Short Stories Aloud is back for the autumn! Listen to actors read short stories read by our guest authors. This month we are joined by Joanna Kavenna, author of Zed, and Brian Catling, the Vorrh Trilogy and Earwig . After hearing short stories (and eating some cake) there will be questions from Sarah Franklin, author of Shelter, and the audience. Join us for a wonderful evening, not to be missed.
Self-anointed guru of the Digital Age, Guy Matthias, CEO of Beetle, has become one of the world’s most powerful and influential figures. Untaxed and ungoverned, his trans-Atlantic company essentially operates beyond the control of Governments or the law.
But trouble is never far away, and for Guy a perfect storm is brewing: his wife wants to leave him, fed up with his serial infidelities; malfunctioning Beetle software has led to some unfortunate deaths which are proving hard to cover up; his longed for deal with China is proving troublingly elusive and, among other things, the mystery hacker, Gogol, is on his trail.
With the clock ticking- Guy, his aide Douglas Varley, Britain’s flailing female PM, conflicted national security agent Eloise Jayne, depressed journalist David Strachey, and Gogol, whoever that may be – the question is becoming ever more pressing, how do you live in reality when nobody knows anything, and all knowledge, all certainty, is partly or entirely fake?
Joanna Kavenna grew up in various parts of Britain, and has also lived in the USA, France, Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Her first book The Ice Museum was about travelling in the North. Her second book, a novel called Inglorious, won the Orange Prize for New Writing. Kavenna’s writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, the Guardian and Observer, the Times Literary Supplement, the International Herald Tribune, the Spectator and the Telegraph, among other publications. She has held writing fellowships at St Antony’s College, Oxford and St John’s College, Cambridge. She currently lives in the Duddon Valley, Cumbria.
Not since Edgar Allan Poe and the Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita has there been such a masterly tale of feline evil.
Earwig got his nickname from his grandfather.
At the start of this story he is employed to look after a strange little girl in a flat in Liege. He spies on her, listens to her by holding a glass up to the wall.
But he never touches her except when, as part of his duties, he is required to is to make teeth of ice and insert them in her gums.
Earwig takes a rare day off, which he spends drinking by himself in Au Metro, a seedy bar full of drunks, dancers and eccentrics. It is St Martin’s day and in the evening as crowds parade through the street carrying lanterns through the snow, he is drawn reluctantly into a conversation with a sinister stranger called Tyre. As a result Earwig accidentally maims a waitress with a broken bottle. He understands that on some level Tyre meant this to happen.
Shortly afterwards a black cat is delivered to the flat, unasked for. The girl forms an immediate bond with it, but Earwig identifies it as the enemy.
Travelling across country by train, transporting the girl and her black cat, Earwig is increasingly caught up in a web of unfortunate and increasingly violent coincidences.
Brian Catling is an English sculptor, poet, novelist, film maker and performance artist. He was educated at North East London Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. He now holds the post of Professor of Fine Art at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford and is a fellow of Linacre College. He has previously written The Vorrh trilogy and Only the Lowly, a collection of short stories.
Tickets for this event cost £5. Doors will open at 6.45pm and there will be a small bar available to purchase drinks. For more information, please contact our customer service desk on 01865 333 623 or email [email protected]