Archive for the Non-Fictions Category

Station Stories

Posted in Non-Fictions on February 19, 2011 by Tom Fletcher

I’m involved in a project called Station Stories, alongside Jenn Ashworth, Nicholas Royle, Peter Wild, Tom Jenks, and David Gaffney. It’s very exciting. It’s this:

Station stories is a unique site specific live literature promenade event using digital technology and live improvised electronic sound. From platform to platform, café to café and shop to shop, six writers take you on a creative trip of Piccadilly station and read specially commissioned stories inspired by the station and the people who use it and work there. Itʼs a unique live literature promenade performance featuring live improvised sounds using samples of ambient station noises as they happen.

Audiences are linked to the writerʼs microphones by headsets using wireless technology, making the event unobtrusive and ensuring the audience hear every single word, whilst still experiencing the live ambience of the location. A musician accompanies the writers and improvises music using sampled live sounds from the station, manipulating these sounds and playing them into the audienceʼs headsets between and underneath the text. The writers interact with passing members of the public who may be unaware that a performance is taking place.

Station stories will explore the day-to-day life of the station – its platforms, its workers, the journeys people take, the waiting, the encounters, the thrill, the loneliness, the joy. It will express the peculiar, unique qualities of this marginal, in-between world, where anything can happen and often does.

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The Endist

Posted in Non-Fictions on December 7, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

I now have a new blog (The Endist) at http://www.endistic.wordpress.com. My intention is that The Endist will feature fiction and posts about writing, whereas this blog – Fell House – will be for news and plugs and whatnot. So if you’re a subscriber, you may wish to also subscribe to The Endist.

(I mean, you might want to just unsubscribe from this and not subscribe to the other, that’s fine too, totally understandable).

 

Student Protests

Posted in Non-Fictions on November 10, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

I think protest marches are brilliant, and that the ‘look at all of the spoiled, middle-class brats pointlessly making a fuss’ school of criticism is missing the point completely. Also, I’d say that the ‘university fees are not that big a deal’ school of criticism is missing the point too, as is the ‘what a load of violent thugs’ school.

(In addition I think these arguments are plain wrong, but that’s neither here nor there).

The point is that people feel moved to nail their colours to the mast and stand up to the state. That’s a big deal. It’s doesn’t matter who they are, or if they have fun doing it, or if a few windows get smashed in the process. It doesn’t even really matter what the point of contention is, as far as I’m concerned. Whatever the issue at hand, the protest march is a demonstration that citizens feel too strongly to wait to vote at next election, and that really matters.

And, for the record, I think that tuition fees are a massive, massive issue. That aside – protestors should have our full support, always.

Let Me In

Posted in Non-Fictions on November 8, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

The new Hammer film, Let Me In, is BRILLIANT. As you may already know, it is an English-language adaptation of the Swedish film Let The Right One In which in turn was an adaptation of the book Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

All three versions are (really, truly) fantastic, but Let Me In is the only one currently showing in cinemas. You should all go and see it. I really mean that. You won’t regret it. And don’t be fooled by the trailers into thinking that it’s a fairly mediocre action shocker or anything – it’s really much much better than the standard, TV trailers make out.

If you’re thinking ‘Tom doesn’t normally recommend films or anything on this blog’ then, well, you’d be right. But Let Me In is a great example of why horror matters, and obviously that’s something I’m very interested in.

Given that you’re already reading this, then you’re probably fairly open-minded about all of this kind of stuff anyway, and I’m probably preaching to the converted, but – well – I’m going to stop myself talking myself out of writing this blog post now.

Go. Go now.

 

Wastwater Legends

Posted in Non-Fictions on November 1, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

I received an e-mail a while ago, and the sender asked the following question:

‘Another question is whether The Leaping is based on any legends at wastwater as I have been told about a giant dog that is said to live near the lake and about a monster which lives in the lake.’

I haven’t heard either of these stories, but naturally I’m intrigued. (For those of you that don’t know, ‘The Leaping’ is set in Wasdale and around Wastwater, and it’s an area I’m quite familiar with).

Anybody out there – folklorist, local, anybody – able to shed any light?

 

 

 

[ECHOEY INTERNET SILENCE]

Fisheye

Posted in Non-Fictions on October 31, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

We were in Buxton yesterday and we went to the Pavilion Gardens. There was an indoor section, with a pleasantly warm, humid room full of glossy, dark-leaved plants. There was a very clean-looking pond as well, full of bright fish. I leaned over the edge and watched them for a while. There was one white fish with very big, protuberant eyes. It swam close to the wall. It swam closer and closer to the wall. If it went right up to the wall, the first bit of it to touch the wall would be its eye, because its eyes were so very bulbous. I kept thinking, don’t get so close to the wall. Then it bumped into the wall, eye first. I thought it would recoil or something, but it didn’t. Just kept on scraping along.

isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk

Posted in Non-Fictions on October 28, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

Obviously the website www.isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk has been receiving a bit of media attention recently, and – quite predictably – has been criticized as sick, insensitive, and tasteless. The primary line of attack seems to be ‘Even though loads of people hate her and think she’s a terrible person, she’s still somebody’s mother and somebody’s nan. She’s still a real human being, and she’s old and frail.’

This line of attack is often accompanied by the attacker saying that they themselves admire Thatcher, and that she saved the country, and that she’s a national hero.

I’m not going to defend isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk on grounds of taste or sensitivity, because what constitutes bad taste or tastelessness is so subjective as to make any protest on such grounds quite meaningless. And I’m not going to talk about her politics. But what I will say is that for people to get so self-righteous about others being seemingly callous about the death of an individual is laughably hypocritical.

What I mean is – people resent their taxes funding the safe accommodation of asylum seekers. People are quite happy for their taxes to be spent on an illegal war in which (it is believed) more civilians than military have died. People bemoan the amount of foreign aid that we, as a nation, give to other countries in the wake of natural disasters. People (specifically, Richard Littlejohn and the Daily Mail) loudly opine that it’s no great loss if prostitutes are murdered by a serial killer, or that Tony Martin had every right to shoot that thieving youth in the back. And on and on and on. Basically, lots of people couldn’t care less about the deaths of others. Their second car is more important. Lots of people, to be blunt, don’t mind hastening the deaths of others if it means paying less tax. Even innocent others.

How can these people sincerely claim that isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk is somehow wrong by virtue of speculating on / waiting for the death of a person? In every case mentioned above, we’re talking about the deaths of human beings – mothers, fathers, nans, sons, daughters, wives, husbands. But that doesn’t really bother Littlejohn et al, or their multitudinous parrots.

In short – the ‘BUT SHE’S A HUMAN BEING AND SHE MIGHT ACTUALLY DIE!’ reaction to isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk is disingenuous and ludicrous, and it’s primarily coming from the very same idiot media organs that are responsible for so many people in this country holding the repulsive and deeply callous views listed above. Basically, they care about some people dying, and not others. It would be interesting to know where the dividing lines are.