“the gory horror of … David Stevens” Hey, that’s me!
Archive for February, 2016|Monthly archive page
The scariest day of the year is approaching fast. Will he…? Won’t she … ? Don’t they …? Should I …? is it legal to … ?
I’d remove Valentine’s day from the calendar, except my powers don’t extend quite that far … yet. The gifts are tacky and / or market forced upon us, everybody feels a little squeamish, and desperation hits town like a tsunami.
Here is the perfect solution. We are of course all literary types. What better gift then than an entire volume dedicated to lerve? And not just lerve, but lerve in all its strangeness. Weird love, Alien love. Impossible love. Deadly love. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for someone else, and if they respond weirdly, its ok, you were just being like, all ironic and post-modern.
For the lover’s month of February, there is a promotion over at Goodreads which you can check out just by left clicking on this strangely highlighted text right here.
And in advance, here is a poem (for want of a better word) for Valentine’s Day:
Cute girl at the Indian take-away
She doesn’t just have eyes for me,
the girl who serves me Tandoori.
Her quizzical glance and little smile,
is not an exchange of irony,
though I do react,
I cannot resist,
when she swallows me in
with big dark eyes
and the world shrinks down to size,
a planet built for two.
I sip on my mango lassi
while I wait for my curry,
and I watch while she does it again,
one after the other,
with all the men.
At last I comprehend.
She finds us hard to understand,
she speaks English but is not fluent
She stares straight at me
with huge eyes like an owl’s,
trying to comprehend
my flattened vowels.
in the groove,
concentrating on how my lips move.
The tremble of her little duck pout
is just her working out
the words I said
by whispering them again
in her head.
“Tandoori chicken roll
on plain naan.”
“With mint sauce?”
So excitement is right. There must just be something wonderful about being a ‘Tim’. I’ve raved before about Tim Powers, and of course there is Tim Brooke-Taylor, and, er, I suppose, Tiny Tim. But Australian Tims are in another category altogether – and I am not (just) talking about Tim Tams.
Tim Winton releases a book (for adults – not ‘The Bugalug Bum Thief’, for example, despite the intriguing title), and I’m there. Tim Flannery, (almost) ditto – ‘The Future Eaters’ remains amongst my favourite books. Hell, I even liked Tim from Big Brother a few years ago.
The darker moments of a former career can be interesting companions at 3am, but one moment of pure pleasure was when I arranged for Tim Low to speak at a conference. He divided the audience, and that was great. People came up to me afterwards, both pleased and puzzled. ‘Feral Future’ dealt with exotic invaders and pests, at the same time revealing much I never knew about the modern history of Australia, and it was followed by ‘The New Nature’. An important part of both books is how we are dominated by the thinking of our age, an alleged commonsense which often does not stand the test of time, and how important truths may be counterintuitive. I would wish these books on anyone with an interest in nature and/or Australia, and our ecological future. However, very important, read them in order – TNN has a greater degree of (cautious) optimism, and was meant to given the topic of FF. I, of course, being me, read TNN, thought, this is great, and hunted down FF – also great, but man was I bummed out. In the words of the immortal-ish Molly Meldrum, do yourself a favour and read them both (but yes, in order).
But: so excitement – I have in my hands the latest Tim Low. I cannot really comment because I have not read it yet, but it is about one of my favourite things: birds! And plenty of Australian birds! (have I mentioned that I am a birdwatcher, though a very bad one? has my wife told you how hard it is to work through our holiday photos to find a photo of our children, when most photos are of a branch where a bird had been sitting only moments before?) And science! And did I mention birds? – well, birds! And the cover is absolutely gorgeous …
Low is an amazing writer and speaker, a fascinating man. He is a scientist who writes with both passion and where appropriate, dispassion, about such interesting and amazing things, especially on topics dear to my heart. I look forward to diving into this.