These are three seemingly very different books but all sent to me because I link them together through location
Advanced Triggernometry by the incomparable Stark Holborn
Million-Story City by Marcus Preece (does contain a Western novella so some link/comparison can be made)
Manson’s Bristol Miscellany is set in Bristol, home to Stark and the publisher of the Preece book.
If you’ve read Stark Holborn’s Triggernometry you’ll be glad to re-enter her version of the Wild West where Mathmos are dangerous outlaws. (If you’ve not read Triggernometry get thee hence to remedy that lack forthwith.)
Malago Browne is approached by three women asking for her help to recruit a bunch of mathmos to help guard a town from a corrupt sherrif and his posse. So she collects a rather, shall we say, magnificent crew and heads for a showdown.
These novellas are great fun and I heartily recommend them. You can pre-order it here
Million-Story city is billed as a collection of writing from “one of the most interesting writers you’ve never heard of.” Which is what immediately drew me in – I like discovering obscure writers. It’s a real miscellany (see what I did there?) including short stories/novellettes, poetry, comics, a pub quiz and several screenplays as well as some reminiscences from his friends. Preece died too young and this book is obviously a labour of love (which in itself speaks volumes) Not all the material is 100% polished but the voice is unique and I really enjoyed the collection. My favourites being The Legend of the Lonesome Cowboy and the long screenplay Everybody’s Happy Nowadays.
Manson’s miscellany may not have actual cowboys in but it is a fascinating mélange of historical snippets. Starting life as magazine pieces Manson has wandered Bristol’s geography and history and serves up interesting little tidbits for your delectation. Discover the first female doctor, a nobel prizewinner, Bristol’s burden of shame from the slave trade4, it’s famous 18th century MP Edmund Burke and so much more. because it’s served up in bite sized pieces I found myself dipping into it in short sessions between other projects and fairly tore through it. Apparently there’ll be a volume 2 at some point too. Recommended.