Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Latest Lonely Crier!

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.

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