Brussels Writer Counts His Chickens

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Museum Night Fever

DJ's and concerts will take over 20 of Belgium's favorite museums, keeping the museums up and moving as late as 1 am. Among the museums participating are La Monnaie, Le Botanique and Parlamentarium. Following Museum Night Fever will be an after party at Bulex. For further information and a full list of participating museums, click here

 

Saturday, 7 March, 2015 - 19:00 - Sunday, 8 March, 2015 - 01:00 Various museums in Brussels / Brussels Upcoming event,

La Muerte performs at AB

La Muerte will perform at AB this March. For more information on the event, click here.

Saturday, 7 March, 2015 - 20:00 - Sunday, 8 March, 2015 - 01:00 Ancienne Belgique (AB) - Boulevard Anspach 110 / Brussels Upcoming event,

European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Aging

As European demographic changes, the Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Aging will aim to engage Europe's policy, services and market leaders to collaborate on how to address challenges and seize opportunities. The event will have a wide array of meetings and demonstrations with the goal of turning the demographic aging in growth and jobs for Europe. 

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Monday, 9 March, 2015 (All day) - Tuesday, 10 March, 2015 (All day) To be announced / Brussels Upcoming event,

Pa Weathery’s Chickens by the author, editor and screenwriter Paul Morris is one of the most extraordinary books you’re likely to read in a long time.

We are quickly introduced to SimRarg, a "traveler" of as-yet indeterminate origin, who finds himself in a “body  . . . that was not half bad, male, medium height, around twenty-five, handsome enough, fit enough; he would do”, sent by ‘the Engineers’ to Texas, he is tasked with a mission that even he does not understand, one that will change the world forever. November 22 1963, Dallas, 12.32pm. Ring any bells?

Anyway, he has to get the eponymous Pa Weathery onside first, and his slutty siren of a daughter, and, well, his chickens too . . . “You can sleep in the barn but if you so much as lay a finger on my daughter or my chickens, it’s your neck I’ll wring.” And there’s just one more little problem, SimRarg is black. Truly, a stranger in a strange land.

It took me a while to determine exactly what cultural buttons Morris’ yarn pushed, then I realized, while I have always been very interested in JFK conspiracy theories, it is (unwittingly?) the old ATV sci-fi series Sapphire and Steel, starring Joanna Lumley and David McCallum, that Pa Weathery’s seems to take its cue from most, with its titular ‘time detectives’ from another dimension, who are not quite alien but very much more than human, sent to safeguard the structure of time.

SimRarg never seems to be sure exactly what he may or may not be safeguarding, but one thing’s for sure, orders are orders.

This is riveting stuff, Stephen King will be publishing his take on the Kennedy assassination later this year, 22.11.63, but Morris got there first and, as far as bone-dry, believable dialogue, fascinating characterizations and a rattling good yarn is concerned, King is going to have to go some to top this.

Perhaps Morris’s finest achievement with this, his first novel, is the ease with which he seamlessly blends startling sci-fi with unflinching social commentary, as he casts a cold eye over the racism and corruption of early 1960s America. And, as for the novel’s take on the “conspiracy” itself goes, ask yourself , how much more incredible is what happens here than what the US public of the time were asked to believe happened? “Mr. President, you can’t say that Dallas doesn’t love you  . . .”

Besides, sources close to this reviewer reveal that sequels are afoot and, really, it couldn’t be any other way, just wait until you find out where our man is heading next, and who his next target is. And why? Well, that would be telling.

There is perhaps the occasional sense that Morris has grown too fond of wrapping the reader up in riddles, and his love of metaphor runs maybe a little too deep, but this is nevertheless a startling debut from an author we can expect a great deal more from. Bring it on, say I.


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