Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Maven - Goddess of Knowledge


M˄VEN 





Seek the Synthetic!

All around the Necro, the massive city state, were those glaring signs and flashing photos of extremely happy people enjoying themselves in various ways. Seek the Synthetic! Do not deny yourself pleasure, for isn't that why we are here? You, me, all of us – we are here to seek! YES!, said a billboard dusted in pink and bold green glitter with a slimy tone, we seek the Synthetic! Do not deny . . . and on and on it went.

Forever. Never-ending. Time is nothing, for there is nothing.



Jonah's eyes rolled back in their sockets as he laid back on the soiled and musty smelling couch, yet he did not care. His eyes moved under their lids as the drug seeped through his body, seeking, always seeking for that precious blood to infect. Last week, it was orange. This time – blue. Each one held their own satisfaction. Their own . . . whatever the fuck you wanted. Jonah, just like so many others, did not give a fuck. He felt his eyes continue to move as the Synthetic caressed his mind, nerves, blood, everything, then politely and quickly killed a little more of his true self. Seek the Synthetic, and so he did. He felt himself being caressed by hands, cold and sybaritic, and he could do nothing about it. He no longer wanted to have emotions. Emotions were for those who wanted to . . . suddenly, his eyes flew wide open as a word crossed his eyes. That one word. He looked around the room, searching for any sign of intrusion; nothing stirred. In fact, nothing had moved within that room ever since she left.
“Pandi,” he spat in the room. “Always fuckin' Pandi. Always leaving me, always never caring.” He touched the spot where he took his last fix and sighed. Gone all too soon, he thought. The Synthetic never lasted long enough for him to hold those cold hands, kiss them, and tell their owner that he loved it.
“I love . . . it,” he whispered.


“Always Pandi,” mumbled Pandi under her black hood as she walked down Lazarus Street, one of the main thoroughfares in the Necro. The winds felt colder than normal; of course, that was to be expected since the city was a modern necropolis. Deny the feelings, deny yourself, and Seek the Synthetic. Pandi stopped to look at a storefront window that displayed all forms of the Synthetic. Take your choice!, screamed the billboard in the window. Nothing is sacred! Only the Synthetic gives that which you most desire. Pandi growled then moved on. Fuck the Synthetic, she thought. I know of something else. Something different. Something lost.


Jonah stared at himself in the mirror, hoping to see what it was he searched for. His dark purple eyes seemed to look through the mirror and beyond the concrete walls. His pale skin glowed under the harsh lights in the bathroom, yet he had gotten used to it by now. Pandi couldn't; that's why she left. Pandi wanted something else.
“Well, I hope you get it,” he whispered in a spidery voice. “She doesn't exist; I kept trying to tell her that.” He left the bathroom and returned to the living room of his cramped apartment to sit on the couch once more. He pushed up his sleeve and stared at the now faint marks, the “kisses” left by the Synthetic, and grinned. “I have all I want,” he croaked as he leaned his head back. “Pandi chases nothing. She doesn't exist.”


Pandi smiled as she stood before the black wooden door. It seemed so out of place in the Necro, yet it gave her hope. She placed a hand on the door and felt the warmth emanating from it, then pushed with all her might. The door gave way without a sound and soon, she was in. A single light hung on the wall and as she walked towards it, the door silently closed behind her. Pandi pulled back her hood to reveal her long black hair pulled into a tight ponytail, showing off the top of her tribal tattoo that ended just above her butt. She looked at her all black attire then walked down the hall, past the light as instructed. Jonah gave up because he no longer believed, she thought as her boots made no sound on the black wooden floor. He gave it all to me and I willingly took it. I believe. As she walked, other lights turned themselves on, giving off a soft and inviting glow. The lights gave her assurance that she was on the right path. Don't stop, they seemed to say. Move forward. That which you seek is here. Pandi wanted to believe.

Jonah began to scream as the images reappeared on his arms. The Synthetic was not enough!, he thought as he jumped from the couch and began to throw himself against the walls. She called to him and he wanted to be deaf. She knew what he needed and he refused. I don't want to believe, he thought over and over as his slender frame slammed into the walls. Yet with every moment of pain came Her voice. She called to him, letting him know that he was still loved and needed. After all, She said to him as he slumped to the floor and cried, the War is coming. He looked at his arms again. The symbols had returned. She needed him. Pandi had made it. He closed his dark purple eyes then disappeared.

After what seemed to be an eternity, Pandi reached another door at the end of the hall. She placed a hand on the door and almost smiled as the warmth embraced her. She pushed and the door opened without any resistance, revealing a large room with twenty seated robed figures facing a woman who stood on a small stage. As Pandi walked in the room, she noticed that the woman's skin was bright white with strange designs on Her body not covered by Her black clothing. A strong and inviting scent compelled her to walk towards the woman; none of the robed figures turned to face her. The woman, tall and graceful, locked Her dark purple eyes on Pandi's face.
“You came,” She said as she raised a tattooed hand in the air.
“I had to know.”
“And now that you are here . . .”
“Ex Libris.” The woman smiled as Her hair, long black locks, began to move on their own. As Pandi moved closer, she realized that Her hair was actually strings of words that rose and fell. “Ex Libris.” She reached the woman and bowed low.
“You came because you believed,” said the woman. “Do you remember what it used to be like?” Pandi stared at the woman's arms and saw the words slowly moving on Her skin. Yes, she thought, I do remember what it used to be like. Books, words, knowledge. Reading for hours and no one disturbing you. No one asked you why you had a book. No one questioned the search for knowledge.
“Then, if you remember what it used to be like, will you fight with us? Fight the Synthetic and the destruction of the mind?” Pandi looked up into Her eyes, nodded yes, then turned to face the robed figures. Dark purple eyes, the sign of the Followers of Maven, Goddess of Knowledge, stared back at her. She felt Maven's hand on her neck and suddenly, her skin felt itchy. She rolled up her sleeves and saw words bleeding black on her skin.
“They tell the tales of Before,” whispered Maven, “when I was worshiped in plain sight.”
“Before . . .”
“When the world was made of words,” chanted the robed figures.
“Before . . .”
“When the Word was Truth.”
“Before . . . “
“When those who Sought were revered.”
“Ex Libris!” All turned at the sound of the new voice at the door.
Pandi smiled. “Jonah,” she said as Jonah pulled back his sleeves and allowed the words to be seen. Maven smiled as her High Priest walked, no longer a slave to the Synthetic, towards Her.


“The War begins now.”





Tuesday, December 29, 2015

YOU are My Obsession . . .



Have you ever had that feeling that someone was watching you?

Have you ever felt that something just didn't feel right?

What would you do if you knew that someone would do ANYTHING to have you in their life?

Before I begin this review, I want to state that, in being a dark fantasy/psychological thriller author, there are still some things that will make me jump out of my skin and/or creep me out so much that it takes a cup of Earl Grey, playing World of Warcraft, or watching the movie JAWS to calm me down. The book YOU by Caroline Kepnes is one of those things.



Joe is a mild mannered and somewhat asshole-ish bookstore employee in New York City who thinks himself to be way above those who enter into his domain to purchase the latest from Stephen King or some classic novel that he knows they will never read. However, his world is literally turned upside down when a young girl named Guinevere Beck walks into the store and into Joe's heart. At once, he begins to track her down through Facebook and other social media platforms; thus begins one of the most disturbing books I've ever read . . . except for Traumatized by author and good friend Alexander Brown (love you!)


YOU is told from Joe's perspective, making it hard to just "walk away" from his actions. He wants the world to see what he is doing. He wants you, the reader, to never stop reading his every move and the fact that he's proud of them. He claims his actions are for Beck, but are they? From convincing the maintenance guy that he is Beck's boyfriend so that he could enter her apartment, to stealing items from her apartment to create the Box of Beck, to considering and planning murder. It's all for love, baby, can't you see that? I began reading YOU early Monday morning. I snuck in pages while at work. I raced home to read more of the book and at 7:10, completed it, only to have a ten minute talk with myself about what I had just read. I even messaged dear friends of mine to explain why I needed a hug, a puppy, and ice cream with sprinkles. YOU left me feeling creeped out, dirty, heartbroken, angry, and just sad.

I LOVED IT!

While the story may not be an original one, Kepnes adds her voice and weaves a sinister tale that, thankfully enough, makes you want to read the last pages of the book - a sample from her new book Hidden Bodies. Joe reminded me of a new breed of Tom Ripley; if you have not read the book The Talented Mr. Ripley, I highly recommend it. You'll see what I mean.

Thank you, Caroline, for creeping me out just enough that I will watch my back every time I enter a bookstore.


EX LIBRIS!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Time is a Many Splintered Thing



As I stated in a Facebook post the other day - this guy can write.

I first met Peter J. Wacks at Geekonomicon and, after being on several panels with him, decided to purchase one of his books. I chose Second Paradigm, published through Wordfire Press, after reading the back of the book twice and thinking that I was in for a treat. Second Paradigm is not a treat; it is a mind blowing experience. Although I do love the concept of time travel, this book takes it in an entirely new and unexpected direction and the ending will frustrate and satisfy you.



In "current" time, Chris Nost has been convicted of a murder, yet does not live long enough to carry out his sentence. He is murdered and the world he knew comes to an end. However, when he "awakens" in the police state year 2044, he realizes that he must solve his own murder that will lead him to answering questions of who and more importantly, what, he is. Is he a god, or perhaps the wrong man at the right time? Why is everyone so interested in him and why is no one to be trusted? Conspiracies are born, treachery is commonplace, and the truth comes with a price, yet Chris will discover that, at the center of it all, Time truly is a Many Splintered Thing.

Second Paradigm was my introduction into the mind of Wacks and it was quite a pleasure to be there. He reads like Gibson, talks like Kerouac, and is still his own voice. He makes you think and does not lead you with a pampered hand. Rather, he sets the stage one agonizing piece at a time and just when you may have figured it out, his characters shift to an entirely different thought that involves more questions and slower reading. The book is not linear, jumping from character to character, time period to time period, yet if the readers pays attention, the true story does come to light. I will not give the entire story away, yet I will state for the record that Nost is definitely a WHAT and not a WHO. Also for the record, the character Alex Zarth is one that you will not forget, no matter your time period.

I can not praise this book enough and I truly do look forward to reading more of Peter's works.


EX LIBRIS!


Friday, December 25, 2015

Werewolves and Vampires in WW II!



After an awesome Christmas spent with family and friends all over the country, I'm finally home and ready to work on a review of a really cool graphic novel!



Operation: Silver Moon is an awesome graphic novel that showcases the talent of author Bobby Nash and artist Rick Johnson. The story combines world history, horror, and the supernatural into a graphic novel that deserves to be read over and over again.

It is World War II, and a group of Nazis in Romania have stumbled upon an evil power that appears to have been the source of the Black Death. They plan to use it to take over the world on behalf of Hitler and nothing will stop them! Nothing, that is, except for an American special agent and werewolf named Tom Lupus and a vampire named Vlas! The two work together to stop the Nazis and their undead monsters from spreading the Black Death again, all in the name of freedom!

A well told story with astounding artwork that will make you want more. Highly recommended!

EX LIBRIS!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Trio of New Teas from Viridian Tea Company!



With Star Wars Episode Two going on in the background, I've been hard at work finishing up the latest blends of Viridian Tea Company!

Here we go!


Blend One - Tubby and Coo's Tea

(Book - Guignol by Brett Schwaner and illustrated by Keith Hogan)

If you have ever been to New Orleans, then hopefully you have visited the awesome Tubby and Coo's Mid City Book Shop! They have tons of books, geeky and bookish items, plus games galore! During one of my many brain storms, I wondered if Candice (the owner) would be interested in a tea specially made for her store. She said YES, gave me a good direction to start, and the rest is history!

Tubby and Coo's blend is a delightful mixture of assam (black) tea, bergamot, lemon balm, and lavender! As the label states, the tea tastes great with a book! This blend will be sold exclusively at Tubby and Coo's; I'll be shipping out their first batch very soon, so be on the lookout for it!



Blend Two - Bohemian Tea



I'm honestly a Bohemian at heart . . okay, a DARK one. During one of my never ending brain storms, I decided to create a blend that would uplift and inspire the wanderer in all of us. The being that will travel anywhere, see everything, and simply live outside of the lines.

Bohemian tea is a groovy mix of green tea, peppermint, rosemary, and chamomile.



Blend Three - Endymion Tea



If you know your Greek mythology, Endymion was a beautiful shepherd who caught the eye of Selene, the Moon. While my tea can't guarantee finding your special love, this herbal blend of hibiscus, chamomile, lavender, rose petals, and peppermint will soothe and softly take your stress away.

Jewelry by my good friends Back to Earth Creations!

Endymion and Bohemian Teas will be sold at my Etsy store, ViridianTeaCompany, IONS Geek Gallery, and Woodruff Fontaine House, as well as any conventions that I attend. As stated before, Tubby and Coo's will be sold ONLY at their store. Support local businesses!

Now it's time to clean up. Wow.


HAPPY CUPS!





Monday, December 21, 2015

Of Trains, Hobos, and Johnnycakes!




Thanks to waking up at 2:23am on Sunday (I guess I was just excited to see The Force Awakens!), I decided to read a book until I fell asleep again. If you ever find yourself the recipient of insomnia, reading a book, exercising, or cleaning up your house/apartment/whatever are great ways of handling that. I suffer from I-have-a-lot-of-books-yet-I-don't-know-what-to-read itis, of which was quickly cured by picking up the book Crossings, the second book in the Steel Roots Series by J. L. Mulvihill, published by Seventh Star Press. By 4am, my eyes grew heavy and I had read over 100 pages.



Crossings picks up the story that The Boxcar Baby left off - AB'Gail, daughter of Bishop Steel, is still searching for her papa in Alternative History America that has a Steampunk flavour to it. With every person that she meets, she learns quickly whether to trust them or not, all the while enjoying the companionship of Boots, the more-than-a-cat cat. No trolls this time, yet there are more than enough people in the book ready to do harm to her. The System, overall mastermind of America, is now considering both her and her father as fugitives, so AB'Gail must stay several steps ahead of the metal fist powered by steam and broken human dreams.

Mulvihill continues her page turning writing ability in Crossings and the second book does not disappoint. In fact, I found myself finishing the book yesterday and ready to get to the next book. She is a gifted author with a vast imagination and it shows in this series. However, Mulvihill's writing also has a nice dash of the macabre, just enough to make the Steel Roots series terrifying, adventurous, and just a damn good read.

Thanks Jen, and see you soon!




EX LIBRIS!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Face of a Geek - Jeremy



Jeremy - Fire Protection Engineer



"My step father was a big geek - theatre arts in college, set design, makeup, and painted Warhammer figures. For my eleventh birthday, he got me the Batman Knightfall series - that ignited the world of Batman for me."



"I've been in fandom most of my life: Batman comic books, anything superhero related, and I had a wall of X-Men and Batman toys. I had series and series of Spawn figures. Any movies that were out I just ate them up."



"I've only been to Wizard World in Chicago once. I was thirty when I attended my first Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention. I was in a small town in central Illinois before moving to Memphis. I met an old friend in Memphis who wanted to buy an old Batman cowl from me. He told me about MCFC - he dressed up as Bane and I dressed up as Batman for the convention."



"Cause Play Memphis was started as a non profit organization in February: we dress up as super heroes, Disney Princesses, and Disney Princes and do events at Ronald McDonald House, LeBonheur, Target House. We go visit the kids who probably need a smile and give them a smile."


A side note - after we finished the interview, Jeremy informed me that his wife thinks that he's actually trying to become Batman! I was super impressed when Jeremy said that he knew several forms of martial arts, yet stated for the record that he's a DC Universe fan and "has not read a ton of Moon Knight comics". I told him that I would let it go for now.

Thank you, Jeremy, for wanting to be a part of this photo shoot and thanks to Republic Coffee for letting us do this interview in their coffee joint. Salut!



Saturday, December 19, 2015

A New Pulp Hero with High Heels!



Thanks to Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief and the face of Pro Se Press, my knowledge regarding New Pulp has grown significantly. Dashing masked men who serve justice to the scum of their city, or perhaps a woman shrouded in mystery who wears high heels when she's kicking ass. The Pulptress, a collection of short stories through Pro Se Press, is right up your alley if you need that Pulp fix. Showcasing the talent of Tommy Hancock, Terry Alexander, Ron Fortier, Erwin K. Roberts, and Andrea Judy, the Pulptress is one woman with many personalities and even lives. She is everywhere and everyone, yet she is one thing: a crime fighter. Each story tells a different tale regarding the Pulptress and her latest battle, and every time she hands out justice in the form of quick wit, sharp moves, and high heel shoes.



I still can't get over the fact that she wears high heels while fighting crime. That's kinda awesome.

The book is a quick read yet will leave you wanting more; in fact, I read this book at the wrong time. I had read Andrea Judy's book The Pulptress vs. The Bone Queen: Blood and Bone before reading The Pulptress. Please check out my review of her book in my blog! Judy's story in The Pulptress has a nice set up to what occurs in her stand alone book, yet I was still able to follow the events because Judy is just that talented of an author. Not to mention one of my closest friends.

The Pulptress is a great holiday gift for that special person in your life, even if that person if yourself!

Merry PULPmas!



EX LIBRIS!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Way of the Assassin



Meet Brandon. He's behind in rent, his boss hates him, and has recently become the laughing stock of his job due to receiving payment in the form of carrots. Meet Agkistrodon, an assassin with Assassins Incorporated, the top organization for all things murder and stealth. He's not seen as too threatening and completely pales in comparison to Naja Ashei, the top assassin in the company. He just can't seem to get ahead in life. However, when a top paying hit is sent through Assassins Incorporated, Agkistrodon jumps at the chance of going full steam on it.

Only one problem: the target is Brandon. And that just happens to be Agkistrodon.



Welcome to Assassins Incorporated, the awesome and action packed book by author Phillip Drayer Duncan, published at Yard Dog Press. This slim book is packed to the gills with action, sci-fi tech, cold blooded murder, and humour! Agkistrodon/Brandon must find a way out of his ever deepening mess, all the while realizing that blood is truly thicker than water and that a phone call every so often wouldn't hurt. Duncan has wonderfully mixed sci-fi, humour, action, and well developed characters to create a book that will surely give enough pleasure on a lazy afternoon fit for reading. The length of the book was perfect for the story and for the "resolution" to the central situation, all the while riding high on a wave of humour.

I had the pleasure of hanging out with Duncan at Geekonomicon and at Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention; he is a delight on panels and funny as hell.

If you ever see him at a future con, ask him about being a brontosaurus.



EX LIBRIS!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Face of a Geek Photo Shoot - Inaugural!



Last year, I decided to do the photo shoot The Hands of Art - my way of giving praise to those who use their hands for many creative endeavours. Although the ongoing photo shoot was a success, I wanted to do something else, something new. When I began following the site Humans of New York, an idea came to mind. The site is simple: a man with his camera takes photos of the people of New York (and now other countries!) and tells their compelling stories to the world. I loved the site so much that I wanted to do something similar yet with a geek/alternative/whatever edge. And so, The Face of a Geek was born!

Geeks are everywhere. We do almost every kind of job on the planet, yet most people who live outside of the fandom world would never guess that their next door neighbour, co-worker, or even boyfriend/girlfriend was a geek. Many people know of my Geek roots and I'm not ashamed to show them. The Face of a Geek is my way of saying - be proud of who (and what) you are. Never hide. Never be ashamed.

If you are interested in being a part of this ongoing photo shoot, send an email to: artgirl74@gmail.com and let's converse. 

Much love and thanks to my buddy, Alissa. Also much love to Bluff City Coffee for allowing us to begin this new road in their awesome coffee joint!


THE FACE OF A GEEK



Alissa Brielle - Manager of IONS: A Geek Gallery, Co-Programming Coordinator of Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention, and coffee addict




"My dad got me into fandom; he's been a nerd all his life. We were raised on Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, all of it. We owned the VHS tapes for Star Wars."



"My faith is important to me; my faith in God brought me through many struggles in my life. It kept me going in life and in my fandom."



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Of the Dead, Good Sir . . .



A Plunder of Souls is the third book in the Thieftaker Chronicles by author D. B. Jackson, also known as David B. Coe and quite honestly, the best book thus far. The series is a wonderful blend of mystery, humour, romance, history, horror, and fantasy, giving the reader more than normally expected in a book. Ethan Kaille, beloved thieftaker and conjurer, is hired by several ministers to discover the reason of a most upsetting discovery: several graves in many of the cemeteries are horribly desecrated. The heads, right hand, and three toes from the left foot have been removed from the corpses. Someone has also carved strange marks on their chests and removed a piece of clothing from the coffins. As smallpox ravages through Boston, the dead are no longer seen as the “final” stage of rest, causing the living to be fearful of those who have passed on. As Ethan races (and limps) through Pre-Revolutionary Boston, he discovers the line between the living and the dead will become an aqua coloured mass of danger and revenge.



Jackson's usual flair for enthralling his readers is quite apparent in A Plunder of Souls; in fact, he seems to have raised the bar much higher than before. Although I purchased my copy of the book at ConNooga, it took no time for me to return to the familiar streets, the smells of fish chowder and good ale, and cold as ice Sephira Pryce and her henchmen. It felt good to return to Boston and be with Ethan as he solved the latest “mystery” while barely clinging to his life.

Just for record, and I hope my friend David is reading this – Will You Please Make Ethan Ask Kannice To Marry Him?

Okay, I feel much better now. Back to the review.

I know that I am being redundant whenever I review Jackson's books, yet I can't help myself. The Thieftaker Chronicles has something for every kind of reader with that little extra that is Jackson's  masterful writing. I look forward to picking up the next book when I see my dear friend at ConNooga 2016!



EX LIBRIS!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Time Traveling Thieves!



What if Ali Baba was not an innocent?

What if Ali Baba became the leader of the Forty Thieves?

What if . . . the Forty Thieves were time travelers?




Such begins The Forty, a delightful idea brought to life by photographer Fox Gradin and writers Kathryn Hinds and James Palmer. The concept is this: deep in the Cave of Wonders are the Forty Thieves of Ali Baba. However, Ali Baba is away on an adventure, and so the thieves decide to tell their stories to each other to pass the time. Whoever had the best story would win all of the bottles of the Forty and enjoy a very good drink. The Forty are men and women, cowboys, samurai, petty thieves, and vampires, and each story is compelling. A photo of the thief accompanies each story, breathing life into the tales and the diversity of the Forty.

Although I enjoyed reading each story, my personal favourites were The Dandy Dealer, Duo Marceau, Jenny Cutpurse, Phantom of the Dunes, and Fortunato. To me, those stories stood out in my mind due to the "interactions" the thieves went through before they arrived at the Cave of Wonders. At the end of the book are the stories of Morgana and Kasim, Ali Baba's brother; they explain the real reason behind the Forty and why Ali Baba used such measures to lead them to the Cave of Wonders. I found it to be a rather interesting ending and would love it if there was a "sequel". This is a book worth reading again and again!

EX LIBRIS!




Sunday, December 6, 2015

Of Death and the Theatre!




There are days when I do enjoy a good spooky read. A story that will give me chills down my spine and make me check my apartment one last time before I go to sleep - that's the good stuff! It's even more fun to write macabre stories with a plot twist so as to "disturb" my readers, like Silk in Tales From a Goth Librarian, par example. Such was the case with GUIGNOL: A Tale of Escalating Horror by Brett Schwaner and Keith Hogan. The tale is a simple one: the students at Sainte Jeanne D'Arc are about to put on a play titled GUIGNOL for Halloween, as written by the school drama teacher Madame Jeannette. The word guignol comes from Le Theatre du Grand-Guignol, a theatre in Paris from 1897 to 1962 that showed plays that specialized in horror. Maelynn Maghee has always been a loner, so when she attends her first day of school at Sainte Jeanne D'Arc, she expects the same treatment from the other students. However, another loner and talented artist named Lilly Langtree quickly befriends her and soon, Maelynn is no longer alone. However, all is not what it seems, for Lilly is a special girl, one that can make anyone's dreams come true . . . all for a price, of course. Death, blood, betrayal, love, fear, and redemption are mere characters in the play and soon, all will know just why Lilly LOVES Halloween!



I picked up GUIGNOL at Tubby and Coo's Mid City Bookshop in New Orleans while visiting friends; when I saw the title, I knew I had to purchase it. Two and a half days of speed reading later, I hungrily (yes, I did say that) await the second book, of which does not come out until September of 2016. Rotten, but what's a woman to do? Schwaner's writing and Hogan's illustrations make quite a nice mix of a story that is truly not intended for children, even though the main characters are children. I even wanted to skip to the end, just to find out if the "unexpected twist" occurred. No twist, yet the book did leave on a good enough cliffhanger and that's enough for me. 



For the past several years, I've been toying with the idea of creating a theatre troupe that will put on the plays of the Grand Guignol, Greek tragedies, and other plays that are outside of the norm. Now that I've read GUIGNOL, my theatre idea may soon become a reality. Imagine, if you will, attending a play in which copious blood flows down the stage and Death is a character. Sounds like a lovely time, right? 

Here is one of my favourite scenes ever in a film - the Theatre of Vampires in the film Interview with the Vampire

Beautiful darkness . . . . 




EX LIBRIS!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Of Molly and Wintermute . . .

Reading William Gibson is very much a hit or miss with me. When I read IDORU for the first time, I was completely blown away by his style of writing and his cyberpunk world. I then moved to another of his books and felt quite lost in it, as though I was not intelligent enough to "get" his words. However, the scales have shifted again as I read and completed Neuromancer. Despite the slimness of the novel, do not let that fool you. As I told several friends the other day, reading William Gibson is like eating bowl after bowl of yummy stew mixed with concrete. You want to keep eating while knowing that you are slowing down with every bite.

Okay, that sounded good in my head. Not so much when typed out. What do you expect?

Anyway.



Neuromancer is the tale of Case, a once time hacker who gets in trouble for hacking into the wrong system and as punishment, has his abilities burned out of him. He becomes a washed up junkie with nowhere to go in the matrix. However, once he meets Molly, a dark woman with knives for nails and eyes you don't want to stare into, he accepts a job he literally can't refuse. The cyber world he used to consider as home will soon become something far stranger than he ever dreamed of. All in the name of Wintermute. Neuromancer is sheer dark genius.

A while ago, I asked one of my publishers if cyberpunk was still "relevant" in our society. How can we read a sub genre that may no longer have a place within a society that has surpassed it? And yet, dear readers, I feel that cyberpunk is still relevant. Although we may have our smart phones, televisions that can basically tell you what shows to watch, video games that talk to you in "real time", cyberpunk is the answer of "What if we fully immersed into our computer world and it became our master?" Thankfully, (at least I HOPE so), we have not begun to call our computers Master. Thankfully, we do not live in a regime of Deus ex Machina. Wintermute, as much as I loved reading "his" enigmatic character, has not become a reality to us.

As I have stated before so many times, I do enjoy my occasional delve into cyberpunk, be it music, films, art, or books. I love the slick feel of the "world" - shiny leather and plastics that glow under a sky the "colour of television, tuned to a dead channel".

By the way, if any of you ever run into Wintermute, tell "him" that I 'm still searching. Any time "he's" ready.

As a final note, here's the song Martenot Waves by Meat Beat Manifesto from the Animatrix soundtrack - LOVE this song.