Today, as part of the blog tour organised by Anne Cater, I am honoured to bring you a sneak peek at a story from Not From Above by Alexander Mayor.
N o t F r o m A b o v e ! is the debut collection of stories from musician Alexander Mayor (who releases music under the name Alexander’s Festival Hall). It’s a series of what-ifs, how-abouts and darkly comic thought experiments, populated by central Asian dictators with overreaching literary ambitions, anxious young spies pursued on canals, passive aggressive board games, and starship captains who really need to learn to prioritise. These are tales of decisive moments for indecisive people. Dating becomes rather more dangerous and ‘promenade theatre’ a little too immersive. Adventures are undertaken largely by mistake, in stories that catalogue the increasingly esoteric ways Londoners try to keep themselves amused. And of course, there’s that moment when a breakdown on a country road might just be the start of something promising…
* N o t F r o m A b o v e ! is also an album of twelve upbeat, lush and romantic pop songs from Alexander’s Festival Hall – see inside the book for download details. http://www.alexandersfestivalhall.org
Home Time (from ‘Not From Above!’ – Unbound, April 25th 2019)
With the printer’s unresponsiveness now a glaring fact, popular television historian Professor David Starkey is, after much fiddling, realising that a USB port on his 14-month-old MacBook Pro might be broken. Some 57 miles away, in Hove, Zoë Ball has lost the run of a much-loved garlic press, lifted slash gifted from an early edition of Celebrity Come Dine with Me.
In Ashton-under-Lyne, Tommy Cannon cannot for the life of him remember which floor of the IKEA car park his S-Max sports activity vehicle is parked on. Worse, famous swimmer Duncan Goodhew has just trodden some Waitrose pretzels into the living-room carpet whilst momentarily distracted by his son’s high-pitched laughter at a cable TV repeat of The Sooty Show.
On an otherwise balmy morning in Brooklyn Heights, Matthew Barney is all at sixes and sevens with an otherwise nifty Nest thermostat system, whose display is stuck on 88 degrees. Some 4 miles away, David Hyde Pierce has over-aggressively pierced the film lid on a tub of Dean & DeLuca creamed kale during a cast read-through of Lost in Yonkers, upending the contents over his artfully pre-scuffed Converse tennis shoes.
At precisely 2.29pm, as his car purrs up the driveway to the secluded cottage he bought shortly after wrapping on Michael Haneke’s 2005 thriller Hidden, Daniel Auteuil is spitting tacks when he realises he’s left Paris without his iPhone charger.
At home time, fuzzily defined as a nagging hour’s-worth of minutes located somewhere between half-three and five, former Defence Secretary Michael Fallon sits parked outside Camden Forest Academy for a good half-hour, listening to a terrible play on BBC Radio 4, before angrily recalling that he doesn’t actually have any children.
In efforts pursuant to distant yet inflexible objectives, obedient to buried, unconscious drives and directives whose authorship remains unclear, the world stumbles on, its blood up and its guard down.
Author Bio – Alexander Mayor
Alexander Mayor is a writer and musician based in London. He started his musical adventure as one third of early noughties synthpop band Baxendale, peddling unashamedly upbeat pop to European dancefloors. In 2013 he reinvented himself as the sole proprietor of a literary-minded pop group called Alexander’s Festival Hall with the album Not a Dry Eye in London. He also writes for German culture magazine Chart – Notes to Consider, pens sleeve-notes for the popular Too Slow to Disco vinyl AOR re-issue series, and turns out finely tooled paragraphs about brainy subjects for cold hard cash. This is his first book.