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Short Story Saturday – Dunce by Mike Russell

Everyone calls Dunce ‘Dunce’. Everyone thinks that Dunce is an idiot. I used to think so too but not any more.

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Author Interview: Israfel Sivad

In my opinion, writing is the foundation of human culture. As one of the earliest means human beings created to launch their thoughts into the future, there would be no cultures on this planet today without writing. However, writing is no longer the sole means of spreading stories and knowledge. With the 20th century advent of film and television, the idea of telling stories through writing is perhaps even the most archaic form of writing today. However, there’s a magic that still exists, for me at least, in a written story. I remember as a younger man thinking that I wanted to develop a form of writing that couldn’t translate to film, that had to be read to be understood. I wanted to expose what language alone is capable of being. It’s an internal experience rather than an external experience. That’s what I want to capitalize on in the stories I tell: the fact that they exist solely in the space between my mind and the reader’s. And therein, for me, lies the current cultural value of writing—that space between the writer’s mind and the reader’s and how it allows one person to comprehend another’s unmediated, unadulterated thoughts. There’s no actor to interpret. There’s no vision to see. There’s only one mind reaching out to another.

Short Story Saturday – Flock

Flock is taken from Mike’s second short story anthology Strange Medicine. You can read a story from his first anthology Nothing Is Strange over on StrangeBooks.com

3 Random Books from My Shelves

I’m not really sure what to say, as I would imagine most people who visit Examining the Odd have read some or all of Gaiman’s work! Since this book is a collection of short stories (and wonders!), I decided to randomly choose one of the pieces too. The chosen piece was The Fairy Reel, one of the “wonders”, since it is a poem rather than a short story. I’ve heard people liken this poem to a Keats ballad.

Famous Fantastic Mysteries: 30 Great Tales of Fantasy and Horror from the Classic Pulp Magazines Famous Fantastic Mysteries  &  Fantastic No

If you enjoy the content here at Examining the Odd, we probably have fairly similar tastes in books. This is great; it means you're open to all sorts of genres and to discovering new authors. It's also a curse; how on earth do you choose what to read next?

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This quiz will give you a helping hand. It's an old-fashioned magazine style quiz which will lead you to one of five authors to try next (so no peeking at the results before you answer the questions!). If you're lucky, you might get a tie and then you have two authors to pursue...

Ready? Let's go!

Which era do most of your favourite authors hail from?

A: They're all dead. 1800s

B: They're alive! Alive!

C: The era of revolution! 1960s

D: Turn of the century. Yes, I'm still using that to refer to 1890s-1910s...

E: because we also have writers of the milennium! 1990s-200s

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What type of politics do you lean towards?

A: Reactionary. Usually pretty conservative.

B: Liberal

C: Environmental/Green

D: Nationalist

E: Democratic

 

Which of these genres do you love the most?

A: Science Fiction

B: Metaphysical (abstraction, spiritual ideas)

C: Mystery

D: Fantasy

E: Horror

 

What's your preferred writing/language style?

A: Artistic, complex

B: To the point

C: Prose, flowing

D: Musing, reflective, thoughtful

E: Graphic, visual, descriptive

 

Which of these jobs would the child-you have chosen?

A: Astronaut or scientist

B: Office or factory worker

C: Witch, Wizard, Shaman or other magical figure

D: King/Queen/Prince/Princess

E: Monster/Zombie

 

Money and reality are no object. Where do you choose to go on holiday?

A: Mars

B: A traditional seaside resort with donkeys and ice cream aplenty

C: A cave. Alone

D: A lush forest or enchanted woodland

E: Somewhere cold and snowy

 

And finally. What's your length of choice?

A: Novella

B: Flash fiction. Then I can choose to read one or a hundred!

C: Short story

D: Novel

E: Series

 

And now for the results...

 

Mostly A

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Percy Greg.

Percy Greg (1836-1889) was an English writer.

His Across the Zodiac (1880) is an early science fiction novel, said to be the progenitor of the sword-and-planet genre. For that novel, Greg created what may have been the first artistic language that was described with linguistic and grammatical terminology. It also contained what is possibly the first instance in the English language of the word "Astronaut".

In 2010 a crater on Mars was named Greg in recognition of his contribution to the lore of Mars.

Congratulations if you ended up with Percy. Why? He's free! Read Across the Zodiac here.

Mostly B

Mike Russell.

“For me, creating is discovering and storytelling is bringing into the world dreams that are universal. They come from a deep place; they want to be known and they want to help us. Storytelling is a way of turning the world inside out, which I believe it desperately needs.” Mike Russell

Mike has a book of flash fiction and a book of short stories. You can read one of each (respectively) for free here and here!

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Mostly C

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Margaret St. Clair.

Margaret St. Clair was an American science fiction writer, who also wrote under the pseudonyms Idris Seabright and Wilton Hazzard.
1911-1995
Mostly D
Lord Dunsany.
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Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany was an Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work, mostly in fantasy, published under the name Lord Dunsany.
1878-1957
Lucky you! Loads of Lord Dunsany's work is free to read here.
Mostly E
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George R. R. Martin.
George Raymond Richard Martin, often referred to as GRRM, is an American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres, a screenwriter, and television producer.
Born: 1948 (age 67)
Obviously, we all know who he is! But have you read his other novels and short stories?
That's it!
I hope you enjoyed the quiz, but more importantly: I hope you enjoy reading the author I lumbered you with! Share who you got in the comments. Have you read them before? Do you like them?
# Permanent link to BOOK QUIZ – Who should YOU read next?
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