The Lost Thing

How pleased were we when Shaun Tan won this year’s Oscar for Best Short Animated Film?

Very. We were very pleased. So pleased, we had to make ourselves plural.

Anyway, courtesy of Ellen Datlow‘s link, you can watch it here.

It makes me smile, and the big set piece reminds me of my favourite artists–people like Miro and Kandinsky. It’s beautiful and warm and sweet and poignant. And the ending… oh, it’s wonderful.

If you’ve not seen it, I hope you love it as much as I do. We do.

Just watch it, OK?

(Also, how did it manage to pass me by that Tim Minchin is the narrator? How? How???)


Pigeon: Impossible

We’ve all tangled with skyrats before, haven’t we: the urban pigeons who stalk you while you’re eating a sandwich, or dive-bomb you for a biscuit? But have any of them ever caused as much stress as this one…?

It’s collecting awards by the armful, and there’s loads more about it on the Pigeon:Impossible site.

And if you’re fond of the occasional al fresco bagel, you might want to keep one eye on the sky. Especially if you’ve got something very, very important in your briefcase.


Cloudy with a Chance of Ratbirds

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

I still can’t quite decide what I made of this film. It’s… well, it’s odd.

As you’ll have gathered from the trailer, the set-up is simple: down-at-heel town. Local nutter-slash-lovable geek-slash-wannabe inventor comes up with a plan to rescue the town from an eternity of eating sardines (bear with me) by creating a machine that turns water into food, by mutating its molecular structure (or something).

Still there? Yes? Good. Of course there’s a girl, and yes, you were right to twitch when you read the word “mutating”…

But! There’s a talking monkey, who’s obsessed with Gummy Bears and who mostly says “Steve!” and “Hungry!” There’s a town mayor who’s so awful you want to slap him with a frankfurter.┬áThere’s a house made of jelly (jell-o. Whatever. I want one because it is awesome), and there’s the best chic-to-geek makeover ever: a literal reversal of the, “Why, Miss Jones! You’re beautiful!” moment.

It’s an odd concept–I’ve never read the book on which it’s loosely based, so I can’t judge exactly where the weird comes from–but it’s weird in a nice way, and funny – and really rather geeky. It probably helps if you love disaster movies (and I do) as it relies fairly heavily on an affectionate parody of the genre. But with chicken suits. No, really.

Above all, though, there’s the ratbirds.

Oh, the ratbirds.

I did say it was odd…

So You Want to Write a Novel…

No, don’t panic. I’m not going to give you advice–after all, who the hell am I?–but rather to share this fab little video that’s been doing the rounds on Facebook.

If you’ve ever been to any of the “How To Get Published” (or variations thereupon) panels at conventions, or had a chat with any agents–or, in fairness, know very much about the publishing industry at all–then you’ll recognise everything you’ll have heard in this. And if you haven’t, then you will soon enough…