David Stevens

Posts Tagged ‘speculative fiction’

Eyes are burning

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2018 at 3:35 pm

What’s that you say, 3LBE?

“The voices from the shadows of the things long extinct loose whispers that a new issue will visit soon.”

You don’t say? And I wonder, why is it that I have a special interest in that? Hmm …

I hear that the next issue of Three-lobed Burning Eye magazine will be available in May. …

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Philip K and other stuff

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2018 at 4:15 pm

Sitting in the cinema with my mate Stephen back in another lifetime, as the opening credits for Total Recall unfurled. The year before, I had had a job which involved some proof reading of a corporate newsletter. We were told not to bother with certain parts, as they had been there for years. One of the new guys disregarded his instruction, and found an error that had been sent out to clients for years. (I laughed a lot, and learned a lesson.) You reach a point where mistakes just hit you in the eye. And there it was. Our favourite writer’s name misspelled in the credits as Phillip K Dick.

The world didn’t end. I knew I was right though, because back in primary school, we received a booklet every year that was supposed to be an educational resource but was mainly industrial puff pieces for major corporations operating in Australia. Philip Electronics made a big deal that their name was spelled with only one ‘l’ – just like electron. And for some reason, whenever I meet a Phil(l)ip, that sticks with me. I knew PKD was like the electron.

Anyway, nearly 30 years on, watched the start of Total Recall again earlier today, and waited for it, and there it was, PKDs name still misspelled. And still, the sky did not fall. And why do I remember this stuff?

***

Some science fiction people I sometimes read – Charles Stross and Ken Macleod – wrote / spoke recently and separately about how they don’t read / haven’t read much science fiction from the past (respectively one and two) decades. No judgement here – I gave up on speculative fiction entirely at one stage, and at another realised that all I was reading was non-fiction. Sick of tropes, sick of same-same, sick of same but different. I understand / sympathise / empathise completely. I never required that Len Deighton read non – Len Deightons.

It made me think, though, as a person who is not a member in any sense of any speculative fictional community – no conventions, fandoms, gatherings, groups, first name bases, whateverseses: could something similar be said about most genre writers, or at least, established genre writers? So when people are on panels together, are they largely speaking past each other, without engagement, or perhaps at best, only momentary engagement?

Does it matter? I suppose my mind comes back to it a bit because (again as an outsider), I always thought that somewhere else out in the world there were all these sf writers reading and commenting on and fighting about each others work (reinforced most recently by reading “The Night Ocean” by Paul La Farge). I may have just assumed that all sf writers were Brian Aldiss, with many thoughts about such things. But these were childish, unexamined thoughts, perhaps.

Maybe Margaret Thatcher was right (did I really just write that?) – there is no such thing as society, or at least, speculative fiction society. Say it isn’t so! ūüôā

***

On the recommendation of a trusted reading friend, I have the first three Bernie Gunther novels of Philip (spelt correctly!) Kerr sitting on my bookshelf. I will read them. Seeing Kerr’s obituary the other day, I felt a little guilty. Honest, one day, I will. They sound right up my alley – noir, Berlin, WW2 and after, etc. What’s stopping you?, asked my friend. I admitted it: I did read one book he wrote, and I read it to the end, and it was one of the worst books I have ever read. My friend looked at me like there was something wrong. I wanted to like it, I added quickly. The subject matter was interesting. You know I like horror, and my interest in religion, and I race through a good thriller. Hang on, he says, what was it called? “Prayer” I said. His face changed. Oh yeah, that! He almost spat. I had blocked it out. That one’s fucked. But the others are good.

So I shall read the others

The story is crowded with observations that seem unnecessary and bizarre

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Quite. Otherwise, what would be the point?

A jewel in the dark …

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2018 at 12:57 pm

In his introduction to CHTHONIC, editor Scott R Jones very kindly remarks

Finally, David Stevens’ Some Corner of a Dorset Field That Is Forever Arabia gives us the secret history and fantastic death of a famous English colonel. I count this last as a jewel in CHTHONIC, and I think you will, too.

When I first described my monster, I thought it was harmless enough, as monsters go, but then I saw¬†Fufu Fruenwahl’s drawing, and it freaked me out on several levels. Hmm, there may be something wrong with me.

If you enjoy reading the weird, and/or supporting small independent publishers, I recommend CHTHONIC for your reading and purchasing pleasure, with not a jot of self interest (you can trust me, I’m Australian).

…..

Martian Migraine Press presents seventeen diverse tales of subterranean horrors and abyssal wonder.
CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth features stories by Ramsey Campbell, Gemma Files, Nadia Bulkin, Antony Mann, H. P. Lovecraft, Aaron Besson, Christopher Slatsky, Adam McOmber, John Linwood Grant, Scott Shank, Sarah Peploe, Orrin Grey, S. L. Edwards, Belinda Lewis, David Stevens, Adam Millard, and Tom Lynch . With cover art by Lucas Korte, interior illustrations by Fufu Fruenwahl, and an introduction by editor Scott R Jones.
Only $11.99USD via paypal

 

  If you’re Canadian (and congratulations if you are!)
you can order CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth HERE (11.99 + 3.50CA shipping & handling)

  If you’re American (brave! free! delightfully weird!)
you can order CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth HERE (11.99 + 8.00CA shipping & handling)

  If you live anywhere else on this bizarre spinning mudspeck,
you can order CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth HERE (11.99 + 10.00CA shipping & handling)

CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth is also available in electronic book formats ($7.99 in the US and Canada): .mobi via Amazon’s Whispernet instantly and direct to your Kindle or Kindle-enabled device, and in EPUB (Kobo and Nook readers) and PDF (most computers and iDevices) formats direct from our site (via Paypal, with an under-12-hour delivery time). Links below…

CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth (mobi) for your Kindle ($6.99) HERE

CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth (EPUB) for your Kobo or Nook reader ($6.99) HERE

CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth (PDF) ($6.99) HERE

Martian Migraine Press: the Best Kind of Headache

 

 

 

 

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 …)

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.

Doors

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2018 at 6:39 pm

“Kostaki looked up at the church door. While they were paying attention to Kichijiro, it had been pulled inward.

“In ghost stories, doors creak. A door opening silently is more sinister.”

Anno Dracula 1899: One Thousand Monsters by Kim Newman

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!