09 February 2012

Flash Frontier, Frankfurt, Two Kinds Of Monster, And The Octacon Reunion

I've decided this year that writing comes before blogging, and that, while I'll always aim to put up one blog post per week, I may not always put up a second post.

That means that, when I do put up a second post, there will be lots to talk about - as there is today.

Flash Frontier

Michelle Elvy is a new - to me! - and energetic figure on the New Zealand literary scene, and I have enjoyed becoming involved in a couple of projects in which she is a prime mover.

Firstly, I have a story in the first issue of Flash Frontier. This is a new New Zealand literary magazine, edited by Michelle Elvy and Sian Williams, that specialises in flash fiction - very short fiction, which in the case of Flash Frontier means an upper limit of 250 words. I don't often write flash fiction, but I can tell you that it is lots of fun to write, and that Flash Frontier is looking for more of it!

My story "The Beginnings of America" is one of 16 stories in the first issue, which also carries this interesting interview with Graeme Lay, who edited several NZ anthologies of short-short fiction.


Another Michelle Elvy initiative, this time with Dorothee Lang, is the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012: An Aotearoa Affair - A Blog Fest from Kiel to Kaitaia.

It's an excellent blog which brings together work from New Zealand and German writers, some translated, in the leadup to the Frankfurt Book Fair - and you can join the blog and get involved in its many projects.

I was very chuffed that my poem The Translator was selected as the first of the blog's Weekly Highlights, and it has since been joined by work by Marcus Speh, Emma Barnes, and Patrizia Monzani, with more to follow!

Helen Lowe also mentions this Blog Fest on her blog - with good reason, as the German translation of her novel The Heir of Night is being published in 2012. Congratulations, Helen!

Two Kinds of Monster

The blog tour for my 2011 poetry collection Men Briefly Explained is not quite over yet! Bookiemonster has published a pair of interviews on her blog this week that form part of my and Keith Westwater's blog tours:

Keith Westwater Interviews Tim Jones About Men Briefly Explained

Tim Jones Interviews Keith Westwater About Tongues Of Ash

The Octacon Reunion

In 1982, a science fiction convention was held in Dunedin that changed lives and changed underwear. It went down in history as Octacon, and now, thirty years later, those who experienced Octacon for the first time are condemned to relive every agonising moment. What's more, it is even possible for others to join them in their communal madness. Look upon the mighty Octacon Reunion Poster, ye mortals, and despair! (Or, if your motto is 'nil desperandum', contact 2012octacon@gmail.com for further details.)


Marcus Speh said...

Hi Tim, thanks for the shout out. Your highlight poem is fantastic. I'm sad I cannot come to NZ Sci-Fi conventions, that would be my cup of down under tea exactly! I firmly believe there's more alien influence on the island than elsewhere...or perhaps it's just all those sheep. Cheers to you and have a productive 2012!

Penelope said...

'The Beginnings of America' is both fun and weird, Tim, and evades classification, but while reading, I could have sworn it was a prose poem. (God, I love those useless debates.) Nice to see a new New Zealand journal launched on such an auspicious date, too...I look forward to reading the other stories. Or prose poems.

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Marcus and Penelope.

Marcus, you might be surprised to hear that there are far less sheep in NZ than there used to be, and far more cows! So I think it must be the alien influence at work.

Penelope, that's interesting, because I have written what I call prose poems, yet "The Beginnings of America" does not feel like one to me! I like the idea of a televised celebrity debate on where the prose poem/flash fiction boundary falls.

Michelle Elvy said...

thank you Tim for this post! Your poem at the Aotearoa Affair and your story at Flash Frontier are wonderful additions to these ventures. And I too am curious about the sci-fi adventures. The changing underwear intrigues...

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Michelle. I hope to contribute more to one or both of those venues!

The "changing underwear" remark probably cannot be independently verified 30 years on - i.e. I made it up. But some lives were changed by the event, as I recall.

The New Zealand National Science Fiction Conventions aka Natcons started in 1979, so Octacon was the fourth of them. For those far away from Dunedin, here are details of the 2012 Natcon, to be held in Auckland: http://unconventional2012.wordpress.com/.

Elizabeth Welsh said...

Tim, your flash fiction 'The Beginnings of America' is stunning - the concluding line particularly. I think there is a wonderful blurring between flash fiction-prose poetry-poetry and your piece exemplifies that. Thanks for introducing me to the journal, too - it looks like it has some great contributors :)

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Elizabeth - it took a bit of revision to get it to that state!

Graeme Lay's series of flash (or, as he called it, short-short) fiction anthologies got me interested in writing very short fiction, and I contributed to several of those, but I'd got out of the habit - Flash Frontier provides a good reason to get back into the habit again!