In the absence of any coherent theme for a post, I thought I’d tell you about a few things that have caught my eye lately. This may become a regular feature or it may not. Here goes, anyway.
First of all, I’m assuming that everyone has already read Nik Perring’s “Not So Perfect“? If not, why not? Judging by the amount of coverage it’s had in the blogosphere and twittersphere, it should be selling by the bucketload, and it certainly deserves to. It’s about the size of a CD and doesn’t take much longer to read as it does to listen to one, but it punches way above its weight and the stories linger on long after you’ve finished reading it. My particular favourite (and I know that other reviewers have picked up on this one as well) is “My Wife Threw Up a Lemur”. This is a lovely piece of magical realism, which is never an easy genre to work in without tipping over into self-indulgence. But Perring knows exactly how far to push it and in doing so draws a picture of a relationship that is far more illuminating than a purely realistic description. Go and buy it if you haven’t already.
At the City of Derby last year, there were three of us in the running for prizes, but in reality it was a race for second place. The winning story (as it happens, another piece of superbly-handled magical realism) was so far ahead of the rest that I just sat back and enjoyed it when Gaby Pritchard read it out. She’s got a novel coming out under the name of Gabrielle Kimm later on this year and even though it’s historical fiction (which I’m usually not a fan of) I’m definitely going to get myself a copy. Check out that first paragraph. Gorgeous.
Finally, my favourite site at the moment is Good Show Sir – a real treat for fans of bad sci-fi and fantasy cover art. Soft targets, I know, but some of them are quite breathtakingly bad. They even sometimes get the author himself dropping in to comment. And as far as I’m aware, they’ve only made one serious mistake, and even then they were gracious enough to admit it when Toby pointed out the error of their ways.