Good Stuff You Should Know About: August edition

Time for another tranche of the various cultural pies I’ve been chowing into recently. All heartily recommended.

Book: The Race by Nina Allan. I’ve been enjoying Nina Allan’s sharp, insightful and beautiful stories since I first encountered Microcosmos in the pages of Interzone, and the SF world has been quietly holding it’s collective breath in preparation for her first novel. Kudos to Newcon Press for being the ones with the vision to publish it and, if the early critical reaction is anything to go by,  it’s going to be a huge success for them. If I buy nothing else at Worldcon (where it will be launched next week), I’m coming home with this.

Story: The Good Matter by Nene Ormes. Yet another event I’ve been praying for for some time arrived with the publication of Apex Magazine‘s latest issue: the first translation into English of the fiction of Swedish writer, Nene Ormes. It’s a delicious wee story too, mysterious, intelligent and sexy. Hoping this is the first of many!

Album:  Ever Evolving Lounge by Dr Cosmo’s Tape Lab. Over the years, Glasgow’s mercurial Joe Kane has produced some of the most joyously authentic 60’s psych-pop-influenced music it’s been my pleasure to enjoy. This new project sees him team up with Stu Kidd and prove what a great pair of songwriters they are. Also, wads of fun live.

Cabaret: Cabapocalypsaret by The Creative Martyrs. In a few short years the Martyrs have become Edinburgh Fringe fixtures, and this year they are pushing themselves with three separate shows. FEZ, their children’s show ends it’s run today, but you can still catch their spooky collaborative effort with Professor Richard Wiseman, And The Goat Remained A Goat. My big recommendation, however, goes to Cabapocalypsaret – their exploration of how society might survive the apocalypse (through alcohol and cabaret) and whether the resulting new world order may actually be a Utopia- providing that the audience can agree on what a Utopia may be. The Martyrs’ brilliant hilarious/melancholy songs and barbed wire wit showcased at their very best. I’m not the only one who thinks so.


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