Wednesday

SERIAL: STILLETTO EYE & RAZORGUT AND THE ORGY OF THE GOAT LORD


After another brief hiatus, which they spent mugwump hunting on the northern shores of the Interzone peninsula, infamous psychobilly-swamp-blues-rock-magi Dwayne Coltrane and the HyperDeathPyschoRock Three are back, with another ten thrilling installments of the adventures of StillettoEye & RazorGut! Rejoice! Vomit! Caper and carouse! As the deadly duo join THE ORGY OF THE GOAT LORD!

So engrossed were they in their surroundings that it wasn’t until the Marquis was standing over them that their attention was broken. He was a lanky, bespectacled man, exuding pomposity. He introduced himself, and took them through to the dining hall for tea. Over thick viscous wine and a platter of whole roast lamb – for StilletoEye and RazorGut he served milkshakes and cheeseburgers – the Marquis regaled them with tales of his travels and adventures, until he was interrupted by the woman StilletoEye and RazorGut had seen from the car, who came in and curtseyed. The Marquis introduced her as his daughter: perfect, innocent, virginal, and 16 today, he explained ...READ MORE

Tuesday

FLASH: ENOUGH ICE

Methamphetamine's a hell of a drug. Brought to you by Bram E. Gieben, author of 'Hex,' 'Shore Leave' and 'The Shape of Things That Never Come,' a tale of fire and ice, and the kinds of friendships only nine-day benders can bring.

The skin on my calf is mottled red and brown, a mess of pinpricks behind and over the faded tattoos. Been sticking the hypodermic in and in and in, as though my leg was a goddamn pincushion, but I still can’t find a vein. I’m sweating. It’s hot tonight ...READ MORE

Monday

FICTION: THE CHAMBER OF THE RED DUST

BB Smith, author of 'The View' and 'The Answered Prayers,' comes back with a prequel to his first story for us, 'The Secret of the Red Dust.' In the original story, Smith showed us a society where all forms os speech and music were outlawed. For the prequel, he takes us back a few years to show us one of the key moments that lead to this dystopian future. Kneel before the King! The original image for this story is 'Red Lamp...' by David July.

His body flopped to the ground, as his hands were cuffed behind his back; his short fall felt harder than it should have. His face slammed into the rocky floor of the tunnel. He could feel his eyes roll, teasing his soul to give in. Next they pounded his arms and legs, leaving his crotch for last. The largest of the thuggish guards stamped down onto his balls, while the others held their prisoner’s legs apart. Into a huddle the beaten man gathered himself, gasping to regain his breath, struggling to stay conscious.  Two of the King’s guards dragged him onto his feet, while the biggest guard, a grizzly bear of a man, strangled him by the throat until he had no choice but to stand. The pain in both his jaw and his balls was immense, inside he wanted to scream in agony but there was no way he was going to give the bastards anything ...READ MORE

DO NOT GO GENTLY: THOUGHTS ON HARLAN ELLISON

By K. Patrick Glover

The salient fact, the piece of information that is crucial to all that follows, no matter how much I wish otherwise: Harlan Ellison has announced that he is dying.

Let that stand alone, for a moment.

How do you begin to write a piece about something that horrifies you? Something that just makes you want to shake your head in denial and hide somewhere, perhaps in a corner, amidst a collection of favorite old books. Books like The Glass Teat, Shatterday, The Beast That Shouted Love At The Heart of The World, Stalking The Nightmare and Strange Wine. What do you do when all those favorite books just remind you of the horrifying news that sent you scurrying for the corner in the first place?

Perhaps you go back, to the origins of it all. The point of discovery, the spark of inspiration: or, as we often say in mystery fiction, the precipitating incident.

As such:

I was eighteen years old and spending a great deal of time hanging out in a local comic book store. Partially because I was a huge comic fan, but also because the people that hung there and worked there were very much my sort of people. It was one of the first places I had ever felt a true sense of belonging. The year was 1986.

This comic store, back in those days before the slick, chain-like stores took over the business, was really a small house and it carried not just comics but gaming supplies and tons and tons of old books. I loved getting lost in the stacks of books. Science fiction novels, fantasy novels, men’s adventure books with ridiculous titles like The Executioner and The Penetrator. They all fascinated me.

On one particular day, I discovered a book called An Edge In My Voice by a writer named Harlan Ellison. It was an oversized paperback, thick and heavy, put out by a company called Starblaze Graphics. Starblaze I recognized, I had several graphic novels that they had published in my collection along with some books by Robert Asprin.

Harlan, however, was new to me. Still, the book looked intriguing and different so I picked it up and started to read segments at random. It was non-fiction, which surprised me, I think I was expecting science fiction (probably because of the section in which the store had it shelved). It was also incredibly engrossing. Harlan’s voice hit me like a freight train and I think my brain started going through evolutionary changes on the spot.

I had been toying with the idea of writing stories for several years. Even written a few, very, very bad ones. But it was holding that book in my hand, reading Harlan talk about what it takes to be a writer, about being truthful (which doesn’t always mean factual), about being fearless and about the craft itself that really sealed the deal for me. For the first time in my life, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I have no idea how long I really stood there reading that book, but I do recall the shop owner coming in to tell me he was closing up. I asked him to find me anything else he had by Harlan and he pulled out several paperbacks, a couple hardcovers and a small stack of science fiction magazines that all had Harlan’s name on the cover.

I took it all and went home and spent the next several days devouring all of it, some pieces over and over. His fiction was every bit as amazing as his non-fiction and even more important, it felt daring and new.

I read Repent Harlequin, Said The Ticktockman! In a paperback called All The Sounds of Fear. Actually, I read it through about four times in a single sitting. The first time laughing my ass off at the sparkling wit, the second time really appreciating the non linear structure, the third time studying the way he built a world so subtly and so completely and finally, the fourth time, when I took all the elements in together and really absorbed what has become my all time favorite piece of short form fiction.

Another piece that had a similar impact on me was found in one of the magazines, an issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction that featured Harlan on the cover for a story called All The Lies That Are My Life. At this point, having read through a couple of the books already, I was expecting speculative fiction (Harlan’s preferred term for what he does). Again, Harlan surprised. All The Lies is as much a piece of literary fiction as anything written by Hemmingway or Salinger. It may (or may not) contain some autobiographical detail. If it doesn’t, you feel like it does anyway because the characters are so painstakingly real and believable.

I could spend days reminiscing about various stories. Unfortunately, that’s not why we’re here, you and I.

We’re here to talk of the man.

Harlan has his fair share of detractors. You’ll find no shortage of people online who will call him all manner of unpleasant things, most of which I imagine bring a smile to the man’s face. Likewise, there’s no shortage of us that consider the man a genuine hero, a role model and just an all around incredible human being. Harlan’s probably less comfortable with that adulation then he is with the bile from the other side, but the hell with it, let him be uncomfortable.

He has been known to be a difficult man to work with, especially in Hollywood circles. (Harlan spent plenty of time in the trenches, writing both film and television and winning several awards for his work.) He has been known as a litigious man, instigating more lawsuits than one can easily imagine.

And yet, both that difficult nature and that tendency towards litigation come from an overwhelming desire for fairness and justice. He has fought, over and over, to preserve creators’ rights, tilting furiously against the giant windmills of the huge entertainment machine. To this day, whenever I hear of a particularly obnoxious money man trying to force creative decisions on a writer, I picture Harlan sneaking up behind him, garlic and wooden stake in hand, ready to do battle for the writer and the story.

In fact, that’s how I’ll always picture Harlan, ready to do battle against the unjust and the unfair, with a smile on his lips and a story in his heart. It’s an example we should all learn from and emulate. We should all spend some time tilting at windmills.

Perhaps my strongest regret is never meeting Harlan. There were opportunities in the past. I could have made it to a convention appearance or a lecture. I let my ego get in the way of that. I wanted to wait until I was established as a writer. I wanted to speak to him, not as an equal, no (my hubris doesn’t stretch that far), but at least as a fellow professional. The new kid on the block, so to speak. It’s a chance I’ll never have, now, and it is something I will regret for a very long time indeed.

Before I go, I want to leave you with a suggestion. Harlan may be dying, but he’s not gone yet. There may be some wonderful things yet to come from the man. Or he may spend his final days enjoying a well earned rest. In either case, I would urge you, don’t send him presents. He’s a happy man, he has said so on many an occasion and he has all that he needs or desires.

Instead, if you feel compelled to do something for Harlan, perhaps a contribution to the CBLDF (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund). It’s an organization that fights against censorship and for the rights of comic creators. Harlan has strongly supported the CBLDF over the years (as have I) and he would, I am sure, be delighted to see an upswing in support in his name.

Pay the Writer - from the documentary Dreams With Sharp Teeth



A classic Ellison interview from 1976:



The full-length apocalyptic SF movie, 'A Boy and His Dog,' based on a short story written by Harlan Ellison:


Watch A Boy and His Dog IPOD in Entertainment  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Friday

SERIAL: BALE'S GAME, PART 5 - KNIGHT TO QUEEN’S BISHOP THREE

After a brief sabbatical, K. Patrick Glover, author of webcomic The Invisible Skein, and most recently, a short story collection called 'Parenthetically Speaking,' has returned to continue the story he began in BALE'S GAME


PREVIOUSLY, ON BALE'S GAME! 
Chasing the villainous, renegade spook Caldwell across the US, bounty hunter and former spy Bale has narrowly escaped being arrested by Homeland Security agents as he is drawn deeper and deeper into a game of deceit, danger and intrigue. But who was the man behind his last-minute rescuse? Find out now!

I had been out of the intelligence game for too long. I forgot how fast these guys moved. I was three steps behind and playing catch-up with my life on the line. Twenty four hours ago I was just a bounty hunter setting off after a rabbit. Now I was sitting on a park bench with a total stranger while ducking an all points from Homeland Security ...READ MORE

Thursday

SERIAL: OPERATION SUNRISE, CHAPTER 16

Para-psychological thriller Operation Sunrise by Grimly Whetfox hits the home stretch, as our heroine follows the mysterious codes and symbols in her dreams towards a strangely familiar doorway... 

She stood on the doorstep, pale, her hands shaking, and looked at the doorbell. She willed her hand to reach out and push it, but her hand didn't move so she just stood there, the wind blowing her thin dress around her legs. Fuck. This fucking city. She hated it. And loved it a bit too, she supposed. Well, quite a lot actually. Kinda like this guy. And half the reason she hated this city was because of this guy. Fuck, what was she doing? She looked at her hands but they were still shaking, not from cold, although it certainly was colder here, but from fear, from the fear of what she was about to do. Or not ...READ MORE

FLASH: THE BUBBLE GUN


Please give a warm welcome (by which I mean, please leave some comments!) to new Weaponeer Felipe Arasanz, a Chillean-Canadian writer with a flash of magic realism to his charming, offbeat writing. His first perfectly formed Flashfic for us is the tale of a young boy's love for his eccentric, well-travelled and magickal grandmother. The original image for this story (also stunning!) is 'Bubble World' by Viking 79.

My Grandma always kept a jar of this red oozy stuff in the cupboard. I think I asked her what it was once, before she got sick, and she said it was the venom of the QuQula'ka Spider from the underground cave city of Zolidudel. She said that when you add a drop of the venom to a pool of water, you could see your reflection sixty years into the future. My grandma used to travel a lot ...READ MORE

Tuesday

EXCLUSIVE EDINBURGH GIG 29/09


In all the excitement of booking these last minute gigs, I forgot to announce this one!

Chemical Poets have just been booked by Baba Brinkman and Dizraeli for Wed 29th September, at the same venue (Henry's Cellar Bar) where we are having the Black Lantern birthday party on Sunday 3rd October.

These guys are absolute titans in the spoken word scene - both multiple slam champions, Diz was the 2004 Radio 4 Slam Champ of the UK, Baba has won a coveted Fringe First - the pair were nominated together for The Rebel Cell, and Baba won it for The Rap Guide To Evolution. Both shows received 5-star reviews for their shows.

They're playing an exclusive hip-hop set for us as part of their tour with Canadian singer / songwriter Aaron Nazrul and his band the Boom Booms.

The gig costs just £5, and runs from 8pm - 12 midnight.

More details here on Facebook
.

FLASH: RAZORED UP


A raw, violent and grim-faced little flashfic now, on the topic of revenge, from Janine McEwan, author of 'Bobby On The Beat.' This one's coming straight from the mean streets of Glasgow. The original image for this story is 'Straight Razor' by Carletaorg.

She fell tae the grun, I heard her in my heid when they telt me wit he’d done. I heard her scream, I couldny come fur her. He shot her wai a handgun, it went bang. My baby’s boady went thud, oantae the grun. Noo I’m back in Glesga, doon in the auld stomping grun, south ae the Clyde. I’m gonnae kick his fud in, he disny know that, he disny know I’m back hame in Glesga. He disny know me anymare. I’m no the stupit wee bhoye who left two year ago, I’m a man, a man that’s gonnae kick his fud in, before I use a razor oan him, my razor tae cut his face aff. Cut it tae ribbons, red ribbons, and watch awe the ribbons flow oantae this Glesga street. He left me withoot my baby, I’m leaving him withoot a face ...READ MORE

SERIAL: KANSAS, CHAPTER 6 - AN OPERATOR


Matthew McLean's post-cyperpunk espionage thriller KANSAS continues! Hatcher reaches his destination - the Alon Bar, clandestine watering hole of Moscow's expatriate community. Who is waiting for him - and what do they have in store? Find out now!

As an operator for the majority of his adult life, Hatcher first took notice of the windows and doors within the space he found himself. Exits were priority since he was essentially unarmed. The next thing that took hold of his attention was the striking Aryan lady sitting calmly at the bar. She appeared to be checking through a datapad, but Hatcher noticed that her drink hand had disappeared casually underneath the bar when he had directed his gaze in her direction ...READ MORE

Friday

FICTION: THE PYJAMA MURDERS


Please welcome new Weaponeer, Glasgow-based student and evil corporation employee Alan Gillespie. His first short story for Weaponizer is a darkly comic exploration of murder, masturbation, office politics and biscuits. Hapless debt counsellor George harbours murderous feelings towards his boss. But does he have it in him to kill? The original image for this story is 'Drunk Businessman' by Ramenlover.
It didn’t seem right, wearing pyjama bottoms to kill someone, but there was nothing else for it. George’s denims weren’t dark enough for midnight concealment, his chinos were equally useless and he couldn’t risk getting his suit trousers dirty. He would have to wear them to the office the next day. You still have to go to work, even if you’ve been up all night killing ...READ MORE


FLASH: DR. CARRON


Michael Jacobo, author of 'Mother,' returns with a story of a scientist and the love he has for his robot. The original image for this story is 'Robot Joe' by FlySi.

They say I’m a brilliant man, but most of the time I feel pretty awkward. You’d imagine the so called smartest man alive would know how to handle any situation. The truth of it is I really don’t like people. The closest thing to another person that I can tolerate is my newest creation. I call him Eddie, I always imagined if I had a friend his name would be Eddie. No one knows I’ve named him though, for some reason it just feels wrong that anyone knows his name. They all call him Tom, after some rock and roll song I hear. It makes me cringe when I hear them say that name. He is a joke to them: some kind of metal mascot they like to put hats on, but Eddie is my friend. He and I are supposed to save the world ...READ MORE

Thursday

FREE MUSIC! EATERS - SHOUTING AT THE WIND


Back around the end of 2009, before Eaters were involved with Harlequinade's Channel NeverZone and Black Lantern Music, they released a very fine album called 'Shouting At The Wind.'

It was a bit different from their other albums - mainly featuring instrumentals by Tuck Pendleton, and with most of the tracks comprising only the vocals of Laughing Gear, it was a bit of a departure for the band. Here at Weaponizer, we liked 'Shouting...' so much we made it our Album of the Year (an accolade we still stand behind - it consistently gets played at WeaponLabs, and is always on my pod).

Very kindly, Eaters have decided to make this astonishing album available for FREE, on the Black Lantern website. Of course, if you want a CD copy, it is still available from the Eaters website - but you can get the whole package as a download from our siter site from today onward.

I'll reiterate what I said about 'Shouting...' when it first came out:

"Nothing short of a masterpiece... the rawest, most honest, brutal, brilliant and beautiful album I have heard this year."

Go get it.

SERIAL: OPERATION SUNRISE, CHAPTER 15


Para-psychological thriller Operation Sunrise by Grimly Whetfox continues! A seemingly everyday scene - a boy and girl flirting across a crowded pub - becomes a battle of psychological will, layered with obscure meanings and hidden significance...

She smiled to herself as she watched him over in the corner from her perch at the edge of the long bar. He looked great, even in that ridiculous stretched t-shirt. The blindfold was still round his head, skewed squint across his brow, and she fancied it almost suited him, in a strange way. With pen ink all over his face. That boy could look hot in a bin bag, she thought, and bit down, inside her head, a wave of longing, or jealousy, or something, firing through her limbic system, hot and cold at once. What a fox ...READ MORE

Wednesday

'FRIDAY'S CHILDREN' BY BRIAN MOWREY


Brian Mowrey's new novel 'Friday's Children' is being serialised in its entirety online, for free! Packed full of superheroes, evil scientists, sinister corporations and dysfunctional relationships, it looks like a very exciting ride! Visit the website now and read the introduction and first few chapters.

Tuesday

FLASH: DON'T GO INTO THE LIGHT


One of Weaponizer's most prolific and most-read contributors, C. Brian Hickey has a sick sense of humour, and a winning way with a high-concept short story. Don't believe me? Check out the likes of 'Catchy' and 'Big Money.' Or, just click right through and read this dark little flashfic... The original image for this story is 'Zomdog' by Laurie Pink.

April was always afraid of the dark. When she was a little girl, she knew in her heart of hearts that one day the Boogieman would come for her, scoop her up, stuff her in his bindle, and carry her off. As she grew older, she avoided dark alleys, never went out for drinks without her coterie of girlfriends. When her boyfriends came over, the lights stayed on - not because she was particularly adventurous or liberated, but because the pools of light she lived in were her armor ...READ MORE

FICTION: WATASHI KIREI


Fan-favourite author and comics guru Den Patrick returns with another slice of self-contained (but inter-linked) Tokyo Noir! After the supernatural Yakuza weirdness of 'Kitsune' and 'Confessional,' our narrator has fled to Sapporo in search of the quiet life. It seems trouble always has a way of finding him... The original image for this story is 'Zipping Through Tokyo' by Stuck In Customs.

It had been about month. Doesn’t sound much, but thirty days of Tokyo nights and bruising mornings take their toll. Not bruises in the physical sense – it was more, I don’t know... more of a feeling. I was in bad need of a change of scene. The smoky pool halls had lost their allure, but kept their smell of leather, their taste of regret. The bōsōzoku – with their rotating cast of dolls and floozies, alpha males and dark-eyed grifters – had become pedestrian. I needed a new tempo. Surroundings less familiar. I needed to change up; calm down ...READ MORE

Monday

FLASH: HYPNOVERTIGO


A dark, sticky-sweet confection of pain and pleasure now from Harlequinade, which was written as a response to 'A VenerealStatement of Sorts' by Michelle Hannah, and employs a similar cut-up, stream of consciousness approach to erotica. The stunning original image for this story is 'Crucify' by Ko_An.

The blood spurts when the first nail is removed. Pin stripes, eyeliner, nylon rope. A jagged fingernail leaves a scratched ladder ...READ MORE

SERIAL: BLACKTOP, PART 2 - NEVER MINE TO KEEP


Post-apocalyptic SF romance / thriller 'Blacktop' by Ruzkin continues today! Our nameless narrator holes up in the ghost town that was Detroit, as he and his nameless lover try and decide what to do about the approach of winter. Will they head north, or stay in the cities? One thing is certain - whatever they decide, they have a long road ahead of them... The original image for this series is 'Silhouette' by Chazz Layne.

Sometimes I wake and she isn't there, and I jump to my feet unable to hear anything but the beat of blood in my ears, the panic, bile at the back of my throat. I go to the nearest window and look out at Detroit and hope to see her somewhere below, in the shadow of a streetlamp, pressed against a wall blasted ash-white. Stalking ghosts ...READ MORE

BLACK LANTERN MUSIC: WE ARE ONE


Can you believe it?? Black Lantern Music is one year old! We're having a big party to celebrate, so if you're in Edinburgh (or within reach), get your arse down to Henry's Cellar Bar on Sunday October 3rd, from 7pm til 1am, for some quality hip-hop, electro and dubstep action! AND... it's FREE before 11pm.

Here's who we have lined up!

STANLEY ODD (Circular Records)
Immaculately played live hip-hop with jazz and indie inflections. Stanley Odd released their debut album 'Oddio' to critical acclaim this year, rocked T in the Park, and are supporting Sage Francis... a band on the up-and-up, the saviours of Scottish hip-hop.

MORPHAMISH (Urge Mode)

Tearing up the dubstep, techno and breakbeat scenes with his live sets for the past decade and more, Morphamish, head of the Urge Mode label, is a destroyer of dancefloors. Supported by Radio 1's Vic Galloway, Mary Ann Hobbes and Rob Da Bank, he is fast becoming one of Edinburgh's most talked about electronic artists

ASTHMATIC ASTRONAUT & HARLEQUINADE are...
THE CHURCH OF WHEN THE SHIT HITS THE FAN (NeverZone)
Superproducer AA, whose 'Super Intelligent Common Sense' album was released to widespread praise this year, joins up with doom-rap pioneer Harlequinade (Sileni / Chemical Poets) to become The Church Of When The Shit Hits The Fan! Delivering booming electro beats and futuristic precision rhymes, this is their EXCLUSIVE debut performance! DO NOT MISS!

EATERS (NeverZone / Eatersmusic)
One of Edinburgh's longest-running, most respected hip-hop outfits, Eaters combine exquisitely produced beats with old-school decksmanship and lyrical wordplay with rare wisdom, wit and depth. Performing an experimental set exploring their incredible LP 'Shouting At The Wind,' this is a rare chance to see one of the capital's best kept musical secrets.

KROWNE (WPNZR)
As part of the Vibration Terrorists, and as a DJ of twelve years experience, Krowne is an experimental electronic artist with a rich and complex sonic palette. His debut on Black Lantern, 'Orders From Mars,' combined classic trip-hop with electro, techno and breakbeat influences to stunning effect.

TICKLE & TEXTURE (Chemical Poets)
Black lantern emcees Tickle (Burning Bright) and Texture (collaborator with Morphamish) will be in attendance throughout the evening, dropping science, politics and dark magick over and in-between some of the acts.

Friday

JUST STOP....


via Cheeky Tim!

SERIAL: KANSAS, CHAPTER 4 - THE NAZI


Matthew McLean's fantastic post-cyberpunk thriller KANSAS continues! In Moscow, an injured man stumbles down a dark alleyway. What fate awaits him, and what connection does he have to Dragon-San and Hatcher? Find out now!

Stumbling down the alley, he felt as if he were extremely drunk. He knew, then, with certainty, he had been badly hurt. He crashed into cold mortar, lurching into one of the buildings that formed the lane he moved down. He stopped for a moment, panting, feeling life drain out of him. He felt a constriction in his chest and moved on. After an endless mile, he stumbled onto the back stairs of the building that he had been searching for. The sign above read EXIT in dull red letters. Below, painted on the door, were the words ALON BAR ...READ MORE

FLASH: A VENEREAL STATEMENT OF SORTS


Ready for something a little different? New Weaponeer Michelle Hannah has a very experimental style, using stream of consciousness and cut-up techniques to create abstract, depopulated, disintegrating narratives. Her first flash piece for Weaponizer is a sexually charged burst of scientific strangeness.

Fabric, sex and nails. Touching of genitalia through threads with combined forced movement, plus a realized spasm. Gently flushed removal of said machine washed and thus far the climax near. Legal grown consolance. Inertia tongues, unspoken compliance of fluids and / or DNA to be completed now in a specific unfathomable random order. XY roots, hairs tugged in willingness. Temperature ducts gush. Rhythm and rhyme ...READ MORE

Thursday

ORIGINALITY

SERIAL: OPERATION SUNRISE, CHAPTER 14


Back in 2007, when Weaponizer was just getting started, we published a chapter of Operation Sunrise as a stand-alone short story. That chapter was called W.I.L.D. Since then, its author Grimly Whetfox has managed not only to crank out the rest of his novel, but several short stories, such as The Northern Appointment, and Addicted to Vinegar, and the odd nonfiction piece too. One nonfic piece in particular, How To Be A Ninja In One Easy Lesson, is a very good companion piece for this chapter of OpSun. Without any further ado... Chapter 14.
He stood in the centre of it all, the centre of the universe. What the hell had just happened? The buzzing, for god's sake, the NOISE!! Like a jet engine taking off, like some gigantic, perfect generator, hidden, TARDIS style, labyrinthine, deep in the middle of him, in his chest. It had been unbelievable! It hadn't taken long either, although he suspected that time was fairly relative at this point. All he had done was lay down on his bed, relaxed, very slight breathing exercise (the one minute breath) and concentrated. Beginners luck, he suspected, remembering what he had read about the universe configuring itself to help you when you were trying something new, something important. And sometimes just when you were playing cards... ...READ MORE

FICTION: FOR ELISE


Meet new Weaponeer Zack Cuellar, travelling consultant, screenwriter, and cowboy dreamer. His Western story (a first for Weaponizer!), entitled For Elise, introduces lone gunman Jack Gillis. Stuck in Dodge, looking for his lost love, Jack encounters some trouble in the local saloon. Can he get away clean before the Founders take an interest in his actions? A great, atmospheric story, with excellent characters... I have a feeling we may see more of Jack Gillis in the future. The original image for this story is 'Cowboy' by Flipsy.

Jack was back out on the streets as the sun began its slow decent back to the horizon, casting harsh shadows over the ground. He kept to the shadows, mostly. The safer option. Not many out and about this part of town, save a couple kids and the usual horses hitched out front of the Founders’ Club. Big and fierce, pawing the ground and snorting loudly, sun glinting off their shining coats and tack. Jack thought for a moment of taking one and making a run for it, but the memory of what’d happened to the last man who tried ruled it out fairly quickly. ...READ MORE

Wednesday

ALAN MOORE: UNEARTHED & UNCUT


This is the full, unexpurgated transcript of my interview with Alan Moore, recently published in The Skinny magazine. Moore had so much to say, and was so interesting, that even the full-length online version (which clocked in at 7000 words or so) didn't contain everything we'd talked about. Also, Moore is a consummate interviewee, talking in long, unbroken sentences in his hypnotic Northamptonshire drawl. Unfortunately constraints on space mean that The Skinny couldn't publish the whole thing - many of his points had to be summarised. So here it is - more on his Lovecraftian meta-textual comics series Neonomicon; more on Dodgem Logic, and Moore's revolutionary politics; more on the infamous fight with DC over Watchmen; and more on his fantastic music / spoken word / photography project Unearthings, with links included.

Here's Moore on a particular tangent that made me laugh:

"I know that the first God Lovecraft created in the mythos was Cthulhu itself, in 1926, in ‘The Call of Cthulhu.’ Then Cthulhu became such a popular figure, that he then came up with all the other Gods: Yogg Sottot and all the rest of them, who are supposed to be inferior to Cthulhu. I mean, it’s the Cthulhu Mythos. His name is on the mythos! He’s pretty much the boss monster. And yet, he’s humanoid. He’s got tentacles for a face, admittedly – but he has got arms and legs. A head, a torso. Whereas Azathoth is a kind of eternal nuclear explosion or something, just a seething nuclear chaos. Now Yogg-Sottot – the cooling chaos. The thing that you glimpse at the centre of the dark. These are not human figures at all. So why is Cthulhu – if he is the boss monster – why is he humanoid?"

>>READ NOW

Monday

SERIAL: BLACKTOP, PART 1 - OUTSIDE DETROIT


Today, we begin a new serial by Ruzkin: itinerant Australian novelist, designer and Parkour teacher. It's an expansion of an earlier Flashfic he did for us, and as such, we've re-printed the original story here, as part one of the ongoing serial. Ruzkin's terse, muscular prose and sparse but vivid imagery made the original short one of my favourites from the site - I'm really looking forward to watching him expand this world and these characters. Part doomed romance, part post-apocalypse road movie, Blacktop is sure to be one hell of a ride. The original image for this series is 'Silhouette' by Chazz Layne.

Sometimes we held hands as we walked, her little palm slippery in mine. Sometimes she sang. Mostly it was quiet, the only sound the buzzing of fat flies tickling at your ears and nostrils. You could hear the cars hours away. More than enough time to get off the road, crouch low behind a bush, pull out the binoculars. Try and pick friend from enemy ...READ MORE

FLASH: BIG MONEY


This is a superb little piece of Flash from fan-favourite Weaponeer C. Brian Hickey, author of 'Catchy,' 'The Harrow Pit' and 'Shriekonomics.' Ever wondered what that homeless guy is staring at, as he peers, rheumy-eyed, into the middle distance? Ever wondered who, or what, he is muttering at? Let Mister Hickey give you a peek inside his world.

Every day of his life for the past four years was the same for James Rowley, known on the street as Big Money. He panhandled, he begged, he dodged muggers, and he tried to sleep as best he could, and, when he got enough quarters and dollars accumulated, he'd go get a handle of Victoria Blend, and pray that this was going to be the one that did him in. At least that way he'd be away from LoPinto ...READ MORE

Friday

FLASH: MINE


We are extremely pleased to welcome back Lynsey Miller, author of 'Mars' and 'Tuesday Afternoon,' who this time brings us a scalding tale of regrets, struggle and new beginnings. The original image for this piece is 'New Born Baby 499' by Digital Defection.

I sit up and look at it lying there. Square between my legs. All brown and wet and sticky. I stare hard and wonder briefly if I hate it. But I can’t. Surely I can’t hate it already? It starts to cry. Quietly at first and then it wails, louder and louder until it’s just one long scream. I look away and the nurse picks it up, cooing and fussing. It’s a girl she says, a beautiful baby girl. We thought you were never coming out, she tells it. They thought it was never coming out? It was me who had to get it out ...READ MORE

FICTION: THE GREY TEMPLE


Introducing serpentine new Weaponeer Mark Paddy, whose strange, hallucinatory SF / fantasy piece caught my imagination. On Jupiter, as flying serpents traverse the violent skies above the Great Red Spot, a mysterious tower arises. Harry has been chosen to deliver a divine message - only he can reach the tower. The original image for this story is 'Great Red Spot' by Ethan Hein.

The winds of Jupiter blew silently among old temples. Old, ancient artifices created by long deceased inhabitants. They float. Those massive circular obelisks. Float in the massive toxic winds that inhabit Jupiter's atmosphere. Inside that giant red eye. A nefarious purpose they do serve, in a capacity that only long dead corpses know. The quiet altars that roam the sky. Ready to reawaken and invoke a change that would twist the very fabric of reality ...READ MORE

Thursday

SERIAL: OPERATION SUNRISE, CHAPTER 13


Grimly Whetfox continues his para-psychological thriller Operation Sunrise! Our two protagonists are on the run, fleeing from their nameless pursuers. Has all their preparation been enough, or will they meet a grim fate on the road? Love, apocalypse and lucid dreams in Chapter 13 - Ghostbuster.

The night brought darkness, and the stars. There was no moon, and in the forest it was pitch black, save for a couple of candles and the occasional burning of the tiny stove for more tea. They would sleep for a few hours, then travel, then camp again before darkness. A nagging feeling that they could not outrun anyone on pushbikes and travelling only a few hours a day kept on making unwelcome waves of worry in her consciousness, red spikes behind her eyes, but she knew how far behind they were, how much they knew, and he would smell them instantly if they got wiser, or got lucky and moved closer. She trusted him to do that, he would not let her down. It made more sense to be well rested and to make better time than to be exhausted and slow on the move. Routine was important, repetition worked... Was this the way this period of their life was set to be? How many days or weeks or months would they stay moving like this ...READ MORE

TEXTURE INTERVIEWS ALAN MOORE


My mammoth Alan Moore interview has just been published over at The Skinny. It's an absolute beast! We talked about his spoken word / music collaboration Unearthings, his Lovecraftian horror comic Neonomicon, his counter-cultural magazine Dodgem Logic, and a whole heap of other subjects... here's a taster of Moore talking about Neonomicon - click through for the full article. I'll be posting the transcript (and later the audio) of the interview on Weaponizer next week.

“I wanted to do a story that modernised Lovecraft – that didn’t rely upon that 1930s atmosphere – and that modernised him successfully, at least in my opinion. I suppose I was also thinking that it would be nice if you could bring some of the naturalism of shows like HBO’s The Wire to the impossible. Because that show has got such believability and naturalism, that it struck me that would be a very good way of approaching something so inherently fantastic and unbelievable as H.P. Lovecraft. That was one of the initial ideas. Another one was to actually put back some of the objectionable elements that Lovecraft himself censored, or that people since Lovecraft, who have been writing pastiches, have decided to leave out. Like the racism, the anti-Semitism, the sexism, the sexual phobias which are kind of apparent in all of Lovecraft’s slimy phallic or vaginal monsters.



This is a horror of the physical with Lovecraft – so I wanted to put that stuff back in. And also, Lovecraft was sexually squeamish; would only talk of ‘certain nameless rituals.’ Or he’d use some euphemism: ‘blasphemous rites.’ It was pretty obvious, given that a lot of his stories detailed the inhuman offspring of these ‘blasphemous rituals’ that sex was probably involved somewhere along the line. But that never used to feature in Lovecraft’s stories, except as a kind of suggested undercurrent. So I thought, let’s put all of the unpleasant racial stuff back in, let’s put sex back in. Let’s come up with some genuinely ‘nameless rituals’- let’s give them a name. So those were the precepts that it started out from, and I decided to follow wherever the story lead. It is one of the most unpleasant stories I have ever written. It certainly wasn’t intended as my farewell to comics, but that is perhaps how it has ended up. It is one of the blackest, most misanthropic pieces that I’ve ever done. I was in a very, very bad mood.”


Thanks to Alan Moore for doing me the huge honour of giving me an hour of his time - it was genuinely inspiring talking to him! Also, massive thanks to Dave Kerr of The Skinny for arranging the interview, and passing it to me.

Wednesday

FICTION: NEITHER WIND NOR THUNDER WITH THE RAIN


K. Patrick Glover, comics writer (The Invisible Skein) and author of the ongoing serial Bale's Game (currently on a short hiatus caused by an unfortunate data crash...), plus the short stories Dead At Five and Shuffle, presents his first science fiction piece - a noirish detective thriller, set inside a mysterious domed-in city in the near future. Detectives Harris and Merchant have caught an awkward case - no witnesses, and barely any forensics from the two bodies, one of whom is dressed as a priest. The evidence throws up some weird questions - but will solving the case have wider implications for the rest of the city? The original image for this story is 'Trash Leaves The Alley' by Crowbert.

The crime scene itself was even more dismal and dreary than the street outside. At one time the ground floor of the office building had housed an upscale gym, but now it was just a large, gutted space. The electricity had been shut off long ago and the room was lit by several portable lanterns brought in by the crime lab. In the center of the former gym, amidst the trash and clutter left behind by years of homeless derelicts, was a body, dressed in black, laying face down on the floor ...READ MORE

FLASH: DIVINE INSPIRATION


Ross McCleary writes them short, sharp and to the point - this little comedy horror is no exception. The original image for this story is 'Killed by Night' by naZzilla.

The five people I’d murdered over the last six months had prompted one of the largest serial killer manhunts in Scotland’s history. Stopping them had been God’s plan. All five, so I had been convinced, were Communist nutters, plotting to bring down civilisation. By killing them I was doing God's work - enacting His divine Will ...READ MORE

CHEMICAL POETS: TWENTY TENTACLE REVIEW (THREE WEEKS)


Republished from the Three Weeks site:

4/5

Ginsberg's famous line 'whole intellects disgorged in total recall' springs to mind when you hear these literary outsiders in full flow. Less performance poets, and more an apocalyptic a cappella hip-hop act, you could accuse them of cultural schizophrenia, of lacking maturity or of overloading their lyrics with so much sci-fi geek-speak that it sometimes sounds like high speed 'Star Trek' dialogue. Strangely though, it makes a sort of sense, and you quickly find yourself absorbed in the collision of reflexive word-play and information-age angst, drawn in by their complex verbal rhythms and emphatic chants. Channelling the fractured energy of 'Generation Y,' they're a definite work in progress, but this exceptionally inventive trio seems comfortably incomplete.

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