Yes, it is podcast overload this week. But hey, we have some good writers; and me.
The April Fringe event was organized for us by the ever-busy Kevlin Henney, Bristol’s Mister Flash. It was devoted entirely to flash fiction, and as such had far more than the usual number of readers. In fact we had eight. The evening was split into three parts, the first two with four readers each, and the final section being the Q&A. That’s how I have edited the podcasts.
We did have a slight technical issue on the night, which resulted in my having to spend the first session stood in front of the readers with a recorder. Thankfully this does not seem to have put them off. Normal service was resumed for the rest of the event. The main consequence of this was that, in the absence of any amplification, we picked the people with the loudest voices to go first.
Pauline Masurel entertained us with a couple of cosmologically-themed stored, including one involving Professor Brian Cox doing something he has never done before: get pregnant.
Jonathan Pinnock has a very disturbing tale involving collecting an unusual order from a butcher.
Jonathan L. Howard read a story from his GOON SQUAD series of stories about a special operations police unit from Manchester who happen to be superheroes. You’ll never see werewolves in the same light again.
And finally Kevlin Henney treated us to the true story of Little Red Riding Hood.
At the start of part 2 Louise Gethin read us a story about the secret lives of garden gnomes.
Then there was me. The piece I read is called “The Dragon’s Maw”, and it will be appearing in The Girl at the End of the World: Vol. 2, forthcoming from Fox Spirit later this year (cover above). It is sort of a mash-up of Assyrian mythology and quantum physics. This is the first time I’ve ever read my own fiction in public, and I can see from the recording that I don’t have sufficient confidence in my voice to do dramatic readings. Anyway, as far as my fiction goes, this is not awful. On the way to Finland I showed it to Liz Hand and John Clute, and they did not laugh.
Next up is Justin Newland with a story about hell inspired by the card for The Devil in the tarot deck. Justin will be back for the May reading with something a little longer.
And finally we have Pete Sutton with a creepy story about having a little brother.
With so many readers the Q&A subjects varied far and wide, but we finally settled down to talk about writing; in particular how and why one would want to write flash in preference to any other length.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy it all. The next Fringe event is on Monday (May 19th), and I’ll do a post about that later in the week.