Saturday, December 20, 2008
shut the door, strap in
close your eyes and hold your breath
ten seconds to lunch
nurse, he's anaemic
what did he murmur to you?
vampires suck, big time
kids, the moon is out!
lycanthropy woods next stop!
dad, are we 'were' yet?
it's a time echo!
what did you say that is called?
it's a time echo!
Friday, December 05, 2008
It's a style that I quite like (I also enjoy haiku) so here are a few of mine. If you have any you want to post in reply please do so, but be aware, they are addictive!
transcends earthly ties,
lying on my bed my mind soars
they cover faces,
fill your guts with kids, then, kaboom!
and traps gravity.
so, who pulled out the bloody plug?
It's running amok!
Told you not to install Windows!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
See the poppy in the gutter?
Stain red the water coursing there?
Floats to drain with start and stutter
Past feet and eyes, all unaware
So passed-on, those myriad souls
Who gave their lives, who stood four-square
On sea, in air, in mud-filled holes
Their blood was spilled, our freedom won
For them we stand as church bell tolls
As a single beam from the sun
Illuminates a granite shrine
And tears flow for a lost loved-one
War's curse grows on a bitter vine
Remembrance is owed, yours and mine.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This was first published in Estronomicon last Halloween and look out for my new Halloween story over there due out soon.
I was born in the last few minutes of All Hallows Even, or as many now call it, Halloween. I’m old-fashioned though and prefer to use the original terminology. It was a difficult birth—usually they all are. I try my best to hang it out, to prolong the labour, just to get to All Hallows Day or Saints’ Day, the day after. But it never works it. It will probably never work, but it’s in my nature to try, as it’s in my nature to do all the other things that I do.
The mother survived this time. No big deal, some have survived before, and some haven’t. Perhaps those who did survive wished that they hadn’t. When I dwell on it I suppose most of them have toyed with that wish at one time or another.
Once again I knew what was going on moments after the conception. Immediately, upon fusion of the gametes even, when the sperm fused with the ovum. Even before you could classify me as an embryo it all came back to me and I resigned myself to nine months of utter boredom whilst waiting for the birth. As usual I spent the time scheming. Upon reflection it’s what I always do, trying to find some way to prolong the pregnancy. Not by much, on times I’ve been very close to achieving my goal, been seconds away from a non-All Hallows Even birth. But, try as I might, my endeavours always fail. Perhaps I should resign myself to my fate, but when I ruminate on this possibility it isn’t long before I admit that resignation isn’t a word I consider to be in my vocabulary. Patience, yes, patience is a word that I use a lot. I have an abundance of patience, enough for eternity – if that is what it takes. Anyway, I’ve only got until feeding time and then I’ll have the peaceful bliss of ignorance once more – until my next conception of course. Yet again that is something I puzzle over and pick apart whilst the long, dark, boring nine months drag by. How can I retain my memories this time?
However, I know that this is an old idea, one I’ve contemplated many times before. All my memories and I do mean ALL my memories are intact whilst I’m in the womb and also during the first few hours of birth. Right up until the time the teat is put into my mouth, or upon rare occasions – when I’ve been forced to feed intravenously through a vein in my hand. Once or twice they have even resorted to gavage — which means they’ll insert a tube up my nose or down my throat and the milk or formula is introduced into my stomach that way. Whatever happens I always end up feeding and forgetting. Through subtle coercion I’ve even managed to get some of the mothers who bear me to give me my true name in the hope that when I grow I will realise my full potential. So far it hasn’t worked, and that can be said about all the other triggers for my memory that I’ve attempted through the ages.
The neon light above my crib is harsh on my newborn eyes. I cry continuously; scream until I’m red in the face with anger. It’s just a taste of what is to come. Even though I’ll not remember any of my other pasts the future seems already mapped out for me. As I’ve said, it’s in my nature.
I’ll be an unpleasant baby, prone to keeping my parents awake all night with my constant crying and whining until, through lack of sleep, they’ll resort to violence against each other, both verbal and physical. Some of it might even be directed at me.
As a toddler I’ll be sickly, attention-seeking and the first glimmers of darkness within will manifest itself. Perhaps my parents will dwell upon the fact I was born on such a foreboding day and put it down to that.
By the time I attend school I’ll have already tortured to death some small pet or other that I’d been given as a birthday present. Usually they’ll refrain from having any more animals in the house and question whether or not it would be a good idea to have more children. More often than not I’m an only child. Pity those parents who think a younger brother or sister would perhaps calm me down.
My years as a youth are my best, well; I consider them my best. My victims will think otherwise, no doubt.
In my old age I’m the person you see who misuses the wealth, power and influence he has accrued over his many years.
In the twilight of my life I’m the angry, frail wraith that clings to the last vestiges of existence by any means possible – and at any cost – if it is financial or otherwise. Riches can procure you anything, a kidney, a lung, a heart whether they are willingly donated – or not.
The future brings the promise of longevity. I wonder if that will ultimately break this circle of repetition. Will I one day awaken to a future of immortality – but of another kind? One in which I will not have to tread the same well-worn stairs to eternity with all previous memories extinguished, but will retain them all, and have an open book in which to write a boundless story of evil and corruption – until the end of time.
My name is Samael, and – as you have probably worked out by now – I am a Fallen Angel, doomed to be born, live, die and be reborn again, until the stars themselves wink out of existence.
It’s almost midnight and the nurse is taking me for my first feed. It’s almost time for me to forget my past – yet again.
As the alluring smell of mother’s milk assails my senses and I’m brought forward to the breast I hear the mother’s voice...
‘There, drink your first drink – my little angel.’
And I think – here we go again…
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Publishers and Authors Day
Saturday 22 November 2008
Llanhilleth Miners Institute, near Abertillery
Guests will include:
Paul Henry - poetry
Steve Lockley - horror writing
Paul Manship - writing for children
Della Galton - short story writing
Novelist Catrin Collier
Broadcaster and author Mavis Nicholson
Academi Chief Executive Officer, Peter Finch will be launching the day with advice on how to get published.
The day will also offer the opportunity to meet some of Wales’s leading publishers including: Accent Press, Pendragon Press, Pont Books, Screaming Dreams and Seren. CPD Printers will explain the process turning a manuscript into a book.
Writers attending will be given the chance to submit a manuscript and the best one will be assessed, at a later date, by the publishers involved.
Tickets £4.50 / £3. Ticket price includes a buffet lunch. For further details and to book your place, contact Academi: 029 2047 2266
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Hopefully I'll get around to posting something here on my blog for Halloween and if another story of mine makes the cut then it might end up on Steve Upham's Estronomicon Special.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
I was listening to Radio 2's Ken Bruce Show whilst in the car on Friday and just caught
Justin Hayward's last 'Tracks of my years' which was - Alone again, or... I was surprised that he picked one of his group's - The Moody Blues - songs but listened and enjoyed it. So today I thought I'd scout around the net and find it and listen again... yeah and before you all say that isn't a Moody Blues' song, yes, you are right. He was referring to Love's Alone again.
A trawl of the net found me this excellent video of Arthur Lee performing the piece live in 2002, I think. The songwriter is Bryan Maclean 1946-1998 and I can't help but see the similarities in style with this song and what The Moody Blues did, it could easily be one of theirs, little wonder Justin has a soft spot for it.
Anyway, here is Arthur Lee 1945 - 2006 if you have a few minutes and my embedded link has worked then you should see and hear Lee perform it in all its glory. Enjoy!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Rhys Hughes has been brave enough to put some of his paintings up on his blog (done the more established way with paint, brush and paper) and pretty good they look too.
So, every now and then I'm going to
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Steve Upham of Screamingdreams has sent me a pdf of the first few chapters of my novel 'Flames of Herakleitos' which he is putting onto a SD's disk to give away at next weekend's Fantasycon in Nottingham. As this is an exact copy of the book I thought I'd put a taster of the story on here as well. Therefore if you click on the link in the header, or here, FIRE! you'll be able to download and read the first forty pages of the story. Hope you enjoy it, oh, by the way, you'll need a pdf reader which can be found here: Adobe
19th - 21st September 2008
1 St James Street,
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
The fine people over at The Fix (an American review site) have done a write-up of Cone Zero
“And now for something completely different.” In Cone Zero, a Nemonymous anthology/magazine from Megazanthus Press, the authors remain unassigned to their stories pending the next edition (or some other future revelation)".
The reviewer is a certain Janice Clark who enjoyed the whole anthology. So far all reviews for Cone Zero have been positive and one reviewer even mentioned Cone Zero and The Nebula Awards in the same sentence! WoW!
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
A Parting Gift
The fine background music is by Bjorn Lynne and his site is well worth a browse and downloads of effects etc can be obtained from Shockwave-Sound
Sunday, August 24, 2008
As we had about two hours of sunshine this bank holiday weekend the family decided to go fossil hunting on the beach at Llantwit Major
The beach looked really promising with the giants cliffs laid out like stepping stones and the numerous rocks and boulders stacked up beneath them. I thought we'd get an ammonite or two but after a couple of hours searching all we came away with was what looked like a fossilized thread- worm and a cockle-shaped pebble which could be a fossil, we aren't sure. The other thing we came away with was a couple of soaking kids (if there was a rock pool to find then they found it, and fell in) and a family with a hearty appetite. The sea air was bracing and the day was a success, even though the fossils proved harder to find than I imagined.
Friday, August 15, 2008
'I expect to see Cone Zero on the lists of this year's best anthologies. It will richly deserve any such place.'
Oooh nice! I hope someone takes notice!
Cone Zero can be bought here - BUY
and don't forget there is a cash prize for whoever works out which author wrote what story!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Britain got its first Gold Medal in The Olympics in Beijing thanks to Welsh girl Nicole Cooke who rode to victory at Juyonggguan.
The last few yards had me holding my breath, but what fortitude, what guts. She was brilliant. The only downside is that China has negated on its promise to improve human rights. A promise that they made when they were awarded the Olympics, and their word has been broken by not allowing the showing of non-International Olympic Committee countries flags in the games’ venues. Supposedly this is associated with China’s efforts to prevent dissent. Namely Tibet.
However, a spokeswoman for the British Olympic Association said: “This ban appears to be in line with Rule 51 of the Olympic Charter.”
But rule 51 does not mention flags. It states: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.
So here is Y Ddraig Goch,
China, your dragons are nowhere near as good-looking as ours, no wonder you didn't want our flag to be shown...
Looks more like a bloody eel with legs!
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
It's called 'What Visions In The Dark Of Light'
It's a dark sf/f/horror story, I hope you can pop over there for a read and perhaps leave a comment on it. Richard will be reviewing my novel
'Flames of Herakleitos'
sometime in the future too.
A bit of good news - Steve Upham (Screamingdreams editor/publisher) is home from hospital and on the road to recovery. He's still very weak and still under the care of his doctors but on the mend.
Best wishes, Steve :)
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Well I've read Cone Zero cover to cover and enjoyed every one of the fourteen stories (yes even my own one, well I had to check it was all ok, didn't I?) I can't say which was my favourite as it might give away one of the authors and Des Lewis, the editor, is having a competition which will pay out £50 to the winner. here are the details :-
CONE ZERO AUTHOR IDENTIFICATION COMPETITION
A prize of £50 (GBP) by PayPal from Nemonymous to the reader who guesses or assesses (by whatever means) the most correct authors of the stories in the CONE ZERO book..
The authors themselves are not eligible to enter.
Deadline: March 4th 2009 (when authors are due to be revealed).
If there is a tie, the prize will be shared.
The Editor’s decision is final.
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your choices. If you do not receive an acknowledgement of your entry within a week, please try again. You can enter the competition up to three times, but each entry will be treated separately.
"The Fathomless World"
"The Point of Oswald Masters"
"Cone Zero" (page 23)
"Cone Zero" (page 33)
"Cone Zero, Sphere Zero"
"An Oddly Quiet Street"
"Always More Than You Know"
"Cone Zero" (page 129)
"Going Back For What Got Left Behind"
"Cone Zero" (page 147)
"The Cone Zero Ultimatum"
"How To Kill An Hour"
The authors in a random order:
Neil James Hudson
David M Fitzpatrick
Here is a first review of the anthology, and it's a pretty good one: REVIEW
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Steve Upham the editor and publisher of Screamingdreams (and also my friend) has been taken ill and was rushed into hospital on Monday. He hasn't been well for a while and when I saw him at the Academi event in Pontypridd I was surprised by how drawn and ill he looked but he's not one to complain much and he just soldiered on. However, Monday was the last straw for his ailing body and he ended up in intensive care with suspected damage to the heart muscle through a virus that he hadn't been able to shake off. I spoke to his Dad today and was told that they are hoping to move Steve to The Heath in Cardiff once they are satisfied he is stable enough.
For the moment Allyson (Ally) Bird has stepped into the breach and is carrying on with Screamingdreams business until Steve is back on his feet she is having help from Paul Campbell. Ally's book 'Bull Running For Girls' is a SD publication and will still be released at FantasyCon where she is hoping to run the SD table in the dealer's room. She's also having a mini-event in her home town in October and will be touring local libraries. Ramsey Campbell said about her Shadow upon Shadow story 'A Dark Tale Indeed!'
Get Well Soon Steve!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
The first lecture my wife and I attended was Jasper Fforde's Jayne Eyre, Vampires and Time Travel which was a great laugh and very well done. Jasper certainly knows how to captivate an audience. An hour seemed to fly by and although there were questions allowed at the end I didn't get around to asking mine as we had to move on. However, I did manage to grab him as he went by and got him to sign a copy of his 'The Big Over Easy'.
Had about ten minutes to wander around the various tables where writers, books, publishers and others of the writing fraternity were hanging out. Bought a couple of books and signed a few of my 'Flames of Herakleitos' and then it was time to make our way to the next hall where Rhys Hughes was giving a presentation on OuLiPo.
OuLiPo - (pronounced oo-lee-PO) stands for "Ouvroir de littérature potentielle", which translates roughly as "workshop of potential literature". Phew, this is one method of writing which I think would be too demanding for me. I like to write poetry which has its restraints but OuLiPo is another thing altogether. Imagine trying to write a novel that has no words with the letter 'e' in it! (As done by Georges Perec in his 300 page novel La disparition).
Rhys's lecture was very well put together and gave a great insight into a method of writing that I had little knowledge of. Managed to get Rhys to sign my copy of 'The Postmodern Mariner' and 'Doorways' (an anthology edited by Steve Lockley for the event) I also had it signed by Steve himself, Paul Lewis and Tim Lebbon. I'd have liked to have tracked down the others but time was running out, it was time for lunch!
The final lecture we attended was by Steve Lockley who read aloud the 1902 short horror story by W.W.Jacobs called 'The Monkey's Paw', strangely enough I had never read this so didn't know what to expect. However, as the tale unfurled I realised how many other stories have been written, since this ground-breaking one, that follow in its footsteps. Later we discussed the tale and an interesting debate ensued, once again time seemed to go quickly and soon we were back in the foyer again where it was time for a photo shoot. Here are some of the snaps, unfortunately I only got one of Rhys and he had to close his eyes didn't he!
So, all in all a very good first con by Academi. I hope it is the beginning of a regular occasion.
Jasper Fforde and me (this is a spot the difference - can you?)
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
(a rare beast indeed!)
A Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Conference for the Valleys
Saturday 21 June 2008, 10:00am - 4:30pm
University of Glamorgan, Treforest
Tickets £5 / £3 concessions; available on the door only
More details here at Academi
Friday, June 06, 2008
As I've said previously, I'm really pleased to have made the grade for this antho and am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Ok, ok, it was my usual postman... but he was on a steam-powered bicycle. Oh, all right, he was on foot... but his shoes were emitting large clouds of vapour (well the weather in Wales is particularly warm for this time of year)
Anyway, I promised Jeff I would photograph the novel in a typical steam-powered environment and so I jumped into my road-going vaporetto (it's like the Venice type taxis but I've converted it to caterpillar-tracked locomotion so it's multi-terrain) and made my way down to Swansea's Industrial Museum and took a few photos, here they are:
First up is the book's flyleaf with a sketch of Jeff's Zeppelin with a dedication from him and his lovely wife Ann and a command of 'Ballast Away!' I just hope the ballast was dropped over an uninhabited zone!
Next we have little old me holding Steampunk next to a concept FTL steampowered dragster...
And here we have Steampunk enjoying a bit of Welsh sunshine next to a steam-powered wormhole generator...
And you though Wales only invented Tom Jones and laverbread eh?
Thanks for the book, Jeff and Ann. I look forward to reading it.