Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed

June 22, 2016

OUT NOW! A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash Fiction Day 2016 Anthology.

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A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed is an anthology of flash-fictions, published to celebrate National Flash-Fiction Day (UK), and showcasing the very best talents to have written in this challenging miniature literary form. The stories in A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed are in a variety of genres, styles and forms, ranging from horror to romance, from fantasy to dark reality, from urban terror to comedy. Many of the stories in A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed will resonate with readers long after reading.

 

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed

Contents

Foreword: The Editors

Before the Sun Comes Up: Tim Stevenson

Miss Scarlet in the Shed: Tracy Fells           

Cold Hands: Rhoda Greaves

Ambush: Richard Holt       

Outsider: Laura Huntley     

Theseus in Belleville: Anne Elizabeth Weisgerber

Bocca Baciata: Ruth McKee        

Health and Pleasure, Glorious Sea!: Sharon Telfer      

Gingerbread: Virginia Moffat

A Marionettist’s Musings While on a Park Bench: Charley Karchin

Bubblegum Barbie: Emily Devane      

Lifer: Adam Trodd       

Shirts – A Fable: R J Dent

Sam, 29: Martha Gleeson

Three Kids, Two Balloons: KM Elkes            

Who? What?: Ashley Chantler

Pub Quiz: Alison Wassell

Sushi and Kitty Cats: Kaitlyn Johnson

Desert Blossom: Annie Mitchell

Premiums: Ian Shine             

Misunderstanding: Vivien Jones        

Wakes Week: David Hartley      

Burning Faith: Frankie McMillan

Pigeon English: David Cook         

Kittiwakes: Catherine Edmunds

The Door Closes: Kevlin Henney

Clippers: Debbi Voisey      

I Go on the Morrow to Murder the King: Joy Myserscough

Special Delivery: Calum Kerr         

Grains: Joanna Campbell

Panda: Fat Roland          

Fish Supper: Laura Tickle         

The Vineyard: Catherine McNamara

What We Threw Into the Lake: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

The Pleasure Principle: Rob Walton         

Onion: Damhnait Monaghan

My Aunt Aggie: Paul McVeigh      

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: Jon Stubbington

A Collection: Diane Simmons

Kelly Loves Traffic Light Jelly: Jeanette Sheppard

Yellow: Nuala Ní Chonchúir

424 Likes: Jennifer Harvey

Manspreading: Marie Gethins 

Wake Up: Oli Morriss          

When Dreams are Large and Tusked: Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Ten Things that Happened After My Funeral: Santino Prinzi     

What the Therapist Said: Jude Higgins        

Gregor Samsa Quits the Track Team: Beverly C. Lucey

Honesty’s Not the Best Policy: Brendan Way       

Orphans: Chris Stanley       

And the Red Flower: Nina Lindmark Lie

One Last Pickup: Sarah Hilary         

Sunday Morning: John Holland      

About Unemployment and Rats: Bernard O’Rourke

Captain Strix: Zoe Gilbert         

Latchkey: Fiona J. Mackintosh

Lips: Nik Perring         

Map Reading: Jane Roberts        

How to Make Lolo: Michelle Elvy       

Family Values: Jonathan Pinnock

Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night: Claire Fuller         

Hornet’s Nest: Sally Burnette      

The Taste of Sock and Rubber: Cathy Bryant       

In the Café: Sherri Turner       

On the Invisibility of the Deaf: Debbie Young

Flying Ant Day: Judy Darley          

Marzipan Bride and Groom: Sal Page

I Believe in You: Meg Pokrass        

When She Was Good: Safia Moore         

Injuries in Dust: Poppy O’Neill     

We Can Be Asteroids: FJ Morris             

Purple with a Purpose: Amanda Saint      

Little Ghosts: Jan Carson           

The Night Life of Wives: Angela Readman

The Jumper: Anne Patterson

A One-Word Yet…: Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Storm: Gemma Govier

Jessie Learns How to Keep A Secret: Alison Wassell

Illumination: Judi Walsh           

When Words Aren’t Enough: Lucy Welch          

Christmas: James Watkins

Always One: Tracy Fells           

Notes: Elaine Marie McKay

Energy Efficient, Extremely Slim, Easy to Install: Ed Broom

 

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash Fiction Day 2016 Anthology is out now!

To purchase the paperback edition of the anthology, please follow this link here: A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. (paperback)

To purchase the e-book edition of the anthology, please follow this link here: A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. (e-book)

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

 

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Walter Tevis (1928-1984)

June 12, 2016

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Walter Tevis (February 28, 1928 – August 8, 1984) was an American novelist and short story writer.

He is the author of six novels and one short story collection. Three of his novels have been made into films: The Hustler, The Color of Money and The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Walter Tevis taught English literature and creative writing at Ohio University from 1965 to 1978, where he was a university professor.

He spent his last years in New York as a full-time writer.

Walter Tevis died of lung cancer in 1984.

Works:

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The Hustler 1959 (novel)

The Hustler tells the story of a young pool hustler, Edward “Fast Eddie” Felson, who challenges the legendary Minnesota Fats. After losing to Fats, Eddie meets Bert Gordon, who teaches him about winning, or more particularly about losing. Tautly written, The Hustler is a treatise on how a loser is beaten by himself, not by his opponent; and how he can learn to win, if he can look deeply enough into himself.

The Hustler was adapted into a 1961 film, starring Paul Newman as Fast Eddie. The film was a critical and commercial success. It remains widely regarded as a classic.

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The Man Who Fell to Earth 1963 (novel) 

The Man Who Fell to Earth is about an extraterrestrial that lands on Earth seeking a way to ferry his people to Earth from his home planet, which is suffering from a severe drought.

The Man Who Fell to Earth was made into a 1976 film, starring David Bowie as the extraterrestrial, Thomas Jerome Newton. It was directed by Nicolas Roeg.

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Mockingbird 1980 (novel)

Mockingbird opens with the failed suicide attempt of Spofforth, the dean of New York University, who is an android who has lived for centuries, yet yearns to die. Spofforth then brings a teacher, Paul Bentley, to New York. Bentley has taught himself to read after a Rosetta Stone–like discovery of a film with words matching those in a children’s primer. Bentley says he could teach others to read, but Spofforth instead gives him a job of decoding the written titles in ancient silent films. At a zoo, Bentley meets Mary Lou and explains the concept of reading to her. They embark on a path toward literacy. Spofforth responds by sending Bentley to prison for the crime of reading, and takes Mary Lou as an unwilling housemate. The novel then follows Bentley’s journey of discovery after his escape from prison…

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Far from Home 1981 (short stories)

Far from Home is a collection of short stories, written between 1955 and 1984 by Walter Tevis. Tevis wrote more than two dozen short stories for a variety of magazines. “The Big Hustle”, his pool hall story was published in Collier’s on August 5, 1955, and was illustrated by Denver Gillen. Over the next twenty years, Tevis published short stories in The American Magazine, Bluebook, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Galaxy Science Fiction, Playboy, Redbook and The Saturday Evening Post. These stories were collected together and published as the short story collection Far From Home in 1981.

The Big Bounce (first published in Galaxy, February, 1958) is one of the stories from the collection:

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The Steps of the Sun 1983 (novel)

 

The Steps of the Sun is set in the year 2063. China’s world dominance is growing, and America is slipping into impotence. All new sources of energy have been depleted or declared unsafe, and a new Ice Age has begun. Ben Belson searches for a new energy resource.

 

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The Queen’s Gambit 1983 (novel)

The Queen’s Gambit traces chess prodigy Beth Harmon’s life from her childhood in an orphanage through her struggles with tranquilizer and alcohol addiction to her triumphant rise through the Grandmaster ranks.

Eight-year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable—until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life she feels herself fully in control. By the age of sixteen, she’s competing for the U.S. Open championship. But as she hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting…

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The Color of Money 1984 (novel)

The Color of Money is a sequel to Tevis’ first novel, The Hustler (1959). The novel is set twenty years after The Hustler. Fast Eddie now runs a pool hall of his own. After seeing a lookalike of Minnesota Fats on the television, he decides to go in search of the real one, whom he finds in the Florida Keys. Eddie persuades Fats to go on a national tour. He meets Arabella, an English woman, who moves in with him. The finale is set at Lake Tahoe, where Eddie manages to beat a number of younger players.

The novel was adapted into a 1986 film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film differs greatly from the novel in terms of plot, and does not feature the Minnesota Fats character.

 

Information on Walter Tevis and his works is available at:

http://www.waltertevis.com/

 

Walter Tevis’ novels and short stories are available at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=walter+tevis

 

 

Walter Tevis (1928-1984)

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

Pauline Baynes and J.R.R. Tolkien

January 25, 2016

Pauline Diana Baynes (9 September 1922 – 1 August 2008) was an English illustrator whose work can be found in more than one hundred books, notably several by J. R. R. Tolkien.

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Pauline Baynes was born in Hove, East Sussex. She spent much of her childhood in Farnham, studying at the Farnham School of Art (now the University for the Creative Arts) and eventually attended the Slade School of Fine Art.

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She worked for the Ministry of Defence, where she was soon transferred to a map-making department, and where she acquired skills that she later employed when she drew maps of Middle-Earth for J. R. R. Tolkien.

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In her obituary for The Daily Telegraph, Charlotte Cory described how Baynes and Tolkien came to be associated:

‘In 1948 Tolkien was visiting his publishers, George Allen & Unwin, to discuss some disappointing artwork that they had commissioned for his novella Farmer Giles of Ham, when he spotted, lying on a desk, some witty reinterpretations of medieval marginalia from the Luttrell Psalter that greatly appealed to him. These, it turned out, had been sent to the publishers ‘on spec’ by the then-unknown Pauline Baynes. Tolkien demanded that the creator of these drawings be set to work illustrating Farmer Giles of Ham and was delighted with the subsequent results, declaring that ‘Pauline Baynes has reduced my text to a commentary on her drawings’. Further collaboration between Tolkien and his Farmer Giles illustrator followed, and a lifelong friendship developed…’

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Tolkien wanted Pauline Baynes to illustrate The Lord of the Rings, but the book grew into a huge project that made that particular plan impractical. Nevertheless, Baynes created immaculately drawn and exquisitely coloured versions of the author’s maps of the lands travelled by Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

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Baynes’ also designed a slipcase for the three volumes of Tolkien’s epic:

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The slipcase illustrations were later adapted for the cover for the original one-volume 1973 paperback edition – an indispensable prop of the seventies generation – with its evocative landscape of Middle-Earth viewed through a doorway of yellow, over-arching trees.

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The same designs were used for the 1981 three volumes edition.

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Eventually, a drawing by Pauline Baynes was used to illustrate Tolkien’s final hobbit piece, the poem, Bilbo’s Last Song:

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which appeared as a poster in 1974:

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and then as a book in 1990:

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Pauline Baynes was for a long while the only Tolkien illustrator of note.

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Her work was approved by Tolkien himself, but faded from view as the Tolkien industry began to expand in the late seventies and other artists quickly crowded the field, many of whom lacked Pauline Baynes’ subtlety and sympathy for the material.

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Pauline Baynes and J.R.R. Tolkien

© R J Dent 2016

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

May I Please Have My Star Back? by R J Dent

January 20, 2015

An extract from an abandoned science fiction novel.

 
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by R J Dent

 

As I drove past the crashed spaceship, I started thinking about how we (as a race) very soon accept things as they have become – and even start to take certain strange things for granted.

Eleven years ago it had crashed there. Not one single person had actually seen it crash, but everyone for miles around had heard it. It had screamed out of the sky at three in the morning, on the one and only morning in the history of the world when absolutely everyone was asleep. There had been no solitary night prowlers, no 24-hour café or shop workers, no out-with-dog walkers, no tea-breaking shift workers, no shop-doorway sleeping tramps, no passing through long-distance lorry drivers, no anybody at all to witness its Icarus-like descent from the skies, or its mighty crash into and onto the decrepit Odeon cinema. The cinema had been showing the new print of The Day the Earth Stood Still that week, so obviously there were a few news people who had said it was all a publicity stunt that had gone badly wrong. Later, of course, that particular theory was seen to be the first example of the desperate answer-groping that seemed to grip everyone over the next year or so. Read more…

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May I Please Have My Star Back?

Copyright © R J Dent (2009 & 2016)

 

A Secret Home by R J Dent

January 9, 2015

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There was no road.

          I was in my white Ford GT6 with Concetta. Vaughn was in his mustard Lamborghini with Angela. We were brothers. They were sisters. They were our girlfriends. We were racing across the desert, along a canyon, heading for a huge natural wall of rock.

          If anyone had been watching us, it would have looked as though we were going crash into the base of the canyon wall. But no one was watching us. I’d chosen the site of our secret home very carefully.

          With only a few metres to go before impact, I pressed the remote control unit and the solid stone wall began to part. The huge door to our secret home was opening to let us back in. Summer had called us away for three months. Now we were back. Read more…

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A Secret Home

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

 

Tom de Freston’s The Charnel House – a review by R J Dent

December 16, 2014

 

The Charnel House

Tom de Freston

A review by R J Dent

 

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Although Tom de Freston refers to his book, The Charnel House, as ‘a poetic graphic novel’, it’s a hybrid book which defies easy categorization. It’s a poetry anthology; it’s a series of paintings turned into comic strip format, complete with text; it’s a moving and profound multi-authored novel. The Charnel House shares literary and artistic territory with Spiegelman’s Maus, or Moore/Gibbons’ Watchmen, or Briggs’ When the Wind Blows. It also shares some of Samuel Beckett’s tragicomic preoccupations.

The Charnel House origins lie in a series of paintings Tom de Freston has created over the past few years, featuring a horse-headed human hybrid character; a character which Freston freely admits he appropriated from Picasso’s Guernica – and which also has similarities to the horse head in Fuseli’s The Nightmare. In The Charnel House, Freston has provided horse-head with a plausible world and a coherent narrative. The Charnel House narrative follows horse-head through the various stages of its existence.

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The effectiveness of Freston’s imagery is due to the careful juxtaposition of the terrible and the harrowing with the everyday. Scenes of mutation, mutilation, torture, sadness, death, sex, love and lust take place in various domestic settings; the action is constantly framed by windows, or lit up by bare bulbs, or reflected in mirrors, thereby making the reader culpable by being vicariously voyeuristic.

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The startling, often shocking, imagery is set out on the pages in classic graphic novel style and the accompanying poetry is positioned to complement the art that inspired it. The Charnel House challenges the reader’s engagement with both subject and subject matter by the employment of ekphrasis, a technique usually defined as ‘a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art’. The Charnel House explores themes of identity and memory, love and loss, by presenting twisted and confused versions of the universal and the domestic; of reality and the nature of perception; of cruelty and suffering, and the relationship between the past, the present and the future.

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Contributions by 37 poets, each inspired by the original paintings, are set on the adjacent pages to the illustrations, and the graphic novel format and ekphrasis create a narrative. Mythology is used, historical and notable artworks are frequently referenced, as are images of modern-day political atrocities. This is where the real power of Freston’s use of ekphrasis becomes evident. Although horse-head is constantly on the cusp of revelation, of understanding exactly who and where it is, he/it is never able to actually achieve enlightenment.

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But The Charnel House, despite its name, is not all sturm und drang, screams and shrieks, nihilism and existential angst; a major theme of the collection is identity, and the preoccupations of the self. It’s intense, dark, emotional, surreal, yet deeply personal and simultaneously universal. Admittedly, it’s a very tough collection to get through, but its content is immensely rich, and the poems and the illustrations are so moving that it’s worth the effort needed to read the whole work. It’s an incredible collection.

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The Charnel House is a very experimental and incredibly powerful anthology of poems and illustrations that explore the relationship between mind and body, reality and dreams, passion, lust, and love. It’s a deep, dark, emotional collection. Ultimately, The Charnel House is a work of great depth and imagination.

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The Charnel House is available as a free e-book and as a hardback published by Bridgedoor Press.

 

Tom de Freston’s work can be found at:

www.tomdefreston.co.uk

R J Dent’s work can be found at www.rjdent.com

The Blood Delirium: The Vampire in 19th Century European Literature

November 29, 2014

 

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‘R J Dent’s translations are fresh with an exciting raw sexual edge…’ (Candice Black)

 

The Blood Delirium is a definitive collection of 19th century European literature in which the vampire or vampirism – both embodied and atmospheric – is featured or evoked. Twenty-three seminal works by classic European authors, covering the whole of that delirious period from Gothic and Romantic, through Symbolism and Decadence to proto-Surrealism and beyond, in a single volume charged with sex, blood and horror.

 

The Blood Delirium contains a detailed introduction (by editor Candice Black) which not only examines these texts and their meaning, but which also charts the literary and cultural climate in which the new cult of the vampire was allowed to flourish.

 

The Blood Delirium includes texts by Bram Stoker, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Oscar Wilde, J.M. Rymer, Charles Baudelaire, Le Comte de Lautréamont, Paul Féval, Maurice Rollinat, Guy de Maupassant, Count Stenbock, Jean Lorrain, Théophile Gautier, Charles Nodier, John Polidori, J.K. Huysmans, Charlotte Brontë, Ivan Turgenev, Jan Neruda, Augustus Hare, Cyprien Berard and Léon Bloy.

 

Several of the texts in The Blood Delirium are translated by R J Dent into English for the very first time, including those by Cyprien Bérard, Paul Féval, and Maurice Rollinat.

 

 

The Blood Delirium is the definitive collection for literate vampire-lovers.

 

The Blood Delirium is available from:

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Blood-Delirium-European-Literature/dp/0983884285

 

or from:

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Delirium-The-Candice-Black/dp/0983884285

 

 

www.rjdent.com

 

The Green Town Trilogy (Dandelion Wine, Summer Morning, Summer Night, and Farewell Summer) by Ray Bradbury

October 12, 2014

 

Ray Bradbury’s Green Town Trilogy is comprised of three books: Dandelion Wine, Summer Morning, Summer Night, and Farewell Summer. 

Dandelion Wine

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Dandelion Wine is a 1957 novel by Ray Bradbury, taking place in the summer of 1928 in the fictional town of Green Town, Illinois, based upon Bradbury’s childhood home of Waukegan, Illinois. The novel developed from the short story ‘Dandelion Wine’ which appeared in the June 1953 issue of Gourmet magazine.

The title refers to a wine made with dandelion petals and other ingredients, commonly citrus fruit. In the story, dandelion wine, as made by the protagonist’s grandfather, serves as a metaphor for packing all of the joys of summer into a single bottle.

The main character of the story is Douglas Spaulding, a twelve-year-old boy loosely patterned after Bradbury. Most of the book is focused on the routines of small-town America, and the simple joys of yesterday.

In the winter of 1955–56, after a consultation with his Doubleday editor, Bradbury deferred publication of a novel based on Green Town, the pseudonym for his hometown. Instead, he extracted seventeen stories and, with three other Green Town tales, published the 1957 book as Dandelion Wine.

Summer Morning, Summer Night

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The most significant of the remaining unpublished stories, scenes and fragments were published as two novels. One was under the originally intended name for the novel, Summer Morning, Summer Night, in 2007.

In Summer Morning, Summer Night, Bradbury returns to this signature locale with a generous new collection of twenty-seven stories and vignettes, seventeen of which have never been published before. Together, they illuminate some of Green Town’s previously hidden corners, and reaffirm Bradbury’s position as the undisputed master of a unique fictional universe. The core of Summer Morning, Summer Night was Bradbury’s witnessing of the American small-town and life in the American heartland.

Farewell Summer

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In 2006, Bradbury published the original novel that remained after the extractions, and re-titled it Farewell Summer.

Farewell Summer is a novel by Ray Bradbury, published on October 17, 2006. It was his last novel released in his lifetime. It is a sequel to his 1957 novel Dandelion Wine, and is set during an Indian summer in October 1929. The story concerns a mock war between the young and the old in Green Town, Illinois, and the sexual awakening of Doug Spaulding as he turns fourteen.

The first chapter, also titled Farewell Summer, appeared in The Stories of Ray Bradbury in 1980. Publishers Weekly called the novel a ‘poignant, wise but slight ‘extension’ of the indefatigable Bradbury’s semi-autobiographical Dandelion Wine’ and concluded, ‘Bradbury’s mature but fresh return to his beloved early writing conveys a depth of feeling.’ Kirkus Reviews found it ‘a thin work, heavily reliant on dialogue, but one that serves as an intriguing coda to one of Bradbury’s classics.’ Booklist said, ‘A touching meditation on memories, aging, and the endless cycle of birth and death, and a fitting capstone, perhaps, to a brilliant career.’

In the afterword to Farewell Summer, Bradbury contends that the novel was actually intended to follow what became the Dandelion Wine story arc as a complete book tentatively titled Summer Morning, Summer Night. ‘When I delivered it to my publishers they said, ‘My God, this is much too long. Why don’t we publish the first 90,000 words as a novel and keep the second part for some future year when it is ready to be published.’

Dandelion Wine, Summer Morning, Summer Night and Farewell Summer form The Green Town Trilogy, three novels inspired by Ray Bradbury’s childhood in Waukegan, Illinois.

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Ray Bradbury’s books are available at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ray-Bradbury/e/B000AQ1HW4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

http://www.rjdent.com/

Penelope Farmer

October 10, 2014

 

Penelope Farmer is a British writer of books for children and adults.

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Penelope Farmer was born as a fraternal twin in Westerham, Kent, on 14 June 1939. Her parents and the medical staff at the hospital were not aware of her presence until some twenty-five minutes after the birth of her older twin sister, Judith. Throughout Farmer’s life, being a twin has been a defining element of her understanding of her identity. The twins have an older brother, Tim, and a younger sister, Sally.

 

After attending a boarding school, she read history at St Anne’s College, Oxford and did postgraduate work at Bedford College, University of London.

 

Penelope Farmer lives in Lanzarote on the Canary Islands.

 

Her first publication was The China People (1960), a collection of literary fairy tales for young people. One story written for this collection was too long to include. This was re-written as the first chapter of her first novel for children, The Summer Birds. In 1963, this received a Carnegie Medal commendation and was cited as an American Library Association Notable Book. The Summer Birds was soon followed by its sequels, Emma in Winter (1966) Charlotte Sometimes (1969), and A Castle of Bone (1972).

 

Penelope Farmer has also written several novels for adults. These are:

 

Standing in the Shadow (1984)

Away From Home (1987)

Eve: Her Story (1988)

Glasshouses (1989)

Snakes and Ladders (1993)

Goodnight Ophelia (2015)

Standing in the Shadow (1984): Penelope Farmer’s debut adult novel…

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Away From Home (1987): A novel in ten episodes describing Elinor’s experiences – her lonely adolescence, her marriage, her children and unsympathetic husband, her divorce, her lover’s inability to come to terms with his Jewishness and her fear of her cancer.

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Eve: Her Story (1988): A modern Eve tells her own story about life in the Garden of Eden as the loving but obstinate Adam, the knowing Lilith, the manlike serpent, the disdainful Archangels, and the ambivalent Jehovah each try to exploit her innocence.

 

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Glasshouses (1989): An intense novel of three characters, Grace, her husband Jas, and her young apprentice, set in the suggestive, obsessive milieu of a glassblowing workshop.

 

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Snakes and Ladders (1993): Set in Kenya, Ecuador and Europe, and intertwining fact and fiction, this novel uses a multitude of techniques – diary, narrative, history, information and adman copy – to explore the implications of the protagonist’s international research project into epilepsy.

 

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Goodnight Ophelia (2015): Jane Ophelia – Jo – retired publisher, lies on her deathbed. In between the attentions of her favourite nurse and visits from her not always grateful children, her fourth husband and her only female friend, she relives the story of her past from childhood to old age. As her story unfolds, the immeasurable and alienating impact of two World Wars on one woman’s life is unveiled, and with it a shocking revelation…

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Penelope Farmer’s writings are widely varied: she has written books for children (including contemporary realistic fiction, historical fiction, and mythological retellings), fantasies for young adults, and, most recently, novels for adults. Farmer confesses to a lifelong love of fantasy; as a child she loved to read – in addition to fairy tales – the works of Eric Linklater, Mary Norton, C.S. Lewis, Philippa Pearce, and Lucy Boston. Farmer notes that fantasy allows the writer to “make metaphors for life… turn it into narrative – and thereby get at the essences of life and death.” Although she has written in several genres of fiction, she invariably returns to fantasy, the genre of her most significant work.

 

 

Here is a recent vulpes libris (Book Fox) interview with Penelope Farmer:

https://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/in-conversation-with-penelope-farmer-2/

 

Penelope Farmer’s books are available at:  

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Penelope-Farmer/e/B001HCZQM2/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1412971706&sr=1-2-ent    

 

Follow Penelope Farmer and her writing at:

Twitter: @penelopefarmer1   

Website: http://www.penelopefarmer.co.uk/

Blog: http://penelopefarmerblog.simplesite.com/417329650

 

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Ghosts Who Google by Stephen Atkinson

December 8, 2013

9781906451813

 

Ghosts Who Google by Stephen Atkinson

A review by R J Dent

As a fan of scary stories, I eagerly read Stephen Atkinson’s debut short story collection, Ghosts Who Google. These stories are not really traditional ghost stories; instead they offer the reader something new. They are also beautifully written, for Stephen Atkinson has a clear, strong story-teller’s voice which is conveyed in delightfully uncluttered prose. George Orwell would have been proud.

With regards to the content of Ghosts Who Google, if Roald Dahl, James Herbert and Clive Barker had collaborated on a collection of creepy tales, the result would have been the kind of stories to be found in Stephen Atkinson’s Ghosts Who Google. The stories in this collection compare favourably to the best of Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected and to many of the creepy stories to be found in Clive Barker’s The Books of Blood.

These stories are really for those who love good (by which I mean well-told) ghost stories. They are modern and they undermine the conventions of the traditional ghost story. Some of these twenty-two short stories are humorous; others deadly serious. Some are downright scary and will have readers looking nervously over their shoulders. All of these stories have a twist in the tail.

 

Here’s Stephen Atkinson talking about Ghosts Who Google:

 

Ghosts Who Google is published by Circaidy Gregory Press and is available in paperback and e-book formats.

http://www.circaidygregory.co.uk/Ghosts_who_Google.htm

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghosts-Who-Google-Stephen-Atkinson/dp/1906451818/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386537332&sr=1-1&keywords=ghosts+who+google

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: Circaidy Gregory Press

ISBN-10: 1906451818

ISBN-13: 978-1906451813

Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.8 x 1.6 cm

Ghosts Who Google by Stephen Atkinson

A Review by R J Dent

(c) R J Dent (2013)

www.rjdent.com