Most of the book launches I've been to, possibly all, have been held in book shops. Unthank had chosen somewhere rather different; The Bicycle Shop, a quirky delightful restaurant, which no longer sells bikes :)
The event was held downstairs, in a room lit by twinkling fairy lights and candles. I loved it!
Proceedings were opened by co-editor Ashley Stokes who read a few words from his introduction to Unthology 11,
"What would it take to push you to the edge? And beyond? The moth that flutters round a bulb. The echo of long-drinking that hums inside your head. Your softness against all that hardness. The reflections of the glass megalith. The darkening street beneath a line of magnolia trees. The leaves of the apple tree freckled with rot. A black and ragged looking bird. One of those planes that pulls paper letters behind it. Thick, sibilant words that make your mouth water just hearing them. The scuzzy streets of Archway, where no one cares who you are. Welcome to the hinterland. Welcome to Unthology 11."
I've read my review copy of Unthology 11, and the stories definitely take the reader to strange places hidden almost in plain sight, lurking just behind the facade that people present to the world.
Being the launch of a book of short stories there was more than one author on hand to read their work - in fact, there were four, which gave a real feel for the varied writing styles and subject matter.
First up was Jude Cook reading from his short story The Night Nurse, followed by Georgina Parfitt with her Christmassy tale Wise Man.
|Paul Davenport Randell|
A short break gave me time to browse the collection of Unthank books on sale, and buy a copy of Sarah Dobbs' second novel, The Sea Within Me (it's a stunner; something Philip K Dick could have written, and she also has a story in this Unthology). Something about the lighting changed during this break, so I could take photographs of the two writers still due to 'perform' - Rachael Smart - Various Cuts of a Holstein - and Paul Davenport Randall, who rounded off the evening with some of his story of modern slavery, Bloodstock.