Novelists C S Pacat and Ilka Tampke will be interviewed by John Weldon at ACMI cinema 1 on Sunday 23rd at 2:30pm. What will they be talking about?
I’m glad you asked. They will be discussing Historical Fantasy.
Long, long ago at the dawn of history I remember nodding off during history classes. I probably did my best daydreaming then too. The school text books and the teachers made it all as dull as warm gravel. I never passed a history exam in my life because I could not remember when people died or when battles were fought, but I remember reading history books for fun when I got home from school and being riveted by historical documentaries and films. It was not until I arrived at adulthood that I realised that history I slept through in school and the history I read about at home were the same, just told in different ways. History is there, there’s no getting away from it so we might as well enjoy it. And a few fantasies won’t hurt…history won’t mind, it’s big enough to look after itself. Get you tickets online at the MWF website.
TIME WILL DARKEN IT
Vintage Classics, 2012, RRP $14.99
First published 1948
Sometimes it is not only what a book is about but the way it is written that makes it special. Time Will Darken It is one of those. After reading the first chapter I got on the internet and ordered two more of William Maxwell’s books. I fingertip tappingly await their arrival. If a dead guy can write as well as this I want his books.
First published in 1948, Time Will Darken It is set in a small American town in 1912. It tells the sad tale of Austin King and his wife, Martha, receiving visitors from Mississippi. The Potters, mother, father, son and daughter sow the seeds of the destruction of Austin King, a decent man whose only crime was trying to keep everybody happy and doing it quietly.
The story opens with a quite scene of marital tension before a house party to welcome the Potters. In this, Maxwell gives himself the almost impossible task of introducing a myriad of characters almost at once. Any teacher of writing will tell you that is a no-no…unless you can write like William Maxwell. His words take the reader by the hand and leads him or her from room to room, catching snippets of conversations, auditioning the characters for their roles and hinting at things to come.
Text Publishing, June 2015, RRP $29.99
Day Boy is a dark and dusty dystopian tale following a year in the life of Mark, a Day Boy, living in a regional Australian town ruled by The Masters. Following in the bloody footsteps of The Passage by Justin Cronin and The Quick by Lauren Owen it is a literary vampire novel in which the V-word is never mentioned, not in the blurb on the back and hardly, if ever, between the covers–for fear, I think that the V-word may frighten away less adventurous readers influenced by the anti-vampire prejudice arising from the Twilight Saga. Continue reading