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52 weeks, 52 things

Tea and no Sushi whatsoever

Well. Tradition dictates that Adventures should be spoken of in hushed whispers, and withe due deference to matters of international security, but it’s me, and although I signed the Act a number of years ago, it doesn’t apply to everything I do.

So. Yesterday began very early in the morning, after I’d agreed to be a morning person, and break with a long-held tradition of not getting up Quite That Early in the morning. I stood at Bristol Airport Arrivals with a sign in my hand that read “Olga Nunes” and I got to meet The Fabulist (who may, or may not be elfish) and then deliver an impromptu lecture on the mechanics of interactive narrative for an hour or so before breakfast.

Following breakfast, and a rather trying meeting about Visual Culture at work, my Adventure then involved some interpretative dance (or rather, didn’t, as any dancing on my part was interrupted by the arrival of An Author on a train from London). From there I was witness to another Author impersonating Winston Churchill, complete with cigar, and to tales of whisky-induced phone calls featuring Real Scottish Accents from the first Author. Miss Hayley Campbell is in possession, I am assured, of an Mp3 file that could shake the world of genre fiction to it’s core.

Much tea was drunk, as I hinted a day or so ago. Much, much tea. Then some rather expensive wine. And after a walk up a hill and lots of steps (during which I certainly failed to kill any Famous Authors) a meal featuring Japanese brush pens, curry, and discussion of things from the past and relative ages. And a made-up story about how we met.

Then home. And this morning I may have contributed to an article for the Guardian. Apparently my PhD was useful for something besides propping open that door with the dodgy hinge.

There’s a signing soon. I’d better get on with things.

oh, and Clute’s talk on Fantastika is on his website. How are you going to resist something that introduces itself as:

Here is what I’m going to do: I’m going to argue that story tellers and readers have seen our planet — ever since it first became visible around 1750 — primarily through the huge range of tales of the fantastic that I’m here calling fantastika. I will then draw some conclusions, and end up here in Prague.

Part One will argue that it is possible to describe fantastika as the necessary form of planetary fiction since 1750.

Part Two will outline the narrative grammars that I find most useful when I write about the three main forms fantastika now takes: Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror (which I’d prefer to call Terror, but it’s too late now). I think these grammars reveal something of the nature of story which speaks to the difficulties we all face as we try not only to conceive a better world, which is easy, but also to live in one, which is not.

Part Three deals further with the relation of story to world. If the models I’m suggesting make any sense at all, Horror (or Terror) is the most relevant of the three genres when it comes to adumbrating the dilemmas we face in 2007: because Horror is about our resistance to the truth: a resistance which lasts until we are left naked in the real world: which is where the story ends.

No mean feat, that.


One comment for “Tea and no Sushi whatsoever”

  1. What a rambling post. No more magic fairy dust/cough medicine for you I think.

    Posted by Andy | September 30, 2007, 5:10 pm

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