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Archive for the category “Books”

Support Solstice Shorts come to a booklaunch

E A M Harris:

If you can look past the Christmas/New Year festivities, you may be interested in this event. I love book launches (or at least I loved the two I’ve been to), but can’t make this one.

Originally posted on Arachne Press:

If you’ve never been to a book launch but always wondered what really happens you are invited to Arachne’s next one, which will be for The Dowry Blade, Arachne founder Cherry Potts‘ Fantasy epic. there are a handful of invitations up for grabs as part of our crowd fund for Solstice shorts Longest Night,

The Dowry Blade is around 170,000 words long, so is coming out in support of its smaller siblings the short story, generally weighing in (for Solshorts anyway) at around 2000 words.

The booklaunch will be in late February, in London – either central or South East, so if you’d like to come along, support our festival! You only have until 1st December to grab an invitation! It may look a bit like this. There will be drink, there may be cake…

meeting authors and eating cake at an Arachne event meeting authors and eating cake at an Arachne event

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‘Pages of Pain’ from Kimberly Wilhelmina Floria

E A M Harris:

Great poetry for free!

Originally posted on silentlyheardonce:

Beginning tomorrow November 1 until November 5 Pages of Pain Kindle edition is available for free.

Just wanted to let you know. I’m still putting 100% of myself into Hidden Temptation and I’m feeling good about it.  See you all soon.

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Black Mist and other stories 7

E A M Harris:

With Hallowe’en fast approaching, this looks like appropriate reading.

Originally posted on Sharmishtha Basu:

black mist and other stories

Sharmishtha Basu is an unemployed artist, writer who is out to test her works, see if they can help her to build an “unorthodox” career, a path followed by many before, some has been blessed with success, most have not, let us see what you make of her attempts! A failure or success- it all depends on you. These are pieces from her book, the book is available on createspace and amazon- It is a collection of dark stories, paranormal mostly but not gothic, it prefers scaring by creating eerie images not blood, gore, violence. She will certainly love to see it in your Halloween collection!

Black Mist and other stories

The car started to move forth.

The village team huddled together in the backseat talking in a hushed tone. Both Rajan and Mitesh could guess their disappointment but chose to pretend that they were not aware of…

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George Orwell and his poetry

IMG_6289-189x300George Orwell’s poetry was recently published as a collection. Apparently this is for the first time. Given how famous he is, I wondered why. Surely after his death any unpublished work would have been extra-valuable.

The BBC interview goes some way towards explaining this. According to Dione Venables, the collection’s editor, he wasn’t a great poet and the value of much of his verse lies in what it says about him as a person, not his politics nor poetry in general.

He was a persistent poet. Like many, he discovered the joy of writing verse when very young, but unlike many, he never gave it up, which means that this collection covers a lifetime’s output.

A good deal of his poetry has been available for some time. He published a few in magazines himself, and various websites have selections. The Orwell Prize site has links to several and also to scanned original pages of others – his handwriting was reasonably legible, but they are still difficult to read.

A lot of the poetry is light and easy reading:

A happy vicar I might have been
Two hundred years ago
To preach upon eternal doom
And watch my walnuts grow;

But born, alas, in an evil time,
I missed that pleasant haven,
For the hair has grown on my upper lip
And the clergy are all clean-shaven.

There are several more, similar, verses.

Cover picture from Scarthin Books.

Spark and Carousel – Goodreads Giveaway Now Running!

E A M Harris:

A great offer for anyone interested in fantasy reading, (you’ll probably have to go to the original to use the widget mentioned).

Originally posted on Joanne Hall:

You can get your hands on a FREE paperback of Spark and Carousel in a special Goodreads Giveaway that runs from now until September 26th, to celebrate the release. Enter using the widget below and don’t forget to add the book to you To-Read shelf!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Spark and Carousel by Joanne Hall

Spark and Carousel

by Joanne Hall

Giveaway ends September 26, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Don’t forget that you can also pre-order Spark and Carousel on your local Amazon, in both Kindle version and paperback. Alternatively, come along the physical launch at BristolCon, where there will be cake…

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Slipped down the plughole?

Lost Pubs cover artI recently came across a book (now, sadly, out of print but still available here and there including libraries) called The Lost Pubs of Bath by Andrew Swift and Kirsten Elliott.

My inner pedant was irritated at the imprecision of the title – how do you lose a pub? Did it slip down the back of the sofa or get thrown out with the old newspapers? Maybe it ran off like a lost puppy.

In reality it may have been demolished or bombed, but in a place like Bath, which seriously conserves its heritage, it has more likely just changed its use. So why not say so in the title?

But ‘lost’ is an emotive word. It carries a lot of baggage for almost anyone – we’ve all lost things or people that mattered to us.

‘Lost’ gives us a straightforward ‘no longer around’ with that little hint of sadness that the vanished past ought to have – though whether any of us would really want to un-vanish it is another question.

So the title is a suitable one, and the inner pedant can go back to sleep.

Frank O’Connor award

I’ve just come across the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, which I’ve never heard of 9781907773716before. The winner this year has recently been announced and it’s Carys Davies with her collection The Redemption of Galen Pike.

I’ve heard of Frank O’Connor and it’s great that he’s remembered by a major award, but as with all these awards, I wonder about the people who didn’t win or even get shortlisted. Does it affect their sales? Does anyone outside their circle even know? How do they feel about it? The prize, at €25,000, is the largest in the world for short stories so winning makes a real difference.

This award is one where a publisher submits a book published within the year concerned. I assume that the author’s permission is needed, but I can imagine conflicts arising if they don’t give it (maybe there’s a prizewinning short story in there somewhere; or a mystery à la MarpleMurder in the Publisher’s Office).

There seems to be quite a revival of short stories lately and prizes like this can only encourage it. The media reports and other publicity must be good for the form and for literature generally, as well as for the writers concerned. So congratulations to Ms Davies, her publisher, Salt, and all the judges and others involved.

Five Fascinating Facts about William Faulkner

E A M Harris:

I love odd facts about famous writers, and these facts are truly odd. My thanks to Interesting Literature for gathering them up and posting them.

Originally posted on Interesting Literature:

Fun facts about the life of William Faulkner, author of The Sound and the Fury

1. William Faulkner was born Falkner; according to one story, the ‘u’ was the result of a typesetting error Faulkner didn’t bother to correct. Curiously, Falkner’s  great-grandfather had been Colonel Faulkner but had removed the ‘u’ – William put it back. Faulkner (William, that is) was born in New Albany in Mississippi in 1897, the eldest of four sons.

2. The website Snopes.com took its name from the Snopes, an unpleasant family who feature in the works of William Faulkner. Faulkner’s Snopes Trilogy, comprising The HamletThe Town, and The Mansion, was published between 1940 and 1959 and centres on the Snopes family, a grasping and corrupt dynasty including a paedophile (Wesley), a pornographer, and a thief (this article has more Snopish detail). Perhaps because of the association between Faulkner’s…

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Holmes and Watson revealed

Holmes and Watson cover artI enjoyed this book. It is well written and scholarly without being pedantic or heavy.

However, I did find it odd reading a biography of people who don’t exist. For instance, as many biographers do, Ms Thomson speculates on what her characters were doing in the times not covered by the published stories. For real people this attempt to fill in gaps makes sense – they must have been doing something. But for fictional characters the true answer is ‘nothing’, and most of the time their creator probably didn’t give the question any thought.

Reading this book has made me want to know more of the real facts and I hope to find a good biography of Conan Doyle in the nearish future.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the Holmes stories and who likes a stylish, fictional biography. If you haven’t read any of the stories you’ll miss out on a good deal of the references and nuances, so I suggest you get a few of them in before starting Ms Thomson’s work.

Cover art from goodreads.


E A M Harris:

I’ve recently been reading about the literature of marginalised peoples (I’ll blog about it one day) so was drawn to this review. I haven’t read the book but it sounds fascinating. A romance that doesn’t ignore political realities must be unusual.

Originally posted on M C Raj Author:

Our Time Now – A review of the novel ‘Madderakka’

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglass

Author M C Raj’s novel ‘Madderakka: A Romantic Journey Through Cultures’ is a love story that celebrates the human spirit in its highs & lows. The protagonists in this love story are not just a couple of individuals but representatives of two indigenous communities from separate parts of the world. Veeran is an Adijan, member of the so called untouchable caste from India while Ramona is a Sami woman from Norway. An anthropologist and a philosopher meet under special circumstances and romance blooms between them. They also discover the similarities in rituals followed and oppressions faced by their…

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