In the past, I’ve used the perhaps prickly comparison of “cosmic horror is the literature of helplessness.” I think it, like Judge Dredd, is tough but fair. After all, what is more iconic in cosmic horror but the witnesses to it being simply overwhelmed, reduced to a place of not even subservience but utter meaninglessness in the face of the Horror From Another Place. You can’t win, you can’t break even and it’s the only game in town, which you like an idiot started playing by dint of the terrible crime of having been born or written into a piece of cosmic horror. But let’s explore another potential, more generous, axis. Let’s discuss cosmic horror as an apocalyptic construct. Now, I’m not t


Oh, you already know what song I'm working off of. You can hear it in your heads right now, cathedral reverb, smashing drums and veil after veil of keyboard drones like the skin of the universe being peeled off layer by layer. It opens up DISINTEGRATION and is the perfect place to start talking about 1990. I know. DISINTEGRATION came out in 1989. But I didn't put down money for it until the springtime of 1990, when everything was falling apart. Sure, I'd heard "Fascination Street" a bunch, as well as the singles that were getting play on 91X, which was my radio station of choice back then, though I'd mostly transitioned to CD from tapes. Yeah, see, the house that I grew up in was nestled aga


Don't worry. That's not a blanket statement of nihilism or anything, rather it's an excellent track from the excellent band LA Witch, whose debut I just snagged a little while ago. Closest easy approximation is Mazzy Star meets Deadbolt, but since it's on Bandcamp you can listen for free. Here's the link if you're interested. Yeah, I haven't posted any new thought content lately. I'm kinda torn on that, really. Lots of it feels like writer as product brand burnishing and damn, that's the last goddamn thing we need right now. Writer as product is the path of grinding bleakness. Smash that like and subscribe. Pump up that engagement. Join the army. Don't even consider who the creator might be,

BLACK TRACE - Chapter 3

Third chapter for your perusal. One more after this I think. Maybe a chunk of the fifth. Final cover, too. Finally got a text treatment that I like and works, this after my daughter looked at the old one and said "BLACK MIRROR, dad." And I smacked myself on the forehead because she was absolutely right (and it's not a show I watch, either.) -- CHAPTER 3 Six months later. Joshua Tree languished in the sun, everything baked to an even shade of desert nowhere. It lay in the flat between uneven and carelessly heaped low mountain peaks. The whole place felt like a drunken afterthought, where a mighty hand laid the ground low and then was struck with a sudden sense of something missing. Anything t

BLACK TRACE - chapter 2

The cover still looks like this. No, I'm not serializing the whole thing. First three-four chapters though, that's a definite possibility. -- CHAPTER 2 Two nights after. The Colorado River bled out just past the town of Parker, Arizona. It was barely even a sluggish and muddy strip out here. Between the baking sun and the strangulation of the dams upstream, only seasonal runs remained. The last of the winter rains had fed it, plumping it up to a damp stream. Marquez could smell the river more than he could hear it now. People looked at him funny when he said he could smell water, but that was just an easy way to tell if anyone had ever been in the desert. If you had, then the sweet smell of


So late last week and early this week I've been working on logo design for HAZELAND. Mostly because what I thought was going to work perfectly ended up looking like oh I don't know, spaghetti with too many chunks in it once I got to laying out covers with it. It happens. Something that looks great in isolation sometimes just doesn't work in a completed piece. And the whole point of design is to get that completed piece together and doing the job it's supposed to do, right? Note that I'm not really a designer. I went to a for-profit "design school" (yes, those are scare quotes) from mid-1996 to early 1998 or so. What did I learn? I learned how to use Photoshop (which I kinda did already), Ill


The rest of this is coming this summer. Unless someone wants to actually publish it and then it'll be on their terms. Right now it's on mine. This book was largely written in 1991. There were some edits around 2012, some additions, but not all that much. (Note - sharpened up from last week's draft.) Here's the cover. Or close enough. Here's the first chapter: - Denver slept restless, a fevered child sleep. Yellow light from scattered dying fires spilled onto the street. Lazy drifts of smoke blew across the ruined downtown, passing through the exposed steel of the skyline. The streets were deadened, hours after the chants and roar of the mobs and the men who routed them. Every federal cop in

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