These items have all been tagged with the tag "fiction".

Described As

Early this morning, a man described as violent and incoherent burst into a residence and shot two people to death before shooting himself in the head. A man, described as being in his early 20's and wearing a dark shirt and cap, asked if he could spend the night at the Youth For Christ Mission after a Christmas banquet at the center ended. The national assembly also approved a new first vice president, a man described as an aging Communist Party hardliner.

A man described as a polite neighbour died following a vicious assault which included an attack by his own dog. A man, described as being of Aboriginal or Islander appearance and aged in his mid 20s, then approached the victim and threatened him with an iron bar. The police have no suspects but are looking for a man described as white, 5'9," 40 to 45 years old, with a medium build and short brown hair. He has been travelling with a woman described as his "new wife" -- the ex-wife of a Minneapolis police officer -- while continuing to defraud people in the Minnesota area.

On November 12, a man described as a mentally disturbed musician shot dead two American businessmen and an eminent French jurist as they ate dinner at a local restaurant. Six people were killed by gunfire in a Portland auto parts warehouse Tuesday morning, after a man described as a disgruntled employee opened fire. Peter Gladstone, a man described as being a "leech on the resources of the community," was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing a $1.99 can of beer.

Arrested for the Sanderson Memorial Mausoleum wire theft last fall were Hillary Ellen Cooper, and a man described as her boyfriend. She was married briefly in the mid 1960s, to a man described as a gigolo. A man, described as a Hispanic male in his 30s with long, black, combed-back hair, pulled up next to her in a black Toyota. A man, described as white, in his 20s, tall, with an athletic build and sandy blond or light brown hair, possibly in a crew cut, jumped out of the car. Police appealed to members of the public who may have seen a man, described as Maori or Polynesian, of thin build with a gold- or tan-coloured dog on a lead. Police say Elleston was with two other people at the time - a woman described as his girlfriend and a man described as his boyfriend. Police were reported to be searching for a man described as 'middle-aged' and 'flabby', who had gained entry to various all - female groups. A small army of law enforcement officers, aided by helicopters and dog teams, searched for a man described as armed with a small handgun. As the coffin was carried shoulder high out of the stadium, mourners sang "Hamba Kahle Umkhonto" as the final tribute to a man described as a patriot.

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[Been working on lots and lots and lots of the above... it's proving pretty compelling, and extremely addictive. Playing with and discussing for some time now the different possibilities of writing/working with text after Google, after search and replace, after track changes, after Spam-filter text etc - kind of fascinated with the structural and statistical possibilities these things offer, and the kind of access one has to miles and miles and miles of raw text. Need to write something longer connecting this to Vlatka's Google pieces, Graham Parker's spam projects and to some other aritsts I was thinking about. Anyways. This is just a flag for the moment... and a chance to share what's above.]

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The details

Streets in that same gray light they always organise for the early morning taxi rides and the city still dreaming its most persistent night figures - the makeshift crew of staggering drunks, curled bench-sleepers and lone walkers, the street corner-standers, the lingerers of various doorways, african guys stood tall, dressed in white, black skin dense against the morning fog, the lovers, the occasional tangle of friends whose eyes are blurred by the onslaught of the morning, still laughing about yesterday. It comes to you in waves of blankness and sudden details. On a further street, a big cop holds a small guy at a skeptical arms length, the latter pushed back to the shuttered news-stand/kiosk painted an anonymous green. And meanwhile, in the back seat of the car that pulls up spilling music to a slumbering traffic light, the middle passsenger slumped forwards between compatriots appears to be cause for concern, nodding into uncousciounsess or nausea perhaps, and while the car waits even the driver leans back to see what's going on there, gesturing as he-that-is-slumped slumps more and the others look to him, or nod to the music, or lose interest and watch from the windows as the green light in the opposite direction gives free passage to nothing more than the morning light and the nothingness - the cross-street a whole direction in the city which no one apparently has a use for right now.

The light changes a bit. You pass a zone where the tops of the few high rise buildings are disappeared in fog. You see the derelict form of the homeless here and there -  the best (and worst) of them a guy cast as a sleeping knot of piled rags on the bottom steps to the church. They do the details very good for these trips.  And alongside all these the morning city dreams and spits its first born into the streets - street cleaners in orange, taxi drivers, night workers heading home, the insomniacs, the stray dog-walkers. Strange how it works - that only at this time, now in the mornings, do certain features of the landscape come into focus. Only now, somehow, do you see the walls, the boarded up windows on the 3rd floor, the beautiful repetition of the graffiti tags, the angles of a building, the letters of the traffic signs. Only now, perhaps because its near empty, so almost deserted - a film set waiting for the action. And at another street you see the moped that got knocked over sometime in this previous night and which now lies like slaughterhoused cattle, neck broken with the bolt gun, head forwards, handlebars splayed into the road. Or only now when your defences are down does any of this become clear, or even enter the realm of the visible, since at this time in the morning your eyes and brain work a weird and vivid back and forth; a sleight of hand, a dawn hustle that lets stuff flow and form on the back of your skull directly, stuff that would not flow like that any other time. The lulling steady cam of the taxi window whose gliding, speeding, curving vantage point is yours temporarily (for duration of this journey) and you think about how many taxi rides like this you have done - how many early morning escape from where-evers - how many tracking shots out and over to the airport, while the city calls out its cast of shift-working extras to do background detail, so loving, so complete in its partialness, their narrative.

And you remember back at the hotel. The night porter/conceirge was sleeping in his suit when you came down to check out,  his head lain on the desk by the computer terminal with its spiral of screensaver and he woke with the closing doors of the elevator or with the sound of your footsteps or suitcase wheels on the stone floor and while you paid and waited for the cab the two of you shared some blurred time, sat there in a kind of awkward half awakeness, in a foyer silence doubled by the lack of a language to speak in and in any case a space too close to sleep still and too hard or too intimate to share with a stranger.

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The Broken World

The Broken World cover

I added a page here about my novel The Broken World - the cover is above. The book looks great and it's released on 3rd July. I'm hoping that the Live Art Development Agency online bookshop Unbound, as well as the Forced Entertainment online bookshop, will be carrying copies - I'll be signing some for each of them. Impatient people, or people unconcerned with my signature can already advance order the book here from Amazon.

Strange feeling on the arrival of the 'actual' book - not the page proofs, not the printed proof edition but the actual thing. A worrying 'finality'. As soon as it's out of the Jiffy bag I am scouring it to check the places where I made changes in the last proofs - are all the changes there, do they make sense? After a few minutes of randomly opening it at different parts, reading passages I've read (and propbably rewritten) a million times I realise that in fact what I'm doing is looking for a mistake. It takes me 15 minutes to find one - a place on a certain page where a the word 'world' has dropped a letter and mutated to 'word'. It's a strange mistake and easy enough to see how it has slipped through - because the error is an actual word, not a nonsense, and because in the context of the sentence 'word' almost makes sense. Apparently though, I'm satisfied to have found this error (proof that there's nothing definitive about the object, in that sense nothing 'final' at about it at all) and once that's done (the object is just a process) I put  it down on a pile of other things and get on with my day.

Meanwhile my friend Asta Groting, for whose ventriloquism project  I wrote the performance Dead Air has a new website. You can check out her projects, and clips from her videos here. A clip and some info on the piece I wrote for her is on this page - second video clip down is mine, first on the same page is from her piece with Deborah Levy. Buddy Big Mountain is the performer in each case.

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Launched

So. The Broken World is launched. We had some very nice drinks to celebrate.
Mike Harrison (M. John) blogged about it here - I only recently noticed that Mike started blogging again, at a new address. So Uncle Zip's Window is gone, but Ambient Hotel is just as good a place to be.

Reviews of The Broken World are slowly starting to appear - I will update as and when more come in. The best of the bunch so far is from Stuart Kelly writing in Scotland on Sunday:

"..an exhilarating and poignant tale of love, loss and computer games that ought to make the leap from "cult classic" to"popular success"... The Broken World is ultimately a humane and heartfelt book, with a proper emotional core wrapped up in a giddyingfantasia. It manages to be desperately sad and desperately funny at the same time. It is a book of big ideas, cunningly delivered through a slacker's shrug."

You can see the whole of the review here. So-so from the TLS, but it's not online. And an interesting, positive one from Matt Thorn writing in the July edition of the Literary Review, also not online.

Great blog responses so far from Big Dumb Object here, Marcus Gipps here, and from Graeme's Fantasy Book Review here.

I've also been doing some online interviews etc. Here you can see the one from Metro here, the one for Big Dumb Object here and the one for Blackwells Bookshop here. More of these to come... will post links.. and try not repeat myself too much

 

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Linkage

When I say that presence is a kind of a problem, I'm speaking also about the limitations of the body as object that is bound by physicality, by laws of physics, by time, etc. Rooted in performance, my photo works, which are basically events/encounters staged for the camera, will be limited by what an actual body in actual space can do. ‘What is possible’ to depict in an image will be limited/guided/affected by what is possible for a body to do or enact. Doubling as the image-maker and the protagonist, one of the obvious, concrete limitations is that I am unable to simultaneously occupy the space in front of the camera and behind it.

There is a very nice long interview here with Vlatka at the great blog This is That, including a lot of visuals of her work.

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In that sense it's not even *about* gaming.. it's about worlds and how we make them, how we understand or creative narrative and narrative possibllity as readers. I mean - I'm really struck by the fact that if you say "In the next level of the game you will need a compass, a rope and a bottle of surgical alcohol" your mind is already starting to construct a narrative - already grasping for what might happen using those things, grasping for connections.

Two more blog reviews for The Broken World one here and one here, plus an interview I did about the book (quoted above) here at Subba-Cultcha.

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My friend David Williams started blogging at Skywritings which for the moment is a collection of his occasional writings on and around performance. The sute includes programme-note pieces on recent Lone Twin performances and David's contributions titled Light and Listening for the Marathon Lexicon project which I co-curated with Adrian Heathfield and produced with Forced Entertainment.

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Finally my opening address for last years Spill Symposium is included in a new publication/collection Live Art UK/LADA's Live Art Almanac. The Almanac also includes essays by Lyn Gardner, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Daniel Gosling, Leslie Hill and Rebecca Schneider amongst others. Copies from LADA's bookshop Unbound.

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