THE UNBEARABLE BASSINGTON
H.H. Munro (Saki)
There is an anonymous quote floating around the internet that runs something along the lines of:
Should you ever see a man reading Saki on public transport you should do everything in your power to marry him before the next stop.
I like that quote. And in part, I like it because the quote itself sort of captures the wry humour of the writer in question.
The Hugo Awards short-list has been announced and the internet has melted down (again). For those who are unfamiliar with the Hugos, they are one of the major literary science fiction and fantasy awards. Whereas the Nebulas are industry voted, the Hugos are fan voted. The Hugos are named after Hugo Gernsback, founder of the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and not for example, after Victor Hugo, French dramatist and writer of the romantic movement. This preamble is really just intended to give some background. The Hugos have an American focus and a popular fiction focus. There are sometimes but very occasionally cross-over winners among the Hugos and the short lists of other literary awards. Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut was nominated and The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Chabon won a Hugo, but that’s unusual.
TWENTY-FIVE FREE FONTS SUITABLE FOR COVERS
The font you pick for your cover is important. It needs to help convey the tone of the book, the genre and be clear enough and bold enough to be readable even when reduced down to a small thumbnail.
NOTHING TO LOSE
Performance (11-21 Mar): Dance
The Malthouse. Kate Champion. Kelli Jean Drinkwater. Ghenoa Gela.
From the Malthouse:
In her final work as Force Majeure’s Artistic Director, Kate Champion collaborates with artist and fat activist Kelli Jean Drinkwater and choreographer Ghenoa Gela to celebrate the sculptural splendour of the fat dancing body. Unseen, unexpected and unapologetic, this new work abandons stereotypes and / reshapes expectations.
If you have a chance to drop in on the Malthouse before the 21st of Mar, Nothing To Lose is a show to be reckoned with, admired and wondered at – this is assuming this show hasn’t sold out by the time you get around to buying tickets. There was a standing ovation at the end of the performance I attended and it would not be surprising to find that Nothing To Lose becomes a Melbourne theatre-goers’ favourite of the year.
BAD GIRLS AND WICKED WOMEN
Jan Stradling (ISBN 9781741960433)
In honour of International Women’s Day (yes, a day late, but, well, it is still International Women’s Day in some parts of the world), allow me to point you towards the beautiful, charming and witty work of Jan Stradling. Bad Girls and Wicked Women is the perfect antidote to anyone who thinks that ‘accurate’ historical fiction or quasi-medieval fantasy must relegate all female characters to a background role.
Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook was published back in 2013 but it’s a title I missed seeing until recently. This is another interesting idea, similar to White Cloud Worlds, where the work is a collection of material from different creators, and there is a push towards creating a community around the book. In this case, there are online exercises and other extras available via an associated website. What an idea what sort of visual storytelling advice Wonderbook provides you can view the book trailer (below the cut). It will not be everyone’s cup of steam-powered fish-flavoured tea, but it will certainly appeal to some.
We seem to be in an age of internet rage. You see it pass by like ripples of mild life disruption on social media each day. Someone becomes angry about something, and there is much rage and wailing and electronic gashing of electronic teeth and then nothing happens.
Only sometimes it does.
And sometimes the whole affair leaves an uncomfortable feeling. Like, maybe someone just got stoned by a mob and no-one quite had the presence of mind to stop and ask, hey, wait, what are we really doing here?
The Lunar New Year has rolled around again and there has been a week of celebration by way of gold and red dragons and sublime explosives rocketing into the sky for everyone’s enjoyment. Only, this time around, there seems to be a problem. It doesn’t quite seem like the English speaking world knows what year it is… sheep? Goat? Ram? Something else?
The Science Fiction and Fantasy website and publisher Tor.com has announced that they are planning to start a new line of e-published novella length genre fiction with serious verve. This is an interesting move for a site that already has an excellent reputation as a place for online short fiction.
WHITE CLOUD WORLDS vol I&II
Paul Tobin, Editor (ISBN 978-1-86950-824-1 & 978-0-47321-504-0)
White Cloud Worlds (volumes I & II) are anthologies of science fiction and fantasy art from New Zealand illustrators. The ‘white cloud’ in the title is from Aotearoa, the Maori name for New Zealand, which means ‘Land of the Long White cloud’.
Pamela Colman Smith (1899) ISBN: 0-9769612-2-9
Pixifire Reprint Edition
You may not have ever heard of Pamela Colman Smith but I would bet anything you care to wager that you know her work. Pamela Colman Smith is the artist responsible for the most famous and widely used of all Tarot decks, the Rider-Waite Deck. It’s the deck you think of when you think of Tarot and Pamela did a lot of innovative things with it. In particular she was the first person that we know of who added illustrative scenes to the numbered cards. Prior to her version the wands and cups and so on were just a set of wands and cups and so on, much like a modern deck of playing cards.