Happy Eggmas! Googoogachoob as the Beatles traditionally wassail at this most merry time of sacrifice and rebirth. We hope you are enjoying the equinox vibes and trust Bunny Jesus laid lots of delicious chocolate nuggets under your trees. As the blossom sprouts and our tomato plants stretch towards the sky, we hope we can give your long weekend some linktastic moments.
This week: Nicolas Cage, some great food writing and all the science fiction you can handle!
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
Let’s be honest, we don’t really deserve Nicolas Cage. He is unafraid in the face of possible failure and has pulled off the trick so few actors manage—staying himself no matter what role he plays. He is deserving of no less than our complete love and admiration.
The femme fatale—one of the key ingredients in the spicy stew that is noir fiction. Sometimes predatory, always ambiguous in intent, she brings the heat and provides the meat. Angelica Jade Bastien takes a look at one of the great modern femme fatales and the actress born to play her…
Horror and SF has become all the better over the last decade as Black, female and queer creators bring new perspectives to the field. Just look at the list of Nebula and Hugo winners recently for proof (and more on that subject later). We loved Celia Mattison’s piece on the scream in horror, and how even that simple building block carries a lot of weight.
British comedy is the best in the world. There, we said it. The writing and performances are consistently ground-breaking and shape-shifting. From Charlie Chaplin to the Derry Girls, no nation does it better. But comedy is a harsh mistress, and no vision emerges without scars. Lee Tyrell takes a long hard look at the comedy moments we haven’t seen, and some of the best-kept secrets.
The Ninth Art Desk is open! First up, a beautifully coded piece of web design from Amy Wiboro on growing up online. For those of us who know the distinctive mating call of a modem connecting, this will bring on all the feels.
This is a nice surprise. Mangaka extraordinaire Tatsuki Fujimoto has just dropped a free 200-page story on Viz Media’s website. A fascinating take on creativity, grief and the blurred lines drawn between fact and fiction, Goodbye, Eri is a delight. Bleeding Cool gives some extra context, and we’ve provided a link to the comic too.
Norman Garrett owns a vintage Porsche 914 that he keeps unlocked. This would, you’d think be an easy mark for a thief with a penchant for old cars. Norman offers some hints to anyone with the foolhardiness to attempt such a caper.
Some process nerdery which will be of no interest to anyone who doesn’t run a blog or newsletter. Needless to say, this particular item is catnip to Editor Rob. We base a lot of the under-hood mechanics going into The Cut on the thoughts of Robin Sloan, Austin Kleon and Dan Hon. The curious may enter. All others pass along the carriage, please.
Cut Crush Jack Monroe spent some time this week eviscerating the thoughtless mindset which states food poverty is an easy fix and mostly the fault of those who suffer from it. This sort of nonsensical victim-blaming is, of course, patently bollocks and it’s a shame Jack needed to spend some of her valuable time on pointing out the bleedin’ obvious. We’re glad she did, though. Her writing is always on point and highly entertaining. We’re not sure if our favourite Jack is the goofy geeky nerd ball with a silly sense of humour or, as here, the furious avenging angel. We’ll take any and all we can get.
On the subject of good food writing, here’s a useful overview from The Atlantic on some of the best examples in literature. Yes, ok, those madeleines are in the list, but there are other delicious moments to be had.
And finally. If you want an idea of the rude state of health of modern science fiction, we have a treat. Super Punch has collated a handy list of every short fiction nominee for the 2022 Hugos, all available to gobble up for free. Quality is guaranteed. Go on, dig in! It’s Easter, what else are you gonna do?
Right, brace yer selves. We’re going out with a clang boom bang as we crank up some Tom Waits. Goin Out West is our man in full ‘hollerin’ hillbilly beating up on percussion built from a broken-down combine harvester and an inflated goatskin’ mode. This is rock n roll, Readership. This is the blue milk straight from the teat. Spring’s a-comin, let’s face it with teeth bared and shovels sharpened.
See you next Saturday, chickadees.