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Monday, April 30, 2018
Who are the Pallahaxi Players? What is Readers Theatre?
“Reader's theatre or Reader's theater is a style of theater in which the actors do not memorize their lines. Actors use only vocal expression to help the audience understand the story … This style of performance of literature was initially lauded because it emphasized hearing a written text as a new way to understand literature.” Wikipedia
The Pallahaxi Players is a group of fans and authors who like to perform (scripts in hand) short plays for the audiences of VCon—Vancouver’s premier science fiction, fantasy, and gaming convention. We are following in the tradition of Lonely Cry Theatre, founded by Michael G. Coney, who with fellow writers and hangers on entertained VCon audiences for years. Our name is an homage to the world found in his novels Hello, Summer, Goodbye (alternately published as Rax and Pallahaxi Tide) and I Remember Pallahaxi.
Recipient of the British Science Fiction Association Award, one Nebula, and five Aurora Awards, Michael G. Coney was a well loved man and an influential writer in the 1970s British Invasion, writing a variety of works that often lulled the reader into thinking she was reading fantasy only to discover it was finely wrought science fiction. Humour, character, place, and plot all played a large part in Mike’s works. He is greatly missed by those who knew him.
This year at VCon, as part of our celebration of the British Invasion, the Pallahaxi Players will be performing Mike’s first Lonely Cry offering, “Sex and Perversion in Gnomedom.”
VCON 42/Canvention 38: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Games: 5-7 October 2018. Hosted by WCSFA - West Coast Science Fiction Association and VCON.
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Mike Coney, External References:
“I think that [writing] has taught me always to be completely honest with the reader and never allow myself to take the easy way out for the sake of glib plot device.”
Casey June Wolf’s first contact with Mike Coney’s books (“though I’d known Mike and his Lonely Cry Readers Theatre for some years”): “Pallahaxi Mike,” Den Page of Casey June Wolf, Friday, September 16, 2005.
“Michael Coney: Science-fiction writer whose readability hid inner depths” by Christopher Priest. The Guardian, Thu 1 Dec 2005 09.31 GMT.
Michael's Spyglass: an Interview with Mike Coney by C. June Wolf. Strange Horizons, Issue: 6 february 2006.
Review of “Hello Summer, Goodbye and I Remember Pallahaxi by Michael G. Coney” by Colin Harvey. Strange Horizons, Issue: 28 July 2008.
Excerpt from Pallahaxi Tide by Michael G. Coney, read by Casey June Wolf. FintanSparky, 22 Oct 2011.
Michael G. Coney Wikipedia page.
Summary Bibliography: Michael G. Coney, The Internet Speculative Fiction Database.
Michael DeLuca, publisher of Reckoning, "An annual journal of creative writing on environmental justice", has been one by one releasing online the stories from Reckoning's second annual issue. My story, "Delta Marsh," became available this month. You can read it online (in a very clear and easy format) or you can listen to or download (!) the podcast--read by yours truly.
Enjoy "Delta Marsh" and all the other offerings of writing and art that DeLuca has pulled together for you.
Monday, January 29, 2018
I am very happy to note that two of my stories, one new and the other a reprint, have been accepted for the anthology, Food Of Our People, edited by Ursula Pflug and Candas Jane Dorsey.
The two are very different stories.
"The One That Gets Away", set on the west coast of Vancouver Island, tells the story of a man obsessed with fishing for dogfish from a pier.
"Eating Our Young", which was first published in the small press anthology, The Speed of Dark, looks at the plight of two young children who are regularly eaten by their family and left to recover.
I suppose they sound equally grim, in a way, but the one is an exploration, an awakening, and the other is a painful close-up of unwitting cruelty and its effects.
One of the requirements of the book is a recipe to go with each story. Both of these were a challenge for me, considering I don't actually eat sharks or children. But in the end I was able to find recipes that made sense with the stories, and now I am eagerly awaiting the publication of the book, so that I can discover all the other stories presented in the book.
Thursday, January 04, 2018
I'm happy to report that my story "Delta Marsh" is included in this year's Reckoning magazine (Reckoning 2). The story burbled up one day many years ago when I made a visit to the marsh and the research station there. I left it for ages and then came across it again, rewrote it, and discovered Michael J. deLuca's wonderful magazine. It felt like a great fit for the story and how lovely that the editor agreed.
I've also recorded a podcast of the story (at the Vancouver Public Library's wonderful and free Inspiration Lab)--Michael will likely post it when my story is made available on the website. The way this works is, over the next few months the stories listed in the table of contents below will be put up on the website. So if you want to have a read of the stories very very gradually, you can get them this way. (Though they won't be a lovely epub download like the full anthology). "Delta Marsh" will probably come out at the end of March. I'll keep you posted.
Here's a little idea of what you will find in the journal, and links to where you can buy it ($7 US). Michael is also going to be releasing the stories one at a time online, though I'm not sure exactly where. Check here to see what's up.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
I was happy to read today that two of the poems from my soon-to-be-finished collection Sun Among Stars: Poems & Prayers to Brigit of Ireland, will be published in the upcoming anthology Harp, Club, and Cauldron: A Harvest of Knowledge. The subject is the Irish god An Dagda, The Good God, so named because he was good at everything. The book will feature essays, poetry, and whatever else editors Lora O’Brien and Morpheus Ravenna find worthy of their collection. The poems will be published under my Brigidine name, Mael Brigde. (Bet you didn't know I had such a thing, did you?)
I am happy about the poems, but I am also excited about the book. I trust these editors to select well thought out works, and the Dagda is a personage I am drawn to in many ways, due only in part to his being the father of the goddess Brigit, who is of special interest to me. I look forward to reading what people have to say about him.
From their Indiegogo page:
Welcoming the Good God of Ireland
Harp, Club and Cauldron: A Harvest of Knowledge in a Book
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
I was delighted this week to receive a small package of books from Red Tuque. This is the seventh and final anthology in their Canadian Tales series: Canadian Tales of the Fantastic Volume VII. My story “Posture of the Infinite” appeared in number four, in 2014. In this volume my Scottish ghost story, “In Days and Nights the World is Spent”, has found a home.
Unfortunately for the masses, the print run sold out immediately and there won't be a reprinting. I suppose that is a bit disappointing for me, too. But c'est la vie.
If you are looking for a copy, let me know. I don't have many so it's first come, first served.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
|by Wild Grace|
A bouquet of poems arranged and translated by Slippery Elm
The thread that ties this bouquet together is that of the story of Blodeuwedd from the Mabinogion. A woman composed of flowers, who sought to kill her husband, and was thereby transformed into an owl. Blodeuwedd meaning flower-face, and the owl said to have been called blodeuwedd in the Welsh of yore.
Just as the wizard Gwydion gathered blossoms of broom, meadowsweet, and trefoil, the editor gathers the poems to conjure something greater, a something that then goes on to wing the poetry out into the world. A deadly and nefarious agenda in the eyes of the princes of our age, or of those who are their followers and find no love or meaning but in their expendable busts.
In the garden of these pages we encounter the whimsy and abandon of the eccentric who goes through life, toothless and in colourful rags, giving out flowers just because. Who heard the patter of Death’s slippers by their nightstand and received him with a bouquet. Who throws flowers at grooms and graves, and awoke suddenly as the rose’s final petal fell. We encounter the lyric and litany, the poison, the perfume, the lament, the laughter, and the eschatological love poem. The flowers that open above us.
Flowers have been plucked from a well pick’d troop of poets, poets of the other breath, of the diverse brushstroke and the obscure melody. Major figures in English, Spanish, Arabic, American, and Welsh literatures, as well as newly emerging voices. Poets both young and old, and poets dead as much as living. Poets who have proven themselves worthy of the appellation, not just through prizes, accolades or infamy but through a certain generosity of the spirit and a marked commitment to the Poetry. This almost spiritual pedigree, of wise innocence, of beatific inspiration, might be boiled down into two words, which in some ways, are each a reflection of the other. For the old: trust. For the young: bravery.
All poems appear in English and Spanish, and one in Arabic. The two languages form a dialectic in which meaning is generated in the space between them. It is in this hermeneutic tension between the Yes and the No, at the interstice between the two different tongues, between the dead nettle and white archangel, right in the centre of the book, that the beginning of an answer is given to the riddle of all riddles.
This book is a fairy dart tipped with a draught to re-enchant a chantless world. That the lector remember his or her mortality and live all the more fully for it. Our aim is true. We swear by all flowers.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
I am recovering from the whirl of VCon 41, at which the Pallahaxi Players read Carlos Lozano Gilabert's play Deep North, and at which I participated in a writers workshop, attended and participated in panels, contributed my usual joie de prose pourpre (or "joy of purple prose": apologies to actual French speakers), ran around after The Kids, AND SO ON.
But for the moment I want to bring to your attention something that had nothing to do with me at all, except that I was lucky enough to be at the Opening Ceremony and perfectly seated to film Karl Johanson, editor of Neo-Opsis Magazine, sing his stirring anthem in honour of Star Trek's Fiftieth Anniversary.