Tuesday, 24 February 2015

'Flawless' Goes To CERN!!!

This just in from Badshoes Films:

We are immensely proud to announce 'Flawless' will screen as part of the official competition selection at the home of the Large Hadron Collider, CERN in Switzerland as part of their 5th film festival, CineGlobe 2015. Here's the website for details.

Well, as one of the scriptwriters of that short, along with Lucy Wade, I have to say I'm pretty chuffed with that result. FREAKIN' CERN, DUDE!!! WHERE THE GOD PARTICLE HANGS OUT!!!!
The Cineglobe Festival's theme this year: 
"...embraces the meeting of minds, methods and meaning of our times. It marks the reunion of science and art, technology and personal expression, research and creativity as the 21st century witnesses a new renaissance as artists and scientists venture beyond their areas of specialty to bridge science and art."
 As you may imagine, out of all this film's nominations thus far this has to be the most personally rewarding:  the intersection of art and science is pretty much what being an SF scribbler is all about. Which is not to knock all the other noms (plus, ahem, one 'film of the year' award), just, well... FREAKIN' CERN, DUDE. FREAKIN' HADRON COLLIDER AND STUFF!

(Apparently the winning short gets fired at near-light speed in order to discover the mysterious 'Ebert Particle')

I'm immensely lucky to have stumbled my way into independent films. I never planned to and I never thought I'd get to work so closely with so many talented people (Short stories and novels are, let's be fair, a pretty lonely experience, fun and rewarding as they are). Probably the biggest difference is all the meetings, which are both fun and fraught and where ideas are thrown into a metaphorical Hadron Collider to see what happens. A writer can't be precious in that environment and, if they aren't, they will be rewarded with strange bright chimera ideas, one's they could never have dreamed up alone.

If you possibly can, give it a go. I imagine most large cities have some kind of independent film scene and very often there aren't many people totally devoted to scripts. The tendency seems to be toward writer-directors and that's a brain surgeon/rocket scientist gig. I know I certainly couldn't direct (But here's a guy who can talking about it: our own director Keith Allott).

I'll report back here to let you know how we got on. When Flawless finally becomes available to watch (which isn't currently possible due to the whole festival submission thing I'm afraid) I'll link to it here to.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Spoolzine Issue 7: The Zine of SF, SF Fandom and SF Fandom's Fandom

Photo-News:  Game Of Thrones Actor Pay Dispute Intensifies


Boing Boing's Bongo-Mag Bonanza!!!!!

The latest US hipster trend is for 80's low rent British jazz magazines. Spoolzine caught up with the tech-savvy editors of Boing Boing to find out their fave chod pamphlets...

David Pescovitz (writer, journalist, research director for the Institute of the Future):

"In a digital world a lot of creatives are rediscovering artisnal porn. Man, let me tell ya: 80s British newsagents were like the CBGB Club of that scene and, for me, Razzle has to be the Richard Hell & The Voidoids of knuckle fuck books. No question. 
I've just Dos-doxxed their entire i-archive onto my Google Glasses (Yeah, I still got a pair of those. Please; don't tell anyone! So embarrassing!)" 

Cory Doctorow (Author, Blogger, Digital rights activist)

"When I'm not writing space books or creating internets, you'll find me rooting about the waste ground behind the Tesco in Nuneaton, UK, looking for torn pages from 'Fiesta' (These I then transload onto my Samsung Labrador). 

Long before the internet, long before Creative Commons, Fiesta were distributing their content, free of charge, around car parks, allotments and woodland areas adjacent to housing estates. 'Information wants to be free' as we tech activists so infamously say. Fiesta understood that before anyone."

Xeni Jardin (Digital Media Commentator, Journalist):

"Even if you discount the perms and crotch-shots, Knave were still incredible content creators. I've an original issue with a Ford Cortina review and a think-piece on countercultural icon Eric Bristow. Knave and Neuromancer: all you need to know about 1984, my friends.

In fact there may even be an interview with Gibson if I can figure how to prize open some of these pages..."

Mark Frauenfelder (Boing Boing Creator, Editor)

"Erm... don't come in..."



 March 2nd, Tewkesbury Town Hall: Acting Masterclass with David Warner:

"What? Ah, fuck it I'll do it."
Star of 'Waxwork', 'Quest Of The Delta Knights', 'Mortal Passions' and 'Cortex'.


Dear Spoolzine,

This Mensa test said this wasn't the right answer, which just goes to show they're not so smart, huh?

Tim Susman, LA


Spoolzine:  A one-blog crusade for good taste in SF fandom.

I should really leave this be, but...

What is it they say about bullies being able to give it out?

Benjanun Sriduagkaew bragging about harassing Rhianna Pratchett back in 2008

Benjanun Sriduagkaew folding up and whimpering (and lying her head off) about Spool Pidgin posts that mock her. 2014.

On a serious note though, if you're someone, especially a person of colour who's suffered online harassment from Benjanun there are ears out there for you. As this link shows, you are from alone. You don't have to keep suffering alone. Together we can build a safer, happier community without the venom and hypocrisy.

Sunday, 22 February 2015


 Just an incredible stage performance, when someone seems almost possessed by the beast of rock'n'roll- or whatever strange entity it is lurks within the floorboards of a music stage- and becomes the proverbial 'leper messiah'. Haven't seen the like in years. And to do THAT in high heels? Hat's off ta ya, lady.

Sunday, 8 February 2015


Spoolzine: 'The Masses we shall tame with cake and hand jobs' (From Our SFWA Presidency manifesto)

SFacts:  Star Wars Musicians 

"The group are classified as jizz-wailers, which, according to the Star Wars Encyclopedia, refers to a "musician who plays a fast, contemporary, and upbeat style of music."" 
-Wikipedia article

Also see "Jizz" and "Jizz Box" , e.g. "You sound like a festerin' jizz-box. I got a festerin' jizz-box right over there in that corner."


NEWS:  Manatee Family Plead for Return Of Kidnapped Son

The search continues apace for manatee Wendell Bartok (24), believed kidnapped by right wing SF-Lit fundamentalist splinter group 'Sad Puppies' (Or 'Sad Puppies For Ethics In Journalism In The Levant').
Last week, SP's web page produced photos of a clearly weary and only semi-plump Wendell alongside a list of the terrorist group's demands. A video followed, showing what appeared to be SP member 'Jihadi James' May torturing the starved marine mammal by eating an entire mangrove plant in front of it and rubbing his torso with a Hugo award and a severed otter anus.  

Wendell's howl allegedly translates as 'Please... don't put that, that THING on me!'

Many are at a loss to explain why an award nomination pressure group would steal a live animal from Seaworld. 

"Apprehending cute animals is a common tactic in fandom,' says Geek-terror expert Norm Sputley. "Only last year we saw a spate of kidnaps on SF fandom's extreme left, targeting LOLCats, My Little Pony gifs, plush toy bees and those Minions from Despicable Me. At both ends of the political spectrum the idea is to balance out the bile-filled aggression with something inoffensive and saccharine, giving the impression of a fully rounded personality and worldview."

"If Wendell gets a chance to self-terminate," Sputley adds, "he should take it." 

Other cute animals are being brutalised in S.P's compound. Here, cartoon dogs are seen to cower beneath a rocket-shaped rubber dildo.

Meanwhile, one of Sad Puppies's's orchestrators--John Goodman in the Big Leibowski--got on his twitter-tuba to call for help. His request? Evidence of Sci-Fi-Soc-Jus-Warrior attacks to pass on to the tireless groping maw of a MAJOR NEWS OUTLET. 
The general public were quick to help:  

As of going to print, @jimworrad couldn't be contacted to verify whether he 'did' a crayon-smeared Damien G Walter in a branch of Denny's.

A collective sigh of relief followed when the 'major news outlet' turned out to be Breitbart       
Wendell remains kidnapped but capable of communication. Yesterday, the CIA announced a live sponge had been discovered with morse code nibbled into its face. Analysis continues.

(Missives from the Spoolzine 'reader' community) 

Dear Spool Penguin,

Let's move parliament to Ponderland and make Russel Brand's dinkle an MP. 

yrs, Dollartooth

(Ed: Like his biography in the January sales we think Russell's political opinions can be... wait for it... discounted.)

Dear Spoolzine

Regarding your last issue:  One day, scientists will create a human soul in the lab. Then they will stick it in the large hadron collider and try and smash it to pieces to see what its made of. The resulting experiment will improve the ink flow of Bic Crystal pens.


Daniel Ribot

Dear Soiled Pangolin,

That arsehole Brand probably hates the idea of a publicly-paid-for Thatcher museum, whereas I don't think it goes far ENOUGH! Here's me mock-up of what I'd f**ckin' build! This here Lady IS for turning, especially when Liverpool and Wales get mouthy.

Yrs, Dollartooth.



Blake's 7, Season 3  Reviewed by Randy Cataphract

Fuck Legend of Korra and the millennial hipster-horse it rode in on (In fact, I'll level with you here people, I've no idea what L.O.K even is). Nothing can compete with season-the-third of Blake's 7 (or Blake's Sanc as it was called on the continent). 

The Radio Times that year revealed thousands had been spent on the new set of The Liberator. The fact that is was also the newly fitted kitchen of producer Terry Nation only emerged later. 

"But it added a gritty realism no other SF had," Nation countered in an interview. "Do you think the Starship Enterprise came with a working dishwasher and a soda stream? Dream on."  

The first episode begins the season. The crew awake to find a collection of disparate objects on a supermarket conveyor belt. Naturally, they form an orderly line and impersonate a mid-90s photo-shoot of a British shoe gazer band. Avon (centre) realises the day of that final reckoning with an etch-a-sketch has come. 

The season finale truly ended the season. Who can forget villainess Servalan and villainearly Avon (both centre) getting melded into conjoined 'Siamese' twinhood by a polyamorous sexdroid (with hilarious consequences)? 

With mere hours to the 'great bang ritual' the rest of the crew (Tarrant and Vila left, Kalli and Dayna, right) must decipher the alien hieroglyphs shaved into the back of Servalan and Avon's hair. Will it save the hapless couple? And, more to the point, will it un-tether the mysterious bumbags* that are binding their waists to one another?

*This was altered to 'fannypack' for the US DVD release, with Patrick Stewart's voice overdubbing 


Spoolzine:  Acid Casualty Chaos God Trapped Within Fandom's DMZ

(With thanks to Dan Gilbert,Daniel Ribot and Jay Eales

Saturday, 7 February 2015

 "After the show, Kurt cornered me in the dressing room. “I don’t know what to do,” he said. “Courtney thinks Frances likes me more than her.” Someone took a photo of us right at that moment. My back is turned to the camera, and I remember that conversation vividly."

-Kim Gordon

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Defence of Charlie And Europe's Muslims Is The Same Thing

"The relative freedom which we enjoy depends of public opinion. The law is no protection. Governments make laws, but whether they are carried out, and how the police behave, depends on the general temper in the country. If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them."

-George Orwell, 'The Freedom Of The Park'

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The NAACP bombing and the Charlie Hebdo massacre are both attacks on our freedom. 

They are two heads of the same reactionary hydra angry at a changing world and opposed to progress and free inquiry. 

Resist it.

The Importance of Drawing Your Novel's Characters #2: In Technicolor!!!

A few posts ago I said I'd buy some pencil crayons. Colour really helps (and these days I've a camera on my phone so even if the results are poor I've still got the original pencil sketches: see earlier post)

I've tacked these scribbles above my writing desk. I try to avoid lunar-barren walls as I write. I don't like the wall in front of me to resemble the blank in my head when I get stuck.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Last Night I Dreamed...

...that I had to extract acclaimed SF author Charles Stross from the centre of a prison riot. He wasn't a prisoner and neither was I. I guess he'd been doing a reading there or something. For some reason the powers that be had decided I was the most qualified for the task. I guess they knew what they were doing, but support- any kind of support- would have been appreciated.

So there's me punching, shiving and shouting my way past dangerous men with nothing to lose and Stross doesn't seem to be phased at all, he just walks behind me with his hands in his pockets and smiling benevolently. 

He keeps asking me "Do you like me books? Which ones your favourite?"

I'm more concerned by the Molotov cocktails and bottles of piss being thrown down around us from the upper floor of the wing.

Eventually I relent and say "I don't fuckin' know, Chuck. Saturn's Children I guess. That was good. Happy now?"

"All you had to say," he replies and, with a cheery whistle, Stross goes completely Ninja on the prisoners. He beats seven bales of shit out of them he does- at one point using one of the smaller prisoners as a weapon- and I sheepishly follow his trail of destruction. I'm certain we got out.

I'm not sure if this dream had any significant meaning. Probably 'don't fuck with Charles Stross'.