Tales From Tantamount: A Postcard From a Town. Number three



Postcard three: image shows a row of electrical pylons. Sylphs are using the wires as a slide. Below, a sounder of boar  frolic through a river, or are perhaps part of it. A terrifyingly cheerful child waves at you from the corner of the postcard, dressed in yellow dungarees. Attached to the postcard is a feeling of longing tinged with smugness.

Dear Citi/Denizen,
how goes your week? We hope Limbo/Jobcentre is treating you well. Have you filled out all the appropriate forms? We forgot to remind you in our previous postcards, but you have to fill out the correct forms every week. Otherwise, your benefits will be docked, and your soul will be fed to the man with the snakes in his eyes. The forms are only a little hellish, and you are of course not allowed to check the previous forms to make sure you are saying the same things. That would be cheating.
This week, we visited Atlantis. It was a bit wet. The Carrion enjoyed it a lot, and are still digesting it, which has made them slow. Weather continues lovely and scattered with haikus. The Eldritch Terror and Janice the Kraken have moved into the Library, which appears to be displeased and keeps vanishing and reappearing all the time. The cheese here is very good, and we recommend it.
We have attached this feeling, stolen from a resident of Old Faethm, to the postcard. We think it will help you miss us properly, if you are not already.


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Tales From Tantamount: A Postcard from a Town. Number Two

KEEP CALM AND CARRION – further correspondence from the wandering town of Tantamount, which is having a better holiday than us, the bastard.

Postcard two: image shows a pair of goats frolicking around a fire. One of the goats is playing a violin, while the other simply dances. The fire is surrounded by trees on all sides, in which there are mildly disturbing shadows. The smoke from the fire is forming odd sigils, and in the foreground are a pair of turquoise converse. Attached to the postcard is a red grape in a silk bag.
Dear Citi/Denizen,
Well, what an exciting week! This week we did wine tasting in a cave filled with the mummified remains of unhappy vampires, and paddled in the sea with our collective trousers rolled up. The Carrion took rather a lot of beachgoers, who have been lying in the sand suffering Spiritual Dislocation and other things ever since. We have named the Kraken Janice. There is a tram system running, and it irritates our buildings. Teenagers keep leaving rubbish in our streets, so we have eaten them. We hope Limbo proceeds well – we have sent you one of the grapes from the vineyards to keep you going. Do be wary of hallucinogenic properties and sudden Poetry.


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Tales From Tantamount: A Postcard from a Town. Number One


Tantamount appears to have gone on holiday. It will send you postcards at irregular intervals until it returns, probably in September.

Postcard one: image displays a pleasant landscape, complete with a family of skeletons dressed in Georgian clothing and bearing double-headed axes. They have a skeleton dog, and what appears to be a skeletal parakeet. A strange stone with scratchy markings was attached. The postcard reads: Dear Citi/Denizen. It has come to our attention that you were not with us when we left for holiday, and you are now loitering in the terrible fogs of limbo, or possibly the Job Centre (we conflated the two in the Year of the Yellow-Eyed Newt in order to save space). Do not despair. Tantamount has every intention of returning to collect you, once we have enjoyed our holiday. We are currently having a lovely time at the beach. There has only been one Kraken, and after we introduced the Eldritch Terror they got along well. Perhaps too well. Remember that we do care about you deeply, just not enough to cut our holiday short. We have sellotaped a rune of healing to this postcard – we hope it helps!

Best wishes,

Tantamount District Council

I’m not actually on holiday, I’m training for a new job. But I sent Tantamount on holiday just for fun 🙂

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New Book!

Look at this gorgeous new book! Should I wait until I’ve finished Sandman? Or just dive in? Decisions decisions….

Wednesday Update

Hello all, here is a little Wednesday update.

Reading: Sandman, kindly lent to me by a friend. Lookit lookit lookit! I have read the first five volumes before, but now I am going through the whole thing.

Image shows Sandman series by neil gaiman, eleven volumes stacked on top of each other.

Just finished reading: Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (I told you I wanted to read everything by her)(It was bloody great).

Writing: A little bit of this and that. Been trying to get ahead on Tantamount, as well as some other projects. Exciting to be diving back into things.

Pondering: the ocean. I keep thinking about it. Don’t know why. But there it is in my head.

Looking Forward To: the Sinners book launch event, which I will be reading at 🙂 Lots of fun to be had, and it is in a pub! Books and beer – what more do you need really?

Hopeless launch poster

Announcing: I start a new job next week, so if I go quiet for a bit you know why! It’s just temporary while I get used to new hours etcetera. Wish me luck!

Listening to: The Hamilton Mixtape: Immigrants (we get the job done)

And that’s all for now! Take care, and you should hear from me again soon.

You can buy me a drink through the internet, which is pretty snazzy to be fair.

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Poem: Your Forehead is a Fishmonger by Meredith Debonnaire

A very silly poem. The credit for the first few lines goes to Robin, a wonderful person, who can be found blogging here. I hope you enjoy this ridiculousness.

Your forehead is a fishmonger:
It smells like the North Sea.
Your eyelashes are shrimps’ legs
and they waggle and wave at me.

Your hair it is all seaweed,
rocked in briny air.
Your fingers are electric eels
which zap without a care.

It’s hard to hold your hand, my love,
but I do so anyway.
Your legs they are deep lagoons
which rise and fall throughout the day.

Let me sail across your vastness
in a coracle of moss.
As long as I’m with you, dear fish,
I don’t care if I am lost.

Your forehead is a fishmonger:
it smells like the North Sea.
And your eyebrows are fishing nets
which have surely captured me…

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Book review: A Natural History of Dragons – A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan wraparound cover

Not a day goes by that the post does not bring me at least one letter from a young person (or sometimes one not so young) who wishes to follow in my footsteps and become a dragon naturalist.

This was a surprising book. I didn’t really know what I was expecting from it, if much. It is written in the style of a memoir, so the narrative voice is that of an older woman (fifty?) recalling her youth, and it worked very well. Lady Trent is now known as the foremost expert on dragons, but this story is of her origins, back when she was merely Isabella. It charts her early interest in dragons (which was a source of great distress to her mother), and how she came to go on her first ever expedition to study them (having persuaded her husband).

What was striking about it was how solid the world felt. It was a fantasy world on the cusp of the industrial revolution, unusual in itself. There were many things that contributed to how real it felt – the fact that there were different interpretations of the imaginary religions, the precision of the descriptions, the absoluteness of the social mores, the presence of sciences and archaeology and differing cultures. And the dragons, which were rare and glorious creatures, being described through the eyes of a scientist in terms of bone structure and preserving their bodies. I liked Isabella, especially as the voice was that of her older self who was occasionally terribly embarrassed by her younger self but luckily had a good sense of humour. I grew very fond of her.

This was not a book that was quick in terms of plot. It didn’t grab me and pull me along. Rather, it grew on me and snuck up on me and then suddenly I realised I was absolutely invested in everything. Likewise, the emotions of the characters are at a remove caused by the narrative style; I found that they also snuck up on me until I was invested. A Natural History of Dragons proved to be a surprisingly unique treasure, and I intend to go to the library and dig out the rest of the series.

Rating: read this book, and preserve your dragon samples carefully!

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