July 30, 2015
Tyger Tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night…
-William Blake, “The Tyger”
A little cut-paper piece, made while listening to a Stuff You Missed In History Class episode on Calamity Jane (sometimes what I was listening to associates itself lingeringly with a piece).
RedBubble has recently introduced hardcover journals (lined, blank or grid pages), so I have uploaded this design there: Tyger, Tyger. I’m waiting for my first order to arrive so I can see how they look – very excited.
July 24, 2015
I have a new design out for Litographs! This time, it is for Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. I thoroughly enjoyed sketching up the thumbnails for this. I love how gentle the contrast between the sisters is in this novel (as compared to, for example, Pride and Prejudice). Neither course of action is only fraught with danger or guaranteed to bring happiness. And Edward is just so decent and nice. And also I hope Margaret grew up to be an explorer.
Here is the cut-out design. I’m glad Litographs went with this one – it is very easy to concentrate on just Marianne and Elinor, but they are almost the median point of the story. Everyone else takes sense and sensibility to greater extremes: Mrs Dashwood, who can’t grasp the idea of economy, Mrs John Dashwood who grasps it too well (the gradual bargaining-down of her husband’s proposed generosity is just awful and masterful). Willoughby, who feels too much. Edward and Colonel Brandon who are similarly governed by good sense, but with rather different impacts on the people they love. Margaret who is marvellous. Anyway, back to the art.
The clouds would not be in the final (I would invert the birds), but I like to keep the pieces together where possible, to create a single picture, in case someone would like to frame it.
And here is the design on a tote. It also comes as a poster and a t-shirt, and in different colourways.
Please buy lots. I don’t get a cut, but I do have a wish list of classics I’d like to illustrate, so if you buy these they might get me to do some more.
July 23, 2015
Ticonderoga Publications is giving away a copy of its latest anthology Hear Me Roar through Goodreads. The giveaway is currently open and finishes on 1 August 2015.
- Cherith Baldry, “Star Bright”
- Jenny Blackford, “The Sorrow”
- Kay Chronister, “Dustbowl”
- Stephanie Gunn, “Broken Glass”
- Kathryn Hore, “Generation Zero”
- Kathleen Jennings, “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”
- Faith Mudge, “Blueblood”
- T R Napper, “The Silica Key”
- Rivqa Rafael, “Function A:save(target.Dawn)”
- Alter S. Reiss, “Catalysis”
- Jane Routley, “Barista”
- Cat Sparks, “Veteran’s Day”
- Kyla Ward, “Cursebreaker: The Mutalibeen and the Memphite Mummies”
- Marlee Jane Ward, “Clara’s”
- Susan Wardle, “A Truck Called Remembrance”
- Janeen Webb, “A Wondrous Necessary Woman”
- Eleanor R Wood, “The Fruits of Revolution”
My story, “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”, is about what happens to fairytale curses which are given too late, and what becomes of enchanted girls when there are no princes left. It begins:
Vagabonds leave signs in the road for those who know how to read them. Royalists also have their secret language of warnings and betrayals. This story too, in its fashion, is a sign to mark the way I went.
July 16, 2015
I’m working on a few cut-paper projects at the moment, so of course instead of cutting out a silhouette of Sputnik I stayed up too late the other night cutting out tiny little dioramas of a meeting in a certain ‘prettyish little wilderness’.
July 5, 2015
A process illustration, for this Illustration Friday topic “Sharp”. It was late, I’d spent the afternoon cutting out tiny stars, dragonflies and astronauts, and the obvious response to being asked how I did it was to illustrate the process. (Well, first I answered “tiny little knives”). This is a digitally coloured and textured version of the original cut-paper illustration, which really is very tiny. Soundtrack: The Allusionist and CatastropheCast. I’m working my way through the Radiotopia stable of podcasts, and will soon need new recommendations, particularly for anything comparable to Seven Wonders of the Industrial Age or Aircrash Investigations.
July 1, 2015
Posted by tanaudel under books
| Tags: Courtney Milan
, Dorothy Dunnett
, Fabien Vehlmann
, georgette heyer
, Jurassic World
, Kat Clay
, Mary Stewart
, The Woman in Gold
, trudi canavan
- The Magician’s Guild – Trudi Canavan: A long overdue reading, and I don’t have a whole lot to say because it was just so nice to (a) read a classic Canavan and (b) read a traditional fantasy novel with thieves’ guilds and magician’s colleges and dirty city politics and… yes, it was comfortably satisfying. And then I got to go to Continuum and eat a lot of cake with Trudi, which is a highlight of the year.
- Beautiful Darkness – Kerascoët and Fabien Vehlmann: Aaargh. Aaaaargh!!! Ughhhhhh! This was a birthday present from Angela Slatter and I understand this was the intended effect. It’s gorgeous but – eeeeep!
- The Game of Kings – Dorothy Dunnett:
- This book this boooooook. I cried on the plane and still just kind of want to roll around on the floor chewing on the pages, so I’m not sure I can corral my thoughts into any sort of coherent order.
- Quite apart from being the BEST BOOK EVER it is fascinating to read it in a continuum of influences – tracing the echoes of Sayers in Dunnett, and recognising the impact of Dunnett on Kushner. I love these cross-genre family trees: crime to historical to fantasy in this case, or the way Ibbotson and Heyer’s romances show up in science fiction writing (and occasionally in science fiction bookshops).
- Marie Brennan just wrote a post on Tor.com about Dunnett’s writing, and all of it (and so much more) is true: Five Things Epic Fantasy Writers Could Learn from Dorothy Dunnett.
- I have made my housemate read it. She was “eh” when I left this afternoon, but when I came back and asked how it was going she threw all the cushions at me.
- Double Exposure – Kat Clay:
- A rather dashingly designed little novella (kudos to Crime Factory on the presentation, it’s quite delightful in the hand). Weird noir.
- Unless there is a clear signal, I don’t usually read the narrator as a character in third-person viewpoints. It isn’t unusual for hardboiled fiction to be in first person, but Double Exposure is in third person, and while it is fairly close third, the fact we are never given the Photographer’s name is distancing. As a result, this novella has given me Thoughts about the role of the observer in weird noir.
- I met Kat Clay at Continuum in Melbourne, where she dressed as Furiosa for the Maskobalo, so I had Mad Max in my mind when I read this, particularly recent discussions about the role of Mad Max as observer (i.e., seeing the story through the framework of his presence in it, but not having it actually be about him).
- I want to read more about the city of Portview because I’m interested in that observer’s point of view – how they can follow characters through the veils of film, and the fact that they are unfased by it. Perhaps that is part of the charm of weird fiction: the character of the author/narrator and their approach to reality, as much as the world and events.
- Devil’s Cub – Georgette Heyer: I was explaining to Angela Slatter why I love the cover art for this novel, and talked myself into needing to read it again right away. Here are Mari Ness’s thoughts on what should be a more problematic book than it is: Refining the Rake as Hero. Importantly, however, it has hands-down my favourite Heyer cover art (and I do love the J. Oval/Ben Ostrick covers: image search his name and you will be rewarded):
Artist: J Oval (Ben Ostrick)
- The Ivy Tree – Mary Stewart: I find the pacing of a lot of gothic novels a little trying, but I was reading this on the heels of Dunnett and Heyer, who for all their words keep on a fairly cracking (melo)dramatic pace. Quite interesting to read against Jane Eyre. Some gorgeous description. I’m not sure the type of narrator works with the first person pov here? I chose this on a recommendation but others assure me it is ‘more for the Stewart completist’.
- An Infamous Army – Georgette Heyer: I read this because I did not realise it featured more of the family from These Old Shades and Devil’s Cub as well as the characters from Regency Buck. Mari Ness’ reread (A Recreation of War) also introduced me to the Best Wikipedia Article Ever (you’ll have to look at her post to get the link). She took issue with some of the recurring characters, so I am now of course rereading Regency Buck in order to take issue with that (I do in fact see her point, but still…). I have to share the cover for this too, because it is a James E. McConnell and the BEST of all the Infamous Army covers, not least because it stars a young Endora, and because the thought of a book with this cover getting set as reading at a military college charms and delights me (although less than Lord Uxbridge’s leg):
Artist: James E McConnell
- Unraveled – Courtney Milan: Assigned reading in my self-imposed, Peter M. Ball guided course of study of How Romance Fiction Is Done. I’m still collating my broader thoughts, but I will just point out that Milan makes law jokes! Yay for law jokes! I understand in another of her novels she even invokes the rule against perpetuities…
- Jurassic World: Basically Jumanji crossed with Romancing the Stone with a faint hint of Alien. Also this article from The Toast kept running through my head: If the Velociraptor from Jurassic Park Were your Girlfriend. I won’t say I cried twice, but I will say that I would pay to watch a whole movie of people exploring the ruins of the original Jurassic Park as it is gradually reclaimed by the jungle. (And I’ll give it this: all the dumbest moves were acknowledged in-movie). Also, this remains one of my favourite movie themes (along with the main theme from The Man from Snowy River).
- The Woman in Gold: The story of the recovery of ownership of the Klimt painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer, stolen in WWII and held in an Austrian art gallery. Restrained, gentle, horrible, beautiful. Mirren and Maslany are a class act, and Maslany glows.