What is fact and what is fiction are often matters that cannot
be decided. Have you watched a Punch and Judy show? Did mean old
Punch with his murderous intentions towards Judy seem any less
alive for you because he was made of cloth and manipulated by
a puppeteer? Were you even aware there was a puppeteer? I wasn't,
while watching! Is John Gaunt of John Ostrander's Grimjack
any less real than Winston Churchill was? And what
about that ever-so-troublesome puppet in Carlo Collodi's The
Adventures of Pinocchio
? As Jacob Burroughs was quoted in
Robert Heinlein's The
Number of the Beast
as saying: 'Let me tell you, you non-existent
reader sitting there with a tolerant sneer: don't be smug. Jane
is more real than you are.'
I'm Jack, one of many, many House Jacks and Jills
here down the centuries. Some doubt that we really exist, and
insist that we are but a story spun by tellers of tales very late
at night in hopes of garnering one more pint, a few more coins,
or a warm bed. I've no doubt that I exist, but that proves
nought, as I might be just part of that tale someone else is telling.
. . What is true, what is not, largely depends on what you wish
to believe in. And what I've been thinking about lately is how
easy it is for that which is not real to be taken for that
which is. And how things refuse sometimes -- or ofttimes -- to
fit into neat little categories. Like we Jacks and Jills, they
defy easy definition. All I know for sure is that all of us are
an aspect of the same narrative.
Which brings me to the matter of our new section
of reviews. Indeed we review literature, film in all its guises,
music, live performances, and even staffers' favourite venues.
But what about a tour t-shirt
for Eddi and the Fey's War for the Oaks tour? Or Brian Froud and
Jessica Macbeth's Faeries'
Oracle? Or perhaps a particularly tasteful collection
of prints which Charles Vess did for Gaiman's illustrated Stardust?
Where do these cultural artifacts fit? In the new section that
we are calling the Treasure Trove. The truly weird, incredibly
cool, and prolly even quite silly review items that don't fit
elsewhere will end up here. It's modeled (in a way) on the Cool
Stuff section of Scifiweekly, where they've reviewed everything
from the Hellboy action figure to (I kid you not!) the Pigs in
What we will review will depend on what gets sent
to us, so expect to be surprised! Our inaugural review for the
Treasure Trove is this week's Featured Review of a wonderful
set of puppets the good folks at Folkmanis sent us!