Kissing the Lizard Fiction Justin David
In the desert, no one can hear you, queen
Justin David’s newly-released novella is part creepy coming-of-age story, part black-comedy, set partly in buzzing 1990s London and partly in barren New Mexico wildlands. When Jamie meets Matthew in Soho, he’s drawn to his new-age charms. But when he follows his new friend across the planet to a remote earth-ship in Taos, bizarre incidents begin unfolding and Matthew’s real nature reveals itself: he’s a manipulative monster at the centre of a strange cult. Jamie finds himself at the centre a disturbing psychological nightmare as they seize the opportunity to recruit a new member. Pushed to his limits, lost in a shifting sagebrush landscape, can Jamie trust anyone to help him? And will he ever see home again? This evocatively set desert gothic expertly walks the line between macabre humour and terrifying tension.
The Pharmacist Fiction Justin David
Love is the Drug
Twenty-four-year-old Billy is beautiful and sexy. Albert—The Pharmacist—is a compelling but damaged older man, and a veteran of London’s late ’90s club scene. After a chance meeting in the heart of the London’s East End, Billy is seduced into the sphere of Albert. An unconventional friendship develops, fuelled by Albert’s queer narratives and an endless supply of narcotics. Alive with the twilight times between day and night, consciousness and unconsciousness, the foundations of Billy’s life begin to irrevocably shift and crack, as he fast-tracks toward manhood. This story of lust, love and loss is homoerotic bildungsroman at its finest.
‘At the heart of David’s The Pharmacist is an oddly touching and bizarre love story, a modern day Harold and Maude set in the drugged-up world of pre-gentrification Shoreditch. The dialogue, especially, bristles with glorious life.’ —JONATHAN KEMP, author of London Triptych
"An exploration of love and loss in the deathly hallows of twenty-first century London. Justin David's prose is as sharp as a hypodermic needle. Unflinching, uncomfortable but always compelling, The Pharmacist finds the true meaning of love in the most unlikely places."
—NEIL McKENNA, author of Fanny and Stella.
CNUT Poetry Nathan Evans
‘Poignant, humane and uncompromising’ —STEPHEN MORRISON-BURKE
As King Cnut proved, tide and time wait for no human: An AnthropoScene, the first part of this collection, dives into the rising tides of geo-political change, the second, Our Future Is Now Downloading, explores sea-changes of more personal natures. Nathan’s debut, Threads, was long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. His follow-up bears all the watermarks of someone who’s swum life’s emotional spectrum. Short and (bitter)sweet, this is poetry for a mobile generation, poetry for sharing – often humorous, always honest about contemporary human experience, saying more in a few lines than politicians say in volumes, it offers an antidote to modern living.
The Pale Ones Horror Bartholomew Bennett
Pulped fiction just got a whole lot scarier
Few books ever become loved. Most linger on undead, their sallow pages labyrinths of old, brittle stories and screeds of forgotten knowledge… And other things, besides:
Paper-pale forms that rustle softly through their leaves. Ink-dark shapes swarming in shadow beneath faded type. And an invitation…
Harris delights in collecting the unloved. He wonders if you’d care to donate. A small something for the odd, pale children no-one has seen. An old book, perchance? Neat is sweet; battered is better. Broken spine or torn binding, stained or scarred - ugly doesn’t matter. Not a jot. And if you’ve left a little of yourself between the pages – a receipt or ticket, a mislaid letter, a scrawled note or number – that’s just perfect. He might call on you again.
Hangover Square meets Naked Lunch through the lens of a classic M. R. James ghost story. To hell and back again (and again) through Whitby, Scarborough and the Yorkshire Moors. Enjoy your Mobius-trip.
Swan Song Drama Nathan Evans
A gentleman called Joan lands in a subdued, suburban care home like a colourful, combustible cocktail in a new play written and directed by Nathan Evans, starring leg-endary Lavinia Co-op and produced by 89th Productions as part of And What? Queer Arts Festival.
A veteran of Gay Lib, Joan dons battle dress, seeking an ally in the young, gay but disappointingly conventional care assistant Craig for his assault on the heteronormativity of the care system. Then, in this most unlikely of settings, Joan is offered love by a gentleman called Jim…
Femme Fatale Drama Polly Wiseman
Nico and Valerie Solanas – Warhol’s muse and would-be assassin – meet, in this black comedy about fame, failure and firearms.
The Chelsea Hotel, New York, 1968. Nico, German actress and singer with The Velvet Underground is waiting to shoot her role in Andy Warhol’s latest movie and for her lover, Jim Morrison, when her room is invaded by Valerie Solanas, radical feminist and would-be Warhol assassin. A duel to the death begins…
One hundred years since women got the vote, and thirty years since Valerie and Nico died, Polly Wiseman reimagines two female pop culture icons at the epicentre of ‘60s cool battling for control of their own destinies.
He's Done Ever So Well for Himself Fiction Justin David
When your life is a soap opera, you're bound to meet a few divas
As a little boy, growing up in the half of the country decimated by the steely economics of Mrs Thatcher, Jamie dreams of rubbing shoulders with the glamorous creatures from the pages of Smash Hits – only to discover years later that once amongst them, the real stars in his life are the ones he left behind. Not least, his mother Gloria whose one-liners and put-downs are as colourful as her marabou mules and DayGlo dungarees. All of this she carries off with the panache of a television landlady.
Jamie swaps the high heels and high hair of 80s Midlands for the high expectations of art school in the city at the heart of 90s Cool Britannia. He’s drawn towards a new family of misfits, fuelled by drugs and sexual experimentation – from which he must ultimately untangle himself in order to fulfil his dreams.
AutoFellatio: A Memoir James Maker
Winner of the inaugural Polari First Book Prize 2011
Apart from herpes and Lulu – everything is eventually swept away
Just one shimmering pearl of wisdom from pop-star and polymath James Maker, whose worldly observations will (like herpes) once again be on everyone’s lips thanks to his award-winning memoir, remastered with new chapters. If you hadn’t heard of rock bands Raymonde or RPLA – fronted by James in the 80s and 90s – you might be forgiven for mistaking AutoFellatio for fiction. But here fact is more fantastical than any novel, as we follow our hero from Bermondsey enfant-terrible to Valencian grande dame, a scenic journey that stops off variously at Morrissey confidant, dominatrix, singer, songwriter and occasional actor, and is literally littered with memorable bons mots and hilarious anecdotes that make you feel like you've hit the wedding-reception jackpot of being unexpectedly seated next to the groom's flamboyant uncle. According to Wikipedia, very few men can perform the act of autofellatio. We never discover whether James is one of them but certainly, as a storyteller, he is one in a million.
‘Bloody Brilliant’ JULIE BURCHILL
‘Glitteringly epigrammatic, it’s a glam-rock Naked Civil Servant in court shoes. But funnier. And tougher.’
‘Pistol sharp, loaded with witty one-liners and peppered with Maker’s scatter gun observations on life, music and the meaning of good hair.’ PAUL BURSTON
Threads Poetry and Photography Nathan Evans & Justin David
We are all connected
If Alice landed in London not Wonderland this book might be the result. Threads is the first collection from Nathan Evans, each poem complemented by a bespoke photograph from Justin David and, like Tenniel’s illustrations for Carroll, picture and word weft and warp to create an alchemic (rabbit) whole.
On one page, the image of an alien costume, hanging surreally beside a school uniform on a washing line, accompanies a poem about fleeing suburbia. On another, a poem about seeking asylum accompanies the image of another displaced alien on an urban train. Spun from heartfelt emotion and embroidered with humour, Threads will leave you aching with longing and laughter.