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PAC'N HEAT: Meet The Contributors! Gary Barwin

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man is Available Now! Paypal $20 ($15 + $5 shipping & handling) to adam@agpbooks and PAC'N HEAT can be yours! Let's continue to meet the contributors...

Gary Barwin

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Did you ever play Ms. Pac-Man?

I have a vague recollection of a gathering in northern Michigan with a fleet of poets, a dingy afternoon in a dark tavern, dim floral carpets, dank beer and Ms. Pac-Man.

Do you/Did you play other video games?

I play this fascinating interactive game called Facebook. I haven’t figured out what the point is but I’m getting quite good at it.

What do you/did you find most appealing about video games?

Video games fascinate me as an art form with their own mythology, symbolism, social and community structures. And all of that is immersive. You don’t so much play a game as you are in it. It’s not quite a place but it surrounds. It’s like “night” or falling into a vat of Tabasco sauce. I am entranced by the self-sufficient sign-systems of video games—they create their own genres (like the Western, or Noir, or the Elizabethan sonnet) and semantics and often physics. At the same time, I’m also aware of how video games reflect social norms and values and as such have the potential to enact progressive alternatives and conceptual alterities.

What do you /did you find most frustrating?

I would like to let myself engage in a video game in the way that I do with a novel or music, but somehow, I’m a narrative Luddite despite my conceptual understanding of how great it might be.

If you used to play video games and don't anymore, why did you stop?

The last game I played with any frequency (other than facilitating my kids when they were little in “Elroy Hits the Pavement” and other such games) was Pong. My brother bought a very early version which we plugged into a ten inch black and white TV and played. I guess I stopped because I kept playing music and playing music is like a video game in a way. I got better and better at my particular controller: saxophone.

What video game do you wish existed?

Twenty-two-dimensional extra rod-and-cone polysensory postgravity quantum Groucho Marx Franz Kafka Virtual Surreality Chess.

What's better: Original 80s or Retro 80s? And why?

Here I’m assuming 1480s. I’m a big fan of Ockeghem, so definitely the original.

What about Noir as a genre appeals to you?

Much about what I said about video games applies to Noir. The idea that it is a rich semantic system. In traditional haiku you can incline a single leaf an ant’s breath toward autumn and reveal something profound about the reality of being human. You can do that in Noir, though it might be a gun, a fog, the tilt of a hat and a body in a dumpster. And with both haiku and Noir, you can play with these semantic systems, confounding expectations or exploding them.

Dewdrop on leaf end.

Some offed stiff.

Fog for dinner again tonight.

What's your favourite work of Noir? (Book, Comic, Movie...)

My interest in Noir was rekindled by the work of my late friend, Kerry Schooley who wrote Noir under the handle of John Swan. His two novels are Sap and The Rouge Murders. I love how he represented our region, particularly Hamilton, in his fiction. I can’t drive through the rain up James St with some patsy tied up in the trunk without thinking of him. I also love that goofy Richard Brautigan Noir book, Dreaming of Babylon. And lately, I’ve been reading Mickey Spillane as part of a renewed interest in genre. I recently read his Big Kill.

What are you reading these days?

I blurbed The Last White House at the End of the Row of White Houses by Michael Casteels which I thought was fantastic. I’m rereading it because I loved it but also because I’m interested to see what editorial changes were made after the version that I saw. I’m also reading the late 19th c. German Western novelist, Karl May, particularly Winnetou.

What else are you working on now?

I’ve started about ten new novels. Some of them involve Nazi ventriloquists, flea circuses, a Jewish colony on Mars, a family of seven all with dwarfism who survived Auschwitz (a true story) and a western novel told to Hitler in his bunker as he waits for the Russians to take Berlin. I haven’t figured out which one to finish. I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

Category : Blog

PAC'N HEAT: Meet The Contributors! Bonnie Bowman

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man will be available November 2016! The Pac'n Heat Toronto Launch Party is Thursday Nov. 10th at See-Scape! Let's Meet The Contributors...

Bonnie Bowman

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Caricature by Malcolm Jamison

 

Did you ever play Ms. Pac-Man?

I could take the easy way out and answer “not applicable” for questions 1 through 6 because I am OLD. When Pac-Man et al came out, I was engaging in far more unsavoury IRL pursuits. Video games weren’t even on my radar as fun times, although I likely would’ve gotten into less trouble had I hooked up with Ms. Pac-Man as my game of choice. Then again, maybe not. Ms. Pac-Man’s got Trouble written all over her.

Do you/did you play other video games?

Does pinball count? I seem to recall playing pinball in dodgy bars back in the day, a beer glass sliding off the machine, a smoke hanging out of my mouth, and drunkenly singing “Pinball Wizard” at the top of my lungs. I’m pretty sure that counts.

If so, what do you/did you find most appealing about video games?

I think what I would find most appealing is simply the bliss of escapism. Nah, who am I kidding? Killing without repercussions. Laying waste to other players. WINNING BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE. Things like that, if I had to guess.

What do you/did you find most frustrating?

The thing I would find most frustrating is if I totally sucked at video games but kept playing them, thinking I’d improve but realizing it was futile. Blaming the game and playing it again and cursing myself for playing it again. Kinda like when I ride the TTC.

If you used to play video games and don’t anymore, why did you stop?

I would assume I stopped because of an intervention by concerned friends followed by a series of Video Gamers Anonymous meetings.

What video game do you wish existed?

Oh jeez, whatever I come up with has probably already been invented, for the little I know about video games. Maybe something literary where we could manipulate characters and plot-lines from classic novels? I’d start by making Old Yeller NOT DEAD.

What’s better? Original 80s or Retro 80s? And why?

Are we still talking about video games? Good lord, I’ve managed to bullshit my way through six questions about video games that I’ve never played, I don’t know if I can fake another answer. But since I partied my way through the 80s, I think the original 80s are better? Or maybe the retro 80s are better because that would be my hazy recollection of the original 80s, which might not have been as fun as I think they were.

What about Noir as a genre appeals to you?

FINALLY a topic I know something about. Noir appeals to me on every level. I enjoy a good mystery, I adore the flawed characters who populate noir. I love the dialogue. I love the bleakness in some traditional noir, the smoke, the jazz, the booziness, the totally politically incorrect sexiness, the corruptness and moral bankruptcy. Shit happens in noir, it doesn’t waste time with meandering descriptions of verdant meadows and fields of clover. Noir is a ride. Noir don’t apologize for nuthin’, doll.

What’s your favourite work of noir (book, comic, movie)?

Eek, I can’t pick a favourite! Love a good Chandler, Hammett, Spillane. Patricia Highsmith is my girl. Cornell Woolrich, Derek Raymond. Movies? Don’t even get me started, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

What are you reading these days?

I’m actually plowing through crime fiction detective novels right now. PD James, Rankin, Hill, Robinson, Rendell, etc., lots of Brits. When I’m not reading contemporary literature and being all highfalutin, I usually binge-read genre as a sort of palate cleanser. Noir, sci-fi, horror, old westerns, mysteries, anything but romance. My palate is too jaded for the sweetness of romance.

What else are you working on now?

I’ve got at least four short stories in various stages of completion, which is how I procrastinate finishing my next novel. So basically, I’m working on everything and nothing.

 

Category : Blog

PAC'N HEAT: Meet The Contributors! Kathryn Mockler

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man will be available November 2016! Advance Copies will be for sale Oct. 29th at CANZINE 2016! Pac'n Heat Launch Party is Nov. 10th at See-Scape! Let's Meet The Contributors...

Kathryn  Mockler

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Did you ever play Ms. Pac-Man?

Oh yes! I played in the arcade and in grade eight I got my very own mini arcade tabletop Pac-Man game. I still have it.

Do you/Did you play other video games?

In the 80s I had a ColecoVision and used to play Frogger, Q-Bert (here’s a free version), Tetris, and Donkey Kong. In the 90s I played Wolfenstein, which is when I realized I was the type of person who could easily get addicted to video games—especially first person shooters which are my favourite. Sometimes I would play for nine hours straight until I got dizzy and felt sick. I also played Doom, and I had a PSP stint a few years ago where I played Grand Theft Auto and some other bloody and violent games.

What did you find most appealing about video games?

I liked the violence and moving up to different levels was satisfying.

What did you find most frustrating?

That I could not be a casual player. That it’s all or nothing for me.

If you used to play video games and don’t any more, why did you stop?

Ultimately had to quit because I was too addicted and couldn’t get anything else done. I plan to do nothing but play video games when I retire.

What video games do you wish existed?

I think all the video games exist.

What about Noir as a genre appeals to you?

I like the murder plots and the tone of the narrators.

What’s your favourite work of Noir?

I really liked The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson.

What are you reading these days?

I’m rereading How to Win Friends and Influence People by the late great Dale Carnegie. It didn’t work the first time I read it, so I’m giving it another go.

What else are you working on now?

I’m working on a collection of short stories called The Boy is Dead and a screenplay called Weak People are Fun to Torment.

Category : Blog

PAC'N HEAT: Process Pics!

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man will be for sale at Canzine 2016 on Oct. 29th, with a November launch party to follow! Until then, feast your eyes on PAC'N HEAT rolling off the presses at Colour Code Printing!!!

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Category : Blog

PAC'N HEAT: Meet The Contributors! Myna Wallin

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man will be available November 2016! Advance Copies will be for sale at CANZINE 2016! Let's Meet The Contributors...

Myna Wallin

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Did you ever play Ms. Pac-Man?

Yes, absolutely! I remember when they had the tabletop version, where you could sit down and operate the game with one hand on the joystick and those quarters got eaten faster than any bananas Ms. Pac-Man ever gobbled down. The game was ubiquitous in pubs and restaurants at the time. We’d listen to music, drink and take turns playing Ms. Pac-Man. I remember my heart racing when I made it to the next level, and the competitive edge it brought out in me. And I can still hear the techno-bopping music that accompanied the game and the special vrooming sound when Ms. Pac-Man ate a coveted ghost.

 

Do you/Did you play other video games?

Aside from Ms. Pac-man, my heart still beats for Asteroids. My friend Fern Lindzon would join me at Fluffy’s, our local Toronto Laundromat, where we spent more money on our longstanding Asteroids rivalry that we did on our laundry.

 

If so, what do you/did you find most appealing about video games?

I always enjoyed the social activity involved in the game. Other than the few times I played the later, modern iterations of video games with my nephews, I’ve avoided them. The games were/are too addictive and I was afraid if I bought a gaming system I’d never stop! Later on I got addicted to online Scrabble so I had to give that up eventually, too.

 

What video game do you wish existed?

I wish there was a game that made it fun to meditate so that by the time the game is over; you’re more blissed out than when you began.

 

What's better: Original 80s or Retro 80s?

The 80s were my favourite decade. I was young, had fabulous big hair, and worked as an actress. Paradoxically, in retrospect, everything about the 80s was ludicrous, from the neon spandex I wore to aerobics classes, to the music, to the auditions I was subjected to for vapid commercial roles.

 

What about Noir as a genre appeals to you?

I love the dark path of hedonism (whether for love, sex, money, murder, or all of the above) and the wilfully self-destructive nature of Noir’s infamous antagonists.

 

What's your favourite work of Noir? (Book, Comic, Movie...)

I’ve loved dozens of noir films so I’ll limit it to my favourites: Don’t Bother to Knock (1952), starring Richard Widmark and Marilyn Monroe, was Monroe’s attempt at “serious” acting, where she played a mentally unbalanced woman. The poster proclaimed she was “A wicked sensation as the lonely girl in Room 809!” Mildred Pierce (1945), based on James M. Cain’s novel of the same name, starring Joan Crawford, was another favourite. During my acting days I was in an experimental play, where I played Joan, so I watched that particular film over and over. The remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) is technically neo-noir but it’s one of my favourite pairings ever: Jack Nicholson and a young, bewitching Kathleen Turner. I also loved Double Indemnity (1944) starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. Then along came confounding Mulholland Drive in 2001, that I was determined to make some sense out of.

 

What are you reading these days?

I’m finishing up Diane Bracuk’s excellent short fiction debut, Middle-Aged Boys & Girls, and looking forward to Lisa De Nikolits’ The Nearly Girl. Also in the queue on my nightstand is Patton Oswalt’s Silver Screen Fiend.

 

What else are you working on now?

My poetry book, Anatomy of an Injury, is coming out with Inanna Books in 2018. In the meantime, I’m writing more poems and am working on some short fiction.

Category : Blog

PAC'N HEAT: Meet The Contributors! Tara Betts

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man will be available November 2016! Advance Copies will be for sale at CANZINE 2016! Let's Meet The Contributors...

Tara Betts

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Did you ever play Ms. Pac-Man?

Yes, I mostly played on an Atari 2600 back in the 1980s.

 

Do you/Did you play other video games?

I played Centipede and Galaga at the arcade, but I did play games like Pitfall, Boxing, Pac-Man, Q-Bert on the Atari 2600 game system. My brothers were around for the Nintendo and X-Box era, but I was doing other things. We did play Dr. Mario and Tetris together, which was basically the same game. I was playing tennis and boxing on Wii, until my device died.

 

If so, what do you/did you find most appealing about video games?

Video games could feel like an escape and a sense of accomplishment. It was also another game to bond over, just like how some people play cards or board games, but I don’t play them much now.

 

What did you find most frustrating?

Hand cramps and feeling like a day could evaporate if you kept playing. You could literally look up and see the sun was gone. I hate missing an entire day that way.

 

If you used to play video games and don't anymore, why did you stop?

Mostly being occupied with work and other people, but I would be down to try some new games. I think there are so many buttons too. I want it to be simple.

 

What video game do you wish existed?

I wish there was a game that actually taught us how to solve real problems. Too many people lack practical skills. What if you had a game that could teach basic building or medical care skills? A game that can teach you how to do something with more exciting turns than a how-to video on Youtube.

 

What about Noir as a genre appeals to you?

As a woman, I am intrigued with the representations of femme fatales and anti-heroes, but I’m also intrigued with that dark, seedy expectation that we expect. To some extent, I think the recent Netflix show “Jessica Jones” and the spin-off “Luke Cage” show are comic book-inspired shows constructed with noir-like characteristics, so I thought of Ms. Pac-Man in a harsh environment, yet still managing to be glamorous.

 

What's your favorite work of Noir? (Book, Comic, Movie...)

I would probably say “Cape Fear” if I thought of movies, but I am interested in delving deeper into the Noir Series published by Akashic Books. Each book gathers stories organized by cities in which they are set. I want to curl up with Chicago, Brooklyn, D.C., Detroit, London, and Havana.

 

What are you reading these days?

I recently finished The Education of Sonny Carson, which was one of Lauryn Hill’s inspirations for the album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, some of the books in Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series, Michelle Cliff’s essay collection If I Could Write This In Fire, and Solmaz Sharif’s Look. As far as comic books, I’ve been reading Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and different storylines in The Black Panther and Storm threads. I’m looking forward to reading World of Wakanda soon.

 

What else are you working on now?

I just published my second collection of poems entitled Break the Habit, and a chapbook entitled Never Been Lois Lane should be coming out on dancing girl press soon. I’m working on some essays for a few anthologies, the third poetry collection, and I’m in the early stages with other projects.

Category : Blog

PAC'N HEAT: Meet The Contributors! Adam Abbas

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man will be available November 2016! Advance Copies will be for sale at CANZINE 2016! Let's Meet The Contributors...

Adam  Abbas

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1) Did you ever play Ms. Pac-Man?

I have, it was on an arcade machine in a Greyhound station in B.C. I didn’t get very far. Was strange to be the only active human being in a sad building with quiet people just sitting or standing. I’m sure that affected my score. But I never really went to arcades as a kid since they were sketchy, so I didn't have that much exposure to it.

 

2) Do you/Did you play other video games?

I always, always used to play video games - NES, Super NES, N64, Playstation. As a kid in the 90’s it was mandatory. Oh, you played Mortal Kombat with blood and you're only in Grade 4? That's like smoking and drinking before anyone else - it wasn't me. And I won’t forget how my parents surprised me with a Super NES in our car when they picked me up one day after school. Or how my mom played Super Mario 3 with me to help me through Desert Land.

My favourite games were mostly the staples - Super Mario, Duck Hunt, TMNT: Turtles In Time, Donkey Kong, Maximum Carnage (based on Spider-Man, not really violent), Actraiser, Starfox, Goldeneye, Turok, F-Zero X, Ridge Racer Type 4, FFVII/VIII, Metal Gear Solid, Tekken III, Civilization II, Einhänder…the list could go on.

 

3) If so, what do you/did you find most appealing about video games?

I guess the most appealing thing about video games for me was being constantly challenged and seeing how a game/story unfolded, and being able to explore entire new worlds. The visuals as well…32-bit, 64-bit, 30 fps, 60 fps, important stuff. Reading EGM.

 

4) What did you find most frustrating?

Starting over again.

 

5) If you used to play video games and don't anymore, why did you stop?

I haven’t played video games for about nine years now. That’s also the time when I stopped watching TV. I realized that I needed my time to focus on other things, and that I had my fun. I needed to learn and produce, and as enjoyable as video games are, they were eating my time.

Plus maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like they started getting even bigger, taking up more time, and becoming more social. I almost always played video games alone. I would definitely get back into it if I marry a woman who loves playing them, though. That’s the only way.

 

6) What video game do you wish existed?

A video game that makes it fun to learn about finances, investments, real estate, etc. would be good to see. Because no one’s learning that in school, or at least I didn’t. Which is a goddamn travesty. Where do you learn about the things that matter? But then it would fall into the “edutainment” category, which is difficult - how can video games make learning fun? In that sense it’s like poetry: how can we reach people with this difficult medium?

 

7) What's better: Original 80s or Retro 80s? And why?

I was born in Sept.,1985 so I barely recall the 80’s, and I’ve only seen snippets of retro 80’s. Maybe original because of Sade’s Stronger Than Pride album (’88). And I don’t think people have leapt on that album as a retro symbol. Then again, there was a lot of blatant anti-Arabism in the 80’s, so maybe retro 80’s since being retro isn’t supposed to carry the narrow-mindedness of previous generations, or at least I’d like to think so.

 

8) What about Noir as a genre appeals to you?

Noir has always appealed to me because it’s a genre that nothing else can really touch in terms of sheer aesthetics and style. It has a timeless style all its own, where it’s accepted to be moody and dark without being violent, being quiet and sensual, a constant interplay of low light and heavy shadow.

 

9) What's your favorite work of Noir? (Book, Comic, Movie...)

 As much as I love Noir, it’s rare to find a work of art that corresponds directly to my view of it. I've tried; I owned a pack of Noir movies from the 40’s and 50’s but they weren’t as dark as I wanted them to be. Sunny days shouldn't be in Noir films. And Orson Welles was pretending he’s possessed or something, it was weird. I like it when it doesn’t take itself too seriously, like Pac’n Heat. There’s an album called Sunset Mission by Bohren & Der Club of Gore that’s quintessential noir music. I rarely listen to it, but it's my favourite. Either that or L.A. Confidential, which I own.

 

10) What are you reading these days?

I’m reading more Canadian poets - just bought The Stone-Mason’s Notebook by Carmelo Militano. Also The Politics of Knives by Jonathan Ball, Ten Thousand Miles Between Us by Rocco de Giacomo, rereading Sumptuary Laws by Nyla Matuk. A book on reflexology. I want to read Palookaville.

 

11) What else are you working on now?

 I started a 100%-Canadian made clothing company called Train Yards Collections. Isn’t that funny, a poet starting a clothing brand. I’ve completed a play that I want to submit to the University of Manitoba, toying with another new play that I’d like to submit to the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and I’ve almost completed a new poetry chapbook.

 

Category : Blog

PAC'N HEAT: Meet The Contributors! Lisa de Nikolits

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man will be available November 2016! Advance Copies will be for sale at CANZINE 2016! Let's Meet The Contributors...

Lisa de Nikolits

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1. Did you ever play Ms. Pac-Man?

Yes, I did. Imagine a seventeen-year old girl in the countryside of what was then the Transvaal (now, it is Gauteng). Imagine a hot, dusty, dry area a couple of hours north of Johannesburg. Imagine a strip mall that isn’t even a strip mall, it is more like a tiny gathering of rural stores; a tack shop with saddles, bridles and anything you might need for your horse. There’s a May’s Chemist (a drugstore), a Spar (like an IGA), a realtor’s office, a post office and a fast-food store. The fast food store is called O. Platanos which is a strange name, we always thought, my family and I. O. Platanos. A place where you can buy fish and chips or Russian sausages and chips (my dad’s favourite), or you can buy hamburgers and other dubious deeply-fried delights. This is a place where I once ordered a packet of burgers and a chip. My sister fell about laughing and she rushed out to tell my mother of the faux pas that I committed in front of the love of my life, a boy I will call Max H. Oh, be still my heart. He was a rich boy, his parents owned a cucumber farm close to our small-holding (we had six acres, home to our family of four, three dogs, two cats and four horses, one for each of us.) At the time in life, we were all about the horses – but I was mostly all about Max H. The daydreams of his and my happy-ever never amounted to anything more than me standing beside him, playing Ms. Pac-Man while he played Space Invaders, both of us waiting for takeout in the tiny greasy confines of O. Platanos. So, if you ask me what I love about Ms. Pac-Man and what I remember most, it is that eternal summer of being seventeen and being in love with a boy who had no idea I existed, despite the fact that I put myself in his path constantly and quite obviously. I am not sure what happened to Max H and I would prefer not to know, but to remember him as a youthful beauty, back in the day, when Ms. Pac-Man herself was but a wee babe.

2. Did you play other video games?

Yes, I loved Donkey Kong! And Asteroids, Space Invaders, Pac-Man.

3. What did you find most frustrating thing about playing?

I hated losing! I am not a diplomatic loser! And it annoyed me that my sister was much better at video games than I was. And she was not diplomatic about beating me!

4. What was most appealing about playing video games?

Boys! There were always boys around the video games. But I also loved the noises and music, the squawks, the screeches, the sirens, the blips and bleeps and the bells and chimes. I loved the colours, the graphics and, of course, the excitement of playing. When I go into a casino, I feel like I am in a video arcade and I am filled with the happy feeling of a free afternoon in the summer after school.

5. What video game do you wish existed?

It would be really cool to have a Scrabble Ms. Pac-Man! So you could chomp up dots and fruits while you build words and get chased by ghosts!

6. What's better: Original 80s or Retro 80’s?

As a genuine retro relic from the Original 80s, I vote for Original! I am an Original Retro 80’s relic and I am proud of it!

7. What about Noir appeals to you?

Apparently some people wear rose-coloured spectacles when they look at the world. My spectacles are noir. I laugh because sometimes people tell me that I am one of the most positive people that they know but really, I am very noir! For example, when I stop to smell the roses in summer, I cannot help but see their inevitable death. In a way, seeing the withered dead petals of the future makes me appreciate the transient beauty of the moment even more. Being noir-aware makes one so much conscious of the fragility of life but also, of the indestructible determination for survival.

8. What is your favourite work of Noir?

Sin City. The first one. I loved Will Christopher Baer’s Penny Dreadful (but only Season 1). I think Craig Davidson is very noir, as is his alter-ego Nick Cutter, although Nick is of course, more horror. I love all Craig and Nick’s books. I loved the book Night Film by Marissa Pessl who also wrote Special Topics In Calamity Physics and I thought The Financial Lives of Poets by Jess Walter was quite noir in a way, although very funny too. I loved Fight Club. It’s interesting, the things you learn while doing research for blog posts! For example, it seems that I am more into neo-noir than I am into noir -– Shutter Island by Denis Lehane is categorized as neo-noir and I loved that book. My short stories tend to be very noir. I have a collection titled Cannibals of the Afterlife and one of the stories from that was published in Postscripts To Darkness, Volume 6, and I was delighted that they liked it. The story, Eve Ago, is about an obese woman, so obese that she is exhibited by her siblings as installation art and she sits in a red velvet throne in restaurants and people line up to feed her. Eve is televised and followed and adored. And then the viewers watch her die, the television screen fades to black and her siblings eat Eve and they never find her remains. There’s lots of very noir content in Cannibals!

9. What are you working on now?

A novel titled The Occult Persuasion. It’s very much in the plotting and planning stages and I am exploring the characters. The Occult Persuasion will see a series of lives intersecting; a group of young people back-packing through Europe, a middle-aged couple holidaying in Australia, a patient of an insane asylum in Sydney Australia in the 1930’s (clearly no longer alive but appearing as in photographs with a message that only one young man can see). I am still at the gathering of data stage for this one but hope to have the first draft of this written by the end of the year.

10. What are you reading these days?

Paradise Lost (Milton), The Odyssey (Homer), Kant’s Moral Philosophy (HB Acton), Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Madeleine Thien), Barkskins (Annie Proulx), Principles To Live By (David Adams Richards), All The Missing Girls (Megan Miranda). I am very behind on reading Canadian authors – I missed all the Spring launches due to work and I plan to rectify that with Fall!

Category : Blog

PAC'N HEAT: Meet The Contributors! Jade Wallace

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man will be available November 2016! Advance Copies will be for sale at CANZINE 2016! Let's Meet The Contributors...

JADE  WALLACE

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1. Did you ever play Ms. Pac-Man?

I grew up in a small town that had one arcade at the local mall. I know I played a game there involving some kind of incarnation of a Pac-creature, but I honestly cannot recall the gender.

2. Do you/Did you play other video games?

I have been trying to play video games since I was a child, but I am, twenty years later, still the player who somehow falls in every hole and jumps straight into the waiting arms of every moving object that wants to kill me. I love playing Mario Kart and Kirby’s Epic Yarn, though, because you’re always forgiven for doing things that should be fatal.

3. What do you/did you find most appealing about video games?

I like the fact the fact that my rampant failure to win video games has no discernible impact on my overall quality of life. This is much more relaxing than being at work, for example, where every miniscule task I do could potentially affect my future well-being if I screw it up badly enough.

4. What do you /did you find most frustrating?

Chip music.

5. What video game do you wish existed?

I want a version of Guitar Hero where you actually play a real guitar. Wouldn’t that be a great way to learn to play an instrument?

6. What's better: Original 80s or Retro 80s? And why?

I was only alive for two and a quarter months during the 80s, okay. I do not have the authority to comment to comment on this.

7. What about Noir as a genre appeals to you?

I like any genre that lays to waste moral certainty.

8. What's your favourite work of Noir? (Book, Comic, Movie...)

Is it terrible to admit that I don’t read much Noir fiction or watch many Noir movies? I recently read Patricia Highsmith’s The Price Of Salt, which isn’t Noir, but Patricia Highsmith writes Noir, and that’s probably about as close as I’ve gotten to Noir since I was made to watch The Maltese Falcon. I don’t dislike Noir; I just tend more towards Southern (Ontario) Gothic and Horror.

9. What are you reading these days?

Dead Letters by Francis King.

10. What else are you working on now?

I’d like to say I’m finishing a book of speculative fiction but it’s more a book of just very slightly questionable fiction, in which events are not really outside the realm of everyday occurrence so much as just shuffling around aimlessly at the periphery of complete ordinariness.

Category : Blog

PAC'N HEAT: The Cover!

PAC'N HEAT: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man is steady rolling to completion! (more…)

Category : Blog

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