April 19th, 2007



So, like I said yesterday, the blog has a bunch of new readers. This is the hello post to you all.

I am the author Ben Peek, not to be confused with the CEO Ben Peek, or the teenage Ben Peek with a myspace page. I figure most people are reading this because I'm the first, however, if it makes any of you feel better, I do have a myspace page, and I friend up music I like, and friend up everyone who asks on it, and occasionally pimp the things I write through it.

Speaking of which, I've written these--

--And you should, like, buy them. There's a bunch of short story collections and magazines I'm in, too. Rather than make a big thing about it, I'll just say that if you follow the tags at the bottom, you can read reviews for the short fiction and 26lies and then, regardless of what they say, make a decision.

Black Sheep is not, despite Amazon's assurance, published yet. To answer the emails I get about it, the last I heard it was at the printer. At this stage I have no control over what's going on, and yes, I know it's late. Your angry, demanding, curious, and pornographic emails can be sent to Sean Wallace (oldcharliebrown) on the subject. I imagine that if you're cute, and you include naked photos of yourself, you'll get a quick reply. You'd get one from me, too. Which is not to say that we're not about the literature here. We are. I'll also take photos of cute boys, because I don't want to seem discriminatory, even though cute boys don't really do it for me. I like them ugly, hairy ones.

In case you haven't been able to tell, this blog is pretty much a stream of consciousness kind of thing. I blog off the top of my head. I blog about what interests me. I blog about what I find amusing. Sometimes, that makes this thing a little on the controversial side, though I've personally yet to do anything I consider controversial. Your mileage varies, I guess. That means that some people accuse me of building my career on the backs of controversy, fellow authors, and 'peers'. There's a lot of things wrong with that. Firstly, the word 'career' is misused, in relation to me, and in relation to my 'peers'. Secondly, it suggests that the editors who do buy my work are doing it because I occasionally poke fun at writers and editors and awards that they've never heard of. Can you imagine if I began my submissions by saying, "Though you may not know her, and you may not care, I once wrote said that Lyn Battersby wrote a really shit story, and almost a year and a half later, she's still got a hang up about it. So please buy my fiction because it'll piss some people you don't know off.' There's a couple of examples I could have used there instead of Battersby, but for the last year, people have been sending me links to her blog, or her comments about me pop up on my ego-technorati, and I figure this little kick will give her something to whine about at the next party, or even allow her to make a post about how she doesn't care what I say. And yes, I've been linking these little comments as curiousities, recently. Cancers, hangups, shit stirring, posts about how they don't care about me, it's all part of the supporting cast of this blog. Incidentally, they work for free, so all you need to do is send them an email, and you too can have this love, free publicity, and controversy that doesn't really exist as well.

Anyhow, like I said, this is a stream of consciousness kind of thing. The only guide for posting is what I'm thinking about at the time, what I'm reading, what I'm hearing, what I'm watching, and that's that. There's no grand plan. There's no multiple drafts. The only thing I do is try to keep it entertaining enough that an audience will want to read it, and I guess I do okay with that, so if you're digging the place, thanks for coming by, and thanks for reading. The only thing I'll ask of you, is if you're going to post anonymously, I'd appreciate it if your could sign the post with a name. Doesn't have to be your real one, but I've never really liked the whole anonymous thing.


26Lies Review

26Lies gets a review on Grant Watson's (angriest) blog:

Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth is, as many of you operating on similar LJ friends-lists to me will be aware, is a short novel by Australian author Ben Peek, published by Wheatland Press. It's a sort of fictionalised autobiography, ordered like a mad dictionary and published in a large-but-thin format that's quite unusual for fiction to be published in. An unusual format for an unusual book, I suppose.

It's a book I find quite difficult to comment on, or sensibly review. It's one of those books where I can write that I sort-of liked it, and sort-of disliked it, and found portions that I loved and portions that simply left me cold. It's a very fragmented work, deliberately divided into short bits and pieces. There's even a sort of comic strip visual narrative sprinkled through the book for good measure. When reviewing it I find myself unable to call it a brilliant book, although there are certainly brilliant bits, and I am instead left to describe it as an interesting book, which is certainly is - through and through.

And I think this is important. I think it's great that there are novels being produced out there that aren't the same cookie-cutter narratives and formats that we're all well used to. More importantly, I think this kind of experimentation deserves support. You should get your hands on this book and have a look. Read the whole thing or just flick through to get a sense of it. I suspect one of the most appealling parts of Twenty Six Lies/One Truth to be is the potential for new works to be written in response. I want to see other authors take up some of the stylistic and structural ideas that Ben uses in his book and use them in their own. I want them to make some progress, add bits, change them and help develop new forms of literary narrative.

Ben's an amazing writer and the author of some fantastic short fiction. While I wasn't as enamoured with this novel as I was with that short work, it nonetheless adds another page to a growing tradition of experimentation and play in Ben's stuff. I think he's one of the most - possibly the most - inventive Australian genre author writing today.

Ben has a second novel, Black Sheep, out soon. I'm keen to read that to see what sort of things he's tried there.

Show the love.

Buy it from Amazon, buy it from Wheatland Press.