Nothing Happened

…a touch of literary strangeness

14639841_1291490804204243_3971675242789998160_nA very nice review of An Archive of Human Nonsense has been posted on Risingshadow.net. Although I’ve heard directly from several readers, this is the first “official” review of my novella. The review offers a very detailed look at the story. I must admit that, good or bad, I am always curious to hear what people think. It helps either affirm that I accomplished what I intended, or that I failed and need to re-think how I’ve done things.

An Archive of Human Nonsense occupies the space between literary fiction and literary fantasy. It’s kind of like a hybrid of both genres with a strong dash of existentialism and a touch of literary strangeness.”

You can read the full review on the Rising Shadow website. An Archive of Human Nonsense can be purchased directly from the publisher c/o Snuggly Books, via Amazon, Chapters-Indigo, or from many other online outlets.

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A Debatable Story

“A Debatable Story” will be appearing in the February issue of Le Scat Noir courtesy of Black Scat Books. It recounts the time I was asked to moderate a debate between the Flat Earth Society and the Hollow Earth Society. The story is unofficially dedicated to two fine gentlemen – my great friend Carl Lavoie, who inspired the idea, and a great writer named Rhys Hughes, who inspires my writing.

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Mail Call!

img_3922Léon Bloy
The Tarantulas’ Parlor and Other Unkind Tales

LIMITED EDITION of 60 copies, of which 55 will be made available to the public.
Hardcover, 288 pages
1st edition, October 17th, 2016

A paperback is also available:

Paperback, 286 pages
1st edition, October 17th, 2016

I just finished reading Brian Stableford’s introduction to his recent translation of Léon Bloy’s Histoires Désobligeantes. It’s a very thorough introduction, not only to the works themselves, but to their author, and should be read by anyone interested in ‘discovering’ Bloy for themselves. Mr. Stableford’s thoughtful insights into the man and his immediate world certainly enhance the reading of these contes cruels.

…and while truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, fiction is always truer.

Mr. Stableford’s assessment of Bloy brought to mind a somewhat later writer, Fr. Rolfe, whose work, you may well know, has held my fascination for some time. With this in mind, I am all the more curious to read his translation of Bloy.bloy.jpg

These stories are not new to me. I ‘met’ Léon Bloy shortly after reading Auguste de Villiers
de l’Isle-Adam’s Cruel Tales. At that time I could only find Bloy’s Histoires Désobligeantes in French. I was pleased when Wakefield Press published an Erik Butler translation entitled Disagreeable Tales in 2015. I’m certainly a fan of Wakefield Press, but Mr. Stableford’s introduction alone, makes this Snuggly Books offering a welcome edition to my Bloy collection. Mr. Stableford has an extensive portfolio of French-English translations, including works by the masterful Alphonse Allais. I am confident that if anyone can do Léon Bloy justice, he can.

I also received the first six ‘Snuggly Slims,’ including works by David Rix, Justin Isis, Quentin S. Crisp, Kristine Ong Muslim, Toadhouse, and Yarrow Paisley. This series will soon include my own novella, An Archive of Human Nonsense.

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You can view Snuggly Books’ current catalogue here, to which will soon be added Frederick Rolfe’s An Ossuary of the North Lagoon and Other Stories, with an introduction by yours truly, and the novella  An Archive of Human Nonsense.

Buster Keaton

What you have to do is create a character. Then the character just does his best, and there’s your comedy. – Buster Keaton

b8a0be81f362c0f524ef543eb84ead9eMy short story, “Buster Keaton” can be found in the current issue of Le Scat Noir (Number 217). I am a fan of silent comedy – Buster in particular – and so I wrote this short piece as a  simple tribute to the Old Stone Face.

There is something comically tragic (or tragically comic) about Buster. Perhaps he, better than anyone else, understood how closely linked comedy and tragedy truly are. He lived a life that encapsulated both, and yet he lived to make us laugh.

You can read “Buster Keaton” here. I am pleased to have it included with so many wonderful works in Le Scat Noir Number 217.

A New Corvo Collection

The cover for Snuggly Books‘ forthcoming Corvo collection, for which I’ve written the introduction. Due out in April of next year. This book showcases Corvo’s talent as a short story writer, and makes some of his harder to find tales more accessible to readers. Corvo enthusiasts will undoubtedly buy this book, but I recommend it to those of you unfamiliar with Frederick Rolfe’s work. It is an excellent introduction to Corvo’s unique blend of Decadence and Modernism.

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An Archive of Human Nonsense

14639841_1291490804204243_3971675242789998160_nAlong the tavern’s back wall he found a small writing desk, around which the floor was stained ink-black and littered with loose scraps of paper. Atop the desk he found a small stack of handwritten newsletters entitled The Archive of Human Nonsense. He picked one up. It was dated 17 April, 1817 – eight months previous – and had been hand-penned in German running script. From front to back the small newsletter was eight pages long. It opened with a list of names, twenty-two in all, and closed with a watercolour picture of a giant red rooster…

Thus begins an existential journey through Vienna’s streets and one man’s guilt-laden memories. From mountebanks, puppet showmen, and trainers of performing monkeys, to the strange Mechanical Theatre of Sebastian von Schwenenfeld the journey becomes a quest not to find meaning but to define it.

An Archive of Human Nonsense will be published as a Snuggly Slim by Snuggly Books soon. In the meantime, check out their website. Their catalogue contains works by contemporary writers such as Brendan Connell, Justin Isis, David Rix, Kristine Ong Muslim, Yarrow Paisley and Quentin S. Crisp – and excellent translations of Léon Bloy and Jean Lorrain by the very talented Brian Stableford.

Que Voulez-Vous Dire?

lescatnoir216.PNGMy short story, “Que Voulez-Vous Dire” can be read in Le Scat Noir Number 216 along with works by Alphonse Allais, Samuele Bastianello, Paulo Brito, Norman Conquest, Colin Dodds, Allen Forrest, Eckhard Gerdes, Derek Pell, Alice Pulaski, Frank Pulaski, Erik Satie, and Doug Skinner.

I find it fitting that this issue of LSN contains works by Allais and Skinner, because “Que Voulez-Vous Dire” is a tip of the hat to both! Allais appears in the story itself, while Skinner is responsible for the numerous English translations of Alphonse’s work published by Black Scat Books.

Translation is daunting business. Translating the works of an author known for his humorous wordplay and wit must be extremely difficult. Fortunately for us, Mr. Skinner is not only appreciative of Allais’ humour, he gets it! He gets it in French, and is able to help us get it en anglais! Black Scat is the home of Alphonse Allais in English!

You can download and read Le Scat Noir Number 216 for free here!