Here’s a piece that first appeared in a print edition of Paper Darts:
(original art from the site itself)
If at any time during the event you hear a small blast of a horn three times, you should immediately find shelter under a tarpaulin, a door leaning up against a wall, or a farmhouse kitchen table (no other will do), or inside of a terra cotta jar if the jar covers at least sixty (60) percent of your body. Wait in your shelter until the safe signal plays (a small blast of a horn in a higher, upbeat pitch). You may leave the shelter at that time. If the safe signal does not play, do not leave the shelter. Stay in the shelter until a regional warden arrives to help you with your evacuation.
A new story up in Hobart today, fit for Hallowe’en feelings:
You winced, went shuffling out onto the deck in your pyjamas, overcoat, beanie hat, gloves. The plaster over your nose from the scratches. The ones on your arms, you had just washed and left to heal in the air. Leaves from the maple that overhung the long yard lay like damp clawed hands on the boards. The machine was making you coffee inside. Or, you hoped it would be, or else the thrumming was something else.
“Let me down easy into a pit full of stars” she sings, her voice to us a formulation of strain and anguish. Backroom of a meeting hall, us on a semicircular of hardback chairs, fingers weaved over cold knees or other, colder fingers. Spotlight isn’t kind to her face — nor are we, in our hedging thoughts. To pit the stars? We glance at the sheet, turn it over. Vague in dimness. We clap, as required; head down she walks off the light and out the building and into the Dark Sky Park which encompasses our village and a portion of the land surrounding, southerning, where the road becomes rough track skinned with tricksy streams and edges gouged by ditch.
A micro-tome of micro-fictions, this eighty-three-page wonder is marketed as a delectable sliver of retro-cool pop-culture and a super-cool gift. However, The Goldblum Variations delivers far, far more than mere surface level entertainment to flick through during a lazy Boxing Day morning. It is an exceptionally wrought collection of flash fictions, poems, snippets of essays (and even contains a game of bingo)… Seriously, take a gamble on this book. It is a befitting celebration of a remarkable actor via a thought-provoking odyssey of make-believe from one of the most remarkable emerging literary talents the UK has to offer.
The Goldblum Variations is available for pre-order from 404 Ink in the UK and Penguin Random House in the rest of the world. It’s out on the 22nd of October (Jeff Goldblum’s birthday!) and will hopefully be available in a bookshop near you (if not, do ask them to stock it)
I am mineral—begun or began again in the breach position inside of a stone. That’s the way she tells it. Amethyst anima. I run my hands over the tablecloth—smooth purple, stretched yellow stars—and nod politely, as if I agree. On a high shelf, there’s Our Lady of Shrugs. A silver bangle slides down the psychic’s wrist to join twelve others. And I get out my money. Well then, thank you. I’ll think about all of this. Her dog, small shaggy creature with no lips with which to cover its teeth, lifts its head indifferently as I go off into the day.
It is not hyperbole to say that Helen McClory’s The Goldblum Variations: Adventures of Jeff Goldblum Across the Known (and Unknown) Universe is the best book I have read this year. And it’s September, so that’s really saying something.
This review, of The Goldblum Variations, appears in Pop Matters and is a week-maker.
Read the full thing here
Pre order The Goldblum Variations here (US) (UK) (CA)