Friday, January 17, 2003
Just learned that Peter Tinniswood died last week. Tinniswood is someone who tends to be forgotten when people talk about great fantasy writers, but he wrote The Stirk of Stirk, a strange, wonderful, historical fantasy (about the noble Stirk of Stirk, his evil enemy, and an ancient, gay, Robin Hood). And the strange darkly wonderfulness of A Touch of Daniel. All of his books were funny, although often the humour hovered out past black, somewhere in the ultraviolet.

I interviewed him, as a young man, for Knave, and he was kind and intelligent and reserved, and very relieved when he realised I'd actually read his books. We talked about the opening lines of his first novel, A Touch of Daniel:

When Auntie Edna fell off the bus, she landed on her pate and remained unconscious for sixty-three days. At the end of this period she died, and they had a funeral.

At the party Uncle Mort, husband of the deceased, said:

"What I can't fathom out is why conductor didn't tell her they was only stopped at a zebra crossing."

and how he wrote them and had no idea who these people were, so kept writing to find out. (And to make sure that I'd get that quote right I went down to the library in the basement, and found that most of my Tinniswood paperbacks were signed by him, to me, "Thanks for being a super interviewer" he wrote in one, which means, looking back on it, probably that he was dreading the whole experience, and found it less horrid than he had feared.) is the Real Audio feed of a tribute programme to Tinniswood.

It looks like "A Short Film About John Bolton", the film I directed in November/December of last year, will get its first screening at Angouleme. "It would be on friday 24 around 18h30 and 19h00 right after the closing speech of this first day International conferences session," I am told -- and am very happy they've managed to fit it in. Jeremy from Ska films will pick the print up from BAFTA on Wednesday, take the train to Paris and hand it to me, because that's so much easier than couriering it, and means it will be my responsibility to carry it around from that moment on...