Tuesday, October 30


It is not true, dear readers, that the current administration has little concern for our safety and well-being. In a city depending on so many greenhouses and glass gardens for its food supply, hailstones have always been  dangerous and possibly fatal inconvenience - a danger so far largely indifferent to the ringing of church bells, as the custom is in such situations. 
This is why the Technical Team of the Arctic Administration has been asked to develop a new brand of "hail cannon".

“ Of course you can touch it,  dear madam”

 Powered by acetylene gas and able to fire six extremely noisy shots per minute, they are said to provoke a powerful shock wave that hinders the growth of hail, and turns it to slush or snow as it falls. 
 By a curious coincidence, the public demonstration took place in the same time as last week's Readers' Riot and largely covered the hubbub by its own deafening noise. But still more curious was the fact, anonymously brought to our attention by some of the protesters, that some of these devices seems to have been actually aimed and fired at the panicked mob, scattering it in no time.

“Isn't this one aimed a bit low ?”

According to the Boreal Beadle Brigade, this was due to a sudden accidental drop in the elevating gears of one of the guns, which changed its angle from 90° to 30°. Who are we to say otherwise... But we still advise the citizens of New Venice to remain safely at home in time of hail.

Saturday, October 27


Barents Boulevard has been in turmoil last tuesday when a riot broke out in front of the Black Pages Bookstore.

It had all started with a rumour that Luminous Chaos, a sequel to the local “cult hit ” and notorious roman à clef  Aurorarama, was a about to be released on October, 23rd, a perfect timing before the long stretch of “Wintering Weeks” that looms ahead of us. The public's eagerness, it has to be said, had less to do with the adventures and antics of the heroes, as entertaining as they may be, than with  the well-informed but somewhat indiscreet peep behind the scenes of our poletical “Secret History”. There was little doubt, indeed, that Aurorarama was the work of Orsinite insiders, and a weapon in their endless feud against the current Regent-Doge.

The Black Pages Bookstore: a lot to loot.

Accordingly, a crowd of  about three hundred readers had congregated in front of the bookstore early in the  “mornight ”, hoping to lay their hands on a copy before Peterswarden administration, already miffed by the satirical innuendos of Aurorarama, made a move to ban the book, as the rumour (or the promotional scam !) had it.

It was a huge disappointment when it eventually appeared that the book was not available at all. Believing it was another ploy from the Peterswardenites (or perhaps stoked by Peterswardenite  provocateurs wanting to cast the Orsinites as a source of civil unrest) the frustrated, angered crowd started to protest vehemently before smashing the widows and trying to loot the bookstore.

The dangers of reading
 (photograph courtesy of the Boreal Beadle Blimp Brigade)

Warned by the “Blimp Beadles” of the new Boreal Beadles Blimp Brigade, whose round fat shapes now quietly bob above the city, the Boreal Beadles quickly charged and dispelled the unruly mob, lightly injuring a few troublemakers.

However, Alexander Greenlander, the suave and knowledgeable owner of Black Pages Book, has taken a rather philosophical stance over the whole matter: “ I consider myself lucky to be a bookseller in a place where people would still riot for books.”

But as to the mysterious existence of Luminous Chaos, he declined to answer.