Sunday, October 31, 2004

HORROR QUARTERLY ASSASSINATED:

Stardate Sunday morning, a couple of days after issue three of Horror Quarterly finally went live. Well, all the stress and bother that went into this issue continues, I'd like to think the phenomenal response to the 'zine and the piqued interest of thousands of weekend horror fanatics has overloaded the copper wiring and crashed the H.Q. server but it's probably something less fucking fundamentally interesting like some prick turned off the server after he left the office for the weekend. If things weren't already very annoying...

Saturday, October 30, 2004

CARS ARE A MONEY PIT:

Many of you out there haven't got it yet. Car companies have you trapped. They are ripping you off.

I did the basic math about 4 years ago. I discovered that I was wasting about £300.00 minimum on my car, every month. This was a machine that would rust in front of my house all night. I would drive it a couple miles to work where it would rust outside my work. Then I would drive it home where it would continue to rust.

In England, at least, we have a half-decent bus and train service (though it could be much better in some rural locations). I actually don't NEED a car. I cycle the couple of miles to work. The exercise really does me good. I can buy a new bike for £80 every four months if I need. I actually get £200.00 to live closer to work, so I cut my losses. The extra £100.00 every month I can spend on whatever we wanna do as a family.

The challenge here is I will announce as my official literary sponsor any car company who offers me a car, fully insured and with a petrol and servicing budget for the first three years. In the television-and-radio ad campaigns I will gladly announce things like, " helps me to write even more fucked-up stories than Hertzan Chimera ever did."

Thursday, October 28, 2004

HORROR QUARTERLY issue 3 online :

HOT OFF THE PRESS:

This is an official announcement that Horror Quarterly 3 (in all its gory glory) is now online. This issue is the BLOOD HORROR issue and it is a non-mainstream celebration of all things blood related. It's not only about vampires, though. It's about the effects and diseases of the blood. It's about the images of blood. It's about scarification. It's about the autopsy as art. It's about the stories of bloodlust and blood fetish. As the disclaimer states before you enter the site, Horror Quarterly is an adult place where adult things are discussed in great details; fiction from some of the most daring writers out there, interviews with the avant garde of non-mainstream culture, book reviews, blood-horror articles, reportage from the world of heavy metal and a message board where you can give feedback about the site and its content.

Of particular interest to readers of this blog will be yet another great collaborative effort between myself and Alex Severin, content editor and web designer respectively.

HORROR QUARTERLY can be found at
http://www.horrorquarterly.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

DJ JOHN PEEL DIES:

Veteran disc jockey and broadcaster John Peel has died in Peru while on holiday in the ancient Inca city of Cuzco, his employer the BBC and the British embassy say.

"He passed away. We don't have any details. We received a phone call at 4 a.m. from his brother to inform us," said Jonathan Clare, an embassy official in Lima.

The BBC in London said on Tuesday Peel was on a working holiday in Cuzco with his wife, Sheila. There was no other comment from the BBC.

Peel, born in 1939, was one of the country's original pirate radio disc jockeys in the 1960s, broadcasting from ships anchored just outside British waters that won huge followings. Peel was his assumed "pirate" name.

In the late 1970s he championed punk rock to the consternation of many of his radio contemporaries who were still playing rock supergroups -- and were convinced the new music fad would never have any real impact.

Source: Wanadoo News

Note: I grew up listening to John Peel's soft, warming voice and hard, chilling choice of late-nite alternative music. He was a true pioneer for the non-mainstream, the non-corporate. His influence was a formative aspect of my life and he will be sorely missed.

Friday, October 22, 2004

THE CULT OF PHILBIN:

This is not as weird as it first seems. Picture this afternoon's pleasant visitation. Two Jehovas Witnesses. One old female. One young female. Obviously the young female was under the salesmanly tutelage of the older old female. I pulled open the door expecting someone else. And there they were. "Wonder if I can take a few moments of your time..." As soon as I saw them I though Jehovas Witnesses. And they were. I told them straight that I didn't believe in their God and would not like to read a few paragraphs from their book of evidence.

Then they said, "What would you do?" Now I've been confronted by one or two JHers in my time and I always enjoy the love that is radiating from these people. The only problem with JHers is this book they adhere to. The bible. The word of their God. They asked me what I'd do, I told them. I said I'd eradicate all tribal relgions from the planet.

"Planet Earth is too small for religions of any kind. We have to approach a state of love via a Humanist regime. Only love for our fellow man will win in the end. Only eradication of religion will end all wars in God's name." I felt right then at that moment that the Cult of Philbin had just had its first airing, and these two witnesses were my first audience. The Cult of Philbin would be a dead easy place to live. You wouldn't have to offer up n% of your yearly salary join my cult. You wouldn't have to endure some crazy indoctrination ceremony. You wouldn't ahve to pray to any higher deity. Everyone would merely show love to his fellow man and the world would magically be a better place. How hard can it be? :)

Join the Cult of Philbin now and make the world a better place.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

DEMONOLOGY - GRAMMATICUS DEMONIUM:

Just received my contributors the paperback DEMONOLOGY - GRAMMATICUS DEMONIUM from Canadian publisher Double Dragon Press, including writers like Kurt Newton, Paul Kane, John Edward Lawson and many others. As the title suggests, the book is about Demons of all sorts. My Hertzan Chimera story THE DEMON DRINK (I hadn't dropped the writing name last year when the submissions were being considered) was the only tale dealing with alcohol abuse - a real demon of society nonetheless.

EROS & RUST - AUTHOR SHOWCASE:

The October Edition of EROS & RUST has just gone online and I am this issue's Feature Author. First of all there's a very positive CHIMERAWORLD editorial from the new editor Sue Snively and two reprints from the anthology, "Strange Breed" by Queenie Tirone and "Need" by Steve Short. There is then a frank and revealing interview about THE LIFE AND DEATH OF HERTZAN CHIMERA, the Chimeraworld ethos and an exclusive excerpt from my new novella the 27,000 word THE PLANET OF THE OWLS. I'd like to take this opportunity to publicaly thanks Sue for her support and long may Eros & Rust live and grow.

Friday, October 15, 2004

LET ME GIVE YOU THE FINGER:

The splint came off my broken fingertip today and two strange things were apparent straight away:
1) The finger has FORGOTTEN how to bend because it's been in a splint for 4 weeks now.
2) I held a glass in that hand for the first time in 7 weeks since the break without support and experienced a very strange sensation. I'm a 38 year old man and my hand knows exactly how a glass should feel when you hold it, it's been ingrained into my brain for those 38 years. But remember, the bones in that tip had slipped slightly then rehealed, making my fingertip joint that much bigger. The upshot of this circumstance is that when I hold a glass there appears to be a lump missing from the glass, like it has a dent in it!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

HC UNIT ... NO NET CHARGE = NO GRAVITY

I've been mucking about with this alternative physics idea for a while - it uses an imaginary spacetime construct called the HC Unit. I recently became obsessed with the Helium atom and once I discovered that helium regularly escapes Earth's atmosphere and has NO NET CHARGE this got me to thinking that maybe gravity is connected with net charge and that as these atoms interact at the electromagnetic level a virtual HC Unit the size of a planet is made... more on that later. But first, here are a couple of little renders to show the HC Units in action.

First one's a 3D render of HC1 (a free hydrogen atom) and HC4 (a helium atom where the four HCs are arranged on the corners of a tetrahedron):
HC_UNIT_2004

The second one I went a bit mad on - from HC1 (hydrogen) to HC20 (Neon). I decided it would be a bit complex to get anything sensible from this group render by doing it in 3D, so this is a FLAT version, hence the name of the file:
HC_FLAT_2004

Not that it's likely to make much sense to any of you - the basic idea is that the HC Units form a single ring in the cycle RED, BLACK, GREEN, BLACK, RED, BLACK.... the larger atoms (after Helium) tend to have a virtual-helium centre making a cross shape. Neither He or Ne have net charge.

RED = anti-clockwise 3 Dimensionally-spinning excess
GREEN = clockwise 3 Dimensionally-spinning excess
There are actually two black phases - one which accepts the RED or GREEN spinning excess.

CHIMERAWORLD #2 - THE FINAL 23:



I spent the better part of yesterday finalising the order and compiling a document of the final 23 stories to make it into this year's CHIMERAWORLD anthology. The aim of this year's edition was to offer a chilled-out anti-dote to last year's unrelenting 'grand guignol'. It's a very interesting batch of stories this year chosen from nearly 100 submissions. Here's the TOC:

DAMP - Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis
THE DANCE - Brian W Keen
THE STAGNANT PONDS - Kurt Newton
A TASTE FOR DEFORMITY - Dustin LaValley
THE ABORTION PEOPLE - David L Tamarin
IT’S YOUR TURN – Derek Gunn
TWISTED JUSTICE – Michelle Acker
THIS COLOSSAL WRECK or Fuck You and the Virus You Rode in On - Anthony Cain
CUNT - William D. Carl
THE FORT - Glen Alan Hamilton
ASKING FOR IT – Quentin S Crisp
EMBALMING 101 - J. M. Heluk
AT THE ORPHANAGE - Charles Richard Laing
DREAM LOVER – Ken Goldman
BLIND FEELING - Nicholas Alan Tillemans
GREY LOVE - Suzanne Church
FIZZ – Eric Shapiro
LITTLE BOY BLUE - Tony Richards
BIRDCAGE - Karen James
SIN AND SORROW - John Meany
ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S CHILDREN - Andrew Zimmerman Jones
THE FINAL WAIT - Richard Lee
THE FORGOTTEN - Destiny West

CHIMERAWORLD #2 should be available early 2005 in trade paperback and ebook versions from Cyber Pulp.

Monday, October 11, 2004

SPANK THE MONKEY:

What the hell is wrong with you idiot game designers? You take three years to produce a bloated gaming experience, that employs the talent of five programmers, five artists, a producers, some directors of relevant departments and all sorts of out-sourcing (with games like Final Fantasy, you can multiply this time by TEN) and still you can't something as totally addictive as SPANK THE MONKEY

Sure, there's an unsubtle 'adult' (well, read 'childish') subtext in the naming of this game, but play it and know it is the business. My high score was 599 miles per hour monkeyspank, then my eight-year-old daughter kicked me off the computer and got an amazing 709 miles per hour.

Great game, great presentation. 'nuff sed.


Saturday, October 09, 2004

WITH OR WITHOUT YOU:

No, not the U2 song from the early nineties, but the sequel to a story I wrote in collaboration with Alex Severin some years back called "Red, Red Wine". What was that? A Vampyre story. And a really disgusting one, too. Erm, but I'm not a vampire author. So what. It's a bit of fun. This sequel sets the Vampyre story two hundred years in the future when the human race has been genetically transformed from people to mere job roles. You'll get more of an idea of it when I find a publisher for it - oh, it's 3,500 words so far and I'm just about to put Vampyre through the future equivalent of THE INQUISITION. Will she survive the torture? Will there be a third story? You'll have to wait and see......

Later that same day and it's finished - 4,100 words and surely the possibility exists for a third part. But I'm gonna leave it at that for part two. WITH OR WITHOUT YOU is finished and spells the end of the second part of the Vampyre trilogy.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

AND HERE'S THE F-ZERO NEWS:

It's only dawned on me recently because before now I had access to neither Cable nor Satellite. It's thanks to my recent purchase of Freeview here in the UK that I've been able to come to this bonkers conclusion. When I lived in Haydock up north in between Liverpool and Manchester, I used to spend a lot of time with my mates Susan and Alan in their family home, our kids grew and played together. We would drink, mostly, and also have mammoth sessions of party games on their old Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was a purple imported machine with cartridges for all the crazy Japanese games you could want. As stunning as it sounds, it would appear that SKY NEWS is using the theme tune to one of my favourite games from this period - F-ZERO. It was a game where you drove a floating hover car around tougher and tougher circuits using the scaling rotating abilities of the superFX chip to its peak. I wonder if Nintendo knows about it. Ah, the memories of this great family game.

PLANET OF DEATH:

It's been a mad last few days of typing but it finally raged to a riotous finale. PLanet of the Owls has come to an abrupt but joyous end. Word total of 26,600 words. What the fuck am I supposed to do with such a long story? It's not a book. It's too long for any magazine market. That's a great way to do something impossible to sell. Unless it's of novella length that some mad fucking publisher will fancy publishing. I've never published a novella before. Don't even know the market for that length of work...

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

LOLAPOLOZA EXHIBITION IN OXFORD:

Well, it's been a while since I exhibited any of my paintings, in the flesh as it were. But for two weeks in November, at the Lolapoloza Gallery in Blue Boar Street just near the City Museum in Oxford, I'll be exhibiting seven of my CASTLERIGG STONE CIRCLE paintings. They have moved on a bit since their inception and now contain a dizzying backdrop containing sections of writing from my Animal Instincts collection, available from Double Dragon Press in Canada. It really set the stones off to have my manic scrawl behind them like that - makes them look even more stately and everlasting. More exact details of the dates of the exhibition soon, I should know be end of this week. Also, the last twelve copies of my SZMONHFU novel will be on sale at throughout the course of the exhibition.

Monday, October 04, 2004

PLANET OF THE OWLS:

I had written about 11,500 words of this looooong (for me) short story. It had reached a natural termination point for its length and form of story and so I started to submit it out to markets that want stories over 10,000 words (there are a number of these markets, all paying). But this weekend, I had a brainflash. I could see a way to continue the story well beyond its original termination point. It was so obvious, I don't know why it didn't hit me all those weeks ago when it first appeared 'finished'. Thanks to this weekend's realisation, PLANET OF THE OWLS is now up to 20,000 words and still going strong. I wouldn't say it's being plotted out or anything as mechanically "painting by numbers" as that but there are future signposts that I know I can make my way towards. It's gonna be a good story. Whether it'll be a 30,000 worder or a 40,000 worder is still to see. I have a set of ideas and research that I was gonna use on a sister project that are actually working better in this cataclysmic context, making it even more of a global concern than the personal account it has so far been. It's all very exciting to be back in the writing saddle again. Giddy up!

Saturday, October 02, 2004

DAWN PICNIC:

The Philbin family had a bit of an adventure this morning. We live in Oxford city but if you know where to look there are some great woods in which you can lose yourself. That's what we did this morning; my French wife, 8-year-old daughter and I. 5:45 A.M. the alarm clock woke us up, as planned. It was still dark as the sun doesn't come up until 6, 6:30. We tried to make as little noise as possible so as not to wake the neighbours in our apartment block. We made a lovely flask of tea, packed our breakfast, binoculars and camera and set out to the nearby Wytham Woods for a dawn breakfast. We saw a bat fluttering up and down the path chasing the last flies of its nightwatch. We saw a rabbit streaming across the path as if there was a fox in hot pursuit. A close family of five big mushrooms had sprung up over night, their skin like that of a slug. An owl swooped by its wings completely silent, then it hooted passionately with another deep in the pine copse. Wood pigeons worried the tops of trees at our footfall. A Vee of geese swooped overhead honking chattily to each other as they headed for Farmoor reservoir, you could even hear the power of their collective wingbeat. We didn't see any deer, we weren't barked at by squirrels this time but we got a couple of great shots of the vivid yellow and red sunrise. We watched the stars disappear (through our binoculars) as daylight illuminated the dawn sky. The moon was still visible in the clear sky. The weather held up. It was a perfect family outing.

Friday, October 01, 2004

BOYFISTGIRLSUCK: NEW REVIEW

Nancy Jackson, who will be posting the review first in MOHR REVIEWS, then GOTHIC REVUE then MIDWEST BOOK REVIEWS has just sent me this glowing appraisal of Chimera & Severin's semenal spurt BFGS. A Shocklines #1 bestseller, released two years ago, BANNED more than a couple times, it's male protagonist recently "killed off", dead, no more, it is a dead Hertzan Chimera, it still has the guts to say what other books refuse to say, it still goes where angels fear to tread. Here's the text of that review:

Mohr Reviews
By Nancy Jackson
BoyFistGirlSuck
Written by Hertzan Chimera and Alex Severin
Massacre Publications
$15.99 212 pages

BoyFistGirlSuck is a collection of twenty-eight stories that twist, mesmerize, abuse and play with your mind and senses. It’s difficult to walk away from these without feeling a bit imbalanced and off kilter, though it’s also the pure fun of it as well. While sometimes an extravagant descent into brutal inner thoughts and poignant dark matter, it also speaks clearly to the heart and soul of what it means to be human. From the creative mind and body of two innovative writers, Hertzan Chimera and Alex Severin, this is an explosive read.

Separated into three parts: Hors ‘d oeuvres, Main Course and Dessert, there’s bound to be something to get your finicky palate going. Of the twenty-eight offerings, I will touch on the ones that have stayed with me most.

There is poetry and grace to “Koda” both surreal and mesmerizing. Meiki ghosts roam, visions of love and death, sex and death, and the afterglow of death. Here are thoughts of someone who waits, thoughts that scour their lust for the dead. It’s bittersweet humanity.

While “The Coat of Many Cunts” has an abrasive title, it is a favorite. It’s a very open and honest depiction from a woman, a being, a vessel that has been lost on a journey, though knew very little of its true origin to begin with. I think there are many that can relate to the thoughts here, written with potent emotional power.

“The Compelling Iridescence of her Flesh” also shows shades of beauty. The story reads to me as if this “flesh” is somewhat like a flaw or scar. So ugly to one, yet so enchanting to another. It’s almost like the way society puts a spotlight on a flaw, magnifying it until it’s bigger than life. And there’s the man who has become obsessed by it, lives and breathes it, until it’s the reason for his existence. It’s almost a parody of the way many people, vain and diluted, never see things as they really are, but rather, make it into what they want it to be, or who they want them to be.

“Gestation” is probably one of the most repulsive stories I’ve ever read, but I say that with a devious smile and it’s meant as a high compliment. It takes a lot of imagination and clarity to create something this divinely insane. Can’t say I’d read this to a loved one over dinner, it gets a little fishy.

“Red, Red, Wine” is about as gritty as the streets the Vampyres walk along. Some may be quite familiar with this one, it’s certainly another favorite.

Other standout ditties to dine on include “Drumskin”, “Face Seventeen”, and “You Die Tonight Chisao”.

Throughout all the stories, there are many different themes. Acceptance, isolation, denial, angst, fear, insecurities, wonder, loneliness, and also coping with shame; allowing one permission to think and share their dark thoughts. This is a collection where the rules of society aren’t allowed, and a person has the right to just “be”. The descriptions are vivid; very real yet lend an otherworldly texture to them. Sure it’s not the kind of reading for everybody, but it has a lot to offer and perhaps some may not want to admit how often strange fluidities roam in their own minds. For an alternative read with raw emotions and mental fluctuations, BoyFistGirlSuck will fuel you for hauntingly wet dreams.