Tag Archives: moderan

Blue and Brown, Brown and Blue, there are more Jenkins and one of You

Brown JenkinToday I posted the first installment of my serial, entitled Brown Jenkins. Several wits noticed the plural surname and immediately assumed bad typography.

But that isn’t the case here. The title character isn’t the pictured character. Or is he? There may be more than one Brown Jenkin in upcoming episodes. I won’t even know ’til I write them.

I have one episode and most of two tracks in the wings, waiting for their appearances. They don’t necessarily have to be the next ones.

The idea is to post one segment each Sunday night, with a blues tune that was also written and performed that week as a soundtrack. If I come across or fashion new art, I’ll add that, too.
All I’ll say about Brown Jenkins is that it’s going to be different. The mishmash of The Dreams in the Witch-House and Martians Go Home is only the beginning of a number of dastardly plot germs, red herrings, and tails that might lead to a rat king or even the Rat King himself.

Yes, Keziah Mason will make an appearance. Walter Gilman too. And perhaps others.

There’s metafiction, and metaverse, and savage satire, and oodles of crimson carnage. Just what you need for your Sunday night reading, before a long work week.

And some of the threads will likely lead to Crazytown, which is part of the same metaverse. Enough. Go read. There’s more on shoggoth.net to check out while you’re there. A nw short story by the uber-talented Brett Talley, work by John Donald Carlucci, other activities spearheaded by the well-bearded Sean Hoade…

Also posted was the soundtrack piece, Blue and Brown, seven minutes of cerebral blues noodling, mostly done on my trusty Ovation. It’s a good listen.


Innsmouth Fishing Trip and other stories

Yeah, so yay!
Ungrammatical, maybe, but honest.logo

I’m getting near the finish line of some long-running projects. Chief among those are the Letters from Outside website ( a labor of love to be sure) and the Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth book.


The backend for the website is done, and all that remains is the copying and pasting, in reverse alphabetical order, of the stories and poems and comics and articles that make up the content.  You can see for yourself by following the link embedded in the title. That website was deleted from the web by the buyout of Fortune City by Yahoo. I had originally planned to make it part of my regular webspace, but I thought better of that and it’ll have its own space instead.

The above illustration (Innsmouth Fishing Trip), by the ubertalented Will Jacques, is for the cover of the novel. That ms. is fully-edited and just needs to be formatted for various media to hit the “shelves” as an ebook and trade paperback.

Fourteen years it took to write that one, despite several pretty lucrative offers. I just couldn’t re-invoke the crazed energy and complete lack of style that the narrative cried out for. So it sat and sat and sat.

One fine day, looking for something to do, I pulled out the paper version and started scanning it. I looked at the notes for the ending, in longhand on a couple of index cards paperclipped to the ms.

I wrote it out. And then edited and rewrote and edited and rewrote some more, and the thing came forth, shambling dejectedly, dripping with a putrescent green ichor and smelling of corruption.

I crammed the kitchen sink down its gullet, studied the source material One More Time, and rewrote One Last Time.

And it was good.

So I put it away for a little while. Waited until the stars were right. May will be devoted to getting that thing into orbit.

Fund and Games

elder_sign_lovecraft_green_1200As an independent publisher, one of my chief joys and major headaches is in manufacturing or locating art appropriate for my books. I’ve been fortunate and have found talented artists who can and will create astonishing visuals for my front/back covers.
I combed through deviantart first, but nobody ever responded to contact attempts. Did some of my own art/covers, but I’d like to gain exposure for some people along with myself.0b8da-jimi-sunny
So I started looking at semiprofessionals and professionals. The issue is that people like that like to be paid, and I’m on the Federal tit. I write for pocket money.
Low overhead…bang for the buck.

But it turns out to be okay. I just can’t front the money. The costs will be recouped fairly quickly-for example, 25 copies of Fear and Loathing In Innsmouth (@9.99 each) will pay the overhead.

So….raise the money.lfologo

The successful campaign to raise the funds for hosting/consulting for Letters from Outside now folds in to the Duane’s Books campaign. I’ve added a couple of cool incentives, to wit: free ebooks and autographed copies of books.
I’ve already paid artists Candra Hope and JB Lee for their outstanding work. Ian Sidlow was generous enough to donate a photograph for another cover, for a book that isn’t listed on the publication schedule for the campaign. (Surprises!) Killer stylists Will Jacques and Ryan Case remain to be paid. I’m still looking for one more piece, and I’ve made/am making the rest of the material, plus promo videos, audio versions, and other gizmos and gimcracks.
Whatever I can’t do myself will be crowdfunded, and others will be able to win too. That seems the best way to go about things, to me.searchers



Cthulhu from www.playground.ruIn the water. Things going on. Stuff. I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on buying at least ten copies of the upcoming anthology The Fall of Cthulhu, from Horrified Press. Just sayin’.

It’s a promising book. I could name at least four people who will have work in it.
The idea is that good old Big C somehow doesn’t measure up;he misfires. Hey, it happens to everyone.
The inestimable Doug Draa is the editor. He was with Weird Tales for a bit, and I think served as an officer in the HWA. Doug also has the ubercool blog Uncle Doug’s Bunker of Vintage Horror Paperbacks, which is where I first encountered him.
Very much a book to look forward to. It may or may not contain a small piece called Pnakotic Reaction, which may or may not be the product of endless hours of research (read: sitting around reading horror books and the results of googling) and draw upon a certain character from The Horror In the Museum and a certain Messenger of the Great Old Ones as principal characters.
Just sayin’.

If you’re in a listening mood, you could click “Reflections on Polished Steel” and hear an update of a song I originally posted to AcidPlanet some years ago, as part of the penultimate AE Artbomb. I removed most of the midi-derived parts and substituted guitar, bass, string, and piano parts through the magic of Jamorigin.

There are several more stories floating around out there, and my first ebook Before Crazytown is still available. The next book is reported to be “Abed”, which is the chronicle of a time I spent in the hospital and in a convalescent center, after surviving Ards.

Money from Outside

GoFundMe campaign for Letters from Outside:

Moody Blue Tuesday

Ross Lockhart noticed my review of “Chick Bassist” and was kind enough to put up a shoutout on Facebook. Good guy, Ross. Fine writer. I have the two Books of Cthulhu that he edited and am going to embark on that adventure soon. But first I need to finish the books ahead in the queue…

Yesterday, while waiting for cabs, I read through Dennis Etchison’s Bradbury/Matheson. I had this to say initially:
Bradbury/MathesonBradbury/Matheson by Dennis Etchison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

EXCELLENT pair of interviews with titans of weird fiction. The Matheson portion is much longer and deeper but both are illustrative of the men’s personalities and approaches.
The interviewer wisely chooses to interject little of his own personality into the proceedings, instead letting his subjects speak for themselves.
A good deal of the content concerns both authors relationships with Hollywood. Very interesting indeed.

View all my reviews


That’s it in a nutshell. Ray bitched through most of the thing, though not without a sense of humor. Matheson got nostalgic, after a fashion. He spent much more time in Tinseltown than Bradbury, and knows the lay of the land better.

Before I left for my appointment with catheter doom, I had a small epiphany and tied together the parts of an epic I’ve had knocking around for a couple of years, entitled Cassilda and the King (<click to listen-a new tab will open). The King, of course, in this case, is the infamous Chambers-created KIY, the veritable wearer of the pallid mask his ownself. Continue reading

apres le Deluge

Dropped a load of capsule reviews on Amazon and Goodreads yesterday, uploaded two new tracks. Working on one more tune and the cover for Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth, which I’m trying to get out by Xmas. The tune is a long prog/classical piece ostensibly about the King and Cassilda, whose story I’ve been reading recently.
The new tunes are milf, a fusion-y piece with beautiful clean guitars, and Tansy, named after the heroine of Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife. Continue reading

It goes to eleven

“Those of you who have followed my musical postings for a while will understand that I am completely jazzed about becoming eleventh on the Reverbnation Rock chart in Tucson,” he says drily. “It is kinda cool to be recognized for something, even if it is pitiful.”

Talk about mixed emotions. Anyway, it’s true. After a mini-ad-campaign featuring my version of Carol of the Bells, my “band” climbed up the heap of Tucsonan rockers and made it to eleven. That was Sunday. Actually made it to nine briefly…I’ve been resting between twenty and fourteen for a couple of months, which tells me that there’s not much activity there.
Which explains why I “climbed up”. There’s no there there, and that’s the pitiful part.
The song is pretty good, I think. I spliced two different versions together to make a more interesting sequence, and then ran a rhythm section under and a heap of guitars over and around. You can listen via the link in the tune title above.

Heh. I was afraid to try it, because Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but I think I found a comfortable pocket, especially during the last two-thirds of the track. Continue reading

Fate Accompli

moderan avatar from ReverbnationDid quite a bit this month. Feeling kinda proud of myself. In november 2008, I wrote a 62,000 word novel and created a cd’s worth of material while simultaneously quitting smoking mid-month. That was pretty productive.

In January 2001, I wrote two short stories in an afternoon and saw them both get published. That was good too.

One day in the mid-70s, I sat down with a couple of pencils and a pile of notebook paper and wrote a novel. About the same wordage as the above. That was the single most productive day of my creative life.

I had a month kinda like that. I wrote a 46k novel (Betrothed to Yog-Sothoth), finished a thirteen-year-old manuscript (Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth) with 15k words, thereby qualifying for a Nanowrimo win, wrote another 10k’s worth of two short stories, and topped that off by composing, performing, and producing a baker’s dozen of new songs, which I’ve just now finished posting to Reverbnation.

I’ll post them onsite soon. The jukebox is taking shape too.

So…I’ll enjoy the feeling while it lasts, and try not to break my arm in the process.

“before Crazytown” has sold more copies than I expected, though not very many in real terms. Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth should surpass it. I’m probably going to offer that as a print book also, though maybe not right away. Crazytown is champing at the bit too.

Surf the wave, me.



TransfigurationsTransfigurations by Michael Bishop
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The novel is based on an excellent novella, Death and Designation among the Asadi, a runner-up for the 1973 Hugo Award, narrowly beaten out by Gene Wolfe’s The Death of Doctor Island. It’s anthropological sf, a strange sort of sub-niche. The mc goes on a journey to an alien planet and lives among the inhabitants in an effort to understand them and identifies a little too closely with them (they are humanoid but definitely alien). The novel resolves some of the unanswered questions left by the novella, however the overall quality isn’t up to the same level-the novel was completed some time after the original story and some of the impetus may have been lost.

I admit to having been completely captivated by the original novella, back when I first read it (in the 1974 Annual World’s Best SF, which was a superior volume with standout stories). The only story I liked better in the book was R.A. Lafferty’s Parthen, about which I’ll write someday, but not now. I just thought it was so extremely different from what I was used to, and sought out other Bishop work in hopes that it reached the same level or was written in the same style (it never did, either way). I like Bishop’s work okay. He’s done some very readable tales, is a competent wordsmith in all respects, but there was just something about that novella that was superior in my opinion.

Because I went on a reading hiatus during the period when Transfigurations was published (1979, my first year in college), I didn’t even know it was out there. Otherwise I’d have read it long ago. Might’ve liked it better, though I doubt I’d have been as effusive in my praise as Theodore Sturgeon or John Clute. The second half of the book just really doesn’t work for me. It’s obvious that it was written later, and the style and sense of it are subtly different.

Still, it’s a very good-to-excellent read, a tad dry if you’re not into science, by a not-quite-big-name sf author.

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Recently finished:
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits All-by Laird Barron

Punktown-by Jeffrey Thomas

Blood Will Have Its Season-by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.