Wintered Hotel [Nu Strălucirea]

Stephen King Rejected Doctor Sleep Pitch to Recreate Kubrick Overlook |  IndieWire

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High up in the Carpathians, on the south-western slope of a mountain dominated by snowstorms and sluggish bears, a man who called himself Jaq shoveled the remains of the previous night’s blizzard away from the hotel doors.

It was tedious work, but necessary.

At least that was what he’d been told. To him it was pointless, no vehicles coming up this way until April, no tourists in danger of slipping on the ice, but he was a disciplined man and routine could be a comforting thing.

So he dug, for forty-five minutes each day.

Religiously.

Digger digger digger digger digger the snow

If ya, if ya, if ya don’t want Etta to know

Depositing the last dregs of sleet on the snow at the side, he took the shovel back inside the main lobby, propped it up against one of the mauve pillars, sat down in front of his Adler 39 typewriter and started to write.

After an hour or so, he heard a noise.

It wasn’t the first time.

In fact, it was the hundred and thirty-seventh time…in two months. Which, according to his calculations, rounded out to two point one six occurrences a day. Of course, most of these noises ending up being nothing more than his kid breaking something, or his wife rehearsing her role in The Cherry Orchard…but not all.

The noise came again, from upstairs.

He took one last look at what he’d written on the page, muttered ‘bland, average’ then reclaimed the shovel and went to investigate.

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According to the hotel manager, room 237 was the most auspicious spot in the entire region. VIP guests had been married in it, philosophical theories had been thought up from inside its bathtub, an indigenous Romanian tribe had fitted the pipes [before being beaten to death with other, looser pipes]…the mythology was infinite.

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New Release // Castle Damijana

Castle Damijana

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1357: Pedro of Portugal dug up his dead mistress, made her queen, and forced loyal subjects to kiss her hand.

Billy makes a zine that no one reads, and puts it round London. At night he searches for 7 of 9 sex tapes and tries to understand fourth-wave feminist theory. Life stays like this until he gets an e-mail from ‘D’ in Ljubljana, asking him to come to stay. He thinks she’s a nut until she sends him eight grand in spending money. Off he goes, to Ljubljana, to Metelkova, to the outskirts of the city, to a castle on a snowy hill, to Damijana and her typewriter. One of them is a sociopath, can you guess which?

Plot-wise, it’s similar to the Star Trek DS9 episode where Jake Sisko gets yellow energy sucked out of his head by Meg Foster while writing his masterpiece, but this one’s set in Slovenia and is better.

Cover done by the legendary Soren who can be found/hired on corpsehaus

Note: this is a rewrite of an old book I wrote called ‘Ljubljana Witch’ – that one was around 40,000 words, this one is bordering on 100,000 so if you’re one of the few who read the original and thought it was a bit short, you’re in luck.

You can buy it on bookdepository

The Restaurant at the end of the Universe [in Chinese]

In the tradition of reading above my level, I got the Chinese version of The Restaurant at the end of the Universe // Douglas Adams from the library and, so far, I’m up to page two.

Not sure why I’m doing this, I have some of the Sherlock Holmes kids series in Cantonese to get through, but for some reason they’re not sticking, so here I am, pushing the rock up Mt Sci-fi.

Previously, I attempted So long and thanks for all the fish in Portuguese, and it’s already clear that, language-wise, I’m about to start having the same problems.

Problem 1 – idioms

This is also an issue I have with the kids books in Cantonese…they use a lot of idioms, some easy to guess, others impossible. Like in English, if a character says they’re a bit under the weather, you probably won’t know what it means unless you’re fluent. Same problem here, only worse, as Cantonese idioms are more localised and non-existent in western culture.

An example, the four characters highlighted in green below:

The best way I’ve found to get through it, is to skip them. Skip the whole sentence and aim for an understanding of the paragraph as a whole. If the idiom turns out to be foundational then go back and look it up.

Problem 2 – logic

In my experience, when you’re a non-native speaker of a language…anything up to high intermediate, possibly higher…you have to rely on logic and context to understand what people are saying.

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The biggest racists in Trek

DS9 Caption Contest 100: He's the Gorram Sisko! | The Trek BBS

After watching episodes of DS9 and Voyager and TNG every night for 276 days straight, I’ve had some revelations that I never really thought about when I was a younger viewer.

1] Chief O Brien is a bit of a prick

2] The continuation of the Bajoran religion makes no sense

3] there’s a lot of xenophobia floating about

The last one is especially prevalent in DS9 and, considering the background of the series, fairly understandable.

Premise

Bajor is fresh out of a 50 year occupation by the Cardassians, the Ferengi are capital fundamentalists [and perverts] and the chief of security can change shape. For most of the first few seasons, both the Bajorans and O Brien are hostile to the Cardassians and I have no problem with this in terms of scripting as it’s completely realistic.

It’s not very Trekkian, in terms of concept at least, but it makes sense.

Actually, in the case of O Brien, it’s less justifiable as he’s fought many alien species, but seems to have a special disgust towards the Cardassians. Of course, getting kidnapped, tortured and put on trial for made up bullshit in Season 2 probably didn’t help, but it’s not just the Cardassians, he’s also rude and aggressive with Quark too.

It’s true, Quark is a sleaze most of the time, and treats his workers like slaves, but other times he’s just coming up to the Chief to ask how he’s doing, or making a comment about something happening in the bar, like when the Klingons arrive on the station at the beginning of season 4 and he mentions the low ambient noise level in the bar…O Brien snaps at him, as he always does, and Quark is forced to just stand there and take it. In all honesty, Quark usually takes these things quite well, almost like he expects it. And when O Brien walks in, he must expect it every time. Oh look, it’s the guy who has the emotional control of a four year old…can’t wait to chat with him. Even giving him his holosuite program, something he should be happy about, is a dangerous business.

Why people think O Brien is an everyman character, I have no idea. He’s just a big sulk half the time…poor Keiko…

Back to the racism…

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Moddey Dhoo [poem]

Manannan's Map of Fantastical Folk of the Isle of Man…

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dry out the fibreglass

prepare your nan

can’t have two poets in the attic, it’s weird

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During a period of intense productivity

play darts

read Kant

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Night on the farm, blessed by

neon control

there half the year

avec plastic conscience and

sell-pork

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Those Stalinist future shotguns

travel in pairs

vicious and green

with a blurred understanding of breath control

Avoid

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Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E09 – Project Avalon

blake's 7 bot on Twitter: "Blake's 7 Series A, Episode 09 - Project Avalon  BLAKE: [To the guard] Right, remember to do exactly as I told you. And  remember there are two

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EXT: SOMEWHERE IN WALES, NOVEMBER

Travis stands around on an icy planet, in arctic clothing, his face unprotected.

Off-screen, the vampire crew member from Episode 8 is escorted out of the building for refusing to change in the female changing room, and replaced by a new actress.

She puts on the black S&M suit and approaches Travis.

‘Sir, we have located their position.’

‘Any guards?’

‘One. But he often turns his back so we should be able to subdue him.’

‘Good. Go and do that.’

‘What about you, Sir?’

‘I’m going back to the set canteen. Call me when you’re ready.’

The vamp turns to leave, pauses then rotates back.

‘What is it?’

‘I don’t want to speak out of place, Sir, but…’

‘You think my plan is convoluted.’

‘A bit.’

‘You’re afraid that I’m becoming one note…always relying on traps instead of being more offensive.’

‘It’s not that, Sir. I just don’t understand why we can’t shoot Blake when he comes to the cave.’

‘It will be explained in later dialogue.’

‘Yes, I’ve read the script. But why don’t we make a Blake robot and send that back to the Liberator? Then we can either catch or kill the real one when he comes here.’

Travis rubs his eyepatch, glances at the director.

‘Rant…’ mouths the director.

Travis nods. ‘Blake…I despise him, I will kill him, I will talk about him in my sleep…I will have him pushed into new galaxies and kill him there too…call his house at weird hours, label him a peasant, threaten his perm…’ Continue reading

The Devil Rides Out 1968 [Spoilers]

The Devil Rides Out (1968) • 50 Years Later | by Remy Dean | Frame ...

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Starring: Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Satan

Director: Terrence Fisher

Setting: 1920’s England, when Crowley was still alive.

Plot: Christopher Lee and a big, dumb lump visit the nephew of a dead friend, who they vowed to protect, and discover he’s hanging out with a surprisingly diverse group of Devil worshippers. The leader of this group, Charles Gray, has hypnotic eyeballs and is planning on inducting the nephew, Simon, and a sexy Italian actress into the group. Can Christopher Lee and the lump save them in time?

Subplot: A rival group of Satanists try to call Christopher Lee and tell him he’s seriously misrepresenting their beliefs, but he’s never home.

Sub-subplot: A lonely goat makes its first human friend and accepts his invitation to a forest party.

Thoughts:

I’ve always got time for horror with satanism in it…The Masque of the Red Death, Blood on Satan’s Claw, Witchfinder General…though it’s rare to see any that doesn’t equate it with evil or malice. Sadly, this one does, even if it is generally very watchable and well-made.

I’m no expert on this topic, but I’m pretty sure Satanists don’t actually sacrifice anyone or wish to hypnotise people into attending goat-killing, outdoor orgies.

Not that it’s really an orgy in this film, more like a bunch of actors dancing with dramatic arm flourishes and fondling each other a bit…or fondling the women. In fact, the whole thing is a bit tame, especially if it’s calling itself horror.

Has there ever been a group of Satanists that have sacrificed someone or done terrible things? Probably. I think a few serial killers claimed to be acting under the command of Satan, or following his ways, but that’s not a reflection on the whole movement. Continue reading

Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E08 – Duel

mutoid - front & gloves | Science fiction tv, Science fiction ...

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EXT. but really INT. – a stormy, misty, polystyreney set magically manages to stay upright long enough for a hag and posh model to spout cryptic nonsense about the balance of power on their desolate planet.

The hag moves around a lot to keep warm, asking the posh model if it’s really time or if she should go back to her Roy Chubby Brown vid.

‘Everything is in place.’ The posh model points to the stars. ‘Those three ships with huge flashlights are laying a trap for he who cannot die.’

‘Then we’re bringing them down here?’

‘Soon.’

The hag rubs her hand up and down her wooden staff, staring at the posh model’s white gown.

‘What is it?’

‘You look cold.’

‘I am ethereal.’

‘They gave me a cloak and I’m ethereal too.’

‘You are the dark power, destruction.’

‘Wow…you’re really in character…is that the only way to get through this?’

The posh model coughs, bending down to the hag. ‘I’m wearing a thin gown in the middle of winter…cos Terry said it would look ethereal.’

‘Luv, you can see your nipples from Albania.’ Continue reading

Malzberg Portal To…

Bajoran wormhole | Memory Alpha | Fandom

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HERSELF, WITH THE MONITORS

MAY NOT YET REACH US FOR BILLIONS OF YEARS

IONS OF WHICH

DAMNED INNOCENT

UNSETTLE TRON

Q-BACKED

IF YOU GIVE A SHIT

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KAZON MINING GRIFT

DEUTERIUM-COATED THREE YEAR OLDS

RAMPANT

SAY IT’S OUTSOURCED

SAY IT’S DRUNK

SAY IT’S CLOSER TO A THEME PARK THAN A HORROR SHOW

FOX WHO?

HALF A STAR FOR THE LIZARD EP

ZERO STARS FOR HER

KEEP GOING DOWN THIS PATH NED

KEEP GOING DOWN THIS PATH AND THE KIDS ARE GONNA DISCOVER KORSCH DIG UP ROBESON THINK ABOUT

VOIGT AS BAO ZHENG

STREEP AS THE ANC

DID SANKARA HAVE A LISP?

CAN KOREAN PEOPLE LIE? Continue reading