June 20th, 2007

Greetings from Glastonbury Tor

An evocative podcast by English YA writer Beth Webb, author of the Star Dancer series of historical Iron Age fantasies.

http://download.guardian.co.uk/sys-audio/Books/Books/2007/06/20/BethWebb1.mp3

I've never read anything by Webb, and I tend to reach for my lignum vitae whenever I hear the word "star" used in a book title, but I was intrigued anyway and listened. I'm glad I did — it's perfect for the summer solstice (tomorrow, June 21, 2.06 PM EDT). The podcast (21 minutes) was recorded at an archaeological site that's a recreation of an Iron Age village (the Peat Moors Iron Age Centre) near Glastonbury Tor, where Webb's series is set. She talks about holding writing exercises with children inside the round huts, which sounds magical to me — can Clarion try this?

Fans of Alan Garner, M. John Harrison and Peter Ackroyd might want to give this a listen, as it's a nice bit of aural English landscape. I looked for the books online but while a May 2007 reprint of Star Dancer is listed, it doesn't seem to be available yet in the US, so I'll see if I can find it while I'm in London next month. As an aside — I spend as much time in the UK as I can (not enough) and am always struck by the lack of crossover between UK and US YA fantasy titles. Some of the more successful ones, like works by Philip Reeve and Jonathan Stroud, eventually make their way over here; others, like Webb's, seem to be slower in arriving. Thankfully Harry Potter has changed some of that ...

Which reminds me, gotta go order The Deathly Hallows!
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The Millionairess

If anyone had told me they were going to cast Sophia Loren, Vittorio De Sica and Peter Sellers in a George Bernard Shaw play, letting Loren's Italian accent battle Sellers's assumed Hindi accent, I would have been dumbstruck at their idiocy. But that was before I watched THE MILLIONAIRESS.

http://imdb.com/title/tt0054086/

This adaptation actually works as a very enjoyable comedy.

But of course, what we really want to see is the at-her-prime Loren in various costumes and stages of undress.

Here she is looking like Natasha from ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE. (There's something screwy with the sound in this snippet, but who cares!)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=qFenwcAyXi8

And here she is stripping down to her Victoria's Secret undies. Or, given the era, should that be Frederick's of Hollywood?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=xSdFfO120pM

Be still, my heart!

(no subject)

Lately I've been obsessed with the Drones, an Aussie punk/psychedelic band with a nasty live sound and three cool albums.  They remind me of what I love about rock and roll, the slovenly, shambling creative brawl of it, as compared to the neat, tucked in, squared off edges of pop, which I have always loathed.  Their myspace page has some excellent tracks, both live and studio:

http://www.myspace.com/thedronesthedrones

Thanks to Mr. Peek for leading me to the band.

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Got a new story called Larissa Miusov in J Strahan's antho Eclipse out this fall from Nightshade.  Jeff Ford also has a story in it, dunno who else.  Also sold a 31,000 word novella to Other Worlds, edited by Jay Lake and Nick Gevers, called Dog-eared Paperback of My Life.