Sam van Zweden



paper radio

The Hilllllls Are Aliiiiiiive!

And so is Paper Radio, the wonderfully original literary journal/audio adventure. The site itself has been up and going for a while now, and it’s fun. There are stories and non-fictional pieces, and they’re all backed by amazing soundscapes.

On Saturday my favourite story by the very talented thinker Tom Cho went up on Paper Radio. The Sound of Music can be read on two levels, and both are equally as rewarding. Full of pop cultural “a-ha!” moments (I love the really cool and handsome finger-clicking guys in the Fonz fantasy), you’ll laugh, but also perhaps give some serious thought to issues of identity, “issues of who you are, or want to be”.

Paper Radio Is Here, As City Basement Books Leaves

Two unrelated things in one post. Why not?

Paper Radio – it’s finally here. It’s been a long time in the making, and the excited chatter around the place has been deafening, so the fact that it launched today is something of a relief. In a great way. It’s all I expected and more!

Paper Radio is an online literary journal of sorts. There’s a FM channel which features fictional writing, and an AM channel which showcases non-fictional work. There are a few familiar names on the list of people behind this literary love-fest – Dion Kagan is familiar to me as the editor of last year’s EWF publication “The Reader”. He’s also hosting a few events for the EWF this year, I believe. Estelle Tang is also on the Editorial Advisory Committee, and she’s the amazing brain behind the utterly bottomless book blog “3000 Books”. So the team behind Paper Radio are strong, assuming those names I’m familiar with are anything to go by.

The website is really sleek, nicely designed with bold colours and collage-like graphics. And it’s not just the visuals that are nicely designed. It’s easy to get around the site, and while the FM channel is the only active thing on there at the moment, with one episode up of a story by Chris Somerville, the player isn’t complicated and the quality of the content is awesome. The reading on the episode that’s up is done by Jon Tjhia (executive producer of Paper Radio), who has an utterly enchanting voice, and the sound design behind the reading isn’t intrusive at all.

Really looking forward to future episodes from Paper Radio!

I’m afraid this post also contains some news that makes me incredibly sad…

City Basement Books, that amazing floor-to-ceiling booklover’s heaven (downstairs, 28 Elizabeth St, CBD), is shutting its doors. At least, at this location. I’ve tried searching for quite a while about what the deal is, but all I can find is that the store is “moving on” – whether this means the store is closing, or just moving premises I’m not sure. Either way this books shop has been one of my favourite places in Melbourne for years now. It’s always been so reliable, to not only have the book you’re looking for, but to have it from different publishers, different editions, with any different covers it may have had… And alwas for a reasonable price, in great condition.

Before they do close their doors or move, (whichever it may be) they are having a massive sale. All books $1 until this Friday, so get down there and pay your respects to the sacred ground at 28 Elizabeth St, Melbourne CBD.

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