Just for the sheer bravura of it, and the feeling of being well and truly entertained by the whole thing when I finished it, The Last Bus by Paul Feeney gets my vote. Best Multi-Author Collection. Game Over was a collection of stories which used video gaming as its inspiration. Being as old as I am, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a high proportion of the stories used older generation games as their influence, providing a bit of a nostalgia-rush for me.
All the stories are centred around the fictional gated community of Priory but there were many more connections between the individual stories, with shared characters and events. It was good to see the racism angle examined too — a bold move but again, one which paid off handsomely. The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories effortlessly maintained the high standard of Volume 1 and Mark Morris has done a sterling job of whittling down the massive response to the open submission to the final line-up.
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The anthology I enjoyed the most this year however is the first in what I hope will be a long series. I loved all the stories in here, all were of the highest quality and all were, indeed, darksome — creating images that still lurk in the dark recesses of my imagination. The Dark Muse for a multi-author collection therefre goes to Nightscript 1. Best Single Author Collection. A couple of the single author collections I read this year were actually published in so, purely because of my negligence, they fail to qualify for inclusion in the Dark Muse awards.
Includes a Rimbaud Chronology. Fabulous letters from the vagabond Beat poet to his friendsamong them Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
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For all his charm and intelligence poet Gregory Corso lived a vagabond life. He never held down a regular job. He rarely stayed very long under the same roof. He spent long stretchessome as long as four or five yearsabroad. Many of his letters came from EuropeFrance, England, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Greeceas he kept in touch with his circle of friendsamong them his best friend Allen Ginsberg and a steady supporter, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
He left or was left by a number of girlfriends and he fathered five children along the way. He was apt to raise a bit of a ruckus at poetry readings and other public events.
Hell’s Wasteland: The Pennsylvania Torso Murders
No one could be sure what he might do next except that he would write poetry and get it published and that it would be widely read. When the idea of a book of selected letters was first proposed, Gregory had some reservations about it. Would the book reveal too much of his private life? But then with typical hubris he said the equivalent of "let it all hang out" and "all" does hang out in An Accidental Autobiography.
The book is indeed the next thing to an unplanned self-portrait and gives a lively sense of the life Gregory Corso led, marching to his own drummer and leaving in his wake such marvelous books of Beat poetry as The Happy Birthday of Death, Elegiac Feelings American, Long Live Man, and Herald of the Autochthonic Spirit.
Bill Morgan, who is extremely conversant with the Beats, has done an admirable job collecting letters from libraries and various individuals across the country and then selecting and organizing them in a progression that spans Corso's lifetime. In addition to Morgan's introduction and commentary, the book includes a special foreword by poet and rock star Patti Smith as well as a number of photographs. The first and highly personal perspective into the work and processes of Ann Demeulemeester, one of the most influential and inspiring fashion designers of our time.
Influenced by punk, she founded her label in and imbues her designs with a strong narrative and rebellious spirit. For Demeulemeester, fashion is a form of communication. Her complex language of contrasts covers a whole gamut of emotions. The tension is highly poetic, and her clothes reveal many layers of soul. Known for her elegant tailoring and dark yet glamorous aesthetic, she created a serene and darkly romantic world with an intriguing mix of edgy rebellion and sophistication.
A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic—its source a mystery, its impact unexpectedly stirring. A smattering of white clouds, underlined with a quick brushstroke of grey, have been tossed against the blue sky. Picturesque, quiet, meditative, it seems like the type of place where nothing could go wrong. Still, something about the scene strikes me as absurd—God forbid, something happens, what do I do? In the water, headed towards a place with no name? But in the United States? In ? As he lowered the vessel into the water that morning, Eric assured me that there was no way I could get lost.
I turned around. Eric stood on the dock in the navy blue basketball shorts, white tank top, and flip flops. Everything looks the same out there, Eric warned. I could get disoriented. If I ended up in the wrong canal, I should pull my kayak ashore and ask anyone around for help. I faced him and noticed his look of hesitation. Now, as I paddle towards the channel Eric told me to avoid, I struggle to recall the details of our conversation. Was it left?
Or am I not supposed to go right? I keep my eye on the sand as I paddle towards the channel, a slash of navy in the bright green bight. They stop. I imagine an endless drop-off, a tear in the earth. My stomach grips itself as I enter the channel. I feel the current pulling on the kayak. I use my paddle to push back.
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- My old stuff.
I get out of the kayak and my foot sinks into the ground. An island! Through an arch in the trees, I can see arid land. I use a rope to lash my kayak to a slender mangrove trunk. A small branch of bone-white coral rests against a root. Figuring it a souvenir, I reach for it, only to find it damp and spongy. Surprised, I drop it. Barefoot and clad only in a bikini, I walk deeper into the shrubs and grass. Once I can no longer see the water or my kayak—my links to the outside world—I squat, feeling the sun and silence on my back.
Destined Mates and Fearsome Queens: Free Romance eBooks
I decide to paddle around the island so I can check it out from all sides. I round a corner and find myself back in the canal I began in. Sunburned and discouraged, I steer myself into the slip and tie the kayak up. I began this journey determined to do everything alone: Drive to the large unnamed islands that are attached to Florida via bridge. Paddle to smaller ones in the Intracoastal Waterway and off the Keys. I find other unnamed islands but most are too far—four, five miles out in one direction—for me to kayak to alone.
And considering how easily I become disoriented in the bight, I realize I would have a hell of a time navigating.
Eric calls in a favor and help comes in the form of a year-old named A. He runs Into the Blue, a charter company.
Dark Frontiers Volume Two
He has a deep tan and tousled brown hair. Like most of the other men who spend their days on the water, A. His earliest memories are of the ocean; he started taking small boats out on his own when he was seven. A couple in high school, they eventually broke up but remain friends. A quiet and thoughtful blonde, Ashley provides a calm balance to A. But, as A. Before we board the boat, he shows me the route on Google Earth.
Kiss of the Muse
An island is basically separation from other islands. But you gotta work your way in. From her experience, Ashley understands it to be the opposite: a ring of trees, protecting hidden sands.
rabbtingtesig.tk What looks to me like an impenetrable thicket is, for Ashley and other locals, a curtain of privacy. After we drop anchor, we wade towards the golden sand before us. Three sides of the island are flanked with mangroves, making the beach seem like a stage. On it, I find camping chairs carried ashore for the day and rusted barbecues that have taken up permanent residence.
A tiny blonde boy, his limbs turned the color of caramel by the southern sun, stands before a cluster of signs. Children make their way through the trees. He describes the moment he tried to kiss Ashley in those very mangroves. He calls my attention to a rope hammock, waiting in a shady alcove. I notice several chest-high palm trees, ringed with stones.