In Hallucination in Hong Kong by Rohan Quine, sliding from joy to nightmare and back, a plane-flight frames a journey into Jaymi's and Angel's polarised identities and perceptions, where past and present merge in an obsessive fantasy of love, death, horror and apocalyptic beauty.
As their plane takes off, Jaymi is warmed by the presence of his beloved friend Angel beside him. They are bound for Hong Kong, to perform a grand concert of unearthly music from a stage set high on the Peak. Jaymi starts to doze ... and enters a fog of horror in seeming to remember that this concert lies in their distant past, not their imminent future: it happened nine years ago, and straight after that triumphant occasion there occurred unexpected disaster and the permanent catatonia of Angel. Those terrible events were rendered all the more poignant by the idyllic chapter they had experienced upon first meeting and falling in love, which he now recalls in great detail.
In reality (it would seem), Jaymi is on this flight alone, on a mission to put a compassionate end to Angel's life, in view of his continued catatonia. And in an atmosphere of escalating nightmare and disjunction, incongruously set against the beauty of night-time Hong Kong as seen from the Peak and the Midlevels, this grim mission of euthanasia is accomplished - perhaps. That nightmare atmosphere is magnified by the obsessive flicker of Jaymi's mind through complex permutations of his own possible guilt at betraying Angel, and the latter's possible knowledge of this guilt ... because hadn't there actually been a mirror on the ceiling above the bench where Angel lay supine years ago, unnoticed by Jaymi at the time but in fact revealing to Angel certain things about Jaymi's movements that he hadn't known Angel could see?
Sliding from joy to nightmare, then back to a joy stained by the flavour of vanishing nightmare, Hallucination in Hong Kong explores those hellish possible events lying beneath the surface of our present and future, always ready to break through into reality if they become so inclined. In this journey, it conjures up from Jaymi's and Angel's polarised identities and perceptions an obsessive fantasy of dark androgyny, ironic horror and apocalyptic beauty.
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About the Author
Rohan Quine grew up in South London, spent a couple of years in L.A. and then a decade in New York, where he ran around excitably, saying a few well-chosen words in various feature films and TV shows (see www.rohanquine.com/those-new-york-nineties), such as "Zoolander", "Election", "Oz", "Third Watch", "100 Centre Street", "The Last Days of Disco", "The Basketball Diaries", "Spin City" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit". He’s now living back in East London, as an Imagination Thief. His novel "The Imagination Thief" is published in paperback, and also as an ebook containing hyperlinks to film and audio and photographic content in conjunction with the novel’s text. See www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-imagination-thief-reviews-media for interviews and some nice reviews in "The Guardian" and elsewhere. Four novellas – "The Platinum Raven", "The Host in the Attic", "Apricot Eyes" and "Hallucination in Hong Kong" – are published as separate ebooks, and also as a single paperback "The Platinum Raven and other novellas". See www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-novellas-reviews-media for interviews and reviews of these. All five tales are literary fiction with a touch of magical realism and a dusting of horror. They aim to push imagination and language towards their extremes, so as to celebrate the beauty, darkness and mirth of this predicament called life, where we seem to have been dropped without sufficient consultation ahead of time. They may be read in any order. His upcoming novel will be "The Beasts of Electra Drive", now barrelling down the pipeline… www.rohanquine.com | facebook.com/RohanQuineTheImaginationThief | @RohanQuine "Rohan Quine is one of the most original voices in the literary world today – and one of the most brilliant." –"Guardian" Books blogger Dan Holloway "The swooping eloquence of this book had me hypnotised. Quine leaps into pools of imagery, delighting in what words can do. The fact that the reader is lured into joining this kaleidoscopic, elemental ballet marks this out as something fresh and unusual. In addition to the language, two other elements make their mark. The seaside ghost town with echoes of the past and the absorbing, varied and rich cast of characters. It’s a story with a concept, place and people you’ll find hard to leave." –JJ Marsh, "Book Muse" "Quine is renowned for his rich, inventive and original prose, and he is skilled at blending contemporary and ancient icons and themes." –Debbie Young, "Vine Leaves Literary Journal"