The Book + the Sword // Jin Yong


Jin Yong is my wife’s favourite writer and probably the best known guy writing Chinese martial arts in the whole world.

Though most people in the west don’t know him.

I don’t know the reason, but not many of his books have been translated into English. My wife told me it’s hard to translate from Chinese to English as the traditional Chinese characters used often have a meaning that can’t be translated well. Also, there probably aren’t many western writers, apart from academics, who are at a high enough standard in Chinese writing to give it a crack.

Maybe the American-Chinese guy who did ‘The 3 Body Problem’ could give it a crack sometime?

Anyway, what my wife said could be true in this case, as the translation I read was quite simple in its style, word choice and sentence structure. And a lot of the story was just plot, plot, plot, which made me wonder if a lot of the deeper, between the lines stuff had been lost along the way.

And when I say ‘a lot’ I mean:

The Chinese version of ‘The Book and the Sword’ is about 1,000 pages

The English version is around 500 pages.

500 pages worth of story was lost?

I don’t know,


although there were a lot of characters to keep track of and the story was quite melodramatic in a lot of ways, there were aspects of it that I thought were great.

Kung Fu strategy

The way Jin Yong describes the action is decent, but the parts that really stood out were the parts in-between where the characters or the narrator would delineate the style that was being used and the strategy behind it

E.g. the one third attack Continue reading

Psycho Holosuite #Issue 1 [Out Now]

psycho holosuite7-2


Zine: Psycho Holosuite [Issue 1]

Pages: 80 [print version], 90 [e-version]

Contributors: Berit Ellingsen, Frankie Sachs, Soren Melville, Thomas Stolperer, Marc Horne, Tyson Bley and me [Oli].

Release date: Now


Well, after printing this thing 5 months ago and watching it sit in a box in the corner of my living room doing nothing ever since, I can finally say, man, it’s out.

By ‘out’ I mean available for order in stripped down e-form on amazon, and on its way in glorious zine form to the following places:

Atomic Books [Baltimore]

The Coming Society [Hong Kong]

Sticky Institute [Melbourne]

Housmans [London]

Book Thug Nation [NYC]

Molasses [NYC]

Quimby’s [Chicago]

There are still 4-5 places we’re gonna add to this list, but you can find out more about these confirmed stockists here.

All of them are decent and well stocked with zines from all kinds of people, so even if you don’t like our one, you probably will like at least one zine there.

Also, if you want to order a copy, just e-mail us and we’ll see if there’s any left.

What’s in Issue 1 of this zine?

Well, there’s: Continue reading

Uchujin Time Strip


In many ways Susan Sarandon was more than just the lub interest from Bull Durham and the ex-wife of Tim Robbins, she was also the mind interest of sub space aliens who conducted experiments with/in/outside of time.


It had started, the Sarandon interest, when a stray signal from Earth swerved and poked itself into sub space by mistake…and ended up on one of the screens inside an alien base only eight sub-parsecs from the Sol System [not that distance really mattered].


Alien: What’s this?

Alien 2: White Palace.

Alien: Well…I don’t like white, and I don’t really like palaces…wait, who’s that?

Alien 2: The one with the stick?

Alien: No.

Alien 2: The one with the hills?

Alien: Yes, who is she?

Alien 2: Susan Sarandon.

Alien: Wow.

Alien 2: I know.




RULE 17 of Chrono-strip-experimentation:

Always seek permission from a representative of the subject’s world, even if that representative seems to be out of their depth.

If refused, ask another.




The sub space aliens ordered the face cream, pulled out the temporal hacksaws and grew four tongues [two as back-up].

The face cream would take a few weeks to arrive, so they passed the time by watching the 14th century.

Their notes:


Black Death = efficient culling of general population, mostly peasants

Red Death = efficient culling of Italian nobles who worshipped something called Satan. Continue reading

Cometbus Portal Deluxe


I don’t like doing reviews, so here are my thoughts on the cometbus//green day zine that you can still buy at microcosm publishing [should still be in stock]

In the spirit of the Gupter Puncher zine, I added Blake’s 7, zine shop portals and prague into this thing to try and hold your attention…


Lisbon London Zagreb Ljubljana none of them had cometbus on tour with green day in china so I ended up at the cross club in prague with Joanna.

Avon’s book said it was famous for creatives & socialists & sometimes anarchists and if you went at the right time of day they might have the cometbus zine you’re looking for.

I didn’t go there first – I trusted Avon, he wasn’t moral, he was going to shoot Vila and dump his body off the ship just to reach escape velocity in season 4 episode 11, and he did shoot Blake [at his most Mexican-looking], but he had no reason to lie this time – I went to another place that sold zines but that was closed so I left one of my mega man zines under their shutter blind and headed to the cross club.

The other zine place never got back to me, fuckers, even though I left my e-mail. I try not to dwell on things like this but it’s hard, especially when I wrote the word ‘e-mail’ in Czech.

The Cross Club…

it was well-designed and the floor was sticky from the night before and I guess it was the right time cos they had the cometbus zine, issue 54, and more than that, they had a portal in one of the back rooms that led to other zine stores including one in Hong Kong that I’d never heard of, and from that portal you could even go further, to all the planets in Blake’s 7, which never looked that Continue reading

Wentworth Miller [Michael from Prison Break] in Ljubljana


Day One

Plane lands. Airport no bigger than a post office. Walk around a little, but nowhere really to walk to. Get the bus into Ljubi…Ljubla…fuck it, into Loobylana. Mountains in the distance look like they have snow on top, but could just be white rock.

Mountains don’t go away. Lean in close to the window and really think about what that stuff is. Nothing to confirm it, but come up with theory: dirty snow sometimes looks like white rock.

Get bored and look at seats around me. All empty. Think of Anna. ‘Europe’s creepy. You should go to Seattle instead.’

Try not to think of Anna.

Mountains leave and Loobylana appears. Lots of buildings, none of them more than four storeys. This is the capital?

The hostel is bleak. Looks like a military barracks. No cushions or beanbags…only so many hard-edge surfaces I can take.

Check phone – still no word from Anderson about the script. Beginning to think he prefers to write his own.

Go for a walk by the river and see lots of French people. Lots of Germans too. Had always thought this, but now I know – all Germans look like Billy Fichtner.

Take a path up to the castle on the hill at 11pm. No lights, no people. Feel a little scared, but keep going, hoping the environment will provoke ideas.

The castle walls are covered in red light. Makes me think of Ninth Gate, Polanski, Depp. Walk over a wooden plank bridge and expect something to pull me under. Nothing does. It’s creepy quiet up here.

Idea – Tenth Gate? Unrelated character from original goes up to Loobylana castle at night and crosses into different dimension. Use red light a lot. Put something scary under the plank. Beggars maybe. Continue reading

Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E01 – The Way Back



Reluctant Perm on head follows man and woman who may or not be main characters outside of a dome in that forest near Southampton .

‘I don’t know where we’re going,’ says Perm.

‘To a new set,’ says nameless female.

‘Will there be plot?’

‘There will.’

Reluctant perm increases reluctance by a few per cent because they’re outside and the Federation – without Riker or Sisko or Picard, only those corrupt admirals who cropped up every now and then – do not tolerate perms wandering outside the dome, especially welsh perms playing fanatics based on Mexican revolutionaries that most people don’t know about.



Emilio Zapata, a Northern Mexican, shot rich people and never dropped poor people in the shit just so he could go and poke drunk college students in Cancun.

Cancun Census 1917: Population: a lot, many rich, but zero zapatas



‘I’ve been what?’

‘Brainwashed,’ said the old-ish man.

‘I don’t remember that.’

‘Welcome to brainwashing.’

‘[Welsh swearword].’

‘I wish I had longer to explain,’ said the old-ish man who had hoped this role would stretch out for more than a single episode [stay longer in the dome, Terry, copy Reds, remember Reds? Yeah, they talked a lot, about socialism, revolution, people liked it, copy that, no, you’re sticking with the perm, fuck you then], ‘but we’re about to be massacred.’ Continue reading

The Deterritorialisation of Nick Nolte

Does the 1982 Eddie Murphy classic “48 Hrs.” hold up today ...


      Nick Nolte the wildman drunk woke up after a long night of reading, drinking and smoking and [with light storming in] realised he was no longer Nick Nolte.


As he brushed his teeth in the bathroom he further realised he hadn’t been Nick Nolte for a long time.

‘Shit, padre…’

He showered, put his contacts in and tried to figure out some kind of time scale.

Twenty years?


That cop film…the Eddie Murphy thing…was that it?

He walked into his second living room, in the beach pad bought by Nick Nolte the mad scientist in that green monster film, and thought about what he should do next.

A few seconds later he went sideways and thought about why he’d come to think of this in the first place.

There were all those books he’d been reading. The ones Walter said would give him trouble.

But, shit…just fiction and philosophy, he thought.

Cela and the Life of Pascal Dirty. Camus and the third man. Celine and the long journey through the night. Malaparte and…what was it…Virus? Disease? Sartre and the nausea. Takahashi and the Sayonara Gangsters. Hesse and those two guys…Nazi and Goldman.

Shit, just fiction and ideas…

He shrugged and went back to thinking of that other thing, the plan, what he should do next.


Nick Nolte the wildman drunk stood in front of the bathroom mirror and combed his hair. He brushed his teeth again, whiter than white, then smiled to the other.

‘Beautiful,’ he said. ‘A Goddamn Philandropist.’


In the police station the first arrestee smirked and said, ‘no reason, man.’

He was slapped twice then put back in the cell.

The second arrestee smirked and said, ‘fuck you.’

He was given a ‘fuck you’ back, slapped and put back in his cell.

The seven arrestees that came next were all pretty much the same way. Continue reading

Pitch for new Star Trek series – Part 3 [Episode list]

Humble Star Trek Bundle Comic Books | The Mary Sue


We’ve done the general outline in Part 1 and the character bios in Part 2, now for some of the episodes of the first season…

Picture above taken from random Trek comic, looks like Chris Pine from the movies with no brain.



These are just vague ideas without much flesh.

The doctor seems to get a lot of episodes, so could just hold one or two of them back for later seasons.

Needs more focus on the two captains, especially the captain who’s been demoted. Actually, there’s a parallel there…I didn’t notice it before…the other captain has been promoted due to the deaths of its superiors, whereas the female captain has gone the other way, equally fast. Should do something with this, though not sure what. It can’t be too overt whatever it is…

They get captured by aliens and are forced to play on a giant snakes & ladders board?

The new alien race doesn’t feature much. Too understated? Don’t want to frontload everything and turn into another ‘Heroes’, but too much slow burn and we might not get a second season…

Pilot episode

It starts with a Federation ship in orbit, making third or fourth contact with the new alien race that will become more involved as the series progresses. The female captain meets the alien envoy and answers/avoids questions about all the terrible things Starfleet has done over the last 50 years or so. Some of it will be from other Trek series, like ignoring the occupation of Bajor, and other stuff will be new, like the alliance with the Klingons and looking the other way when they did some immoral things.

They go around the ship for the first 20 minutes, introducing the security chief and the doctor and a boy genius who is the son of the first officer. Then the Romulans appear and say it’s their turn to talk to the new aliens. A standoff ensues until one of the new aliens is revealed to be a spy and the female captain is shot. The boy genius tries to stop the spy beaming off but his incompetence causes a power surge in the console and blows half his face off. Continue reading

Pitch for new Star Trek series – Part 2 [Characters bios]


Note: for Part 1, see the post below

Part 3, with the episode bible, will be up soon-ish…


Main Characters

Notes: it’s important, I think, to have the characters played by fresh faces. Give new blood a chance, especially minority actors/actresses who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance in Hollywood. E.g. don’t cast Denzel Washington as the female Nigerian Captain.

Diversity is important, but don’t make it a plot point unless it’s relevant. Trek has always been a utopic vision, so modern politics should stay out of it.

Exceptions will probably be made for the following topics: religion, drugs, non-binary gender, gay rights, racism, sexism, socialism, wealth distribution, punishment of criminals vs rehabilitation, gender equality, animal welfare, the environment, corruption, classism, nepotism, censorship and safe sex.

Don’t fall back on sexual tension.

Don’t fabricate conflict where there is none. The characters are either varied/ideologically opposed or they are not.

Don’t let all the characters believe Starfleet is best.

Don’t make everyone perfect.

Add more sex.

And conflict.


Captain/ensign [Nigerian] – At the start of episode one, she’s the captain defending [unconvincingly] the Prime Directive and her ship against renegades from the new alien race. By mid-episode, four years later, she’s been demoted to ensign and is serving on a different ship. What the hell happened to this woman?

She was born in Lagos, home of the Institute of Quantum Physics & Other Stuff, the most prestigious institute in this field on Earth. One of the episodes might have her going back there to see their new discovery, which turns out to be a mini-black hole that can talk.

The idea behind showing Lagos as an advanced super-city is to make a counterpoint to people who think Africa is accurately represented by that naked guy shaking a spear at the fallen alien ship in Independence Day.

What else… Continue reading

Pitch for new Star Trek series [featuring Brighton]

Trek Comics Review: STAR TREK YEAR FIVE #4 •


Note: this is the first of three parts. Next up will be the character bios and then the episode bible…

Image taken from a Trek comic, not sure which


The greatest threat to the Federation is not an opposing culture like the Borg, Klingons, Romulans etc.

It’s death by homogeny and blandness and everyone being almost exactly the same and standing around starships without any dialogue while the main cast talk about plasma manifolds and dilithium sex dolls and…

It’s a similar culture, exaggerated.

It’s an alien race that gives a shit about other races and is willing to interfere, no matter what stage of development they’re at.

It’s an enemy/friend that also believes the first rule of the Prime Directive is wrong.

What do these new aliens actually believe?

They believe that any race, no matter how primitive, should be contacted and assisted. They believe in education and improvement. They believe a species should not have to suffer war after war for centuries before enlightenment and Space travel.

They believe alien girls living on volcano planets should not be left to die or talked about like objects in Picard’s living room.

Basically: Any species is ready for the stars. It’s just a matter of education.

Their approach: Aggressively socialist [similar to Chavez or Cuba – they’re clearly a bit nuts, and stubborn, but they’re also moralistic towards the poor]

The dilemma for the Federation: Should they try and stop them?


So when is the series set?

The concept is adaptable, so it could be either:

i] 10-20 years after the Dominion War – The Federation, the Klingons and most of the Alpha Quadrant are a mess – the only ones who aren’t completely depleted are the Ferengi and the Romulans [it turns out they didn’t commit as much of their military to the war as they claimed, added to the fact that they were in the war for a shorter length of time]. The Federation is looking for new members/resources and explores a new area of Space where the new aliens have already set up a mini-alliance of 4-5 systems. Continue reading