Presage - the Reality of the Virtual Book Launch: June 8, 2012

If prophesies can change history by enlightening us so we can strive for an alternative outcome, will men benefit if we can see our future or will men suffer because the most wonderful dreams for one are often nightmares for others? Clairvoyant computer games, Karl and Adam, two simulated historic personae, and the final battle between socialism and capitalism are a few things we can look forward to come in 2018...

North Point, Hong Kong S.A.R., June 01, 2012 --( Presage, by Hong Kong author Betsy Cheung, depicts the world in 2018 when society has changed to cope with the systematic depletion of wealth from the people to an oligarchy which –as part of their game plan of world dominion- is slowly shifting the burden of welfare on the people. Technology has advanced so much it is possible to simulate the mind of historical personas, and their insights put the world trajectory in an exponential acceleration. The problem is how to keep it on track. Written in the aftermath of the economic tsunami, the story is based on the premise that post-2008, structural change has been implemented in the economy with all the mayhem and controversy that change inevitably causes. Cheung leaves it to the reader to decide whether it is for better or for worst which is not an easy task as voices of dissent spin into a vortex. Original ideas and hair-raising notions are explored in a clever plot which plunges Sam, a prodigious computer game programmer and Sophie Chantal, a journalist fresh out of school, in a fast-track narrative and soon they find themselves entangled in the games of media barons, secret agents, virtual scientists and apostles.

With the economy of so many countries in near shambles, the stance Cheung makes about the world in 2018 is topical and its launch timely as it explores a new avenue in the impasse between the one percent and the ninety-nine percent even though it only forms the back ground of a story about two wide-eyed youngsters striving to put in their chip and make a difference in a post-modern world too complex for anyone to control. It is notable however, that Cheung is simultaneously launching a booklet about the changes in this hypothetical world.

"Operation Pebbles" is a thirty-four page "Manifesto of Compassion" as the subtitle gives away and explores how community action can make the invisible hand visible which at best can make a real difference and at worst is an edifying read in these times of trouble when we can all use an extra hand whether visible or invisible. Judging from the response since the official launch of its website "Operation Pebbles" in April this year, it falls somewhere in-between, depending how committed one is. The long-term effect that Cheung claims it can have however, seems far-fetched, but then, so are most ideologies set in an ideal world.

What Cheung does in the novel is imagining what will happen to the theory in a real world far from ideal, but something is not the same: allegedly she has made improvements in the manifesto after testing them in the narrative. What she could have done after that, is to change the narrative because of the improvements in the manifesto, all the while testifying how prophesies can really change the world, even if it is just a fictional one. Instead, after the chicken ate the egg she laid herself, she has incubated the next egg for publication and we are all waiting for it to hatch and see if the new chick will be any different.

Published by Pebbles Publications, both books will be available from Amazon from June 8, 2012 in paperback and kindle version.

About the Author
Born in Hong Kong, Betsy Cheung grew up in Holland and studied in the UK. She worked as a senior associate at an architectural consultancy in Hong Kong and is now combining writing with teaching architectural design at college. ‘Operation Pebbles’ and ‘Presage’ are her first publications. She is currently working on a fictionalized memoir, which will be published in 2013. She maintains two websites, and and lives with her daughter in Hong Kong.

For more information about ‘Presage’, contact Pebbles Publications at 852 94872103 or visit to read interview with author.
Pebbles Publications
Betsy Cheung
852 94872103