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Read An Extract From Jason Williamson's New Fiction
Patrick Clarke , November 15th, 2017 15:53

Read an extract from the Sleaford Mods man's stellar new work 'Slabs From Paradise', plus an interview with the man who published it on his new chapbook press Amphetamine Sulphate

Last month saw the launch of 'Amphetamine Sulphate', a chapbook press that prides itself on the cheap, brutal rush of pure literature.

The press celebrated their launch with five titles, all strictly non-limited, published as stapled booklets and available at $10 each.

Among the writers of the first collection is Sleaford Mods' Jason Williamson, who's turned his pen to a collection of five stories titled Slabs From Paradise. We're publishing an extract from it exclusively at the end of this article.

The founder of Amphetamine Sulphate (and one of its authors) is Philip Best, also known as the musical force behind Consumer Electronics. In addition to the extract from Williamson's book, tQ asked him a few questions about the creation of his new publishers, alongside some pictures of the stunning cover art that comes along with the books.

To purchase the full book and explore the other titles on Amphetamine Sulphate, click here.

Q+A With Philip Best

Why decide to launch a chapbook into the era when digital is supposedly king?

Easy answer is that I'm a hopeless bibliophile and frankly the digital world can be a bit tiresome. But I've also found that when you ask someone to write for an actual physical format, like a chapbook, it really focuses the mind. It's like if you ask someone to speak at a wedding or a funeral; they can't turn you down, all eyes are on them and they need to be at the top of their game.

Why Amphetamine Sulphate?

Good question. I wanted to start producing books that were low cost ($10 a hit) rather than extravagant signed limited editions bound in monogrammed virgin goatskin and destined to remain safely unread. Speed not cocaine, if you like. It was also the first drug I ever took, and I guess I always preferred Motorhead and the Velvets to the Grateful Dead or Gong. Plus I love the idea of people receiving a large brown box in the post marked "Amphetamine Sulphate".

How did you go about looking for contributors and what were you looking for in terms of style and content?

I simply thought about who I would like to read a book by and asked them. Luckily they all said 'yes'. Style and content was entirely up to the contributors, I trusted them all to deliver the goods. It's the quality of writing and power of imagination that's most important. With Jason's book, for example, just by reading his lyrics, there's so much going on in them, it just seemed obvious that it would be fascinating to see him working in a longer format.

Now the chapbook is under way, what plans do Consumer Electronics have over the coming year?

Lots of plans. A new double A-side 7" on Harbinger Sound should be with us any day now, and because we're the sort of band who like to record 'face to face' in professional recording studios, we're recording the new album in San Francisco in February and playing a few West Coast shows to subsidise the whole thing. It's always fun to see to audience reactions when Russell Haswell starts dropping in those deep sonic explosions. Hopefully shows in UK and Europe later in 2018 as well. We're not going away!

Extract From Slabs Of Paradise, by Jason Williamson

The promise he made himself of mentally fucking up any cunt who slagged him off in the past by way of achieving absolution in the field of success seemed, well, progressively more unattractive as he sat watching his own ego buy him more drinks. He liked it, don’t get me wrong, he liked it very much. This chamber and its walled ignorance with the bar positioned near the toilet. He liked it. He was fucking wankered on the booze and when his ego went for a loose shit (the type booze produces occasionally; a fishy, callously dark chemical whiff) the smell didn’t escape and linger near the fucking bar when he returned to his seat. The small conveniences matter a lot, don’t they? When all you have is the rotten old corner.

But it was depressing. On the whole it was dog shit. Tony had slain so many. He’d corrected scores of unimpressive people stuck in obvious lives screaming at themselves when the lids on their laptops fell, but currently this castle of his may as well have been one of those shit modern churches that were built in the 1960s in the middle of accompanying council estates with allotments immediately surrounding it, making it look like a starved area of complete colourlessness, the bloodsucker’s lair that housed shadows capable of ruining lives, eating kids and stirring flaked horror.

Tony had arrived at himself in a world where most don’t. This happened quite a while back and it was completely out of nowhere, this success. When it happened the shackles of shame nailed into his bones disintegrated automatically, the street drains of obscurity no longer pulled at his shit jeans. The years that lay behind him were as they would be with anyone in the pit that is ‘the fame game,’ with its psychological abattoirs cutting at your rationale, shaving unnatural amounts of flesh from your physicality. But when the big guns finally bellowed for Tony, he got respect in the new coffee houses and discount at any one of the ‘Fashion Twat’ shops; he was acknowledged by the grand old men who weaved in and out of unseen hierarchies in their red socks and fine shoes. Oh yes, he had indeed arrived at himself and the platform he stepped onto had solid Edwardian bricks, renovated and with good pointing. The celebrations he languished in devoured him and he willingly swam in their warm cave pools illuminated by Edison bulbs hung from hooks. But it was an empty place, a place of ‘self, self, self,’ of luxury and of unknowing servitude to hatred. It was no longer enough that when he stepped out the people always liked him. Because when he stepped back in and closed the door it all disappeared.

The full text of 'Slabs From Paradise' is available to purchase on the Amphetamine Sulphate website, along with four other titles. To explore, click here.

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