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Monday, 27 December 2010


2011 is coming for us like a mentally-ill ex-wife desperate for child support (for a child you never had together), so let's take a moment to barricade the doors, lock the windows and look back at the year that was whilst we wait for the police to arrive...

JANUARY 2010 started badly with news that top-selling horror writer Karen Mulligan had passed away after a freak accident in her Beverly Hills home. She'd been using her teeth to unscrew a child-proof cap from a bottle of pills, but the cap came off and lodged in her throat, choking her to death. Mulligan was best known for her 'Stein' trilogy of books, in which she reinvented Victor Frankenstein and his monstrous creation as high school best friends, who got into sexy adventures with underage girls and frowning bullies. A film of the first book, NUTS N BOLTS, is due to be released this coming summer. Steven Spielberg is producing, with Vin Diesel as the Monster.

FEBRUARY 2010 was a happier month, as sales of horror-related media soared into exceptionally high figures. Hallmark revealed plans to create 'Horrorday', a week-long explosion of terror aimed squarely at people who liked to buy cards and cheap gifts for no particular reason. Also this month, Nick Nolte was arrested for beating up James Cameron at an awards show.

MARCH 2010 heralded the long-awaited second album from popular art-rockers Bendy Samson. The album, entitled Chainsaw Barbecue, came after the band (comprised of ex-members of Coldplay, Talking Heads and The The) dropped off the musical radar and allegedly set up a cult in South America back in 2004. Whatever the truth may be, they came back better than ever, and their first single 'Fruit-Flavoured Poison Drink' reached a respectable 27 in the UK top 40, and Chainsaw Barbecue hit number ten in the US album chart.

APRIL 2010 saw a rash of bad slasher films hit the multiplexes in what became known as the 'Spring of Knives' in some tabloid papers. Hatchet Face 2 lead the charge, and set the tone with its grisly depiction of axe-face-to-normal-face murders (many reviews said it was no wonder the first film was banned, and that this sequel should have gone the same way). Hot on this film's bloodied heels came Night at the Waxworks, a "re-imagining" of the 1980's horror Waxworks, that saw French actor extradonnaire Vince Cassel take the role of a creepy caretaker in a dilapidated museum, only to end up being a deranged blah blah blah. Even director Ron Howard jumped on board the horror train with his ill-judged 'family slasher' Dinner at the Smiths, in which Tom Hanks played the crazy father of a family of murderers, who terrorise their neighbourhood dressed like Dr Suess' characters. It was withdrawn from general release within one week, and has yet to see light of day on DVD.

MAY 2010. Absolutely nothing of any interest happened this month. Scientists were at a loss to explain why.

JUNE 2010 - the Shoemaker Spanner 6 comet passed by Earth and lit up the sky over Southern Turkey for six whole days. Those who witnessed the Aurora Borealis-style lightshow soon started showing signs of radiation sickness. The death toll from that event reached 152 people.

JULY 2010 saw the release of another new book from Stephen King. Lights Out told the story of a struggling Maine writer as he and his wife tried to patch up their marriage whilst on holiday in Turkey. A subsequent lightshow from a passing comet causes everyone to turn into plant-creatures and control vehicles with their minds.

AUGUST 2010 had the whole world celebrate my birthday. Also this month, James Patterson unveiled his plans to write a series of spy books centered around a telekinetic cop with a violent personality. "It's about time I wrote something interesting," he admitted.

SEPTEMBER 2010 saw the death of long-term cable horror TV host 'Uncle Coffin' (real name George Henderson). Famous in Connecticut for his regular shopping trips dressed up in his trademark black cloak, top hat and zombie make-up, Uncle Coffin captured the hearts and minds of Middle America with his monthly 'Uncle Coffin's Mildly Worrying Anxiety Hour' show, in which he'd look at news items that caused him mild concern. He would then use this to segue into a (often-unrelated) horror film. One rare occasion in which he did manage to seamlessly link his show to the following film was when he spent 60 minutes talking about the woman who'd put a cat in a wheelie bin, and then showed the 1980's version of Cat People.

OCTOBER 2010 To no one's surprise, Hallmark ended up using Halloween as their 'Horrorday' event, and subsequently ruined it for everyone who actually enjoyed that holiday. "It's just another excuse to buy crap," TV pundit Mags Green said on the Glenn Beck show. His opinion was repeated by radio personality Paul Gambaccini on the BBC Six O'Clock News, but in a far more educated and interesting manner.

NOVEMBER 2010 Neo-noir thriller Crimes of the Broken-Hearted becomes the fastest selling foreign-language audio book in the history of all Novembers. Author and narrator Giles Svenskaard said of his impossibly fast rise to success: "Jag kan inte tro min lycka! Jag är så glad människor är villiga att ge en ljudbokberättad helt på svenska ett försök!"

DECEMBER 2010 sees the body of Lord Lucan wash up on a beach in Africa, completely intact and showing no signs of decay. An autopsy quickly reveals it to be "a fake". The UK has something of a White Christmas as BNP activists burn down several mosques in celebration of Jesus' birth and the release of the Screwdriver Xmas Album.

What's next for us? What treats will 2011 have in store? This reporter, for one, cannot wait to find out! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, scumbags! Rev. Austin, sign- oh thank god you're here. She's waiting in the shed with a gun. I don't know how she got out. She did bring me a Terry's Chocolate Orange, which was a nice thought. Oh no, I'm happy for you to kill her. The divorce was finalized last month and her own doctor said she's a danger to society. Absolutely. It IS for the best. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, too, officers!

Thursday, 23 December 2010


My very f##king short piece of s##t-hot Lovecraftian fiction OF BURIED TRUTHS is due to appear on http://eschatologyjournal.org/ at the end of motherf##king January, bitches! Suck my balls, non-believers! Your blood will paint the walls of R'lyeh when I pop round to do a bit of f##king renovation, you c##ksucking whores! TAP THAT!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Up yours you c#m-guzzling f##ktard! My blog's got a new s##t-faced attitude, you c##k-teasing wet fart. Expect motherf##king expletive-laden movie reviews c##ting soon, you t##ts! It's going to be like a punch in the face, if you're a woman and I'm a man's fist. Or kick in the balls if you're a woman and I'm a man's foot. And the woman has balls! F##k yeah, p####s! Join in the s###k-lathering fun or eat s##t, you d##k-faced b#####ds.

Sunday, 19 December 2010


There he is, working as a security guard for a hospital, minding his own business, when he finds Laurie Strode hiding in his little hut. She's just escaped said hospital and has everyone's favourite Shape after her. And there's Buddy, kind old Buddy, who can't get much sense out of the terrified girl and so instead soothes her with assurances that "it's going to be okay" and "nothing's going to happen", only to then get an axe in the back. Poor, dear old Buddy. He could have been something of a hero, but all he did was serve as an example that in Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN 2, no one is safe.

This idea is mercilessly executed (arf arf!) again, and again, and again throughout the rest of the film, so much so that you soon realise that what could have been one of the film's greatest strengths ends up being just as predictable as almost every other slasher. That nice cop with the best of intentions? Dead. That harmless teen who's looking forward to sex with a fit girl? Dead. That fit girl? Dead. There's something to be said for a slasher film in which most of the characters die, but it's not necessarily a good thing. I'm all for bleak, unrelenting horror, but for it to be most effective you need some sliver of hope, a small ray of sunlight the characters can frantically rush towards. The main driving force in H2 is that everyone wants Michael Myers dead. Not exactly uplifting. Plus, as is the case with these sort of films, there's no guarantee he'll even stay dead (as exemplified by his 'resurrection' (double arf!) at the start of this instalment). Slasher films are the serpent that eats its own tail.

Although H2 is almost a one-note film (more on that in a moment) that treats most of its kills and gore as a gratuitous treat rather than cathartic release, it is enjoyable and not without its merits. Some of the more effective scenes and ideas are the ones that are repeated most often; namely, the wide shots and the use of juxtaposition, both of which are done very well. Regards the wide shots - I'm a fan of any artist who understands the importance of space. Zombie shows us characters in wide open areas, alone in the big wide world. There are also a few successful kills shown via wide shots (the best probably being when Myers steps out from behind a tree...how did he get there? He's one sneaky tramp!) but generally it works in a 'where are you going to run to?' manner - when all around you is open space, there is nowhere to hide. So running is futile. You might as well just give up now and accept a knife to the face.

They say that with music, it's the notes you don't play that are important. This can be applied to films in that it's the scenes you don't see that are important. The most obvious example of this is the 'ear' scene in Reservoir Dogs, but really, it's all down to the audience's imagination and Rob Zombie plays on this notion a few times (successfully) only to then resort back to more cheap thrills and gorehound gags (again, I'm a fan of this sort of thing, but Zombie overplays his hand somewhat so that it becomes expected, and therefore drains those moments of any real visceral thrill).

The juxtaposition is done particularly well in a couple of scenes: Laurie, the Sheriff (who she lives with) and the Sheriff's daughter (Laurie's best friend) are sat eating pizza. The sheriff's being a goofy dad and embarrassing his daughter as he extols the virtue of eating meat. This is intercut with Myers carving up and chowing down on a dog. Mmm mmm mmmm! Later, when the aforementioned fit girl gets killed, her screams and cries for help are cut with/drowned out by interior scenes of Laurie and her other friend having a whale of a time in the nearby bar.

What stops H2 from becoming a one-note film is also the very thing that apparently turned almost everyone off it - the rather clumsy 'psychological' angle. With all the subtly of a brick, Zombie starts the film with a quote about what a 'white horse' symbolises (in a dream context: violence, although there is apparently no actual psychological reference relating to this idea). He then shows us Michael Myer's mum every so often with a white horse beside her. Generally, these bits play out like bad arthouse cinema, with vague dialogue and stark filters, but it's all a bit naff. Having Myers "haunted" by his dead mum, and a vision of his younger self isn't a bad idea, but it doesn't quite work.

Later, we're shown that Laurie shares some sort of psychic link with Myers which does work on one level (they are siblings, after all) but not in the way Zombie possibly intended. How does she see the exact same thing he does? And how can his visions 'physically' affect her? It doesn't quite make sense. Maybe she has the same problem with her brain as he does (which is strongly suggested) but her visions are exactly the same as his, and it feels more like one hefty coincidence that would have been better explained in a true supernatural angle rather than the cod-psychology we get instead.

I fully expected to hate H2 (especially after all the negative press it's received) but I thought it was pretty good - better than the first one, in any case. I kept wondering what it might be like if Rob Zombie really cut loose, but then I'd get reminded that all of his films are exactly that. Except, they'll be points where he remembers he's making something people will actually need to watch, and dials it down a bit, diluting the overall experience and creating an uneven tone. The Devil's Rejects is perhaps his most successful film in terms of balancing his directorial aesthetic with the trailer-trash archetypes and set-dressing he likes so much, but I think it'd be unfair to say Halloween 2 doesn't come close in some regards.

I think, by now, it's possible to look at a Zombie film and know it's one of his, and H2 has that grimy cinematography thing going on all over its scruffy face, sometimes to its detriment (again, you don't need to give a bad guy a deformed mask to make him creepy - this sometimes ends up being a case of 'trying too hard') but usually to its credit (it helps create mood and atmosphere, two things a lot of modern horror movies lack). Plus, his recurring actors are all good fun to watch (Brad Dourif is absolutely, incredibly brilliant as the sheriff; Malcolm McDowell is a not-entirely-unsympathetic Loomis, with some good quotes and a fine line in blasé arrogance) and the kid who now plays young Myers is much better than the pasty fatso from the first go-around. But if there's one thing about this film that really wound me up, and is grotesquely unfair, it's seeing Sheri Moon Zombie appear in the credits ABOVE Brad Dourif. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. She's by no means a dining table but come on...Dourif out-acts her in his sleep (and I think the sheriff is a far more pivotal character than Myer's mum, in that he reacts realistically to situations, exudes pathos and underpins some major scenes). Okay, your wife's hot Rob, but give the man some proper respect. Seesh!

Other than that, a solid film. I actually think Rob Zombie would do himself (and the audience) a better service if he created his own slasher mythos (I don't think the Rejects quite count in this regard), rather than try to warp a pre-existing one to his particular mindset. Providing he manages to balance his crazy aspirations with his actual decent bouts of directing. And doesn't put his bloody wife in it.

Friday, 17 December 2010


I talked about 'deleted scenes' a while ago, and here's my latest one. It's the original start to something I've almost finished working on, a sort-of superhero story about a vigilante who goes around beating up drunks and lowlifes in a small American town:

The man, inebriated to the point of violence, roughly dragged an attractive young lady into an alleyway. She tried to scream and cry for help but he kept slapping her into silence. “Shut up,” he snarled. “You owe me this.”

“Please…” She was barely out of her teens, dressed for summer despite the cold, brunette and petite. “Please let me go; I promise I won’t tell anyone!”

The man – himself somewhere in his thirties and with a face that was no stranger to violence – shoved her to the dirty ground and started to undo his belt buckle. “Make one more sound and I’ll kill you.”

Despite slurring half the sentence, the threat had the desired effect on the girl, who scooted back against the wall and tried not to allow the sounds of her crying to spill out into actual words. As the man leered closer she choked out: “No…”

The man’s eyes flared with rage and he grabbed a handful of her hair. “What did I just say?”

“Leave her alone.” The voice that came from the nearby shadows wasn’t deep or menacing, yet had enough force behind it to cause the man to let go of the girl.

“Who’s there?” He squinted into the darkness. “I’ll give you five seconds to f---”

The words died on his lips as someone – or something – stepped from the shadows. It was of average height and build, but covered entirely in black: black boots, black jeans, black long-sleeved top, black gloves…but the thing that made the drunk question if it was human or not was the weird head. Again, it was black but had gaps in it, a bit like a skull, but its shape was more snout-like, more…reptilian.

Remembering he was filled with alcohol (so impervious to everything) the man pushed the girl against the wall and turned to face the stranger. “What the fuck are you supposed to be?”

“I might go easy on you,” it said, “if you let the girl go.”

“Fuck off, weirdo.” The drunk laughed to himself and returned his attention to the girl.

She uttered a shriek when the drunk cursed loudly and stumbled backwards. The man…creature…whatever he or it was…lunged for the drunk and proceeded to pummel him with its fists whilst shouting. She flinched with every hit, but couldn’t look away.

Eventually, the stranger stood up and staggered away from the drunk. He turned to the girl and said, “Have you got a phone?”


“Call the police. I’ll watch over you until they arrive. Don’t worry -- you’re safe now.”

She scrambled to her feet and took a step closer to him. She could see that his ‘face’ was actually some sort of mask/helmet, under which he wore a balaclava. “Who are you?”

The stranger started to walk back into the shadows. “They call me…The Night Lizard!”

This is a little too goofy, plus the girl then describes all this in a police interview, so I've started the story with that instead. A little oddly, for a story about a costumed nutcase, he doesn't appear that often in it. With The Inexorable Rise of The Night Lizard I want to examine what it might be like if some normal guy dressed up like a superhero and existed in a 'real world' situation...whoa hang on a minute!

Yes, I know the obvious reference point is KICK-ASS (which I really enjoyed) not to mention similar films such as Defendor and the one starring the guy from The Rocker (I think it's called The Crimson Bolt), but this is that old chestnut of having come up with the idea ages ago, plus it's only a surface similarity...KICK-ASS was still comic booky (in that the hero gets a 'superpower' of dulled pain response from all his beatings, and the other characters act and fell like comic book characters - not making any kind of point, just saying). The Night Lizard is operating in a sleepy little town. What's the point of his existence? If a real superhero (or costumed vigilante) existed, there'd be no point in him hanging around some place where drunkenness is the only real 'crime'...yet The Night Lizard has to protect such a town. Why? Well hopefully the actual story will get picked up somewhere and you'll be able to find out that our plucky hero is both mentally disturbed (not in an obvious way) and headed down a decidedly non-comic booky path ;) oooooo!

Sunday, 12 December 2010


A recent conversation (if posting on the internet can class as a 'conversation') with some chums has resulted in us all making a list of our top 13 albums, and a subsequent compilation featuring one track off each album to swap, so as to broaden our musical horizons and show each other what cool music we like. I thought it might be nice to share my own comp with the whole internet, and all my loyal readers, so here it is! Oh, and I might also make this a regular thing - regular as in'I'll do it more than once'.

I picked 13 albums that I can listen to pretty much in their entirety and not feel like missing one or two songs out. There are some startling omissions of bands/artists I love to bits (eg no Angelo Badalamenti, FrontLine Assembly or Nick Cave) but that's because I wanted to try and pick a good mix of stuff, not just baroque lounge or industrial electronica :D My top 13 albums, and the songs I've put on the comp are:

Some of the tracks on the comp are my favourite ones off whichever album, but generally I've tried to pick a tune that sums up that album. 'Cracked' is an example of this; fuzzy indie pop rock with Beach Boy vocals meets Sonic Youth noise, like a lot of the album. Very nice.

Ridiculously uplifting funky jazz, with daft samples and a cheeky sense of humour. When I saw these playing at Glastonbury years ago, they ended this song with a really loud sample of someone shouting "TWAT!"

Wonky jazz meets experimental Americana. This album is utterly terrifying, and this song's perhaps the most monged one off it.

FLEET FOXES - FLEET FOXES. Song: Your Protector.
Sounds like a bunch of medieval hippies playing country music.

THE PAPER CHASE - NOW YOU ARE ONE OF US. Song: ...And All the Candy You Can Eat.
A thoroughly sinister album of guitar and piano skronk, peppered with horror movie samples and crackly radio transmissions. John Congleton's lyrics are hard to beat, with warped fairy tale references and a bitter sense of humour that I find wholly appealing.

The much-maligned PWEI released this album as their swansong and confused a lot of their 'crusty' fans. Suddenly, they weren't the goofy grebos of their last few albums, but a (fairly) serious band with a dark industrial heart.

37500 YENS - Astero. Song: Chapitres.
A recent edition to my 'favourite albums' list. They're an almost entirely instrumental French two-piece (guitar and drums) with mathrock sensibilities that spill over into jazz and noisecore tendencies.

FOETUS- FLOW. Song: Someone Who Cares
JG Thirlwell wears so many musical hats it's a wonder he hasn't squashed his head down into his neck. Foetus is generally industrial jazz (or at least, used to be) and this album is the best mix of those styles, if you ask me. Like dirty blues sang by a drunk tramp with metal limbs.

KARMA TO BURN - KARMA TO BURN. Song: Mt. Penetrator.
I love this band. LOVE THEM. Whiskey-and-cigarettes stoner with songs about Appalachian women, nameless gunslingers and all sorts of really cool stuff. This is one of their grooviest songs, although almost everything they do is really groovy. Apparently they were forced to get a vocalist for this record for it to be released (they got rid of him/he left after this was recorded) which is a damn shame because he's got an amazing voice, and way with lyrics.

Pigface are the very definition of 'supergroup' as their revolving door band member policy means each album sounds quite different to each other, but all underpinned by Martin Atkins utterly incredible drumming and production. This album revealed a wholly new take on industrial music that owed more to dub than electronics.

GODFLESH - LOVE AND HATE IN DUB. Song: Frail [Now Broken].
Sludgy industrial pioneers Godflesh took their incredible hip-hop-flavoured album Songs of Love and Hate and de-constructed it into the pummelling and creepy Love and Hate in Dub. The drums and bass become the main instruments, with desolate guitar feedback and bleak vocals swimming around in the background to give you the willies.

I think 'Milk Lizard' is my favourite song off this album, but this tune captures all the elements that make it so great: glitchy electronica, screams, heavy guitar, jazz, and a surprising level of accessibility.

ADMIRAL ANGRY - BUSTER. Song: Sex With a Stranger.
Monstrous, bleak, disgustingly heavy. The end.

Usual copyright disclaimer gubbins: the whole point of this mixtape is to spread the word of bands you might not otherwise have heard of, or bother with. If you like what you hear, track down the band/album :)

If anyone feels like making their own mixtape, let me know! I'm always interested in what other people listen to, if it's not bog standard in any way. Or maybe even if it is bog standard, who knows?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


I prefer Burger King to McDonalds, but I don't think I could subsist on nothing but BK. I do, however, think I could live on nothing but Pizza Hut. SORORITY ROW is Pizza Hut.

Unfortunately, it soon turns out that this is a Pizza Hut that only sells Margherita pizzas, which are nice for a change and when you don't want anything too fancy, but soon gets boring.

The starter menu isn't too fussy, presenting as it does an extended set-up to events: a group of sorority sisters play an exceptionally mean-spirited prank on their friend's cheating boyfriend, which ends up inadvertently costing the girl her life. After A LOT of standing around and arguing, they dump the body down a mineshaft and try to get on with their lives.

It takes far too long for the main course to arrive: it's almost 40 minutes from the start of the film before the killer actually appears and starts whittling down the cast. Is it worth the wait? Yes and no. The kills range from the boring (being stabbed) to the unpleasant (a girl gets a bottle rammed down her throat) with none of the playfulness of earlier slasher films such as Friday The 13th's sleeping bag kills or the tension of Michael Myers' relentless stalking. This killer wears a black cloak and gown (obvious/not scary) and kills using a modified tire iron (as this was used to kill the girl at the start). They also have unerring aim when throwing something that evidently carries a bit of weight. Perhaps there's a Slasher Olympics? That might be worth making into a film.

And then it's onto the dessert. I felt like I'd ordered a chocolate fudge cake and got one of those steam-in-the-microwave chocolate puddings instead. There are the usual array of red herring suspects (the dead girl's boyfriend? her sister? one of the main girls?) but it turns out to be someone utterly ridiculous, and feels like a "Haha! You didn't see that one coming!" No we didn't, because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Sure, the killer explains their "motive" (and I use that term vveerryyy loosely) but it's balls, frankly. I haven't felt so disappointed in a killer's reveal since I endured Valentine.

Sorority Row has very little wit, features largely unlikeable and contradictory characters (whose personalities turn on a dime if the plot requires it) and far too much standing/sitting around arguing about things and being bitchy to each other. I suppose in that respect the filmmakers have perfectly captured the spirit of a girls' sorority, but when it pads out the runtime of a horror film, it's not much fun. Yes, there're tits on display, but it feels like a necessary evil, rather than the joyful boobnanza of 1980's horror films (where they tend to pop out at any given time). And Carrie Fisher gets in effect an extended cameo, for no real reason other than to be a bit of a 'badass' housemother with a shotgun.

So if this is Pizza Hut with incompetent staff and a bare bones menu, I think I'd rather live off the cinematic equivalent of Pizza Express, where a sorority plays an integral part but there's also genuine charm and imagination on display. Yes, I'm talking about my favourite film ever, Night of the Creeps. I'd never get sick of eating at THAT restaurant!

Friday, 3 December 2010


Boy oh boy that's a boring blog headline, but I figured I was about due for a Ronseal one, so there it is. Magnificent.

I thought I'd make a kind of 'update' post that features - are you ready for this? - all the cool stuff I've got going on right now. And there we have it. It's all been splurged over a few posts, some of which have now disappeared off this page, so here goes! In order of coolness (maybe) -->

Joint 1st place) My short story, PAPA CROW [in which a dead husband returns to his family in the body of a scarecrow], did rather well in the [viewable by members only] 6th Annual Cafe Doom comp, and I've now rejigged the beginning everso slightly (to remove the clunkiness that Jon pointed out) and I've also changed the end so, hopefully, it tugs on the ol' heartstrings a bit more than the misplaced 'haha I'll subvert your expectations of how this should end!' original ending. Started subbing it to pro markets [and I'm crossing every single crossable part of my body].

A sidenote/musing: I'm now aware of just what sort of impact having an army (even a small one) of slush readers/editors for a zine/site/what-have-you has on said zine/site/what-have-you, and the subs they get. ie enough of the people involved need to like your story for it to get anywhere - doesn't matter if it blows everything ever out the water for one person - if no one else likes it that much then it's...dun dun deerr...dead in the water. Two water comparisons in one sentence. A new record!

Just as the CD comp gave a lot of folks an insight into what it's like been an editor, the selection/final judging process gave a peek behind-the-scenes of the more professional markets (in this case SHOCK TOTEM). Since I started editing anthologies, I realised how easy it is for an editor to send form rejections out when they have to deal with a shedload of subs in a short space of time, so I don't feel annoyed when I get one myself now, and I'll also take some solace from the fact I may not get into a particular publication if they have a few slush readers, because it's entirely possible they liked it, just not enough of them. That's not to say I expect rejection, or even embrace it. You manaic! Why would I do that?

Oh, and it's also raised an interesting, and recurring point: I don't know whether I should mention to prospective publishers that it was in the CD comp and performed admirably. On the one hand, it's worth boasting about, but on the other hand (as with my novel submissions) even though I've had some really nice stuff said about it, ultimately it hasn't been picked up, so that's the thing other publishers will look at. Plus 'they don't want me to tell them what to think about it'. It's a conundrum, all right!

1b) Someone's reviewed M Is For Monster, the horror antho I'm in with a bunch of really cool, top writers, and had this to say about my story!!! -->

S is for Stymphalian Bird – Wayne Goodchild - 14 Pages
John Hathaway is a collector of historical curiosities and supposed mythological artefacts. Because of his relative wealth, he has been able to put aside much of his life and money towards collecting these oddities. His latest acquisition is a curious metallic feather, viciously sharp to the touch and supposedly from the mystical Stymphhalin Bird. Shortly after John has returned to the home he shares with his wife, Miranda, a strange influx in horrific deaths begin to take place around the community. Deaths that are being linked to a mysterious flock of crane like birds, with beaks and feathers as sharp as knives...

With a premise hailing from the likes of the glorious creature feature pulp-horror novels of the 70’s and 80’s, this action packed soiree into the return of a mystical and terrifying bird is a non-stop rollercoaster ride of edge-of-the-seat excitement from start to end. The attacks are frenzied and thrilling; the interwoven characters and their response to the threat, bursting with tension. This truly is an unrelenting short tale quivering at the rafters with untameable horror thrills. Superb!

2) The Scroll of Anubis is now available via my Amazon Author Page. This was the second anthology I got accepted for, so I'm chuffed to bits it's finally here. My story in it is called EGYPT, PA and takes place in the titular town (which really exists!) as two kids on the verge of leaving their childhood behind uncover a terrifying conspiracy growing in the heart of the suburbs.

3) I've opened submissions to Attack of the 50ft Book. I'm after stories featuring giant monsters, of pretty much any description. Stories don't need to all involve destruction and carnage though. I'm particularly interested in stuff incorporating a pulp feel, as well as cross-genre stuff. Details can be found HERE!

And that's ya lot, now F**K OFF!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


SCROLL OF ANUBIS IS NOW AVAILABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My story, Egypt, PA. is in this. It concerns a couple of young friends as they discover something terrible has come to town...and it features MUMMIES! In fact, the whole book's about MUMMIES!!!

Until it pops up on my author page you can get it HERE.




From Godzilla to Stay Puft, Cthulhu to the Iron Giant, giant monsters have been portrayed as everything from saviours of mankind to the ultimate destructors, and even tragic, misunderstood figures. Now we're asking YOU to send us your best giant monster stories!

Reference points: Godzilla / King Kong / Lovecraft / Deep Rising / Night of the Crabs / Steve Niles' Giant Monster/ Kingdom of the Ants / The Relic / You get the idea...

Giant robots are more than welcome, but remember this is coming out under the Fantasy imprint so your best bet is to avoid using spaceships/aliens/distant planets. Sword n Sorcery/High Fantasy is of course also welcome, but try to avoid obvious staples of those genres.

A firm 3K - 7K

1cent p/word + 1 contributor copy

1st March 2011 (so plenty of time to submit something Wink )

Times New Roman or Courier 12pt font, please.
One press of the TAB to indent a new paragraph.
Italics should be italics NOT underlined, please.
NO headers or footers except on first page [include an approx. word count along with your name/address/email].

Please, please don't use any fancy formatting as it drives me absolutely nuts (eg extra space between paragraphs, coloured “attention-grabbing” fonts, etc).

NO multiple subs.
NO reprints.
Simultaneous submissions are a-okay with me, provided you do me the courtesy of telling me if it gets accepted elsewhere.

Send all submissions to fiftyfootbook[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll send you a needlessly exuberant ‘Story received!!!’ email. If you don’t get one within 4 days of submitting, please query. Please ATTACH submissions as a .doc or .rtf file to your email. DO NOT SEND ME YOUR STORY IN ANY OTHER FORMAT. Not docx or pdf or any other crazy crap. Thank you!

Please don’t query as to the status of your story until after the deadline, because if there’s one thing guaranteed to crumble my biscuits it’s impatient little monkeys Wink Having said that, I’m going to try and read the subs as they come in for this one so I might well send rejections out before the 1st of March. If you sub and don’t hear anything before the deadline assume you’re shortlisted, but don’t get all cocky Wink

Anyone who doesn’t follow these guidelines will have their story dumped in toxic waste and turned into a giant rejection monster, which will then stomp all other publishers you send stuff to, thereby eliminating your chances of a happy life.

Good luck!!!

Wayne Goodchild

nb. And as is fast becoming my custom…Bonus Editor Points to anyone who decimates Scunthorpe in their story grin