Tales From Tantamount: Definitely March of the Year of the Sad Plastic Bag

More correspondence from Tantamount, an idiosyncratic town that occasionally goes missing…

FOUND: Small stone labyrinth, in the guttering of Saltlick Bookcavern. Remnants of red paint. Call  Arnie xxxxx 902121


Found spat out on the pavement near a bin.


The Internet Revolution

Notes on the latest paper by Amelie Ng by Jamie Mansur. Remember this is due in next week!

  1. DISAGREE.Current evidence indicates an internet presence in Tantamount from the 1800’s.
  2. Internet wiring at first instance functioned along phonelines, and so bees were used a lot.
  3. Why are the bees dying???
  4. Experiments have been done with wasps and bats.
  5. Social media has had a positive effect on Tantamount’s relations to non-wandering reality: discuss. [see Amelie Ng’s first paper: tweeter.tan. For outside perspective, try that one co-authored by Mary Beard].
  6. There is a school of thought that says the success of the internet is mainly due to the blood sacrifice of pigeons. This seems kinda obvious to me? The other main school of thought is that somehow the advent of the internet and the disappearance of the cemeteries are related. Clearly fallacy.
    1. Note to self – buy a new laptop!
  8. Read up on the Danelaw period – currently this is important esp. regarding online Things.
  9. &&83()322095<>nnfi))jr3 jamiepleasejamie<<>>/////////


Weather Report

The weather today was lambent mist, filled with soft and friendly voices. A lot of beautiful youths were lost.


If you are stupid enough to disturb the daffodil beast you deserve everything you get.

Tantamount District Council


Warning: Heavy Plant Crossing

The plant is unusually touchy about its weight. Anyone found mocking the plant will be fined T75.00 and thrown to the Morris Dancers.
Tantamount District Council


FOUND: The Dumpsy Tump!

RE RE: Banned list
TO: management@pinprick.tan
FROM: lauralovelace@hotmail.tan

Dear Thora,

Please find attached my formal request for holiday time, and thanks for the banned list.

Also, the Woman in the Well has been coming in nearly every day, which is obviously fine, but don’t customers usually sit in the cafe area? It’s a little disconcerting having her in the kitchen…

Best wishes,
Laura Lovelace


Tantamount Grapevine – UNOFFICIAL!

We can confidently report (because we’ve heard from trustworthy sources) that historian training sign-ups are at an all time low! They haven’t been lower since the Year of the Lonely Platypus, according to our Nan, although Old Ash says it was lower in the Year of the Demented Otter.  Either way, trainee historians are dropping faster than, well, trainee historians. And we even heard that Amelie Ng got hit by a bout of Dislocation the other day, which she escaped through judicious use of hopscotch…



This road, known as Road Road, will be closed for the twinning ceremony with Faethm. It’s irrelevant to the ceremony, we just thought we’d close it for fun. The police will be out in force on the night; they have asked us to tell you that they are bribeable with alcohol and woolly gloves. We are expecting a large contingent of magpies. Attendance is mandatory unless you really really don’t want to come.
Tantamount District Council



We are aware of the piano, and taking appropriate action. In the meantime, please do not approach. Those keys are sharp…


Weather report


FOUND: Unused ideas, carefully wrapped in tissue paper. They smell a bit like hot cross buns. Ish xxxxx 222 123

LOST: Shiny trombone full of bees! PLease return! Reward! Manda xxxxx 721 228

LOST: Body, human, male. Aged 29 years, brown hair, brown eyes, tan skin. Last seen wearing a green tee, jeans, and a jacket with ‘Mythos’ emblazoned on the back. Call Meryl xxxxx 199 901

FOR SALE: Seven League boots, barely used. Kalila xxxxx 082166


RE  RE RE: Banned list
TO: lauralovelace@hotmail.tan
FROM: management@pinprick.tan

Dear Laura,


Ask her to leave. If she refuses, tell her the management has authorised you to turn on the dehumidifier.

I am happy to talk to her if this gets tricky – I don’t want to put you in a difficult situation. I have no idea why the Woman in the Well would be doing this all of a sudden!

Best wishes,
Thora Hope
PS your holiday dates are all approved.


RE RE RE RE: Banned list
TO: management@pinprick.tan
FROM: lauralovelace@hotmail.tan

Dear Thora,

I am fine to ask her myself, but thanks! It’s probably just a misunderstanding. Does she ever look familiar to you?

Best wishes,


Proverb of the day: Blood is thicker than water. Found scrawled in graffiti at a murder scene. We understand that you are all a bit upset about how the twinning ceremony with Faethm went. However, have you realised that blood makes wonderful gravy?

Tantamount District Council

Tantamount will return in April, we hope…

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Poem: Sometimes by Meredith Debonnaire

This is relatively new – a few months I think. I really like reading this one out loud – it’s got an urgency that sort of builds (I think).

In the night I can hear the echoes
of a river that never ran through this street
and the creaks of the not-boats drifting like leaves along it.
in the night I can  hear the pigeons
squabbling and doing magical mundane pigeon things
six feet above me on the roof
I don’t sleep,
because to sleep would be to admit another day is coming.
The river is full of secret nighttime commerce,
happening quietly around and beneath the loudmouthed drugdealers
I heard from beneath the sounds of my neighbours’ party
mingling with the deep voice of some beast
who stalks me, curious, and is interrupted by Basshunter again.
I try to keep moving
like a shark
like something so much smaller than a shark
in the night I hear the ocean
rolling through my veins
my heart
each beating
I only sleep.
I only sleep then sometimes the deep reverberating bass of revelations
sings up through my bones and rattles in my skull
my precious fragile skull
and I can never find the words again afterwards.
I dream of burying myself in ice
and I wake up wrestling my own body which is the wrong size again
the wrong shape again
and I don’t yet know any words that fit over my skin comfortably –
I am still overwriting all the words I was given that I did not want
my hands get scarred and full of them.
in the night the moon calls me
and calls me and calls me until
all the water in my body shakes and sings
I am too scared to go out too scared of mundane things
the drugdealers are loud again in the alley outside my door
the dark I’ve been taught is full of threats
I would like the dark if it came apart from the threat
the always threat
of violence against my female body
my not-always-right female body and
in the night I PACE PACE PACE
like a lion in a cage with no keepers in sight no keepers to bite
to maul
to maim
and the night river is busy
beings with stick-insect legs and bodies like five-dimensional sheds
are shining foglights across Stroud and
Sometimes I lie in bed and decompose –
my body a rich slow collapse and I lapse back into silence like soil.
I hear screams from dreams that I am trying not to eavesdrop on
and filling my ears does not work
and my body goes through the motions at work while I dream of words.
in the night
I am exhausted and I bring exhaustion home
and I fight it tooth and nail until the small bright hours and get nothing done.
in the night
I am unobserved
and I laugh at how absurd my life’s become
in the dark
in the shadows
in the gloom
in the fog
and I stuff my fingers behind my teeth trying to keep it all in
the flat floats and bobs:
a riverboat adrift atop the echo of a river that never ran.
in the night
staying here is all I can do
and I lie
and close my eyes
and imagine you; existing
just existing
somewhere else across the sea as we both cling on with our nails and sweat
and I see you and you see me
in the night
the wind has a voice that keens
I will stay here
I will stay here but
I don’t always know what that means…

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Tales From Tantamount: Probably March of the Year of the Sad Plastic Bag


Headlines in Tantamount March 1stish
The Tantamount Herald
Rave party wakes Eldritch Terror – Eldritch Terror very polite, covered in glowsticks. Story cont. p3
Leap Day celebrations bring new sightings of the Tantamount Tricksters, rogue Morris Side. Tally of losses p4
Tantamount Life
New map of Tantamount unveiled – includes location of the library which has returned! See centre spread.

Weather report
Today the weather was reminiscent of a shower of chocolate confetti. Children everywhere were disappointed.


The twinning ceremony with Faethm is to be held later this month. Due to ridiculous bickering, the twinning will be celebrated with a Traditional English Fayre (complete with Viking Re-enactment) where everyone will be able to get a nice cup of tea. Later there will be a Booze Up, and, when everyone is sufficiently drunk, the sacrifice of a virgin goat.
We are still trying to find a virgin goat willing to take part in this event; please contact us with any leads.
Many thanks,
Tantamount District Council

Carrion will occur in the designated places at 7:14am sharp and last for twenty-seven minutes. We should not have to remind you. It has always been this way.
Tantamount District Council

This stunning town nestles gently into the landscape, surrounded on all sides by hills/mountains/water/woodland/fields/Gloucester (delete as appropriate). This historical town is unlike any you will find elsewhere, full of history and relaxing things to do. Enjoy the Museum of the Present! Stroll gently through the Public Parks! Go cowtipping, and laugh as they gently tip you back! Be pleasantly terrified by the Carrion from the safety of your hotel room! This is a holiday you won’t regret! Scenic!!!

Meet and greet at the Library:
The Eldritch Terror from under Wapley Quarry will be at Tantamount Library on maybe the 18th March to discuss its origins as a Tantamount Living Legend. Joanna Preet, author of Living Legends, will be there to argue with the Eldritch Terror about her version of its reality. Biscuits will be available, and the survivor will sign books.

Don’t turn around.

Weather report
The weather today was stolen from November. It made you want to cling to hot mugs and kick your feet through leaves that weren’t there. Men of 46 were especially affected.

Proverb of the day: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Found in a morally pretentious collection of children’s stories. We have never been sure what this means, why you would have a bird in your hand or, indeed, in your bush. However Tantamount District Council tries to avoid policing the personal lives of the town’s residents, so long as they are not doing anything illegal, ethically ambiguous, or slightly irritating. Further to this, we would like to announce that we have shot all the spam-pigeons that have been sent to us in the last week.
Many thanks
Tantamount District Council.

note found gripped in the feet of a dead spam pigeon

Are you interested in history?
Do you enjoy near-death experiences?

The Larksbjorn Historian training will be taking place this Friday at the Subscription Rooms. Aethel will be assisting Amelie Ng (the current-most experienced historian in Tantamount) in training up new historians. This course is FREE, and all equipment will be provided. You may die. Should you survive three consecutive training days, you will be appointed as a town historian, provided with a house and a generous food budget, and sent out to tame history.
Please note that if there are not enough volunteers we will have to conscript historians, and that won’t make anyone happy….

Maelid update
Tantamount District Council is pleased to announce that noticeable headway has been made with the maelid infestation. Who knew that they had a natural predator in the feral wild boar? Not us! The maelids have mostly moved back to their trees, and with time we hope the other dryads will return.
Tantamount District Council

Regards, the Carrion

RE: Banned list
TO: lauralovelace@hotmail.tan
FROM: management@pinprick.tan
Dear Laura,
I can confirm that the Eldritch Terror is not on our banned list, and is generally a pleasant customer. I’m working on digging up the entire list, but the most important people who are not allowed in the cafe are as follows:

  • Tantamount District Council
  • Jeff the Taxidermist
  • Spottyfaceman
  • Axel Edwin August the IV
  • Anyone called Bob.
  • The ENTIRE District Council
  • Lisa Wilson
  • Rahel

The Woman in the Well is not banned, exactly, but she is only allowed to stay for thirty minutes at a time. As long as she gets a free espresso, she is fine with this.
Best wishes,
Thora Hope

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Black Panther film – some overexcited fanpersoning

Just to make it very clear, this is not a nuanced review. This is me being really excited and wanting to tell everyone about the excitement. I would not attempt a nuanced review of this film, because I know there are a lot of things I would miss or not fully understand due to my background.

So I went to see Black Panther this week, and HOLY SHIT!

Okoye Black Panther

It was so good. SO GOOD! I’m gonna have difficulty articulating, because it was just so exciting, but we’ll have a randomly ordered list okay? Great. SPOILERS!



I’ve been hanging around in the MCU for a while, and it’s been fun and there’s lots to play with, but bloody hell Wakanda! Wakanda was really really exciting. It was visually exciting, and a lot of work had clearly gone into it. There’s this thread about the costume design, which is really interesting so GO READ IT. The costumes stood out in an awesome way, and I liked reading that thread and getting a better idea of where the inspiration came from. Then we’ve got this concept art by Till Nowak which took my breath away. And some stills from the film. It’s better in the film, with everything moving and alive and EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE so good!

The background of Wakanda was given to us as an animated story told by T’chaka EDIT 2/2/2018 I was wrong, it is N’jobu talking to his son  at the beginning of the film, and I really enjoyed that. Wakanda has managed, through isolation, to avoid colonisation. They are extremely technologically advanced, and the rest of the world thinks they are a deprived third-world nation. I feel like, as I’ve not watched Civil War, there was some context that was missing for me. But I was able to fill that in. They talk Xhosa on screen (subbed). The soundtrack is also perfect (and I have every intention of buying it), and the whole just comes together into this incredible, fully-realised, complicated awesome world. I would be more than happy if all Marvel films from now on were set in Wakanda please, with Thor films allowed as long as Taika Waititi is directing them. I was completely blown away.

Awesome women everywhere

So the story is about T’challa, played excellently by Chad Boseman, becoming king after his father dies, and it does amazing and interesting things with that which were amazing and made me cry. HOWEVER, the women stole the show for me. There were so many women! Marvel films usually have about two-point-five women per film, usually white, young, and skinny. Which is, yanno, boring. Black Panther had SO MANY WOMEN!!!! I recommend this article for some interesting thoughts about how in Black Panther the men are carrying the emotional struggles of the film and the women get to be intellectual and ideological.

Anyway, list of women:

Queen Ramonda

Queen RamondaQueen RamondaQueen Ramonda, played by Angela Bassett, is the late T’chaka’s wife, and the mother of T’challa and Shuri. She gets to be a strong presence throughout the film, and is generally fantastic and wonderful and is NOT a young woman, and is portrayed with incredible dignity. She hikes up a damn mountain in the snow to go bargain with the very isolationist Jabari tribe when T’challa is thought to be dead. This is about two (?) weeks after losing her husband; this woman is hardcore and wonderful.


Shuri and Tchalla

Shuri and NAkia

T’challa’s little sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, is sixteen and a technology genius who could run circles around Tony Stark without even trying. She’s in charge of the tech development for ALL OF WAKANDA and she makes amazing things and names them after puns.  She interrupts T’challa’s crowning ceremony to tell him that her outfit is uncomfortable.She’s funny and smart and jokes around with her bro, and then also hikes up a freezing mountain to negotiate and then gets in on a battle with sonic gauntlets which she invented while talking a slightly useless CIA agent through how to use their jets. She is made of awesome. LOOK AT HER AWESOMENESS!



Okoye, played by Danai Gurira, is a force of fucking nature. She’s the implacable general, in charge of the Dora Milaje (all women fighting force, roughly equivalent to secret service in nature I think). And damn, this woman! She is calm and collected and will kick the ever-loving shit out of anyone threatening the king. There is a car-chase where she SPEARS A CAR FROM ON TOP OF ANOTHER CAR! And she’s a great character who takes her job very seriously and still occasionally cracks a joke. And there are so rarely women characters like this, who get to have strength and loyalty as their tenets. She is fascinating in that she is loyal not to T’challa personally, but to the throne. Regardless of her personal feelings, she sees her job as serving the throne and sticks to it. And when it turns out that T’challa is alive and therefore the kingship challenge wasn’t settled, that is when she changes her mind.



I could not find a gif of her getting her fight on, but she is mighty competent! When we meet Nakia, played by Lupita Nyong’o, she is trying to rescue a group of kidnapped Nigerian(?) girls. She is a Wardog, which is the Wakandan name for spies sent out into the rest of the world. She speaks multiple languages, can handle herself in a fight, is not afraid to disagree with T’challa about things (mainly Wakanda’s isolationism). She’s also his ex, but unlike in many films where that would be her entire personality she gets to branch out beyond that and be her own person. And she also, along with Shuri and Queen Ramonda, hikes up a damn freezing mountain to negotiate with the Jabari tribe after having got Shuri and Ramonda to safety, and then SNUCK BACK INTO THE DAMN PALACE AND NICKED SOME OF THE MAGIC SUPERHERO MAKING HEART HERB! Also she doesn’t shack up with T’challa, she goes and opens an embassy thing. And she has a really amazing dynamic with Okoye where they get to disagree but still respect each other.

All the Dora Milaje

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA they are so awesome! Also I like to imagine that at some point in the future Valkyrie/Scrapper 142 as played by Tessa Thompson will come across the Dora Milaje and that would be both amazing and bittersweet.

Dora Milaje

Killmonger and Dora Milaje

I don’t think I’ve missed anyone. Seriously, awesome women everywhere!

Plot and themes

I’m trying not to spoil everything, but you may want to skip this section! The plot was fascinating: they set you up with who you thought would be the main villain, and a really obvious story development. And then they did something else entirely and the film became not about Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) who stole vibranium and was, to be fair, a pretty wonderful villain whenever he was onscreen, but about Erik Killmonger/N’jadaka, the forgotten cousin of T’challa left to grow up in Oaklands, California. It becomes about the rage of those left behind and taken away, about this man who is furious with the world (and has every right to be) trying to come home to a place that by right he should have belonged. And suddenly Wakanda has to deal with the fact that their isolationist policy, which protected them from colonisation and all that awful awful fuckery that Europe inflicted on the entire continent (and of course they needed to protect themselves) also left people behind and it’s coming back to haunt them. There’s an incredible emotional struggle between Killmonger/N’jadaka (Michael B Jordan) and T’challa, and their different beliefs and experiences that was genuinely painful.

I can’t actually begin to cover all the themes etc, because they are big and complicated and I don’t think I know enough to really get into them, but damnit WATCH THIS FILM! Also, the final fightscene between Killmonger and T’challa takes place in a literal underground railway. Just just just FEELINGS

Action Sequences

Killmonger and Tchalla

I loved the fighting in this film! It was all amazing and there were so many different types of combat that it stayed interesting! You had these one on one battles with swords and shields, a massive car-chase, multi-person brawls, and a fuck-off battle that had jets with laser guns, the Dora Milaje, two Black Panther superpowered dudes, sonic Nakia Black Panther postergauntlets, the weapons that Nakia was using which I don’t know the name of (tell me if you know – there’s a piccy), spears, besotho blankets that contained energy shields, and more than one wartrained rhinoceros. I repeat, WAR RHINOCEROS! It was great.

Other great stuff

  • M’baku, played by Winston Duke, was just brilliant. His character was a lot of fun.
  • All the shots of different bits of Wakanda.
  • Shuri being awesome.
  • The whole scene where T’challa is being crowned is visually stunning and fantastic, and the music was incredible.
  • Having non-American, non-European accents as the main accent in a film.
  • Have I mentioned Shuri?
  • “Coloniser” as an insult.
  • The amazing spiritual visions that both T’challa and N’jadaka/Killmonger had – they were so beautiful and packed with emotion.
  • Everett Ross:(to T’challa) “Does she speak English?” Okoye: “When she wants to.”

About the only thing that would have made me like this more were if there were some queers (and again it seems as though at one stage there were going to be some because Okoye was going to have Ayo, played by Florence Kasumba, as her lover, but Marvel backed down. AGAIN). Other than that, GO GO GO GO SEE THIS FILM!

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Poem: Strictly Sexual by Meredith Debonnaire

This one has swear words! And use of the word “fag”! And it’s a bit old! But generally alright I think! This putting poems up thing is worrying… For best experience, read this one out loud in an increasingly angry voice.

My relationship with politics is strictly sexual because politics insists on getting in my bed/My relationship with politics is purely personal though politics will not admit to half the things that it has said/Politics is not a healthy bedfellow/Politics is not a brilliant fuck/But my relationship with politics is sexual, because politics won’t leave my life even though we’ve broken up/

Politics is my dirty little secret and I grind my teeth when it grandstands against itself/Politics insists that it can shake hands with clenched fists/Politics pretends it’s sitting on a shelf/Politics I don’t mind that you’re into bondage/Though I wish that you would wait for my consent/I enjoy a bit of submission but you don’t have my permission to make converting me a mission/On making me heteronormal you seem hellbent/

Don’t tell me not to be emotionally entangled/’Cause you bribe me with one hand and with the other hand you strangled/All the opposition/It’s an indecent proposition/To use my body as a moral battleground/

We may be fucking, politics, but you do not own my cunt/And it’s obscene of you to think that you can take just what you want/No I won’t give up my career though you’ve made it completely clear that empowered women are not welcomed here/

My relationship with politics is sexual/Because politics has politicised my sex/Your laws creep into my bed/Your attitudes pollute my head/Oh politics I think you’d rather I was dead/Politics I’d love to see you naked/Politics I’d love to see you pure/But so long as I’m bisexual and we’re keeping this contextual then all you’ve got is a dark allure/

My relationship with politics is strictly sexual/Oh yes politics remains my dirty shag/Politics would like to keep/Our shenanigans a secret/Just in case anyone calls politics a fag/Politics you are a fickle lover/You’ll say anything to obtain my vote/But all your promises crumble and your fingers fumble/As you hold onto your power and you gloat/Politics it seems we’re tied together/So let me make sure that this is understood/Our relationship is rotten and you seem to have forgotten/That I would gladly leave you if I could//

 Thoughts? Feedback? Slightly unrelated musings? Do let me know 🙂
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Tales From Tantamount: February of the Year of the Sad Plastic Bag, part two

A slightly haphazard record of the town of Tantamount, mainly made of things that we found lying around. Not very curated, unfortunately…. And slightly shorter than usual, but February is a short month.

Proverb of the day: If at first you don’t succeed, run away and join the circus. Found in an essay about Leyla Tuthnallheaghstonvalethrumleybum, who was widely acknowledged to be the best Unbearded Lady in the Trimley circus. Tantamount District Council has recently repealed the 1906 Morality Act, meaning that circuses, suspicious-looking cows, and lawyers will once again be allowed within the (figurative) walls of Tantamount, and will no longer be chased away by slingshot-wielding youth.
To complain about this decision *cough cough we are looking at YOU Town Council*, please go to the Dumpsy Tump and yell loudly. It is possible that someone who cares will overhear.
Tantamount District Council


Polite Notice

You look stupid in that hat. Yes, you.

Weather report: an incandescent blue, almost limpid in its reflective qualities, which caused a confusing horizon. Several people vanished into it, never to return…

Police Notice

Dewdrop the goat, popular member of the Town Council, has gone missing. She was last seen two days ago chewing on a washing line in Mrs. Preet’s living room, number 37, Lower Edda Way. If anyone has seen Dewdrop, please let us know. She is the only sensible member of the Town Council.
xxxxx 802221



Starting on March 1st (not counting Leap Day)

Explore the Bounties of Nature with Rashid, who will take you on an exploration of Tantamount’s ever changing landscape, noting edible plants and discussing herblore. Rashid has been foraging for over a decade in Tantamount, and is not yet dead. In these uncertain economic times, foraging is a good skill to have.
T40 for the full day, price includes use of foraging equipment (nets, hooks, trowels, sunglasses, blessings and whistles). Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own breathing apparatus. Rashid also runs urban foraging courses – see his website for full details and bookings. http://www.freshfoodlover.tan

Weather Report: The weather today was poetry. Whether or not this is a good thing is debatable, but only in iambic pentameter and/or rhyming stream-of-consciousness.

Beware the Severn Bore!

Due to repeated misspellings, a sounder of wild boar ran through the town this morning, closely followed by a spectacular surge of water  that caused a lot of property damage, and a lot of boring surfers. The surfers have been handed over to the Carrion, as technically they are tourists who failed to complete the orientation classes. The remaining wild boar are now engaged in a pitched territorial battle with the maelids, ranging across Hope Park, Junkie Park, and Valevalleyinclineditch Park. Members of the public are advised to stay away from the public parks until the matter is resolved, and to only place bets with licenced vendors.
Thanks, Tantamount District Council.


Rave party under the Wapley Quarry – enter through the chimney. Bring glowsticks, torches, climbing equipment and sacrificial offerings in case we wake up the eldritch terror. PARTY ALL NIGHT! FEB 28TH

This is an illegal event – if you die, nobody cares! Tantamount District Council do not condone disturbing the cave systems or the Eldritch Terror.

Found: A box of childhood dreams, slightly faded. Cannot return – have used in a rebirthing ritual. Happy to offer compensation if claimed. Contact Ali xxxxx 777 814
Found: One zimmerframe possessed by the spirit of a restless duck-demon. Call Anita xxxxx 424178
Lost: Familiar, pine marten. Answers to the name Eve. Last seen on Tuesday during an aura cleansing ritual. Call Sigurd xxxxx 873335
For Sale: Books, several hundred, slightly cursed. T15 for the lot. Sammie xxxxx666509

Tantamount will return in possibly March. Until then, consider supplying the author with drinks.

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Book review: Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

brother's ruin by emma newman

Charlotte guided her brother to the right position on the pavement, ignoring the glares from other Londoners as they stopped the flow of people hurrying about their business.

I have just read this little book, and it was a delight. Very much the beginning of something (it’s okay, there are more books!), yet compelling in its own right. Brother’s Ruin is set in a Victorian London with magic, which seems to be the theme of several books I’ve bought recently. It is a well imagined world, with just the right amount of nitty-gritty detail.

The story follows Charlotte, or Charlie as she is nicknamed, a young woman of middling class with several secrets and a fiance whom I personally thought was a bit useless. The question is, can she actually keep any of her secrets secret?

There were lots of things that Brother’s Ruin did that were fun. I liked how industrial the magical colleges sounded, and the fact that the industrial revolution is effectively being powered by magic. I loved the trope inversion of Charlie’s brother being the one with non-specific ill health. Charlie herself was a loveable character. There was always this sense of a stubborn, naturally hotheaded person struggling in a system where she can’t be those things. It’s a fantastic read, and I’m looking forward to the second in the series.

Rating: read this book, dismantle the patriarchy!

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