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by Diane Leach

11 Jul 2016


When would-be folksinger Rachel Boucher is raped and impregnated by former high school crush Jason de Klerk, the ensuing custody battle tears apart Athens, Ohio. That the aimless, unemployed de Klerk would have any parental rights at all is only part of what puzzles in Rachel’s Blue, Zakes Mda’s deeply peculiar novel.

Rachel, 23, is a would-be folksinger and nascent activist who lives with her grandmother, Nana Moira.The “Blue” of the title refers to the Amish ragdoll Rachel remains oddly attached to:

When everyone was gone, Blue was the one to have stayed. There was Nana Moira, of course, but she didn’t count that much. Blue, on the other hand, was always with Rachel. She was not apt to die in a war or disappear in a fog of drugs.

by Imran Khan

27 Jun 2016


His rise to fame was spectacular but brief; as the lead in Berry Gordy’s deathless, runaway cult hit The Last Dragon, Taimak delivered audiences a character whose slash and burn approach to the martial arts was strangely offset by his quiet, unassuming charm. In Bruce Leroy, Taimak created an anomaly of personalities, housed in an individual who became emblematic of the contradiction to black stereotypes in film presented at the time. 

The year of the film’s release, 1985, came and went. And it seemed that Taimak did, too. What should have been a meteoric rise to fame was, in fact, a quickly extinguished flame.

by Erin Giannini

22 Jun 2016


Stephen King and George R. R. Martin (photographer unknown)

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from “A Night With Stephen King”—which sounds amusingly like a reality show with potential horror elements—one of the numerous King author events as part of his tour to promote End of Watch, the final book in King’s Bill Hodges trilogy. The last-minute addition of George R. R. Martin as the moderator left me even more at sea. Would it be a reading from the book? A Q & A where a select few could parse King’s motivations or habits or plot points?

It was actually none of these things, and still managed to be an enjoyable evening. Set at the 2 300-seat Kiva Auditorium at the Albuquerque Convention Center (which looked to be filled at approximately 75 percent capacity), it resembled nothing as much as a two-man, one-act play. The stage was set with two comfortable leather chairs, with King on the left, his long legs stretched out in front of him, while Martin sat to the right, facing King while they traded stories about writing, politics, the nature of evil, and oddly enough, rats.

by Diane Leach

18 Apr 2016


Marta Zaraska opens Meathooked by reassuring readers of her scientific detachment: “I may be a vegetarian, but I won’t tell you how much meat you should or shouldn’t eat. I’ll just give you the facts.”

Instead, readers are subject to a vegetarian manifesto masquerading as scientific journalism. The use of descriptors more commonly applied to drug addicts is unsettling and offensive, e.g., meat is described as an addictive substance people are either “off” or “on”. Any meat-eater, be they human, animal, or bacterial, is “meathooked”.

by Imran Khan

21 Mar 2016


When I was nine years of age, I would spend hours chicken-pecking out a story on my mother’s electric typewriter, which we kept in the basement. The key for the letter L didn’t work properly, so sometimes when I was typing away it would jam and stick. What would follow would be the hideous, repetitive clacking of a single letter, which would soon fill the entire page with L’s. There was no way to turn it off, save for unplugging the machine. Thus, my story would be ruined.

Later, when my parents divorced and we moved, I’d found an old Remington typewriter tucked behind the piping in the storage space of our new house. It looked like it was falling apart, but I kept it and stored it away, where it continues to collect dust to this day. In the wake of digital technology, I suppose typewriters have become an afterthought. But Richard Polt’s The Typewriter Revolution reacquaints me with the romance of these simple but extraordinary machines.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Virtual Reality and Storytelling: What Happens When Art and Technology Collide?

// Moving Pixels

"Virtual reality is changing the face of entertainment, and I can see a future when I will find myself inside VR listening to some psych-rock while meditating on an asteroid.

READ the article