Leopard People


This one was originally on Martian Lit a couple years back [along with pic drawn by Soren Melville]


Lermontov got on the plane back to Russia and put the jacket over his face, trying to picture an airport without people for his return.

He tried not to think of the people he’d let down.

David Warner and his gifts.

The imagination that was no good for him.

How hard it would be…

Me: What?

David Warner: Do you like being here?

Me: No.

David Warner: How many lights do you see?

Me: What?

David Warner: Over there. How many lights?

Me: I don’t…

David Warner: You can leave any time. All you have to do is tell me…how many lights?

Me: How many…

A light came on.

Four hours to Moscow, said the pilot.

Lermontov pulled the jacket off his face, took the animal cards David Warner had given him out of his bag and read the facts on the back of each one, desperate to find them interesting.


Dense fur keeps it warm.

Jaws twice as powerful as a dog’s.

Dominant: Wolves are nearly always the dominant predator in their area. The only animal that can drive a wolf pack off its territory is a tiger.


There are more leopards in the world than lions, tigers and cheetahs put together. Continue reading



Note: this was originally on spork press


Pol Pot was dead.

Then there was a helicopter, an aeroplane, a scientist, some drugs, some lightning and a video recording of some guy screaming ‘It’s alive…mostly.’

Pol Pot was man again.

But he felt bad.

Really bad.

The last twenty years or so he had been on the edge of nothingness. But only on the edge. Something wouldn’t let him fall in, he didn’t know what, so he’d been sitting there, his legs dangling over the edge, thinking about everything he’d done in his life while others came, waved and then dropped into the abyss.

The first four years had been okay.

He’d had a decent life, hadn’t done much wrong. He’d risen high, met every challenge in the face, dealt with those who turned against him.

But still he couldn’t fall into nothingness.

After four years and a bit, a farmer from his country drifted by and called him a ‘monster.’

‘Sorry?’ said Pot, confused.

‘I said, ‘monster’,’ the farmer repeated.

‘Do I know you?’

‘Not really.’

‘So why do you call me monster?’

‘Because you told someone to kill me, monster.’

‘I did?’ Continue reading

All you Robocops

Robocop 2 & 3 Collector's Edition Blu-ray Reviews - That Shelf


“If you live long enough…eventually you’ll [get to] travel in time.”

 Jeff Daniels, promoting ‘Timescape’, Zagreb, 1992.


I don’t know [why the Romulans like grey]. Ask Levar.”

Michael Dorn, signing autographs for $300 a pop while promoting TNG episode ‘Timescape’, Las Vegas, same year.


Robocop had survived seven sequels, two remakes, one re-imagining and a spin off with the black cop behind the front desk called ‘front desk cop’ which had been cancelled after thirteen episodes, four of which were quite innovative and took place solely behind the front desk, viewing the action through the eyes of front desk cop, which was a brave move at the time as in two of these episodes absolutely nothing happened, no action, no crime, no whores sitting in reception chewing gum [that never really happens anyway, the cops rarely arrest prostitutes, it’s a myth, a myth that was put to death by these four episodes and later resurrected in the re-imagining]…

…so Robocop made it to the year 2092, which was the year a scientist came up with the idea for  time travel, an idea based on the concept of picking up strips of Space and spinning them around until a hole appeared that you could jump through and go back in time, an idea that was called ‘dumbo’ by other scientists and friends of scientists and people who’d heard the word ‘science’ once until one country was brave enough to put cash into building a spaceship to send up into Space and pick up the first strip, and it didn’t matter if the spaceship couldn’t go very far because any part of Space would do, and the actual picking up of something that wasn’t really physical was done by introducing a new material that could re-structure the atomic structure of a part of Space and make it solid, and then it could be picked up and spun around until it was weakened enough for a hole to appear, and that’s what they did, that’s what Slovenia did, and the only person dumb enough to volunteer to go up there was the only person who had already died and done sequels and remakes and didn’t care if the same shit happened again and again and… Continue reading

Bad Prophecy [Gul Dukat from DS9]


* Journey of the sleaziest war criminal in sci-fi through 7 seasons of DS9…


Conversation between Gul Dukat and Sisko, on a runabout, during Season 2 episode ‘The Marquis’

Dukat: Redemption…it’s just punishment, isn’t it, Avery?
Sisko: We’re entering Cardassian Space.
Dukat: Yes, yes. [Pause] But it is, isn’t it?
Sisko: [Sighs] Punishment is punishment. Redemption is redemption. There’s a difference.
Dukat: I don’t know, Avery. It all seems the same to me.

Sisko gets up and walks over to the replicator. Dukat waits a few minutes then follows, looking over Sisko’s shoulder to see what he ordered.

Dukat: Did you ever get any redemption, Avery?
Sisko: No. I don’t need it.
Dukat: Me neither.
Sisko: The Bajorans might argue that point.
Dukat: What? Which Bajorans?

Sisko waves away the conversation, goes back to his seat, puts earphones on his head and pretends to listen to jazz.
Dukat follows him, ignoring the lack of attention.

Dukat: Ah, forget the Bajorans. My theory…just don’t fuck up in the first place…right? Just be good and don’t fuck up in the first place.


Dukat lives for the next two seasons of DS9, making decent episodes, shaking hands, trying to stay tolerant.
But the Bajorans, they won’t let him be.
Those damn Bajorans, he thinks. Continue reading

Burke/Surke [the real Alien 3]


The alien drooled, gnashed its teeth, gnashed its second set of teeth, hissed, raised its arms and said [in its own language] ‘Mum-raaaa!’

Burke reeled backwards, petrified…well, his face went back a few inches, but his body stayed pretty much the same.

This is it, he thought, sweating. Die time. Teeth bites, blood, holes the size of Bill Paxton’s head. Fuck. Don’t run. Accept it. For the Company, humankind, corporate hegemony etc etc.

The Alien waited off-screen, still drooling.

Wait. I don’t want it to be it, Burke counter-thought. I’m too slick to die. I’m too smart, too good at manipulating things, too…

The alien lunged, ignoring Burke’s personal narrative.


A noise from the ceiling. Some shitty workmanship. A piece of metal beam, military grey, fell onto the alien’s head and killed it instantly.

Burke froze.

Burke waited.

Burke touched the alien’s head with his foot.


Burke stepped over the corpse and ran out another door.

Minutes later he was on the spaceship.

Bishop didn’t seem to notice as he walked on, so he kept quiet and waited in the communal area, making defences he could use to explain himself to the others. Continue reading

Bowser State


Something to make you think twice about jumping on that first goomba [Bowser pic taken from http://www.screwattack.com]


It’s a cold night in the Mushroom Kingdom.

There are three stars in the sky, none of them shining as bright as they used to.

Next to one of the stars, a flag with the dragon king; its shell military green, its eyes fiery red.

The only other thing in the sky, the moon, shines a spotlight on a small cottage, bunched with other small cottages and a control tower, on an estate just past the mini-castle on World 1, Level 1.

We go in closer, swooping like a Stazi spy in a bird costume until we’re all the way inside the kitchen.

‘I told you, I can’t…’

‘Why not?’

‘He’s our leader, Aidan.’


‘It’s my job to follow his orders. You know that. He’s the leader, he makes the laws.’

‘I didn’t choose him.’


‘None of us did. He just took over.’

Goomba Joanna glances at the poster of the dragon’s face on the wall, pinned up beside another poster that’s either a child’s scribbling or modern art. The dragon’s eyes are paper and colour and don’t seem to be moving.

‘Quiet,’ she whispers.

‘Why? He’s not here.’

‘He’s everywhere.’

‘Nuh-huh.’ Goomba Aidan shuffles to the fridge and pulls out another beer. ‘He’s on World eight, Level four, fucking that princess.’ Continue reading