Anonymous Manuscript Extract #2

Visuel-Com-Franco-1050x741Transportation Press will soon be announcing our print program for 2018-19. In the meantime we will be posting anonymous quotes from novels we like. The first person to pick the novel will receive a free copy of one of our publications (until we run out!), and if they already have a copy we will give them a free copy of our next published collection.

“As soon as we stepped off the Blanco y Negra – the black-and-white bus that heads south – and felt the first lash of the blazing sun in the vast emptiness, he felt an overwhelming thirst for violence, a thirst he had to slake: blonde gringas – not blonde like me, because my hair is like a ripe mango while theirs was the colour of sun-scorched wheat, a pale flax. I have to say I also felt a burning rage to see how many dumb gringos came to our country in search of the seven deadly sins, in an attempt to ‘find themselves’.”

Image – Fernell Franco

Anonymous Manuscript Extract # 1

Transportation will soon be announcing our print program for 2018. In the meantime we will be posting anonymous quotes from novels we like. The first person to pick the novel will receive a free copy of one of our publication (until we run out!), and if they already have a copy we will give them a free copy of our next published collection.

 

‘A story of blinding love,

Always about to be,

Never forgotten.’

Anonymous Manuscript Extracts

We’re no safe bet, but certainly we aren’t packing it in yet. Nope, we are gearing up to announce an ambitious schedule of publication to see us through to 2019. We are in the running for a number of grants, and failing that we will turn to highway robbery, poaching, money laundering, or dare we say it yet more crowd funding of one type or another.

To clear the dust of our activity, and to start on a fresh slate, we are running a short competition. We will be posting a number of extracts from a select bunch of novels, nothing major: lines, sentences, paragraphs… even the odd image. And anyone who correctly guesses the novel will receive a free copy of one of our previous publication (until we clear the stock that remains), if the winner has a copy of all three then they will win a copy of one of our 18-19 publications.

The  authors of the quotes, extracts, whatever you call them, they will be announced after some time, some guessing, some giving away of free stuff, and our chief editor will write a short essay on why we have chosen those specific quotes, and how they are important in the lead up to announcing the 2018-2019 publishing schedule. The announcement will be accompanied by a massive bonfire, twelve dozen very rare wines and spirits, a selection of cakes and tarts, a calypso band, forty-two Tuvan throat singers, and a herd of unusually carnivorous elephants trampling through at the end, over two continents.

So you’d be really stupid not to have a guess, and not to get involved. And to get behind a not so safe bet… Email us at tadhgtransportationpress@gmail.com with your innermost thoughts, and who you believe wrote the extract.

Image: The Ceremonial Law’: used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence

Are you our new Web Editor?

Transportation Press Web Editor

Transportation Press is an independent press based in Tasmania, publishing work from around the world. We endeavour to have an active online presence between publishing our books and running competitions like Smoke, an annual international microfiction competition. We are looking for a Web Editor to oversee and maintain our website and some of our social media content. Our website should be dynamic and thought provoking.

The Web Editor is responsible for maintaining fresh and relevant content on the Transportation Press website and will be focused on publishing either dedicated projects or individual pieces. This will involve commissioning writers, reading pitches and submissions and responding to them, editing, readying pieces for publication and uploading them. They will work alongside the editors, and other Transportation Press writers and crew as required.

We are interested in making the role work for you and we are seeking someone who:

  • will ensure that the Transportation Press website has fresh and interesting content which works harmoniously with the broader publishing program
  • is able to seek and commission online content and select complementary imagery and material, to pair with published online material. (Creative commons and acknowledged).
  • is based anywhere in the world, any age, any identification
  • will commission, read and select submissions of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and to post on the website.
  • has some proficiency in WordPress as well as an active engagement in social media (desirable)
  • will generate a dynamic online presence that compliments the publications, and maintain fresh and relevant content
  • Is available to work a minimum of three hours a week and ideally able to provide some day to day attention to web and social media
  • will liaise with the Editor and Creative Strategist around content themes, and topics, to complement existing and new activities
  • is deeply engaged and interested in contemporary international literature, and social and cultural issues
  • Is self-motivating and very organised
  • Is comfortable with turbulence

We won’t write ‘other activities as required’ because we hate that clause, but this list is not exhaustive and this new role will require, and benefit from the web editor’s own input, creativity, vision, and energy.

Please note: this is a volunteer/unpaid position. All people who work at Transportation Press are volunteers though we are actively seeking funding and this role will eventually be paid. Our published writers are paid, though we are not yet able to pay for online content.

To apply, please attach a one-page cover letter and a one-page CV and send to Rachel Edwards, Editor in Chief and Tadhg Muller, Creative Strategist (emails below). Your letter should directly respond to the above-mentioned posints. Applications close midnight December 4 (pick your own time zone).

Any questions? Please email both of us, Rachel and Tadhg at transportationalmanac@gmail.com and tadhgmuller@yahoo.co.uk
We look forward to receiving your applications.

Where there is Smoke

We recently launched our first collection of microfiction, Smoke One. It contains the best entries from our inaugural international competition. Susan Lloy is a writer who lives in Montreal, Canada. Her story ‘Wishful Thinking’ is included in the collection, which is available for puchase here.

You can hear her reading from another of her recently published short stories, ‘But When We Look Closer’ here.

This story contained in a collection of her short stories by the same name which was published by Now or Never Publishing earlier this year.
Susan is a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University, and has been published in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and the United Kingdom.

 

Dalian what futures? The origin story.

danielyoungDaniel Young is the winner of our first Smoke international microfiction competion. Here he tells the origin story of Dalian Blood Futures, the piece which took the prize.

Dalian what futures? The origin story.
by Daniel Young

I used to work for an investment bank (don’t hate me, my self-loathing is quite sufficient to cover it). In another notch in my long belt of doing things at the worst possible time, I left Brisbane shortly after the GFC to go and write software for an investment bank in Sydney. Actually it wasn’t quite the worst possible time, as the thousands of contractors who’d been fired in the preceding year would be quick to point out; I was part of a small wave of rehiring once those in charge realised the world wasn’t quite ending and that they still needed some people to do actual work.

I worked in the derivatives trading area, writing software to handle back-end functions such as valuations, settlement, accounting, risk management, plus reconciliations and control to make sure nobody was going rogue. I don’t have any background in finance, but if I learnt anything from this experience it’s that it’s not just possible but in fact commonplace—perhaps even desirable?—for software developers to write code without having even the most basic understanding of how it will be used or how the business around them actually functions. Sure, the bank made some efforts: a few years into the job they sent me on an introductory course focusing on financial derivates: options, futures, and the like, but none of it really stuck or influenced my daily work in any way.

In those years, we worked in what management-speak refers to as ‘business-aligned account teams’, which means that we sat on the dealing room floor along with the traders, despite hardly ever speaking to them and, as I’ve outlined, having very little idea of what they actually did. I hear that things have changed now, with IT staff moved into central teams, hidden away out of sight where they belong, but back then we had prime position. Dotted around the floor were traders with twelve or more monitors arced around their cubicle, but what really caught the eye was the large black ticker screen covering the entirety of one of the interior walls. I’d glance up at that screen throughout the day watching information tick over in traffic-light-coloured LEDs: green, orange and red. I’d pretend I knew what it was all about while secretly revelling in my complete ignorance. I paid particular attention to the price of soybean futures, finding something vaguely amusing in the very idea of them, and making little bets with myself at how the price might move from day to day.

Colleagues would sometimes tell stories—you probably don’t know the ones, though the narrator of Dalian Blood Futures runs in different circles to us and seems to think you will—stories about futures traders having to take shipment because they hadn’t ‘closed their positions’. In other words, they’d let their futures contracts expire without selling them, leaving them contractually obliged to take delivery. The internet, of course gives differing accounts of this phenomenon:

“When you’re dealing with so many contracts, it’s not hard to lose track of one and accidentally hold it to the settlement date. You really do get a call from someone asking you where you want your silver or corn or whatever. When you’re a member of a futures exchange, you’re expected to be able to take delivery of whatever physically settled contracts you take to expiration. Obviously, most trading firms don’t have facilities to store 500,000 gallons of rapeseed oil, so you have to dump it at a loss to someone who does. They know they have you by the short and curlies, so you’re going to pay out the nose for it.”
—some rando on Reddit

“There’s some apocryphal story about some analyst at like GS who messed up and had to accept delivery for cattle, and had to arrange warehouse space and food for them. But it’s probably bs.”
— some other rando on Reddit

“You may wonder what happens if a trader forgets to close out a long position. If he bought live hog futures, will someone deliver 40,000 pounds worth of squealing porkers to his back door the morning after his contract expires? Sorry, but no.”
— some random website

We should never let the facts stand in the way of a good yarn.

It was only years later, sitting at my desk in Brisbane reading some finance news (don’t hate me) that it all came together. I’d grown accustomed to seeing prices quoted from the Dalian Commodities Exchange in China, usually iron ore or other common commodities, but this story was about the launch of official quotation in Dalian egg futures. It might seem like a big leap from eggs to blood, but if you’ve read Yu Hua’s book Chronicles of a Blood Merchant, or recent stories about the determination of some Silicon Valley executives to live forever, or know anything about professional cycling, perhaps it’s not such a leap at all.

When the call-out for the Smoke microfiction competition came out, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to cram all of these obsessions into a 300-word story and, as often happens with flash fiction, it all came tumbling out quite fast, so much so that it seemed wrong to even add the appropriate punctuation (don’t hate me). In the weeks after submitting it, I toyed with the idea of expanding it into a longer story, and the idea is still tempting, but sometimes it’s best to leave well enough alone. And as this extended origin story shows, by being longer than the microfiction itself, sometimes it’s better to cap things at 300 words. Sorry. Don’t hate me! And thanks for reading.

You can buy a copy of the Smoke One collection and read Dalian Blood Futures yourselves, here.

 

 

Akis Papantonis

Akis Papantonis is an Assistant Professor at the University of Cologne. He has published prose in English and Greek literary magazines, and has translated Miroslav Penkov’s short stories and Raymond Carver’s poems into Greek. For his first book, the novella Karyotype (Kichli, 2014), he was awarded the Anagnostis 2015 First Book Award.
We are really please to have Akis’s story ‘Lights That Never Go Out’ in Smoke One, Transportation Press’ first collection of the best work from our international microfiction competition.
Transportation Press has always been about Tasmanian writers, and connecting Tasmanian writers with authors and editors in distant places… and because of this the inclusion of a writer from Greece is absolutely brilliant.
In acknowledgment of this we have asked Akis to create some audio files for us, and Akis has kindly obliged.

Raymond-Carver-Transportation-Press-Blog-post
Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver

Follow the post below to go to our website and to hear Akis read his own work, Rear View Window, in Greek & English, and to read one of the Raymond Carver poems, Morning, Thinking of Empire, Carver in Greek & English also too.

 

Order your copy of Smoke, 21 microfiction stories here.