So it looks like my week for competitions - I must buy myself a lottery ticket and get 3!
First off I got a mail from the fine folk of Angry Robot to say I'd won their pre-competition competition for correclty guessing that RFAD stood for "Robot for a Day". I'll be getting a goody bag from them which is cool.
Then even more exciting news! my story An unexpected return won the Dodo short story competition over at Hodderscape here: http://www.hodderscape.co.uk/dodo-fiction-competition-2/
I'm off to 9 worlds (https://nineworlds.co.uk/) tomorrow so watch out for my convention report next week...
In other news here's a couple of reviews:
him if you like Jean Teule
Based on a historic incident from the summer of
1870 this small but powerful book tells the tale of an incident when a town
seemed to lose its mind and become a howling bloodthirsty mob. Alain de Moneys,
a well-liked young nobleman visits the local fair before he goes off to fight in
the Franco-Prussian war. An overheard comment about the war, badly misconstrued
leads to de Moneys being targeted by an angry mob. If you don’t like graphic
descriptions of violence and torture then this book is really not for you even
though the unremitting darkness is sometimes tinged with ghoulish humour. This
is a car crash of a book, it makes you wince, it may even turn your stomach but
a sense of grim fascination draws you ever on.
Overall – powerful, sad,
gory, horrific yet compelling reading
last banquet Jonathan Grimwood
begins with Jean-Marie Charles d’Aumont as a penniless orphan eating dung
beetles and when a passing noble takes pity on him and gives him Roquefort his
future, as a creature of taste as the ultimate sense, is born. The book follows
his life from this inauspicious start through his school years, his training to
be a soldier, his friendship with a couple of nobles and his later career as
master of the menagerie at Versailles. His life rushes along, with lifelong
friendships made and loves found and lost, towards the 1790’s and the advent of
revolutionary France. He corresponds with Voltaire and meets Benjamin Franklin
and always throughout all his experiences he explores the world of taste.
Peppered through the book are recipes, my favourite being the one for Wolf’s
Heart (although, of course, I haven’t had the chance to try it). It is a large
stage and our players have some difficulty filling it, there is a lack of
dramatic exploration of the historic backdrop as our narrator remains firmly on
the sidelines. However it does have lots of drama at a human scale and
throughout it is Jean-Marie’s quest for taste that makes the book. Grimwood,
through Jean-Marie, looks dispassionately at pre-revolutionary France seeing
both the good and the bad and Jean-Marie's dislike of Versailles comes through
in his often graphic descriptions of e.g. people defecating in the flower beds
or urinating in the corridors.
Overall – A fantastic idea competently
executed but didn’t have that extra spark to make it great, yet is still a tasty