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MAN'S LAST
SONG

2011 PROVERSE PRIZE FINALIST

NOVEL

In 2090, the global population is less than half a million; median age is about sixty. After forty years of universal sterility, humanity is vanishing while the rest of the planet makes a happy comeback. A small group of survivors in Hong Kong face the challenge of adjusting to life as post-modern savages, rediscovering instincts that had long been suppressed by civilisation. 

 

Their relationships with nature, each other, and themselves have fundamentally changed. The dilemmas, pains and pleasures of love, friendship, compassion, ageing, and loneliness are heightened by pragmatic concerns.

 

The unknowable: God, Dao, death, even reality, have all assumed new and shifting dimensions in man’s dying world. 

"It's Hong Kong -- but not as we know it. The year is 2090 and Song Sung, 42, is the youngest person alive. James Tam's debut novel, Man's Last Song, is a complex-yet-compelling exploration into the balance of mankind -- for individuals, as well as for humanity as a whole. This superbly written dystopian novel is appealing on many levels: for its dramatic use of Hong Kong, for the intriguing characters, for the questions raised and, more importantly, for those which are left unanswered. A highly recommended read." Laura Besley, TimeOut Hong Kong 

- Translation of Man's Last Song into Finnish is underway -

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笙 歌

“笙歌” 是文韵特别奖得主MAN’S LAST SONG 的中文姐妹作,由《中和出版社》出版,各大書局有售 , 2020

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“笙歌” 的故事發⽣在未來,但絕不科幻。在2090年,⼈類經過四⼗年的不育,只剩下五⼗ 萬左右殘餘份⼦,他們的平均年齡⼤概六⼗歲吧;反正已經無⼈考究。在⾹港,幾個來⾃不 同背景的 “⽂明過後原始⼈” ,⽣活在⼤都會的遺骸,⾝⼼都要作出調整來應付⼀個新的“洪 荒世界”。

 

⾧期被⽂明抑制了的本能都要重新啓動,來應付⾃然環境的挑戰。⼈與⼈的關係,甚⾄與⾃ ⼰的關係,均隨著客觀環境⽽改變。愛情,友情,親情,在現實的⽀配下變得更深刻真摯, 也更無奈。⽣⽼病死的⾃然規律,在⽂明凋謝之後,更呈冷酷,毫不妥協。有些落了單的 ⼈,抓不住淒涼孤寂的現實,被推進⼼底的迷幻世界,另覓恍惚。莫測的神靈,全能的上 帝,不可道的常道,在這情況之下,能否發揮作⽤呢?

 

⼈最頑強的⼒量,在絕望的環境⾥居然毫不畏縮。那股⼒量就是 “希望”。

在文學領域中,小說的特色是講故事,用文字來鋪陳或演譯過去發生的事。描繪未來的小說則極少,也極難寫得好。在這方面,譚炳昌先生正是極少數能寫得好、寫得深刻、能令人有所反思和感悟的作家之一。譚先生非常有智慧,這很可能是他長期禪修的結果。他那環保科學的背景和長期工作經驗,也讓他對人類社會未來的問題有個特別敏銳的觸覺和洞悉。他的文釆也是少有的好,筆鋒常帶智慧與幽默。我認為他是香港少有的、極有天賦和遠見的優秀作家之一。

- 中國工程院院士  香港大學前副校長  李焯芬教授

藝術最高境界是能夠使人感動、深思和感悟! 譚炳昌先生以其睿智的心靈、豐富的人生閱歷、淵博的知識、敏銳的觸覺、尖銳細膩的筆鋒,帶領着讀者穿越時空、過去未來,看宇宙、看大自然、看世界、洞察人生、生與死.....。 內容精闢、論據大膽、情理兼備、風趣而幽默,使人會心微笑與共鳴。 更難得的是,他探索和剖析深藏的人性矛盾和虛偽,喚醒人們的內省和反思!譚先生是非常有智慧又內外一如的人,書中充滿睿智之言,動人心弦,啟迪智慧。讀之如飮醇醪,回味無窮。痴醉之中,一股清流,喚人覺醒......。  《笙歌》是當今俗世中少有的佳作,絕對不容錯過!

- 李美贤「敦煌研究院特聘研究員」

一連串虛構的故事,穿插於過去與未來,從怪異的人物,香港的沈淪、崩潰與凋零,反映出人類的困境,赤裸裸地點出人性的荒謬與善惡。                          - 彭泓基 博士

 

這是一部兼具文學水平和深刻哲思的佳作,人物刻畫生動,文筆真摯細膩,既對香港社會有一份貼切的紀錄,也啟迪作者對當今一些問題從新認識,思考。 

- 著名科幻作家 韓松

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GOLLUM'S DEMON

THIS IS HOW YOU WALK ON THE MOON Ethos Books, Singapore 2016

SHORT STORY

咕噜的心魔

Gollum will soon be discharged from jail after 13 years. Life’s been hard, but starting a new one is much harder. Will demon survive?

 

十三年的牢狱生活十分难受,不过重新做人似乎更难。咕噜快出狱了,心魔会同时被释放吗?

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PHOENIX MOON

凤月姐

HONG KONG NOIR Akashic Books, New York 2018

SHORT STORY

Collected in “Hong Kong Noir” part of an award-winning series by Akashic Books. Phoenix, a broken-hearted prostitute, desexes her boyfriend, and gets philosophical

 

“凤月姐” 英文版由纽约 Akashic Books 收纳于国际得奖系列 Hong Kong Noir — “香港黑故事” 文集。故事发生在1970年代的香港,妓女凤月姐阉割了警察男友,因而得道?

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夢遺烏托邦

DREAMS OF  UTOPIA

HONG KONG FUTURE PERFECT, anthology  2017

SHORT STORY

William Wadsworth writes in the SCMP: "James Tam’s Dreams of Utopia…Tightly written and with snappy dialogue, his colourful story portrays Cupid, a bored lawyer in a sexless marriage who befriends protesters to impress his dream lover...

William Wadsworth 在南华早报的书评:“谭炳昌的【梦遗乌托邦】故事结构紧密,对白精彩。在这多姿多彩的故事中,一个工作沉闷,婚姻虚假的律师为了讨好“梦中情人”,投身占中漩涡

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法網“灰灰”

BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT

COMING TO OUR SENSES, anthology  2019

SHORT STORY

Asha is facing manslaughter charges, racial prejudice, systemic hypocrisy, and mass insanity. 

除了误杀控罪之外,阿萨还要面对歧视偏见,法制虚伪,和集体思觉失调

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天堂

HEAVEN

AS WE SEE IT HONG KONG STORIES, anthology  2011 / 香港作家,香港

SHORT STORY

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Rev. Lee is unexpectedly distressed by eternal life in Heaven, though it’s just as described in the Bible.

​对虔诚的李牧师来说,天堂虽然真的如圣经中的描述,却绝非安享永生的好归宿

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古惑仔的中年危机

MIDLIFE TRIAD

OF GODS AND MOBSTERS, anthology  2013

SHORT STORY

Dragon Arm Ah Wah has walked into more troubling situations than Tong Fuk Prison before. But time has changed everything, including the underworld.

​监狱对阿华来说虽然不陌生,但时间改变了一切,黑帮也不例外

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生死之间

BETWEEN LIVES

HK24, anthology  2018

SHORT STORY

A speechless farewell, fragments of regrets, slivers of remembrances. The dust of life, swept away, lost to the flurry of time

​一场无言的告别,只错过了几分钟。悔恨与回忆互相冲击。人生的碎片,随着时间流逝

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冼蛇的公義

SINS OF 
SIN

ANOTHER HONG KONG, anthology  2014

SHORT STORY

A prosecutor, journalist, and a legislator conspire to defend Hong Kong's "core values" over a glass of warm beer

​检控官“冼蛇” 与一个记者和立法会议员各怀鬼胎,合谋 “捍卫” 香港的“核心价值”

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慰安妇艾莲娜

COMFORT WOMAN ELEANOR

ASIA LITERARY REVIEW, 2015

SHORT STORY

In 1941, Hong Kong St. Stephen’s College is a field hospital. Before dawn on Christmas Eve, Nurse Eleanor’s nightmare coalesces into reality.
​1941年,香港圣士提反书院是临时军医院。在圣诞前夕,护士艾莲娜的恶梦在黎明前的黑暗中变成现实

道歉

APOLOGIES

2012

FLASH FICTION

Apologies Flash Fiction

Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister discuss the need to apologise for war crimes

​美国总统和日本首相讨论有关为二战罪行道歉的问题

幸福的港鸟

LUCKY HONG KONG BIRDS

2012

Lucky Hongkong Birds

FLASH FICTION

A few urban pigeons eat lunch from the rubbish bin, feeling sorry for wild birds up north who reportedly swallow life fish for meals

​几只城市白鸽在垃圾箱享受午餐,对北方野鸟要辛劳觅食,生吞活鱼的“悲惨生活” 深感同情

Democracy Debate & Chinaman's House

民主辩论与
中国佬的豪宅

DEMOCRACY DEBATE
AND
CHINAMAN'S
HOUSE

2012

FLASH FICTION

Now, what has democracy got to do with the Chinaman's House?

​究竟民主辩论与中国佬的豪宅有什么关系呢?

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幽靈的獨白

MONOLOGUE OF
A GHOST

2021

SHORT STORY

A stubborn ghost's otherwordly insight into existence, life, death, and inspiration.
​一個執着幽靈從靈界的角度探究生死 和陰間陽界的特殊關係 向人類發出警號!

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世界末日2012

END OF THE WORLD 2012

SHORT STORY

There must be a reason why so many are afraid to die, yet rapturous about the Big Ending . . .

為什麼那麼多人都怕死怕得要死,卻暗中期望世界末日呢?