Monday, 30 April 2012


So, after a month spent reviewing of Edge Hill Prize longlisted collections (there are thirty one this year) I am finally blogging about online friend Nik Perring's new release. I'm somewhat late to this party and there's probably no nibbles left, but at least I'm here.

Freaks is a collaboration between writers Nik Perring and Caroline Smailes, and illustrator Darren Craske. It's a collection of fifty short stories about people with real and imagined superpowers. With its snappy stories and graphic novel style, I suspect Freaks is a book that my teenage son would especially enjoy. Talking about the stories, Nik says, 'There's a woman who can freeze time, and a boy who can talk to insects. There's a girl who can fly but can't quite get her landings right. There's a minotaur. A chameleon girl. A plastic boy. There are letters. And ghosts. Even a mermaid.'

If I had to pick a superpower, I think I would choose the ability to read super fast. Not only would super fast reading power help me with my PhD, it would be an antidote to the horrible truth that there are thousands of wonderful books which I will never have the time to read.  

Here's a taster from Freaks:

The ability to make
oneself unseen to
the naked eye


If I stay totally still,
if I stand right tall,
with me back against the school wall,
close to the science room’s window,
with me feet together,
pointing straight,
aiming forward,
if I make me hands into tight fists,
make me arms dead straight,
if I push me arms into me sides,
if I squeeze me thighs,
stop me wee,
if me belly doesn’t shake,
if me boobs don’t wobble,
if I close me eyes tight,
so tight that it makes me whole face scrunch,
if I push me lips into me mouth,
if I make me teeth bite me lips together,
if I hardly breathe,
if I don’t say a word.
I’ll magic meself invisible,
and them lasses will leave me alone.

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