On Friday was the northern launch of THE FLASH - 100 writers and 100 stories in 205 small pages - all proceeds to Amnesty International.
It was a good summery evening in Manchester. The second floor of the Cornerhouse packed with a lively and very appreciative crowd
who listened to the poet Robert Sheppard (on the right in this picture) reading THE NOVEL (a particularly fine surreal piece on that thing that is supposed to lurk inside each one of us); Nick Royle (left - who has written five novels and a collection of short stories) reading a clever story called MATHS TOWER about a famous landmark in Manchester which has recently been demolished and which I know struck a chord with at least two members of the audience who have spent some time studying in there (Hodmandod Major (middle) and his friends Angie and Danny);
Conrad Williams (who I didn't manage to photograph) who took us into a hot Spanish summer with his story The Hoopoe and then into the haunting world of Jeff VanderMeer's MAGICIAN
while the SF writer Richard Evans (pictured here with his wife Sarah) read HALF LIFE - a thought provoking and effective piece on the perils of aging (or not)
which resonated well with Nicola Mostyn's (on the left, above) SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE FEELING - an exploration of emotion, and well worth reading - and Pete Wild's (on the right) THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF POOT MAN - an entertaining story on the adventures of a superhero (which ends 'to be continued' and I hope it does.
Other pieces were read out too - Patricia Dunker's THE KISS, Stella Duffy's GARDENING, Rhonda Carrier's THIS IS HOW THE STORY ENDS, Michel Faber's £17.07, 8.30, Matt Haig's INSTRUCTIONS FOR MY FUNERAL - all excellent stories.
While I read out two of my favourites: Sara Gran's SOME LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE NEW YORK SUBWAY SYSTEM and Matthew Cheney's THE VOICE both of which I love more and more each time I read them.