Monday, July 22, 2019

Birthmark, Redux

I previously posted about a play I adapted from Hawthorne's The Birthmark way back in 1998 (I think) and shared some photos.  

During the story, the "mad scientist" Aylmer photographs his wife Georgina, so our actor actually took a photo during the performance (his idea).   I was the director, and all my decisions were final, but it was fairly democratic and each performer made great contributions in terms of props and stage design -- including spinning hypnotic discs and a plant marionette that could "die" and be "resurrected".  We usually had informal votes on what to implement, though I may have overridden one or two things.  We weren't exactly a pure democracy, more like a democracy where one person could veto the majority.  So not a democracy at all!

I think we did seven performances in total.  

The first three images below were certainly shot during the performance.  Not sure about the second two -- we may have changed the moment he took the photo.  The last two were shot from the audience.

I include the repetitions because you can see that the actor taking the picture (Kevin) is in a slightly different position, but our actor playing Georgina (Korlee) is remarkably consistent with her expression.  

BTW, Kevin and Korlee remain together until this day and have a lovely son!  Oh, and I just heard from Carl after 20+ years!  Carl played Aminadab and made the aforementioned discs and flower....

Anyway, just thought I'd pop these online because I can be a compulsive completist!






Sunday, May 26, 2019

A few words from the critics....

Le Colber

Here's either some shameless self-promotion or just some plain ol' Johnny Hustle.  Hopefully you don't see this as smarmy tooting of my own horn.  I just want you to read the book!  Two of these blurbs have already appeared on the blog but I've gathered them all together in this here post.  All quite positive, which is flattering and humbling.

In addition to Amazon, in Toulouse it can be found on the shelves of Ombres Blanches and in Verdun-sur-Garonne at Le Colber....

And of course you can find it directly on the Whisk(e)y Tit website!

Thanks to all the reviewers....

Ombres Blanches

On Amazon.fr


Alex McC
William Burroughs meets Heart of Darkness
5 Stars
8 août 2018


This first-person narrative really feels like back in the Heart of Darkness, only this time the voyage is through a futuristic terrain, and the narrator is coming off a drug addiction. The story flowed easily, with bouts of philosophical musings that were poignant and that had me laughing at times. I would have enjoyed an even longer book, as the only criticism I can think is that the novella size does it injustice. Well worth the read. Kudos to Adkins on his first novel... definitely want to read more of his books.

On Amazon.com

J. Frankel
A madman goes in search of the Ice Mine
5 Stars
December 12, 2018

The Ice Mine
Steven M. Adkins’ ‘The Ice Mine, “The Relation” of Ricardo Etienne Bream’ is a hallucinatory novella of a madman’s quest for a mythical place, in this case an Ice Mine. The narrator has lost his wife, children, home, and job through addiction to narcotics. He manages to kick his addiction and hopes to recover at least some semblance of a life, in the course of which he discovers among his books ‘Relations’ of other travellers who have gone in search of the Ice Mine, which may lie to the north, or the east, or the south. Most who light out to find it never return. The narrative has the feel of Browning’s strange Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, a poem he dreamed.

Adkins’ prose is sonically rich, full of words like ‘blorp’, evoking comics as much as classic sci fi. The heart of his writing is surrealism and the great strength is his fine rendering of a marginal consciousness riven by guilt and self-hatred. He compares self-pity to the honey of bees, something he defecates at night and consumes in the morning. The story alternates between his adventures into terra incognito, encounters with mythical beasts and dangerous defiles, rocky wastes, storms and dust, and reflections on his life and the history of his people. It is a novel of alienation and nightmare, enlivened by the knowing prose, which straddles the abyss between the ludicrous and the terrifying.

Amazon Customer
Awesome read!
5 Stars
February 18, 2019
Verified Purchase

Like Pynchon meets Asimov, seriously, this book is amazing. Thanks!

Amethyst
Creative and beautifully written
5 Stars
March 19, 2019
Verified Purchase

I did not know what to expect when I picked up The Ice Mine. I brought it along on vacation to peruse during down times. However, I found myself devouring the book at every chance. The writing is gorgeous. You can tell every word Adkins wrote was carefully considered and crafted with love. I also love that Adkins created his own setting, his own world, and wrote about this world as if we all lived in it. It was one of those books - a book where you can't help thinking of all the people you know who would love it too. In fact, I just bought another copy to send to my sister. If you pick up The Ice Mine, be prepared to do nothing else but sit in your armchair with a cup of tea - having a good read.

On Instagram

brianbiswas
May 24, 2019

Absolutely floored by this book: The Ice Mine, by Steven M. Adkins (Whisk(e)y Tit Press). The writing is beautiful, and reminds me of Alvaro Mutis (Maqroll), one of the great South American magical realists. It’s the account of a journey to a mysterious—and possibly mythical—place dubbed “The Ice Mine”. The description throughout is thick and richly-textured. Luscious. Drop-dead gorgeous. (You get the idea.) It’s one of those books that is so heavenly, so involving, that when you finish it you immediately want to read it again (which I will!).
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