Category Archives: Uncategorized
From now on I’m measuring all the snowfall in my neighbourhood in Hulk units of measurement.
I have a complicated relationship with Remembrance Day, given that I’m German and my grandfather fought in the Wehrmacht. I generally try to keep a low profile in ceremonies….
I never knew my grandfather because he was killed by the French resistance. Family lore is he detested the SS types, and I like to believe that. My grandmother later met another soldier, a Panzer driver who had his arm blown off by Americans back when they were fighting the fascists. He was a lovely, gentle giving man and I have fond memories of him.
When someone in my family asked my step-grandfather why the German people let Hitler get in power, he said, “He told us what we wanted to hear. And then we were all at war.”
That’s how history happens
Every second of the day, sperm whales fight giant squids in the ocean depths to keep humanity safe from the Deep Ones. But how many battles are taking place each second? Atlas Obscura has the answer:
And you know out of all those battles, one of them must involve a white whale.
If you liked my first book, Please, you’ll probably enjoy this. Well, enjoy may not be the right word, as the stories in Bad Things Happen mainly focus on the characters’ lives coming apart. But there’s a certain brilliance and weird transcendence to be found in the cracks and wounds of their lives. These are stories where bad things do indeed happen — take that, CanLit — but the stories are less about the events the characters are caught up in and more about the quiet revelations found in the smoke break staring up at the stars, or the long drive into the night, waiting for the gas to run out. You know, the moments where we all think: This. This is my life.
Here’s the jacket copy:
The characters in Bad Things Happen—professors, janitors, webcam models, small-time criminals—are between things. Between jobs and marriages, states of sobriety, joy and anguish; between who they are and who they want to be. Kris Bertin’s unforgettable debut introduces us to people at the tenuous moment before everything in their lives change, for better or worse.
Anyway, I just read Corey Redekop’s short story Moot, which he’s giving away free for another few days. It’s an ode to noir detective fiction mixed up with zombie horror, because Corey does zombies like no other Canadian writer.
Here’s the blurb:
When a beautiful heiress hires Dudley Pasco to find her missing sister, he figures he’s got everything he needs to solve the case. He’s got the fedora, he’s got the gun, he’s got the patter.
The only thing he doesn’t have is a pulse.
Pasco is a moot, his body having decided that death is only a state of mind. Being moot isn’t always a problem for him, but when the trail leads to Greytown, Pasco is forced to face the horror of his own non-existence.
A mixture of hard-boiled detective noir and zombie horror, Moot is proof that dead men do tell tales.
Previously published in The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir, “Moot” is now available as an eBook from Husky Monkey Publications.moot
Here’s the link:
“Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.” — Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
I’ve only been back in Canada a few days since my Italian adventure, and already I am missing Italy. In particular, I miss my customary breakfast from Venice.
Also, the festive town squares. They’re civilized gathering places in Europe, as opposed to our pot rally and riot zones in Canada.
I was taken aback by the bad graffiti everywhere, but there were a few works of art that made me smile, such as this scene in Venice:
And this interesting one in Florence — not sure what the mask is all about, but I like the effect:
The random underground caves beneath people’s houses were also pretty fascinating. This one served as an Allied munitions cache and a church for the locals during the war years. Now it’s a nice place to escape the heat, although the severed doll’s arm was a little disconcerting:
I also miss the ease of train and canal travel:
Although there was the odd gondola traffic jam:
The locals weren’t much good with directions if you got lost, unfortunately:
And the street signs were a bit confusing:
I even got caught up in a pilgrimage to the Vatican, where tourists excitedly snapped photos of the priest telling them not to take photos:
Lots of naked guys everywhere, too. The Italians like to party au naturel, apparently:
And I did work out some ideas for the new Cross book while touring one of the many museums, so it wasn’t entirely unproductive.
I do miss those cappuccinos, though.
“You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.”
— Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities