Thursday, 16 November 2017

Brighton Days.

 (From my sketchbook.)
Maybe its the dark nights coming in but The far off days of the Leisure Hive recently.sprung once more to mind. The Doctor snoring away on the pebbly old Brighton beach as Romanna tried her best to entertain K9 in her Thomas Mann swimming suit. Or maybe its the imminent release of the partially animated SHADA. Or maybe its just the fact that Doctor Who is never very far away from my mind but I got to scribbling in one of my sketch books.
               Next stop The Leisure Hive on the planet Argolis.
               Although I will pass on a session in the Tachyon Recreation Generator.
               Do not want to go to pieces.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Are You My Mummy?

Blimey, absent-minded or what, forget to say why I liked these 19 Tales of the immortal Dead so much, when it could so easily have been little more than a crusty series of Universal Mummy related tropes (or sadly, misjudged updates like the recent enjoyable if flawed big budget movie of the same name.). More than a dozen and a half tales that thrill and scarify in good measure. As is always the case I had some favorites among the varied stories with a more than usual hit than miss rate as is the usual end result when reading even the best anthologies.
            For instance your own tastes may lean more towards the dark and very original comedy of Bubba-Ho-Tep by Joe R Lansdale, the story which became the hit cult movie.  A rightly beloved slice of Egyptology/Americana. Or perhaps there is The Mummy's Heart by Norman Partridge, a great modern noir writer who has produced some great books and short stories. It is a great novella tucked away in the crispy bindings of this book and has the best chance of breaking out to a wider demographic than the one which would normally be drawn to such an outre collection. A coming of age yarn spawning decades  in the history of small town middle america. ( I do not know if that is an actual geographical location. It has always had a location, a welcome place, in the landscape of my imagination.) if you enjoyed a Boy's Life by Robert Mc Crammon or even the movie Stand By Me  or the Stephen King short story it was based on, then this is the one for you.
              I  also really enjoyed On Skua Island by John Langon . It so reminded me of particular movies of my youth such as the Peter Cushing creature feature Island Of Terror. It had isolated locations and mysterious things long buried that would be better left that way. I have always admired and enjoyed the antiquarian qualities of the work of MR James or EF Benson. And this wee story echoes similar themes in spades. A very atmospheric tale with old school perils given a modern twist.
              I could continue this way, breaking down the individual stories and their deserving reasons for being in the big collection but I would rob you entirely of that element of discovery that has enriched the history of anthologies.
               Get in there. Get dirty and dusty.
               Find yer mummy.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Mammath Book Of The Mummy.

Just finished this fantastic anthology of Mummy stories. Some real buried treasure between its covers. All sharing a wrapped nightmare of a theme in a series of stories spanning the ages and locations you would not necessarily associate with anything remotely pertaining to Egyptology. Well, because it was not just Egyptians who venerated their dead in this way.

My Filthy Workshop Of Creation.

                                                               (From my sketchbook.)
Here you go, some more scribbles from my dirty old note books.As I go about teaching myself the alchemical processes by which I hope to bring to life a Promethean being.

Your Tiny Welcome To The Great Big Whole Wide World.

Had the pleasure of seeing the Belfast artist Patrick Sanders exhibition at the Artcetera Gallery this week. Patrick sadly passed away this year. Taking his own life. He was a warm individual whom I had only met a couple of times and was struck by his gentle thoughtful nature. He was also a man capable of many things. Not just a writer and an artist but he performed for sick children as a clown Mr Jumbles. In his time he was also one of the originators of the Outburst Festival, which has done much to bring all aspects of the gay community to the attention of many who would otherwise remain detatched or uninformed. in other words he was a full on adventurer and brave pioneer in this difficult old game we call life.
              The exhibition will be running until the 25th November and the doors are open to all.
              Do pay a visit if you can and maybe treat yourself to a copy of his beautiful and timely book Your Little Tiny Welcome To The Great Big Whole Wide World.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Doctor, We Can See You.

                                            Every thing Ends But Everything Begins  Anew....

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The Skin Of The Sleek.

Oh surely not, it cannot be that time yet, just one more story to go in this sixth season of Doctor Who stories set near the end of Tom Baker's reign as the fourth Doctor( even though we all know it never really ended.) This one is set some time around the time of The Doctor and Romannas visit to the Leisure Hive on Argolis following poor old KP,s rather daft trundle down the Brighton Beach into the freezing sea. Who could forget that opening panning shot along the pebbles of Brighton Beach, the melancholy end of season atmosphere until we reach a sleeping Doctor, all burgundy and snores. I was sixteen years of age and I felt change was in the air although I could not imagine a world where I would not have a Tom Baker Doctor Who story to look forward to. he was my hero, after all.
           The Doctor and Romanna have set down on a very alien world, one with a spongy soggy surface where one will sink if one remains in the same spot for too long. There are native inhabitants, not off this world, who go about their business kept aloft and afoot by the use of balloons. It all has a Lost Continent feel about it which means that this particular Tardis team are able to confidently navigate its surface, they are effective adaptors are The Doctor and Romanna. Despite being completely wrongly attired for the location there is a surprise lurking in the damp shadows; another Galifreyan, one I never expected to see.
             Mostly because I never knew they existed.
             The fruit of the genetic looms of Gallifrey bear very different fruits and Big Finish always deliver a bumper harvest with regularity. Last season we even saw the return of Drax, an old school chum of The Doctor's. although I have often wondered what a "drax2 is in much the same way I wondered what a "Rani" is. Its a Gallifreyan thing I suppose.
               It is another story which feels era appropriate. A legacy this company seem to proudly uphold. And very successfully so I might add.