Friday, April 29, 2005

UNIVERSE, WHAT'S THE TIME?

We can freely associate the speed of 'time' with the force of gravity.

Right?

Well, out in deep space where 99% of space is matterless (a mere spattering of hydrogen atoms per cubic mile) where matterless can freely equate with gravityless, is time running faster?

We know that cesium133-regulated atomic clocks run slower the nearer a planet's surface they live.

What implication does this have for (even sub-light-speed) future deep space explorers?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

CW2 and TLADOHC RELEASE DATES:

News just in from Bob Gunner at Cyber Pulp Press: the official release date for CHIMERAWORLD #2 (23 story anthology, I'm the editor) and THE LIFE AND DEATH OF HERTZAN CHIMERA (60,000 word autobiography, I'm the writer) will be...

*eye-jiggling drum roll, please*

15TH OF JULY, 2005.

REVIEW, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF...

PETER SELLERS, of course. Who were you thinking of?

The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. Just seen it on DVD. It's amazing, I know they say all clowns are crying on the inside but, for fuck's sake, what a depressing life story; what a downer role God gave the greatest comic actor of his time.

Proof that the Great Omnipotent One truly has a sense of humour, to do that to a man.

There weren't many true laugh moments in this film, but the high spot was definitely when Peter described his first film with Blake Edwards as "...sounds like a strip joint, for puffs." He was, of course referring to The Pank Panther.

The scene where Peter is nearly fucked to death by Britt Ekland. Imagine. The one shining moment to rise from the greasy grey gloom of the entire production was the lovely little telephone call from Michael Sellers (what a good boy he was). An intriguing personal depiction too and one that makes one want to research a little more this Son of Sellers and see how his unique upbringing has tempered him as a member of society. Wonder what he became.

To me the film says that life is "nothing to be proud about". Surely something to remember.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

MORE GREAT MOVIE STUFF:

I had the honour of watching a stunning French film called LA HAINE last night. La Haine is the story of race riots and police brutality in a Paris suburb. It's shot entirely in black and white for that grittier-than-thou feel. The central characters have little to like about them. The ending is a total downbeat shocker.

Why's it a good film?

Well, another night, I watched a film called BRUCE ALMIGHTY (yes, the one starring Jim Carrey). It's funny as fuck. A really brilliant laugh-out-loud romp as Bruce comes to terms with being given Godly powers for a week while the big G (Morgan Freeman) is on vacation. I literally laughed out loud on a couple of occassions. But it was a shit movie. Why?

Well, that damned third reel resolution. I can't really see any other way out of the hole it had dug itself into. The ending of Bruce Almighty had to crumble into a schmaltzy retribution solver, a confessional ending with our hero pissing on himself to win back the love of his girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston). It's such a classic fault of the turgid Hollywood formula. He had to get the girl or the preview audience would have ticked [not a suitably upbeat ending]. I didn't laugh at all in the third reel - in fact I cried (and not because it jerked my tears).

La Haine is written with more integrity than that and keeps its chin up for the last big punch. La Haine rocks! Bruce almighty fell at the last fence. Like in the porn industry where the viewer DEMANDS that all important money shot in the face, on the back, between the teeth, so Feel Good Movie Goers (tm) demand self deprecation from their zany leads. Same happened with Shallow Hal when they actually resorted to showing the fatty as the skinny Paltrow.

Why does Hollywood do that?

Another question is, "What would have been a better ending for Bruce Almighty?" Well, there is a more heroic ending for Bruce. He could have realised the error of his ways and scrambled up the hill for that one last reel when all he really did was allow the narrative to blow him back up the hill for one last big pissing session in his own pants. Something with a bit of humour in it. Something to cheer along at.

Pity.

On the subject of good recent comedy (I know I'm behind the times on this one but) DECONSTRUCTING HARRY was Woody Allen back on proper adult form after a series of shoddy films.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

NEW ART SHIFT AROUND:

I had a couple online galleries who were hosting some of my paintings, a few from this phase of my art life, a few from that. Well, I've decided to formalise them a little more.

From now, all my pre-1990 "destroyed in 1995" oil paintings will be hosted on

DEVIANT ART GALLERY

and all eighteen of my 1992 gouache paintings will be for sale on

HAMMOND GALLERY for $2700.00 each.

message ends.

Friday, April 22, 2005

MIKE PHILBIN, SCARY HORROR STORIES:

Well, that's what it says on the tin... in fact most visitors to Mike Philbin . Com find their way their by subject searching in MSN, Yahoo and Google for just those three words:

SCARY HORROR STORIES

other favourites are:

FREE ONLINE STORIES

and:

BIZARRE ONLINE FICTION

All of these three-word parameters will return a 1st page result for eager young horror addicts who want to sample the weirdest, freakiest, most extreme horror and surrealism on the net. It seems there are hundreds of people per day who wanna read my stuff. Soon, they'll be able to buy a new breed of Mike Philbin Books. Stay tuned, people. This is where it gets real exciting.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

HELP ME, OPRAH:

No, I'm serious - right? Apparently, that's what a gaggle of populist/pulitzer prize winning authors have all petitioned the ever-swelling ever-shrinking lady of daytime TV.

It would appear (back in 2002) when Oprah no longer featured book recommendations on her show, the entire face of American publishing changed for the worst.

Well, welcome to the fucking club, boys and girls of the pen. Maybe now you can all aim for the historical classic rather than the vacuous, jaded shelf-emptier. What's the point of ten million buyers who don't give a shit about anything you write just buying your book because Oprah recommends it? These are the same people who think that buying Nikes, shoving Big Macs and Pepsi/Coke down their necks will help them achieve some higher purpose in life. Sheep, nothing more. Pack followers forever transient in their heroes.

Yeah, we could all do with the cash, but there's a higher purpose to the act of writing ... isn't there?

Help me, Oprah - for all those who care to read. Right.

TOM LINES, GREEN PARTY:

I'm from the north. The north of England. Where the coal miners and steel workers and Rugby League players come from. And generally, in the north of England, us northerners vote Labour, while the southerners vote Conservative. It's how it's been for years. Labour = the workers. Conservative = management. Then there's the Liberal Democrats, where do they fit in? Well, somewhere in the middle, I guess.

I've got sick of all three of these major UK Election contenders. They all sound roughly the same, all promise things they can't/never intend to deliver, they've homogenised their views to a grey paste of social ambivalence to the point where they've negated themselves from the race by shear blandness.

That's why, this year, I'm gonna vote for Tom Lines, he's my local West Oxford & Abingdon Green Party candidate. I choose not to drive a car: I use public transport and this in no way limits the amount of travelling I can do. I support all forms of alternative energy, worship the planet upon which I live and try (as much as possible) not to abuse it. The Green Party have a very big following here in Oxford and hopefully will soon win lots more seats all round the country.

IF YOU WANT A PROPER ALTERNATIVE THIS MAY 5TH, VOTE FOR THE GREEN PARTY.

Monday, April 18, 2005

RED HEDZ SCREENPLAY:

Sorry if I've neglected you for the last few days, reader. I've been writing like a demon - my own shit this time. RED HEDZ was a book I wrote back through the late eighties (published by Creation Press of London in 1989). For those of you who haven't read the book or were unable to find a copy (this book rarely appears on the market) it's a contemporary story of a struggling artist who falls in love with a girl who seems to have supernatural powers. I did initially do a text version of a screenplay way back when but never did anything with it.

So, last week I thought 'fuck it, I'm gonna revamp RED HEDZ for the year 2005 and see who it scares'. I reformatted the whole text version into industry-standard Cinergy format. Rewrot the start, tidied up a couple of areas, amalgamated a couple of characters and scenes into their own self contained narrative thread, made the entire project flow together better. Made the screenplay snappier, less ponderous - but no less morose, morbid, weird, twisted or sexy. In fact I tried to make it less crude and MORE sexy.

It's with an agent right now (the one that got my PKD screenplay under the nose of an interested Hollywood producer) and it's gonna be interesting to see the reaction.

Friday, April 15, 2005

MIIKE'S NEW YOKAI TRAILER:

Holy bazoomas! that man's clearly insane... well. Yes. Master of strangeness and evil, Takashi Miike (director of such oddly audacious films as Visitor Q, Audition, Ichi the Killer...) has come up with another corker and this one looks like an homage to Clive Barker's NIGHTBREED.

Here's the trailer - watch out for the coughing woman at the end. SORTED

Monday, April 11, 2005

MASTERS OPEN 2005:

It was a bit of a slow day yesterday as everyone who's everyone in the horror small press was brown-nosing it in New York at the World Horror Convention. I did some more of the Butler screenplay (after a three-day rest from it's conclusional difficulties). I now have a highly marketable title for the screenplay and I have an end and a climax that will do justice to the three-film series (it was much harder than I thought translating this from the page to the screen - but what joy). I went for two bike rides yesterday, such was the glory of the weather. Mild breeze, plenty of sun. Gorged myself on home-made rice pudding, too.

Eight o'clock came round and it was the last day of the Masters Open from Georgia. After three days of horrid weather and suspension of play, Tiger Woods and Chris DiMarco were -12 and -11 respectively at the start of the fourth day's play. What am I doing reporting on a golf tournament? Well, I've always had a soft spot for golf. I played a little bit of golf as a youth and every couple of years I devote a large chunk of my time to this tournament or other. This year it was the Masters.

It was a brilliant final 18 holes full of daring, luck and spectacular shots from both players. The amazing 16th hole escape shot was pure Houdini from Woods, strengthening his 2-shot lead over DiMarco, now -13 and -11 respectively. Midnight twenty (UKtime) came around and, after Woods had thrown away the last two holes to leave it an even -11 sudden death play-off, I retired to my bed.

What?

I didn't watch the sudden death play-off after a solid 4 hours of spectatorship? I was tired. And these 'sudden death' play-offs can go on for hours or even wander into the following day. I'm just gonna check the sports news and see how it played - back in a minute.

One minute later: WOODS CLAIMS HIS NINTH MASTERS. I don't need to read that article to find out more but here's a quote.

Woods, winless at the majors since the 2002 U.S. Open, sank a 20-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole to secure his fourth green jacket and his 43rd PGA Tour victory at a sun-drenched Augusta National.

There yo go then. Great game. Pity DiMarco couldn't finish it off in style. We love an underdog in UK. But well played and very well deserved from Tiger Woods who is officially back on form.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

REVIEWS, NEW CAMP HORROR:

New Camp Horror's latest issue is an ALL REVIEW issue and it contains reviews of three of my most favourite books; Philip K Dick's A SCANNER DARKLY, Philip K Dick's DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP and Natsuo Kirino's OUT.

Now bugger off and do something less boring instead.

:)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

TWO REALLY GREAT FILMS:

I can't believe the number of really great films that escape the "popular mainstream" whateverthefuck that stupid phrase means.

We are a compartmentalised populace - there is nothing popular about us. And this mainstream - what do they mean? Those that deserve it? Those for whom nothing special is reserved? Gruel? Nothing more than the most basic product?

I digress.

1) DECONSTRUCTING HARRY - for the longest time (since "Hanna and her Sisters" which I loved) Woody Allen has done nothing worth watching. It's like he has lost all relevance and meaning to me as a cinema viewer. THEN, oh then, he finally goes and makes something touching and sweet and poignant like "Deconstructing Harry". For all writers out there it is a dire warning of where not to go. It is wicked and wry and funny in an adult way that all Woody Allen films should be. Go see it, please.

2) TROUBLE EVERY DAY - a French film (God bless French film making) by Clare Denis. This has Beatrice Dahl in a film about biters, people who get sexually aroused by biting their lover in flagrante delicto! Such a weird and atmospheric bloodlust film, all you sickos need to see this movie, NOW!

SKIN GIVEAWAY:



SKIN is a 12-page ebook of prose poems that was downloadable from BizarrEbooks for $1. Now nobody knows what the Hell happened to BizarrEbooks (run by the ephemeral polycarp kusch), so I've decided to share this small token of extreme collaborative nostalgia with you all as a special bonus for your loyalty to the HC site and writing persona that's been dead now for over six months. The SKIN ebook, from Star Jewel Smith (who runs the Poetic Inhalation website) and Hertzan Chimera is jam-packed with sexual allusion and really quite strong ultra-helping of the old in-out in-out. A nasty bit of work.

Click on the cover to download the PDF for FREE!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

MIKE PHILBIN, DEVIANT ART GALLERY - 1000th HIT:

Yeah, you know it. I am an official hitslut. And to this end, I'm happy to announce that my MIKE PHILBIN GALLERY @ DEVIANT ART has just had it's one thousandth new visitor since my birthday this year. Hail to the power of the internet and the free distribution of the online insanity.

:)

Friday, April 01, 2005

RED SCREAM COVER GOES LIVE:



The zombie-chick hand-eating cover for New York horror print magazine Red Scream has just been uploaded to their marketing website. Get your gore-smeared orders in early, with 20,000 subscribers already chokin' on the wrist, this baby is gonna sell out fast!

Red Scream's launch issue (on sale mid-April), I am assured, contains an exclusive interview with yours truly about the forthcoming THE LIFE AND DEATH OF HERTZAN CHIMERA paperback from Cyber Pulp Press - and weighing in at 4,000 words, it's quite an intimate chat, thanks to David L Tamarin for his insightful questions on that one.

PAINTER MAN LIVES AFRESH:

Yet another Mike Philbin story goes online on this great April Fool's Day (how appropriate)

:)

This one's a gory reprint about blood lust and voyeurism and it's online now at a horror site called BLOODCOOKIES.

TEL STORIES, COVER AND TOC

TEL : Stories
Edited by Jay Lake
Wheatland Press
August, 2005
ISBN: 0-9755903-3-2



Pre-order soon from
Wheatland Press

Did you ever read a story and say to yourself, "Oh my God, someone can do that with the language?" TEL : Stories is dedicated to the idea that there is no such thing as stylistic excess. Featuring a reprint of Greer Gilman's "Jack Daw's Pack," as well as new fiction from Forrest Aguirre, Gregory Feeley, Jeff VanderMeer and many other fine authors, TEL : Stories offers twenty-eight different views of what style in fiction can be.


TEL STORIES is edited by John W Campbell award winner Jay Lake.

Here's the full TOC:

1 Greer Gilman • Jack Daw’s Pack
19 Ken Scholes • The Santaman Cycle
22 Carrie Vaughn • Danae at Sea
26 Thom Metzger • Hex-Ray Hoodoo Rapture
35 Brendan Connel • Benares (a Metrophilia)
37 Ian Creasey • In Profit and Loss
42 Jetse de Vries • Gaudí, Cons and Spires
55 Tim Pratt • Gulls
60 Darja Malcolm-Clarke • The Sibyl of Tamarish
65 Mikal Trimm • Wash Is Done
66 Leah Bobet • Dog Days
69 Lawrence M. Schoen • Stations of the Cheeseburger
73 Dean Wesley Smith • Let’s Pretend
77 Greg Beatty • The Song of the Solipsilepidopterist
78 Steve Carper • Holly: New Paree Prime: Spring Two
83 Toiya Kristen Finley • Juju Hoodoo Man Sangs the Blues
85 Forrest Aguirre • Soma
95 Mike Philbin • The Midas Touch
99 Jeremy Robert Johnson • Last Thoughts Drifting Down
102 Anil Menon • Love in a Hot Climate
114 Timalyne Frazier • The Devil’s Half Brother
119 Paul Woodlin • God Words
121 Sonya Taaffe • The White Swan
124 Charles Tuomi • She Watches the Man
127 Ruth Nestvold • Revenge in the Funhouse
132 Victoria Elisabeth Garcia • Town of Boar Hollow Ordinance No. VII-____-2001
136 Jeff VanderMeer • Lost
140 Gregory Feeley • Fancy Bread

MIKE PHILBIN, NEW STORY AND INTERVIEW:

Issue 3 of MISANTHROPIST ANONYMOUS has just gone online and features a brand new Mike Philbin story called "With or without you" (the follow-up to the infamous vampyre story "Red, Red Wine"). They also roped in writer Dustin La Valley to interview me about all sorts of interesting topics. It's all Java based, so no links are available but here's the editorial:

With or Without You
by
Mike Philbin

With his Hertzan Chimera pseudonym dropped after 15 years, Mike Philbin introduces us to a world of vampyric, media-contrived depravity (sounds almost familiar, doesn't it?).

An Interview with Mike Philbin
by
Dustin LaValley

You've read "With or Without You", now check out the interview... previous MA:zine contributer Dustin La Valley talks to Mike Philbin about mainstream horror fiction, bending barriers and a horror revolution... amongst other things!