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Issue 5 Vol 3 PULP

Forgotten Men
Leroy Skalstads portraits of the homeless

Steve Aylett tackles Pulp

Author of Lint wades in

Steve Aylett - Science Fiction - Getting hot for H.G.

Incorporating Writing
(ISSN 1743-0380)

Editorial Pulp Should Win

Editorial Team
Managing Editor Andrew Oldham Deputy Editor/Interviews G.P. Kennedy Columns/Articles Editor Andrew Oldham Reviews Editor Janet Aspey Sales & Marketing Team Columnists Dan McTiernan & Christine Brandel Contributors Moira Allen, Ben Felsenburg, Paula Fleming, Marg Gilks, Clare Reddaway, Stephy Robinson, Helen Shay, Rebecca Wombwell, Bryan Tighe. Cover Art Leroy Skalstad Design Marsh Contact Details

Andrew Oldham discussed why Literature is just a buzz word.

Interviews From Pulp to Aylett

Steve Aylett returns to us, older, wiser and full of stories.

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The Rising Voice of Banipal Articles A Writers Secret Passion

G.P. Kennedy interviews Margaret Obank.

Stephy Robinson kicks of a new series of short articles and gets hot under the collar for H.G. Wells.

SF:The Literature of Ideas

Marg Gilks, Paula Fleming, and Moira Allen tackle the changing face of SF.


The Homeless Photographer

Bryan Tighe looks at the work of Skalstad.


Columns Pulp Fact

Dan McTiernan takes a look at Zorba the Greek and Regan.

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Lurid Stories With Worth Artwork Perfect Eye Reviews

Christine Brandel shows that Pulp is read by evryone.

Cover artist, Leroy Skalstad, shares a candid series of shots.

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Janet Aspey introduces Pulp in all its forms.

Incorporating Writing is an imprint of The Incwriters Society (UK). The magazine is managed by an editorial team independent of The Societys Constitution. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without permission of the publishers. We cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, reproduction of articles, photographs or content. Incorporating Writing has endeavoured to ensure that all information inside the magazine is correct, however prices and details are subject to change. Individual contributors indemnify Incorporating Writing, The Incwriters Society (UK) against copyright claims, monetary claims, tax payments / NI contributions, or any other claims. This magazine is produced in the UK. The Incwriters Society (UK) 2005

News and Opportunities

Pulpincorporating writing Should Win

Editorial by Andrew Oldham

Ive just purchased forty-eight battered and bruised SF magazines from a dotty old woman who spent twenty minutes looking for them before wheeling them out before me in an old M & S shopping trolley. She was soon joined by an equally barmy old man who declared that they where worth between $1 and $7.50 each - I dont know where the odd latter price comes from but it always seems to be the kind of numbers that volunteers pull out of the hat in every charity shop I visit. I offer them 20 for the lot and confusion reins as they try to load the magazines along with the shopping trolley into my car. I try to tell them that I dont want it and another forty minutes of bartering ensue and now Im a proud owner of a shopping trolley and they own my car. I got $7.50 for it. So, now Im sat in my lounge and the rain has returned to the world beyond my window and I am dancing as

I have found a Napoleonic coin amongst the pages of Weird Tales. Amazing Stories surfaces from the pile of old magazines, there amongst the musty pages that gleam with bright artwork is a name Ive not seen in print for a long while, Poul Anderson. Then other names drift up, Burroughs, Bradbury, Asimov, Leigh and for a moment, my guilty secret threatens to erupt as the child inside me giggles. These are the names that kept me sane as a child, that gave me hope and taught me to dream and to make that impossible leap into the great void of SF. Back then I did not know or care about the fact that they were classed as Pulp. For God sakes, I watched A Team and Magnum PI on television, was forced to sit down on a Saturday evening and watch Metal Mickey with the family - the gayest robot ever to come out of the 80s - there was no surprise that I took great

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4 4 anything that resembles Pulp is shipped out to dusty areas around the shop. Poul Anderson should be in the As alongside Margaret but poor old Poul is relugated to a distant land called SF, Jeff Noon should be in the Ns but is also sent to the back of the class for not being Literary and poor old, misunderstood Mickey Spillane should be in Ss but he is somewhere in crime. In a shop in Cambridge I found poor old Mickey in the comedy section and the shop keeper just sneered at me and said, Well, its not exactly great Literature. Literature a buzz word that is the kiss of death for any great story. Pulp is at the other end of the spectrum, it kills too. So welcome to the Pulp Issue, here we celebrate it in all its forms because at the end of the day all books come from Pulp and end up as Pulp. In this issue I catch up with Steve Aylett and G.P. Kennedy talks with the editor of Banipal, Margaret Obank. Dan McTiernan and Christine Brandel tackle the idea of Pulp in their columns and in one of our articles we tackle the Literature of Ideas in SF. Editors note: Sad news, after two years with us, Fiona Ferguson has left for pastures new and we wish her well in her future, a new Articles Editor will join the team for the start of 2009. Please check out our call on page 17. The next issue will out in October and will be edited by Bluecoats in Liverpool and will celebrate the Capital of Culture. A launch event for the Capital of Culture issue will take place in Liverpool before Christmas 2008. Interested parties can contact me at: Andrew Oldham is the Managing Editor/Columns for Incorporating Writing. He is an award winning writer and academic.

joy in staring at those brash SF covers that promised horror, danger and worlds of mystery. Metal Mickey merely gave us a man in a dustbin and ALF was surely a alcoholic by season two. Many of the Amazing Stories and Weird Tales are adorned with gruesome aliens, buxom women fainting and men who stare wistfully at the horizon. Even in the magazines, men were escaping and so were women. They were a world away from the drab streets of my childhood, the cold winters, the wet days and the tiresome rehashing of Star Wars on TV and in film. These magazines were my escape, my guilty secret whilst my friends ran around playing army and football, I kept them in my duffel coat pocket, under the maths book in my desk and dreamt of a gateway to Mars, shining red and dangerous in the dark. As I grew older, the cover art of many of these magazine where seen as inferior or sexist, and ultimately as a distraction to real Literature. A term I have never understood, writers do not write Literature, they tell stories and it is beyond me why anyone would want to use that term - Literature can kill a good book dead, I have seen many reviewers toss books into bins when they are told that it is the next great Literary work of the twenty-first century. I have seen writers paralysed with fear when they think they have to produce a tome to hold up the word Literature. An example is Margaret Atwood, is she (a) A Feminist Writer? (b) A Literary Writer? Or; (c) A Fiction writer who tells stories and doesnt care what they are? I plump for the latter, The Handmaids Tale, is SF and so is Oryx and Crake and in some way all her work touches on Fantasy but I doubt shed give a damn about the word Literature. Yet, Margaret is classed under the As in the Literary section and SF is tucked away and

5 A

Writers Secret Passion: H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

Short Article by Stephy Robinson

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So what would I rather be? Eloi or Morlock? Im the type of person that likes to be stirred by a novel, I like to be frightened, but at the same time Im an admirer of description. Wells is capable of making both of the races that dominate The Time Machine somewhat beautiful, and yet at the same time frightening. It is this combination that makes me adore this novel. Each tiny description of of the Eloi succeeds to increase their distance from modern man, but this is not the reason I claim that they are frightening. Although by appearance, the Eloi are beautiful, with their pale skin and regal purple robes, they have been crafted to adopt a scary simplicity in manner and in mind. Wells creates a being that potentially, and perhaps expectedly should have a mind that is technically more advanced than contemporary man, but has chosen instead to side with regression. The future is a delicate thing, and something truly unpredictable, but to discover that the human race would decline rather than advance is something not well explored or understood. This concept placed alongside the complete harmony that the Eloi exist within, creates a strange idea. Must man become something less in order to achieve peace? It is questions like this, that Wells strives to make the reader think of, and it is stories that make me ask questions that I love the most. In comparison, the Morlock are, on the surface, and indeed by nature, frightening creatures and probably exceed the Eloi in their distance from humanity. It is their vulnerability that

provides a contrast though. Although they appear zealous, constantly grappling to get hold of the Time Traveler whenever he enters their dark domain, their intolerance to the light makes them somewhat endangered.

Im the type of person that likes to be stirred by a novel, I like to be frightened, but at the same time Im an admirer of description
Amongst Wells gruesome and quite animalistic descriptions of their appearance, I couldnt help but feel sympathy for this half of his future population. I feel Wells may well have done this on purpose however in order to highlight their differences even though they are of the same species, possibly to reflect the contemporary state and this is something else I really enjoyed about the novel. So would I rather be Eloi or Morlock? I think Im more comfortable sitting in the seat of the Time Traveler. If you are a writer with a secret passion, be it book, food, art or anything that you want to get off your chest. Email your idea with the tagline PASSION to us at: Stephy Robinson is a third year Literature and Writing student at Edge Hill University. She has published poetry and has been editor for fiction in the university writing magazine.

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Pulp Fact

Column by Dan McTiernan

My life was pulp fiction of the highest order. Unrealistic, sensationalist, melodramatic

When Zorba the Greek and Regan the one with the rotating head from the Exorcist, not the cowboy actor once in charge of the planet knocked on the door inviting us to her 12th birthday, I knew that my ordinary life was somehow altered. I was in Berlin to illegally build a one night house made out of recycled materials in Alexanderplatz. I was sleeping on a WW2 stretcher in a bomb damaged apartment in Prenzlauer Berg in the former East of the city. Contrary to your expectations, no, I wasnt taking hallucinogenic drugs. These are all facts from the last two weeks of my life. Not the last two ever you understand, simply the two just passed The one night house is a folk tradition found all over Europe. The tradition goes

that if you can build a house on common land between the hours of dusk and dawn and have smoke rising from the chimney at sun up, then you have some tenuous legal right to the land on which you have built. I teamed up with a couple of artists and an architect as part of a contemporary art exhibition to see if we could get away with it. Our folly was to attempt the build in the centre of the city right under the noses of plenty of police with guns. We worked for a week in advance of the nocturnal build out of a lock-up stacked high with our raw materials. 100 water cooler bottles and 200 pallets harvested from a fish packers. The combination of 30 degree heat, an airless lock-up and wood impregnated with turbot juice is an interesting one. Imagine ordering haddock and chips in a sauna and then using powertools to eat it for several hours per day.

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We prefabricated elements of the structure so that it would click together like fishy Lego on the night. Sweat, splinters and the occasional drop of blood later we were geared up for the interesting bit. We went out to celebrate our endeavours and had one final lumpy nights sleep on the stretchers. Being part of a participatory arts festival there were eager volunteers signed up to help and potentially get themselves arrested. A preliminary get together was organised to explain the philosophy and logistics of the project and it was decided by the artists to hold this event on the raised mound of a bombed out block of the city at 2pm, in 32 degree heat. It has since been referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. However there were no loaves and fishes, thank the Lord. By the end of the two hour sermon I had white tide marks of salt encrusted into my black t-shirt and was ready to be stretchered away again. We went back to the apartment to rest up before the final push. Regan and Zorba rang the door bell. -Your Mother sucks cocks in Hell! - May I apologise for my young friend, shes a little giddy about her forthcoming 12th birthday party to which you are all cordially invited. I graciously accepted their invitation and promised to let the others know. Fortunately no pea-soup projectile vomit came my way and I closed the door on them. The flat above was another live art project. All the inhabitants were there for a month and were playing their favourite characters from literature and

film. They stayed in character 24 hours per day and welcomed visitors whenever. As I stood in front of the mirror inspecting my scorched face and filthy clothes I wondered at the joy of the past seven days. It had been utterly devoid of normality. My life was pulp fiction of the highest order. Unrealistic, sensationalist, melodramatic.

As with the best of quests, the destination is always secondary to the journey in the telling of the tale
My wife sent me a text telling me that it was important for me to be on this quest. I hadnt thought of it as anything other than an art / recycling / architecture crossover until then, but she was right. I was on a quest and it was important. We spend much too much of our lives rationalising, making realistic narratives of our existence in order to cope, to quantify, to understand. Every so often we need to let go of that and dip our toes into surreality and accept that we are totally and utterly out of control. Life is always and forever unfathomable. I found myself grinning like the Cheshire Cat. The build went like clockwork. 50 people turned up and we had smoke rising from the chimney five hours after we started. A beer and a slow cycle home and I lay back onto my stretcher with satisfied exhaustion just as the phone rang. The police had arrived and lets just say, the one night house folk tradition didnt appeal to their own artistic or legal sensibilities.

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It took 6 of us another five hours to take it down again. We were helped by a drug addled Russian who said only niet, da and Tetris when he wanted to indicate that we re-tessellate the building blocks to fit more in the van per load. And then it was gone; a week of work with nothing to show for it. No trace of habitation except a little scorched earth and a few strewn screws. Maybe it was a fiction after all. It didnt matter either way. As with the best of quests, the destination is always secondary to the journey in the telling of the tale. For those in need of a reality check: news/dailynews/2008/06/ no_sleep_till_berlin.html

Pulp - the marmite of the literary world! You either love it so much that your literary taste buds will start salivating at the mention of it. Or it leaves you cold, makes you retch with distaste at the very thought, and so you avoid it at all costs. Never fear! Even if you are normally decamped in the latter viewpoint, our latest reviews section has enough on offer to tempt even you. Taking the lead as our recommended read is Clare Reddaways insightful and entertaining review of Kate Summerscales The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher or The Murder At Road Hill House. Ben Felsenburg takes a more personal look at the latest offering of one of Americas most prolific pulp fiction writers: Elmore Leonards Up in Honeys Room. Rebecca Wombwell offers us another slant on this issues theme with her review of Iain Banks satirical examination of the pulpier side of common culture in The Steep Approach to Garbadale. Hot on their heels Tom Rob Smiths thrilling fictionalisation of a real-life serial killer, in his debut Child 44. Finally, Helen Shay re-examines J G Ballards Science-fiction classic, The Drowned World, and discovers some unnerving modern resonances. Enjoy!

Writer, magazine editor, film maker and film lecturer, Dan McTiernan schizophrenically wanders through his well travelled working life safe in the knowledge that underneath the media faade, hes really an eco-builder and smallholder.

Janet Aspey is a recent MA Creative Writing graduate with a drama background. She is particularly interested in feminist history and literature, and is currently working on her second novel.

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The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher or The Murder At Road Hill House

Featured Review

Kate Summerscale Bloomsbury, 2008 14.99 ISBN 978 0 7475 8215 1 360pp

Despite its outward appearance of prosperity and respectability, it was a household rank with sex, intrigue, infidelity, jealousy and madness. As each secret layer was peeled away the public imagination became ever more inflamed, making this crime one of the cause celebres of the nineteenth century. The case was initially handled or mishandled by an inept local police force. It was not until some ten days later that a detective from Scotland Yard was summoned. The detective division of the Metropolitan police had only been in existence for eighteen years, and was regarded with both suspicion and awe. The detective they sent, Mr Whicher, was something of a hero in the publics eyes, a man who had caught a number of prominent murderers and thieves using intuition, an excellent memory and the beginnings of forensic science. However, Winchers findings at Road Hill House would horrify the public and prove catastrophic for his future. The joy of this book is that Kate Summerscale does not merely tell the story of a murder, tragic though it was. She places the crime in its social and cultural setting in an erudite and entertaining way. The author guides the reader through the period, illuminating

I love a bit of true crime myself, and when it is cloaked in a swirling Victorian cape I like it still more - I can conceal my prurience beneath the respectability of education. So I was well disposed to The Suspicions of Mr Whicher before I opened it. When I started to read, though, I was gripped. On the night of 29th June 1860 a three year old boy, Saville Kent, had his throat slashed and his body stuffed into a privy in the grounds of Road Hill House, Wiltshire. The nature of the crime meant that suspicion immediately fell on the occupants of the house the childs father, Samuel Kent, a respectable factory inspector; his second wife, Mary, who was pregnant at the time; their children; the children of his first marriage and the three live-in servants.


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attitudes to children, to crime, to prisons and to class as she attempts to untangle the mystery. For instance, Mr Whicher is introduced with a preamble outlining the history of the Metropolitan police and the public reaction to the introduction of a plain clothes police force they were regarded as really rather un-British, as they skulked around the capital spying on the public. One only has to read any discussion about CCTV to gauge reactions. Throughout the book, Summerscale manages skilfully to provide a flavour of the mood of the time.

For me, what is particularly thrilling about this case is that it all took place about five miles from where I live. So when the author writes about a prosperous Trowbridge, and the new houses magistrates built on the aspirant Hilperton Road, I know the rather shabby and run down town as it is today. I have even been tempted to hop into my car and to try to find the house which is the scene of the murder it is still there, even if the name has been changed. I have managed to restrain myself from this unsavoury crime tourism, so far. However, even if you do not live around the corner, this book is fascinating. It is true crime meets historical biography meets social history with a dash of literary analysis thrown in. It is thoroughly researched, beautifully described and written with an underlying compassion and humanity that is a delight. Altogether, a very satisfying read.

The author (and reader) delights in tangents

Summerscale writes particularly well about literature. The Road Hill House murder has a major impact upon contemporary novels, in particular Wilkie Collins The Moonstone, the founding fable of detective fiction, a story about a crime in a country house in which the sins and secrets of the household have a direct bearing on the outcome. Dickens too had strong opinions about the real case and plundered it to use in his books. The long influence of the key figures in the murder is traced down through 1860s crime novels, to Henry James, Sherlock Holmes and even Agatha Christie, the grand dame of the country house murder. The author (and reader) delights in tangents - for instance, on linguistics. Summerscale notes that a new vocabulary emerged to capture detective methods. Hunch was first used in 1849 to describe a push towards a solution, lead when used to mean a clue appeared in the 1850s, secretive first appeared in 1853. Such digressions make for a charming read.

Clare Reddaway writes scripts for theatre and radio, and stories for children. Her latest play BAD MOTHERS is touring East Anglia later this year. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.

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Up in Honeys Room Elmore Leonard Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007 16.99 ISBN -10: 0297848100 / 13: 9780297848103 304pp
escaped German prisoners of war and some kind of Nazi plot taking place in the incongruous setting of Detroit. Could we help him out? He wanted to know what we thought about the title he was considering: Krauts On The Loose. There was a long pause, and then we all unconvincingly assented great and terrific.

I met Elmore Leonard a couple of years back. Okay, thats not quite as grand as it sounds. It wasnt just me there was about fifty or so of us at BBCs Bush House for a recording of the World Services Book Club. Mr Leonard was the chosen guest for the 100th edition of the show. He did a reading from Rum Punch (the one that Quentin Tarantino adapted for Jackie Brown), after which James Naughtie peppered him with a check-list of workmanlike questions and then he took questions from the floor, including my boringly sensible enquiry about voice and point of view. At the end, when the recording was finished, we lined up to get our copies signed and Leonard took the opportunity to tell us about the thriller that he was working on. Set at the end of the Second World War, it would be about a couple of

Martin Amis once said that Leonard makes Chandler look clumsy, and yes, he does write so damn tight Hemingway is Henry James by comparison
Now, the other side of 80, it turns out Elmore Leonard is still far too cool a customer to clue us in to his deadpan humour even to the extent of a twinkle in his eye, and it was with a mixture of delight and relief that I turned the first few pages of Up In Honeys Room and guessed that, back in London, hed been ribbing us Brits mischievously and probably had this fine title all the time. The place and time are, yes, Detroit, Michigan in 1945, back when the Motor City was an affluent metropolis boasting swanky stores, at one of which works Honey Deal. A name to conjure with, she is a familiarly pleasing Leonard heroine, her flip, cool fatale exterior cloaking a


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pragmatic brain well-versed in using the face and body that God gave her to get what she wants, or to survive. Just before the war broke out in Europe she married German expat Walter, exactly why she hitched herself to this bore who prides himself on his resemblance to Heinrich Himmler she cant quite remember, but though theyre no longer together he comes back into her life thanks to a farcically incompetent fifth column conspiracy.

Up In Honeys Room is sublime stuff: all the perfection of Leonards technique transports you with utter conviction back to 1945
Theres a couple of new guys on the scene, of rather more interest to Honey, too. Jurgen is an Afrika Korps officer whose bust out of his POW camp in Oklahoma, and Carl is the legendary lawman in hot pursuit. With his quick humour, Hollywood looks and hankering ambition to live the life of a rodeo star, Jurgen is no clichd casting of a central Nazi, and Carl has an odd affection for his quarry. So, we get to wondering which, if either, of these two men Honeys going to bed, and the suspense ups a couple of notches with the arrival of Vera, a Nazi Mata Hari whos supposedly a Polish countess, and Bo, her cross-dressing amanuensis who may or may not also be her lover. Bodies begin to pile up and President Roosevelts life may be in danger. Now, this is a thriller, but forget about squeezing Elmore Leonard into that the narrow little box marked Genre Fiction. Martin Amis once said that Leonard makes Chandler look clumsy, and yes,

he does write so damn tight Hemingway is Henry James by comparison. The great thing is how the zingy music of his bare bones prose never draws attention to itself: everything serves the story, a story told entirely through the characters points of view in voices that are recognisably distinct without you ever feeling put out as we hop around from one to another every few pages. Up In Honeys Room is sublime stuff: all the perfection of Leonards technique transports you with utter conviction back to 1945, whacks you around the head with a steady drip of surprises, and by the end youre nodding in sheer drop-jawed admiration for the way every tiny sparrow-fall turns out to be a seed whose significance will become clear. If Leonard wrote any leaner thered be just bones.

Pen for hire Ben Felsenburg is currently covering prime-time TV for a national newspaper and scribbling contemporary dance reviews while busily not writing a novel on death, golf and post-colonial cuisine.

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The Steep Approach to Garbadale Iain Banks Abacus, 2007 7.99 ISBN 978-0-349-11928-1 390pp
plot. He relinquishes his adoration of Sophie (his childhood sweetheart) to accept his mature and real feelings for VG who sets Alban free, bringing freshness to the novel through her new perspectives and unconventional attitude.

Iain Banks has a rare, humble talent

Tactics and the generic principles behind well-known games enable the reader to empathise with the characters. This breaks down the complex family relationships to an almost childish simplification, aiding our understanding by presenting a stereotypical surface, which paradoxically makes a greater depth evident. The characters are often childlike, ageless in their playfulness and extreme stereotypes. A coming of age tale for Alban, the novel is narrated by and about this central character, creating an unbiased and refreshing roundness to the characters. This childishness is present in each character. For example Win, Albans grandmother, is a formidable woman, yet she approaches her family much more seriously than her business. Fielding, in contrast is overwhelmingly conscious of brand and commerce, treating family as a game and commodities as reality.

Unpicking the secretive history of a highly powered, wealthy games manufacturing company, this novel revolves around a crescendo for the family business the opportunity to sell out to an American corporation. The Steep Approach to Garbadale tells of the game play in a struggle for power within the family; their wrangling of the business, their closely held family secrets, parental control and, ultimately, in the recognition of responsibility. The concurrence between the family relationship and the business permeates the novel, exploring the changes in the marketplace and echoing the move from family establishment to the new Corporation involvement. In reflection of this overriding theme, Albans changing affections provide reinforcement for the


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As Alban discovers, and abandons, his naivety the novel reaches its climax and the family begins to reveal its secrets. In the truth about his mother and his shattered affair with Sophie, Alban uncovers a deeply interwoven and exceedingly dark family dynamic, bringing a greater appreciation and understanding of individuals as separate from the family unit. The chance element of gaming is represented within the plot as love, beyond tactics and scheming, the complex romantic relationships within this family are unquantifiable and somewhat irrational. An antidote to the capitalist undertones, Banks reminds us that money cant buy you happiness. As the entanglement of emotions within The Steep Approach to Garbadale unfolds, Alban is able to, albeit painfully, evolve and his coming of age is complete. He leaves his childhood just as the family must leave their business. Iain Banks has a rare, humble talent. His writing is often uncomfortable (evident from his first novel, The Wasp Factory) yet evocatively effective; his use of Scottish colloquialisms and wry, dark humour triumphs time after time. Banks doesnt write to please in an obviously gratifying way instead he creates subtle, sumptuous and accomplished literature. Building upon this tradition, The Steep Approach to Garbadale blends ruthlessly humane storytelling with sometimes nauseating commercial references, where the exaggerated level of superficial detail slows and desensitises the narrative. The pace is controlled by the contrast between this dense yet empty narrative, and through Banks dialogue - where humour and colloquialisms increase the pace. These

aspects of the narrative make the characters and themes more identifiable; the largely alien theme of the established, super-rich family is further grounded by the parallel, anecdotal subplots throughout. Early on in the novel this is particularly disquieting. The pulp references to commercial awareness and capitalism are overbearing and insincere; yet as the plot fills out this trait becomes evidence of Banks talent - emphasising his gentle negotiation of satire and social commentary. The tone is lighter than Banks usual style, it is less involved and so emphasises attitudes to the business (in particular to Albans desertion of the family firm). Its attempted sophistication appears brash in contrast to the more developed complex social themes. The hedonistic lifestyle of these highly achieving characters fragments the narrative, creating mystery with its frustrating gaps and sporadic detail. Although not Banks most immediately likeable novel, The Steep Approach to Garbadale is exceptionally well written; conscious of the ironies of contemporary culture with a control and density which make it a rich, rewarding read.

Rebecca Wombell is a country girl at heart, from the wilds of Lincolnshire. She devours writing with adecadently poeticstyle and dreams of a llama sanctuary and studio on the coast.

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Interview by Alexander Laurence

Child 44 Tom Rob Smith Simon & Schuster, 2008 12.99 ISBN 978-1-84737-126-3 470pp
whilst hunting a cat for food. The only witness to this crime is his terrified younger brother, Andrei. Twenty years later, in a chilling echo, two brothers fall out during a snowball fight. The younger of the two, Arkady, runs away. A day later hes found dead at the side of railway tracks. His family swear that he has been murdered, but the MGB insist it was a tragic accident.

It is a gripping and intriguing thriller of a crime novel

I am not, as a rule, the most avid reader of crime fiction or thrillers, and so I opened this particular novel with some trepidation. So it came as a great surprise that I enjoyed reading Tom Rob Smiths debut. It was a rare thing, a book that made me eager to turn the pages and read on, no matter how late the hour had become or how tired my eyes. It is a gripping and intriguing thriller of a crime novel. The immediate, cinematic quality of the writing sucks you into the story from the starting line and keeps you frantically running with it, around all the bends and twists, until the finish line has been well and truly crossed. Set in Stalinist Russia, Child 44 opens with the snatching of a young boy, Pavel, in the woods close to his village Leo Stepanovich Demidov, a committed and idealistic MGB officer, is sent to visit the family and make them tow the party line. But Arkadys father is not an ordinary man, he too is an MGB officer, one who works under Leo and one not likely to risk everything unless he was convinced it was the truth. The family insist Arkady was found naked, his body hacked open, dirt stuffed inside his mouth, and that a man with a bag was seen leaving that area around the same time. However, the official MGB report insists it was an accident, that Arkady had been found clothed and dragged by a train. As Leo is plunged deeper into the murky depths of the MGB, his unstinting confidence steadily dissolves. Sensing his doubts the Ministry disgraces Leo,


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exiling him deep in the Ural Mountains with his wife. Here he discovers another child has been murdered, just in the way Arkadys family had described, and soon realises it is up to him to track the murderer down.

My one minor criticism of this riveting debut would be in its dialogue. It is often perfunctory, giving little more than plot expansion
What follows is a thrilling chase: as Leo hunts the true identity of the killer, so the MGB hunts him - both with the intention to kill. My one minor criticism of this riveting debut would be in its dialogue. It is often perfunctory, giving little more than plot expansion. This is not a failing of the novel. The dictates of the story and the situations of the characters give little scope for much else, but there are moments when the dialogue could have been the means of giving more. There were times Id have liked to step closer to the characters and feel the desperation of their situation more vividly. Child 44s fast-paced, dramatic structure lends itself to adaptation and so it comes as no surprise to hear that it has already been commissioned. Before it does hit our screens, give this novel a read. You wont be disappointed. Janet Aspey is a recent MA Creative Writing graduate with a drama background. She is particularly interested in feminist history and literature, and is currently working on her second novel.


Incorporating Writing is now five! Since 2004 its readership has tripled to over 100,000+ readers a year. With over 50 free pages exclusive interviews, articles, critical opinion, editorials and reviews. It continues to bring the best to its readers, pulling no punches and providing honest opinions. Critically acclaimed, past editors have gone to work for some of the best publsihers and media providers in the UK . The magazine iss now going through a consultation period before applying for Arts Council funding. If you have an opinion on our future plans or content over the last five years, please leave your comments at: Incorporating Writing are also looking for a new Articles Editor based in the NW of England, job description at: And someone to take over as Advertising Manager, working on commission, email: for any further info on jobs and consultation.

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The Drowned World JG Ballard Harper Perennial, 2006 7.99 ISBN 978-0-00-722183-7 175pp
He takes us into a waterlogged environment of sunken cities, with memories of New Orleans and recent floods tugging at our sleeve as we turn the pages. London is now the site of a primeval swamp, punctuated with lagoons and besieged by reptilian predators. However, the real nightmare comes with the haunting voices that enter the inhabitants sleep, dredging up memories that form a kind of evolutionary collective consciousness, which is all now to be learnt again to aid survival in this new wasteland.

The publication of this new edition of JG Ballards 1962 sci-fi classic could not have been more timely. Ballard offers a nightmare vision of a world devastated by global warming. He is at his best, drawing on both past and future for inspiration in his ideas. Yet he also explores universal truths about human nature, in a way that echoes Conrads Heart of Darkness. Whilst he may not actually forecast Greenland as the next superpower, as currently touted in the media, Ballard conjures up a world that could so easily be our own fate as temperatures rise. Even the first sentence resonates with premonition, Soon it would be too hot.

The reader is drawn into the psychological journey of the protagonist, biologist Doctor Kerans, from his start as the lone inhabitant of a penthouse at the Ritz, through to his dangerous sojourn into the surreal heart of darkness of this apocalyptic world
Ballards stylistic strength lies in his evoking of the geographical terrain. He revels in detailed description of an alien Triassic landscape. (These visual aspects of the novel give it potential to be made into an arresting film. Ballards Crash had similar cinematic qualities, brought to the screen so successfully by


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David Cronenberg.) However, the novels weakness lies in the depth of characterisation. That said, the reader is drawn into the psychological journey of the protagonist, biologist Doctor Kerans, from his start as the lone inhabitant of a penthouse at the Ritz, through to his dangerous sojourn into the surreal heart of darkness of this apocalyptic world. Nevertheless, the other characters remain distant and lacking in full dimension. Many of them are like characters from a morality play, having names like Hardman or Strangman.

it is perhaps fitting that his first major novel should be republished at this time. The quality of his work has strengthened science fiction and fantasy genres throughout the last half-century. This new edition of The Drowned World may help lead a fresh generation of readers to discover his books and the richness of his imagination.

This new edition of The Drowned World may help lead a fresh generation of readers to discover his books and the richness of his imagination
It is almost as though Kerans makes his own pilgrims progress amongst them, though finding little spiritual edification. The heroine is the beautiful and enigmatic Beatrice Dahl, who is Kerans somewhat arms length lover and never becomes more than a vision of neo-hope - an unobtainable Beatrice to whom Kerans plays Dante in his own inferno. The image of the couple as a second Adam and Eve remains unfulfilled, and Beatrice seems a sketchily drawn personality, more acted upon than active. However, the character which pervades the novel and stays with the reader is that of the world Ballard creates. Its mixture of colour, horror and constant revelation cannot fail to intrigue and fascinate. Apart from the prophetic qualities of this particular book, Ballards autobiography Miracles of Life is also out this year, so

Helen Shay writes in various forms and performs poetry, with drama staged at the Fringe/small theatres. She recently completed a fantasy novel for a creative writing MA, gaining a distinction.

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incorporating writing

From Pulp to Aylett

Interview by Andrew Oldham

This issue of Incorporating Writing covers the theme of Pulp, and certainly in the design and content of your new book, Lint, there is a feel that Pulp Fiction of the 20th Century has had an imposing effect on your work. But what does Pulp mean to you as a reader and a writer? The colourful and kitsch presentation is definitely there. But in terms of pulp writing I tend to think of it as writing quite quickly and disposably, neither of which are me. And a concentration on narrative rather than ideas, maybe. Again, not like my writing - therell be a lot of story in my books but its mainly something for the ideas and gags to live in. LINT was a great housing for thousands of ideas because it contains hundreds of books in summary plus what was said about them, and the stupid things the author got up to. So there are several juicy idea-shapes

on every page. Its interesting to start with a familiar-looking genre and take it somewhere else immediately. A lot of people have done their own take on the hardboiled detective genre, for instance, and used it for their own various purposes. Even Bukowski did it, with PULP. SF pulp stories were a bit more ideaoriented than the crime stuff but would tend to have only one idea per story, and they were still written at quite a rush and, as I said in LINT, many of them really were written to fit an alreadypainted cover image. So it would be, Weve got a cover picture of a green kangaroo emerging from a storm drain holding some sort of thermos - write a story for it. Then - as writing teacher Natalie Goldberg would say - go! But thats not how I do it. Which writers did you admire when you

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first set out to write your first novel? JP Donleavy, Voltaire, Kerouac, Greg Egan, Dostoevsky, Brautigan, Raymond Chandler, Robert Crais, Billy Childish, Ray Bradbury, Walt Whitman, Kurt Vonnegut, Rudy Rucker, John Wyndham, Bruno Schultz.

Theres nothing wrong with writing just for expression or therapy rather than real creativity, but itll almost certainly have been said before by someone, so its like inadvertent duplication. And that stuff does get published by the bucket load, unfortunately
What piece of advice would you give someone who wanted to write a novel? Id suggest that they write something original, but that would be a cruel thing to tell them if theyre hoping to get published. Publishers tend to publish the sort of thing thats been published before, unless someone gets in by fluke or masquerade, as Ive done. Real creativity is originality. By definition creativity is the making of something which didnt exist before you produced it. Theres nothing wrong with writing just for expression or therapy rather than real creativity, but itll almost certainly have been said before by someone, so its like inadvertent duplication. And that stuff does get published by the bucket load, unfortunately. Originality, though, is gold dust. Im sure I cant be the only person in the world whos into it. Im still clinging to the hope that there are enough people into genuine originality to make a market for it.

LINT is your present novel, concerning Jeff Lint, author of some of the strangest and most inventive satirical SF of the twentieth century. Where did this character come from and what does SF mean to Steve Aylett and why did you choose to create a character akin to Phillip K. Dick? Jeff Lint more or less arrived fullyformed, as this obliviously creative character. Hes the sort of vividly rampaging author I wished existed. I could put hundreds of book and story ideas into the book. In the other Lint book I did, And Your Point Is? I finally wrote a story that had been in a holding pattern for a long time, called The Retrial. It was done as a critical review of Jeff Lints story The Retrial, which we get to see through my essay. The same thing with Rise of the Swans. Theyre beautiful Voltairian satire, really juicy with controlled, justified resentment. Books and stories want to be a certain way, and its good to be patient until you see what that is, so that you can make them that way. Sometimes its even a case of waiting until youre a better writer. Speaking of which, Alan Moore wrote a blurby thing for the back of LINT and mentioned a writer called Harry Stephen Keeler, who I hadnt heard of. I asked him who this was and he told me about Keeler. It turns out he was a prolific pulp author in the 20s-50s, and very like Jeff Lint, though a worse writer I had portrayed Lint to be. Keeler actually had brilliant ideas for stories, but his execution was usually terrible. He didnt know what to leave out, so he just included everything. He was obsessed with skulls, clowns and midgets. One of his books was called The Skull of the Waltzing Clown. Another was The Riddle of the Travelling Skull. Loads of these things got published somehow, and he kept writing them even when the


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publishers stopped publishing him. I cant read Keelers stuff, but I like the idea that he existed, as a figure. The New York Times said about him: We are drawn to the inescapable conclusion that Mr. Keeler writes his peculiar novels merely to satisfy his own undisciplined urge for creative joy. Thats beautiful isnt it? That oblivious, unstoppable quality. The worlds you create in your books are often alternative and Im thinking of David Baretts early quote on your work in the New Statesman, that, Steve Ayletts distorting lenses are crueller than most. How much do you feel this is true of you now and why do you think

your books often look at the surreal, cruel side of life? I dont think I distort at all. But I dont see the point of writing something that just blends in with life either, because thats like doing nothing at all. Ill tend to enhance and heighten things, exaggerate and take things to their natural conclusion. Its easy to see the hole in an argument and then use that hole to worry it in half - but satire will tend to use a mechanism of sort of disingenuously taking the argument seriously and running it to its conclusion, leading to surreal absurdities. Its extreme stresstesting of the position. Also when

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presented with a justification you can reverse the equation and see if you wind up at the first cause that people claim. Most often youll either arrive at a different origin of motivation or go down a false trail that doesnt honestly reconnect. I write a lot about power manipulation, right up toRebel at the End of Time which I finished recently. If youre good at pattern recognition as regards power and powerlessness, its like watching people going around with unencrypted motivations. Especially people who are powerless, and the amazing contortions they go through to avoid admitting theyve been screwed over. The tendency to deny the reality of victimhood is a widespread coping mechanism, and it prevents real justice. I said somewhere that You should be careful when asking people to repay their debt to society: you invite revenge.

schematic for the book. I then create the book that has that shape when extruded up into 3D or 4D. It may take time for the detail to gather that will make that shape. I think this is the way most writers get their ideas, but because Im a bit synaesthetic Im probably a bit more conscious of the strange mechanism of it. Where do you see yourself in the tradition of English Literature or do you feel yourself to be something new? A new kind of writer and if so, how and why? The main tradition would be as a real old-time satirist, sneaking little mindbombs into people the way Voltaire did. That alone would make something like Casey Maddoxs brilliant The Day Philosophy Dies. But I also have a tendency toward a very concentrated colourfulness, a specific-rich thing, which comes from not wanting to waste peoples time for even a moment and also to provide an antidote to the general vacuum of the times. Culture usually levels out at fairly dull and mediocre but especially so at times like this 1980s Part 2 period that were living in at the moment, and its good to make something thats its opposite. A sort of gleeful density like a drug. Also as you go through the book the pages previously read dont rot down and so the effect is cumulative. Because my writing is a lot more than just narrative and description its more or less the opposite of pulp, in fact. But its fun to use pulp fixtures and fittings. I dont know what category this kind of writing will be called when people work it out but so far its been called Slipstream, Offbeat, Chemical Gen, Bizarro, and so on. You seem to be a prolific writer but what drives you to write?

Culture usually levels out at fairly dull and mediocre but especially so at times like this 1980s Part 2 period that were living in at the moment, and its good to make something thats its opposite. A sort of gleeful density like a drug
What draws you to writing this kind of material? Im writing the sort of books I want to read but couldnt find anywhere. How do your ideas start? They show up whole & entire, the whole book, as a sort of colourful mind sculpture with a particular feeling and flavour, which can be used as a


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See above, and writing the kind of books Id like to find in bookshops etc. But I dont think Im prolific. Im a very slow writer. Where will Steve Aylett be in another ten years? I will have finished the four books Ive decided to focus on next - the first couple wont be so difficult, but then theres two difficult ones that really challenge what I can do, what Im able to do - thats why Im allowing them time to pull together. Im not a good enough writer to do them yet. So anyway, thatll be 20 or so books out there, finally, and Ill either withdraw and basically disappear at that point or, depending on the way the world goes, become more visible but in a different capacity. And hopefully I would have got the hell out of England, obviously. This is all assuming Im still alive and havent done myself in or died in a dismal fireball with the rest of the human race. What does Steve Aylett the writer mean to you, Steve Aylett, the average man in the street? Steve Aylett the man in the street is just this thing that walks around like a wishbone in a coat, looking gormless. You wouldnt think it was a genius, and youd be right. In the tradition of Pulp lazy assed journalism that frequented many of the magazines in the 80s and 90s. If Incorporating Writing would only allow you to have five things on a desert island, what would they be? Id probably be hysterical with happiness at the absence of people. Then lonely at the absence of female people. Id only need a few basics though, plus maybe some music. I probably wouldnt last long but Id die fairly happy.

Now, what would they be if you were in a housing estate in 2011, Boris Johnson has just banned all participants of the Olympics and London had been overrun by cats with bad attitude? In the long run I try not to be swerved too much by arbitrary circumstance - meaning circumstance decided by other people - so Id be doing what Id already planned to do at that point - writing, resenting, weeping, eating, sleeping. So, again, Id need just a few basics.

Steve Aylett the man in the street is just this thing that walks around like a wishbone in a coat, looking gormless. You wouldnt think it was a genius, and youd be right
Whats your favourite pulp? I dont know whether he qualifies as pulp except in regard to his publishing history, but the SF/fantasy writer Jack Vance is an amazing thing. Theres a very particular flavour to his books, and people who are into him will know what I mean. Theres a humour and intelligence there, a sort of sensible individuality, and amazing worlds he describes. His aliens are, for the most part, genuinely alien and unknowable. Most of his books - including some of the best ones - are out of print, and there are seemingly hundreds of the damn things. There is no one else in UK Literature who blends the cyber-surreal with a distinctly British humour. What the hell did this to you? It was probably growing up in that

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vacuum I mentioned, and wanting to generate an antidote to it for myself to feed on, because that vacuum is just nightmarish. So, richness in the face of vacuity, meaning in the face of incoherence, honesty in the face of wallto-wall lies and evasion, real humour in the face of crap jokes. The result, when it works, is this rich surreal satire. And its nice to do something really stupid occasionally, too, so long as its still colourful and interesting. I once wrote a book that didnt mean anything, The Inflatable Volunteer, which I think is hilarious. And I recently made a comic called Get That Thing Away From Me, about a pig who feels generally overwhelmed. Also its great to do stuff in the wrong order, disengaged from time and fashion. Why wait until a world event happens before writing

about it? These things are pretty obvious several years ahead, so long as you dont have any motivation not to see them, such as optimism.

Andrew Oldham is the Managing Editor/Columns for Incorporating Writing. He is an award winning writer and academic.


incorporating writing

Science Fiction: The Literature of Ideas

Article by Marg Gilks, Paula Fleming, and Moira Allen

What if? How would the world be different with the introduction or expansion of a particular technology? What if humanity encounters aliens?
Science fiction has come a long way since its early days, when Isaac Asimov defined it as that branch of literature which is concerned with the impact of scientific advance upon human beings (Modern Science Fiction, 1953). By the 70s, the genre of science-based ideas had grown; it wasnt just concerned with science, but with consequences. It asked what if? What if a world existed in which this or that were true? Pamela Sargent dubbed it the literature of ideas. Fortunately, you dont have to be a techie, or have a degree in quantum mechanics, to write for this genre. Good science fiction, like all other forms of fiction, is about people. It examines the human condition, perhaps in a whole new landscape, perhaps from an alien perspective. But it has to be about people, or readers will have no frame of reference, nothing to relate to. Even if there isnt a human anywhere in your story, youre human, and your readers are human. To create that all-important empathy between reader and character, youll be describing your aliens (or robots, or artificial intelligences) through human perceptions. For the core of your idea, therefore, you draw on the world around you. Then you ask: What if? How would the world be different with the introduction or expansion of a particular technology? What if humanity encounters aliens? What if a particular event in history had turned out differently? What if a current social issue takes a particular direction? In science fiction, even the most controversial, contemporary topics can be examined under the guise of an alien culture or a distant future. While science fiction often addresses contemporary issues, that doesnt mean

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you should scour todays headlines for ideas. Current events become old news very quickly. Instead, let ideas come to you by keeping your mind in what if mode as you experience the world around you. Be well-read but also widely read, in fiction and nonfiction, in news articles and magazine features covering a broad spectrum of topics (not just those relating to science and technology). Use television news programs and documentaries as a springboard for what if. While much science fiction focuses on the future, history is also a great source of inspiration. Many science fiction writers are also history buffs; its no coincidence that L. Sprague de Camp wrote the nonfiction Great Cities of the Ancient World and the time-travel novel Lest Darkness Fall. Folklore and mythology also hold a trove of ideas for science fiction stories. Hard science fiction writer Larry Niven uses the unicorn myth in The Flight of the Horse, while Alan Dean Foster utilizes Navajo sandpaintings in his novel Cyber Way. Ideas can germinate from the smallest seeds. Become a people-watcher. Pay attention when someone asks, I wonder what theyd do if...? Tuck weird facts into the back of your mind. Study pictures some of Earths creatures are weirder than anything science fiction writers have dreamed up. Collect those seeds, and let them grow in the back of your mind. You may be surprised by what finally blooms. Youve got an idea? Good! Now its time to do your research. Researching SF: Blending Fact and Fancy One of the most common questions would-be science fiction writers ask is Do I have to know a lot about science? The answer is not necessarily. If youre writing a hard science fiction novel about black holes, youll need more than

a high-school grasp of math and physics to pull it off. Today, however, only a small percentage of science fiction is hard and the other subgenres (see The Subenres of Science Fiction, by Marg Gilks and Moira Allen) offer infinite possibilities even for the least scientifically inclined writer. Often, the best place to begin your research is within your own areas of expertise. If youre a history buff, consider spinning a tale around one of your favorite historical events. If youre a folklore enthusiast, try incorporating your knowledge of a particular cultures beliefs into your story. Consider telling your tale from the perspective of someone who shares your background if youre a teacher, for example, tell your story of planetary colonization from a teachers perspective, rather than spending endless hours trying to find out what it would be like to be a starship pilot. Other types of research can be as simple as looking up the answers to one or two basic questions and for this, the Internet is the perfect resource. Need to know the temperature on the dark side of the moon? Just type lunar temperatures into a search engine like Google ( and youll soon learn that the moons temperature ranges from -250 F in shadow to 250 F in sunlight. Want to know the atmospheric pressure on Jupiter? Another search will reveal that it is about six times the atmospheric pressure on Earth at sea level. Such searches will also turn up scores of sites that can help you find additional detail. If youre looking for more in-depth information, youll find that as well. A search on quantum mechanics, for example, quickly turns up Quantum Mechanics Made Simple just what you need to get started. A search on time travel brings up sites from Nova


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and PBS, as well as discussions of Dr. Who, a Time Travel Institute, and the catalog of an individual who purports to sell time machines (which might be worthy of a story of its own). Another way to find information is to join an e-mail discussion group for writers, or one relating to your topic area. Bob Nailor, a member of the Internet Fantasy Writers Association, notes: Where else could I find out all the possible ways a knife or gunshot wound bleeds? The speed of light and its possible ramifications? The bites of different creatures? How to handle a sword, gun, rifle, knife, or club? Addresses for sites on any subject, no matter how obscure? Where to submit manuscripts, and how? Plus a (cyber) pat on the back for an accomplishment? Similarly, members of the rec.arts.sf.composition newsgroup have discussed such topics as the composition of Meccas Kaaba stone and whether you can hear a bone break. Discussion lists give you access to writers with a vast range of non-writing expertise. The IFWA group includes police officers, paramedics, weaponsexperts, sword-masters, physicists, and more. A question put to such a list will not only generate a wealth of personal responses, but a list of URLs where you can find more information. But dont expect members to do your homework for you; while most are happy to answer questions and point you toward resources, youll quickly get the cold shoulder if you simply pump the group for information you could easily find out on your own. To Market, To Market Once youve selected an idea and conducted your research, the next question is: Where should you submit the story? In our decade, changes in the audience for SF and fantasy are stimulating a preference for certain

themes, characters, settings, etc. When choosing markets for your work, here are some factors to think about. Format: A few years ago, online publishing was an experiment. Today, youll find just as many professional-rate markets in electronic format as in print. About 40% of semi-pro magazines are in electronic format. For writers, epublishing means more markets. Susan Marie Groppi, fiction editor for Strange Horizons ezine, points out that, Publishing on the web keeps our overhead costs extremely low, allowing us to provide content to readers free of charge. Also, ezines can use color artwork and music at no additional production cost. One limitation of offering content on a screen, however, is that, peoples patience for reading long works is fairly low, so were limited to shorter stories. Groppi adds that Were interested in things like hypertext fiction, but so far havent seen any of a high enough quality. Diversity: Responding to cultural change and initiatives within the field, such as the Lambda Awards, science fiction has gone a long way toward throwing off the straight, white male label. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, editors of the forthcoming anthology Low Port, say, Writers are now more willing to deal with gay characters, or characters of ethnicity, as characters rather than using them for shock value, or as placeholders. A glance through market guidelines finds many requests such as this one from Realms of Fantasy: New settings, exotic mythologies. John Lisha Aquino Rooney ONeill, editor of Black Gate magazine, complains, Despite our stated desire for exotic

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settings, I receive almost no fiction in foreign lands, and much of what we do get, as far as I can make out, takes place on the set of an old Xena episode. Genre Expansion: Speculative fiction is often described as the literature of ideas, yet characterization, prose style, and plot play a role in storytelling too. Groppi sees an undercurrent of discussion in the community on the question [of] quality of ideas vs. quality of writing. Some writers complain that the genre is becoming indistinguishable from mainstream, emphasizing beautiful prose over startling ideas. Strange Horizons embraces slipstream work that doesnt fit neatly under a genre label, and Groppi doesnt apologize for stretching the genres bounds. On the other hand, John ONeill started Black Gate magazine as a retro concept to hearken back to the days of the grand adventure tale. Black Gate features the unapologetic, adventureoriented serial fiction that hooked an entire generation in the 1930s and 1940s. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller report a growing penetration of science fiction themes among romance readers. Lee and Miller see this as a great time to push the envelope, writing a literature of emotions as well as ideas. So should you write pulsating passion, pell-mell plot, or pretty prose? Answer: write whats in your heart. The genre is expanding, and theres a definition for everyone. The Timeline of Science Fiction Ideas by Marg Gilks Space Travel is synonymous with SF Space ships and space travel go back even further than the 1950s, when most of us think stories containing those

elements first appeared. 2nd century BC: Lucian of Samasota describes voyages to the sun & moon while spoofing Greek romances. 1657 / 62: Cyrano de Bergerac describes the first space rocket in his Voyage dans la lune and Lhistoire des etats et empires du soleil 1835: Edgar Allen Poe sends a man to the moon in a hot air balloon in his hoax, The Unparalled Adventures of One Hans Pfall. 1865: Jules Verne sends them by cannon in From the Earth to the Moon 1900: H.G. Wells characters travel in a steel & glass sphere powered by Cavorite in The First Men in the Moon. 1926: Hugo Gernsback publishes scientification stories in Amazing Stories and launches the era of pulp fiction rocket ships. 1966: the TV show Star Trek offers warp drive to explain faster-than-light travel (FTL) 1969: Sf becomes reality-Neil Armstrong walks on the moon 1977: The movie Star Wars calls its faster-than-light travel jumping to hyperspace; meanwhile, the movie Capricorn One (1977) postulates that contemporary space exploration is a hoax 1995: Real space exploration has been around long enough to get historical in the movie Apollo 13 2012: The 1st manned flight to Mars is scheduled to launch. Mars - The Space Travelers Plant-ofchoice Mars, for years the only planet in the solar system that could be viewed clearly from earth, has always held a special fascination for writers. 1758: Emanuel Swedenborg, heavily influenced by reports of the New World here on earth, offers a fanciful description of Mars and its inhabitants


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(along with Venus and Jupiter) in De telluribus (Concerning Other Worlds). 1895: Scientist Giovanni Schiaparelli reports seeing canali-channels, or grooves-while studying Mars through his telescope. He publishes his theories about life on the planet in Mars. 1897: H.G. Wells writes science fiction classic War of the Worlds, describing the invasion of earth by Martians. 1906/08: Amateur astronomer Percival Lowell seizes on Schiaparellis reports and theorizes about life on Mars in Mars and its Canals and Mars As the Abode of Life. Pulp fiction magazines and newspapers elaborate his ideas into wondrous stories. 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs writes a series of science fiction novels set on Mars, beginning with A Princess of Mars. 1938: C. S. Lewis writes the first in his trilogy of Mars novels, Out of the Silent Planet; Orson Welles radio broadcast of H.G. Wells War of the Worlds sends American listeners into a panic 1950: Ray Bradbury writes The Martian Chronicles, perhaps the best-known of an explosion of stories about Mars. 1960 to present: space probes and orbiters are regularly sent to Mars, no doubt by those who cut their teeth on sf novels as kids. 1992: Kim Stanley Robinson writes a trilogy of Mars novels beginning with Red Mars 1996: NASA announces the discovery of fossil life on Mars 1998: Perhaps in a case of coming fullcircle, Robert Charles Wilson puts the canals back on Mars in his novel, Darwinia. 1996 to present: Hollywood gets involved, with movies Mars Attacks! (1996) and Mission to Mars (2000). And Whats SF without a robot/ android/cyborg? Our desire to create life by unconventional means goes back a long way.

Greek mythology: Cyprian king Pygmalion falls in love with the statue of an ideal woman, asks Aphrodite to bring the statue to life, and marries the woman. 1883: Carlo Collodi writes The Adventures of Pinocchio, about a wooden boy who comes to life. 1976: Isaac Asimov writes The Bicentennial Man, about a robot that so wants to be human, it does what sets humans apart from robots-it dies. 1984: In the movie The Terminator, robots disguise themselves as human beings to hunt their prey-humans. 1987: A mortally wounded policeman cheats death by becoming a cyborg-half man, half robot- in the movie Robocop. 1989: Star Trek: The Next Generation borrows on Asimovs theme with the episode Measure of a Man, in which the android Data is put on trial to determine if hes property, or a free agent. 1999: In another case of coming fullcircle, Asimovs The Bicentennial Man is made into a movie. Marg Gilks is a writer and professional editor specializing in fiction. Visit to learn more. Paula L. Flemings SF and fantasy have appeared in a variety of publications, including; Tales of the Unanticipated. Paula handles WritingWorld.coms Science Fiction Column, Imaginationss Edge. Moira Allen, editor of, has published more than 350 articles and columns and seven books. Allen has served as columnist and contributing editor for The Writer and has written for Writers Digest, Byline, and various other writing publications.

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Perfect Eye: Lisha Aquino Rooney Forgotten Men Leroy Skalstad


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incorporating writing


incorporating writing Leroy Skalstad is a Vietnam Vet, whilst in the army in 1967 he bought a 35mm camera but it wasnt until 1993 when he won a Kodak photo contest in Parade magazine for his composition of homeless couple did Leroy knew that he was on to a good thing.


37 The Homeless Photographer

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Article by Bryan Tighe

Leroy Skalstads portraits of the homeless are not typical snapshots of people on the streets. They capture the scenes that most people walk by everyday and bring out the feelings of his subjects. It is because of Leroys experience of living on the streets that he is able to capture these emotions. I had the opportunity to speak with Leroy about his life, his photography, and his motivations. He has dedicated a great deal of time and energy toward helping and photographing the homeless. Leroy brings life and personality to each portrait subject and their plight. As a child, Leroys mother was a serious amateur photographer who was always taking pictures, and quite good ones according to Leroy. He learned about photography from her at their rural home in Wisconsin. She encouraged and taught him, but insisted that his first camera be one that he earned himself. So, at age 9 he tried to sell greeting cards to make enough money. However, in the end, because of his shyness, his mother did most of the work to sell the

cards. Finally, he purchased an Amsco camera with the money. In the summer of 1967 Leroy was drafted into the US Army and sent to Vietnam. He had more money than he needed and ended up spending a good bit of it on 35mm cameras. After his tour, however, he ran into some trouble, and spent time in prison. Then, in 1989, he headed to Milwaukee to look for a better life. He had difficulty holding down a steady job due to his PostTraumatic Stress Disorder and eventually became homeless. He spent several months living on the streets before he could put his life in order, ultimately drawing benefits from the VA. It is this set of events and unique experiences as a homeless man that gave Leroy his unique insight into the lives of the homeless. His photography not only shows us his skill as a photographer, but also portrays the unique bond that Leroy develops with his subjects. There is one neighbourhood in downtown Milwaukee that is frequented by homeless

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individuals. It is here that Leroy makes friends with many of those portrayed in his photographs. He often invites them into a nearby coffee shop for a meal and conversation. They open up to Leroy and to tell their story. The discussion often turns to life and the future, and then photography. Leroy said that most of the individuals are more than willing to have their photo taken. These photo sessions became an extension of their conversation until Leroy finally asks his subjects to simply unload their feelings down into his lens. Leroy explained to me, When two homeless people pass each other on the street, they may share a look, and in that moment, without speaking, they have knowledge of each others lives. In 1992, Leroy took a photograph of a young homeless couple. The next year it won a Kodak photo contest in Parade magazine, and Leroy knew that he was on to a good thing. He mentioned that some people felt that he may be taking advantage of his subjects, but he feels he is doing them justice. He always asks for permission to take a photo, and believes that it would be wrong to take a candid photo of someone in such a particular situation. At one point he took a photo of a man asleep with a bible, but later felt guilty about it. He eventually found the man at a meal site that he often volunteers with and asked the man for his permission to keep the photo. The man agreed, but if he didnt, I would have just tossed it, said Leroy. As a regular volunteer at several homeless meal sites and shelters, Leroy often sees some of the regulars and has become friends with them. Mike is one of the homeless men that he has been able to photograph on a regular basis. In the 1990s, Mike was a successful construction contractor in Canada with a six-figure salary. His life took a downward turn and he turned to alcohol,

and eventually became homeless. Mike was also a very talented charcoal artist, and during their photo sessions Leroy said, Mike was working me for a good photo, instead of the other way around. Mikes life has improved lately. He is in an alcohol rehabilitation program, and has recently been placed into an apartment as part of a HUD housing program. In 2007, one of Leroys photos of Mike won the Peoples Choice award in the Smithsonian Magazines annual photo contest. I finally asked Leroy what an individual person could do to help. He said that finding a shelter or meal site in your local area is an easy way to get involved. As a volunteer himself, Leroy s wanted to emphasise that it is important to not get burned out. Many young volunteers commit to spending two or three times per week with various organisations. In reality, a few times per month is more practical and sustainable. There is a need for long term volunteers, but often volunteers lose interest after a few months. In Milwaukee, Leroy spends a good deal of his time at Repairers of the Breach and St. Benedicts, two organisations that provide shelter, meals, and other benefits to the homeless. It is these two organisations that helped Leroy during his difficult times on the streets. For more information on homeless shelters in your area, Leroy recommends the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington, D.C. Editor Note: For UK residents, visit Bryan Tighe is a software developer and aspiring photojournalist with a love for travel and photography. He and his wife Laurie founded Collective Lens to promote awareness of important issues.

Banipal presents FOUR SYRIAN POETS

Hala Mohammad, Monzer Masri, Rasha Omran andLukman Derky

The visit of the poets to the UK is being made possible by the support of The Arab British Centre, Banipal, the British Council, Ledbury Poetry Festival and Literature Across Frontiers

Saturday 5 July 2008 Poetry and Censorship: Four Syrian Poets Saturday 5 July 2008 5.30pm - 6.30pm Market Theatre, Ledbury Four Syrian poets, Hala Mohammad, Monzer Masri, Rasha Omran andLukman Derky travel to Ledbury for this exclusive event, and through performance and discussion reveal the latest trends in Arab poetry, arts and writing. Sunday 6 July 2008 Syrian Poetry and Music 8.00pm-10.00pm The Barn at Hellens, Much Marcle An evening of poetry and music with Hala Mohammad, Monzer Masri, Rasha Omran and Lukman Derky and renowned oud player Attab Haddad.

Tuesday 8 July 2008 Breaking through: Syrian writers in conversation and performance 7.00pm. Doors open 6.30pm London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL Hala Mohammed, Monzer Masri, Rasha Omran and Lukman Derky, four Syrian poets who are also a filmmaker, a painter, an arts festival director, and a journalist / scriptwriter in conversation on writing, publishing and the arts in Syria today and in performance. There will be readings of poems, newly translated for the latest issue of Banipal, No 31, which includes a major feature on contemporary Syrian literature. Booking essential as seating is limited. Full price tickets are 6. Discounted tickets for LRB and Banipal subscribers are 4. Phone credit card hotline on 020 7269 9030 to book discounted tickets. To book a full-price place, visit: http://

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Lurid Stories With Worth

Column by Christine Brandel

The original pulps were lurid stories published in magazines or books in the first half of the last century, with titles such as Murder and the Married Virgin and The Children of the Night. They were formulaic: usually containing at least one goodie, one baddie, a sensational cover and a mystery topped off with some old-fashioned sex and violence. Pulps were cheaply produced (on wood pulp as opposed to glossy paper) and targeted to the working class. They were throw-away entertainment, which is why the term pulp often implies a judgment of having less value than other timeless pieces of literature. The next generation of pulp was what I grew up with: the magazines full of the same kinds of lurid stories but this time they were true. I can remember being an eight year old, waiting for my mother to collect our prescription at the drugstore. I knelt down to look at the magazines and came across True Detective. Its cover pictured a bound and blindfolded young woman in the bottom of a closet and the headline He Kept Me a Prisoner in My Own Home. I

remember at the time wondering why the photographer hadnt simply freed the woman, but my mother snatched me away from the magazine before I had time to read the full story. I suppose the lure of the true detective story was basically the same as the original pulps: a sensational grab, a temporary thrill and a formulaic ending. Todays direct descendents of pulp are the mass-produced paperbacks, whether they are horror, sci fi or romance, each with its own brand of eye catching covers and fantastic titles. Theyre the novels you pick up at the airport, escape into during your flight and then leave on the plane because theyre not worth the trouble of trying to squeeze them into your carry on luggage. Even though we still like them, we judge them. Theyre not looked upon as good writing, though many of them are written by good writers under fake names. And even though, thanks to the internet, there is a growing movement to revive and reclaim the concept of pulp, we still do hold onto the terms initial feature of being cheapin price and in worth.


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Ultimately I feel this is a shame. The need that the pulps originally met hasnt gone away. I think you can argue that we meet it today primarily with our televisions. We can wrap ourselves up in the incestuous relationships on the soaps or guiltlessly enjoy the violence of a video game. The reason that pulp was and is popular is because we like it. Its an escape from the boredom and drudgery of our own lives. We can be space travellers or cowboys or the detective who always solves the crime and gets the dame. We know how its going to end and we like that security and probably need it, whether we get it by reading a dime store novel or watching Doctor Who. However, as a teacher and a writer, I would rather see people, especially young people, getting it from fiction, where they can at least use their imaginations, than by staring at the television.

just in lurid content but in sensationalistic style. And sadly, we as readers often treat them in the same way, as entertainment for an hour while having a cup of tea and then theyre out of our minds and into our recycling bags. Ultimately pulp, however one defines it, does have a worth to us or we wouldnt buy it. Lester Dent, a prolific writer of pulp fiction, produced a Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot formula for any 6,000 word story, which is guaranteed to produce a successful story. Its broken down into 1,500 word instalments where Dent tells aspiring writers almost exactly what to write. The key feature is difference: make it a different locale, a different method of crime, a different type of trouble for the hero to experience. The reason this formula is guaranteed is because what readers want is something different than our own lives. Even if it is only a temporary escape, these stories are worth more to us than we care to admit.

Its a genre that everyone reads, from the chav to the toff and, while wed never admit that we read it for the thrill, we do get it
However, I do think there is one form of writing where we see the features of the original pulps present though rarely acknowledged. Its a genre that everyone reads, from the chav to the toff and, while wed never admit that we read it for the thrill, we do get it. Its our newspapers. Newspapers often use pulp techniques to appeal to their readers, whether more subtly in the broadsheets or more obviously in the tabloids. The recent reports about kidnap schemes (with headlines like How Could She Just Vanish) and children being kept as prisoners (Freed Dungeon Kids See Moon) read like pulp story plots, not


Christine Brandel is a British American now, really, so please dont make fun of her accent. She teaches in an inner city secondary school and wastes her time by playing Mah Jongg

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43 The

Rising Voice of Banipal: Interview with Margaret Obank

Interview by G.P. Kennedy

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Congratulations on winning the Incwriters OCL(M) Award 2009 - what does it mean for Banipal? How do you see it benefiting the magazine? For Banipal, the award has many meanings, but one of the foremost is that the award is given by Banipals peers in literature in the UK. That Banipal is highly regarded by the literary press in the UK, and has been selected for the award from so many literary magazines is a matter of great honour and thrill. On a par with this is that the award is a real vindication of the magazines raison dtre, as the three cornerstones of Banipal, since we started in 1998, have been and are still firstly, that Arab literature is an essential part of world culture and human civilisation; second, that the essential dialogue between different cultures needs to be continually deepened; and thirdly that the joy and enlightenment to be gained from reading

beautiful poetry and imaginative writing is an integral part of human existence. The award is of enormous benefit for Banipal and for Arab literature in general. We are celebrating this award in the magazine issues, on the website (, at events such as the London Book Fair, and in any press releases and other interviews. The Award helps tremendously to encourage an interest in Arab literature. Banipal always looks for ways to reach out to readers, and we appreciate that many readers like to see and hear and meet the authors. We have put on two Banipal Live UK tours, also many readings, and regularly participate in international conferences. Last year we worked with the Ledbury Poetry Festival to bring over Lebanese poets who also read at the Institut Franais in London. This July we are bringing over four Syrian poets for events at the festival (5 and 6 July) and at the London Review

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Bookshop on 8 July. For more information about these events, please go to coming.php

For those readers unfamiliar with Banipal, how would you describe it? Where does the name come from? Banipal is a magazine for addicts of reading literature, especially world literature. It aims to encourage a wider readership of Arab writers and poets for their own sake, and for both the particularity and the universality of their voices. It is not designed for an This issue of the Incwriters is themed academic readership, even though many Pulp? What does that mean to you? academics are among its readers and An immediate association: translators and it is highly appreciated Steinbecks Traveloguepulp fiction of War ahh . . . the Tarantino film! And then in the academic areas of Arabic Article by Claire Boot more relevantly Pulp, for me, means language and literature and comparative Photographs by Andrew Oldham cheap, mass-market magazines and literature. We publish Arab writers and paperbacks mostly with sensational, poets who write in French, English, colourful covers . . . thrillers, suspense, Dutch or German, as well as the main crime and detective stories, mysteries, Arabic language. We present the reality war stories, torrid love stories . . . of literature from the Arab world by written very quickly, and maybe to order, naming it Arab rather than Arabic and all printed on pulp, of course. literature (which excludes literature by Getting to the end of a story is the Arab authors not written in Arabic reason for reading it . . . Never mind the consequently many great Arab writers). quality, just turn the page . . . the When Banipal turned 21, we asked a suspense . . . whodunit . . . bang, bang, number of writers, critics, academics, bang . . . Some of the heroes and readers and editors to write short characters of these stories have become comments about Banipal, and I was humbled by many of the replies. I had cult figures, with many stories adapted for film. no idea how much Banipal was valued in Pulp (it always seems to be fiction) the Arab world itself. One of our editors fiction I take to mean fiction of some mentioned that Banipal for him was the kind, and I am aware that in todays era best contemporary Arabic magazine, of blogs, podcasts and digital printing, which happens to be published in pulp is being reinvented. There are now English. Incwriters readers can read all these comments on: http:// a number of new magazines probably not printed on pulp paper, and one, actually entitled Pulp, says about itself: whattheysay.php Pulp is a shapeless, formless mass of rich media content that is adaptable to We spent a long time discussing what to any change that exists outside of our call the magazine. In the end we chose control. So, the definition of pulp is Banipal. We wanted a name that would changing, and probably now includes show the reality of the Arab worlds anything vaguely connected with the identity and not its negative

stereotypes. It comes from Ashurbanipal, last king of Assyria (688627 BCE). A knowledgeable patron of the arts, his outstanding achievement was to assemble in Nineveh, from all over his empire, the first systematically organised library in the ancient Middle East. The thousands of clay tablets of Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian writings included the famous Mesopotamian epics of the Creation, the Flood, and Gilgamesh, many folk tales, fables, proverbs, prayers and omen texts.


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arts that can be reproduced online or in print to entertain and thrill. Would you say that Banipal is the antithesis of pulp? I would say not so much an antithesis, more a completely different genre and product. Clearly Banipal is not massmarket, and although it is cheap in the sense of very good value for money we havent yet changed the price of a UK subscription since we started its production has to be subsidized by grants and other funding. We take care over the paper we publish on, over the writers we publish and over the quality of both the original writing and the translations, with the majority of the latter being commissioned by us for each issue. We publish established and emerging authors from the Arab world who are present in the Arab literary scene, and as such Banipal is a major reference and source for works in translation. We want to bring alive the quality literature currently being written and read in the Arab world and encourage dialogue and exchange with the Anglophone world. Would you say that the publishing world is increasingly pulp-oriented? The publishing world is so huge, its range of publications so vast, with reams of new books and glossy magazines on every subject published every week. It is so locked into the requirements of conglomerates and the market that it often feels that as a small publisher I am in a completely different world and business. In the world of Big Brother, the never-ending stream of reality TV shows, the literary world may seem relegated to an inconspicuous background. But it is there, and so I devote my energies to that, and to finding positive ways to reach our potential and existing readers.

What challenges have you encountered in setting up and establishing Banipal in this environment? Personally, I am always optimistic about the possibilities for Banipal as I think that human beings are always interested in, and curious about, the other, the foreign, the unknown. At first there may be great ignorance and certainly suspicion, and sometimes from those, a rebuff, but curiosity and the thirst to know overcome all obstacles. The challenges we have encountered include this ignorance and suspicion, but over the years we have built up an excellent reputation in many quarters and are now constantly contacted to be a go-between, to facilitate communication, to put on events, etc, etc. Like any other small literary publisher we have to do everything ourselves, but being a member of Inpress has been great for us. Through them we are distributed by Central Books. But the sales have still to be built up. The Incwriters Award helps to give crucial publicity to Banipal, which in turn brings in subscriptions and generates more interest. What does Banipal have in store for 2009, and beyond? Before I talk about the future, Id just like to say that over the years Banipal has developed by broadening its remit laterally: that is, we set up the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature (see http:// to help support and promote events with Arab authors. The Trust, in turn, set up the Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation (see http://, which is now in its third year. Later this year the Trust will launch, with the Arab British Centre, the BanipalArab British Centre Library for Modern Arab Literature, which will be an English-language lending library in London of fiction, poetry and

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memoir whose authors are Arab, whatever the original language of writing. We also set up Banipal Books, to publish in book form some of the works published in the magazine. These projects will continue to expand in the coming years. Given the success of the freely distributed colour tabloid Celebrating Arabic Fiction that Banipal produced with the support of the British Council especially for the London Book Fair, Id love to be able to turn the magazine into such a newspaper. I am currently a Trustee of the newly established International Prize for Arabic Fiction (known as the Arabic Booker) (see index.html), whose inaugural prize was awarded the day before the Incwriters Award. Banipal is promoting its shortlisted novels with excerpts in coming issues, and will continue to promote the prize in future years. I am also an outreach member of the newly established CASAW, Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World, and hope to work more closely with them in the next years, particularly in the area of Arab literature and public libraries. Part of the Banipal Live 2006 UK tour was a limited project to promote Arab literature in public libraries. We are planning how to see this project extended and developed. I think that 2009 and beyond will be characterized by more collaborative events and partnerships. We have been approached by a number of organizations requesting Banipals collaboration, to bring our expertise in Arab literature and our contact with Arab authors into their new work in, for example, schools, talks, literary workshops and festivals. At present we

are a very small organization on the ground, with many of our editorial team and our translators spread around the world. So we are presently working on how to expand Banipal and the work of the Banipal Trust, in order to be able to partner these organizations. It is wonderful that Banipal gets all this contact and feedback, and we do want to be able to respond positively and creatively. Finally, we are working on ways to broaden the magazines appeal and increase its presence online, in bookshops and at festivals. We would welcome any ideas from your readers. On Tuesday 11th March 2008 at an award event at Manchester Central Library hosted by Incwriters, magazine editors and publishers from across the UK to discover Banipal had won the Incwriters Outstanding Contribution to Literature (Magazines) Award 2008. Images Article cover includes: Banipal 31, Spring 2008 Cover artist Mehdi Qotbi from Morocco, Banipal 30, Autumn/ Winter 2007 Cover artist Jaber Alwan from Iraq, Banipal 26, Summer 2006 Cover artist Sattar Kawoosh from Iraq and Banipal 25, Spring 2006 Cover artist Mai Refky from Egypt. Article image: is from Banipal Tour 2006: Abed Ismael, Mansoura Ezzeldin and Ala Hlehel reading at the London Review Bookshop during the Banipal Life tour GP Kennedy is the Deputy Editor (NW)/Reviews. He is a writer, lover of language and would-be goliard. Further he is a passionate pedagogue and an alliteration amateur. be a professional goalkeeper.


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Red Ink (ISSN 1751-1496) is the only PDF publication in the UK to print stories of any length (from macro tale to novella). It publishes series of poems by poets (up to 8 poets in each issue) to allow subscribers to get a real taste of the poets work. Red Ink is published twice a year, Summer and Winter. You can get a free taster of the magazine by going to: Red%20InkTaster.pdf Subscription is available at: You can either subscribe for one year (2 issues at 5.00) or two years (4 issues for the bargain price of 7.50). Each edition can have up to 50pp. PDF Red Ink 4/Summer 2008 (ISSN 17511496). 57pp. Eds. Peter Lewin & Andrew Oldham Cover Art: Lisha Aquino Rooney Poetry: F.J. Milne, Anne Caldwell, Cristina Navazo-Eguia Newton, Ben Macnair, Ed Reiss, Neil Elder, Nancy Charley Story: Alice Wooledge Salmon. Calling all poets and fiction writers, the reading period for Red Ink 5 & 6 is open until the 31st August 2008. Guidelines can be found at: magazines.htm LIVE LITERATURES X-FACTOR COMMENCES escalator Introducing Escalator 2008 Live Literature; a Unique Talent Scheme for the East of England. An inspired innovation. John Hegley Britains Got Talent may be over, but stand up poets and spoken word artists from the East of England are being given a new opportunity to shine through a unique talent scheme - Escalator 2008

Industry News and Opportunities

Live Literature. The scheme offers an unrivalled programme of promotion and support, and is an opportunity that burgeoning spoken words artists/ stand up poets from the Eastern region cannot afford to miss out on. Live Literature often mixes poetry with comedy or music and an irreverent look at daily life, with the East showcasing some particularly strong examples including John Cooper Clarke, the original Punk Poet, whose work has inspired artists from Joy Division to the Arctic Monkeys; Scroobius Pip, who updates the genre with his hip-hop/ poetry cross-over, and the comic standup poets John Hegley and Luke Wright. However, Live Literature is not easy to break into, so Escalator 2008 will be crucial for those from the Eastern region who are trying to make their mark: Escalator 08 Live Literature is a great opportunity were offering professional development, and the chance to work with West End theatre director James Grieve on a 20 minute show that will be performed in front of industry professionals. Weve also got some of the best live literature performers involved as mentors and judges Francesca Beard, Matt Harvey, Aife Mannix, Courttia Newland and Russell Thompson are all stars of the scene with a huge amount of experience to impart. Were looking forward to getting the entries in now because we know this region is packed with talented performers just waiting for the right opportunity to come along. - Chris Gribble, CEO of New Writing Partnership Escalator Literature is a yearly scheme which is run by Norwichs New Writing

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Partnership on behalf of Arts Council East. This years venture is the first time Escalator has been open to the world of live literature, and is bound to bring some interesting talent to the fore. Escalator has always been very successful in getting work published (Escalator 07 winner Susan Sellers Novel Vanessa and Virginia is about to go to print) and the writers who have taken part are effusive about its merits: I can honestly say that Escalator has been life-changing. Its given me support, help, guidance and the confidence to embark on a writing career. - Kathryn Skoyles, Escalator 2007 winner Those interested in applying are asked to send in 3 pieces of work recorded on CD by 31 July 2008. Please go to escalator to find out more. Poetry Tutorials in association with Spread the Word The Poetry School has joined forces with Spread the Word (our neighbours in Lambeth Walk) to set up a series of drop in one-to-one sessions for writers looking for some in-depth feedback on their work. Daljit Nagra, Saradha Soobrayen or Tim Dooley will spend an hour with you, looking at a 90 line selection of your poems. Venue: the Poetry School classroom, 81 Lambeth Walk, London SE11 6DX Dates: Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th July Times: hour long sessions, to suit fee: 70 (50 concs) To book visit http:// index.php?id=events&event=525 Poetry and Autobiography extra

One day workshop with Graham Fawcett at the Poetry School, Lambeth Walk SE11 Saturday 13th September 2008 10.30am-4.30pm 40 (30 concs) A follow-up session for students on Grahams Autumn 2007 Poetry & Autobiography course in London and the online version from A day of close reading, feedback and discussion of poems you have written or begun inspired by the first half of both these courses. the hub is looking to commission four spoken word artists to create new material for their Phrased & confused festival tent, which will be part of this years Summer Sundae Weekender in Leicesterbetween 8-10th August. 1,000 fee - more details at Contemporary Poetry and its Geographies: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, 11 October 2008 - Call for Papers. Twenty-minute papers for panel discussion are sought from literary critics, scholars and geographers. More details from and please send abstracts (no more than 250 words) to by 1 August 2008. Human:Nature is a literary festival taking place in Norwich and Norfolk on the theme of the environment. Features J M Coetzee, C K Williams, Gwyneth Lewis, Gretel Ehrlich, Mark Cocker, Susan Fletcher, Mimi Khalvati and many others. More details at worlds


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Poetry OtherWise 17 - 23rd August 2008. A week of workshops and events for poets, writers and all lovers of language. Contributing poets include Roselle Angwin, Mimi Khalvati, Andie Lewenstein, Janis Mackay, Paul Matthews and Hugo Williams. More at The Arvon International Poetry Competition 2008 is now open. This years judges are Moniza Alvi, Andrew Motion and Alice Oswald. Prizes of 11,000. Deadline 15th August. Submit poems online at Route Offline (Route 20) Out Now The latest title in the Route series of contemporary stories is now out to our subscribers. A hardback anthology of five of our byteback books, Route Offline complies in a durable format the short story books Dog Days, Brief Lives, East of No East, Skin and The Three and a Half Day Parent. Buy it now for 10.99 or alternatively take out a subscription and get this book and two subsequent titles in our programme for just 20. page.asp?idno=385 Subscription page.asp?idno=121 Route Offline is a festival of contemporary stories that brings together in printed form a series of distinguished collections which were initially published online. The twentyfive stories included here take you around the world in the safety of your own book and in the hands of first class story-tellers. Inside you will find five original collections featuring: a magical and exotic compilation of Bulgarian shorts; the young single fathers tale; an exploration of skin that crosses the

barrier between whats inside and whats outside; an eclectic series of colourful lives condensed and a sun-drenched collection of dogs, summer heat and the first flushes of sexual awakening. Route Offline is a title in the Route series of contemporary stories. Exhilaratingly conceived books. Metro, Books that are making critics, and readers, sit up and take notice. Yorkshire Post, There is a great sense of honesty and clarity in all of these contemporary tales. The Crack Route Subscription is the best way to keep up to date with the leading lights in contemporary fiction. Subscribers receive a three book package from Routes flagship series of contemporary stories throughout the year, in this round this includes Route 20, 21 and 22. We have a fabulous programme lined up for 2008 and subscribers will be the first to see the vibrant Born in the 1980s collection and Routes Book at Bedtime. Subscription to Route is 20 for UK subscribers (25 Europe, 30 rest of the world) a saving of at least 35%. Save yourself some hassle and get those books straight to your doorstep by signing up now. Route is grateful of support from all subscribers. Contact Route please use The Fix reviews speculative poetry and fiction in short story, novelette, and novella lengths. If you would like to submit your publication for review consideration please mail two copies to the managing editor: Eugie Foster Managing Editor, The Fix 2860 Georgian Manor Dr. Alpharetta, GA 30022 U.S.A. Please email Eugie regarding submitting electronic review material.

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*Note that The Fix does not review vanity, self-published, or unpublished works. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer or feature writer for The Fix, please email Eugie.: Pantechnicon Seven as a PDF at This issue contains: STORIES The Web Across The Door - DF Lewis DF Lewis offers a short slice of weird. The Trapper Harsh winter, rotting food, and ghosts take their toll on a trapper and his wife. Contains scenes of a graphic nature. Blood - Johnny Mains New job, new boss, same old corporate life. With telepathy, a ghost, and murder. Death Knock - Brian Wright A dead journalist seems to be visiting relatives of the recently-bereaved. It falls to the Department for Extra-Usual Affairs to investigate. The King is Dead - David Barnett JFK, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley meet a newcomer to the afterlife. Only two of them have his best interests at heart. The Dopple Gang part two - Alister Davison Jake has a gun that can delete things. His only question now is who to kill first with it. Tranquil Sea - Colin Sinclair An expedition to create a radio telescope using the Moons Daedalus Crater suffers Jovian interference. Seeing the Light - David Brookes Shes not crazy. And shes going to show everyone exactly how not crazy she is. Even if it kills them. Suzanne Jackson FEATURES Interview: Barry Wood

SF101: Olaf Stapledon Icon Oddities: The Musical Career of William Shatner. Horror Gems: Sundown A Time-Travelling interview with DF Lewis. Des and Caroline talk. And travel through time. COLUMNS The Fandom Menace The Age of Innocence SF: Is it really for you any more? Time for some Perspective

All news for this section is compiled by Incwriters. Send your info to: Further news can be found in their forum at: