I Believe in Blast Mancheese

 

I have an idea for a short story, but it’s a terrible one. So I’m writing it out over here. Just bits and bobs, for the purposes of exorcising it.

***

The story opens with our rocket scientist hero, blonde and muscular as all true heroes must be, arguing with politicians. The Martians have directed an asteroid towards earth, and the only way to intercept it is to ignite the booster rockets on an asteroid brought into the Earth/Moon sphere for mining purposes. He proposes a military strike to take the asteroid from the thugs and killers currently operating it.

The politician is objecting to the plan based on the recommendation of a so-called scientist (because sociology and those other sciences are not real. And besides, the scientist is a woman and a diplomat, which undercuts her greatly).  The asteroid is filled with refugees from various failed ethnic colonies. They can negotiate a resettlement deal without military action.

Our hero is resolute, even when his trusty ethnic subordinate thinks they should try negotiating.  And when our Hero confronts the woman sociologist, they reveal a mutual anger style attraction.  A plan is set to meet at a neutral colony. The hero is not invited.

Of course it’s a trap – the asteroid scum can only think about money, drugs and rapine, which they try to extort and take from the sociologist and her politicians. Our hero comes in with military support and rescues them all.  As a reward, the hero takes our woman sociologist to bed, where she admits the error of her ways and agrees to a military strike.

During the raid he sees the so-called refugees have a luxury items, thus proving they were wasting their resources instead of improving their lot in life and didn’t deserve any kindness. During the raid, the hero is just about to set the controls and start the burn when his trusty ethnic subordinate betrays him! The betrayal is for money and power, as the Martians have promised him debauched pleasure for the rest of his life.

Our hero kills his former sidekick, adding manpain to the story, and then launches the asteroid. After venting the remaining scum into space, he goes back to the colony for his reward – the woman, now ditching her former ways and supporting her man in every way.

***

Of course, this isn’t the whole story. In the end we would have a small paper written up by a Martian settler, discussing how stories like this one have gone on to shape Earth-Mars relations. It’s hard to negotiate with someone who sees your seed ethnic stock as traitorous, any sciences without direct military or industrial applications ‘useless’ and military action as the only solution. So the war continues.

Again, nothing interesting. But I had to get it out of my brain somewhere.

Jodorowsky’s Dune

I encourage anyone who has a passion for art, film, madness and Dune to see the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune.  It is the closest one will get to seeing his version of the novel until a brave filmmaker decides to animate it based on the artwork created.

It’s a great sadness we’ve lost so many tied to this film: Dan O’Bannon, Moebius, and now H.R. Giger. Hopefully this will also bring more of Chris Foss‘ work to light. The animated renderings of his ships are stunning.

As I watched this film with my very patient and loving partner in crime, at the end I said to her, “This is what I want to write. The feeling you get when you see these images – I want to write books which capture it.”

I just wish I had Jodorowsky’s uninhibited enthusiasm and drive. Watching him on film made me wish he was my crazy uncle, pulling me into his home filled with art and strangeness and telling me, “You are a warrior! A spiritual warrior! Fight and make your dreams reality!”

We need more Jodorowsky’s in the world. We need to all be Jodorowsky on some level.

 

Clocks, Gears and Life Between the Ticks

First, for those typewriter fans out there, try this Kickstarter project – the Qwerkywriter keyboard.  I’ve backed it,and I hope it makes it through to production.

Twenty days have clicked by since my last entry. “Dreams in the Satan House” has undergone a revision and is now with an alpha reader. I hope to give it to the writer’s group at the end of the month. I’m rewriting “Splitting Headache” now. Not my favorite process, rewriting, but necessary. I needed to add a bit more layering to the story. There’s some personal motivation I didn’t realize was in there until I’d sat on the story for a bit.

Once that’s done, I’ve got another story, “Old Leaves and Blood” I need to write out and revise.

I’ve been reconsidering November. I was set to participate in NaNoWriMo, but I think the time might be better served taking Ivre apart and seeing if I’ve got something decent in there. I hope so. It would be disheartening if all that work was for naught.  And it’s already difficult fighting the parts of me growling, “Why bother? What’s the point? It’s not as if…”

But I’ll deal with those ghosts later on.

Other stories I’m slowly working over in my head are a “Johnny Dollar” style short story involving freelancers and artificial intelligence, and one involving a “Screaming Gate” character. But I’ll have to see how they percolate.

Shadows Drift

 

Story updates first, before I get into the picture.  I finished the short story “Dreams in the Satan House” and am working on revising it. This month, I’ll be cutting up that story, and an earlier one, and trying to get initial readers. I’ve also got to start planning a few things out for future projects, and deciding on the next short story I’m going start writing.

Eventually, I need to start putting energy into the actual outline for Metaphysical Graffiti. And then there’s the other project still hiding in my head.

Ah, the photo. So, I’m feeling the itch to take pictures again. Not wanting to subject my friends or my girlfriend to being a target for my photography, I’m using myself and a soccer ball to test out lighting set-ups. The latter is appropriate given the World cup season. I want to use shots like this, or rim light but heavy shadow, to capture shapes.  But it also had me thinking of a long-term experiment…

 

Project: Everyday Film Noir

Concept: Everyday household events (washing dishes, doing laundry, bills, etc) are shot film noir style. The idea is to contrast the dramatic lighting with the mundane situation.

Look: Black & white, low-key photography. Gobos used to cast long, menacing shadows in the background.

Sets: Washing dishes, doing laundry, paying bills, cleaning bathroom, vacuuming & dusting, fixing bed sheets and at least one set of someone hard boiling an egg.

Pray I find amusement soon.

Stories, Balticon, Horrors & Graciousness

Story first: I had this image of a commando-like raid into a dilapidated housing unit.  Heavy action emphasis, security bearing down. Big reveal in the end is the raid is to covertly fix heaters and air conditioning. Opposition is private security hired by building owners to keep homes in a state of disrepair so the tenants are forced out, and they can tear the place down for yuppie housing.

Horrors next: I wrote a very brief entry in my personal journal on the events in California. Very brief, but I hope it say s enough.

Balticon:  Bigger discussion down the line but I learned quite a bit, met quite a few lovely folk, had my Farscape 10th anniversary tour T-shirt recognized, and was caught making a Mr. Burns-like motion when I heard about the upcoming “Writing Excuses” anthology.

And not least – Graciousness: I want to thank all of the guests at Balticon for their graciousness, especially Brandon Sanderson, Charles E. Gannon, and J.R. Blackwell.  Special thanks to Ms. Blackwell for letting me fanboy over her photography, and delighting me to no end with a small surrealist piece best described as the submission guidelines for the Night Vale literary journal.

Biomechanoid Mourning

Of all my different personae on the internet, this one is most appropriate for discussing H.R. Giger, and his impact. To say his artwork struck a deep, personal nerve with me is the grossest form of understatement. When I created my first blog, my Livejournal account, I called it “Portrait of a Biomechanoid as a Young Man.”  And this one? The title speaks for itself.

I found his artwork and designs for the original Alien when I was very young. The sequel, Aliens, was just released so his work was in the forefront of every issue of Starlog. I saw pictures of the original ship from Alien, and read the novelizations by Alan Dean Foster. (Still have them today).  At the time, just budding into my adolescence, I didn’t get the slippery, psychosexual aspects. Just understood beauty.

And I hated the fact they were relegated to being background creatures, to be shot up. One of my first attempts at writing anything was a quasi-comedic story about a young man accidentally drawn into galactic culture when he kills an interplanetary pot dealer.  He finds the galaxy runs on biomechanoid labor and immediately begins helping my Giger aliens find a way to free themselves.

When Species came out, beautiful Sil was terribly underused and the “science” was laughable. Why did she have to be a monster, hunted down by the authorities? Why was Giger’s design work so, so wasted?

Prometheus is a discussion for another time, but in some ways it was a testament to H.R. Giger’s influence. In that film you saw his original design works from Alien, and even some cameos from Dune, mixed with newer design ideas and the work of young artists who grew up admiring Giger. I would have been amazingly happy just watching Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbinder explore a Giger-esque landscape. Traveling the universe in the spacecraft they stole was a dream of mine from way back, when I very first saw his artwork.

And then the artwork. If you only know Giger from the films, you only know half the story. If any good can come of his death, it’s the continued distribution and exploration of his work. So others can do what I did when I was young, looking down at my hand and flexing, imagining his biomechanical textures at work under the skin, wondering if I wasn’t a biological machine myself.

The Screaming Gate, of all my ongoing projects, is an epic love poem to Giger and Druillet.  My fantastical dream of a collaboration between the two is gone, but in my mind I can see a world where the lords of Flesh and Bone make Giger’s visions come true, and set them loose on a universe drawn with Druillet’s pen.

A biomechanoid can dream, after all.

Dreams in the Satan House – Short Story Idea

StMarysMonastary-25

I had to write this out before it completely vanished. As I was dozing on the Metro this morning, I thought back to the Satan House – an abandoned house back in the early 90′s just off of MacArthur boulevard near Glen Echo, MD. Art students took it upon themselves to decorate the place with Clive Barker-esque tags and sculptures. It became a place where kids could go to get stoned, make out, and create weird art on the walls.

The story involved two friends going to take pictures there. He: the photographer, nervous as all hell. She: the artist, nervous for a different reason.

They end up staying there later than expected and are confronted by some of the other memories held in the house. Yes, there’s a girl who was murdered there but… she’s not the typical ghost. And the way the story ends is far more melancholy than the hissing ‘dark haired girl from the well’ endings.

I think this will be my next project.

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