Monday, September 28, 2020

Reader's Diary #2136- David Garvey: The St. Thomas More Band Break Up

David Garvey's short story "The St. Thomas More Band Break up" is an amusing look at a 2000s prog rock cover band who is breaking up. Most of the guys in the band were just not into it anymore and they've drawn straws to tell the one guy who seems to have taken it more seriously. It... doesn't go well.

The story of St. Thomas More, remaining grateful and witty even at his own execution, seems lost on his namesake band and their violent destruction. When they finally discuss it and opt to try for pub rock instead, it seems like it might be a better fit.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Reader's Diary #2135- Andy K: The Canal

The setting in Andy K's short story "The Canal" was well described and though it refers to a mosque and a Buddhist temple, not Protestant and Catholic churches, that part reminded me of Alan Doyle's description of Petty Harbor in Where I Belong. 

The story itself isn't groundbreaking and deals with a man returning to his hometown but unsure why. But I appreciated the slight tone of a parable and the theme of fate. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Reader's Diary #2134- Khulud Khamis: The Unspeakable Act

I happened upon Khulud Khamis's short story "The Unspeakable Act" through a link on her website. Here she describes it as a story about sexual assault. I'd like to say I would have seen it coming in the story even without this description as it's so cringey. 

It's told from the perspective of a fourteen year old girl who has a crush on an older cousin who she's thrilled that has started to notice her. If that doesn't raise red flags, I don't know what to say. More flags go off as he obviously, to an outsider, begins his grooming. It's both sad and angering. It's also, unfortunately, very believable. Some of this of course, is due to the society we live in, some is a testament to Khamis's strong sense of voice and description in her writing. 

Monday, September 07, 2020

Reader's Diary #2133- Nancy Stohlman: I Found Your Voodoo Doll on the Dance Floor After Last Call

The title to Nancy Stohlman's "I Found Your Voodoo Doll on the Dance Floor After Last Call" is almost as long as the flash fiction itself. 

It's an amusing, supernatural tale of a person finding a voodoo doll of herself and not knowing exactly how to dispose of it without injuring herself in the process. At the end the question is moot as the doll finds its way back into the hands of the creator.

I suppose it could be turned into a metaphor about someone finding it difficult to move on after a break up, but nah, it's just fun the way it is.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Reader's Diary #2132 - Cole Pauls: Dakwäkãda Warriors

What a surprising treat Cole Pauls' Dakwäkãda Warriors graphic novel was! Telling the story of two Earth protectors, Crow and Wolf against the evil Long Ago Person and Bushman, it was like nothing I've ever read before.

Stylistically, it reminded me of Haida Gwaii art, but this is likely due to my lack of knowledge about the Southern Tutchone culture of southern Yukon. It's fascinating and the black, red, and white art was very suited to Pauls' indie comic style, capturing action and emotion while still keeping with the light humour and action of the space opera tale.

Speaking of which, Pauls mixing of the futuristic with traditional tales and with themes of colonialism and environmental protection was brilliant. Powerful but entertaining enough that you'd hardly realize you were learning something! Even more impressive was the way that he worked in Southern Tutchone language. A key was provided but after a while, it became seamless and even I started picking up some vocabulary. 

I cannot speak highly enough of this book.