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
I’m delighted and awed to have had one of my stories selected for the inaugural Best of British and Irish Flash Fiction 2018-2019. The full list is here and I am going to be spending my mornings before work catching up on the stories I managed to miss, over tea. That’s my recommendation to you (although, you can choose any time of the day that suits).
My story is You’ll Meet Me There, one of my apocalyptic fictions from last year. I’m working on a collection now that I have a few pieces. Another of the apocalyptic fictions is in the Best of British Fantasy 2018 anthology. You can buy a copy via the link – and there are SO many brilliant authors in there.
Other news: I will be teaching Creative Writing part-time at Glasgow University this coming academic year and I am thrilled and terrified. I will be spending the next weeks not only planning for the course, but ALSO going to Italy to teach on the very first Write Toscana writing retreat in the hills of Tuscany. If you’re interested, we’ll be running retreats next year too, and you can get in touch to register interest through the link.
I also have writing news that I’m bursting to share but that will have to wait until the bubbles reach the surface.
Phew. Autumn is really ramping up. And yes, it’s already Autumn here, with a cool wind blowing and the leaves skittering at the fringes of the rangy flowerbeds. I hope my work can keep me busy as we take that descent into the darkness of the year’s end. I’m holding my little candle of these recent joys close to my chest.
Town’s made of vapours, cold grey diction in winter— in the Black Beetle, the one restaurant-bar-café-hotel, at the sole occupied table, said occupant Albert sucks coffee through his teeth. The sky overhead is the sea, rising up at an uncanny angle. I thought, love me, Albert, tell me secrets of your knackered boat, the scuffed corners under the seats, the mouldering edge. The seals that hover in your wake, barking like boys at play. The never shoal gone out your net. The emptiness of your raw days.
Pre-orders help both the publisher and the author – both financially and mood-wise. So if you’d like to read it, do go ahead and buy a present for future you. Or perhaps a Christmas present? It is just the right size for someone to sneak away to read in one sitting, beside a nice scented candle as a storm blows around outside.
I was spooning lakewater with my hand when the nostrils broke the surface. I’ll dream of it all my days—horror from unwanted closeness. The bubbling sounds as from below the little-eyed slimy grey head came rushing up, and the wide-slung jaw with juts of teeth the shape and thickness of bananas. The guide kicked the motor, we fell into our seats, and when I could turn to look back, there was only ripple to see of it. Only the soupy lake under the beautiful egrets, noon.
Read the full flash fiction, alongside the other stories in this edition of Vestal Review here.