“True fairy tales have a certain mood to them, a certain power that I cannot describe as anything else but wonder.” — Addison Lucci, modern fairy tale expert.
Fairy tales are the realm of magic, where the ordinary meets the extraordinary. They’re places of wondrous transformations, fairy kingdoms and happy endings. They’re also often quite gruesome: fairy tales — or folk tales, before they were written down — used to be for adults until the Brothers Grimm altered them for 19th-century children.
Now, thank goodness, fairy tales are inspiring modern literature.
Our fist author makes gleeful use of both the…
I’d just flipped the cover of Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence and was gazing at a gelatinous creature glowing on black pages.
It took a few moments for me to realise what I was really seeing.
Before me was something from the deep and dark, something that had remained secret for centuries and which now found itself on the pages in my hands. It seemed amazing that I was sipping a coffee while watching a creature that emitted its own pink light and trailed ribbons of living purple. Suddenly my whole life was juxtaposed with ocean depths.
Journalist Julia Baird would tell…
‘The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories’ is a short story that will strike several chords with fiction writers.
Author Neil Gaiman tells the story of his own craft as his character tries to write a short story that won’t be written, but just has to be. It’s an intriguing, magical, and slightly pathetic ride.
The main character is in LA to write a film script of his first bestseller. Yet, he finds it far more enjoyable to tinker with a short story idea that has captured his imagination.
He has an idea. He knows it’s good. …
‘I doubt whether it would be possible to mention any author of note, whose personal obscurity was so complete.’
So wrote Jane Austen’s nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, in ‘A Memoir of Jane Austen and Other Family Recollections’. But such is today’s obsession with Jane Austen that modern fans have taken it on themselves to find out more about her.
In the last few years books, by historians and keen-beans, have been born, shedding light on little-known parts of Jane Austen’s life from her favourite meal to important female friends.
Who was Jane Austen’s best friend? What larger-than-life family member influenced…
No other item of clothing has the obscure charm that a sock does when left lying around. It is pathetic. It is harmless. It is evidence of a human being’s expression of tenderness towards a foot.
Some sensitive souls have appreciated the deeper merit of socks and brought them to the world’s attention.
This month two such foot garments were abandoned for three days in the stairwell of a friend’s apartment block. Inspired, she added a plaque:
Horse racing is a controversial industry for good reason. Yet magic happens when the humans involved have sound knowledge and true love for horses.
For a long time, “humans” meant men: horse racing was stiflingly male. This meant the few women on the scene had guts. They became Queens in the “Sport of Kings” through sheer character and love for the thoroughbred horse.
Some are more well-known than others.
This is a Very Important Subject.
Have you, in your lifetime, fully appreciated a physical book shop? They’ve been around since ancient Athens, and they may or may not be dying out.
“Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us,” Virginia Woolf once wrote.
My friend Ashleigh is anxious. She’s showing me a special mask her work gave her for day one of a new lockdown.
“It’s so much better to wear for 10 hours straight. The thing is the straps still hurt. At the end of my shift it’s like someone’s stabbing the backs of my ears with a knife.”
But Ashleigh is not especially worried about the stabbing sensation. Oh no. Ashleigh dreads humanity and a return of the chaotic grocery shenanigans she witnessed at the start of the pandemic.
“It was the animalistic descent of community into individualism,” she said. …
Last year an Australian man caught a fish in 20 minutes using Mentos wrappers as bait.
Greg Western was creeped out by the amount of empty Mentos wrappers he saw in nature every day, so he gave one of the colourful single-use wrappers a second life. He posted the video of the catch-and-release on Facebook to show how quickly a small bit of plastic can harm marine life.
“Why is it alright for them to pollute our world just because it’s cost effective?”