Friday, September 26, 2008

Look at this Prettiness.

Coming to a bookstore near you. And being launched at Conflux. I know, I'm biased, I'm in it, but I really can't wait to read the stories, and Cat Sparks just get's more amazing with her book design every time she puts out a new title* .


More information as it comes.
*Cat just amazes me, not only is she one of Australia's most talented short story writers (and one, I reckon who is just about to become known as a damn fine novelist). But then she keeps producing these wonderful books.**
**And Dirk, well, he's a writing editing machine.

No Deadwood and

now, no Rome. I am bereft. The episodes have played themselves out. It's all done.

Sure the last season felt a bit rushed, but still, it's the best television I've seen this year. I'm going to miss Vorenus and Pullo, Mark Antony and Atia of the Julii. Not to mention all that blood.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sidney Nolan We are the Landscape

If you live in Brisbane. You must, you must, you must go to the Sidney Nolan Retrospective at the Qld Art Gallery. Unlike the much hyped Picasso Exhibition this one is free, I've been three times and it's bloody brilliant.

I've never been much of a fan of Sidney Nolan's work, but seeing his paintings, these grand struggles with the landscape, well, they're like nothing else - ok, so he was influenced by Picasso, but who hasn't been in the last sixty years?

But what he gets, and projects, and is just gloriously there, is this idea of landscape. And our interconnectedness with it. We are the landscape. You could say that is a central theme of fantasy fiction, and it is expressed so well in almost all of Nolan's work.

If you live in Brisbane and you write genre fiction, and you haven't been to the Nolan Retrospective, then you've got a couple of weeks to get along and see it, and you better or, well, let's just say I've been taking an interest in bare knuckle boxing of late...*




* yeah, right.**

**and what is it with all these thinly-veiled threats?

Dreaming Again - Brisbane Massive Unite

Pulp Fiction and Queensland Writers Centre are celebrating the release of DREAMING AGAIN here in Brisbane on Tuesday 23rd September, 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start at QWC, Level 2, 109 Edward Street, Brisbane.

There will be readings, there will be signings, but most importantly there will be nibbles and drinks - and books!

All profits from sales of the book on the night will go to the Clarion South Writers' Workshop. Several of the writers featured in DREAMING AGAIN are Clarion South alumni – survivors of a six-week writers’ boot camp! For more information about Clarion South go to http://www.clarionsouth.org/.

DREAMING AGAIN contains 35 stories by authors such as Isobelle Carmody, Terry Dowling, Margo Lanagan and Garth Nix - along with Brisbane's own Peter M. Ball, Rowena Cory Daniels, Trent Jamieson, Chris Lynch, Jason Nahrung, Angela Slatter and Kim Wilkins (many of whom will be hopefully be joining on the night!)

We'll all be joining hands and turning into a giant specfic monster fighting robot - anime style (I'm the left thigh).

Please come and join us in celebrating some familiar, as well as some very new, Australian voices - and help contribute to the development of the next generation of emerging writers.

Event: Celebration of Dreaming Again
Venue: Queensland Writers Centre, Level 2, 109 Edward Street Brisbane
Time: 6:00pm for 6:30pm
Cost: Free! Bookings essential
RSVP: To book, phone Pulp Fiction Bookstore on 3236 2750 or email pulpfictionbooks@bigpond.com


This should be a lot of fun. Get there if you can, and if you can't well, writers hold grudges...

Life

has been agreably dull of late. Busy in places, but mainly just getting on with things. I've been reaquainting myself with old novels, and the partial evil of passive sentences.

Saw Hellboy 2 yesterday, which was utterly gorgeous in places, and lacking in others - but oh, so beautiful. If only it had possessed a brain. When did we all become so stupid, eh? Or expect so little of cinema. Fricken Hero's Journey and what not. I reckon it's cosmic rays, Hollywood's just a glittering positive litmus test, or something: I'm sure I would have known what, once, but not any more.

`xpect it will be quiet around here for a while yet.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Study and the Fabulists that Time Forgot, One Still Living, Two Long Dead.

I've spent the last couple of days reorganising my study, digging books out of storage and putting them into some order that is, at the very least, sort of useful. I've now got all my novels together and three groaning shelves of short story collections - including Tony Daniel's excellent the Robot's Twilight Companion, the wonderful Galaxy Best ofs vol1 & 2, Anne & Jeff Vandermeer's Steampunk, and the Strahan and Dozois New Space Opera.

Sorting my books has been a wonderfully cathartic experience Robert E Howard's Complete Chronicles of Conan is sitting next to the recent Penguin translation of Proust's In Search of Lost Time*. I found all my Fritz Leiber's, my Michael Shea's, and my copy of Hope Mirrlees' Lud in the Mist. Which led me to thinking that these are three of most influential fantasists that no one has ever heard of.

Without Fritz Leiber's Nehwon books, and to a lesser extent, Shea's Nifft the Lean the current crop of sword and sorcery writers would not exist** and if a better fantasy novel than Mirrlee's Lud in the Mist has been written***, then I've yet to read it. I've never understood why this book hasn't had broader appeal. If you've read Neal Gaiman's Stardust or Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke then you'd love this book. Maybe it has slipped through the cracks because it's hardly a big fat fantasy but the prose is gorgeous and the story driven by deep dark wit.

Same could be said for the Leiber and the Shea, they're basically novellas, but if you haven't read the Adept's Gambit, Lean Times in Lankhmar or The Fishing of the Demon Sea you're missing out on some wonderfully adult and glorious fantasy. Hunt down these authors, believe me, they're worth the effort.


* my, aren't I cleverly ironic.

** And lo, you say: ye Prince of the Blogs not blogged much, wouldn't that be a good thing? To which I respond: nay, well, ok, maybe, but Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastard Novels are great fun. And Joe Abercrombe's books are a fine way to spend an afternoon. Not to mention the Garth Nix Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz novellas, well, the one I read was extremely promising.

***Sure, there are novels just as good, say Crowley's Little Big, Carroll's Land of Laughs, and that book about wizards, you know, it's the one with a dragon and a mountain on the cover.***

****BTW I love the cover of my copy of LUD-in-the-Mist, it's the Lin Carter*****, Ballantine paperback ed, it looks like a bad acid trip

*****Now, there's a man responsible for more awful sword and sorcery stories than anyone, but he can be forgiven (at least a little) for reprinting LUD.