Monday, February 27, 2006

SPOOF EMAILED, RIGHT? WRONG:

So, there I was, out of the goodness of my heart, clearing out my Junk Mail folder looking for legitimate mails that sometimes end up as suspected SPAM, and I found this interesting missive from 'Walt Hicks' @ Hellbound Books, publisher of my 50-character non-narrative novel Yôroppa...

Dear Mike,
Due to many factors within the past two years, it is with deep regret that I inform you that HellBound Books will be unable to publish Yôroppa on the date we originally announced.
We survived three major hurricanes in this area, but couldn't survive the withdrawal of support from three of our four investor/partners, and the recent death of the fourth.
HellBound Books plans to go forth, just on a massively reduced scale. We are working to secure sponsors, investors and other assistance, but until we do, we have to scale back.
If we get back on track, we will definitely want to publish Yôroppa. But until that time, we don't think it would be fair to have your manuscript on hold for an undeterminable amount of time, and we recommend that you shop the book around to other publishers. We are extremely sorry to have held up your manuscript for as long as we have.
Again, sorry for this news, but unfortunately, its the nature of this crazy business sometimes.
Best of luck to you in all future endeavors and keep us posted!
Walt
HellBound Books


I know this is a spoof email - it happened to another writer where he supposedly emailed out to his list that he was giving up writing. It only just dawned on me. No way is Yôroppa NOT being published, right? It's right there on their website. Either that, or I'm simply in denial.

Update: I have since corresponded with Walt Hicks and he has confirmed that he will NOT be publishing Yôroppa and is cutting right back on his publishing schedule. I am in a state of grief about this and don't really know how to deal with it. I had it all planned out, my big comeback, starting with this release and a couple more on the back of it from other publishers in 2007. Now I know how Mike Korn felt when those publishers folded just weeks before a few of his books were due to be published. It truly breaks a man's spirit.

OCTAVIA BUTLER R.I.P.

It was with great sadness that I learned, today, of the death of Octavia Butler, one of my favourite writers of all time.

Octavia Butler grew up in California and started writing science fiction stories when she was a young girl. She began getting published in the 1970s, then won a Hugo award for her short story, "Speech Sounds" in 1983. A year later Butler won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for her novella "Bloodchild."

Xenogenesis Trilogy
Dawn (1987)
Adulthood Rites(1988)
Imago (1989)

Patternist Series
Wild Seed (1980)
Mind of My Mind (1977)
Patternmaster (1976)
Clay's Ark (1984)
Survivor (1978)

All great works.

Friday, February 24, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW, GOZU (may contain traces of spoiler):

I finally got to see Takashi Miike's GOZU.

I've been a big fan of Miike's horror output in the form of Ichi The Killer, Visitor Q and Audition. I've never wanted nor intended to watch any of his 'yakuza' or 'triad' movies. Same with Beat Takeshi, I've never wanted nor intended to watch any of HIS 'gangster' films. They just don't rock my boat. In fact, Gozu is about as close to yakuza as I want to go, moviewise (though I did get a bit of a horn on for BLACK RAIN - no, it wasn't because Michael Dougleas would later be the ass double for Sharon Stone's sexfilm Basic Instinct, but it might have had something to do with Ridley Scott at the helm).

GOZU confirms for me that Miike is a hit and miss genius, you have to accept a certain amount of self-indulgent chaff with the creative wheat. There are some concepts, themes and images in GOZU that are just stunning and out of this world. Sure, the cowghost is creamy. Sure the rebirth of Brother is gorgeously handled. Sure, the milk-factory Ryokan owner is truly disturbing. But GOZU's real binding philosophy for me is love, and dedication to the gang.

Someone mentioned a homo-erotic angle. I don't think that's the case here. There is undoubtedly a HUGE loyalty angle, a sexually-transcending brotherliness expressed throughout this weird film, that is taken to the extreme with the re-uniting of Minami and his not-really-totally-insane-after-all dog-killing boss "Brother".

Was it Miike's best film so far? No.
Was it an affirmation of the director's bravery and genius? Yep.
Will I be watching future Miike films? You bet.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

KEIJI INAFUNE does DEAD RISING for XBOX360:

It is with great joy that I mount the wheel-greased viral bandwagon and announce that (though I won't be shelling out for an XBOX360 console myself) the DEAD RISING videogame from Keiji Inafune and the CAPCOM boys (which should be subtitled THREE days in the mall because that's the intended duration of the game) looks friggin' stunning.

Hey, don't take my word for it, hear it from the horse's mouth ... well, read an exclusive interview with Keiji Inafune (bedecked in Dawn of the Dead t-shirt) courtesy of TeamXbox.

Or if you wanna cut right to the visuals, that's all right too. Warning: this links the latest 70 meg hi-res video of DEAD RISING on Xbox360 in action, but boy is it worth it.

Highlights? Well, the body count (byt this I mean the actual number of characters on screen at any one time) is ridiculously high, as it needs to be. There's classic deaths (by lawnmower, by Ming vase, by wooden bench and by light sabre, seems like they have some sort of Boolean operations for when the swords cleave the zombies in twain, very nice) - basically, if you can pick it up, and you can pick up most things in this game, you can kill zombies with it. One of the really classy features is the zombies are slow and ponderous in the daylight but are energized by the light of the moon into rampaging monsters. Looks lovely and smooth and motion-blur-tastic, to boot.

Just watch the video and slaver like a pixel-addicted daaaawg.

Friday, February 10, 2006

MATTER IS A GRAVITY SHIELD:

...the latest part of my theory of the reversal of contemporary physics (part one rattled on about 'light going backwards') involved matter as a gravity shield.

It was a full moon last night (no, I didn't turn into a werewolf) and I was lying there with the strong moonlight tearing through my tissue-paper-thin curtains and I got to thinking aobut high and low tides.

Traditionally, matter contains a gravity particle. The moon is made of matter and the oceans are made of matter and there's mutual attraction at high tide.... blah blah bollocks!

Ain't it obvious what's really going on? There's a STRUCTURE that's missing from the calcs. It's a real big thing. And contemporary cosmologists are overlooking it to their detriment.

The universe, the galaxies, the stars and planets, all live in pre-fabricated gravity wells. That's why the matter (the sub-atomic particles) live where they do. They can't live anywhere else. So, this structure of attraction draws in the planets to the sun to the milky way to the universe. It's that big.

When the moon goes in front of the Earth (at night when there's a high tide, for example) the matter of the moon is shielding this universal vector (the fall-in direction of that built-in structure), allowing the water to rise up higher.

Disprove.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

NOVEL, TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING:

The Exquisite Creatures 1,000 piece jigsaw is progressing well. So is my resurrected writing. I finished last night a final pass on my yet-to-be-announced novel "Twilight's Last Gleaming". I have two other unfinished novels which I intend to restart work on real soon, "Planet OF The Owls" and "View From A Stolen Window".

Also, this weekend, I'm gonna be working on the first ever structural collaboration. I've done writer-writer collabs (lots of them) before where each party writes 200 words or so and passes it back and forth until some semblance of a narrative emerges. I've also written six sentences for 4degrees to write her surreal porn. But this one's a new one on me, it's a writer by the name of Andy Severn (who runs Sci Fi Cafe) who's really keen on structure and his ideas are excellent - all's I gotta do is fill in the gaps with evil and dread. Easy. That's my weekend project, evil and dread.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

BURN ALL THE FLAGS, ESPECIALLY THIS ONE:

Thanks to the continued creative power of Gerald Scarf, whose Sunday Times (today's edition) topical "offensive cartoon" hits the nail right on the head.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

NEW IMAGE, EVE'S POMEGRANATES:

for those of you out there who've followed the progress of my Eve's Apples (series of fruity+softcore photomontages), here's the latest one, just uploaded to the legendary home of all things surrealism, the Hammond Gallery

Friday, February 03, 2006

DADA YOW HAS RETURNED:

No, not me, you silly buggers, I just wandered off into the wilderness of creativity to spawn another worthless Messiah of pixel and ink.

No, this!

The site known as DADA YOW is back with an ecclectic mix of surrealism, humorism, absurdism, bizarro and (finally (and appropriately)) dadaism! And this year it has adopted Philbin art/words. You can read an enhanced version of Beer Girls 2005 in the writing section. You can see tasty fruit porn from the realm of Adam and Eve in the art section.

Go on, then. Whatcha waitin' for?