Saturday, July 01, 2006

Decongestion Charge

Live literature meets web presence meets publication and gives the embattled short story a new lease of life in London.

Just published by Apis Books: Tales of the Decongested, so called because the price of a copy is about the same as a day's decongestion charge (the fee you have to pay to drive in the centre of London).

The book is a collection of pieces written to be read aloud at the famous Foyles bookshop in central London, by a mixture of unpublished and published authors (including Ali Smith!). The objective of the project was to:
... raise the profile of the short story and to discover exciting new talent in London.
The quality of the writing gets a firm thumbs from Guy Dammann on the Guardian Culture Vulture blog, and if you want more information on how the scheme works, it can be found on the Tales of the Decongested website.

Now, I was so interested in the project I must admit (to my shame) that I went along to Amazon and one-clicked it. (Yes, okay, you can borrow it after me.) But the stories are also archived online, so that the cash-strapped and stingy among you don't have to part with your dosh to enjoy them (!) and you can also download some of the stories to capture the flavour of life performance.

Hmmm ... live literature .... meets web presence ... meets publication ... it could be a model worth imitating in a city near you!

14 comments:

sympozium said...

Glad you sound recovered :-)
My turn to be sick today: cold, aches, fever, body in pain etc...oh why oculdn't it have happened on a working day???

Btw : reading Kate Mosse's book Labyrinth and getting very bored with it...

bibliobibuli said...

sympozium - yes, i'm much better, just a bit low on energy. i am so sorry you are not feeling well today ... treat yourself kindly

yes, these lurgies do tend to hit when we're off work, don't they? when i had shingles it was during a semester break and i didn't get to take a single (shingle!) day off

coincidence - i was just writing a synopsis of labyrinth for an article and wondering if i'd like it ...

sympozium said...

Sharon,

I'm working with a very particular and picky person on polishing a MS and therefore my "senses" are heightened to clunky or plain bad writing when reading at the moment. At page 30 or so Mosse writes : "She felt the chill air curl around her arms and legs like a cat."

And at page 366, she again writes, "She felt the chill air curl around her legs like a cat."

Two problems: Cats don't curl around arms, and they're NOT chilly at all when they do curl around legs!!!!

And surely she could have thought of another description?

Maybe I'm too picky???

The novel drags as well. Mosse said her intention was to write a book featuring feisty heroines but I think she hasn't succeeded...

Back to bed and the dull Labyrinth...I reckon I'd rather drink absinthe than read Labyrinth (there, my tortured pun for the day)...

bibliobibuli said...

sympozium - a review of the book i just read describesd her use of "cardiopulmonery hyperbole" (pounding heart/ gasping lungs etc.)

but there are those who will enjoy the book, i'm sure

sympozium said...

That review was from The Guardian, I think :-))))
just finished the cruddy book - every alternate chapter seemed to end with a character - usually Alice - being clubbed unconscious or fainting ("the darkness reached out" and such variations seem to be her favourite).

bibliobibuli said...

*lol* i will make a note to avoid it

hmmm ... what's your MS sympozium? fiction?

sympozium said...

Yes, fiction, Sharon...a novel...

sorry, have to crash...tired my eyes out reading Jeremy Lewis's bio of Allen Lane - highly readable!

bibliobibuli said...

sympozium - aha! *lights go on in brain* ...

lil ms d said...

hi all

(sharon you should have a forum for us writers to ask questions :)

how does a writer get the permission of a dead foreign author, for a screen adaptation or fiction? basically the writer's story is based or rather influenced by the dead writer's work. how ah?

thank you.

dinsy

bibliobibuli said...

depends how based on, i suppose ...

writers and filmmakers base their work on other writers work all the time eg. colm toibin and henry james ...

you could i suppose contact the publishers ... but work is out of copyright after 50 years

who are you adapting and for what??

lil ms d said...

aiyo not me sharon, i am working on my work. a friend wants to do this finas thing and wants to base the story on some dead writer's work. the rules stated that either the writer received the permission of the author or publishing house. so that got me thinking lah!

sympozium said...

Permissions : best is to write to the author's publisher. If he is well-known and dead he may have an estate set up (eg JM Barrie, Potter, Milne, CS Lewis)...
Another route is to the Society of Authors (UK).

Anonymous said...

"Please tell me," I asked. "What was his name?"

"Who knows!" was the reply. "What you call people doesn’t really matter, does it?"

Indeed. This is for everyone who's ever asked me what my name was. :)

Anonymous said...

Er.. Potter isn't dead yet Symp :) anyway this seems like another attempt to make money out of what you get for free.