Author: Idle Ink

REVIEW: Shezlez the Self-Proclaimed by Marko Vignjević

Review by Kiran Bhat

Writer: Marko Vignjević

Publisher: Ethos Books

Release date: 2020

Price: £10.21

A Beginner’s Guide to Staying in Touch After the Apocalypse by Sidney Dritz

Robert Frost wrote, “some say the world will end by fire / some say in ice,” but if he had hung around for a few more years, he might have felt moved to add a stanza or two about the possibilities of superbugs, nuclear annihilation, a robot uprising at Y2K, a racist misreading of the Mayan calendar, and the unlikely but ever-popular zombie apocalypse. Genre conventions dictate that the discerning survivor might hold out for a back-to-the-land-style complete collapse of technological infrastructure, but it’s not just disaster-sophisticates who are always just a few catastrophic weather events away from a formalized nomadic existence enforced by the need to flee hurricanes, heat waves, extreme blizzards, and flooding. But no matter which flavor of destruction is your drug of choice, I think we can all agree on one thing: in the event of a survivable cataclysm, communication is important.

Luckily for you, I’m-Afraid-To-Watch-The-News Weekly has you covered with five practical and stylish ideas for keeping track of your nearest and dearest when the end is even nearer than they are.

Poverty Line by Emma Robertson

The queue at the foodbank is even longer than usual. Recent events have hit people hard; so many lost jobs and reduced incomes taking their toll on local families. According to Twitter, the number of people needing to use this particular foodbank has more than quadrupled in the past three months and the size of the queue would seem to bear that out. They put out a tweet this afternoon – we are running out of food, please come down and donate what you can.

To Elude Wolves, Run into the Sun by Ashley Van Elswyk

Wolves hunt for the moon-touched lovers,
dazzled by the dark, with stars in their eyes
that mask the gleam of hungry teeth, and claws
trailing closer,
                                                closer.
Wolves encircle bright young bodies
dizzied in orbit, their newly burst hearts
left open; nebulous scent drifting 
into a vast
                      (and greedy)
night.

A recovering pessimist’s letter to Tom Hanks regarding his literary career by B. A. Varghese

Dear Tom Hanks,

It’s been a few years now that the events I will describe to you have occurred, and I think I have enough emotional distance to convey my story without any bouts of bewilderment. This all came about a few months before the release of your short story collection in October of 2017. It’s just a case of mistaken identity. Well, my mistake of your identity.

The Book That Helped Me Look Within by Shilpa Gupte

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’

The words jumped out at me from the page of the book, Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown. A friend visiting India had gifted it to me three years ago, but I couldn’t proceed beyond the first chapter and so put it away. Non-fiction not being my cup of tea, I let the book lie in a cozy corner of my bookcase. I thought I would wait for the book to prompt me to read it.

Headlights by Daragh Fleming

I couldn’t see the water. The waves crashed on the shore in a slow intention melody. I could hear them crashing as they tried to seduce the coastline. The waves always seemed to me to be a good metaphor for hard work, for grinding it out. A slow, almost unnoticeable effort to wear down the land they lapped at. Years of agonising Sisyphean toil that appears for all intents to amount to nothing through the lens of daily life. Yet when you step back and really look, when you see how the land was before and how the land is now, you see that the waves have managed to move the land entirely, to shape it and change its appearance. The waves have always reminded me that with enough work and persistence, you could move anything or anyone.