Monday, 26 August 2013

Clare Fisher's The City in my Head

Philistine author Clare Fisher is in the midst of publishing a series of sharp, funny and haunting stories called The City in my Head, each tale focussing on a different area of London. In the words of the author, this is a "fictional map".  

The stories can be read here, courtesy of Notes From the Underground.  

Follow Clare on Twitter: @Clawclam 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Cosmic Dust

Take a look at this very interesting article from the website of Imperial College London

"Cosmic dust is everywhere, it is on the streets, in our homes, even on our clothes. Each one of us is never more than a few feet from a dust particle from space, tiny pieces of rocks that could be from the moon, asteroids, comets, even Jupiter. Cosmic dust is important since these tiny pieces of rock allow us to study distant objects in our solar system without the multi-billion dollar price tag of a space mission. Despite the ubiquitous abundance of cosmic dust, however, it is difficult to know exactly where in space these little particles are from..."

Monday, 19 August 2013

Particle sizes

Not the sort of thing you'd expect to see on a literature / arts-based blog, but if you've ever wondered what size an oxygen particle is in relation to the eye of a needle, this is for you...

ParticleParticle Size
one inch25400
dot (.)615
Eye of a Needle1230
Glass Wool1000
Spanish Moss Pollen150 - 750
Beach Sand100 - 10000
Mist70 - 350
Fertilizer10 - 1000
Pollens10 - 1000
Cayenne Pepper15 - 1000
Textile Fibers10 - 1000
Fiberglass Insulation1 - 1000
Grain Dusts5 - 1000
Human Hair40 - 300
Human Hair60 - 600
Dust Mites100 - 300
Saw Dust30 - 600
Ground Limestone10 - 1000
Tea Dust8 - 300
Coffee5 - 400
Bone Dust3 - 300
Hair5 - 200
Cement Dust3 - 100
Ginger25 - 40
Mold Spores10 - 30
Starches3 - 100
Red Blood Cells5 - 10
Mold3 - 12
Mustard6 - 10
Antiperspirant6 - 10
Textile Dust6 - 20
Gelatin5 - 90
Spider web2 - 3
Spores3 - 40
Combustion-related - motor vehicles, wood burning,
open burning, industrial processes
up to 2.5
Fly Ash1 - 1000
Milled Flour, Milled Corn1 - 100
Coal Dust1 - 100
Iron Dust4 - 20
Smoke from Synthetic Materials1 - 50
Lead Dust2
Face Powder0.1 - 30
Talcum Dust0.5 - 50
Asbestos0.7 - 90
Calcium Zinc Dust0.7 - 20
Paint Pigments0.1 - 5
Auto and Car Emission1 - 150
Metallurgical Dust0.1 - 1000
Metallurgical Fumes0.1 - 1000
Clay0.1 - 50
Humidifier0.9 - 3
Copier Toner0.5 - 15
Liquid Droplets0.5 - 5
Insecticide Dusts0.5 - 10
Anthrax1 - 5
Yeast Cells1 - 50
Carbon Black Dust0.2 - 10
Atmospheric Dust0.001 - 40
Smoldering or Flaming Cooking Oil0.03 - 0.9
Corn Starch0.1 - 0.8
Sea Salt0.035 - 0.5
Bacteria0.3 - 60
Bromine0.1 - 0.7
Lead0.1 - 0.7
Radioactive Fallout0.1 - 10
Rosin Smoke0.01 - 1
Combustion0.01 - 0.1
Smoke from Natural Materials0.01 - 0.1
Burning Wood0.2 - 3
Coal Flue Gas0.08 - 0.2
Oil Smoke0.03 - 1
Tobacco Smoke0.01 - 4
Viruses0.005 - 0.3
Typical Atmospheric Dust0.001 to 30
Sugars0.0008 - 0.005
Pesticides & Herbicides0.001
Carbon Dioxide0.00065

Thursday, 15 August 2013

James Hand - interview

James Hand interviewed by Frank Burton 
James's novella, Mitosis, is available to download for free here

What would you say is the appeal of the second person narrative?  
I wanted to get inside the reader's head, like really coerce them into thinking thoughts they often push away, emotions that might frighten them, perceptions that might threaten their existing worldview/reality. I don't know how successful I was in fulfilling these intentions.

How did you decide on the title "Mitosis," and what would you say is its significance? 
I wanted to highlight an awareness of mortality, and, possibly more importantly, the beauty of our temporal lives, like that we're actually fucking alive.

How would you describe your writing process? 
I wrote "Mitosis" in a 24 hour period and spent more time editing and working on it. I wrote it maniacally, like I'd write 1000 words in a short period, suddenly stop then start again later. I don't think I have a concrete, repeated writing process. I usually write when I feel overwhelmed, or am "coming down."

Who are your influences?
I have a hard time thinking of influences; I mainly view them as subconscious. Authors I read before and after writing "Mitosis" include Richard Yates, Lorrie Moore, Sam Pink, Noah Cicero, Tao Lin, Brandon Scott Gorrell, Bret Easton Ellis, and others. I had a reading journal for a while but stopped. I think the one-sentence paragraph style was most influences by Noah Cicero and Sam Pink, and from when I read James Frey's books in elementary school (that seems kind of fucked)

How do you feel about non-profit publishing? 
I like non-profit publishing. I don't know much about publishing, though. I think non-profit publishers like Philistine Press offer a great platform for established and emerging authors to reach an audience. I feel interested in pursuing "work" in publishing, I'd like to learn more, definitely.

Are you working on anything new at the moment? 
Yeah, I'm always writing. I write mostly poetry. I put together a collection which, reading again, I feel is shit and needs lots of work. I have tons of poems I think I could possibly sift through to form a collection or chapbook or something. I just wrote a short story with a polar style to "Mitosis," and might work on more stylistically-similar stories. I don't know. I think I want a book in print eventually, that'd feel great for a while, I think.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Two new ebooks - Dead Letter Office by Anonymous and Pervert by Mr If

Two new ebooks, launched as part of the Edinburgh eBook Festival 2013.

Both books are available to download for free from

In the third part of Mr If’s Entertainment Trilogy, the legendary author’s tales of sexual excess are drawn to an extraordinary conclusion. 

Skint, rejected and desperate, our pseudonymous protagonist embarks on a trek across small-town England, on what turns out to be a tough mission to cure his “adultery addiction”.

Download here

Dead Letter Office is a bleak tale of lost love told through a series of unsent letters. 

Download / read online here

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Edinburgh eBook Festival has begun

Here it is: The Edinburgh eBook Festival 2013 launched today with lots of great stuff online already, including this very interesting (and rather depressing) article by Catherine Czerkawska and the start of festival curator Cally Phillips' Drama Residency

Very happy to have had the opportunity to contribute to this event.  More on that shortly...

Byron Vincent - Alchemy in Nowhere Town

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Hot water as defined by a coffee machine

"A portion controlled hot water selection." 

AKA "hot water". 

Konundrum Engine

A quick shout out to the excellent online journal, Konundrum Engine.  In their own words: 

Konundrum Engine Literary Review is an online journal based in New York, NY. All we really want to do is make you happy. We like stories and words, and hope that's why you're here, because if you want a soda and a fried grouper sandwich, we don't do that, although some of us are really proficient chefs, and would love to cook you a nice meal, if we like you. We publish a lot of things. We exist to rock the joint.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Roanna Rahman

Some great words and artwork here:  

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Dream People

In their own words:

The Dream People offers an alternative to the maelstrom of blasé writing that overpopulates the aqueducts. Ours is a mirage incited by the thirst for a fresh approach, a slip inside the cracks between what we are told is acceptable, a new (ir)reality that defies definition. We hope to provide authors & readers alike with an oasis in the cultural desert that surrounds us. Join us for a dance through the palatial ruins of conformity & discover for yourself that its pillars support nothing at all ...

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast

The second series of Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre podcast finished the other day. Genius. It's here: