2019 is a template for distributed fiction; a groupthink; a proto-ARG; a Nanotech fable for you to play in.



When its 10 parts have all been published, the world of 2019 is open to other writers to set stories in. You can use (or not use) any of the characters mentioned in these datablasts, and you can add to any of the ideas contained herein. Please email all submissions* to editor.weaponizer[at]

*Please withold your entry until all 10 parts are published.


Some Southern Gothic horror for you now, from the inimitable C. Brian Hickey. This tale has the ring of truth about it... or if not truth, then at least the distinctive flavour of a Deep South folk tale, its origins lost in a heat-haze of expended summers and simmering, fire-and-brimstone Chrsitian superstitions.

Everybody around Buncombe County has heard the yarns my gramma used to tell about the Harrow Pit. Nobody believes them, of course; it’s just a story you tell the little ones to keep them from wandering off. Gramma sure did believe, though—she says she saw it with her own two eyes when she was a girl ...READ MORE


Meet Geoffrey D. Wessel, a new Weaponeer we found lurking round the back of Twitter. All-round nice-guy Geoffrey has a hard-on for technology, and yes, we mean that in the way you're thinking! His first flashfic will appeal to anyone who remembers 80s SF 'classic' Cherry 2000...

Posey no longer wished to be human. At one time she did. And really, she might as well have wanted to. She could pass herself off as one, virtually undetectable, as long as any of the quirks of her programming didn't show through. As time went on, she could see the advantages that wouldn't be there if she were human. In her line of work, those advantages were vital ...READ MORE


Oh hell yes!

Full article here



The latest short storyby the mighty K. Patrick Glover is a dark little confection - a disjointed, psychedelic thriller in the mold of Memento. Tense, claustrophobic and disorienting, this is a taut and suspenseful thriller / horror piece that will stay with you long after you finish reading.

Memory is not a continuous stream or a single tapestry. It’s a series of individual moments and events, stitched together like scenes in a movie. Imagine trying to make sense of your life if those scenes were shuffled like a deck of cards. Over and over again ...READ MORE


Our resident vomit-rap impressario Harlequinade has a bee in his bonnet today. The focus of his ire? Hollywood remakes. Personally, I'm a big fan of a few recent reboots, but Hq's essay is a passionate defence of original art. Read and enjoy!

Do Hollywood executives authorise, fund and encourage remakes, sequels and re-imaginings because they honestly believe that each passing fad will last forever? That the children growing up today will not be able to watch non-3D movies, and deserve the right to Hollywood's 'back catalogue' in a form that is acceptable to them? ...READ MORE


Photographer, writer and general all-round badass Robin LeBlanc is a force to be reckoned with. In this new flashfic, she explores the psychology of a tortured soul, trapped in the body of someone terminally cheerful. Weird, wonderful and messed up stuff.

So... I know what you're probably thinking. You're thinking "Oh, she's just doing what we've all been through and having fun with her condition." Nothing can be further from the truth. You see, I... I actually want to die ...READ MORE




Cross-posted from Whitechapel

From the inimitable Deadhead Comics Edinburgh, recently named one of the UK's 5 Best Comic Stores by Esquire Magazine!


X-Men Origins - Nightcrawler: Not much of a retcon of the Nightcrawler origin, which I thought was kind of the point of these one-shots? The painted art by Cary Nord and James Harren was very pretty though. Generally bought this just to up the sizeof the pile this weekI think - a good read, but forgettable.

Supergod #3: Pacing-wise, this issue was largely preamble to some sort of ultimate demigod smackdown, with a few teasing splash pages foreshadowing the fights. Ellis continues to get majorly psychedelic about religion, like a grumpier, more cynical Alan Moore. The Morrigan Lugus is my favourite mental concept in a comic packed with them... really looking forward to the no doubt stupendously violent conclusion!

Choker #1 & 2: Managed to grab the last two copies of the start of McCool /Templesmith's noir / horror / cyberpunk mashup. Although this title doesn't feel massively original (McCool's dialogue in particular owes a lot to Warren Ellis), it's nonetheless a bloody and enjoyable romp, as always illustrated to grimy, phosphorescent perfection by the legend that is Templesmith. The backgrounds remind me of his concept art for the never commissioned Do Androids Dream... , while the violence is very much in the vein of Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse / 30 Days of Night. Templesemith art is just an absolute pleasure to behold. If he were to do a 3-issue run of Power Pack vs. Dazzler, written by Jeph Loeb, I'd buy it.

Northlanders - Blood In The Snow TPB: Superlative Viking action. These are the short arcs from between the larger storylines of Wood's grimy swords n' pillaging epic, and as such they have a nice economy to them. In particular, the two-parter which relates a battle between two clan champions is written with painstaking attention to detail, and feels very realistic indeed. Considering how well Wood continues to manage to use Viking lore to tell stories about combat, honour and cultural expansion, this series is nothing short of a masterpiece. If you haven't jumped on board yet, you might want to start with the magnificent trade collecting 'The Cross & The Hammer' (Vol 2). Each arc is self-contained, and for my money Vol 2 is the best so far. 'Blood in the Snow' is also fantastic, and probably an equally good place to jump on board.


Nothing this time! All good clean family fun.



Cross-posted from Whitechapel

Managed to pick up some stuff I'd missed at the fabulous Forbidden Planet Glasgow (which incidentally pisses all over the Edinburgh one, from a great height). Doing the main shop on Saturday.


Wolverine Weapon X #9 & 10
Aaron continues to give the most convincing contemporary take on our be-clawed idol... the end of the Insane In The Brain arc was extremely satisfying, with plenty of really disgraceful gore, and a convincing setup for ongoing stories featuring Aaron's new villain Dr Rot. Issue 10 was violence light, but CP Smith's almost Warholesque rendering of Mystique on the final page, and Aaron's superlative feel for Wolverine's voice, made it just as enjoyable as the previous issue's carnage. I'm growing to love Aaron's work - one of the most thrilling writers working in comics, for my money.

Batman & Robin #7, 8 & 9:
Really enjoying these three-issue cod-mystical romps. Cameron Stewart did a fine job of grittying up his pencils for this arc, and the artful way Morrison blends his new band of grotesques with the more traditional Batman cast is a joy and a pleasure to read. Really hoping this title stays self-contained... any whiff of a crossover and I'll be gone faster than you can say Zum En Arrh.

Captain Swing #1: Magnificent opening salvo. Love the design, with the beautiful Victorian designs behind the narrator pages. Really conveyed the chaotic society of 1830s London in a very realistic way, but the fantastical elements were a perfect fit too... Did not have to suspend disbelief at all, totally bought into the 'secret history' trope. Looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

- Good family fun from Millar and McNiven. Millar's creative-owned stuff is fairly crass, but my goodness is it enjoyable. Even if Nemesis does look exactly like Fantomex.


They put four pages of New Ultimates in my Wolverine comic. I didn't need to see that. Now I have to go and create a hashtag called #FUCKJEPHLOEB. Terrible art, abysmal plotting, seemingly written for four year olds, despite being about alcoholism and cancer. Completely cack-handled. Loeb is a hack. Made me want to cry. With all the awesome things Warren's done with Ultimate Tony Stark, and with Millar actively trying to rehab The Ultimates with Ultimate Avengers, where is the need for Loeb? I don't get it. Anyone reading his Hulk stuff? Is it equally noxious?



Some big, big tunes, all profits going to an extremely worthy cause:


Featuring Boston Hip Hop Legend ED OG as well as the UK's hottest MC's Profisee, Serocee and Big Dada's new signing Mr Bang On. Remixes by Nasty P and Dema(Lucky Me) All proceeds going to Haiti , the people there still need our help.


Profisee, of CloakXDagger / Great Ezcape fame, is co-hosting the New Music from Scotland session on Radio 1 tomorrow. He has very kindly invited me along to do a live session! I'll be performing two tracks - Distance, from my EP Aphasia, and the unreleased track Echo Boomers (which you can hear on Morphamish's MySpace page). Please tune in, give it a listen, and drop us a text or an email in the studio! The show starts at 12 midnight, or you can listen again the next day.


Some footage from the recent Sacre Noir concert, where Asthmatic Astronaut previewed some tracks from his forthcoming album, Super Intelligent Common Sense.



It gives me great pleasure to introduce a new contributor, writer Louis Doerflinger. A man with a taste for whisky, SF and kung fu (what a guy), his writing style is tough, hard-boiled and effortlessly near-futuristic. This first submission could almost qualify as Social Realist SF, its so believable... and the tropes he employs are very interesting indeed. This one's a treat folks.

Rookman ended his night faced down in a puddle of blood starring at a cat turd. This surprised him, but not the part about being on his kitchen floor in his boxers as his own blood slowly pooled up around him. No. And it wasn’t the fact that he was staring at a three inch piece of dried shit Marley had kicked out of the litter box, the little bastard was known to do that. It was the fact that he was starring at anything at all that surprised him. He shouldn’t be doing that ...READ MORE



Hot on the heels of Eaters - Bite Marks comes our eleventh release, Baz Uber Alles by Kevin Cadwallender. A spoken word offering with musical backing, from one of the UK's most talented, entertaining and dedicated performance poets, Baz Uber Alles introduces the character of Baz, a kind of northern everyman.

Through the eyes of Baz and his long-suffering narrator, we see the highs and lows of modern life: families, fights, friends and free chips. Set to a scintillating and experimental excursion into guitar riffs and melodies, Baz Uber Alles is a wry, moving and hilarious narrative from a truly authentic poetic voice. Originally pubished as a pamphlet by Rebel Inc, the Baz poems have been exclusively set to music for WPNZR / Black Lantern. Enjoy!



Weird... when I was writing my (aborted) first novel, I coined a genre name (or at least I think I coined it!) - Riotstep. Six years later, and the genre comes spectacularly into being with the new EP by BIT RIOT, entitled FROM THE CRADLE TO THE RAVE. An exuberant, devastating mix of metal, screamo, drum & bass, dubstep, ska, hip-hop and hardocre techno, this is a sonic assault in the truest sense. Featuring one of my favourite emcees, PROFISEE, on one track, this is one Edinburgh band who deserve to go very far indeed. Go download, be amazed.



This arrived in my inbox today. I have no idea where it came from, honest.

[free download]

There was some text in the email:

Horselover Fat is not the real Horselover Fat. He is a plagiarist, a cheat and a thief.

Seems he likes unicorns. The tracks are pretty basic and repetetive, but perhaps that's the point?

Kept me entertained for half an hour... maybe you'll enjoy it too.


Cross-posted from Whitechapel:

Still catching up on 8-10 of Batman and Robin, but here's the news. I finally bought some comics, YUSS.


- A downbeat ending I thought, but very powerful. I really love what Ennis has created with the Crossed, and I am looking forward eagerly to Lapham's new take on the 'verse and characters Ennis has created. I think what he has done with Crossed is actually a new and significant thing for him - the absolute gross-out violence and depravity of the Crossed is definitely familiar Ennis territory, but where he surpasses himself is in his matter-of-fact treatment of the surviviors. Theirs was a pretty humorless existence, and was an excellent counterpoint to the Crossed, who are simply human beings without restraint. A really good, clever take on the neo-zombie genre, probably the best since Warren's Black Gas, which was thematically similar, but with a different feel and scope. Anyway, ten out of ten, Ennis at his best. Horse-cock, you will be missed.

ARMOR WARS #4 - Brilliant ending to this mini. Particularly that last page. Mr Ellis, both I and my girlfriend would like to applaud you for writing Drunk Tony. We like Drunk Tony the best. Although I haven't read the original Armor Wars, Ellis was clearly the best scribe to handle its' Ultimate reimagining - some great tech, some colourful villains, and incredible dialogue. Have enjoyed the hell out of this. Almost, but not quite, stopped the weeping after I saw Jeph Loeb's New Ultimates on the shelf. In a foil cover no less.

ULTIMATE AVENGERS #5 - Please tell me Millar will kill this enjoyable romp back through his Ultimate playground before Marvel coerce him into tying its continuity into Loeb's book. Because I am enjoying seeing Millar write Cap again... I want to see where he's going with this! Quality swearing, lots of action, and a beefed up Red Skull make this a fun (if slightly brainless) read.

WOLVERINE - WEAPON X #11 - What's the marketing plan with Wolverine comics anyway, eh Marvel? Hopefully you'll get rid of Daniel Way after Dark Wolverine. I already gave up on Wolverine: Origins months ago. Because of Daniel Way. Then you go give him the main Wolverine title AS WELL. THEN you hire Jason Aaron, clearly the best writer to handle Wolverine since Greg Rucka, and give him an all-new title, which is SOLID AWESOME! What's the deal? Are you gonna give Aaron the main title once Way's completely yawn-inducing Daken retires? Couldn't you have given Way a series called Wolverine: For Retards and just given the main title to Aaron in the first place? Anyway, this was awesome. Deathlok. YEAHS!

THE BOYS #40 - Cautiously optimistic that this is back on track after the slightly boring Origins storyline. Great cover. Truly horrible. Let's see where this goes. Anyone care to wager how many issues of The Boys Garth has left in him? I feel like the title might be entering the home stretch.

JOE THE BARBARIAN #2 - Nice idea, beautifully drawn by Sean Murphy. Morrison continues to evolve as a storyteller - this is a really nice Looking Glass type of story, and anyone who watched cartoons or played with action figures in the 70s and 80s is going to enjoy playing spot the character. If I had kids, they would be reading Joe the Barbarian.

THE WALKING DEAD #70 - This comic is like an institution for me now. I love the characters so much. I think Kirkman could do an issue of talking heads, with no zombies or plot development at all, and I'd still think it was absolute gold. Seriously, I'm past the point of being able to criticise TWD. It is simply a masterpiece. Anyone jumping on the book randomly might be all like 'WTF? Nothing happened in issue 70' but they'd just be wrong. Read it from the start, it is the World's Greatest Zombie Epic.


GIRL COMICS #1 - Enjoyed the first story with Nightcrawler. The rest felt a little pointless and sexist. Who is to say girls don't enjoy epic, tights-clad smackdown as much as the rest of us?? Maybe that's why I'm a boy though. Didn't hate this in any way - nice art, humorous writing, etc etc... it just didn't grab me like it seemed to grab others on this forum. Meh. Each to their own.

NEW ULTIMATES # 1 - Didn't buy it obviously. Although the foil Thor cover edition tempted me. Like fuck. All I have to say about this is:

Jeph Loeb. WHY, MARVEL, WHY??

EDIT - Also, I totally missed issue 1 of Captain Swing because I was broke. Kicking myself.


Via Wired US site, via @fragmad



Black Lantern Music and NeverZone are hugely proud to present a unique 6-track release from one of the most significant and influential East Coast Scottish hip-hop bands, Eaters.

Bite Marks started life as a 'best of' - the six original tracks were taken from two of Eaters albums (Digest and Wives). As the band were compiling the material for the collection, they took the decision to remix each track.

The resulting work is not just a great starting point for those new to the Eaters music, but also a bold and exciting preview of what's to come. The band's legacy extends back to 1997 (as Laughing Gear explains on the band's site), and they have a lot of history and experience to look back on.

Bite Marks is the Eaters doing this directly, reimagining their back catalgoue while moving forward to new sonic territory. As always, Eaters remain hip-hop purists in their own particular way. Laughing Gear gets straight to the point when describing the band's ethos:

"In my opinion, to make good rap music, hip hop music, it has to be fresh. When the whole music had it's roots in competition it had to be about being better through improvement, through pushing the boundary, through evolution. All my understanding of hip hop comes from records and interviews as I was never in New York during the early eighties, so it may have been nonsense. Regardless, that is what I believe hip hop is about and that is what Eaters are about."

Those of you who've been following this blog for a while might recall that I cosidered the most recent Eaters album, Shouting at the Wind, my favourite of 2009. When I wrote that, I had no idea that I'd be collaborating with Eaters and Harlequinade to release one of their EPs. It's a great honour to welcome Eaters to Black Lantern Music.

So what can you expect? Lots of live instrumentation. Brutally frank lyrics that dissect society, science fiction and hiphop with wit and savage wordplay. Electro roots embracing punk and rock sentiments, politics and instruments. In short, the best hip-hop band you wish you'd heard of years ago.


All the Eaters albums featuring the original tracks are available at:



Something very special indeed for you this evening, people. The first short film from the pen of Sileni frontman, Chemical Poet and longtime Weaponizer scribe HARLEQUINADE. Known for his darkly satrirical, bleeding-edge horror stories and Lovecraftian hip-hop, Harlequinade is proud to bring SWIRLHEAD to the screen after a year in development hell.

HQ has been no slouch in the meantime however, releasing his solo album Nihilimous Germscapes, and the Sileni album Riders on The Conquering Worm in the past 12 months. Not to mention running the NeverZone channel on Black Lantern Music, and promoting noise / hip-hop / metal gigs in Edinburgh and Glasgow!

Please join me in congratulating Harlequinade and his collaborators over on his Twitter, and on his director CyberGnome's YouTube page, for what is a job extremely well done.

Enough preamble: check this the fuck out!

Written by HARLEQUINADE / Music by GUNG-WHO



Please Note: SWIRLHEAD is presented in gorgeous widescreen. Please remember to click FULL SCREEN on the YouTube player.



As you will all know by now, C. Brian Hickey, author of Lovecraftian pop fable Catchy and caveman vampire tale Vamp Origin, regularly knocks it way the fuck out of the park for us lucky Weaponeers. This next tale of wizardry and infernal bargaining is no exception. Enjoy.

First things first: I am an Associate Manager of Hedge Funds for Waterloo Management Company, based on State Street in Boston, Massachusetts. I’ve been with the company for eight years now, and I enjoy my career immensely. Given my extracurricular activities, however, I’m certain most of you reading this didn’t flip to this page, or click this link, with the intention of reading about my business career which, admittedly, isn’t all that remarkable. No, most people want to hear about the sorcery ...READ MORE


Will Ellwood is a prolific writer, regularly updating his blogs Quick Tales and King of Sleep, submitting to Weaponizer and several other sites, and as of this week, setting up and running The Kick School of Creative Writing. Will has a way with skewed, uneasy realism, often in the context of near-future speculative stories. His recent essay for us, Social Realist SF, lays out Will's philosophy for the SF he wants to write - it's an interesting read, as are the comments which appeared on this blog subsequent to the essay's publication. For now, enjoy Will's latest flash.

He got up from the sofa and left for the kitchen. Laid out on the marble countertop were the ingredients for the pie. Pre-weighed. Pecans, Kahlua, instant coffee and chocolate. The recipe she'd printed earlier that afternoon and stuck onto the fridge with a strawberry shaped magnet ...READ MORE



Say a big hearty hello to new writer Daniel Ross, whose opening salvo is a wry, impassioned rant about consumerism and injustice.

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
– A quote commonly attributed to Thomas Jefferson

Try telling my friends that. In a society where being out of step with the way in which we are told to live our lives is considered insane, I am forced to question my own sanity because I dream of watching the world burn to the ground.


Illustration - 'Type 2 Nation' by id-iom.
Some rights reserved.


Reviewed by Will Ellwood

Well here it is, the third Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach. After five years of waiting it is here. And it is good. It is good, but it is not brilliant. This album is made of plastic: high quality, well designed, but ultimately disposable; destined for the landfill site like so many other good but not standout records.

Which might be the point that Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are trying to make.

There are no real stand out tracks here. Stylo, the first single, might be one, but this track feels like a throwback to the first album. It feels like 19-2000, but that may just be the music video. So much of this album is good, but not fantastic. An echo of Gorillaz and Demon Days.

The issue might be that Plastic Beach features far more prominently the work of guest artists. While both previous albums featured a wealth of guests from all across western music, their presence always added to the effort. On Plastic Beach however, it feels as though we have an idea of what a Gorillaz album should be like, and that a group of artists were selected to help make this Gorillaz sound.

Except what Plastic Beach has ended up being is a not as good as what came before. Still good, but not outstanding. Too many ideas half-realised, giving the album no real musical identity. The tracks that stand out do so only by the happy accident.

The tracks: Rhinestone Eyes, Stylo, Glitter Freeze, On Melancholy Hill and To Binge are the ones to listen to. Everything else can be ignored. Still this isn't a bad record, it is just hard to recommend, because it is like a Coke bottle. It works, and does its job, but we don't notice it when it has washed up on the beach.



Producer / DJ Asthmatic Astronaut is one of the driving creative forces behind Black Lantern Music, producing tracks for Lifeshows, Chemical Poets, Tickle and Texture. His pedigree as a hip-hop producer is very respectable indeed - as the mainstay of live juggernauts Underling, he rocked festivals and gig venues up and down the country. He has remixed Belleruche for the Tru Thoughts label, and released tracks and compilations on Dejine.rec, plus a host of other labels, and received acclaim from magazines such as The List and The Skinny.

As such, his forthcoming LP 'Super Intelligent Common Sense' is hotly anticipated by those in the know. Alongside his well-loved hip-hop porductions, AA has been experimenting with a psychedelic, funk-heavy electronic sound pallette, and the finished album will stand alongside recent efforts by the likes of Hudson Mohawke and Joker as a classic of the neo-synth-funk genre.

So start getting excited - we'll announce the launch right here as soon as a date is set.



We featured the fabulous photographer Veronika Von Volkova on this blog last year. She has now set herself up with an Etsy store, where her prints can be bought for very reasonable prices. Mostly her gorgeous self-portraits at the moment, but there will be more diverse work to follow. Go check out the store!

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