Here I am working on the fourth and final book of LEXX, and it’s a bittersweet experience.
I’m going through old notes, re-reading interviews with Lex Gigeroff and John Dunsworth, hearing their voices in my head, the friendliness, the enthusiasm, the sheer joy of life, and it saddens me to know that they’re gone. That now those voices are only in my head, triggered by the words on screen. The world is a little smaller, a little duller.
With the fourth book, I’m coming to the end of my own long journey with LEXX, and that’s also a little sad I suppose. It’s been with me for such a long time, and finishing this book, setting it loose in the world, will mean the end of something personal for me.
I’ll take a moment and be completely honest. I’m doing a bit of huckstering. I’d like to sell a few books. Honestly, I’d like to sell a lot. But I’ll settle for a few. And hell, maybe even interest some of you in some of my other work. I’m a writer, so I figured the best way to do that is to write something. Offer up something to people that they haven’t seen with LEXX, something that’s just not another publicity photo of Eva or a screen cap of Michael. Offer up myself.
You see, I genuinely believe that LEXX really was something special, something unique. That it was visually innovative and startling, that it plumbed depths or surrealism and absurdity. Everyone knows Vadim for Barbarella, or Jodorowsky or Bunel for surrealism, or Ionescu for the Rhinoceros or Ubu Rex. They teach courses in these guys, they have classes, they’re studied, people do Masters degrees and PhD’s, and I honestly think LEXX is that calibre, that innovative, that subversive and ground breaking. That LEXX is that significant, and the story of LEXX is fascinating and important.
So yes! Yes I want to sell books. When I released the first volume, I just wanted it out of my hard drive, and out in the world. But now, years later, putting all the work into it again and again, damned right I want people to read it!
Still thinking about the attempted Coup on January 6, 2021, about the Nazification of the Republican/Right wing, and the consequences going forward. It ain’t pretty.
One of the defenses that Nazis are raising is to deny it was a Coup attempt at all. This particular party line is that it was a simple riot. Hell, it wasn’t even a riot, it was just a demonstration, a ‘First Amendment Protest’ that got out of hand. Watch for that little descriptor by the way, that’s probably going to be pushed really hard on the right.
“First Amendment Protest” as if anyone in that crowd was thinking of the first amendment as they tried to overthrown Congress.
But the Nazis have the shadow of an argument? Is it a real coup if it’s such a badly organized shit show? Aren’t coup attempts supposed to involve the Army, or at least professionals rather than semi-literate cosplayers and fat guys in T-shirts? Look at them, they just wandered around tasering each other accidentally, pooping in hallways, and stealing letters from Nancy Pelosi’s desk! How do we call that a coup attempt.
Well, there are a few responses.
First, history is full of half baked coup attempts by incompetent ass clowns. Incompetence has never been a defense to a crime.
Second, it’s become pretty clear that amongst all the fat boys, the angry old farts, the real estate agents who flew in on their private jets and costume players, there were some serious people there who were really intent on damage. We know that ‘storm the capital’ was repeated 100,000 times in the month preceding, that there was an immense amount of internet planning and traffic, ranging from admonitions to bring weapons, to sharing maps. We know that people brought sledgehammers, clubs, firearms, bear spray, twist ties. We know that there was intent to kill and intent to capture and take hostages. We know that there were serious people, and dangerous asses like the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, the Oath Takers. Simply put: We got lucky, Pence and the Congress people, some of them, ended up within sixty seconds or sixty feet of capture, some staff sheltered under tables behind locked doors that were hammered but not broken. If this crowd had got its hands on Pence or Congress persons, it might have gone very badly.
And finally, let’s not rule out them getting lucky and succeeding, or opening up a pathway to success. If they’d managed to kill or take hostages, it’s a whole new ball game, particularly a hostage situation. If they’d managed to kill or brutalize enough Democrats and marshall (or intimidate) enough loyalist Republicans, they could have forced a vote to go the way they wanted. Hell, even the specter of enough intimidation might have swayed things. And once these votes go through, it’s not as if the Constitution or the legislation has any provision to take back or change a vote. They might have disrupted things enough to swing the vote back to the states. Or opened the door for Trump to institute a declaration of martial law or emergency powers. All of this is unlikely, but not impossible. Personally, I would have said a coup attempt was impossible, and a coup attempt actually getting as far as it did would be twice as impossible. But here we are…
So ‘First Amendment Protest’ my ass. It was a goddammed coup attempt, and anyone who says different is either a Nazi, a Nazi apologist or a Nazi ‘useful idiot.’
But still, I keep thinking it. Assuming the scattering of really bad people who had something like focused goals and plans, what about the rest of the useful idiots? What were they thinking?
Today I had an epiphany in terms of the goals and objectives of the Insurrectionists and how they expected to succeed.
You just have to look around – 1986 the Phillipines following the murder of Begnino Aquino, suddenly there was this uprising, this vast people power movement of thousands of people demonstrating and coming into the streets against Marcos. And he’s swept from power and sent running.
The Iranian Revolution, 1979, – people power, thousands and tens of thousands in crowds in every city, the Army refuses to fire, the Shah is thrown out of power. Russia same thing 1991, the communists try a coup, and people power runs them off, with Boris Yeltsin standing on a tank. I can give you a handful of other examples of third world dictatorships swept away by outrage and mass demonstrations, refusal or fear of the military to suppress.
That’s what they thought – they thought they were the Vanguard of a populist revolution. They thought that they’d just sweep in there, hang or throw out a ‘corrupt Congress’, and usher in the revolution. The police wouldn’t shoot at them because the police were secretly on their side, so they weren’t going to shoot the police, or do more than necessary to get them out of the way.
They thought once they started the fire, it would catch on nationwide. That with a corrupt congress swept aside, all their secrets (cannibalism, pedophilia, whatnot) exposed, then the 75 million real Americans who all voted for Trump and believed the Election was stolen would all rise up, right across the country, mass demonstrations in all the cities, the army would refuse to fire and join them. Biden and his evil henchman would get on a stolen plane and flee to China. And puppies for everyone.
They thought that they were the leading edge of a people power revolt, and that was how the coup would succeed.
I think that everyone who went there is pretty shocked that it didn’t happen, the nation didn’t rise up, and people think they’re assholes. The reactions of some of them, particularly people caught venting about being on the know fly list is telling. They thought everyone would be applauding, and now they’re upset that no one is.
They’re also, the movement, sticking to its guns. That Washington and 50 state Capitols shtick? They’re still trying for a people power revolution. They honestly think everyone will take to the streets, and all they have to do is ‘show the way’ ‘strike the first blow.’
As video blogger B’eau From the Fifth Column’ says, they’re not sophisticated or organized enough to simultaneously launch 51 attacks. But overall, they probably think they can launch 51 public demonstrations. And maybe in a few places, attacks to inspire people and show them how easy it is, then….. revolution!
I don’t think that they appreciate the massive lack of interest in their tactics. I think they look at polls saying 81% of Republicans believe the Election was stolen, and 18% to 36% actually support the coup, and another larger percent make excuses for it. They think ‘wow, there’s a shitload of people, and even if a small chunk of them come out for us, we’ll make waves, then when people see the waves, he rest will pile on, and eventually, everyone will be with us!’
What will they do when that doesn’t happen? When America gives a yawn and turns the channel. When millions and millions don’t come rallying into public squares and the army doesn’t throw down it’s guns, the bad guys aren’t swept away and the millennium doesn’t come round?
(At least, I’m hoping it doesn’t happen – it’s only the 16th, and no sign of it, but wait and see).
If it doesn’t happen, then we’ll see a great disillusionment. Some of these people will wake up and realize they’ve been sold a bill of goods. Some of them will cling to their fantasies, but read the lay of the land, shut up and shape up because they want to keep their jobs and families.
Some of them, they’ll get bitter and mean. Mean enough to join the crazies, or give them enough popular support, enough cover to make them truly dangerous. A very few of them will join the ranks of the violent and murderous, that’s bad. But all by themselves, mad dogs just get hunted down and shot. I’ll waste no tears on mad dogs, two legged or four.
The worrisome part may be a bitter, resentful, radicalized subset of the population, people maintaining jobs and families, people staying out of trouble, but still nutty as a squirrel’s colostomy bag, who will provide aid and support, comfort, money, hiding places for the mad dogs. That’s when a mad dog is most dangerous, when it’s got backing.
Because what do you do, when you throw a revolution and no one shows up? Some grow up, some move on, some get depressed…. and a few get ugl.
Generally, I get these books out, and then I don’t think about them too much. Nobody else does, so it evens out. But uploading the Latest LEXX Unauthorized, I was startled to discover that I got reviews. So, I thought I’d share them. Apologies to folks if I’m violating someone’s copyright. But really, I’m flattered, and frankly, it’s a lonely thing to be a writer. So here goes…
Fire and Water, Heaven and Hell
Cause it’s hot and it’s cold
It’s “Yes” or it’s “No”
It’s in if it’s out
It’s up but it’s down
It’s wrong or it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
Apologies to Katy Perry
SERIES THREE OF LEXX, when everything radically. Gone were the Sci Fi adventures from planet to planet, the dark, funny, furious adventures. In it’s place was a thirteen part serial in which the LEXX was trapped in orbit around two warring planets, Fire and Water, and the crew journeyed between them, solving the mystery of Heaven and Hell. Behind the scenes, the genesis of series three was just as topsy turvy, with story roots going back before the first series was even released, driven by the crises and struggles of the second season, and wrestling with financial cutbacks. Volume three covers everything and anything to do with the third series.
WHAT IS LEXX: A ground breaking Canadian sci fi television series, created by Paul Donovan, Lex Gigeroff and Jeff Hirschfield, shot and produced in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by Salter Street Films, that ran four seasons between 1996 and 2002.
David (D.K.) Perlmutter is another local genre writer. I first ran across him through his vividly written ‘American Toons,’ a nonfiction history of animation in America that was fresh, lively and engaging. It is perhaps not a surprise that his debut novel, Orthicon, draws on those sources, following in the footsteps of Roger Rabbit…
Imagine you live a relatively normal life, in a relatively normal place. Then, without warning, you are abducted, and sent to live in a distant place, far off Earth. It gets stranger still when you find out you are not human, or animal, or whatever you thought you were, but completely alien. And your entire life, past, present and future, has been shaped by forces beyond your control, with no way for you to control them. Save one…
Named one of the top 50 Best Indie Books of the Year by Read.Freely.com, “Orthicon” is a revealing narrative told in many voices, coming to only one conclusion. A revealing debut novel with an intriguing premise: who decides what is real, what is human, and what is otherwise.
I’m a freelance writer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The first major book I had published was America ‘Toons In: A History Of Television Animation (McFarland Press) in 2013; the title is self-explanatory, I think. I’m currently working on an updated second edition of that. I’ve also written a reference work, The Encyclopedia Of American Animated Television Shows (Rowman and Littlefield).
he World Fantasy Convention in Salt Lake City is over and done with, life returns to normal. Or as normal as we get these days.
I thought I’d share a few reflections.
First up, I found it really well organized. The web site was clear and easy to navigate, the portal or video conferencing system, was intuitive. I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and despite trepidation, navigated quite easily. I found what I wanted to find without difficulty, and the few times I struggled, the tech crew was understanding and helpful. Apparently they had technical glitches, as with the readings, but they coped, adapted and everything went smoothly.
Not everyone had my experience, a few of the more famous established writers seemed to struggle a little.
But personally, this was great. As far as I’m concerned, this could serve as a blueprint for online conventions.
Programming what I saw of it, was excellent. Programming started Wednesday and ran through Sunday. There was a mix of ‘professional development’ and ‘writing development’ panels. I especially appreciated the ones on finding an agent and on marketing. But all the panels were interesting and imaginative.
I was watching Super 8 last night. That’s the J.J. Abrams tribute to the 80’s, and Steven Spielberg movies. It has that same sort of feel of Stranger Things. Likely because they both have the same inspirations, ET, the Goonies, kids adventures and Steven King novels.
One of the cool things about Super 8, is the movie within the movie. The kids are using Super 8 cameras to make their own little epic. The connection is tangential, their Super 8 project means that they’re in the right place at the right time to see the train wreck which marks the alien escape and the main plot.
Oddly, that reminded me of a movie I hadn’t seen in a long time. The Mystery in Dracula’s Castle. This is an oldy, it aired way back in 1973, as a two parter, on the Wonderful World of Disney. Later on in the 1980’s, the two parts were stapled together and it floated around on cable channels.
Basically, the story is that a small group of kids get inspired, and decide to make their own version of Dracula on mom’s trusty Super 8. This intersects with the “A” plot which involves a jewelry heist, when the kids decide that the lighthouse the gang is hanging out with their ill gotten jewels turns out to be the perfect location for their Dracula movie.
Oh well. Boo hoo and all that.
The finals have been announced for the Booklife Contest. As per previous blog posts, my novel, The Princess of Asylum had made it to the quarter finals, and then the semi-finals. Really good review, really good score. Check it out here:
Alas, not quite good enough.
The Finalist, Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror for is E.M. Hamill’s Peacemaker. You can check it out here:
E.M. Hamill, according to her bio on Booklife is “a nurse by day, unabashed geek, chocoholic, sci fi and fantasy novelist by nights, weekends, and whenever she can steal quality time with her laptop. She lives with her family, a dog, and a cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.”
I was recently on an alternate history panel for the World Fantasy Convention. Technically, it was about alternate history and fantasy, to wit…
“Alternate history has long been the domain of science-fiction writers, but it is now being enthusiastically colonized by writers of fantasy, who are bringing in magic, dragons, and the full panoply of the uncanny into what used to be an orderly and rational sub-genre. Who’s doing this and what’s going on?”
Actually, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. A lot of alternate history has had or assumes magical elements. It goes all the way back to Robert Heinlein and his story, Magic Inc. I’m not one of these guys who draws hard and fast lines between fantasy and science fiction, or fantasy and magical realism, or whatever. All of Speculative Fiction simply assumes that at least one thing, and sometimes many things, goes unnatural and you take it from there.
I just want to talk about one thing that struck me during the panel, that I never got a chance to talk about.
Steampunk. I find it interesting, but the entire steampunk genre seems to be in the process of being colonized by, or is entirely colonized by Fantasy. Blame it on Kim Newman and his Anno Dracula perhaps, or the novels Gail Carriger, or the Weird West subgenre. But as often as not, when you’re reading steampunk, there’s strong fantasy elements – ghosts, vampires, goblins, weird creatures, magic, etc.
I think part of that is that when you’re writing in this genre, you’re reaching back into the literary traditions of the ‘weird tales’ of the day, and it all starts to melt together.
But there’s another element to consider.
Victorian, England was a pretty horrific place.