Monday, December 12, 2011
“The Cenotaph” by Casey Wolf – 4.25 stars
Past and present collide when a camper stumbles upon a long-forgotten memorial.
A thoughtful commentary on perspective and war, this story does a great job at showing the fears and expectations that arise when one considers leaving for war. Some of the shifts are a little jarring, but may be intentional in an attempt to pull the reader into the protagonist’s confused state of mind. Overall, this is a very good story.
“Triona’s Beans” by Casey Wolf and Paivi Kuosmanen – 2 stars
A young girl goes on an intergalactic adventure with little people that look like feathered beans.
I had great difficulty getting through this story, which reads like a very young children’s fantasy. This story does not belong in a dark speculative fiction anthology.
“Pronghorns” by Casey Wolf – 5 stars
A double suicide goes to “Plan B” when initial plans go awry.
“Pronghorns” is a darkly brilliant commentary on life and death. It is well-written, gripping, and has a shockingly profound ending. This is one of those stories that resets the bar.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I really like Paul's show. He finds weird fannish music (like this week's "Cube Land"by Laura Shigihara), chats about science and SF news, and features one or two short stories a week. Have a listen!
Monday, November 21, 2011
My story "Invicta" is now available for free download as part of the Nov./Dec. issue of The Link magazine.
"Invicta" tells the story of a woman who lives...through the library.
sorry! this link is broken. i'll provide the story on this blog. look at the Pages here.
The anthology _Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road_, edited by Clayton Bye and Sassy Brit, is about to hit the shelves. Well, the internet shelves. It is mostly being targetted at online audiences, but you can buy the book in paper or e-format. If you are a local yokel (Vancouver) and want a copy, save on postage by ordering along with me when I get my copies. I have 3 stories in the book: "The Cenotaph", "Pronghorns", and "Triona’s Beans" — that last with Finnish author Païvi Kuosmanen.
You can preorder paper or e-book at http://shop.claytonbye.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=65
Shipping commences 25 November 2011.
Sorry for the lack of a hyperlink. Blogger has gone completely weird. I haven't been able to control my post details in weeks.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Virginia O'Dine of Bundoran Press as Narrator.
Steph St Laurent as Wikta.
Theo Arnott Campbelll as Mrs Zaberewsky and Droodla the alien.
Rhea Rose as Mrs Jablonski, ramp, and Unglubump the alien.
Casey Wolf as prompter (and of course author).
Popcorn permitted but not supplied. Enjoy.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Regardless! I've posted my latest reading on YouTube, this time of the opening pages of Mike Coney's Pallahaxi Tide (Hello Summer, Goodbye in England, Rax in the US). I read another scene from that in a previous post called "Listen To This!", but I can't link to it for reasons stated above. The url is this: http://cjunewolfden.blogspot.com/2011/10/listen-to-this-vcon-36.html
Now, let's see if I can embed the video, shall we?
Monday, October 17, 2011
Hello, dear friends!
There should be two new releases this month, if all goes according to schedule, and another in December. I have also posted a couple more videos to YouTube (including one in which I sing, of all things.)
Paul Cole is putting the mood music to my podcast of "Claude and the Henry Moores" and plans to have it on air at WRFR and online at Beam Me Up! by the end of the month. For those who can't wait to hear it you can read it on this blog or in my book Finding Creatures & Other Stories. But if you like being read to I suggest you hang on and listen to the podcast.
"The Coin", a story about a Haitian streetkid named Likner, has been accepted for this year's issue of the literary journal Lived Experience, brainlovechild of “elder hippy” Van Andruss of Yalakom, BC. Issue 11 of Lived Experience should be out in December. "The Coin" first appeared in Tesseracts 9, edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Geoff Ryman.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Finally figured out how to upload a podcast to this blog -- turn it into a video. So, fresh from the FintanSparky YouTube channel, my VCon 36 podcast, Listen To This!
Check out the last posting for more info on Listen To This!
Monday, October 03, 2011
Art by Artist VCon 36 Guest of Honour
I had a great time this weekend at VCon 36.
I used to come as a fan and very much enjoyed the panels and schmoozing, going to readings, attending the masquerade and dance.
Then I started coming as a guest. This was both cool and nerve-wracking. I am, believe it or not, shy. I'm nervous speaking to an audience without a chance for rethinks and edits. And I don't manage well trying to get a word in edgewise on a panel where great talkers have hold of the mike.
On the other hand, I love doing readings. Serious or silly. (Obviously, if you have looked at my YouTube channel.) I love doing critiquing. I love encouraging other people to be really silly.
So I have slowly figured it out. Stay off pontificate-y panels. Get reading panels put on the program. Write a silly play. Get people to act it out. Critique people's stories. Goof around. Get to know people. Have fun. Be fun. And forget about My Work.
That is what I did this weekend. I worked my butt off, but I worked at things that give me energy and great pleasure. The workshop participants got pages of carefully thought out notes. The Pallahaxi Players performed the stage version of "This is for Mrs Zaberewsky" brilliantly to an appreciative, and appropriately guffawing, "crowd". Steph St Laurent was over the top as Wikta, the frustrated actress who is taken to an alien planet to be a star. Virginia O'Dine made a wonderful Narrator, as I knew she would from her performances at Turkey Readings of earlier years. Theo Campbell was hilarious as Droodla, the alien director, and Mrs Zaberewsky herself. And Rhea Rose truly rose to the occasion (and lowered to it) as Mrs Jabłoński, Unglubump the aspiring actroid, and well, a ramp. (I had not dreamed anyone could bring such subtlety to the role of spaceship ramp.)
On Sunday Ian Alexander Martin and I presented Listen To This ! Listen To This! He opined and I read favourite passages from works by Avram Davidson, Eileen Kernaghan, Don Marquis, and Mike Coney.
At noon I worked with Fran Skene (whose baby it is), Eileen Kernaghan, Virginia O'Dine, and a crowd of willing victims to produce the Turkey Readings. A quarter at a time, we raised $150.55 for the Canadian Unity Fan Fund (CUFF). (Nothing next to the $650ish raised for Aunt Leah's Place at the Closing Ceremonies by auctioning off Normand's drawings and a personalized copy of Author GoH Larry Niven's new book. But not bad for goofing around for an hour.)
And finally I joined Ian Alexander Martin, Sandra Wickham, and Jaymie Matthews in reading pages 189 from a variety of different books. The books were concealed from the audience members, who had to decide whether they would be interested in reading the whole thing before being told what books they were listening to. (I read from House on the Strand by Daphne DuMaurier, Five Children and It by E. Nesbit, Path into the Unknown: The Best of Soviet Science Fiction, edited by Judith Merril, and The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson.) Of course, we readers didn't know what the others were reading from, either, so we got to enjoy the gosh wow of the surprise, ourselves.
By the end of it all I was most happily read out.
I got to attend only a little of the programming (what I habitually refer to as paneling, which I think is actually something you put on the walls of your rec room). I heard Dave Duncan read, I got to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, saw a stitch of the Costume Masquerade, and so on. My main priority beyond meeting my commitments to the concom was to hang out with my nephew Theo and have conversations with other folk, whether in the Dealers Room or over tea or flying down the hall.
A fun, fun time. I look forward to next years VCon.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
I'm early posting my YouTube Reading video this week. I'll be busy at VCon 36 on Saturday but I didn't want to miss getting one to you, so here she is. The book is Winter on the Plain of Ghosts by Eileen Kernaghan. One of my all-time favourites. I remember being busy out and about, at the gym or wherever, and thinking about getting home to my book. Not something that happens to me every day.
So here is your tiny sampling. Cheers!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Now, I was about to tell you that I have posted my reading from "The Golem" by Avram Davidson on YouTube today. But I see that I have neglected to tell you that last week I posted my reading from Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea. So I must tell you both now. Or -- well, how about I just embed them here, and let you figure it out?
She's up. "After Hours at the Black Hole" aired today at WRFR in Rockland, Maine and on the Internet at Beam Me Up! In addition to my story, there is one by Devin Miller of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. "Good Business with Guns" is fun, and well read by Ron Huber. If you want to skip straight to my story (though why would you?) I believe it is at 28 minutes and 40 sec into the show, IIRC.
In his introduction, Paul Cole mentions another story I sent him (that would be "Claude and the Henry Moores") which he hopes I will record for him within the month. So I have pencilled that in and look forward to another podcast with Beam Me Up! in the not too distant future.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Theatre! Aliens! Clumsy dancing!
See it all in
"This is For Mrs Zaberewsky"
Saturday October 1st
Sheraton Vancouver Airport
Pallahaxi Players Readers Theatre
Theo Campbell, Virginia O’Dine, Rhea Rose,
Steph St Laurent, Casey Wolf
– September 30 to October 2, 2011 –
You are invited to the premiere performance of the Pallahaxi Players Readers Theatre. We wish to acknowledge the late Mike Coney, author of Pallahaxi Tide, Fang the Gnome, The Celestial Steam Locomotive and others, for presenting earlier VCon audiences with the Lonely Cry Readers Theatre, of which we are a blatant rip-off – er, homage.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Great news! We'll be on air next Saturday, 24 September 2011, at Beam Me Up! on WRFR radio in Rockland, Maine, and on the internet at the Beam Me Up! podcast site. WRFR is local access, volunteer-run radio and Beam Me Up! is their science and science fiction show, created by Paul Cole and Ron Huber. It's a lot of fun , with news and fiction and all kinds of stuff.
"After Hours at the Black Hole" was first published in OnSpec Magazine, and later collected in Finding Creatures & Other Stories. It follows Jude, a space trucker, as he hauls a very dangerous cargo to a black hole named Old Guzzler.
I submitted the story to Paul a couple of months ago because I liked his style and the way he handled his readings. In the communications that followed I accidentally volunteered to do the reading myself. The delight I experienced in putting this together for Paul led directly to the podcast I did for VCon (where is that podcast, anyway?), and indirectly to my new YouTube channel, or rather, to its use as a site for reading aloud to unsuspecting viewers from favourite books.
A lovely 11 minute film documentary (Beam Me Up - Local Access Science Fiction Radio, by New Farmer Films***) takes you behind the scenes with Paul and Ron at Beam Me Up! headquarters. If you are interested in public radio, science fiction radio, or SF podcasts, these cats have a lot to say.
***Drat! Blogger won't let me add this many links. So here are the addresses:
Beam Me Up - Local Access Science Fiction Radio --
New Farmer Films --
Friday, September 16, 2011
This is the anthology that Eileen Kernaghan and I were finalist judges for back in February.
Red Tuque Books
Trade paperback 188 pp
The Link magazine will be publishing my short story "Invicta", wherein a love of books carries a woman through all the difficult days of her life.
"Invicta" was inspired by my mother's tales of her thirst for books at a young age and her first visit to a library when she was in her early twenties. She vowed to read every book on the shelves and made a very good go of it.
In light of Toronto mayor Rob Ford's attacks on the public library system, the story is a timely one. (Follow this link to read Margaret Atwood's defense of the library system.)
Below is a poem my mum keeps framed in her room. Something else that kept a woman going through all the years and their trials.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley (1849–1903)
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I've uploaded my 2nd YouTube "reading" video. The last was from Don Marquis' The Lives and Times of Archy and Mehitabel. This is from Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. I love this book. (This link takes you to Gutenberg books, where you can download the novel.)
I'm still finding my "intro" style. There is a weird eyeball (mine) looking at you at the beginning of this video and that, plus the peculiar "hello", gives the wrong impression of what you will encounter if you continue watching. I'll sort it out. Meanwhile it is very fun to be doing these little readings, to share my great affection for a book while getting to horse around (er, perform), too.
I've got a couple more in the bag but I won't be posting more than one a week. You can look forward to A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K Le Guin, "The Golem", by Avram Davidson, and "M’ap Ekri Youn Powèm/I’m Writing a Poem", by Togiram (Emil Selesten-Meji). That last is from a collection of Haitian Creole poetry that gives the full Kreyol version followed by an English translation. (Open Gate.)
Anyway, here's Bob Louis, courtesy of Casey June:
I have rather belatedly joined the BC SF authors collective, the Lonely Cry, "an informal west coast association of Canadian science fiction and fantasy writers" with which I have long been acquainted.
Belated, because the Age of the Internet has made much of the Lonely Cry's role redundant. There is no longer a need for newsletters to let the world know what the authors are doing: they blog it. Tweet it. Facebook it. And in every other way blast their trumpets to the world.
When Lonely Cry originator Mike Coney was alive the Lonely Cry also banded together to do Readers Theatre at the local SF convention, VCon. Although not an LC member, I was invited to join their performance a couple of times, but mostly I sat in the audience and laughed at their brave idiocy.
Despite the demise of the newsletter, the Lonely Cry remains a respectable group of authors that I am happy and pleased to throw my lot in with. Eileen Kernaghan has put my bio and my first blog announcements onto the site. The site will link back to this blog. And so the life cycle continues.
Have a look. You will find news of Mary E. Choo, Janine Cross, Dave Duncan, Matthew Hughes, Eileen Kernaghan, Linda DeMeulemeester, Clélie Rich and Rhea Rose, all fine local (usually -- that Matt has been gadding around an awful lot) writers of speculative fiction. There is much good reading to be had in their midst.
But first, a little background, gleaned from the memory of Eileen Kernaghan:
It was Mike's idea over twenty, perhaps as much as twenty-five years ago. He had returned jetlagged from a trip and came up with the idea for the Lonely Cry--West Coast speculative fiction writers putting out a periodical newsheet to mail out to libraries, individuals, reviewers, and bookstores, usually promoting one book in particular. Mike did the putting together and publishing at first.
Two or three years later he had the brain wave of putting together a readers theatre piece entitled "Sex and Perversion in Gnomedome". This was a great hit, so he did two or three more at VCons and took it to Context in Alberta as well. Beginning as a small readers theatre, with the readers seated at a table, it developed into an elaborate array of props and costumes, but remained true to the barely rehearsed, read-from-scripts, whacky sensibility of the original. Though the majority of scripts were written by Mike, others were written by Mary Choo, Eileen Kernaghan, and Rhea Rose.
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Cool! I just noticed I can now add pages to this blog, so I've added a short story for you to read at your leisure. You'll find the tab just below the blog header above.
The story is "Claude and the Henry Moores".
Friday, September 02, 2011
I like reading to people. You may have heard me say this before. You may even have heard me read.
Well, it finally occurred to me that I could take this passion to YOUtubb. Then late at night when I have the urge to read a bedtime story, or in the heat of the afternoon when nothing cools like Lucan, I can curl up with a nice cosy webcam and a handful of book and have at it.
As I did tonight.
Behold: Casey Wolf reading Don Marquis, wherein Archy the cockroach proclaims himself to the New York Sun newspaper office, 1927. To wit, the coming of archy, from The Lives and Times of Archy and Mehitabel.
Good lord! The picture looks dreadful! C'est la vie. The story is good.
This video can also be found on YOUtubb, where you will find it nestled among others' tributes to the great Don Marquis.
Monday, August 29, 2011
edited by Sassy Brit and CC Bye:
"Anything goes" in this anthology and I can attest to that. They've accepted 3 (count 'em!) of my stories, and they couldn't be more different than each other.
"Pronghorns" is one of my bleakest stories, about two neighbours who form a suicide pact.
In "The Cenotaph" a young man considering joining the armed forces in order to fight in Afghanistan (against his parents' wishes) meets another young man who refused to fight in the First World War.
"Triona's Beans" is a whacky story suitable for kids or really juvenile adults, in which, as it says on the WWSR back cover, "a teenage girl saves a world between first and last dinner call". "Triona's Beans" was written with Päivi Kuosmanen. It was originally accepted for Ahmed Kahn's anthology Fun Times in Strange Lands, which unfortunately is still awaiting publication.
The anthology ranges from speculative fiction to erotica and covers a lot of ground between. Definitely not your normal fare.
I'll add a purchasing link to this page when I get one. Meanwhile,
Friday, July 15, 2011
Another of my rare postings.
Hello! Summer is crawling coolly by us. A wet one and by many accounts that is a terrible thing but I don't mind a bit. As long as there is weather at all that's good enough for me.
Energy is still not fountaining up in me but what I have I use. I'm spending many hours with my local nephews and niece (Clelie Rich and I simultaneously came up with the word "niblings" to describe such folk), doing lots of meditation and a fair bit of yoga, and...
In the past two and a half months I have written 60 or 70 poems* -- unheard of -- none of the speculative genre. I'm still plunking away at the 25 related reviews I opened my gob about over a year ago. And with the encouragement of a colleague I've dusted off and revised three short stories and sent them out this week. I also wrote a new one, which has a few finishing touches to be put to it before launching at some unsuspecting publisher. (The stories are: "Invicta", "Eating Our Young", "This is for Mrs. Zaberewsky", and "In Days and Nights the World is Spent".)
(*These are not Polished Poems, but earnest first drafts. When I have come to the end of this spurt I'll go back with a straight edge and candle and see what I can do to bring them to maturity.)
I am extremely grateful to this colleague, one Ursula Pflug, who reviewed Finding Creatures & Other Stories for the Internet Review of Science Fiction a while back. I hadn't realized how much it would help to have someone show an interest in the stories that are lying dusty in the drawer, and nudge me to do something with them.
Thank you, thank you, Ursula!
I fell out of action with Dad's death, and the worry about how long the reviews are taking translates in my furry mind to "shouldn't take time for my stories while the reviews are still unfinished." This new situation is helping to remind me that in fact my stories are the juice that gives me the zip to do these other things.
The reviews are interesting to do though. They are all of books about Brigit, goddess or saint, and there is a huge variety of stuff about her now, where a few decades ago there was (count them) one book available about her. The reading is prompting me to write poems related to her, as well, so really it all works like one nice composting cycle. (I am writing them, interestingly, on paper. With a pen.)
In February Eileen Kernaghan and I chose the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place stories from among the tales chosen by another judge for the Red Tuque speculative fiction anthology, Canadian Tales of the Fantastic. It was an interesting process, working with another person to weigh the pros and cons of a given story, and Eileen is always a pleasure to work with. They've come up with a wonderful cover, which I am itching to post here but as I can't find it on the RTB site, I guess I'd better hold back. Check out Red Tuque Books in September for the release.
I've pulled back a lot from the internet, as foreshadowed in earlier postings, and this is part of the reason I am finding the space of mind to write again. The router is off till I actually need it on. The computer is safe territory (safe from endless distractions, that is -- since I don't play computer games) once again.
I'm looking forward to VCon at the end of September/beginning of October. (Both. They occur on the same weekend.) Hope to get up and do more improvfoolery and have fun with the masses. Greg Benford is GoH this year so I have reserved Timescape from the library and will dutifully do some background reading. He is both a scientist and a respected author so I'm thinking this Will Be Good.
I am also going to see a favourite author at a 5 day retreat in August. This thought simply makes me smile. Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Peace is Every Step (my all-time favourite book) and wonderful teacher, is coming to Vancouver. I've been volunteering for several months and will be stepping out of my own hermitage into a sangha of many hundred people for those few days. Lovely.
Anyway, just wanted to say hello from this quiet outpost of the hinternet. Or the outernet, perhaps.