Squeezed between almost vertical rises of rock, Nkem tried to suck her belly in as she heard the King-beast grunt, sniff wetly against the ground. This was no hiding place, she knew. It wasn’t even much of a breathing space.
But she needed to think.
She had hoped to corner and trap the King but maybe that had been a mistake. The territory was unfamiliar and it was dark besides. She didn’t know where to hide and she hadn’t imagined that the King-beast would have such an excellent sense of smell. In fact her imaginings had served her badly. She hadn’t imagined she would be facing a creature of such mangled and elongated proportions. She hadn’t imagined she would be facing a creature at all. The stories had always spoken of a cursed King, but she didn’t think that the curse would look anything like this.
Yet, here she was. And she had a job to do.
Continue reading Excerpt: Fortitude
An excerpt from a short story I’m working on. Finished, but still in need of some tightening up.
As with so many of these stories, it all began on an early autumnal morn, all frost and fog quite unlike the usual September weather. A handsome young rider on a glossy steed sped across the moor to reach a black stoned castle high up on the hill lands of the Scottish border.
Perhaps, an introduction is warranted.
Young Lord George Grevindale was as fine and hearty a young lord as any other, the local tenants liked to say. You could go up and down the country and you would be hard beaten to find a lustier heir as full of vim, they said. They felt somewhat assured that, unlike some of the other baronets and dukes who got themselves new airs from the Continent, Young Lord George would never think to go increasing rents to fund a spot of ‘touring’, bumbling along from crumbling ruin to crumbling ruin. Nor need they fear any interference in the form of ‘improvements’ which usually included razing a village or two for a more picturesque view from the Great House. No, they said, their Young Lord George was a kind rarely found in England these days and they were glad of it.
Of course, this could have been due to the fact that Young Lord George was in fact a young Lady, a Lady Cartimandua Grevindale no less. However, she had been called Young Lord George for so long that nobody commented on it as especially strange, or at least no stranger than the way Miller’s wife made butter that tasted of blue cheese or Old Man Trought was known to occasionally roam the streets at night in nothing but his underclothes.
Continue reading Excerpt: A Love for Lady George
…I haven’t really taken so much as a break as just been a little lazy. I am currently ramping up for MancsterCon, an independent sequential art convention I organise with some friends of mine. I’m also getting started on an Afrofuturist weekend event in October (which is Black History Month in the UK) – a little bit late, I suspect, but as we’re keeping the event fairly low-key, hopefully it will all turn out fine.
How to Use HTML5 Geolocation API with Google Maps – haven’t quite reached this stage yet, but needed to bookmark the link.
Getting Creative with the Google Maps API
Progress has slowed down a little with me coming home fairly late from work these days and with the events management stuff, but I’ll get there, slowly but surely!
Laura Bassi – Italian 18th century woman physicist
It’s always fascinating reading about women scientists, philosophers and academics of the past. My usual sphere of interest is Medieval Europe, but I enjoy reading about figures from the Enlightenment era, especially those outside of the usual trio of Britain, France and Germany.
Is such love like gravity?
That is only felt when mother’s skin
Is left behind for void beyond and
the stars above?
That unnoticed presses but
Only when we dive or fly,
We feel the weight of sky and sea.
I’m currently working on a few short stories for some anthologies, so the fiction output on this blog will be limited.
At the moment I’m reading ‘The Lords of Humankind’ by V.G. Kiernan which is – as it should be for any decent popular history – turning into a simultaneously fascinating and disquieting read. It focuses on the attitudes of the coloniser and the colonised, though mostly from a perspective critical of the former (I find it telling that the majority of the West African experience is devoted to slavery and there is none of the detailed discussion of the contemporary and pre-colonial society that the writer affords to India, for example. This is often the case, and is actually quite a boon because it means I have to read more!).
Like I said, it’s a good enough read, though it will be interesting to find other critical perspectives, especially those that focus more on the social complexities of the colonised nations. The book was published in the late 60’s and the writing (and biases) occasionally shows it’s age!
I’m still transferring a couple of blogs into this one. I have created a new blog section for posts and links concerning my independent research into pre-colonial Nigerian technologies and their intersection with all things interesting (gender, sexuality, religion, disability etc. The usual!) and in the meantime will hopefully remember to get some more of my essays and critical pieces up as well.