March 31, 2009

Tony White, Albertopolis & Green Beer


Went to the launch last night of a new pamphlet/book/story which Tony White has written as part of his duties as Writer-in-Residence at the Science Museum. Tony is probably best known for "Foxy T," which is generally considered to be one of the best books ever written about London. He is perhaps less well known for "Charlie Uncle Norfolk Tango" which is one of the best books ever written about ignorant, evil grunt policemen being abducted by aliens. His new story, "Albertopolis Disparu," is a sly and funny little pastiche of steam-punk, taking in Moorcock, difference engines, early telegraphy and the idea of the Listening Post (derived from this excellent installation, in front of which the launch took place and which the story is partly a response to). Five thousand copies have been printed, to be given out free at the Science Museum, but you can also get a pdf of it here. But that is not all (no that is not all). Tony also ran a series of workshops with writers during his residency and four of them read from the work that resulted. I haven't read them in their entirety yet, but the tasters were good and you can also download them from the same place. Ended up going to the pub afterwards, witnessing the horror of green beer and arriving home drunk and hungry. My stomach is a cauldron of regret.

2 comments:

Deborah said...

I found that machine a tad distracting when the first four writers read out their stories, didn't you?
I remember the machine said 'I'm 16' and 'I love hugs' and 'TWAT', but I don't remember the point of the mayan-city-story...

Matthew De Abaitua said...

I drank the green beer and suffered no ill effects. Like Deborah, I thought the Listening Post behaved appallingly during the reading, with its random snide remarks. Nevertheless, the Tony White's story is excellent and I think he did good work with the other writers.