This is a still from the film of my short story, “The Stooge”. It was directed by Rogelio Fojo in Los Angeles, and runs for a fraction over 20 minutes. It’s another film about stage magic, but this time not set in the period of grand theatrical magic, but a much more modern, realistic, down-at-heel time.
Other than writing the original story, then drafting a screenplay, I had nothing to do with the production process. The first I knew about it was when I was sent a finished copy. To say I was surprised by the result is an understatement. It strikes me as an extraordinary accomplishment. In many ways it looks as good as The Prestige, but was made on a budget literally .05% of that film, for all its famous stars and legendary director. Fojo has achieved as much, working with less. The Stooge is offbeat, intriguing, thoroughly cinematic, sometimes funny, it has beautiful photography and music … and real magic. The opening credits show the workings of a sleight — a few moments later you see the sleight again, and you still can’t see how it’s done. Pure magic.
Practical details of the film can be found on the Internet Movie Database. (If you’re interested, similar details of The Prestige can also be found here.)
Although The Stooge was completed last year, it has just achieved its first professional booking. It will be shown at the North Hollywood Cinefest, 20-28th March 2019. I hope this will be not only the first festival to exhibit it, but many more to come. I am now allowed, indeed urged, to display this token:
“The Stooge”, the original story, is included in my new collection, Episodes, due from Gollancz on 11th July 2019. Early details here.
Winter in Scotland is always a bit of a challenge, but so far this year we have been let off fairly lightly. The weather here on the west coast is much milder than most people realize, but it’s also unpredictable. Anyway, both Nina and I have been working hard: Nina has delivered a new novel to her agent, and I am coming towards the end of the first draft of another. This has kept us in the house for the most part, while the storms rage outside and the cats come in looking a bit damp and indignant. But the new year is here, and I will be getting out and about. Do come along if you can and say hello:
22nd March – I shall be appearing at the Glasgow book festival Aye Write! This will be at the Mitchell Library, starting at 6:00pm. Details here.
19th to 21st April – I will be at Ytterbium, the British Eastercon at the Park Inn, Heathrow, London. My daughter Elizabeth will be with me: her second novel is being launched at the convention. Contact Ytterbium.
23rd to 26th May – Assuming I still have a valid passport, post Brexit, I will be at Imaginales (le festival des mondes imaginaires). This is the annual festival in Épinal, Vosges, and greatly to be enjoyed in the early summer weather. Do get there if you can. Imaginales.
7th June – I shall be at Cymera 7, in Edinburgh, described as Scotland’s inaugural SFF festival. All details here.
12th July — Nina and I will be at Birmingham SF Group, Briar Rose Hotel, Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham. 7:30pm for an 8:00pm start.
30th to 31st August – I shall be in my old home town for the Hastings Litfest. Details here.