Had another short piece of writing featured in Agony Magazine – here’s a link for to read of it.
Been a while, but not been idle – here’s a link to a short story of mine in Agony Magazine… Musically, am gearing up for a London gig at the end of March courtesy of The Animal Farm, and whatever else I can scrounge – new songs on the way, too. Wait and see x
I’m on Radio Reverb this Sunday as part of an hour-long programme of spoken word and improvised music – that’s 28 July at 11pm, on 97.2FM. The programme’s repeated at the following times:
Tue 30 July 7am
Wed 31 July 11am, &
Fri 2 Aug 5am
dark (reading) matter
Following last week’s readings on BHCR, my novel Leland Poet is available today on Kindle (here).
Magic, mystery and murder haunt a strange, brutal city…
Some things are too
grotesque, even for a world of supernatural nightmare. The eccentric,
untrustworthy Leland Poet investigates: who is the killer, and what awakening
evil is behind this reign of terror?
When he becomes entangled with a woman
at the heart of the horror… then becomes a suspect… Leland is forced to flee not
only the city – but his own dimension…
Social breakdown follows: martial law,
savagery, an epidemic of violence and bizarre disease.
Leland must find a way
back to his reality, through eerie netherworlds, to confront fears
half-forgotten – but far from dead.
…So goes the blurb. A little background here for the curious; basically it’s a vanity project, but I hope not an uninteresting one.
sneak preview: live readings
Something different… In a week’s time I’m back on Nigel Staley’s programme Under The Table on Brighton & Hove Community Radio, Thursday 27th June, 6 – 7pm. (Not bad going, considering the last occasion was only a couple of months back.) This time I’ll be performing eight spoken word pieces, with ambient interludes from Susumu Yokota’s album The Boy and the Tree. The pieces will include three extracts from this novel, Leland Poet – which I’m re-releasing onto Kindle the following week, on Monday 1st July.
It’s quite a step away from strumming guitar, but there’s many hooks to grip you with.
Internet short fiction publisher Ether Books has just published another story of mine as a free download. This one’s called Lucky Bleeder, and was performed in London by White Rabbit at one of their Are You Sitting Comfortably events in 2012. It’s about sex – of an unpleasantly strenuous kind – and it’s 666 words long, which was pure coincidence.
It can also be found in my recent Kindle compilation, The Gift of Fear.
The Ether app can be downloaded from iTunes here.
20 tales of terror, the supernatural and the super-real: a richly-varied journey from the horrors of the human mind to the depths of space.
You’ll meet people in these pages whose fearful struggles will grab you hard, and some you’ll wish you’d never met at all… But either way, you won’t forget them.
Evil beings, experiments gone hideously wrong, psychopaths, erotic maniacs in league with the outer gods, sinister corporations and ghosts from the future. If you get nightmares, just remember: it’s THE GIFT OF FEAR.
A lucky 13 days from Xmas, too.
That was fun. Played three songs live and read a short story, on BHCR‘s Under The Table programme, Thur eve. The songs were Into It, Love Unknown and Clumsy – album versions here – and the story was Complaint from the Other World, recently re-published by Ether Books.
You know how obscure old horror/ghost story writers have that one tale that crops up again and again in paperback collections…? Hubristic as it sounds, I reckon this story’s mine, in a shit internet sort of way.
Which isn’t to say ambition doesn’t still gravel my arse. To do better in writing, but more immediately in music. Thankfully, that part went smooth as an adrenaline icecream, and hopefully I’ll have some recordings as evidence soon.
Thanks to Nigel & Pierce – and btw, James Herbert has oddly sketchy handwriting (his was the previous entry in the guestbook)…
Internet short fiction publisher Ether Books has just re-issued a story of mine as a free download. It’s called Complaint from the Other World, was originally published in (print magazine) New Horizons; later performed in Brighton by White Rabbit at one of their Are You Sitting Comfortably events in 2010 – more on them in the previous post…
The Ether app can be downloaded here. This enables you to read all kinds of stuff on the shiny modern appliance of your choice, and is therefore great. (More writing-related news soon.)
Those lovely people at White Rabbit are holding another evening of storytelling and theatre in London: Are You Sitting Comfortably? on Fri 12th Oct at Toynbee Studios. The theme is FILTHY, and one of my stories will be featured (“Lucky Bleeder”, which appears in forthcoming compilation Gift of Fear).
Here’s the basic info…
Fri 12th October 7:30
Arts Bar & Café, Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
London E1 6AB
Box office 020 7650 2350 or book online at www.artsadmin.co.uk
according to the reviewers, they’re…
“fantastic alternative fun” Time Out
“storytelling made supremely sexy” Latest 7 ****
“comic.. haunting.. an enchanted night” Total Theatre ****
…Having seen them at the Basement in Brighton, I can vouch for all of that.
There’s this thing I wrote:
Both are due to be published on Kindle in Winter 2012 – Spring 2013.
The short story compilation comprises previously-published tales and several new. The novel Leland Poet was issued in paperback in 2009, in an edition so badly-produced I asked Amazon to withdraw it from sale. Details are hazy, but it was an Arts Council funded publisher that went bust (or whatever) and passed their roster to a vanity press – who plopped out the manuscript with some crappy off-the-peg cover art and riddled with misprints. I just washed my hands of it in disgust and went out of my way not to publicize it, for instance never mentioning it on here before. But having decided to DIY the short stories, I thought What the hell. Besides, this gave me a chance to substantially edit and improve it.
Again, think of music and the new Just Get On With It ethic: this is all too familiar. But if that sounds gloomy, it needn’t – it’s quite a buzz revisiting this stuff and getting ready to hurl it back out onto the internet. More news soon.
[EDIT: As of 12th Dec 2012, The Gift of Fear is now available on Kindle for a princely sum: less than a 2nd-hand pulp paperback – the kind of thing it’s squarely in the tradition of.]
[EDIT #2: Leland Poet is also now available – June ’13, a little later than planned, to coincide with the BHCR readings]
Below is a piece I wrote some years ago for a fanzine (on actual paper, yet). Explanation follows.
I arrived at 221B Baker Street to find my friend Sherlock Holmes deep in consultation with a well-to-do lady of middle years, her pale worried features a sad contrast to the richness of her dress. ‘It’s my son Francis,’ she said in a voice cracked with weariness. ‘Ever since he joined this.. “rock band”, he’s been like a perfect stranger. He comes and goes at all hours, refuses his dinner, and seems to detest my husband and I – but worse yet…’
Here Holmes interrupted with a brusque gesture of his nervous fingers. ‘This band. What do they call themselves?’
‘I blush to tell you, Mr Holmes, but they are known as The Fucking Cocksuckers.’
‘Quite so. If you will permit me – ?’ Holmes stretched out a long arm and reached into the jumble of documents and periodicals on the mantelpiece. ‘Hmm. Yes, here we are – this week’s New Musical Express.. Watson, what a catalogue of horrors is here! The lubberly scum of London, the very dregs of the opium dens.. Where was it.. Ah! I quote: “spotted by yr excited reporter picking their noses in a darkened toilet with the Damp Socket Scuzz Collective (formerly We Luv Public School Records) – anti-music – anti-quotes – they wipe their arses on the smug corpse of the Old Previous Cunts – doing it for The Kids, man – tired rhetoric – I play guitar like I’m flogging my old PE teacher – drums like a scotch egg full of Iggy’s spunk…” Enough!’
‘But Mr Holmes, this is not the worst of it!’ the good lady interjected. ‘I listened to some of their.. music.. only this afternoon, and my own Francis was,’ she coughed with embarrassment, ‘..singing, after a fashion, about “snorting bones”. In somebody’s garden shed.’ Her face was ashen with horror. ‘Bones, Mr Holmes!’
Holmes looked grim indeed. ‘Mrs Glendinning, I shall be most glad to rescue your son from these villains. Watson, I would be grateful if you’d pass me the inhaler of benzedrine cough remedy.’
‘Why, have you a cold, Holmes?’
‘Just do it.’
Suitably refreshed, my friend bade the dowager Lady goodbye and stepped out to hail a cab. I found him prostrate with nervous exhaustion a few feet from the porch, his athletic frame splayed on the cobblestones. ‘Quickly Watson – the brandy,’ he croaked, gesturing feebly toward the inner pocket of his greatcoat, ‘and you’d better have some too if we’re to stand a chance of surviving the ghastly work that lies ahead of us. I trust you’ve brought your revolver.’
‘Holmes, you surely cannot anticipate any danger from these noisy children?’
My friend smiled thinly as I helped him to his feet. ‘No. But I might feel like shooting someone.’
We arrived in a swirling fog outside the lowest kind of tavern. The noises from within are beyond my power to describe – and over it all a nasal, tortured yelp as of a man crying out in mortal crisis.
We pushed inside through the heat and throng, eyes watering in the murk, minds assaulted by the din. My cheeks burn as I write it, but the music began to work within me in strange ways – my moral fibre was shaken – my resistance wavered.. I plugged my ears and pushed on, seeing the lithe form of my friend leap onto the stage!
What a scene I beheld: the preening figure that had once been Francis Strathbogie Glendinning, beloved heir of a respectable family, twitching and cursing in language that must not – must not – be repeated. Surrounding him were a group of haggard, perspiring louts, sneering in practised ennui as they mishandled their instruments; a glassy-eyed stare and a shrug was their only reaction to Holmes’ appearance. He grasped Francis’s skinny shoulder and pushed the repulsive figure aside, seizing the microphone – howls of protest rose from the crowd – with his other hand Holmes picked up a guitar and lifted it high above his head, then dashed it to the floor!
I felt a thrill of fear as he snarled, ‘Right you lightweight little shits.. I’ll show you something..’
TO BE CONTINUED
(Except it wasn’t, nor was it intended to be. It was a dig at the then-prevalent mid-00’s fashion for bands made up of crackheads and public-school wankers pretending to be ex-rent boys, weird as that seems now. Anyway, I rediscovered it by accident and thought it might be a laugh to stick it on here.)
…and also for the re-issue of “Episodes”
Monday 20th Feb sees the digital re-release of my 2008 EP Episodes, with bonus tracks. Here’s a short story to celebrate: one for all you Valentine’s Day romantics out there. (Ha!)
There was just one more thing…
A new short-short story of mine called Bitten by The Birds of Paradise appears in the Winter issue of horror e-zine Estronomicon. A pdf can be found on the website of publisher Screaming Dreams.
It’s Xmas-y, inspired by a phobia/hatred of a certain type of vegetation, and carries no message or redeeming value whatsoever. Check it.
Happy 2012: back soon.
The fifth and final story I filmed can now be watched on God Is In The TV webzine.
It is, as usual, the same old hackneyed bollocks about sensitive indie types and their dysfunctional relationships. Actually, no it’s not – not in the slightest. It’s another freaky horror story; for anyone who’s ever had a run-in with psychotic shopping centre security guards, it should give a spooky little chill.
It was a lot of fun to make, and I hope a lot of fun to watch, in its twisted way. Here it is:
I’d like to thank Bill Cummings at GIITTV for his patience and willingness to try something different in going with the idea.
This is a one-off filmed story that was hosted by God Is In The TV zine. Watch it, it’s unusual (and very, very cheap; which by the way is a good thing).
There’s one more to run on GIITTV’s site, and I’ve got five others in reserve – look out for further news.
Another short story I filmed can be found on God Is In The TV, here:
http://tinyurl.com/62bjl2c It’s called Complaint from The Other World.
Also, the concluding part of The UnExplorers is now archived on my Youtube channel.
Check em out, they’re both freaky as hell.
an explosive (decompression) conclusion…
The final part of this unearthly film’s hosted exclusively by God Is In The TV, and brings the story to a cosmic climax – with fatal (and messy) consequences for some…
As before, it’ll be available to watch here in a week’s time – but go there first because it’s stuffed with music insight and dissent. Then another story begins: Complaint From Another World, a spooky but sad little number with creepy abstract visuals. It’s an old radio thrill series, all this, but like… with pictures… and on the internet. (I’m getting addicted to those little dots. They had those on radio too.)
This is where it gets weird
As before, the latest episode of this fucked-up story’s now been archived on Youtube, and on the Videos page here. Part 3’s due to appear on the God Is In The TV site in the next few days, where it’ll be hosted exclusively for a week.
In other camera-hogging news, that screen test for a film role’s been postponed till next week; such is the world of micro-budget indie film-making, apparently. Like I said, I’ll report back on it afterwards, whether I screw it up or not.
The Golem knows the way
Here’s part 2 of The UnExplorers, hosted by God Is In The TV. For anyone who came in late, it’s a film of a short story; sadly, there’s no sex or violence, as that’s quite tricky when you’re alone in front of a camera (well, a little bit tricky).
Speaking of movies and that, I’m doing a screen test in 4 days’ time for the lead role in the film I randomly auditioned for a while ago (see below) – obviously I’ll write about it afterward, however great or humiliating it turns out…
stay tuned for no-budget thrills
Part 1 of The UnExplorers can now be found on the Videos page. Part 2 will appear in God Is In The TV in the next couple of days…