David Stevens

Archive for February, 2018|Monthly archive page

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.

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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.

Some Corner of a Dorset Field that is Forever Arabia

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2018 at 11:26 am

“Some Corner of a Dorset Field that is Forever Arabia,” being the true history of Lawrence of Arabia, aka TE Lawrence, TE Shaw, John Ross, ??? Surely you did not think the truth had already been told?

This is a story I took a particular pleasure in writing, and I am proud of the result. It was mentioned in despatches, with Ellen Datlow describing it as a “strong dark story” in her round up in Best Horror of the Year 7. It was published in Three-Lobed Burning Eye magazine in 2014. At the time, there were some restrictions on my ability to publish under my own name, and it was published under the name Lloyd Connor.

The story now appears under my own by line, a source of tiny pleasure to myself. if you have not come across it before, you can read it here for free with just one click, or even listen to me proving my written vocabulary is wider than my oral.

nighttime reading

Read “Mr Cranky”

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2018 at 7:40 pm

Sci.Phi Journal were kind and published my story, Mr Cranky, in November 2016. It has now escaped from behind its paywall, and is available for your free reading pleasure, by clicking right here.

A (the only) review of this story concluded with “there are some effective images and a quirky nuance or two and this might appeal to someone but just didn’t strike me as professional-grade work”, so why the hell would you not want to read it? *sigh*

Mr Cranky exists in the same universe (hell, the same street) as (the extremely well reviewed!) My Life as a Lizard, and The Boulevardier, and a few other stories I hope will one day see the light of day.

Quotes

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2018 at 4:11 pm

Home sick? Suffering from the Australian ‘flu? (we’re very proud, by the way.) Time, but no one, to kill? There are many worse ways to spend an hour, than wandering through Kim Newman’s twitter account, packed with strange, hilarious and sometimes strangely hilarious quotes from the zillion films that he has seen and I have never heard of.

Click here.

Reading: Anno Dracula 1899: One Thousand Monsters by Kim Newman. Lots and lots of fun. Hard to explain to work colleagues in the cafeteria. Their loss.

Watching: The Detectorists season 2. Finished. Lovely. The Last Post. Finished. What, they do negotiate with terrorists? Lion. The google earth movie. I said to my wife, is it mean to say this feels a bit dragged out? Then saw that we were watching the special Australian extended version. Why? Unlike Hanya Yanagihara, I have cried very, very often since 1995, including at the end of this film.