Magpie’s Ladder Audiobook

I am very fortunate to be able to offer all three of my books to date in audiobook format. Late this summer, my collection, Magpie’s Ladder was produced as an audiobook by Encyclopocalypse Publications. It joins The Lost Machine and Necessary Monsters on Audible. If you go to Audible, you can hear a sample of Jake Ruddle’s excellent narration.

Endpaper Illustration from the Signed Edition from PS Publishing

I hope you enjoy this look at the endpaper illustration from the print edition from PS Publishing. This particular illustration was reserved for the signed edition.

High-Rise

Last night I was looking around for a place to stream Alex Garland’s new(ish) series Devs in Canada, a strangely difficult thing unless I wanted to signed up for yet another streaming service. I don’t. Casting around for something else to watch, I came across High-Rise, a 2016 film by director Ben Wheatley based on the novel by J. G. Ballard. I have no intention of reviewing the film. If you are interested, Will Self has a good piece on it.

I started reading Ballard in the 1980s when I chanced across a collection called Terminal Beach. Terminal Beach remains my favorite Ballard short story. After that initial discovery, I snapped up all the Ballard I could find, usually editions with beautiful James Marsh covers. It was nice to be reminded of this author last night.

The typescript below is the first page of High-Rise with that frightening first line. I’m always fascinated by pages with an author’s marks. You can see more if you follow the link in the caption. Funnily enough, I read most of High-Rise on the sun-baked roof of a high rise in Toronto overlooking the airport. I am sure J.G would have approved.

Typescript draft of High-Rise, by J. G. Ballard © J. G. Ballard.

Almost October

An illustrated edition of my novel Tailor of Echoes will be published sometime in the spring by PS Publishing in the UK. I’m really pleased about this as they did such a great job on my collection Magpie’s Ladder. Over the winter, I will be drawing the illustrations, and I’ll post a few teasers here.

I let this blog rest over the summer while I adjusted to all things Covid along with the rest of the world. But, autumn is almost here, a time when I always feel particularly connected to all things book related. I’ll be posting about my work, my current reads, interesting covers and illustrations and so on. I hope the blog will pick up some new readers along the way.

Beyond the Reach, Richard A. Kirk, 2020, ink on paper, 14” x 18”

Tangled Slope

It’s the nature of writing and publishing that things take forever to happen. Regardless, it’s my intent to update Amnesiac’s Library regularly.

For the past few months I’ve been working on a number of new projects. One in particular has moved ahead of the others, a fantasy novel with the working title of The Tangled Slope. I’m 25,000 words into the first draft, and this week I decided to step back to review, and to structure things a little more. I don’t write with much of a plan in the early stages. I write with images and fragments, which are a little like nascent neurons seeking pathways to something more connected. Like the brain, there is a serious pruning after the first rush.

I’m happy with what I have – or will be, with some tinkering (okay a lot of tinkering), and consequently this project will be the one I pour my efforts into during 2020. My goal is to have a solid first draft by June. By that time, I hope to have some good news about my next-to-be-published novel Tailor of Echoes, and have the next volume of The Darkling Lands available. WRT the latter, as with volume one, volume two will include a short story along with a generous collection of art.

The woods near my house where I go in search of ideas.