Archive

Archive for the ‘Book Excerpts’ Category

Book Excerpt: Literary Stalker

November 20, 2018 Leave a comment

The first of three pieces featuring on the prestigious Ginger Nuts of Horror site, this excerpt is taken from Chapter 11 of Literary Stalker, about half way through, dealing with a tipping point in stalker Nick’s obsession where his intent turns nasty. It is set at a fictional horror convention called ‘Medusacon’ in London in 2006, drawing on many convention experiences. It also features cameo appearances from several real-life horror writers: Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Kim Newman and Brian Lumley.

Medusacon 2006 was held at a big swish hotel in London’s Docklands, with commanding views of the Thames, Canary Wharf and the pristine Docklands Light Railway providing a cool backdrop to the proceedings. All the ‘usual suspect’ horror, fantasy and sci-fi writers were present, including Stan, Darren, Crimpy, Otto and Darius, together with more illustrious scribes and the Guests of Honour. Film critic and writer Kim Newman attended, in Victorian Gothic mode as usual, with his long flowing hair and full moustache, silk waistcoat and cravat. Horror veteran Brian Lumley enlivened the atmosphere, looking awesome in a white suit and shirt with silver collar tips, and a leather bolo tie and ornate aiguillette around his neck. And horror newcomer Joe Hill floated around enigmatically, with his jet black hair and equally jet black full beard, having recently come out as the son of Stephen King. I liked the look of him, but of course he was married and straight. And besides I was after bigger fish, as the Guests of Honour were Neil Gaiman and the man himself: Hugh Canford-Eversleigh.

Read more on: The Ginger Nuts of Horror

Advertisements

The Literary Stalker’s Take on Gun Control

Extract from Chapter 6: Clichéd Ways of Obtaining a Gun

In debates about gun crime and gun control, one old chestnut comment keeps cropping up: It’s not guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people. What an idiotic thing to say! When you have a gun in your hand, you know full well it’s the gun that’s going to do the killing and you’re just a passenger. How would ‘you’, minus the gun, go about killing someone? Grab them by the throat and try to strangle them? Pound them to death with your fists? Kick them to death? Use the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique? Or use a lesser weapon, such as a knife or baseball bat?

All are possibilities to be sure, but none are exactly easy and inevitably involve some level of physical prowess, fighting knowledge and skills. What’s more, once you embark on such an attack, your victim is going to take evasive action, retaliate and perhaps overpower you. Taking all this into account, it’s highly likely that ‘you’ wouldn’t consider it advisable to undertake the killing attempt at all. But if you possess a gun, it’s different. With one of those, you can stand a distance away from your victim, and providing you can point the thing straight and hold it as though you mean business, you have the complete upper hand. And if you’ve got the balls to pull the trigger…well. How much percentage of the kill would be down to ‘you’ and how much down to the gun?

So what does the Literary Stalker do? He steals a World War II Webley service revolver from his great uncle and uses it to murder three of his intended victims. But hey, it only happens in a novel-within-a-novel. More info: Darkness Visible Publishing.

‘A Session at Ebury Lodge’: Mad Artist Sample Chapter

Still by prenza420 on Flickr, courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing

In 1977 I moved into Ebury Lodge student hall of residence in Bournemouth and lived there for more than two years, till I left the art college. That period encompasses the majority of the ‘psychonautic adventures’ described in The Mad Artist; and Ebury itself, as a community of wayward, madcap art student dopers, came to exist for me as almost a separate reality, hermetically sealed from regular life, complete with its own dream logic.

This sample chapter depicts the events of an afternoon and evening at Ebury—a marathon start-of-term dope session that set the tone for the remainder of the autumn! It introduces many of the colourful characters who appear throughout The Mad Artist, and also gives a good flavour of the approach and style of the book, concentrating on detail, atmosphere and in-depth subjective psychodrama regarding drug effect.

At the prescribed hour, I knocked on Sam’s door, and it was opened very cautiously by Big Jim, who gave a big chuckle when he saw it was me. Inside the whole gang were assembled, bright and eager like animals about to be fed. Sam was sat on the sofa, unwrapping the gear on a black lacquered coffee table. Next to him was Eric, a smoking mate from outside the house, who was busy assembling a set of collapsible brass scales that came in an indigo velvet-lined box. Race, Fiona and Sonya were languishing on a pile of cushions and beanbags over by the bay window, looking very decadent and bohemian. Gordon was sat cross-legged on the floor on the other side of the coffee table, a meditative expression on his face. Jim returned to his armchair on the right-hand side of the room, and I picked up a spare big cushion and sat next to him.

Jim and I chatted about our new rooms, with him especially pleased by the coup he’d pulled off in securing the big one next door. Meanwhile Sam was halving the slim oblong ounce of Leb with a serrated knife. He put a half in each pan of the scales, found one slightly heavier, so he broke off a corner, transferred it and found they matched. Then he split one of the halves into two quarters, which matched exactly at the first attempt. Sam was obviously a real expert at this trade. The two quarters became four eighths, two of which were passed to Race and Gordon respectively, and the other two further divided into sixteenths for Fiona, Sonya and Jim. The other half ounce was split into a quarter for Eric, an eighth for me, and the rest went into Sam’s tin.

Read the full chapter as a PDF on Slideshare.

To read another extract of The Mad Artist see previous post.

Read ‘The Alphabet Wood’: Roger and Henry’s First Acid Trip

August 16, 2010 2 comments

devotes its five opening chapters, 16,400 words, to that life-changing event that triggered the ‘psychonautic adventures’—the quest for metaphysical answers and spiritual truth which makes up the book. Underwent on a winter’s night, in the rural setting of the Plym Woods and neighbouring villages, the trip was poorly planned, chaotic, crazy—an object lesson in how to get it completely wrong regarding set and setting. But precisely because of the ensuing chaos, the adrenalin rush powered the trip into extreme realms, giving rise to the geometric progression effect that became a motif for the future…

Suddenly the trip jumped in intensity, and the visual effects burst through a quantum barrier into something totally unprecedented. The whole wood around me was reborn in another form: it was no longer a wood composed of trees, branches and leaves, but one composed of…letters. Letters of the alphabet. They were wrought in diamond-encrusted platinum and silver, and interconnected with their own vascular system of luminous, throbbing primary coloured energy. All the various geometric permutations of leaf cluster, twig and branch were resolved into letters in a crystalline fractal method — letters within letters down to the limits of vision, perfectly mirroring the scale and detail of what was being transformed according to the terms of some higher surreal logic. I watched as the wood pulsed, light and dark, light and dark — later, I would realise, in sync with my own heartbeat — each time breaking out into new symbolic foliage of impossible intricacy. It was utterly transcendentally fabulous, but I was too scared to derive any enjoyment.

Now the full five chapters can be read as a Book Preview on Lulu. Click on ‘Preview’ below the book cover image.

The same section can also be read as a free sample Kindle download from the Amazon Kindle Stores.

%d bloggers like this: