Ken Liu’s latest collection The Hidden Girl arrives

Revered author Ken Liu has delivered another collection of short stories sure to entertain. The AVClub has details:

Over the past 20 years, Ken Liu has been a software engineer at Microsoft, a corporate lawyer, the world’s foremost translator of Chinese science fiction into English, a pioneer of the “silkpunk” genre, a Star Wars novelist, and, somehow, on top of all that, one of the most prolific short story writers in science fiction and fantasy. The Hidden Girl And Other Stories is his second collection, arriving on the heels of 2016’s The Paper Menagerie, the title story of which was the first to ever win the fantasy equivalent of an EGOT (the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards). The 17 stories collected here—nearly all concerned with memory, legacy, prejudice, and colonialism—are joined by a new novelette and an excerpt from Liu’s forthcoming novel, The Veiled Throne (the final book in his Dandelion Dynasty trilogy).

There’s a stunning 250-page collection hidden within this 400-page book. It opens with “Ghost Days,” which is structured like the mathematical equation cited in its opening lines. Three hundred years from now, on a colonized exoplanet named Nova Pacifica, a “barely human” child stumbles upon an artifact that once belonged to her earthbound ancestors. As the story flashes back to 1989 Connecticut and 1905 Hong Kong, the truth about the artifact and how it connects parents and children across the gulf of space and time is revealed. “The past, ever recurring, made up the future like layers of a patina,” the child realizes in one of Liu’s frequent story-ending koans.

Lovecraftian Epic The Valdemar Legacy premieres in Portland

Lovecraft and classic horror fans take note, this is a great opportunity to catch this Gothic film epic.

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Shot as one huge Lovecraftian epic by director José Luis Alemán, the Valdemar Legacy and The Forbidden Shadow are big-budget love letters to the world of H.P. Lovecraft, containing everything from the Necronomicon and a family curse to Aleister Crowely, the character of H.P. Lovecraft, and even Great Cthulhu himself. This is also the last screen appearance of genre great Paul Naschy.

Read more about:
La Herencia Valdemar (The Valdemar Legacy)
La Sombra Prohibida (The Forbidden Shadow)

Click here to get your tickets now and don’t miss the chance to see the Portland premiere of both of these films at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival is scheduled May 3-5 in Portland and September 27-29 in San Pedro, CA.

Brian Yuzan, producer of Re-Animator and From Beyond as well as director of Bride of Re-Animator, Beyond Re-Animator, and the anthology film Necronomicon: Book of the Dead will in attendance.

Alasdair Gray: A Life in Progress

I have been a major follower of Alasdair Gray since my friend John got me reading Lanark and have followed the impressive author/illustrator through several other tomes. In Alasdair Gray’s work, I find both the fantastic and the contemporary fused together through a kind of intimacy rarely seen in literature. One of the finest authors of the day, if you are unfamiliar with his work, I highly recommend searching the shelves of your local or virtual shop.

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A Life in Progress, a portrait of a Scottish institution Alasdair Gray, is set to offer fresh insight into the iconic artist’s work

BLOG POST BY DAVID MCGINTY.
AlasdairGray_A_310x430PUBLISHED 20 FEBRUARY 2013

Glasgow’s ‘little grey deity’, as Will Self once called him, Alasdair Gray is a figure whose work looms over Scottish art and literature and is perhaps the city’s most significant cultural export. In recent years, director Kevin Cameron has documented the life of the artist and author, afforded the opportunity to film Gray as he works on some of his most famous murals, including that which covers the ceiling of Glasgow’s Òran Mór. This footage has now been collated to form the feature length documentary Alasdair Gray – A Life in Progress, which, though it covers the man’s early years and the road to his most acclaimed work Lanark, also focuses on his continuing activity and may be viewed as a portrait of the artist as a septuagenarian.

The artwork and novels of Alasdair Gray are famed for blending invention and reality, for creating fantasy from the mundane. Cameron’s portrait calls upon Gray’s friends, amongst them Liz Lochhead and the late Edwin Morgan, and sister Mora Rolley for insight into where these inspirations arose from and to what end they have influenced Gray’s life.

“I began making pictures and inventing stories as a way of escaping from the dull life of being a schoolboy and living in Riddrie, Glasgow, a way of escaping into a more adventurous and colourful world, the kind of worlds that I saw in the early Walt Disney movies – Snow White, Dumbo, Pinocchio,” the author says in Cameron’s previous film Alasdair Gray 0-70. “But as I entered my teens I began to realise that the people I knew, the Glasgow where I lived, was not a dull ordinary place really. It was as full of the materials of Heaven and Hell, of the possibilities of delight and horror, as anywhere else in the world or even places you could invent.”

Seldom have figures of Gray’s stature granted such ease of access into their lives and work. The films of Kevin Cameron are a rare opportunity to view the artist not as the monumental figure of university tutorials or a name on the walls of famous buildings, but as a living and working artist. Cameron’s film places Gray within the context of a world in which he is renowned, but also explores the reality of his life in the city that provides his greatest inspiration.

“You might say that while my pictures and stories and novels have often had a wildly fantastic element in them,” says Gray, “I’ve always had the realistic bit as well.”