David Stevens

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Happy Poeday

In Uncategorized on January 20, 2018 at 8:43 am

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EDGAR ALLAN POE!!

Even though you are dead, you are still keeping up the good work, I see.

(Everything here blatantly stolen from somebody else, but that’s what good artists do.)

 

Image result for teletubbies poe

Oh … and this (late entry)

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Quick, drop everything!

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Check out the winter 2018 edition of Space and Time magazine, featuring “Store in a Dark Place” by yours truly. It takes place in a dark, dark world that I have visited before in “Avoiding Gagarin” in Aurealis and “The Big Reveal” in Kaleidotrope.

Must … read … NOW!

Accident

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2018 at 4:50 pm

I am conscious of (one of) Adam Roberts‘* projects, seeking “to write a short story for every sub-genre and premise that SF has made famous; to assemble a collection in which I can try my hand at all the hackneyed old conventions …”.

My reading habits of course change over time, but in my life I have read a lot of science fiction. I don’t really write much of it, I suppose – in the limited time I have to write, I gain more pleasure writing things – with speculative elements – that depend more on mood than science. I can remember looking at Prof Roberts’ list# and thinking, yes, well, I’ll never write a robot story. And then I did. Yesterday, by accident. I only realised half way through. A robot with wires and springs and a CPU and cogs and gears. So I guess, never say never. (Now, of course I’ll be much happier if I get to write that I published a robot story. We’ll see.)

…..

*standard caveat, I am not worthy, etc. And do I have to mention Adam Roberts around this time every year? (Please click that link – it took me a bit of time to write it, and a long time to remove the irony and smart arsery that tempts me every time I try to write honestly about emotion.)

#here it is. But why not click here and read it at the source? The asterisks are not mine.

1. Time-travel story.*
2. First encounter with alien life.*
3. Novum story (new piece of technology).*
4. Interplanetary/interstellar travel story.*
5. Robot story.*
6. Virtual Reality story.
7. ‘Philosophical’ story.*
8. Post nuclear war mutation story.*
9. Scientist story.*
10. Alternative History.*
11. Magic Realism.*
12. Utopia/Dystopia.
13. Sword and Sorcery.*
14. Thundering good old-fashioned space opera story.*
15. The End of the World.*

And they said you’d never make it …

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2018 at 11:26 am

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHANE MACGOWAN!

“I believe in miracles,” Shane MacGowan said recently in response to a question about his religious beliefs … . “I’ve seen miracles happen in my life. It’s a miracle every morning when you wake up.”

“I’m concentrating on my health at the minute,” … and to this end he has given up spirits and now only drinks wine.

What more is to be said, when all has been said?

Greatest dancer of the 20th Century

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2018 at 8:18 pm

History should not be rushed. It is important to take time to reflect, and to have access to all relevant materials before coming to judgment. And while all views may be subject to revision (just ask Stalin), I am fairly confident of our maturity in the cultural sphere, and so believe that this is one historical assessment that will stand the test of time.

It is important when assessing cultural phenomena to be separate from fads and not to be ideologically blinkered. Gentle readers, you know that I stand apart from the crowd, and that while others may be subjective, I am objective. (Lord, that was said to me, not about me, by a fellow panellist on a recruitment panel. Apparently, because we described a candidate in words, and they assessed them using a numeric scoring system of their own invention, they were that rare thing, a truly objective person.) So after catching up on some favourites of my youth last night on Youtube, I am very well placed to declare that the greatest dancer of the 20th century was Alexei Sayle. To see a chubby bald guy in a tight suit make those moves was inspirational. Forever more, every time I take to the dance floor, regardless of the koinos kosmos, in my head, that will be how I look. Except I have hair. And my suits aren’t that tight.

 

YMV

In Uncategorized on January 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm

I’m writing a story featuring a blind person, which led me by some circuitous and probably inappropriate path, to think that I should mention two of my stories that are available free for your listening pleasure, via podcast.

First up is my first ever published story, “Good Boy”, no longer in print, but available in audio in a slightly redacted version, on Pseudopod right here, just one click away.

“Some Corner of a Dorset Field that is Forever Arabia” can be read or listened to at Three Lobed Burning Eye, by clicking here. Your reader is yours truly, under the pseudonym Lloyd Connor, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but probably wasn’t. Delight in the fact that my written vocabulary is wider than my oral vocabulary! The story will be appearing again early this year under my own name.

Oh, and Happy New Year, Space Cadets!

I had a dream …

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2017 at 12:57 pm

I had a dream, and it was bloody awful. I blame my younger daughters. They were discussing stress dreams, so then I went off and had one. I was in India, catching a bunch of trains, and every time I was on a platform I saw someone die. People just leaping into trains. I won’t say what it looked like afterwards (no, save that for my fiction). How many dreams have I had over the years about missed trains, and chasing trains, and being on the wrong platform. And then, I could not remember where I was staying. And then, I could not remember when I had to catch the plane home. And then …

Well, none of that is any fun. But I did have this other dream. I dreamed I was Batman. Me and the rest of the extended Justice League were lying on my lounge room floor. I said, I can’t remember my real name. Is it Mark? No, its Jerk, one of the JLA members replied. I said, No it isn’t, it’s Bruce Wayne, I remember now. (Ha, fixed them. Jerk.) Then there was a bit about an atrophied organ that had been removed but with which I could communicate because of its proximity.

Perhaps these are not the things to share?

For my vegetarian son, at Christmas …

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2017 at 12:41 pm

For my vegetarian son, at Christmas … from something else I used to do …

Those of you who have been subscribing to the analytical reports of the Chip Laboratories since ancient times know of our well founded efforts to ethicise (ha! take that, dictionary) omnivorism.  We are trying folks, we really are.  We have put all of this week’s grant money into considering balloon animals.

Some of you maybe scoffing, as you associate these creatures with parlour games and carnivals.  However, I am not talking about simple domesticated balloon animals.   I am talking about great sweeping herds of massive fortean creatures, blocking the sun on their nomadic trek as passenger pigeons once did sweeping across America.  And no, there would be no reliance on foul, poisonous oxygen.  These are great helium or methane filled beasts, nodding and swaying as they are blown by the currents of wind, just as giant jelly fish are swept across oceans.  Picture them now in your mind, see them billowing and filling the sky.  Tremendous storms of them.  The wondrous sight of them as they rail against the elements, indeed as they rail against their own ridiculous existence.  Observing them as over time they are pitted by hail, scarred by lightning.  And the wonder of them is that their pseudo life is no life at all, it is a mere impersonation.  Brave balloon bound hunters shall pursue them without ethical quandary, intrepid mountaineers shall stalk them to their winter homes, small children and we here at the laboratory shall wonder at them.

O!  If only we could get some nutrition into their skins!  Some flavour into the rubber.  Some texture into their form.  And find some way to stop giant sea turtles from choking on them in their thousands when they critters deflate and drop into the sea.  Perhaps it is impossible.  But is not the dream as important as any mere actuality?  At least this dream can unite us all, omnivores, carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, fruitarians, lacto-vegetarians, lacto-ovo-vegetarians, pescetarians, pollotarians, and pollo-pescetarians, the dream of the hunt of the giant pseudo-beasts in the sky that can sustain us all without troubling our consciences.

Until then, at least we have salad.

[“Life’s Solution” by Simon Conway Morris, p112 ‘Fortean bladders’]

A sweet Christmas treat …

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Just repeating myself …

In 1849, hungry gold miners crossing the Nevada desert noticed some glistening balls of a candy-like substance on a cliff, licked or ate the balls, and discovered them to be sweet-tasting, but then they developed nausea. Eventually it was realized that the balls were hardened deposits made by small rodents, called packrats … Not being toilet trained, the rats urinate in their nests, and sugar and other substances crystallize from their urine as it dries out … In effect, the hungry gold miners were eating dried rat urine laced with rat feces and rat garbage.

– Collapse by Jared Diamond

 

Happy Christmas!

Happy birthday Winnie the Wombat (not womb-bat)

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2017 at 10:47 am

Happy birthday, Winnie the wombat. You look fun and cuddly. But …

 

Wombats are big furry buggers that look like a giant crawling teddy bear and the unsuspecting say “oh cute, so cute” until they turn and outrun your wife and trip her over and you keep running you coward because you have soiled yourself you are so scared, they just keep running and you hear your wife scream because its stopped now, only a fallen victim will stop it, and you hear it, you hear her flesh being torn, it makes a ripping sound, and you cannot ever forgive yourself but you also hate her a little bit forever, because she cannot forgive you, and it is no consolation that the wombat does not eat the flesh, it tears and nuzzles for a moment then returns to its business, it does not eat her because it is a herbivore, but it rips her because it is a nasty big furry bugger, and it could answer the question if it could speak, it could tell you if your wife tastes like chicken, because it has tasted both even though it does not swallow, but even if it spoke, you would be too chicken shit to ask, you gutless wonder.  The relief you felt when she fell.

Not to be confused with the cryptid womb-bats. And what are they? you ask …

 

Womb-bats

The dry evening scurry

Falling leaves

Crackling open before

They hit the ground.

Tiny, not unnoticed as they swarm,

but unmentioned in polite company.

Huge amniotic eyes take in

the miracle of the world

each night.

Before the dawn,

unborn

Rustle along the sheets

A slight disturbance,

a shifting of knees

A minor annoyance

at the early morning turn,

the slight parting

as they enter

to nestle in.