Thursday 23 June 2011

"Alien Beings Who Float to Mischief"

I've been feeling good about my writing recently, so naturally I was cruising for a fall.

I've had a number of good reviews of The Other Room, and more excitingly, living, breathing, real-life readers contacting me to ask when my next book is due out. My initial thought is obviously they are taking the piss, but they were actually serious. Sometimes all you can say is 'wow'. Maybe, I thought, maybe, I'm not bad at this writing lark after all...

So obviously the next book I had to read was so startlingly original and brilliant it made me feel like a rank amateur again, and brought all the old insecurities back, re-energised after their holiday away. Say hello to Cate Gardner and her book 'Strange Men In Pinstripe Suits'.

In all seriousness this is a fantastic book, and one to make every lover of strange short fiction shout about it from the rooftops with excitement (or just, you know, blog about it). It's very hard to describe, but suffice to say if you like fifty percent or more of the things on the list below I think you'll love it:

  • Neil Gaiman
  • The League of Gentlemen
  • The original versions of those classic fairy tales
  • The Halls of Mirrors at the fair
  • Stanley Domwood
  • Deja Vu
  • Bagpuss
  • The weird bits in Dickens no one talks about
  • Pinstripe Suits
  • Kafka
  • Overdosing on popping candy so much you can hear it in your head
  • Deja Vu
  • Roald Dahl
  • Tim Burton

So check Cate Gardner out; some of you who click on the link are about to find your new favourite author.

p.s. the title of this post is how Google Translate renders a line from my first ever German review. I just love the phrase and have been saying it to myself ever since I read it.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone *like* deja-vu? I have to say it isn't something I look forward to necessarily...

Love your German review though. You could ask Stella to translate it for you. Actually, no, you don't want to ruin the mystique of "Alien beings who float to mischief". I have lots of fun with Babelfish on this project I'm working on. Trying to translate Portuguese terms about car insurance into English.

Funniest incident so far was use of the term "garagem". Brazilian Portuguese for "garage" (not surprisingly). However, Word likes to auto-correct it for you in the specs so we ended up with "garage" on the website. Turns out that roughly translates to "wanker" in Brazilian slang. "Does your wanker have a manual or electronic gate?"

Going completely off the point of your blogpost now so I'll shut up. Still have 'The Other Room' lined up, if I ever finish 'Ghostwritten' that is...

Anonymous said...

Well, you've sold me on Cate's book. Sounds excellent.

And if "Alien beings who float to mischief" isn't the title of a post-rock album, then it really ought to be.

James Everington said...

Neil - okay, maybe I don't like deja-vu, but it is interesting. How the mind plays tricks and all that. I've had this idea for a story for awhile about someone with constant deja-vu, but not sure where to go with it...

Iain - yes, one of mates in a band has already asked if he can use that line, so I think you're right!