Month: August 2015

TFFX – The Future Fire Ten Year Anthology – Trailer Microstory

Rather thrillingly The Future Fire are bringing out TFFX, an anthology of selected stories from the magazine to celebrate their ten-year anniversary. And even more thrillingly (for me, at any rate) they are going to include my short story Art Attack!


As part of the celebrations they’ve been asking the authors to write a microstory that takes place 10 years after the original story. And my contribution ‘2084’ is now up on the Future Fire blog site HERE

It was an interesting exercise to write a ’10 years after’ – which is also a sort of trailer for the Art Attack! story. In the event, I rather drifted away from the Art Attack universe. I didn’t want to satirise the same things twice, so the world of the story had to change accordingly. What I did keep was the rather sarcastic contemptuous attitude, and the ‘motto inserts’. Another thing I thought would be fun this time around was to make the literary allusion more explicit. Art Attack! has allusions also (or perhaps more properly called thefts) but they are so obscure they are only amusing to me. It was nice to have the chance to revisit that aspect of the original story — and this time — give the literary allusion a proper use.

On a personal note, due to too much ‘stuff’ (not interesting or varied stuff, but a lot of it), I haven’t written anything in ages — so it was great to have the prompt to do some writing, and be reminded of the fun of it.

Part and parcel of the way publishing is changing – and appropriate to an SF magazine especially — The Future Fire are running a fundraiser so the anthology is sort of pre-sold before they publish. All very interesting.

Edinburgh Festival 2015: Running List

Just a list of shows seen:
Oog@ Dancebase – my review

Sylvie Guillem – Life In Progress @ Festival Theatre

The Norman Conquests: Coming Together @ C

Ada @ Bedlam. (By EUTC)

Knowledge and a Girl. (Howard Barker) @ C

Roughs for Radio @ C

Between Us and Hunting Dust @ Dancebase
Between Us
Dancers: Emma Snellgrove, Joanne Pirrie
Music: Atzi Muramastu

Hunting Dust
Chor: Tamsyn Russell
Dancers: Adrienne O’ Leary, Freya Jeffs, James Southward, Tamsyn Russell

The Last Hotel (Score: Donnacha Dennehy. Book Enda Walsh) @ Lyceum Theatre

Edith in the Dark @ Monument Playhouse. (By Philip Meeks. Edith Nesbit = Blue Merrick, Gustano = Scott Ellis, Biddy Thricefold = Rebecca Mahon)

Da Da Darling (Impermanence Dance Theatre) @ Zoo Sanctuary

Antigone @ King’s Theatre

887 @ EICC. (Production Ex Machina. Script and Actor = Robert Lapage)

Sarah Connolly (Mezzo-Soprano) and Malcolm Martineau (Piano) @ Queens Hall

The British Gothic (talk by Andrew Graham Dixon. Moderated by Octavian Saiu) @ The Hub

The Scottish Scottish Supernatural (talk by Andrew Graham Dixon, Randall Stevenson, Penny Fielding. Moderated by Octavian Saiu)) @ The Hub

Tao Dance @ Lyceum – my review

Philharmonia Orchestra. (Esa-Pekka Salonen Conductor. Pierre-Laurent Aimard Piano) @ Usher Hall. Ravel Mother Goose Suite , Ravel Piano Concerto in G, Stravinsky Petrushka (1947), Tchaikovsky Francesca da Rimini (I’ve made a note of the pieces because I really did not enjoy this concert.)

Don Patterson (Interviewed by Stuart Kelly) @ Book Fest (On 40 Sonnets)

Plan B for Utopia @ Dancebase – my review

The Society of Strange @ C

Seven @ Playhouse Theatre. (Ballet am Rhein Dusseldorf Duisburg. Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Conducor = Wen-Pin Chien. Choreographer = Martin Schlapfer. Music = Mahler, Symphony No7.)

Lanark @ Lyceum Theatre

Give Me A Reason to Live @ Dancebase

Max Richter, Recomposed: Four Seasons and Memoryhouse @ Usher Hall. (Daniel Hope = violin, Grace Davidson = soprano, Andre de Ridder = Conductor. Scottish Symphony Orchestra.)

Ghost Dance (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru) @ Zoo

I Loved You And I Loved You (Sweetshop Revolution) @ Zoo Sanctuary

Launch of Shoreline of Infinity Magazine @ Deadhead Comics

ponydance (‘Ponies Don’t Play Football) @ Dancebase – my review

Magic Flute. (Komische Oper Berlin. Directors Barrie Kosky and 1927) @ Playhouse Theatre

Ballet Zurich ( Kairos, by Wayne McGregor. Christian Spuck’s Sonett) @ Playhouse Theatre

London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev Conductor, Yefim Bronfman Piano. Bartok The Miraculous Mandarin, Piano Concert No3. Rite of Spring @ Usher Hall

White Rabbit Red Rabbit @ George Square. My earlier review of the play is here.

4×4 Ephemeral Architectures @ George Square Theatre

Edinburgh Festival 2015: Roughs (for Radio) by Monkfish Theate

Best thing I’ve seen at the Fringe so far. Possibly Becket experts don’t rate these two radio plays so highly (or pretend not). But I don’t care. Beckett is too much controlled by the academics.

As to the show… You are unnerved and disorientated right from the start. And you just get unnerved further until the performances begin. I thought the acting was some of the best Becket I’ve heard. (The second play easily matched the performance I heard once on BBC Radio Three (including Pinter playing one of the parts, I think). The acting did not sensationalise Beckett, but wasn’t afraid to fully explore the emotion and the humour. Really outstanding production.

Because the audience couldn’t see the actors were also able to take advantage of moving around the room, so the action sometimes drifted behind you or directly in font of you.

The List didn’t give the production a good a good review, saying the production added nothing to the text. I’d say the man was blind is if wasn’t for the fact he’d have been blindfolded.

Easily worth 4 to 5 stars.

Edinburgh Festivals: Sylvie Guillem — Life In Dance

I can’t stay I was to knocked over by this. Perhaps four pieces, that were quite demanding on the audience (not to mention the dancers!) was a bit to much for me. But it was clear this was world class dancing. What struck me was how self effacing Guillem was: it really was not about her. It was about the dance. Even the final section (‘Bye’ chor. Mats Ek) – which was very moving and delightful – which could be read as extremely autobiographical, could supply to any dancer. It just happened to be Guillem who was dancing it.
The music for ‘Bye’ was Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C minor, Op 111. Extraordinary peice of music – dazzlingly modern, almost jazz age.


Photo: The Independent