Monday, 27 February 2012

Smells Like Victory

I love the smell of paperbacks in the morning.

Ok, that's not true, and is kind of a tired, worn-out opening for a blog entry.  However, I do like the smell of paperbacks in the evening, which is when I tend to do my reading.  Other than the inevitable reading that occurs on the throne, of course.  A new book has such a tangible scent, and I find myself inhaling deeply as I settle down to read, the whiff of rough paper nestling in my nostrils like a cat in my lap, making itself a part of the experience as much as the words.  I have paperback editions of the His Dark Materials trilogy, and still today touching and smelling them, dust that they've gathered and all, reminds me of the journey home from the bookstore when I was a lad, reading them fervently in the back of the car.

Maybe it's because I'm cheap and tend to wait on paperbacks of any book (my Discworld addiction excepting), but I have to say that a hardbound edition just does not feel, or smell, the same. Costs ludicrously more, as well, naturally, and it is a bit unwieldy trying to keep it propped up when I start to nod off around midnight.  And as much as I may adore using a computer for every little thing, somehow ebooks just have not captured my imagination to the same extent.

Anyway, all of this dancing around the issue is merely a prelude, a sham to make it appear that I'm not simply shilling my latest entry in a short story anthology.  Also available on, for Kindle and from CreateSpace, Wherever It Pleases: Storm is a collection of science fiction, fantasy and horror tales with a spiritual theme running throughout.  I am not a particularly spiritual person myself, as some might have noticed, but it is an area I have interest in and my my own entry was largely penned during a period of my life when my faith was a much greater part of my identity.  Regardless, spiritual and religious themes are a rich seam to be mined when it comes to fiction.  The supernatural has long intrigued cultures across the globe, and even the most stringent of skeptics seem to find themselves drawn to it at least for symbolic value.  Even the premier rationalist Gregory House MD could not avoid it; perhaps the greatest arc of the show involved his hallucinations of a deceased colleague.  While it was clear House was aware that hallucinations was what these visions were, this did not prevent the creepy factor being turned up to eleven.  Amber's comments were also cutting and insightful, inferring if not outright stating an aware intelligence behind them, observant enough of reality to tell House what she really thought of him.  Of course, House himself was aware and intelligent enough to have likely come up with this on his own and imparted the knowledge to himself via the medium of these hallucinations, but where's the fun in that? 

Hopefully you'll find some fun in the Storm anthology.  Anyway here it is, your moment of zen: