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  • Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    by Craig Terlson

    A collection of short stories where the humour runs dark and the slipstream bubbles up.

     

    ...imagine if Raymond Carver called up George Saunders and Joe Lansdale, and they all went drinking with Neil Gaiman.

  • Correction Line
    Correction Line
    by Craig Terlson

    “… it's clear that Terlson is way ahead of the curve in terms of crafting an engaging premise that reaches for elevated territory and reinvents enduring archetypes of action and suspense.”  J. Schoenfelder


    "Sometimes brutal, often demanding and always complex, this novel will repay the reader who likes their assumptions challenged and is happy to walk away from a book with minor questions unanswered but the big ones definitely dealt with! It’s likely to satisfy those who enjoy Hammet and/or Philip K Dick and who like their fiction very noir indeed."   Kay Sexton

     

    "I love a novel that you can't put down, and this is one of them."  L. Cihlar

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Monday
May282007

Not dead yet.

Deadline-full.jpg

Please do not adjust your screen,or smack the side of your computer.
Woofreakinhoo is not dead, nor dying - I have been working on a killer deadline. I am almost there.

Like MacArthur and the Terminator... I shall, um, be back.

Cheers.

Tuesday
May152007

2BR02B

Vonnegut.jpg Part two in my ongoing - Beginnings series.

I've been thinking a lot about Vonnegut since his death. He was a key influence on me in my early twenties. I devoured every book of his and even illustrated mock book covers for illustration projects (I was in art school at the time). But like Philip K. Dick, another early obsession, I grew tired of the voice.
I realize now that I just needed to get away from it for a while.
These days, I delight in exposing my son to Vonnegut - he is reading him much earlier than I did. I am also rediscovering the brilliance of his work.

Recently Vonnegut's story 2BR02B was posted at Project Gutenberg.
(Read the title aloud using the word "not" for zero)
It's a stunning opening, full of the Vonnegut twist.

Everything was perfectly swell.

There were no prisons, no slums, no insane asylums, no cripples, no
poverty, no wars.

All diseases were conquered. So was old age.

Death, barring accidents, was an adventure for volunteers.

The population of the United States was stabilized at forty-million
souls.

Down to forty million from what three hundred or so? Maybe things are not so swell after all.
Here's the link to the complete text:
2BRO2B

Monday
May142007

no-freakin-kidding

I am a bit of a word geek - I subscribe to the Webster word of the day, and I don't even mind publicly declaring that. I thought yesterday's word was very fitting for my little cyber-corner.

infix \IN-fiks\ noun

: a derivational or inflectional affix appearing in the body of a word

Did you know?
Like prefixes and suffixes, infixes are part of the general class of affixes ("sounds or letters attached to or inserted within a word to produce a derivative word or an inflectional form"). Infixes are relatively rare in English, but you can find them in the plural forms of some words. For example, "cupful," "spoonful," and "passerby" can be pluralized as "cupsful," "spoonsful," and "passersby," using "s" as an infix. Another example is the insertion of an (often offensive) intensifier into a word, as in "fan-freakin'-tastic."
Such whole-word insertions are sometimes called infixes.

Well, who-freakin-knew?

Friday
May112007

Schlockered!

saunders.jpg Beginnings - Part One
Schlockered in Saundersland

This is the first of a series of looking at some great beginnings to modern short stories.

In a lovely urban coincidence, the last two houses on our block were both occupied by widows who had lost their husbands in Easter European pogroms. Dad called them the Bohemians. He called anyone white with an accent a Bohemian. Whenever he saw one of the Bohemians, he greeted her by mispronouncing the Czech word for “door.” Neither Bohemian was Czech, but both were polite, so when Dad said “door” to them they answered cordially, as if he weren't perennially schlockered.

The above is the opening to The Bohemians by George Saunders, pubbed in the New Yorker in 2004 and appearing in his latest collection, Persuasion Nation. Immediately I am drawn into the unmistakable voice and wit here. I love the phrase "perennially schlockered" - I am guessing he means drunk, but even if I don't fully understand it, I am hooked, and know that I am in for a great ride. The next paragraph confirms it.

Mrs. Poltoi, the stouter Bohemian, had spent the war in a crawl space, splitting a daily potato with five cousins. Consequently she was bitter and claustrophobic and loved food. If you ate something while standing near her, she stared at it going into your mouth. She wore only black. She said the Catholic Church was a jewelled harlot drinking the blood of the poor. She said America was a spoiled child ignorant of grief. When our ball rolled onto her property, she seized it and waddled into her back yard and pitched it into the quarry.

Six sentences that give me backstory, character, and action all at once. The satire in lines like "a jewelled harlot drinking the blood of the poor" is just plain wicked and hilarious. I wonder though, because I so admire Saunders writing, if I see the humour because I know that's how he means it? It could also be read as a very sad portrait. When I read the blurbs on the back of books that declare the hilarious side-splitting contents, I feel ripped off in the worst way when there is barely a titter inside. Saunders is not laugh out loud funny, but he feels a lot like Twain or Vonnegut (who he is often compared to). But I think he is a superb craftsman - looking at those opening paragraphs confirms this for me.

Full text of The Bohemians

Tuesday
May082007

Cue the music, Bob

Here's something fun. The new woofreakinhoo theme... doesn't everyone need a theme?

Click over to the right there to download the mp3.

I always wanted a theme.