Dream of the High Mountain

'A man in white djellaba crossing a high rise balcony. A view from a compound window in Tucson. Wagtails dying by the motorway. 'My name is Mieko Tan. Welcome to my crazy world!!!' The last spire of Venice slipping beneath the waves. Not long into his stay in the retreat, Morgan realised where he'd first … Continue reading Dream of the High Mountain

Particle Physics

'Vorster watched the paraplegics racing their wheelchairs around the basketball field. Two years earlier, while driving home one evening, he had seen Cosmos 253 breaking up on re-entry. For half a minute the sky had been filled with hundreds of glowing fragments, like an immense air force on fire. Vorster stood up as the audience … Continue reading Particle Physics

Genre and the Edges

'In the evening, I'd pour myself a glass of very strong rum on the rocks, and I'd write hardboiled poems...' Pedro Juan Gutierrez I've spent my writing life on the periphery. It's not only a matter of success, or lack of, although that certainly plays its part. You stand watching the dance floor with your … Continue reading Genre and the Edges

The Compulsive Joy of the Series

Kurt Vonnegut, maybe. I bought the Dell edition novels when I lived in America. Like Vonnegut, I had been a smoker, and I would find a beguiling correlative between those small light paperback editions and a packet of cigarettes. I devoured those books in a single sitting. And maybe Philip K Dick too. I read his books with … Continue reading The Compulsive Joy of the Series

The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares

'I know the island well: I am not afraid of an army if it tries to find me at night.' Island fiction, that specialised genre, exploits the novel's innate artificiality. The relationship between setting and structure become so pronounced as to be almost indivisible. According to Raymond Chandler, any writer short of ideas about what … Continue reading The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares

Mockingbird by Walter Tevis

'Don't ask; relax.' Every week I take a train journey of about two hours. Once, I would take this journey twice each day, and although it eventually became too large a bite out of my life, for a while I was able to lose myself in the time. I'd write on a small laptop— a … Continue reading Mockingbird by Walter Tevis