Now online: “Elephant Teeth,” a quiet little eco-rage story about animal saboteurs, elephant cults, and new beginnings. Free in audio, as read by the author.
Great, great fun. Much as I love performing my own work, there’s something especially intriguing in reading stories written by others. This week for Toasted Cake, I read “Green Future” by Deborah Walker, set in a future London overtaken by rampant flora and microfauna — algae adhering to every surface, changing everything it touches. Not only is there some great urban decay imagery, but the story itself explores what it would mean to be changed oneself by such a change, what it means to embrace things, to cling to things, to let things go.
Diego Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus (famously slashed as protest by suffragette Mary Richardson in 1914) features prominently in the story. It’s a wonderful choice on Walker’s part, as this particular Venus so saturates the public consciousness, the dialogue about art, fine art, and what it means culturally, that she’s been rendered and re-rendered: as Snow White; as a Fat Ginger Cat; as a tattooed goddess; as a… whatever these are. Lovely irreverent reverence. An homage made while blowing raspberries. Now I want one in algae, please — or, playing into my own eco-fascinations, lichen.
Bonus Track: my urban decay board on Pinterest.
Super pleased to be heading downtown to the Literary Arts building here in Portland tonight to discuss Kenneth Calhoun‘s debut novel BLACK MOON with bestselling local author Daniel H. Wilson. Curious to hear how a free-form discussion of an apocalyptic disaster novel will turn out between me and the author of such books as Where’s My Jetpack?: A Guide to the Amazing Science Fiction Future That Never Arrived and How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion??? ME TOO!
More on this awesome event orchestrated by Late Night Library when I confirm details of airing dates, etc. Sweeeet!