Friday, November 15, 2013

Memo from Michael Butterworth

Last month, Michael Butterworth sent me his initial impressions of Emanations: Third Eye.  Here they are:

Sent: Tue, Oct 8, 2013 4:28 pm
Subject: Re: Emanations
Hi Carter,

Have now received E3 (bought 5 copies from

I find myself thrilled with it in all senses of the words. It is by far the best-looking of the three volumes, and another fat tome to boot stuffed with new and interesting work that probably excels the first two. It's no mean feat to achieve this level of excellence three times in a row.

Very impressed with the latest Bronson serial! I think your fiction writing gets better and better.. . I thought the latest installment of this zany and original serial had a highly inventive and enjoyable narrative, fresh to the senses and teasing to the intellect. 

Turning to the other pieces, Philip Murrary-Lawson's story has a fine way of subverting itself with humour that raised a smile more than once, Elkie Riches' story has the power of Moorcock's 'Dancers' series, Hrodevert Conall's strange piece I liked, Jeffrey Falla's I liked but could not understand (and must come back to!), Li Li's 'Summer Breeze' I thought was excellent for a new young writer, Leslie McMurtry's 'The Guest' well done though more conventional.

I very much enjoyed Gareth Jackson's two new pieces, which I hadn't read before. In terms of quality and ambition they could have come straight from the pages of New Worlds circa 1967-70. They read like collaborations between Sladek and Dr Christopher Evans, yet they speak with an entirely original voice. I thought the use of pseudonyms exactly right. I also thought your addition of the graphic, of a clay tablet inscribed with primitive writing, an inspired addition to 'An Abridge History'. It fit so well I thought initially that it must be Gareth's own choice of illustration, and I wondered how you had come by it. 

Your other 'found' illustrations scattered throughout the book all fit extremely well with their parent texts. I thought there were many good illustrations again, particular Kai Robb's and Dario's. We are so lucky to have them!

I enjoyed my first reading of the poems, though I need to come back to them to fully appreciate the many individual voices. It was a lot to take in. I loved the visual poetry, and Richard Kostelanetz's amusing 'Lovings'. I very much liked the inclusion of prose-poems, an undervalued art. 

I'm now excitedly looking forward to making my way through 'Themes'. So far I have read Marielle Risse's absorbing piece.

All in all, it is a great read that pushes the boundaries of imagination. We should all be very proud. 

Best wishes,
Well, it is most gratifying to receive an email like this.  Read the Phllip Murray-Lawson interview with Michael Butterworth here:  Part I  Part II

Also, please see the Call for Submissions for the next volume of Emanations by clicking HERE.

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