Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Message Left For The Weakling Vox Day


Just read this*. When you sat down, switched on your computer and typed this did the thought "I am seriously messed up" pass through your skull? A bit? Slightly?

My sketch-type-video-thing obviously stuck in your craw. It must have done because you're lashing out at people not me (the clue's in the link to Damien Walter's site). 

Clearly you're not the big man you purport to be. Larry Correia, I suspect, would just laugh it off. Hell, he'd probably roll with the ball entirely. So too John C. Wright.

But you? You fester and boil (much as how Requires Hate did tellingly) because you've no idea what whimsy and non-snide laughter- the healing laugh-- is and it scares you. Scares you to the point where you have to visualise yourself sexually molesting the dead body of a writer and human being who you dimly sense is a thousand times your worth. 

Oh you love it when a leftie blogs something angry and vitriolic about you. You can work with that. But come the day someone doesn't take you seriously, points out your daft absurdities, you smoulder and stink. You bawl and you plot impotent mouthy revenge.

Anyone with the slightest sense (and I would credit at least some of your followers with that) reading your above comment now has the measure of you: a pompous ageing thug picking fights with a nobody like me.

 Strip away the swagger and the rhetoric and that's all you really are. 

Because your ego is easy to cave in. So damn easy. Because in your heart, your very core, Theodore...  you are weak. 

But you know that.

*(Reader: No way am I linking to that comment. No way)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Bye, Bye, Spool Pidgin (For A Bit)

Pidgin donated by Tiffani Angus

Of late you may have noticed the tumbleweed passing through this blog; the dust settling; the pile of crinkly plastic jaffa cake wrappers squatting on the coffee table. Technically it's called neglect.

There's a reason for this (aside from a habitual slothfulness that would make Leviticus drop its good guy act and get really huffy): I've got other stuff happening. Don't judge me; it's a malady that can strike anyone so I'm told.

Firstly I want to get on down with writing a novel--a space opera affair, working title Sisters In The Head (a working title because it's too much Like Aldiss's Brother In The Head) and I'm about twenty thousand words in, thanks for asking--and on top of that there's this wonderful world of independent movie making that keeps giving me popcorn. Creativity popcorn, lightly salted.

Something's gotta give. I'd rather put Pidgin on hiatus, end season one if you will, than carry it on as a lame, emaciated fowl. I haven't got a huge following by any means, but the stats dashboard and general online chat suggest a fairly loyal bunch of visitors and I respect y'all too much to ladle out thin, tepid gruel.

Trust me, it's better this way. The desire to write essay things and generally 'muck about' (another technical term) will hopefully propel me to finish the first draft of my novel at speed and, by the time I DO, Spool-P should come back with a whole heap of stuff. Ideas are being scratched down on notebooks and envelopes as we speak.

And, in truth, I imagine it won't be a total immersion in carbonite. I'll occasionally post self-serving pieces (notifications of new stuff coming out, places I may be etc), but not the self-regarding ones (everything else).

And we'll always have Twitter (@jimworrad).

But we've had good times, huh? Maybe?

Well sod you, let's have a retrospective regardless. There was that time Spool Pidgin:

I hope you imagined that wobbly-wobbly reminiscence camera effect whenever you hit one of those links. Adds +5 to your nostalgia roll.

I'll miss blogging-proper. I believe blogging is an art form (yes I went there) that speculative fiction writers have thrived well in. I also believe we have far from mapped out its full potential and that we shouldn't rest on our laurels (to borrow a first century cliché). Arguably, as Spec-fic scribblers, it's one of our many duties.

So explore, my comrades, push! Make beautiful blogging mistakes! You have nothing to lose but your rants.


Thursday, 19 June 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Guests Avoid Larry Correia At House Barbecue

(Alton, Kane County, Utah) Witnesses report libertarian SF author Larry Correia (41) has been seen irritating guests of Peter and Mary Broxbourne at their garden barbecue, held to celebrate Peter's promotion.

“I'm still not sure who invited him exactly,” says Mary (32). “Peter's friend Andre sure keeps some wacky company—9-11 nuts, that kind of thing—so I asked him, but no. To be honest, I never saw Mr Correia arrive.”

Correia, New York Times Bestselling author and fan-lauded creator of the man-punches-werewolf sub-genre, was first witnessed demonstrating press-ups on the Broxbourne's patio.

Dressed in desert storm camo trousers and cap, a tight t-shirt with President Obama's face photoshopped to resemble The Joker from the Dark Knight with the caption 'SOCIALIST' beneath it (analysts suggest the idea was to provide extreme contrast with the Joker's essential nihilism and mockery of societal control, though research continues) and fannypack (bumbag), Correia entered Peter Broxbourne's friend circle by offering swigs from his half-sized bottle of Maker's Mark, all of which were declined.

“He just started talking about his trash talk on the internet,” says Emilio Sandoval (24). “No one asked him.”

“See, there's all these libtard asswipes in science fiction now,” Correia was heard to say, “saying all the wimminz are victims, all men—white men—are inherently evil and misogyny is everywhere. You know: the usual.” Correia, who, like many right wing self-published SF authors likes to lengthily respond to and take apart critical reviews of his work on his blog and sees nothing undignified in that, continued: “I've spent TIME teaching women firearms, but if I use the word 'pussy' I'm suddenly part of RAPE culture, whatever the hell that is, right?”

When Sally Pearson (28) countered that she definitely found the word demeaning and unpleasant, Correia responded: “Hey, my lady, I got nothing against PUSSY but I sure as hell don't wanna BE one. Amirite guys? Amirite? Can I get a witness here? Yeah...”

The social circle dispersed fairly rapidly at that juncture, with individuals breaking off and joining other guests. Demonstrating his tactical flexibility and military training Correia fell back to the barbecue itself, therefore allowing him--Thermopylae-style--to corner anyone wishing to acquire food.

“Buddy,” he was heard to say to one guest, “let me tell you who the REAL criminal is, because it sure as hell ain't George Zimmerman! Amirite? Have you read my novels? Werewolves get freakin' PUNCHED! I. SHIT. YOU. NOT!"

Correia (who, like Margaret Thatcher, the Ayatollah Khomeini and Sesame Street muppet 'The Grouch' believes 'straight up, no-chicken shit, tell-it-like-it-is honesty' to be a virtue) was seen to get progressively more drunk, choosing to sing choruses of Bloodhound Gang singles at distracting levels and telling anyone who'd still listen what a round from an M24 sniper rifle would do to someone's head.

As of going to press, Correia was last seen doing an MC Hammer dance impression to a passing group of bemused teenagers.  

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Eagerly anticipated anthology NOIR, courtesy of the wonderful Newcon Press (and featuring my story 'Silent In Her Vastness') is now available from Amazon and Spacewitch (I'd go for the latter: support the little guy!). Featuring the likes of Adam Roberts, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Paul Graham Raven, Donna Scott and Simon Kurt Unsworth and many, many more, it is to contemporary speculative fiction what mighty Poseidon is to the seas!

Also, you can get it's twin sister La Femme. Get both and you will be a monarch amid your peers. Trust me on this.

(Here's the full running order for both plus musings about my story)

Saturday, 29 March 2014

British Multiculturalism: An Arrogant Proposal

Just had an anger-inducing phone call that's led to a 

brainstorm. A fellow midnight man from Birmingham called 

about work stuff then we talked about the job. He said the 

Asian community were trouble and when I called him on it he 


"Well that's Leicester ain't it? No offence mayte, but everyone 

knows you've let 'em walk over yow, isn't it?"

Before I thought I said, politely:

"No, it's that Birmingham's shit at multiculturalism. Sorry but 

that's a fact, mate. You're third division."

And here's where it gets interesting. The guy immediately 

started DEFENDING Brumie multiculture. A complete 180!

So here's my brainstorm moment: make multiculturalism like 

Premier League football. Framed like that, bigoted numbskulls 

start defending their hometown's diversity. Britain's city state 

tribal mentality is, it would appear, far stronger than its ethnic 

nationalism. If the government were to adopt this strategy 

UKIP and the EDL would sink overnight.

We can implement this overnight if we, the citizens of 

Leicester, start swaggering around like arrogant shits telling 

everyone we're the best at it (become the multi-culti equivalent 

of Man Utd, basically).

And, let's face it, everyone else 

IS shite 

compared to us.

(See? Got the ball rolling, there...)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Happy B-Day, Big Man!

Happy birthday to my main man Publius Ovidius Naso, aka Ovid, aka LL Cool O. 2000 years young, even exile couldn't stop you being one smooth mother. Keep on blowing 1st year classics students minds, bro. And thanks for building the road Shakespeare, Marvin Gaye and all spec-fic authors ride down. You're the canis bollockum!!!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

First Person Present Tense: Why Am We Do It

I am sitting at my desk typing out another blog post with all my focus. How I am doing that and telling you simultaneously I'm not certain, but it's possible my brain has a third lobe.

"Why am I doing this?" I ask.

A futuristic woman materialises next to me. She has mirrorshaded retina, barcode tattoos, a usb port on the back of her neck: you know the drill.

"You're writing in First person Present Tense," she tells me. "It's very popular nowadays in near future or present day science fiction, particularly short stories."

I put some trousers on.

"What about space opera and high fantasy?" I say.

"No, they're too silly," she says. "The idea of first person present tense is to a lend a sense of immediacy to a story and, therefore, realism."

"Are you sure? TBH, I'm actually feeling a distancing effect right now. I refer you to the first paragraph above. When I write 'I am sitting at a desk' it just seems laboured and artificial."

"Not if you handle it right," the Futuristic Woman says. "If it helps, imagine it's you recounting it to someone in a bar. That's how I imagine it whenever I'm the protagonist in my stories."

"This bar," I ask, "has it got adrenalin-infused drinks and holographic strippers?"

"Ha," she says, "as if we had a choice."

"Still not convinced."

"You'll never win a Hugo with that attitude. I know: forget SF a minute. Why don't you try first person present tense with a childhood memory? That's very popular."

"What?" I say. "Like the time Happy Days' Tom Boswell embroiled me in the Iran embassy siege?"

"Oh God no! Far too eventful. It's got to be something superficially innocuous so that telling it in first person present tense lends it deep significance."

"Alright then."

I am five years old. I am happy. Why shouldn't I be? I've got a new autobot toy and the language and cognition capacities of a man in his thirties.

Father enters the room. Not 'Dad' or 'Pop'. In First Person Present Tense it's always Father. Deep significance and all that.

"Hey son," Father says. He is like a god to me, deified by my innocent eyes etc, etc. "Hey son; would you like to see the Queen's bottom?"

I am five years old. Of course I would.

He takes out a 1980s five pound note with its 1950's portrait of the queen. Using his fingers--Zeus-like fingers because I am too young to realise he is but human and fallible yet can deploy mythological similes hither and thither--he performs a crude origami, folding the fiver in such a way HRH Elizabeth's chin now resembles a pert arse.

"Thanks, Father," I say. "That's clever. But I recall it being hilarious when I was an actual kid and it never fails to raise a smile when I look back as an adult. But told like this it isn't as funny, to the tune of about minus 23% I'd say."

"It's not meant to be funny," Father says, his wise Odin face so very infallible to me (how could it have been so infallible?). "It's meant to be poignant, like those childhood memory stories you read in in The Guardian's supplements or hear on Radio 4. You, as the protagonist, learn some sad adult truth at the expense of losing a beautiful, fragile childhood preconception forever."

"I see."

"Now pull my finger."

I am back at my desk, an adult. I pull a modern five pound note with the 1990's portrait of the queen on it. I perform my father's folding trick only to find the queen's chin now turns into five lumpen buttocks instead of a pneumatic two. A tear wells in my eye.

"See?" the Futuristic Woman says. "Powerful stuff, huh?"

Before I can reply a middle aged man with weathered good looks and a tweed suit materialises.

"You thieving genre bitches," he says. "First Person Present Tense is the preserve of literary fiction. I mean real literary fiction, where a university lecturer's affair with a young student reveals some great truth about life and mortality."

"Way to justify a midlife crisis you dirty old bastard," says the Futuristic Woman.

"Sounds like you've got everything figured out, Professor," I say.

"Not really," the lecturer replies. "The trouble with seducing first year english students is they ask you to read their short stories after."

He pulls out a pistol and shoots me in the chest. The pain is excruciating: a torus of agony, of fire, so much so I'm compelled to describe the sensation in words. I hit the floor.

"That'll learn you," the Lecturer says. He vanishes.

"Darling," I say to the Futuristic Woman (Which I'll grant you is overfamiliar but if you can't get a bit fruity at St Peter's gate where can you be?), "what happens now?"

"Oh this is a good bit," she says. "The thing with First Person Present Tense SF short stories is , the narrator can be killed at the end, unlike past tense where it would be absurd. The idea is it comes as a shock. Everybodies doing it. In fact, FPPT SF stories have the highest homocide rate outside of Johannesburg." 

"So how do I go about it?"

"Well, you do a final paragraph that begins with fractured sentences like 'Colder now. Fading' and then round it off with a story-summarising profound truth."


She smiles and vanishes.

Colder now. Fading. But as I pass I learn to accept First Person Present Tense as a wild stallion that, when tamed by the authorial equivalent of Robert Redford, is the pride of any parade (i.e.- anthologies and magazines). At the very least, dear reader, be glad I did not attempt Second Person Present Tense. You hate that.