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A few years ago, the Norwegian electronic duo Röyksopp released two paired albums. One was Junior, a bouncy light-hearted romp through party pop. The other was Senior, a more introverted and complex record. Interesting to hear, but ultimately less hooky. Fans of the duo vow to love both albums equally, but secretly they all prefer Junior. The immediate fun atmosphere is exactly what the ear needs to deliver a happiness boost to the system.
Chrissy Williams, maybe without meaning to, has written her own pair much in the style of Junior and Senior. The first book, The Jam Trap (her last book before Flying into the Bear, which came out last year through Soaring Penguin Press) is playful and humorous, filled with stories in the style of prose poems that burst with a sort of sentimental wit. Flying into the Bear (published by Happenstance) is more mature both is style and in content. Much like the aforementioned Scandinavian songsmiths, Williams has shown, eloquently and comprehensively, two completely different sides to her creative endeavours. Though that is perhaps where the similarity ends. Williams will not have to suffer for turning to a more introspective mode of writing. Flying into the Bear is charged with an emotional gravity that far surpasses that of The Jam Trap, making it a more engaging and even more entertaining read. Continue reading →
“The idea is to dissect various genres of writing, film and drama by reconstructing them from the ground up. One story at a time.” This was the spiel we threw at writers to tell them about our new project. We expected such lofty sentences to be thrown back, tied up with a derisive sneer. However, it turns out we know some rather inventive and experimental writers!
Welcome to XZ, our new online fiction project. The aim is to get inside stories and see how different writing styles can join forces to create something fresh, but recognisable. To do this, we’re taking particular genres/styles/species of fiction and breaking them down, looking under the hood and building them back up in smaller chunks.
Each story gets six writers and each writer gets one section. They are given a bare framework to work on, everything else is up to them, and they aren’t told what the other five writers are coming up with.
The first issue has worked out far more splendidly than we could have hoped, with a story rife with suspense and dangerous turns. It’s the classic tale of a hardboiled detective, employed by a mysterious woman to investigate a murder.
Click to dive straight in and enjoy the story, or feel free to download it at consume at your leisure.
A special thanks go to the six magnificent authors of this tale: Ben Gwalchmai, Komal Verma, Akiho Schilz, Jack Swain, Eley Williams and John Boursnell.
Part of the project is to invite a bit of discussion from you, the reader. If you want to comment of the project in any way – maybe you have an idea about breaking the story into chapters, or you didn’t like the characters attitude, or you find yourself in sleuth-style experiences and can relate – please leave a comment below. We want to generate an active back-and-forth about the project. The most discussed topics will be added to the issue in a month’s time.
Posted in Fiction, Poetry, Prose
Tagged Ben Gwalchmai, detective, eley williams, ezine, fiction, hardboiled, Jack Swain, John Boursnell, komal verma, Nick Murray, noir, Poetry, prose, short story, XZ, XZ and tagged Akiho Schilz, zine
[Remember folks, this is a duplicate article. All Annexe fare will be posted primarily to http://www.AnnexeMagazine.com. In a month or so, we’ll post only there! Make the switch.]
South London writer, Clare Fisher, has been crafting a series of short stories that exist as snapshots of the city. Different aspects and different perceptions of London grow out of Fisher’s narrative description. We caught up with her to chat about the project. Continue reading →
Posted in Fiction, Interview, Prose, short story
Tagged arts, books, city in my head, clare fisher, fiction, literature, london, Nick Murray, stories
Nick Murray reviews a graphic tale of a world in which the apocalypse has long since come and gone. Folks get by how they can and mysterious characters appear without warning.
Apocalyptic fiction is thick on the ground these days. So much so that it is hard to see the quality wood for the repetitive trees. One can find themselves sifting through Walking Dead clones wishing for the days when the end of the world didn’t have to be signalled by shambling zombies, never thinking they’ll see the end until, as if by chance, they stumble upon Cody Pickrodt’s Reptile Museum. Continue reading →
Posted in Comics, Fiction, Review
Tagged apocalypse, comic, cosy pickrodt, graphic, Nick Murray, novel, ray ray comics, reptile museum, the road
Only two issues in and The Alarmist has drawn quite the following! With the kind of first-rate writing and the distinctive aesthetic style that they’ve carved out and made their own, it isn’t surprising that The Alarmist has a readership that spans the length and breadth of the country. Nick Murray met up with Gary from Leeds and Mansour Chow, the creative duo that birthed The Alarmist, on the eve of the issue two launch to talk about being less stuffy, hidden genius and nihilistic publishing techniques. Continue reading →
Posted in Interview, Magazines, Zines
Tagged creative duo, fiction, gary from leeds, illustration, interview, mansour chow, Nick Murray, Poetry, prose, short stories, the alarmist
It is rare that we at Annexe HQ get to, or feel the need to, review video games. So rare in fact that this is the first and only one so far. On the whole, video games run on very different rails to a traditional book narrative, though with statistics like ‘for the first time ever, more Americans play video games than go to the movies’ being bandied about, you can see why the two mediums are reaching a fork in the road. Continue reading →
Following on from our Long Live Print column, we met with Nicholas Royle, the founder of Nightjar Press. Elevating the short story as a form of fiction is Royle’s MO. Each release from Nightjar brings a single short story to the fore and presents it as an elegant chapbook with all the care and aesthetic consideration of a longer work. Continue reading →
Posted in Interview, Prose, short story, Uncategorized
Tagged chapbook, literature, nicholas royle, Nick Murray, nightjar, pamphlet, press, royle, salt publishing, short fiction
It seems that finally the furore about the ‘death of print’ is dying down. Mainly because print did no such thing. The phrase ‘death of print’ is reminiscent of swashbuckling period movies in which a rabble of sooty-looking peasants or beruffled aristocrats yell “the king is dead”. All well and good. A simple sentence with a definite meaning. Almost immediately they’d drop “long live the king” as well. Instantly everything has changed. There’s a king, so the idea of ‘king’ is still there (a constant if you will) but the body that constitutes king is entirely different. This is exactly what is going on with print. Print publishing as a concept is very much here. The reality that constitutes print publishing is becoming a whole new world. Continue reading →
It is rare to find a collection such as Never Never Never Come Back. One that is wildly varied and still feels cohesive; like the work of a single author. Irving really flexes her skill with her first collection. The different styles and methods of writing are apparent and she manages to make each one her own. What is troublesome for me is that the numerous branches leading out of the book make it hard to talk about collection without making general sweeping statements about its goodness, so instead I’ll just highlight a couple of my favourites and go from there. Continue reading →
Posted in Poetry, Review
Tagged fuselit, kirsten irving, literature, never never never come back, Nick Murray, Poetry, salt, salt publishing, sidekick books, writing