The very cool new London-based mag Polluto is out the end of this month, including work from Rhys Hughes, Michael Moorcock, and myself. Above find the art for my story, “Finding Sonoria.” I think this is a classy new effort and well worth your attention. Below the break find a Sonoria excerpt.
He sat there for awhile, nursing the drink, the envelope on the counter in front of him. Crake’s handwriting on the front was as spidery and lucid as Crake.
Part of Bolger wanted to rip the envelope open. Part of him just didn’t, not ever. By now, Bolger felt like he one foot in the Murat and one foot in Sonoria. He could handle that. There was a kind of balance, a kind of balancing act, to it that he could maintain. That he didn’t mind maintaining.
But, finally, Bolger ordered another shot and tore open the envelope, began to skim the pages. After awhile, Bolger began to get a sense of it. Crake’s observations tended to be precise but dry, things like “Twenty-two feet from the river, approximately 50 yards from the base of the first rise of hills preceding the mountains, you will find a village of about 70 people, mostly fishermen.” Or, “There was a battle three years later. The lancers of the plains won, leaving 20 foot soldiers dead or dying.” A History of Sonoria read like something bloody rendered bloodless.
Bolger kept muttering “That’s bullshit. That’s bull-shit” under his breath, once so loud the bartender came over to ask if he wanted another shot.
It all sounded so right, and yet Crake had gotten it all wrong. The images in Bolger’s head, the raw, vibrant hues, the movement–none of it was as tepid, as careful as Crake made it out to be. Everything Crake had come up with was crap, and now it was in Bolger’s head.
But when Bolger turned to the final page, in full-color, he gasped, almost choked on his whisky. Crake’s map of Sonoria was a thing of beauty. Crake had used a medley of blues, greens, sepia browns, and red for the dots of cities. Rachel had helped him pick the colors because Crake was color blind. She’d helped him shade it in, too. It showed topographical changes, roads, rivers, mountains. All names had been written with brackets around them, which Bolger thought meant Crake was guessing.
But, of course, he was guessing about the whole thing. There was no Sonoria. Bolger knew that.