Archive for June, 2012

Train Porn

Posted: June 24, 2012 by Eibonvale in For Writers, Rustblind and Silverbright

The nice thing about issuing a call for an anthology of train-related stories is that it gives me the chance to geek out a bit on the subject . . . *ahem* I mean, explore the area a little to help back up some of my waffle in the guidelines.   YouTube is crawling with train videos – so many that, just like any other kind of porn, it becomes hard to find decent trees for the wood.  But here are some rather more unusual and interesting train vids from some more obscure corners of the videosphere, embedded here for your information and delectation.  No anoraks here, I promise. Well – not many anyway!

The new high-speed line from Bologna to Firenze seems to spend most of its life underground.  The result is so hypnotic that driving here must be quite a weird experience, especially towards the end.

Somewhat off the beaten track – a short ride through Bulgaria – a seriously and really quite beautifully bleak environment heading towards Tvarditsa.

Take a ride on the Dubai Metro, through a fantasyland of huge buildings.  Dubai may have a dark heart but the architecture is pretty stunning.

 Something very distinctly American somehow – a massive fair train running down the street in Augusta.  We’re a long way from UK trains here!  See more street running here and here.

Just a (rather dramatic) portrait of the JR500 Shinkansen barrelling round the Japanese rail network.  Can we really blame them for their choice of music?  I am sure this train must call at the asteroid belt at least sometimes.

Take a long ride through North Korea by train – amateur footage rather than some horrorshow documentary, but all the more interesting for that.

As weird a spectre as you are likely to see crossing the wilderness – a US snow plough train in action.

And there goes a UK nuclear flask train passing in the night.

A bit of train spotting the way it was meant to be – One of the highest and largest bridges in the world, Beipanjiang Bridge in china.

The only way to cross the desert! The longest train in the world (apparantly) in Mauritania.

Fortunately, in some parts of the world, the railways are not quite so hermetically isolated as they are here in the UK . . .

And again . . . Chaos, slums, poverty and trains in Manila.

Back to the spectacularly ‘ordinary’ . . .  Clapham Junction, the country’s busiest railway station in timelapse, is almost ridiculous. SO MANY TRAINS running around, trying to get everybody out of London – and every day the dance repeats – it almost inspires philosophy!  I believe, at its busiest, there is a train pulling in on average every 14 seconds.  It is a shame this video doesn’t show the swarms of people stampeding around the station as well.  Sorry for the music!  Turn the sound off and put on some Philip Glass!

More ‘ordinary’. A short stretch of the London Underground Jubilee Line seen from the cab. Driving an underground train must be an almost perfect blend of the thoroughly bizarre and the mundane!

If Clapham could be called a hell for anyone except a train nut or relaxed people watcher, I think I would like to go to this place when I die . . . save for the depressing but not entirely surprising fact that most of this line has now been shut down!  Part 2 is here.

And lastly – when civilization has muddled itself into ruin, forget post-apocalyptic heroes on motorbikes, this is how we will be getting around!

Two new reviews of A Glimpse Of The Numinous

Posted: June 23, 2012 by douglasthompson in Uncategorized

We have excellent reviews just in of Jeff Gardiner’s debut short story collection “A Glimpse Of The Numinous”, firstly at Bookgeeks, where Stephen Joyce writes:

“Jeff Gardiner’s debut collection of short stories provides us with glimpses of a world that is mysterious, fearful and fascinating. The characters in his stories cry out for the numinous, which brings both damnation and salvation in equal measure…
…Overall, the collection is stylish and enjoyable. Gardiner has a diverse range and one never knows what the next story will bring. They are, by turn, uplifting, humorous, horrifying, and at their best really do offer a glimpse of the numinous.”

Then Charles Packer over at The Sci Fi Online website writes:

“It is always a delight to receive a book of short stories which is not constrained by either expectation or genre, but is written purely for the joy of producing good writing…
…Unconstrained by the restrictions of genre, Gardiner gives full rein to his imagination, producing stories which range from modern horror to lyrical vignettes of beauty…
…Like all reviews we get down to the, which ones did I like? The answer would have to be pretty much all of them, but not always for the same reasons…
…Gull Power is a quirky tale about a man and his gull, proving that Gardiner can handle humour just as well as the more serious aspects of literary forensic introspection. Bred in the Bone was my personal highlight, having missed the story when it was first published. Without ruining the reading experience, it takes you on a journey where the author deftly sets up your expectations only to slowly turn them completely around. It is almost perfect in its construction.
So, another great collection which will take you to some of the stranger shores of human experience.”

As ever at Eibonvale we extend our gratitude to these reviewers for taking the time to offer their in depth analyses, and encourage readers to check out their comments in full at the respective websites.

Third review of Where Are We Going…

Posted: June 17, 2012 by douglasthompson in Uncategorized

Charles Packer over at the Sci Fi Online website has given Eibonvale Press’s anthology “Where Are We Going?” a truly epic 10-out-of-10 rating and a glowing review. It’s particularly gratifying how Charles applauds the trans-genre approach of the book, something dear to Eibonvale and the editor Allen Ashley’s heart. We suspect that the man (and woman) in the street feel much the same, with only marketeers trying to shout them down otherwise. Charles writes:
“…all human life can be found within these pages…
The book covers many genres, sometimes within the same story. A Faraway City by Joel Lane tells the unsettling story of a woman who can experience, in her dreams, the real experiences of abused women. The Way the World Works by Ian Sales, appear to be a claustrophobic journey to the depths of the ocean only to turn into a journey to cosmic understanding. A Guide to Surviving Malabar by Ian Shoebridge tell the tale of a man who goes on holiday to an Island which appears not only to be alive but also appears to want to attack and kill the inhabitants. A horrific idea, but our protagonist discovers that in a world of conveniences, that sometimes the greatest challenge also gives you the greatest feeling of being alive.
In total, there are seventeen tales here for your delectation. Again, another delightful reading experience which challenges and entertains in equal amounts.”

Eibonvale Press is issuing a call for submissions for an anthology of stories connected to the railway.  The concept is pretty open but the book aims to gather a collection of works revolving around the railway with a modern and innovative aesthetic ranging from horror to surrealism and beyond.  Rustblind and Silverbright will be published in 2013 and the full guidelines can be doanloaded here: PDF / RTF

Edit: Please ensure you use the dedicated email address to send in stories rather than any of the general ones I use for the press or personally. If not, there is a certain risk that I will lose track of the submission in my ridiculously complicated email archive! I try my best – but hey, it’s possible! Thanks folks!

From the guidelines:

I hereby make confession under oath that I, David Rix of Eibonvale Press, am a train addict.  I know too well the slightly puzzled look that comes into people’s eyes when I start getting too enthusiastic on that subject, but hey, just think about this a moment!  Can you think of a better way to watch the world go past?  Relaxed in a window seat as you pull slowly out of the city, then start flying through the countryside.  It is a time of enforced shut-down, in spite of this age of laptops and wireless internet.  It is almost meditational – a time of peace and solitude when nothing should be demanded of you – ideally one of the few times of quiet in our hectic modern lives.  Trains occupy a special place in the human psyche, the twin threads of the rails forging ahead from place to place, the ultimate symbol of travel and connection and all the hopes, fantasies, fears, reasons, romance and excitement that come with that.  There must surely be no archetype of travel greater than the train.

. . . It covers travel and journeying – the unusual and hidden environments of the railway (those hidden and inaccessible places that you see from the train and nowhere else but can never reach) – the self-contained world of the train carriage.  It covers everything from massive long-distance journeys and high-speed / bullet trains to local services and half-asleep branch lines to commuter trains to underground metros to trams to tourist / miniature trains to funiculars and other things.  Not to mention toy trains and model railways, virtual railways and of course the infinite more surreal and fantastical possibilities, which are pretty much limitless.”

(Photography by David Rix)