis began.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXX: Fiction"

December 05, 2004

The Chinese Century XXIX: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


I seldom watch local TV. But a few months ago my YMCA stuck a set in the mens’ locker room, and some idiot who comes in ahead of me likes Fox.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXIX: Fiction"

December 03, 2004

The Chinese Century XXVIII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


Alan Greenspan felt like he was explaining things to a child.

He had often felt that way.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXVIII: Fiction"

December 02, 2004

The Chinese Century XXVII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


Even if President Chen wanted to come to Shanghai, which he didn’t, he wasn’t going to defy what amounted to an American blockade.

The U.S. warships stood off Taipei to protect his sovereignty, after all. Walking into the enemy’s lair would be a provocation.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXVII: Fiction"

December 01, 2004

The Chinese Century XXVI: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


I hadn’t heard from Tim Cairl in months.

And now he wanted me to do something I’d never done in my life.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXVI: Fiction"

November 30, 2004

The Chinese Century XXV: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


“So this is the famous undisclosed location.”

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXV: Fiction"

November 29, 2004

The Chinese Century XXIV: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


It was Miles O’Brien who should be credited with the name, “Battle of Atlanta.”

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXIV: Fiction"

November 27, 2004

The Chinese Century XXIII - FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


The second “Battle of Atlanta” began as an industrial action.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXIII - Fiction"

November 25, 2004

The Chinese Century XXII - FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


For the 8 AM edition of its Squawk Box CNBC had gotten what its producers, at that moment, considered the ultimate “get.”

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXII - Fiction"

The Chinese Century XXI - FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


The official statement was terse, written in diplomatic argot. The leaders had a frank exchange of views. Both sides respected the others’ positions. Further talks would be scheduled at lower levels.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XXI - Fiction"

November 24, 2004

The Chinese Century XX: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


The beach at Nantucket is a delight in July. In December it’s something quite different.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XX: Fiction"

November 23, 2004

The Chinese Century XIX: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


Even before the President rose to meet Osama Bin Laden, nearly half a world away, in a restaurant near the center of London, an entirely different kind of occasion was reaching its climax.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XIX: Fiction"

November 22, 2004

The Chinese Century XVIII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


The American President’s party most wanted to meet in “Mao’s Library,” the cozy room overflowing with books-and-papers where President Nixon held his famous meetings.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XVIII: Fiction"

The Chinese Century XVII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


Branson and Cuban had been busy boys.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XVII: Fiction"

November 20, 2004

The Chinese Century XVI: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


When President Nixon traveled to China, in 1972, the visit took months to arrange. He drove past busy little warrens of narrow streets, tiny buildings and lives that seemed timeless.

He went there to accept the surrender of the old order, opening China as Matthew Perry and his black ships forced open Japan almost 120 years before.

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November 19, 2004

The Chinese Century XV: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


When most lawyers tell their wives they’re going into the office on a Sunday night, suspicious wives would not find them there.

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November 18, 2004

The Chinese Century XIV: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



The fact that everyone else was in the same boat, that it was like an economic “Act of God,” didn’t make Nikki Paris feel any better.

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November 17, 2004

The Chinese Century XIII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



‘Next up, our Number Four story on the Countdown for a Friday, America, pay the mortgage or we foreclose! Yeah-heh-heh-heh-haaa! We’ll be talking to Fannie Mae president Franklin Raines.”

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November 16, 2004

The Chinese Century XII: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.


The plot had been perfectly planned, perfectly executed.

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November 15, 2004

The Chinese Century XI: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



Jiang Zemin may have been the first Chinese Emperor in all history to voluntarily relinquish power, with good health still intact.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century XI: Fiction"

November 12, 2004

The Chinese Century X: FictionEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



The towers of downtown Johannesburg were a Potemkin Village.

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November 11, 2004

Fiction: The Chinese Century IXEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. For those who are new to the work, you can reach the Table Of Contents here.



At the White House, the President was back on the bridge.

Continue reading "Fiction: The Chinese Century IX"

November 10, 2004

The Chinese Century VIIIEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. For those who are new to the work, you can reach the Table Of Contents here.



The answer to Greenspan's question was that Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui was, like him, on the phone.

With New York. With George Soros.

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November 09, 2004

The Chinese Century VIIEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



Alan Greenspan felt like a man in full.

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November 08, 2004

The Chinese Century VIEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



The old Forbidden City was buzzing. The limousine coming on with the American flags in front of it was scrutinized carefully. Everyone it passed wanted to look at the expression on the face of the American ambassador.

They're so transparent.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century VI"

November 07, 2004

The Chinese Century VEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



The announcement from Moscow, like the previous one from Beijing, was low key, untelevised, mere words in magnetic ink.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century V"

November 04, 2004

A Note On My BookEmail This EntryPrint This Article

I'll be spending a few days speaking at the Accelerating Change conference in California. As Frank Morgan might say, "I'm hobnobbing with my fellow wizards."

Meanwhile, right here, we've begun an experiment.

Back in the 19th century the great Charles Dickens published most of his fiction in the form of magazine serials. They're wordy, in part, because he was paid by the word.

Later in that century, Mark Twain's books were sold door-to-door. An early chapter was printed for the salesmen, who took orders for the completed manuscript, cash in advance.

I am no Twain. I am no Dickens. Not even "with four M's and a silent Q"! I'm a journalist. I like experiments that test both me and the medium I write for. I also understand that all art (both good and bad) must live in the market. The Internet is a market.

I've written for the online medium since 1985 when I joined the staff of Newsbytes News, then on The Source. I've been there since before the beginning, as they say. I know this medium and love it dearly.

So let's push this online market, and see how far it goes. Enjoy (or not). Comment (or not). Throw money (probably not).

See you when I get back.

The Chinese Century IVEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.



In Beijing the announcement was put out early on the morning of the 30th. This meant it reached American ears just as Lou Dobbs was signing-on with the Monday version of his popular evening business show at CNN.

"In order to stabilize the Yuan at its natural level," the statement said in translation, "the Bank of China is adjusting its holdings in foreign instruments, including dollar-denominated instruments. We expect this program to continue for some time to assure all those with Yuan holdings an orderly market."

"What the heck does that mean?" Dobbs asked his guest.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century IV"

The Chinese Century IIIEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE: This is the third part of a continuing online novel. Here is the Table of Contents.

Unlike novels written by novelists, The Chinese Century uses real people and takes place in the present day. The links, and pictures, are real. The story is made up.

Let me repeat this for all who might be offended. The story is made up.


By the time Philippe Khuong-Huu got to his desk at Goldman Sachs on November 29, it was already too late.

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November 03, 2004

The Chinese Century IIEmail This EntryPrint This Article

NOTE To Readers: This is part of a work of fiction. Here is the Table of Contents.

Ambassador Randt felt he could trust his staff with important communiques.

But within hours the contents of his message was all over the Internet.

"China threatens U.S. over Iraq, Taiwan" the headlines blared.

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The Chinese CenturyEmail This EntryPrint This Article


NOTE: The only way I could deal with recent events was through the medium of fiction. Here is the Table of Contents. Enjoy.

Clark Randt was pleased to have gotten the audience, yet concerned.

Continue reading "The Chinese Century"