Saturday, May 28, 2022

I Read Stories: Villainy A Reluctant Memoir by Erin Rockford

Villainy: A Reluctant Memoir
, by Erin Rockfort in Translunar Travelers Lounge

“Here’s the thing they don’t tell you about being the face of intergalactic villainy: most of it’s not that interesting. Sure, every so often you get to fire a big laser or terrorize some colonists, but mostly the time is spent on bureaucracy and paperwork.”

Cecily Terona, Captain of the Scylla, is an interstellar villain, pirate, megalomaniac. She kills without remorse, steals, plots and has no regrets, no weaknesses.

None she will admit to anyway.

Read This: A light breezy, dark edged space villain adventure
Don’t Read This: Villains are not fun


Friday, May 27, 2022

I Read Books: The Truth

The Truth

William De Worde writes a letter for a small but discerning audience of foreigners, to tell them the news. Moveable type had previously been banned in Ankh-Morpork, due to the twin reasons of not using the same letters that have been used for magic and/or religious books and it being closed out by the Engraver’s Guild. De Worde falls in with some dwarves who have a printing press, and more by luck than judgment starts a newspaper, the Ankh-Morpork Times.

Pratchett, a former journalist, then cycles through about 200 years worth of development of journalism, with jokes and asides that delve deep into the triviality and nobility of the profession. After the Patrician makes a visit and decides to let them continue printing, the Engravers Guild strike back, founding a tabloid with dubious and sensational stories. De Worde puts together a reporting team, including a vampire iconographer (photographer) whose use of flash eels (that absorb sunlight) keeps making him crumble to dust. He’s also experimenting with eels that absorb dark, with weird and horrible effects.

As this newspaper war is starting a plot against the Patrician kicks off. It involves two out of town criminals who make a bit of a mess of it but manage to improvise so it appears the Patrician attacked his clerk and then was trying to flee town with saddlebags full of gold. This obviously makes no sense, but the moment the foundations shifts, everyone who would normally support him starts jockeying for power, the plotters who don’t like his changes (dwarves and trolls and foreigners coming in mostly) able to push forward a new candidate.

De Worde and his team of reporters are tangling with the lawyer who is the cut out on the plot, and who he manages to put off and put on the back foot by dictating a story about what he’s doing in the shed where they do the printing. The Watch is investigating the crime but can’t disprove the events, meanwhile everyone realises that the Times has parts of the story they don’t want, though they overestimate where they are. They don't know what the truth is, but they do have a piece of it.

This is all pretty funny.

Read This: It’s a Pratchett Discworld novel where he takes a concept from the real world and shoves it satirically into his wild and hilarious fantasy world
Don’t Read This: You don’t care about the press, especially when dwarves get involved

Thursday, May 26, 2022

I Read Stories: Bear Creek Issue 9

Bear Creek Issue 9

Here are three of my favourite pieces from Bear Creek Gazette Issue 9, yet my taste is personal and fallible so you might wish to look further.

The Glove by Drew Buxton

There’s a boy whose only joy in life is eating McDonalds. There’s a bacteria that shuts down all the hamburger restaurants.

Then they reopen. But the boy and his father are not the only ones who want McDonalds and someone has broken out of jail to get hold of it.

Very funny.

Scenes from Hesiod (I): The Castration of Uranus and the Birth of Aphrodite by Sarah Royston

Exactly what it says, an exquisite first person description of the Titanomachy from Greek myth.

Stone Soup by Michael Rodman

The legend/folk tale/parable of the stone soup is hilariously re-told, going down unexpected and weird rabbit holes before ending up at an unexpectedly literal and silly ending.