This was originally published on my blog (RIP) and got reposted in THE HOWLING PIT. Reposting today in answer to writer Ernest Hogan's observations regarding SF/comics shows over at his blog, which is always worth checking out. http://www.mondoernesto.com/2018/06/timewarping-at-phoenix-comic-fest.html ​ Originally written in, uh, 2014? Not clear on the dates. But not much has changed. --- I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to figure out why things are the way they are. Not everything, mind you. I don’t have the time to compose a supertheory of super-everything. But when I spend time in a place or situation, my brain gets to considering how it got there, the way it is and what brought it to

An Aesthetic Divergence

Just got back from HOTEL ARTEMIS, which I quite enjoyed, though there were some places where I wanted the writers to trust the audience just a little bit more in terms of Repeated Important Dialogue. Aside from that, a smart and funny series of interlocking crime stories set against the backdrop of an LA tearing itself apart when the faucets get turned off. It's also a very successful evocation of the atmosphere/sense that I got from reading William Gibson's pre-Sprawl trilogy short stories. There's a sense of dilapidation, of old luxury going to seed, going long in the tooth, going all GREAT EXPECTATIONS wedding cake. But that's mixed with very high technology that's just a heartbeat away,


So let's talk real quick about another of the fun little symptoms induced by the Howling Pit. It's a thing I've seen for as long as I've been on the internet (which far predates the Long September of 1994 or was it 1996?). Movies, and frankly, games and comics and stories and even music? They're just things to be conquered. They're things to catalog and dominate. To pick apart and find fault in. To rack up points with. To prove that you are indeed superior to whatever is made by other humans that you might happen to consume. Or build an identity around. I mean, how can you prove you're strongest in an identity-by-consumption society? You got it. By proving you're mightier than the stuff you

Going to the mall, part 2

Quick follow up to my DAWN OF THE DEAD post. In the original script, James Gunn called out a bunch of brand names for the mall stores that our luckless heroes find themselves trapped in. I'm not sure how it would read if they had done this. My suspicion is that they didn't have the money to get the kind of clearances needed. See, we're in an age where brand damage is seen as a real thing. And if a brand shows up in a movie, well, you can be sure that it's not the bad dudes who will be utilizing that brand's products. We're a long ways away from BLACK SUNDAY, which showed the Super Bowl and both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys as the center point of a depicted terrorist attack carr

A funny joke

About pseudo-interactional digital systems where every click is recorded and fed back into the system to be converted into thousands of a cent so that the system can refine itself and encourage further pseudo-interaction. I made a joke once about AI systems being developed so that ad placements could be refined to toxic near-lethality. Creation of an Other in order to sell ad space. That was the joke until I read about a company doing that. Then it stopped being funny. See, the Howling Pit doesn't want interaction. It wants the appearance of interaction. The appearance of seeming. The appearance of mattering. Then you can keep contributing. The truth of it is that a thing like Twitter only w

Summer Jams 2018

This is a perfect summer black glossy summer jams playlist for 2018 and I won't hear anything different. Slap it on, crank it up, roll down the windows and share with everyone in a quarter mile radius. We can turn this bummer trip right around. One Hundred Years - The Cure Something Wrong - Clan of Xymox Death March - Algiers Naked Tongues - Perturbator Silent Wave - KVB Black Planet - Sisters of Mercy I Dream of Wires - Gary Numan Wish - NIN Israel - Siouxsie and the Banshees Last Song - Trisomie 21 Last Ray - This Mortal Coil A Forest - Cure


Dixie Square Mall - photo by John Revelle Spoilers for both the 1978 and 2004 version of DAWN OF THE DEAD follow. I know it's super-fashionable to dunk on Zack Snyder now. I mean, he ruined the DC cinematic universe, right? (He didn't, though I'm certainly not down with his view of it.) The fact is he's a solid filmmaker who knows the shots he wants and can tell a story with them. And I'm a big fan of his remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD, particularly on the strength of James Gunn's script. And I say this as a guy who puts the original DAWN OF THE DEAD in his top 10 film list of any film from any time. It's true. You can love the original and the remake, if it's done well. Let's be honest, though.

Archived news - "A Fifth World" in GASLANDIA

Archiving this from the main page, since I have news to update there. Happy new year, albeit belatedly. Biggest new news is as follows. The GASLANDIA anthology, featuring my short story "A Fifth World," is now available (as an ebook.) Follow the link to obtain to learn more. I'd say it's for sale immediately, but that doesn't appear to be the case. ​ UPDATE - It's available at Amazon: Click right here to order for your Kindle device. ​ As for the story itself, it's about the inability to find a place for one's self. This one just happens to be set in an alternate past, where FDR was deposed after a coup and the USA is at war with itself, thinking things were just in the mopping-up phase. Tha


(Painted in, uh, 1986 maybe?) Friendly content update. Let's enjoy some free content. I won't even ask for a penny in the tip jar. So the irony of me landing a sale in Lovecraft-inspired/weird/cosmic horror fiction is, well, cosmic-level. But then so is the survival and ascendancy of an obscure writer of decadent (he'd hate that) weird fiction from the thirties to almost a hundred years later. There was, of course, a following who kept HPL's works alive long after their print publication, but it was still kind of a cultural clique/clubhouse more than anything like widespread acceptance. But then the same happened with Tolkein, only on a more accelerated timeline. LORD OF THE RINGS was publis


I'm trying to think about when it was all possible. When the last time that was. Probably before I launched STRANGEWAYS, when you could debut a graphic novel into the comics marketplace with no name other than the artist doing covers (Steve Lieber). There's been times before that. But it doesn't feel like there's been so many afterwards. Sure, I was able to get a story into an anthology and that got turned into a novel(la) sale. That's...two sales over the last several years. There were a couple of sales to that software/IP company but that never turned into anything (but might've if I'd actually lived in the area. Bummer, y'know?) But when I turned in STRANGEWAYS, I was thinking that people

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