Now released as an album via Soundcloud. All audio tracks are free to access but if you prefer to see what they’re saying, the book is still available from Amazon.
This anthology, which links voice recordings of the short stories and poems directly to the text on the page, is due out in late April. Despite being very simple, this application of the technique may be a world first and has implications for the delivery of essential information to populations whose reading skills are not as perfect as the material often requires. There’s more here at Readalongreads.
Spirits of the Freeze-Sea is the story of the dreadful consequences for Izzy and her sister Shalla when Izzy forgets she mustn’t close her eyes to the ice spirits. Told in three parts, Spirits of the Freeze-Sea brings together All the Birthdays*, Dancing to the Wild Ice**, and the new Shalla’s First Ice Shatter. Available for eReader download from Cut A Long Story, price 99p.
*First seen on Readwave
**First seen in Lancaster university DLMA 2013 showcase as Dance to the Wild Ice.
‘Something odd was happening. The air had been tingling for days; fizzing when he wafted his hand across his face.’ On Readwave now.
An antidote to the recent leg-crosser, Fat Fairies is another sideways look at how the universe works – maybe. In Zouch Magazine today:
Back in the day, Fat Fairy’s life was an unmitigated misery; at least during the episodes not involving jam sponge or double cheese pizza. She was surrounded by gaggles of thin, twinkly fairies who flitted and flounced through the air on gossamer wings, while her wings were more like the carapace of a large bug.
Finalist in the 2013 Lascaux Short Story competition. ‘Puddles like Pillows’, is a little piece of speculative fiction in which gravity suddenly reverses its influence. Published byZouch Magazine, August 28th, 2013, it is still on the Editors Choice list today.
After a while, with the streets and parks getting less cluttered, it started to look as if some cosmic recycler had dropped by to tidy us up. So then people stopped using the bins and just hung about with their cameras waiting for their banana skin or whatever to take off.
Just a little bit pleased.
Good old Every Day Fiction, they’re taking a chance with another of my tales. ‘No Arrests in 2039’, in which a local council gets inventive about its crime stats, will be unleashed on August 9th.
Disclaimer: Dear Elected Representatives – No, this is not a way forward, you hear me?
Update: EDF is offline at the moment while they move house to new servers.
EDF reports progress, and will be back on August 15th. Affected stories will transfer to September. 09/08/11
Cynicism. A withering of the heart through repeated, constant, undeserved criticism of genuine and meritorious effort? Well not desolation or abuse that’s for sure; those give rise to defeat, hatred, uncomplicated self-destruction by the slow degrees of personal deconstruction. No, cynicism has a sense of survival to it, vengeance even. It is veiled power, happy to bide its time, content to stalk its target until the moment and the words are most apposite. Cynicism is miserable nastiness out in a posh frock and allowed to mix with its targets.
Ah but bitching, that’s a much more entertaining option. Perhaps bitching is a sub-genre of cynicism as it’s sometimes a little difficult to distinguish between the two, although bitching tends to be the province of women and gay men whose articulacy and timing are generally exquisite. It has an added joyous malice and, it must be said, it’s also much less intellectually demanding and rather more immediate. Right now, for instance, the preening, mincing, Woolworths’ decorated MC of this provincial step-down club for failed trannies is heading for a major bitch assault from Prune-Ella, Queen of the Dessert. Well, you don’t tell a six foot draggette who’s pushing forty that her tantrum of menopausal proportions would benefit from a course of HRT without risking some sort of come back, do you? Quite. Over in the corner, Prunella de Ville is a slow cooker of seething rage in which an Oxfordian vocabulary garnished with burlesque ribaldry is heating up a suitable comeback. No-one in their right mind, or out of it for that matter, wants to miss this and crowds are gathering; flitting quietly in from the wings, materialising at tables in pre-show shadow, undulating with sinuous secrecy around the velveteen seats.
Of course Prune-Ella is all about performance and so a considerable amount of flouncing and huffing seems likely to outweigh the acidity of tongue essential to perfect bitching. Prune-Ella also fails in the detached vengeance department too. The most successful cynicism assault can leave the target feeling as though they have received a compliment, only realising later what has happened through painful post mortem or the careful explanation delivered by a friend in possession of a comfort blanket. Bitching though, relies on instantaneous reactivity; mouths must gape, the combatants’ righteous indignation must be hammed up, wound up and then iced over with pure liquid triumph, there must be audience participation with shifts of allegiance at each volley of excoriating ripostes.
Prune-Ella’s eyebrows have done their best to arch but, impeded by botox, they have settled into a mascara embellished corrugation above eyes blackened with arachnoid lashes and fury. She rises. The uninvited audience holds its breath. Our dick weed MC pauses on the edge of his brandy in hazy realisation.
Mighty heels that girl is wearing.
Prune-Ella delivers a cracking swipe across her target’s rug-rest, dislodging it and sending it spinning off under the fake brocade banquette. There are cries of ‘Call the RSPCA!’ and raucous hootings as people scrabble about on the floor in mock horror while dick weed gathers himself, wrings his drink out of his lapels, and brings his knee sharply upwards to connect with Prune-Ella’s not yet absent manhood. Glorious mayhem ensues.
Time then for a quick call to the local constabulary and the Argus. Nothing like a frock-fest fist-fight to bring out the leering lasciviati. Prune-Ella’s already setting up for round two and figuring out camera angles, and MC Dick Weed is applying emergency price rises to the drinks. Now that’s a good use of cynicism if ever I saw it!
©suzanne conboy-hill 2010
Any takers out there for a nice bit of SF drama hot off the presses? Oh well, it was worth a try. I’ll get out my hair shirt, stick pebbles in my shoes, invest in a self-mortification programme (I expect there’s an iPhone app for that), and join the supplicants’ queue like everyone else. How on earth do you writers of novels cope? A couple of thousand words and I’m wrapped up and ready to move on! Attention span of a gnat and no stamina, clearly.