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“Not exactly an ‘old’ face,” Collin says. “Merely weathered by experience and the elements.”  Collin is Canadian, educated partly in the UK, a long-time resident of Bangkok, and well travelled in Southeast Asia (less so, he says, since he chose to forego all the cushy expenses-paid feature assignments).

Formerly editorial director of Artasia Press and then of Dragon Art Media, Collin withdrew from earning a more conventional living, a few years ago, to devote himself to writing fiction and pondering the meaning of it all.

Collin’s books include adventure, thrillers, humour and, most recently, futuristic/speculative novels. He refuses to describe the latter as science fiction, preferring to avoid that stigma, never mind the even worse commercial stigma of producing books that don’t fall into neat genres.

Okay, so this trilogy can be stuffed into a neat genre: It’s a post-apocalyptic quest that, towards the end, suggests a positive outcome. Next in the queue is another Jack Shackaway thriller, something in the spirit of Kicking Dogs (see below).

He has also written books about sports diving, coral reef natural history, and natural parks. His magazine writing was eclectic. Scuba diving and sailing were two frequent focuses. His work appeared under seven names or more, over the years. “Ham Fiske” was his first pen name.

Collin’s most recent published fiction is the last short story in Bangkok Noir, a new collection by 12 writers, edited by Christopher G. Moore. (For more information, please visit
Now available on Kindle (, as well as at leading bookstores, Bangkok Noir is also available for Sony Reader, Nook, Kobo, and iPad/iPhone.

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Can the last few humans survive without their MOM?

(Olivier Cousinou’s image “Long Grey” has been adapted and used with permission.) Available both as print-on-demand and as an e-book for Kindle.
iStore.E-book version is available for iPads, iPhones, etc.
Barnes & Noble.
A god is born! Too bad about the personality disorder.

Science-fiction fans and mainstream readers alike will enjoy this character-driven, darkly comic excursion through a bizarre yet plausible world set 50 years in the future.

“I didn’t like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy either. (Ted Garland, Collin’s oldest friend)

The standard Monday funk is abruptly invaded by an intense, almost uncontrollable rage. Usually, after Cisco has been interacting inline—especially after talking to Eddie Eight. It engulfs Cisco in a toxic rush of adrenalin. The anger is directed at everything there is—from Eddie Eight himself to the mall to the whole of existence. He feels possessed by it, swept up and nullified in a vicious, overwhelming passion to annihilate. Sometimes he himself is annihilated by it, blacking out and coming back to himself only later. Much later, this past couple of times. He has no clue to the source of these attacks. Another mystery—MOM’s monitors, it seems, have no inkling of his condition. That’s strange. It’s also fortunate since otherwise, Cisco might find himself subject to psychoneurotherapy. Or worse.

Outside, a slow joe shambles towards the perimeter. One of its limbs—it’s probably supposed to be an arm—keeps morphing. The simulacrum’s chest swells as the arm grows shorter, collapses as it grows longer. Then, with little real success, the slow joe essays a kind of jointëdness and waves two appendage-arms towards the ESUSA Mall, a parody of some kindred soul in need of sanctuary.

The Proteant Enigmass
MOM’s sequel begins in mondoland—“What’s left of the world God gave us before we frigged it up,” as one character puts it. We meet Son, a third-generation American survivalist who soon finds himself utterly alone and without shelter, left to confront a landscape that is itself “alive,” populated by dangers both familiar and mysterious. Then he encounters Cisco Smith and Dee Zu, wet human relics of the malls, and Toot, at once a dead mallster’s pet and a MOM avatar. Together—and with help from mysterious friends in a relationship reminiscent of classical Greek heroes and their Olympian gods—they set out on what looks like an impossible mission to help save what remains of life on Earth. What begins as an unrelievably harrowing post-apocalyptic tale ends on a positive note, with the promise of a human renaissance on a new basis

The sequel to MOM, soon ready for readers, stands alone. Should Proteant Enigmass find a good mainstream publisher first, then MOM will instead serve as prequel.

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Kicking Dogs
Jack Shackaway has a talent for annoying the wrong people. Available both as print-on-demand and as an e-book for Kindle.
iStore.E-book version available for iPads, iPhones, etc.
Barnes & Noble.
(Asia Books edition published in 2000. First published 1989, 1991 by Editions Duang Kamol; published 1995 by bookSiam.)

Boom-time Bangkok. Greed and corruption grip the city, and Jack Shackaway, freelance journalist and author of such literary masterpieces as A Dick for Dorothy, is succumbing to a bad case of culture shock—even though he thinks he’s adjusting nicely to the Thai Way.

Jack has no idea who’s trying to kill him, but given his talent for annoying the wrong people, it could be just about anybody. Every time he turns around he gets into hassles with the locals. Not only that, if he isn’t careful he’s going to wind up married to Mu, which might be better than being dead, but not necessarily a lot better.

Shortly after somebody takes potshots at Jack in a taxi, Mu’s sister Bia is kidnapped. Then Jack himself gets snatched, and is introduced to local godfather Mr. Hung Fat, often referred to as “Fat Fat,” but not to his face. Fat Fat’s men have mistaken Bia for Mu, and their boss will do unpleasant things to her unless Jack provides compensatory literary services for Fat Fat’s public loss of face at the hands of intrepid investigative journalist “Izzy Scoop.” But this is a double case of mistaken identity—Fat Fat believes that Jack is the face behind Izzy. If Fat Fat finds out he isn’t, then Jack’s a dead man for sure.

As Mu keeps telling Jack, it’s time he learned to maintain his jai yen yen—to keep his cool under all circumstances.

“The market sated with farang-written books about Thai prostitutes, it was a pleasant surprise to read Collin Piprell’s Kicking Dogs… The author has a light touch. Even detailed descriptions of murders, real and attempted, will keep you smiling. … Collin Piprell is clearly a resident. His insights re. the local population pretty much hit the mark. Bernard Trink (Bangkok Post)

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Bangkok Old Hand
Take the “Bangkok Old Hand Quiz” to see how your own expertise stacks up against that of the legendary Ham Fiske.
(Originally published in 1993 by Post Books; now out of print.)
* What’s the real story behind the Thai smile?
* Where do hangovers come from?
* What’s a traffic jam good for?
* What is the essence of the Thai massage?
* Who is Ham Fiske?
This book provides authoritative answers to these and many other questions.

Ham Fiske leads with his jaw
All but a few of the stories in Bangkok Old Hand were previously published in the old Bangkok Post Sunday magazine, Fah Thai, Thailand Tatler or Asia Magazine. Most of them first appeared under the byline "Ham Fiske".

Why that particular pseudonym? Years before the writer had ever written anything for publication, he thought he would one day like to be a writer. But, once, after he had revealed all in a bar-room conversation, it was pointed out that "Collin Piprell" was kind of hard to remember, which was really the kindest thing you could say about the name; and he'd never become a famous writer unless he could think of a good pseudonym. So everybody sat around and thought about it for a while.

Then, out of nowhere, it came to him. "Ham Fiske"! It was short, easy to spell, and had a lusty heft to it. Reviewers, moreover, wouldn't be able to resist it. They could start every review with "And here we have another typically ham-fisked effort ..."

According to the "It doesn't matter what they say, as long as they talk about me" school of self-promotion, it would only be a matter of time before he was rich, famous and buried in groupies.
He had the name, but it took him several more years before he actually wrote anything to hang it on. And, he reports, having eventually written 40-50 short stories, articles, and essays as Ham Fiske, he still wasn't noticeably bothered by groupies so he said what the hell, and went back to being plain old Colin Prep ...

Collin Pipe ... Um. Who?

Several of the shorter chapters in Bangkok Knights were also originally published under the name Ham Fiske.

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 Bangkok Knights

A sweet and sour chronicle of male expat life in Thailand.
Asia Books edition published in 2000. First published 1989, 1991 by Editions Duang Kamol; published 1995 by bookSiam. Soon to be available again on Amazon, iStore, Barnes & Noble, and Smashword.

This book addresses a range of important issues:

• Will Trevor Perry ever find his perfect soulmate? In three separate trips to Bangkok from Kuwait, this young traffic engineer tries to interview dozens of prime candidates for dinner—maybe even for good times to come in Kuwait and Norwich. But he keeps falling victim to targets of the first opportunity, including the legendary Legs, a.k.a. “Long Tall Lek,” who used to be the star dancer at Shaky Jake’s, way back before her feet started acting up and she had to retire. Some things just seem to resist engineering.
• What is Leary’s Law, and why should every male visitor to Thailand be aware of it?
• Under what circumstances was a gentleman named Sid “Siddiqi” Davis crushed to death by a falling bargirl known as Big Toy?
• Why is a hangover like sticking your tongue on a doorknob?
• Why would a local expat women’s club even want to talk to “Billboard” Coburn, much less rent out his backside?
• What’s this strange fascination Bill Baxter from Seattle has for a young lady with a reputation for “feeding the ducks”?
• What is the Swollen Pig-Head Syndrome, and in how many ways is it going to ruin our narrator’s love-life?

For the most part, this book has been very well received.
Some readers, however—perhaps those suffering “irony deficiencies”, Collin suggests—have chosen to read (or, possibly, not actually read) these stories as either autobiographical inventories of sexual conquests or else as sociological explorations of barflies and bargirls. Such readings are oblivious to the ironies that lie at the heart of this book.

To start with, though some female protagonists are bargirls, the cast also includes “polite” Thai and Western women. Whatever their persuasion, in fact, the women are generally stronger, more mature and saner than their male counterparts.

The anonymous first-person narrator (a fictional character, not the author), adopts the ironic tone of a Thailand old hand—a wry observer, bemused at the follies of his fellow expat males, in some ways a gang of arrested adolescents.

The final irony: The narrator himself becomes progressively ensnarled in the story till eventually there’s little to distinguish him from the others.

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Yawn: A Thriller
Radical therapy for a marriage gone stale.
(Asia Books edition published in 2000. Out of print.)

Waylon didn’t want to go to Thailand for their vacation. He told Chloe it wasn’t a good idea. And, sure enough, within hours of arriving at their beachside bungalow, everything starts going horribly wrong.

Having yawned his mightiest yawn ever, that first morning in Thailand, Waylon is forthwith led to bonk Meredith, his sister-in-law. Within the day,  he inadvertently leaves both Meredith and Chloe. Before he sees either of them again, he survives both a tour of duty with the Happy Hookers & a series of underwater adventures with a woman so dangerous the sharks tend to shy away. He almost gets shot, is nearly drowned, and suffers the kind of hangover that makes getting shot and drowned a welcome relief.

Chloe, meanwhile, is threatened with enlightenment during a course of meditation at the Holistic Herbal Garden and Institute of Holographic Healing—the 4H Club. She is also kidnapped, drugged, and abused by the Club’s secret owner—a local godfather who’s plunging into utter madness. Yawn also entertains with a whacked-out supporting cast of gunmen, gurus, crooks, con-men, barflies, freaks, and seekers after truth.
Waylon and Chloe’s adventures finally converge during an explosive full-moon party to end all full-moon parties. Before it’s over, Waylon strikes off on a brand-new career, Chloe decides to have the child they never wanted, and everybody looks set to live happily ever after. Except for the bad guys, who get their just desserts in spectacular fashion.


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National Parks of Thailand was for years the standard guide to this country’s parks. , Sadly it is now both out of date and out of print. Piprell covered the marine national parks and contributed to the front materials.
With Denis Gray and Mark Graham (Bangkok: IFPC, 1993, 1995). Out of print.

Thailand: The Kingdom Beneath the Sea presents a series of colourful stories that suggest nearly anyone can enjoy sport diving, at the same time it conveys some of the variety and flavour of scuba diving in these waters.
By Collin Piprell. Photos by Ashley J. Boyd* (Bangkok: White Lotus, 1993). Out of print.

Thailand’s Coral Reefs brings the wonder of the reef alive for the general reader while providing enough information to be useful to anyone interested in environmental studies, marine biology, or sport diving.
By Collin Piprell. Photos by Ashley J. Boyd*
(Bangkok: White Lotus, 1993). Out of print.

Diving in Thailand presents a comprehensive guide to dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand and the Thai and Burmese Andaman Sea. Changes in the local liveaboard diving industry, as well the effects of the 2002 tsunami and other factors have dated the book to some extent.
By Collin Piprell. Photos by Ashley J. Boyd* (Singapore: Times Editions, then Marshall-Cavendish; USA: Hippocrene Books, 1994, 2000, 2004).  


(Sadly Collin passed away on 29 June 2022 from a heart attack and will be sorely missed by his wife Sara and his legion of friends & admirers)   

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