David Stevens

Archive for February, 2018|Monthly archive page

But I wouldn’t have been a Nazi.

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2018 at 3:53 pm

It is easy to judge both our fellows and our predecessors. Somehow, because we live in the future, we are better. We can scoff at those who came before us. And we know that we would have done better.

We all know that we would have stood up to Hitler. Despite the risk of death, the fear, the fatigue, the danger to our families, the horrors the nazis engaged in, we know that we would not have been like other people, we would have stood up against the nazis. And if we had been anywhere in occupied Europe, of course we would have been members of the [insert name of relevant European country here] resistance.

None of us would have been slave-owners. None of us would have burned crosses. We wouldn’t have fallen victim to a tsunami of militarism or nationalism. We would not have denied global warming (sorry 🙂 ). We are the good guys.

It is right to learn from the mistakes of the past, but we all have enough sins of our own that should concern us, to suggest to us, we can learn from mistakes once they are exposed, but let’s not think that we would always have known better, that we would not have succumbed.

The treatment of people suffering from Lyme disease in Australia is a mess. Thousands of lives are being lost and wasted. I recall a remark from an infectious disease specialist that went something like this:

Hey folks, there is no conspiracy. There is just no such disease here. Don’t worry – I am an infectious disease specialist. I love this stuff. These things are great puzzles to me. If there was some weird disease here, I would love to be involved in tracking it down and solving it and treating it. There just ain’t any such thing.

It sounds so reasonable. I am sure the bloke believes it. Would it not be nice to have the funds to do a statistical analysis of his practice, to see how many people with weird and wonderful symptoms are just sent on their way without a proper response from doctors like that? People believe these things of themselves, because there is nobody to challenge them. There is no reason for them to doubt themselves.

The reason I don’t believe doctors like this is because it has happened before. I might be older than those doctors, my memory might be longer. In the US and Australia and elsewhere, AIDS arrived. The response was not great. It was not swift. All the specialists did not drop everything, and say, here is a conundrum. Let us solve this. No. They continued on with their practices. They turned up to work each day. They paid their bills. Sent their kids to expensive private skills. Betrayed their wives. All the things rich people do.

What I just said is not altogether fair. I should not be so sweeping. I should not be so cruelly generalising. I should not be so judgmental. Forgive me, please. But neither is the way Lyme patients are treated in Australia particularly fair.

There were good doctors in Australia who were in the forefront of the fight against AIDS. Some of those are now in the forefront of the fight against Lyme disease.

When an infectious disease specialist in Australia says, don’t worry, we would love to deal with a strange disease, I ask: your colleagues took a very long time to come on board at the start of the AIDS epidemic. Are you absolutely confident that you would have been one of the good guys? Are you absolutely assured that you would not have been like most of the rest? Its easy now all these years later to be on the right side of AIDS treatment. Are you absolutely dead sure that you would have been on the right side back at the start?

Listen to Dr Richard Schloeffel speaking at Parliament House inaugural ‘Friends of Lyme-like Illness sufferers’ event. Is Australia repeating the mistakes of AIDS in the 80’s? He saw what happened in the 80’s and sees Australia repeating the same mistakes. Click here.

From AIDS to Lyme: Will We Let History Repeat Itself?

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CHTHONIC is here

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2018 at 12:09 pm
The rock vibrates beneath the soles of your feet, and your headlamp flickers, fails. But then, you knew it would, eventually. This place is not for you,  but here you are.

 

Yes, here you are …

CHTHONIC is here, now available for ordering by clicking here.

 

I am very happy that CHTHONIC includes my true history of Lawrence of Arabia, Some Corner of a Dorset Field that is Forever Arabia, where it gets to hang out with cool tales by Ramsey Campbell and HP Lovecraft, amongst others.

 

 

You had me at …

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Dear Ms Kiernan.

If you didn’t have me before, you had me at “…militants from the Earth- Yuggoth Cooperative”. Insert extremely large smiley face here.

An electronic version of the original Black Helicopters has been lost somewhere in my PC for a few years, and I haven’t read it. However, I was very pleased this week to read “Agents of Dreamland”, from the same universe (which I deeply and sincerely hope is not my universe – yes, my – you, your all on your own, start practicing “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”), from which this time shifting perspective quote is taken. Between this and most of the works of Jeff VanderMeer, I have certainly had my evil mushroom fix. And between blood pressure and worrying about our future dark ancient elder overlords, I have had to give up on further extraction work on my PC. However, I am told by the Book Depository that the extended version of “Black Helicopters” will arrive in my letter box in 2 months or so.

Such wonderful sentences

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2018 at 3:49 pm

‘Michael took both her hands in his own, leaning close. “Such eyes. How did they fit such enormous eyes into your beautiful face? They had to boil your skull to make it flexible to expand the sockets for those beautiful eyes.”‘

“I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody from Denmark.”

“Denmark is misunderstood. I’m not sure I understand it myself.”

“I don’t know what that means.”

“… I made out the words, but not their meaning:

He’s my panda

from Uganda

he’s my teddy bear

they say things about him

but I don’t care

Idi Amin

I’m your fan

” – I read it several times. The rhyme scheme interested me.”

“Reality is not a fact.”

“You just tickle them in their terrorism bone, and they ejaculate all kinds of money.”

“Where’s the doctor?”

“The doctor is sick.”

I am really enjoying The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson. I suspect a horrible end awaits everyone (perhaps because a horrible end awaits everyone), but in the meantime, the writing is wonderful.

Solitaire

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Everyone has different reasons that bring them here, but mostly, the differences are superficial. The truth is, man turns to solitaire for one reason – the desire to bring order out of chaos.

Not to avoid working on that difficult next draft?

No. Who are you? What a trivial response! Katie Holmes. I’m out of here …

Curse you, Microsoft …

The thing was globular in the moonlight. Heavy breasted. Round haunches curving to a woman’s thighs that soon became dog’s legs. Or a jackal’s.

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2018 at 12:33 pm

And now you can see what that looks like! Very happy that my story in CHTHONIC has been graced with an illustration – you can see it in the Martian Migraine Press video, just click here. Don’t give her a kiss, you don’t know what she has been eating.

Sad

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2018 at 10:55 am

People complain on the internet (it’s true! they do! I’ve seen them). And some of the things they complain about is that a reboot of remake or refashioning of some beloved thing will ruin the beloved thing. And then they are mocked (it’s true! I’ve seen that as well! the mocking of people!) by others, and told that the beloved thing is not being touched at all, etc. It is still there – see! You big silly.

And then it happens to you, dear reader.

I suppose I should have known when my son and I gave up an episode or two in, but no warning bells were ringing. We were busy. We’d get back to it. There were lawns to be mowed, a dog to be castrated, all the stuff.

And I did get back to it. I watched the whole thing, right to the end.

I have to confess, dear reader. I was bored.

I so very much looked forward to American Gods, the TV extravaganza. I have read the books several times. I have read Anansi Boys. I read Shadow Moon’s adventures in short fiction. I enjoyed them all. AG sits on a very special shelf of mine (stop laughing!) where I keep my favourite books, old dependables that I have gone back to time and time again (leave me alone!).

But I found the show tedious.

When it was being developed for HBO, in my ignorance I thought, ok, it is just time. And then they rejected it, and I thought, how do they do that? If there are bits they don’t like, just change them.

And then that other mob picked it up, and I saw.

Did Bryan Fuller really leave as showrunner or whatever they call those people, because they wouldn’t pay for more CGI? Because more CGI is no answer.

I found the extra bits with the dead wife to be so much padding, and very repetitive. The pacing was off. The balance between The Story and the interludes was wrong. We were told one American Jesus was a “wetback” (not my term), and then later, we were shown it in detail, just in case we didn’t get it. And it is so heavy handed.

I wondered afterwards, how quickly I would go back to the book? I feel no rush. Perhaps the refashioning has spoiled something for me. Perhaps a beloved object has been tarnished. I don’t know. But I think I will understand a little better, the next time other people complain.

Chthonic is coming …

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2018 at 8:11 am

… with a new release date of February 20, there is only one week to wait for “Chthonic:Weird Tales of Inner Earth” from Martian Migraine Press.

Am I going to miss an opportunity to say, hey, there’s me hanging out with Ramsey Campbell and HP Lovecraft? I don’t think so!

 

Not particularly interesting

In Uncategorized on February 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm

My story, “Store in a dark place”, is “not particularly interesting“, so why the hell would you not want to read it? Check it out in Space and Time magazine.

(And they told me not to go into advertising …)

Fish nightmare

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm

Easy to lament now that I never became a cryptozoologist, but they weren’t offering degree courses in pseudoscience when I left school. I love cryptozoology and forteana, but the thing I love most is enthusiasm in others. My interests dip and wane and run all over the place. I admire single minded people whose love of their special area shines. I like to stand near them, and listen to them even when I don’t understand them – it is their tone and energy I enjoy, their glow. I just don’t want to be them. I used to have a boss who described himself as an armchair mountaineer. I hadn’t heard the expression before, but I quickly worked it out. It takes a special sort of enthusiasm to be so specific an armchair anything, I think, and he had his own special glow, though perhaps once removed. Me, I’m an armchair everything, though I like to think I am more than just that.
Watching “River Monsters” on television is a guilty pleasure of mine. I tried to fish once, but the bait kept falling off the hook. I can’t see me ever doing that again, so I don’t want to be Jeremy Wade, but I love his enthusiasm*. Buying his book of the same title earlier this year, I enjoyed a little of the same frisson I used to get as a kid buying books about the Mothman and Bigfoot.
And that is quite enough about fish for a long time.

Though one can dream …

*Whereas Robson Green, not so much. Love him in Wire in the Blood and in Being Human, but not with fish. Oh well. I’m sure he is devastated.