It’s easy to imagine that William Golding’s Lord of the Flies speaks to what really lies at the heart of the human temperament, and that really, all of us are a single disaster away from becoming animals again. It’s certainly what motives lots of the prepper mindset, and I should think, lots of capitalist thinking. Rutger Bergman says that might not be the case. He went on the hunt for a real life Lord of the Flies, and found one.
I’m fascinated by this kind of thing; you only have to look at human history to see that we’re capable of truly horrifying things. There are also examples of the opposite; I haven’t done any serious research, but it’s an interesting question. Is there a definable ‘human nature’ we can pin down, and if there is, is it good or bad? Or is that far too simplifying, and in reality, depending on the conditions humans have the potential to be either? I’m curious.
When I read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle the first time, it was maddening. The passivity of Toru Okada was infuriating. I found myself with the book gripped tightly, half in each hand, hunched over in my chair, or in bed, hissing ‘Do something!‘
When I finished it, I was glad. I felt like I’d come out of a dream about a hot, stifling room.
A gentleman called Davis Vilums has cycled every street in central London, and mapped the entire process. The result is a very cool time lapse, filling out all the streets and byways of London, as if by electricity. I dig it.
Even better is the ethos – it sounds like a fun way to explore your city and find every little nook and cranny. Not only did he get every single bit of central London in, but as he said, it made it feel like home. I’m convinced that this is one of the ways that you get to feel like you belong in a place – to be in it and get to know it, discover its idiosyncrasies and strange, out of the way places. Plus, I would definitely find it satisfying to tick off (colour in) all the roads and complete the map. I’d like to do something similar in Cardiff. I’d have to take the shoelace express, however, because I neither own une bicyclette nor do I have the aerobic fitness to ride one any distance.
In a land where immortality can be bought, cruelty thrives…
Exiled and alone, Threon is torn from a life in the palace to scrape a living on the streets of a foreign land. Once a prince whose every whim was obliged, now this vagabond must adapt to survive.
Throwing his lot in with a witch, a rebel soldier and a woman touched by a god, he seeks retribution for the wrongs committed against his family. Slavery and famine are rampant, and the struggle to avenge his kin soon becomes a battle to restore justice across the Empire. Together Threon and his new companions must rekindle old allegiances, face an immortal army and learn to trust one another.
But when the gods begin to interfere with their plans, is it a curse or a blessing?
A dear friend of mine is having a launch party for her debut fantasy novel, The Vagabond King, in Cardiff tomorrow. It’s bound to be a good time, so you should absolutely come along. Entry is free, there will be an interview session and a few readings. There’s details here. For those of you in north or mid Wales, Jodie is also having a launch party near Machynlleth on the 24th of October. Details here.
Jodie is a wonderful writer, but you don’t have to take my word for it.
Fantasy author, David Towsey, said of The Vagabond King: ‘A classic fantasy adventure of heroes, villains, clashing empires and meddlesome gods. This is a story that grips from the outset and doesn’t let the reader go.’
Best-selling author Rebecca F John said: ‘Bond has achieved that most difficult balance – of presenting her readers with a rousing epic and a cast of characters who we see, know, and care about from the first page.’
Nerd Daily reviewed the book, praising its world building and its characters. They also interviewed Jodie – they covered interests, the characters, and – vital information – her most wished for superpower.
If you’re a fantasy fan living in south Wales, I hope to see you there tomorrow!
Check out the sinister base on ‘I’m Not Your Girl’. Almost all their songs have a nice, chunky, fuzzy riff and the direct language in their lyrics adds to the brash effect. Case in point ‘I’m out with my friends tonight, telling them you was so middle-class you couldn’t do me right’ in I’m Not Your Girl.
My top songs thus far; Make a Man, I’m Not Your Girl and Glasgow Kisses.
They get a thumbs up from me. Gigs sound a bit intense though.
It’s World Poetry Day today! Happy Poetry Day! Just wanted to share a little fun that I wrote about a month ago. Comments?
The Author is a Thief
The expectation is for me to convey,
With each turning of the phrase…
Days may come and go,
A green, orange, grey zoetrope,
Passing with each beat, breath or letter,
A river of silk-soft sand,
Countless, until the last few grains are left.
A few left in the palm,
Seeds precious to a starving man,
Planted in wasteful soil,
They yield withered fruit.Continue reading “The Author is a Thief”→
Last week (01 Aug- 08 Aug 16) was a bumper reading week, in which I powered through some old favourites in order to recap for a new release, tackled some stuff that I’d been really struggling to get through and started a few other bits and pieces.
The Sandman Slim Series by Richard Kadrey (8 books)
These are a nice easy read; Kadrey’s writing goes down smoothly and the tension is kept taught enough to pull you through the novels with barely a pause for breath. James Stark, the series titular Sandman Slim, is a ‘sympathetic bastard’; a likeable antihero. You don’t root for him because he’s the good guy, (it’s tough to marry good and Stark at the start of the first novel) but once you understand his motivation and are introduced to his scathing wit, it’s hard not to fall in love with the guy, as he goes from assassin to uncomfortably burdened hero. The setting is a wonderful mash-up of urban fantasy, action and noir, like Paradise Lost by way of the Big Sleep. Continue reading “Books Wot I Have Read”→