Good News

My son William Karel King was  born yesterday at 5:44 am. I am not planning on doing much work today as a consequence. I will be doing the happy dance and visiting the lad and his lovely mother Radka in the maternity hospital.

In the meantime, if you feel the urge to read something new and King-ian, I shall just mention that my short horror story Carp is free until 12 p.m. Pacific Time Tuesday on Amazon, Amazon UK and all the other Amazons as far as I know. This story is set in Prague and combines Lovecraftian horror, Xmas, absinthe and Bertrand Russell on the subject of turkeys. What more can a reasonable person ask for in a Christmas story?

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Comments

  1. Michael Mooney says:

    Doesn’t matter how often I hear it, that’s still great news. My best to all, and hopefully see you early in the New Year.

  2. Congratulations! Kids are the best Christmas gift of all.

  3. Read Carp last night, Bill. Was rather amused (if you’ll excuse the pun) by the way it sort of stuck to the musing where the build-up all seemed toward a direct turn towards the Lovecraftian. They’re not so far apart, Lovecraft and Russell, really – difference and quite knowing examinations of the absurd, in a way. I thought the recurrent commentary on backpacker culture and the exoticisation on the one hand, and stereotyping on the other, of travellers and the visited, and they way they often go almost contrarily hand-in-hand, was very well observed. I’ve been to Prague and can see it’s the kind of place all camps would easily fall victim to it; it attracts (or did when I was there, 2006, I think) hoards of the kinds of tourists locals could understandably judge as ignorant at first sight, but then of course the tourist industy and cash-in culture is part of that, so others might equal well arrive and think why have they filled it with this shady shit? I think the relationships between visitors and locals are fascinating, the more so in places where it hasn’t long, or hasn’t always, been the norm, or where tourism is experiencing something of a boom or a place has become hip. I’m a student of empire and it always reminds me of the questions of cultural imperialism, or the Irish theme pub conundrum: the perfectly normal and normalised relationship between cultures that can still leave you thinking, “Yeah, but how weird is this?” Or how wrong is it. Russell’s turkeys would have something to say, perhaps.

    • Thanks Matt,
      That Bertrand Russell quote always struck me as sort of “essence of Lovecraft” :). It has a view of a universe that goes beyond cold and uncaring to the downright paranoidly inimical. As a backpacker for much of my life and a long-term resident of Prague I have seen the culture clash from both sides. Mostly though the story was inspired by the huge buckets of fish that you see here on the street at Christmas. There’s something quite eerie about the way they swim around and sometimes try to escape.

      • I was there in February, so never saw the fish, but I do recall a big Tesco just around the corner from Wenceslas square, which stuck out to me even then as very culture clash, so having the eerie fish thing take place outside one (and I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be that particular one, but in my head of course will be) certainly resonated.

        The most intriguing part of the culture clash surrounding backpackers, of course, is that it should occur with backpackers at all – people who to seem degree and in some shape or form have as an expressed aim the very business of expericing other places and cultures (as your female protaganist frequently reminds here). It was very adroit, whatever the initial inspiration – amusingly so, of course, given the hearty nod to an Anglophile paranoid racist.

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