The Next Ten

A few thoughts about other pieces of writing that would have made my top ten if not for the fact that there were only ten spaces.

First up, Manchester writers that myself, Nici and Joe have published this year. You have given us some amazing stories, live and on page. That means you, Sian Rathore with The Dead Clown Down Cherwell. Funny, moving and quite frankly disturbing at times, it’s one of the best short stories I picked up this year. It also happens that we published it, you can buy a copy here. Dave Hartley’s End of Level Eight sees him getting into the emotional core of being an end of level boss, and that coupled with his Re:Tale story have made him one of the highlights of any live literature event. You can hear End of Level Eight on his blog here. Benjamin Judge brought almost the whole Deaf Institute to tears with his non-fiction tale, Drinking Coffee with my Father in the Most Expensive Cafe in Manchester.

In books, non-fiction brought two very interesting social histories. The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders was an exploration of murder cases in the Victorian era, but quickly became an examination into the origins of crime fiction and detective novels. Elsewhere, Grant Morrison’s epic Supergods was an autobiography of his life, a social history of comic books, and a personal philosophy. It was ragged around the edges and went off at tangents that sometimes didn’t work, but it was always fascinating.

Musically, Josh T Pearson’s Last of the Country Gentlemen was fantastic, The Decemberists remembered that they used to be brilliant and Yuck did Pavement & Neutral Milk Hotel briliantly.

Finally, I can’t go without mentioning how great this years episodes of Community, Misfits and the final two episodes of Black Mirror were.

That’s 2011 for you. I’ll see you all again very soon.



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