“White is our nimblest political novelist … Foxy-T toughened his linguistic resources further and moved him away from pure fixed literary shapes, again showing a resourcefulness and agility that writers from this political, republican, revolutionary imagination have always embedded. Fellow novelist Toby Litt recognized this when he cited Foxy T as one of his favourite contemporary novels. White’s writing is a deliberate disjunction from tyranny, something tougher and more disruptive than the Icarusian tones of the modern globalised style. What White is engaged in is an occult activism whereby the subconscious imagination merges the political, scientific, natural, educative and mystical through several types of process … Unlike Coleridge White hasn’t shifted from the radical ground to the conservative but finds new juice in the underground rivers of radical art streams and writing that continue to roll out like a sacred river, kind of measureless. With Tony White’s fiction there is always an engaging lightness of touch, a deft abilty to wind out stories that carry a freightload of edgy material with a beguiling ease. Missorts II is no exception to this. It steps briskly out and quickly brings the reader the sorts of pleasures that only a writer at ease with his material and form can deliver, a series of voices that can hold the geographic and historical action together without any sense of forced engagement … He’s found a way to negotiate the pitfalls of modern fiction”
Twitter pals, I’ll be tweeting a link to audio of a short story at 9:00 today, Tuesday 18 November and another at the same time each day until the end of this week. Each recording is a collaboration with a different artist or musician.
Tuesday 9:00am, ‘High-Lands’ — art school, shortwave radio and The Stranglers at the Roundhouse in Jubilee year. My short story for radio featuring a live soundscape accompaniment by Johny Brown of the legendary Band of Holy Joy. ‘High-Lands’ is due for publication in August next year, but was first broadcast in the summer as part of Remote Performances by London Fieldworks and Resonance 104.4fm.
Wednesday 9:00am, ‘A Fragment from the Lives of the Conquistadors’ — Did Cortés come to LA? A psychedelic parable, Castañeda apocrypha, feat. sound by Steven Hull. My short story which formed the basis of LA artist Hull’s extraordinary Puppet Show at the last Glow Santa Monica, now available on yellow vinyl LP A Puppet Show, with sounds by Gibby Haynes et al.
Thursday 9:00am, ‘A Porky Prime Cut’ — Bournemouth Soul Boys who were so hard core that they were into TG? My short story for SCAN’s Digital Transformations project, this is the studio version of the story as performed with UK Acid House pioneer Richard Norris for the Free University of Glastonbury, at Glastonbury Festival 2011.
Friday 9:00am, ‘Stormbringer’ — My short story for London Fieldworks’ Syzygy project performed in full for the first time in August 2014 with live musical accompaniment from guitarist Peter Lanceley, in a Lochaber living room overlooking the Sound of Arisaig at sunset as part of Remote Performances by London Fieldworks and Resonance 104.4fm. Recently repeated in tribute to the late and legendary bass player Jack Bruce.
ICYM will be tweeted at 9:00 Tuesday to Friday this week.
Now that it is finally sorted, and I’ve got all my books back, if any pals have a minute and if you have enjoyed any of my books — from Road Rage to Foxy-T to Shackleton’s Man Goes South etc. etc. — do please consider visiting my Goodreads author page for a minute or two and rating them! Thank you ;-)
Now that all but one of my books on Goodreads are correctly attributed to me I have updated my Goodreads author page. Due to some glitch, most of my books had been listed under THIS bloke (right)! My recent novella Missorts Volume II still is.
I have also been testing out the Goodreads widgets by including ‘Add this book’-buttons on the books page of my website, like this one for my novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South.
WordPress doesn’t seem to like the buttons very much, to use the technical term. Mouse-over them and nothing much happens. It allows you to click-through to find the book on the Goodreads site itself, but doesn’t seem to let you rate the book remotely. Anyway I’m going to try them out for a bit. But at least now that my worst problems with Goodreads seem to have been sorted out, I have updated the profile and added blog and video content on my Goodreads author page.
I was going to post Forma’s video of me reading from my novella Dicky Star and the Garden Rule at the Free Word Centre on there, but Vimeo and Goodreads don’t speak to each other at all — to use another technical term ;-) — so instead I’ve posted one of the mini-readings from my novella Missorts Volume II that publisher Situations filmed and have put up on Youtube (see the whole playlist here).
Those Missorts Volume II videos were something of a test themselves, too. I thought it would be interesting to see if there were sections of the novella that might have enough depth and velocity to work as one- or two-minute readings, with enough of a narrative transformation for the clip to be worth watching.
These thoughts about brevity and speed, narrative transformation, remind me of a conversation that I had with poet Tim Wells at the launch of pal Stewart Home’s brilliant latest novel, The 9 Lives of Ray The Cat Jones the other day. Tim Wells is currently doing some great research on the ranting poetry scene of the 1980s, and publishing much of it on his excellent Stand Up And Spit blog. Tim was part of that scene, and like many poets he still gigs regularly. Chatting to him the other night, I wondered if the live readings scene for fiction had petered out a little in recent years. Tim’s suggestion was that readings from poetry can have the energy of a 7″ single, while those from fiction can often feel like listening to an LP; that the energy of a 7″ single (by extension) can be more appealing live.
Q. Does he have a point?
There is now an audiobook playlist for all three of my readings from my Science Museum novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South.
The readings were all recorded in the studio of my occasional, long-time collaborator, the composer Jamie Telford. Pals will recall that Jamie used to play live keyboard accompaniment to my readings from the novel CHARLIEUNCLENORFOLKTANGO, and that he composed the Portwall Preludes (a series of works written specifically for St Mary Redcliffe’s church organ) that provide the compelling musical soundscape for Missorts,
For Shackleton’s Man Goes South, Jamie Telford composed the sea shanty-ish ‘Going South Theme’, which bookends and punctuates these audiobook extracts.
Download the FREE ebook of Shackleton’s Man Goes South direct from the Science Museum website.
Shackleton’s Man Goes South is the Science Museum’s Atmosphere Gallery commission for 2013, published exclusively as part of the Contemporary Arts Programme.
© Tony White, 2013. All music © Jamie Telford, 2013. Recording engineer Andrew Phillis.
A display charting the literary and scientific inspirations behind Shackleton’s Man Goes South in the Science Museum’s Atmosphere Gallery runs for two years, from April 2013 to April 2015.