Grand Designs and More

When I’m not reviewing music or cooking up works of fiction or blogging or watching bands or reading, I occasionally find the time for other activities. As I’ve designed one or two covers in the past, Stuart at Clinicality Press suggested that, having read through a couple of drafts of the forthcoming novel by James Wells, I might like to design the cover for Hack. And so I did. It might not be the finished article, it may not even appear on the published book, but here is it anyway.

 

Hack 1 copy

 

I also recently conducted an interview with London post-punk / No Wave band The Volitains for Whisperin’ and Hollerin’. You can read that here.

 

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at Christophernosnibor.co.uk.

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At long last… THE PLAGIARIST: THE MOVIE sees the light of day

In 2008 I ‘wrote’ a ‘novel’ entitled THE PLAGIARIST. It’s shifted a few units and received some positive reviews, no to mention some perplexed and baffled ones. I decided at the time, however, that words alone were not enough. This was a text (or assemblage of texts) that deserved, no, demanded to be taken into other dimensions. As there was already a very ‘multimedia’ feel to THE PLAGIARIST, I thought it would be fun to produce a film, and very soon the idea was in place: the film of the book. Of course, nothing’s that straightforward, and naturally, the idea of transposing a film that has no plot, no action, no narrative and no characters to speak of was always going to be problematic – perhaps even more so than a literal film version of Naked Lunch. These problems are placed in particularly sharp relief when the aspiring film-maker has no budget, no-film-making skills, no contacts and no real time to devote to such a project.

Nevertheless, I was set on doing it, because it felt right, and besides, I strongly believe that ubiquity is the key to global domination (yes, I also believe it’s possible to achieve underground world domination, and in the words of X-Factor winner Shayne Ward, that’s my goal). The objective of the film was therefore twofold: 1) to promote the book in a vaguely net-savvy, media-savvy sort of a way, as was fitting for the composite postmodernist work that is THE PLAGIARIST 2) to provide a companion piece to the book, while at the same time exploring the notion that a cut-up text is an ever-shifting, polymorphous collection of words and images on the page with no one fixed version or definitive article.

Having made the film, I posted a trailer on YouTube and elsewhere and made a big fuss about the whole thing, and attempted to find a way of launching the film properly at some reading event or somesuch. It wasn’t to be. A couple of possible avenues didn’t materialise, and I ran out of steam and enthusiasm, while still hoping some opportunity might present itself. It didn’t, and so 18 months after the trailer that advertising that THE PLAGIARIST: THE MOVIE was ‘coming soon,’ I decided it should be placed into the public domain. Leaving the thing languishing on my hard-drive seemed rather pointless, after all.

The title THE PLAGIARIST: THE MOVIE was, in fact, intended to be misleading. It’s not a film of the book. Or, it is, but in the sense that it includes some of the pieces of ‘narrative’ in the soundtrack. It’s perhaps more accurate to describe it as an audio-visual version of the book. It also fulfils the objective of having a physical and psychosensory effect. Try watching the last two minutes without feeling something – probably stress, discomfort, and a desire for the experience to end. Despite my limited abilities, no-budget software and the fact it was produced on a PC that was consigned to demolition shortly after the film’s completion due to its tendency to crash every few minutes, I’m pleased with the results, because, believe it or not, this is the film as it was conceived, and my lack of skills didn’t impinge on the realisation of my ‘creative’ vision. It’s supposed to hurt. Enjoy….

 

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at Christophernosnibor.co.uk.

Straight Down the Middle / Diminished Responsibility

Well, while I’m insanely busy on a couple of immense projects and the endless production of music reviews that mean blogs and short pieces will continue to be few and far between, Stuart’s been taking care of business at Clinicality. In fact, I’m essentially stepping down for the forseeable future and leaving the running – both the everyday stuff and the big decisions) to him. As such, Stuart’s going to be responsible for the forthcoming publications, and is also exploring new directions to expand the press’ outlets and raise its profile (without spending any money, which is perhaps as well as we haven’t got any).
It’s good news for me, as it means I can concentrate on the projects I’m committed to. What’s more, he’s going to be putting out a couple of new works that I wrote a while ago and then simply left, for various reasons. The first of these is my simultaneous narrative novella, From Destinations Set. Started as a piece to offer Bookworks as part of their Semina series, it made the 2008 shortlist but failed to get a commission. Nevertheless, having written a good chunk of it and planned out the rest, I finished it, then immediately gave up hope of publication after a strong of rejections and the realisation that I had no idea how the formatting could be made to work as a print conversion. I left the manuscript with Stuart, and one day, he figured it out and decided it should go out on Clinicality. I wasn’t going to argue… Anyway, here’s a link to a sample of the book:
http://christophernosnibor.co.uk/Documents/From%20Destinations%20Set%20-%20Section%201.pdf
…and below is the official line from Stuart via Clinicality.

Clinicality Press may be a small no-budget publisher, but that doesn’t mean we lack ambition or a roster of work that we have total faith in. To this end, we’re going all-out on bringing new titles to the market in the next six months, as well as exploring new avenues (for us) for the circulation of our existing titles.
As of next week, Christopher Nosnibor’s ground-shredding anti-novel, THE PLAGIARIST will be available for Amazon Kindle in the US, and we’re also now selling copies of the physical version directly through the ‘New and Used’ section of Amazon in the UK. We intend to expand the range of Clinicality publications available through both of these channels in the coming weeks and months.

In other Nosnibor-related news, we will be publishing his ‘lost’ novella, From Destinations Set on Monday, August 2nd. Extending the experimentation of THE PLAGIARIST, From Destinations Set was written in 2008 and adopts the ‘simultaneous narrative’ that Christopher first incorporated in ‘Heading South’ (published in Neonbeam 4) and which was also a feature of the extremely limited 2008 pamphlet A Call for Submission. From Destinations Set tells the stories of two very different people in simultaneous real-time, and is both challenging and cerebral while also pushing the parameters of narrative convention to tackle the eternal problem of time / space and linearity. From Destinations Set will be available as a hardback with dust jacket, intended primarily for the US market (but available as an import to other territories) and globally as a .PDF download at a significantly lower price.

We will be following this in September with a duo of hard-hitting booklets: The Gimp by Christopher Nosnibor (with an introduction by Lucius Rofocale) and Kicks by Vincent Clasper.

The year will be rounded off with the publication of a rollercoaster of a novel entitled

Hack by James Wells. A book about sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, Hack comes on like John Niven’s Kill Your Friends if it had been written as a collaboration between Chuck Palanhiuk and Richard Blandford. Dymanic, perverse and musically obsessed, Hack has all the hallmarks of a contemporary classic. It will be available first as an ebook via Smashwords, and will be followed by a physical publication in 2011.
Promotion will be relatively low-key, due to financial limitations, but we’re committed to getting these quality works out there. Your support is always hugely appreciated, and if you like what we’re doing, spread the word!

You want more? Time and money permitting, there will be a second anthology, a follow-up to Clinical Brutal… An Anthology of Writing with Guts toward the end of 2011, as well as a second novel by Bill Thunder.


Keep watching for more updates.

Resurrecting Michael Jackson

Ok, so of course I wrote my Michael Jackson blog Is Michael Jackson Really Dead? If So, Could Kanye West be Behind it?’  in the hope that it would be read by a wider and different audience than my usual work. Of course I was deliberately contentious, with a view to provoking some responses (although precisely what sort of responses I would receive, I didn’t really consider). Of course it was an absurd suggestion, to pin Jackson’s death on lamecore rapper Kanye West. I didn’t feel the need to explain that I was mocking targets left, right and centre: the media, the conspiracy theorists, West and, yes, Jackson and his ‘fans’. Of course it was rushed. I knew that there would be an insane media frenzy – it was already in full spate while the news was still breaking. And yes, I’ve long maintained that a good title counts for a lot.

At the time, however, I didn’t truly appreciate just how good my title was, although had I thought about it, it would have been quite apparent. As is the case with every dead celebrity, people are incredulous. Ok, fans and the gullible are incredulous, the conspiracy theorists simply refuse to accept what the media present as ‘fact.’ If Elvis isn’t dead, Diana isn’t dead, Richie Edwards isn’t dead and Jesus Christ isn’t dead, why would Michael Jackson have popped it for real? The circumstances surrounding his death, not to mention the way in which it happened, were truly ideal for the formation of conspiracy theories. So half the world took to the ‘net in search of theories, and facts that they could use to piece together half-baked theories of their own.  Within a matter of days, it was abundantly clear that the phrase ‘is Michael Jackson really dead?’ had serious currency, and my article, being one of the first published under this title, shot toward the top of any Google search using that phrase. Bingo!

Right now, if you simply type ‘is Mic’ into Google, it will offer ‘is Michael Jackson really dead’ (without quotation marks or question mark) as a popular search above, amongst others, ‘is Michael Schumacher the Stig,’ ‘is Michael Ball married,’ ‘is Michael Buble married’ and ‘is Michael Jackson a Muslim.’ Taking the first option yields some 409,000,000 hits. My article is at number two.

Almost a year on, and that phrase remains incredibly popular. The hits were tailing off, though, and the comments were only being posted very occasionally. Still, I’d had my fun, made my point, wound up a fair few idiots who had completely missed the point, and… what’s that, a new conspiracy theory? Jackson is alive and on national television as a burns victim who was friends with the late star? Jacko even paid for some of this guy’s reconstructive surgery? Brilliant! David Rothenberg had even changed his name to Dave Dave to ‘erase’ his past, a man intent on breaking free from his past by adopting a new identity…

Suddenly, my little article, banged out in a couple of hours as a wind-up, which had settled down to receiving a steady 20-30 hits per day, is back up to the region of 150 hits a day… and rising. Jackson may well be dead, but this article is definitely alive and kicking!

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at Christophernosnibor.co.uk.

On Yer Bike! Rights (and Wrongs) of Way

In my previous blog, I considered the current seeming obsession with ‘rights’ – the right to free speech, and so on. Well here’s another: right of way. To clarify, the ever-contentious debate over vehicle / cyclist / pedestrian rights of way.

I should perhaps point out two things before I continue: first, I’m all too aware that everyone seems to believe that they have right of way wherever they may be on the highways and byways, and while I’m no fan of motorists (to put it mildly), but get rather annoyed when cyclists claim that they are legally entitled to go wherever they so wish, and equally by pedestrians who insist that the right of way is theirs, and that if they choose to walk down the middle of the road, then they should expect all traffic to stop. Second, I’m not in the habit of blogging anecdotes-cum-rants, or rantecdotes, and generally find other people’s tales of what annoyed them today quite tedious. However, this one I just couldn’t leave.

Ok, so I’m rarely in the best of humour on my way to work in the morning. Juggling multiple jobs in addition to my writing, I’m usually short on sleep, and so rather crotchety. However, I’m also fairly awake and cogent: I’m something of a morning person. I just happen to hate my job, and also get annoyed by groups of schoolchildren walking five abreast at a quarter of a mile an hour.

Cyclists, pedestrians, motorists… it makes no difference to me. Returning to the point I made in my previous blog, it’s not about ‘rights’ or even ‘responsibilities.’ My rule for living: ‘don’t be a twat.’ So when people are walking three or four abreast and I’m on my own, it’s difficult for me to reduce the space I occupy in order to make way for them. I have permanent bruises on my shoulders from almost daily pedestrian collisions, but what can I do? I can’t go less than single file.

So yesterday I was walking toward town with my wife. Our journey takes us through an underpass beneath a railway line, and the route is shared by both pedestrians and cyclists, with no marked divisions for either. Seeing an oncoming cyclist, my wife went ahead of me and we proceeded in single file and pulled in to the right. A third pedestrian remained to the right, but there was still what looked like a navigable gap in the middle.

The cyclist – a middle-aged woman – clearly thought otherwise, and without really slowing down, veered straight toward me as Mrs Nosnibor, ahead of me, rounded the corner out of the underpass. I maintained my trajectory: I didn’t really have anywhere else to go, and besides, I figured she would surely apply the breaks before she landed her front wheel between my knees. Inches away from me, I pulled away a little, but with a wall inches to  my right, didn’t have much scope for evasive action. She, meanwhile, weaved to her right by a few inches and ploughed straight into my left arm. It hurt.

‘This is a cycle path, you know!’ she shouted irately.

‘It’s also a pavement!’ I retorted, similarly irate and not just a little bit shocked. Yes, I had meant footpath, but my full vocabulary often escapes me at 7.45am when I’ve just been hit by a lump of pedal-powered metal.

‘I know!’ the idiot shouted over her shoulder as she regained momentum, leaving me no opportunity for a further response. Not that I’m sure how I would have made a comeback to such an evidently nonsensical rejoinder.

Rubbing my bruised arm, jarred to the shoulder, shocked, and above all enraged, I continued on my way, ranting inchoately about the fucking bag who clearly thought she had the divine right to mow through pedestrians just because. The question is, would she have continued her collision course and berated me for failing to evaporate into the air in order to make way for her if I had been a small child or an elderly person? Of course, I don’t know, but I’d be curious to see the scenario play out again in different circumstances. One has to question the logic and mental capacity of someone who goes straight toward the largest target – the two pedestrians close together instead of the one walking alone – or, better still, the space between the two objects. Was she trying to make a point, or just a complete fuckwit? Again, I don’t know.

Believe it or not, I’m actually all in favour of cycling. It’s an economical and environmentally way of getting about, not to mention a good way of incorporating some light exercise into a person’s daily routine. So yes, I’m very much in favour of cycling. Responsible cycling that it. Wearing a helmet, high visibility clothing, lights when appropriate, riding on the road or in the cycle lane or on cycle paths rather than the pavement, and following the flow of traffic (the number of cyclists I see riding the wrong way up one way streets is just insane)… that’s responsible cycling. Oh, and not being a twat. Is that really so much to ask?

 

 

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at Christophernosnibor.co.uk

Christopher Nosnibor: Writing Machine

 

 

2010: the story so far… 1 anthology – edited and containing 2 previously unpublished prose pieces

2 new short pieces of fiction published in zines (both in consecutive issues of the superb Paraphilia)

9 interviews conducted with authors who contributed to the Clinical, Brutal… anthology.

1 interview given, to one Lucius Rofocale

91 music reviews published at Whisperinadhollerin.

Much more in the pipeline.

Just because the blogs have been less frequent shouldn’t be taken to mean I’ve not been working…..

A Reflection on ‘A Reflection,’ or, 2009: A Year of Four Quarters

Well, I did it: I wrote four stories and published them as limited-edition pamphlets at quarterly intervals through 2009. I can’t exactly recall how or why the idea came about, but the objective was to release the literary equivalent of a series of singles that together form a set. I could have published a collectiom of short stories, but having done that in 2007 with ‘Bad Houses’ I decided I needed a new strategy, a new challenge. Moreover, as the publishing industry is as fucked as the music industry, it’s down to the writers themselves to come up with innovative new strategies for getting their works not only out there, but sold. There’s no small irony in the fact that, as a music obsessive, I elected to employ an old music industry tactic in the form of the limited edition for my 2009 project. After all, there’s nothing like a limited edition to create buzz, not to mention a potential future collectable.

By using the same artwork but in a different colour for each publication, the thematic unity of the contents would be reinforced by the visual presentation (while also recreating the effect of coloured vinyls – sort of). Having declared that I would be producing these pieces, I then had to do some serious writing. At the same time, I was aware that there was a very grave danger of overkill after a fairly prolific couple of years, with ‘Bad Houses’ and ‘C.N.N.’ in 2007, ‘THE PLAGIARIST’ and ‘Postmodern Fragments’ and a proliferation of magazine publications in 2008. Consequently, I decided I should cut back on other works save for a few carefully and strategically selected contributions – primarily in Paraphilia Magaine, which I believe is the best zine out there right now, and THE place to be seen.

I didn’t set out with any specific theme in mind, although other pieces I had already been working on suggested emerging concerns – obsessions may perhaps be a more accurate choice of word – and so I decided to focus squarely on these issues in ‘Lust for Death.’ It didn’t so much stare death in the face as take it outside and challenge it to a bout of bare-knuckle fisticuffs, while also taking a new approach to narrative, recounting the same events from three different narrative perspectives.

Despite wanting the publications to be quite closely linked and thus evidently part of a sequence or collection of related works, it was essential to me that I tried a different approach for each story, and set myself a new challenge. As such, the styles of the stories are varied, although I’ve been pleased with the results on each occasion, while also feeling a sense of achievement  knowing that I had pushed myself every time.

 ‘Before the Flood’ took a slightly more oblique approach to issues of (im)mortality. Taken from a much larger piece the tone was also rather different, and more overtly literary. The third pamphlet, ‘Counting the Hours’ was a more introspective piece, with events confined to a single hour in the life of an agoraphobic first-person narrator. Because I was in the process of moving house at the time of its publication, I didn’t do a great deal to promote it, and this was reflected in the sales, which were, frankly, abysmal. Disappointing, to say the least, as this is, in my opinion, the strongest of the three (not to mention the longest by far).

I was almost tempted to ditch the project at this point, but having some this far, I got back on that bike and rode it… hard. The result is the fragmented, multi-voiced, many-angled ‘A Reflection,’ which revisits many of the themes of the preceding works of the series, and even echoes some of the narratives contained therein, while interweaving these with my own personal reflections on events, concepts and even the writing process of the series and other (dis)connected texts. It’s as close to autobiography as I’ve come in any of my (published) works, although it’s a most postmodern literary exercise, in that it intentionally blurs the boundaries between author / narrator / character, fact / fiction, biography / fabrication. Moreover, as much as it is ‘a reflection’ on the past tear and the closing decade, it’s also a hint of the direction my writing is heading, the avenues I’m inclined to pursue over the next couple of years.

I intend to publish less still in 2010. Paid work and a focus on the completion of longer works mean that shorter pieces will simply not be viable. In addition, I have a substantial hoard of works – including 2 novels and 2 novellas – that lurk unpublished, and submitting work is easily as time-consuming as producing it. The reviews and blogs will continue, and there will be more fiction and rants. But less is more, and while exposure is the way forward in any quest for ubiquity, there is such a thing as overkill, and there are other avenues yet to be explored.

Anyway, 2010 will kick off in dramatic style with the launch of the ‘Clinical, Brutal’ anthology that I’ve edited and am inordinately proud of, and I have a stack of pamphlets in the office just waiting to be dispatched. They’re only available via christophernosnibor.co.uk and are sure to be worth a packet in another ten years’ time!

‘A Reflection’ is officially published on December 30th. Orders are being taken now at Christophernosnibor.co.uk.