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Des
Posted on Saturday, June 28, 2003 - 11:35 am:   

Rhys!
Thanks for writing 'Quest of the Mouther' with me all those many years ago. Just re-read it where it's just appeared here:
http://www.dusksite.ukgo.com/article.php?51.255

I think it's probably the maddest thing I've ever read. So strange, I feel less strange!


Someone on that site has already written on the chatbox there:

"Quest of the Mouther is hilarious. I fell off my chair reading it. I fall off my chair regularly, but in that case it was due to me shaking with the giggles."

I don't know.
Des
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Rhys
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 08:06 am:   

Today I discovered (by accident) my VERY FIRST message ever to an internet messageboard. I also discovered Tim Lebbon's very first message. They happened to be posted to the same messageboard within a few days of each other.

Here's the exchange (for reasons of limited nostalgia: I doubt this will be of any interest whatsoever to anybody else, and in fact it's not really that interesting to me either!)

****************************************
Oct 6, 1998

In terms of sheer literary depth, the best book Anthony has so far published is the Paul Pinn collection. And I'm not even a big fan of Pinn (because he's too bleak) but I get the feeling that this one will survive longer than the others. Maybe it's just the power of the prose. No insult intended to the other horses in Anthony's stable, of course! Does anybody know where I can buy copies of Milorad Pavic's collections of short-stories? Having devoured his novels, and too impatient to wait for him to write the next, I want to cast an eye over his earlier tales. Maybe they haven't even been translated yet? I found this site by ego-surfing, possibly the filthiest habit in the pantheon of human vices. Slap my neck, comrades! Is John Pelan the lad who's putting together the LAST CONTINENT anthology? I received a flier some months ago about a forthcoming collection devoted to new tales in Clark Ashton Smith's "Zothique" mythos. This excited me so much that I fell into a froth. I eventually recovered but I'm worried I've missed the deadline. I've nearly finished a story which manages to combine Zothique with Smith's Atlantis. Hurrah! I've nearly finished a sequel to EYELIDIAD which is also a sequel to RAWHEAD & BLOODY BONES, ELUSIVE PLATO, WORMING THE HARPY, etc. In fact, it's a sequel to everything I've ever written and poor Anthony is probably going to have it crashing through his letterbox next year. Weep for him! Actually, I'm going to arrange this novella together with EYELIDIAD and THE DARKTREE WHEEL to form my first proper novel. A Welsh postmodern comedy. Weep for me! Weep for a tree! Link arms with toads! Next year, a new project: a sequel to Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS. A ship in the shape of a blood clot travels to the Heart of Darkness to induce a heart attack and thus destroy darkness! But it takes a wrong turning and ends up in the Spleen of Darkness! Consequences... I have cousins in Sweden. Does anyone know the Tobells of Uppsala? That's all! Bye! Rhys Hughes



Oct 11, 1998

Well gang, I for on am really looking forward to some feedback on REDBRICK EDEN... Rhys... of course I know the Tobells of Uppsala, doesn't everyone? I saw the review of Plato in Shivers... David Howe skipped over REDBRICK to review anthor Jones and Sutton offering, quel surprise... I'm also sat here twiddling thumbs waiting for LAUGHING BOY'S SHADOW to finally arrive and convince Rhys that there is more than just Paul Pinn on the list. I did notice that Blondie were playing in Stockholm next week. I can die happy now... Well, Derek and everyone, twas great t'meet ya, I'm on the verge of some biggish news just gotta keep the fingers crossed.



Oct 14, 1998

Steve: when you have a row with your wife, do you end up with a finely tailored suit? (Savile Row joke). If not, could you hint at the nature of the SHIVERS review you alluded to? Was it favourable, or wrong, etc? I'd be extremely grateful and may lick your nostril as a consequence. Anthony has promised me photocopies of every review which appears, but it's a trick: he keeps them for himself! Perhaps he's building an insidious paper castle? Or hovel, depending on the number of reviews... The problem with living in Wales is that all information leaks away before getting here... Like semen from a woollen sack... Which reminds me: to keep men away from sheep, we don't use iodine, we prefer Englisher beer, splashed on the neck as a deterrent, which is about all it's good for... I met Neal Asher, Mark Chadbourne and Derek Fox in Leicester last week, and was astonished to find they were nice people. I thought all writers had diseased egos and needed to be herded into camps for summary execution. Now it appears that some of them deserve to live after all! You learn something new every aeon!... Two requests: does anyone have a wife they can lend me, and would anyone care to help me set a rat chewing at Stephen Jones's anus?



Oct 16, 1998

Rhys, do you have an e:mail address? If you do could you e:mail me at jennie@tanjen.demon.co.uk as I have some information which could interest you. I could snail mail it to you but I'm lazy and can't be bothered to switch on the printer or address an envelope!! If you don't possess an e:mail address, how the heck are you getting onto the message board?



Oct 16, 1998

Rhys, the Dave Howe review was fairly typical of him, blinkered to anything without Jones or Sutton stamped on it. It always bugs me when they'll only cover two books and are happy to waste space dissing something they don't like when they should be using the space to direct us to good fiction. Even a hack like Howe should be able to spend his time a tad more constructively. And the only suit I get off my wife if we fight is a law one... Well, for those interested who don't read the other boards... I'm having a very nice little selling week here. Four shorts into magazines, one into an anthology in one week... wwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Steve



Oct 17, 1998

Hail everyone! Thanks for confirming my suspicions, Steve. So this Howe fellow must be scraped with diseased chicken's feet? I understand... It has recently come to my attention that you were morally required to flee this country. A scandal involving cheese, apparently... I'm not yet in a position to offer you asylum in Wales, but I'm working on it. My five minute struggle against lies, stupidity and cowardice is coming to an end! Soon I shall march my army into Dorset to pillage the bakeries... All I still require is an army... Incidentally, I think REDBRICK EDEN is superior to the first SCAREMONGERS, in the same way that crackers are superior to rolls... Apart from being a superb read, it boasts one of the best titles of any anthology on any bookshelf in the world... Jennie: thanks for your message. I am far lazier than you. But the hours I sleep are few. There are ministry buildings to be erected all over Berlin... The reason why I am able to send e-mails but not receive them is because I am using a university computer and my e-mail address will remain suspended until I re-enrol for this year... I should be back online within a few weeks... Goest thou to print? Remember thy whip! We are all extremely marvellous... Rhys.



Oct 18, 1998

Ahhh the rumour about the cheese resurfaces... dagnabit. Thanks for the kind words about REDBRICK, it's a very different kind of collection to Scaremongers... I think... but what would I know ,) I keep noticing Graham Hurry has this thing about how long REDBRICK took to launch. First in Kimota he says... something like long long long awaited... and on the website he says Meek first appeared in Scaremongers 2, which took nigh on forever to appear... when it was in Scare1... and from accepting the story I gave him just over 3 years to print it before I offered it to Andy. What does that tell you? Well, bugger all really but I wanted to vent. Winter is coming to dear old Stockholm... how will I survive a 3rd year of -25 with windchill factor chucked in? Stay tuned to this channel... for more chilly updates... I was in Wales this time last year, doing a residency at a secondry school in the little known fortyseventh level Hell, Swansea... (ducks from Lockley's righteous fist...) Don't know which place is colder actually... You want a photocopy the review... I'm thinking of Pavlov here... train the rats to recognise Howe's name and chew on sight...? Work for you? Derek? Derek? Where are you pal? I'm looking forward to some lucid arguments, well... elevator jokes anyway... Jennie, just had to tell you... walked into NK (the store where Bridget Bardot used to work) and found Scaremongers 1 on the shelf. Proceeded to vadalise it with autographs... I claimed to be messers Gallagher, Laws, Harris and Savile all in one ,) And Hedengrens, the poshest store in Stockholm has 20 copies of REDBRICK on a big display case... and it wasn't any of my doing... I just mentioned it... ;) once or thirtytwo times...Steve



Oct 18, 1998

And so I am born into the alternate universe of Internet and email, screaming and spitting mouthfulls of useless paper and assulting the postman for his snail-like slowness. I am a certified technophobe (no, really, I have the certificate), but so far email has been bloody great. Had a few surfs on the net (picking up the lingo already!), but I'm more than conscious of my telephone bill, what with being a poor starving writer and all. Yep, REDBRICK EDEN is bloody great, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Nice job, Steve. Just wait 'til next year though ... the year of the TEETH PARK ... have we had some brilliant stories, or what?!? Highlights for me from REDBRICK: Pete Crowther, Steve Laws, Chris Fowler, Gavin Williams... hell, they were all good. If this doesn't sweep the board at next year's BFS awards, there's no justice ... oh, hang on, there isn;t. CHEERS! Tim Lebbon tim@lebbon.freeserve.co.uk

****************************************

How young and innocent and foolish and timid we all were back then!
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Des
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 08:46 am:   

Rhys, I've still got that very long duel of an exchange in Message Board bravado that you once conducted over several months with John B. Ford and Michael Pendragon -- now legendary stuff.
Des
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Rhys
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 08:46 am:   

Hardly legendary, Des. Just a waste of my time. I'm glad I no longer feel obliged to have such pointless (and embarrassing) slanging matches!
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Des
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 09:32 am:   

Yes, Rhys, like all life's experiences, to be tapped for whatever good or bad that may have emerged -- to use or discard. Nothing changes the past and we have several discrete selves that travel it. Des
PS: Am I being pretentious again? ;-)
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 03:34 am:   

I don't really believe in the "past". There is only the present, here, now!

I've never thought you were pretentious, Des! I thought Rachel Mildeyes was, though, for whatever that's worth (not much, I should imagine!)
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anonymous
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 07:48 am:   

Happy Birthday, Rhys!
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 09:49 am:   

Happy B-day! Got the poetry book--looks good, thanks!

Jeff
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Bob
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 03:29 pm:   

Late Happy Birthday!
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steve r
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 04:15 pm:   

Be gentle. (Well, it IS your birthday)
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Luís
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 04:00 am:   

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RHYS!

Cheers,
Luís
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 04:25 am:   

Thanks folks!

I had a rubbish birthday though... fell out with one of my closest friends.

And now I'm older too!

Aaargh!
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des
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 05:39 am:   

Someone has asked this on the Weirdmonger forum:

"Could Damien Rice be described as the Rhys Hughes of popular folk music?"

We need to know the answer.


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Rhys
Posted on Monday, December 01, 2003 - 07:56 am:   

I don't know who Damien Rice is...

Regarding musicians, I'd rather be compared to somebody I fancy, like Natacha Atlas, Daniela Mercury or Gardinia Benros.

Not that I fancy myself, of course!
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des
Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2004 - 11:18 am:   

DeNEMOnisation of story in Nemonymous~3

********
He repeated until his dying day that there was no one with more
common sense, no stonecutter more obstinate, no manager more lucid or
dangerous, than a poet.
--Gabriel García Márquez

We learn how to row the paddles and what the different commands are.
We find out what happens if we fall off the raft and how to get back
in. The key thing that we learn is that we are using paddles and not
oars - oars are what you find in brothels.
--The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars -Uganda 2001

***********

'The Small Miracle' by Rhys Hughes

I started writing `The Small Miracle' about 15 years ago, directly
inspired by the muted colours and atmosphere of a Christopher Priest
story, `The Head and the Hand'. My piece was also strongly influenced
by the stories of two other writers I didn't really understand at the
time, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in particular his `Nabo: the Black Man
Who Made the Angels Wait', and various tales by J.G. Ballard. I
wanted to imitate the particular tone I thought I detected in these
authors. I believed that the themes of Ballard's stories were about
people learning to love the forces or elements which ultimately
destroyed them, rather than about the necessary difficulties of
adapting to extreme changes.
Originally `The Small Miracle' was intended simply to recount the
sombre adventure of a disabled man who after an unexplained cure
chooses to return to his disability. At some level I must have
decided this plot was too simplistic, obvious or perhaps facetious. I
abandoned the story for more than a decade. Only when I had the extra
conceit of the animated conscience-ridden brothels did I feel ready
to return to my fragmentary text. The highly contrived result almost
exactly redeems my initial impulse to begin writing the piece.

*************

"So this is how we reached our present situation. Dean (k)yK, from
the porch of his building, seated in the wheelchair, his legs covered
with a rug of newspapers from all over the world, which arrive with
the morning post, shouts so loud you can hear him all the way across
the campus: "Qfwfq, the atomic treaty between Turkey and Japan wasn't
signed today; they haven't even begun talks. You see? Qfwfq, that man
in Termini Imerese who killed his wife was given three years, just as
I said. Not life!'' And he waves the pages of the papers, black and
white the way space was when the galaxies were being formed, and
crammed--as space was then--with isolated corpuscles, surrounded by
emptiness, containing no destination of meaning. And I think how
beautiful it was then, through that void, to draw lines and
parabolas, pick out the precise point, the intersection between space
and time where the event would spring forth, undeniable in the
prominence of its glow; whereas now events come flowing down without
interruption, like cement being poured, one column next to the other,
one within the other, separated by black and incongruous headlines,
legible in many ways but intrinsically illegible, a doughy mass of
events without form or direction, which surrounds, submerges, crushes
all reasoning."
--Italo Calvino







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Rhys
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 04:51 am:   

Thanks Des.

I’d just like to add two things to that:

(1) The story in question – ‘The Small Miracle’ – is in fact the third tale in my *weird brothels* sequence (the first two being ‘One Man’s Meat’ and ‘Mah Jong Breath’ published in my collections WORMING THE HARPY and JOURNEYS BEYOND ADVICE respectively). To make this connection invisible (for the purpose of submitting the piece to Nemonymous) I changed the names of the protagonists – from Raymond to Philippe, and from Clarisse to Simone. I’m hoping to include ‘The Small Miracle’ in a forthcoming collection, where I’ll restore the original names.


(2) I was so impressed with the Nemonymous story ‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’ (which I now know to have been written by Jorge Candeias) that I decided to make a fairly blatant reference to it in one of the sections of my forthcoming A NEW UNIVERSAL HISTORY OF INFAMY. Candeias’ story is absolutely my favourite piece in Nemo#3.
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 06:19 am:   

Enjoyed the story a lot, Rhys. Interestingly, it was the brothel bit that convinced me, when I first read it, that it was written by you.
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Rhys
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 06:20 am:   

Thanks Nicholas.

I think I must be the least successful Nemonymous author ever. I've appeared in all three issues and each time somebody has worked out my identity!
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des
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 08:22 am:   

Rhys, can you please email me. I need to ask you something. I never know which of your addresses work.
Last two story Nemo~3 denemonisations of the 23 stories tonight, btw!
Des
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Rhys
Posted on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 03:15 am:   

Hi Des!

This is the e-mail address I use most often:

rhysaurus@yahoo.co.uk
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Weirdmonger
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:01 am:   

Collaborative 'fiction' by me and Rhys here on emoblog:

http://www.emoblog.com/blog.php?user=denemonger

First published 1998.

Just noticed this work contains an 'anemone'.

des
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des
Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 01:11 pm:   

Rhys, I'm currently reading 'The Good Soldier Švejk' by Jaroslav Hašek. It's brilliant. I curl up laughing at every page. Have you read it. I can't believe you haven't. des
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Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 02:23 pm:   

Yes, that's a classic.
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Rhys
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 03:40 am:   

Yes, it's an amazing book. Hašek is perhaps the best of those satirists that emerged from Eastern and Central Europe in the first half of the 20th Century -- even funnier than Karinthy, Capek, Zamyatin and Bulgarkov..

One of the most interesting things about Hašek is the extraordinary life he led, always getting up to daft adventures.

Does your edition of Švejk include the illustrations by Josef Lada? Those are hilarious in themselves.

Thanks for reminding me about this book!
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Mastadge
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 05:27 am:   

Actually, I gave away my copy as a gift to a friend a couple years ago -- and I can't remember which translation it was, so I don't know which edition to pick up to replace it! Very annoying.
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des
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 06:51 am:   

The copy I have (which I bought at a sort of jumble sale after driving miles and miles along suspect roads to a Bird Sanctuary at Fingringhoe) is a wonderfully pristine-looking (complete with immaculate dj) Everyman Library edition 1993 (with acknowledgement to Penguin Books 1973) containing translation and editorial matter by Cecil Parrott (are the footnotes by him?), Bibliography and Chronology by Robert Pynsent and, yes, profuse wonderful illustrations by Josef Lada.

That's the only book I bought at Fingringhoe but it alone made the trip worthwhile.
des
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des
Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 09:30 am:   

One of the best jokes ever is in Švejk : cat poop on a map making it into a relief map!
des
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Rhys
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 02:57 am:   

An ailuromorph leaving poop on a map: pinpointing the location of Katmandudu...

It took me this long to think of that!

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