Monthly : February

Reading long

Eyepennies by Mike O’Driscoll (TTA Press)

Not that long a read, actually (in fact I read this novella pretty much in one sitting). I’m a long standing O’Driscoll fan and having taken out a subscription to TTA’s new novella series, I was gantin’ for this to arrive, and when it did I wasn’t by any means disappointed. The story’s title and main character are inspired by Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous, and the down-beat, diffused story of disconnection and displacement that unfolds is perfectly in keeping with the band’s music. It’s also one of the most realistic depictions of a musician’s mindset I’ve read in fiction. Up there with Peter Straub’s Pork Pie Hat. I have no higher compliment than that.

Reading short

Wings by Amal El Mohtar (Strange Horizons)

One of the sweetest, purest metaphors for first love I think I’ve come across in ages. Beautiful little story. Read it, then read it again.

Cloudberry Jam by Karin Tidbeck (from Jagannath, Cheeky Frawg Books)

Really been enjoying dipping into Tidbeck’s runaway-successful Jagannath collection. Her stories are the rarest of things in the fiction world–the products of a genuinely unique imagination. Another metaphor, this time for parenthood, and one of the most memorable I’ve come across in a while.

The Anatomist’s Mnemonic by Priya Sharma (Black Static #32)

Almost completing a perfect trio, I loved this story of an unusual physical fetish. It’s unassumingly, but effectively told, right up to the ending. Without giving anything away, it’s hard to see how else it could have ended, but it felt obvious and a tad heavy handed to me. Still very much worth the read – as are all of Sharma’s stories I’ve come across so far.

Listening to

Shields by Grizzly Bear

Shields continues on travelling very much the same country as Veckatimest did, creating a landscape of compositions that give up new textures on each listen. Really, really love this stuff.

Being at

Story’s End by The Dead Man’s Waltz and guests

Right back at the beginning of the month I was lucky enough  to get to a ticket to this multimedia gig. Held in the CCA as part of the Glasgow Short Film Festival, the band provided live accompaniment to a selection of excellent short films and animations. They also played a few of their own songs, with guest musicians and vocalists, and sountracked readings by Hal Duncan. All of it was superbly presented. Even the short film by Johnny Barrington that showed the world a whole new side of Hal. That dude is PRIMAL. And shamanistic. (And naked.)

5 thoughts on “Monthly : February

  1. Hi Neil- thanks for the positive and fair comments on “The Anatomist’s Mnemonic”. I struggled with the ending.It started life as a love story but nobody would take it, so I decided to change it to something darker! All the best, as always, Priya

    1. Priya – I really didn’t want to come across as overly critical of the story, but it’s possibly a matter of taste. I have a hard time with horror, and I felt the ending was just a little at odds with the beautiful lead up work. I’ve no doubt however that other readers loved the switch of tone.

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