07 March 2012

Trailers of the City #1

Here's what Blair Bidmead, whose Happily Ever After is a High-Risk Strategy opens Tales of the City, has to say in his author biog:
Blair Bidmead, author of 'Happily Ever After Is a High-Risk Strategy', has had three short stories published previously – 'Party Kill Accelerator!' (in The Panda Book Of Horror), 'Now Or Thereabouts' (in Faction Paradox: A Romance In Twelve Parts) and 'Are You Loathsome Tonight?' (in SeƱor 105 & the Elements of Danger). He has a novel on the go, another in mind and a webcomic in his not-too-distant future. A musician, an artist and a (semi-) retired hedonist, Blair lives in London with his wife and two young children and is tired, but sickeningly happy. He thinks that talking in the third person only feels right when the Rock does it.
Blair was an unpublished author a few years ago, but his three published stories have been excellent, and are getting better. I'm particularly fond of 'Are You Loathesome Tonight' -- a smackdown between a Mexican masked wrestler and a dinosaur version of Elvis, taking place in 1970 Las Vegas and with a narrator who may well be Hunter S. Thompson -- which manages to be even madder than that brief synopsis makes it sound.

What really sold me, though, on the idea of getting Blair to write a City of the Saved story was his guest drabble in 'A Hundred Words from a Civil War', which convinced me in the space of 100 words that he understood and loved the City as a setting. (It's drabble number XXX, on p209 of the print edition of A Romance in Twelve Parts.)

A mix of not-necessarily-obvious genres was one thing I was keen to see in Tales of the City, and Blair's is a road trip story, with a hitchhiker cadging a lift with a surprising pair of travelling companions. Here's the first sentence of 'Happily Ever After is a High-Risk Strategy':
     So there I was; dawn at the truck stop by the ziggurat at the mouth of the Mesopotamian Interstate.
To read the rest of the story, order Tales of the City from Obverse Books.

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