Axis of Andes, Sneak Peak

So, how’s the Coronaclypse been treating you?  For me, it’s been social distancing, seclusion, preclusion, and as the day job goes quiet, reading, watching television, and writing up a storm. Look, I’ve got a history of lung infections going back decades. So while I’m not worried, I am aware that this thing could kill me.  So, I’ve been trying to keep busy writing.

I thought I’d offer up a sneak peak at an upcoming project…  Axis of Andes

Essentially, it’s going to be a novel length alternate history, chronicling the third theatre of World War II, the great Andean Conflict which ended up touching almost every state in South America. In our history, South America largely sat out the war as neutrals. But that doesn’t tell the entire story.

Brazil was a pro-allied neutral sending thousands of volunteers to fight the Nazis in Europe. Argentina and Chile were pro-belligerent neutrals, spying for the Nazis and Japanese.  Argentina and Brazil maintained a cold war. Argentina and Paraguay ended up providing a home for Nazi war criminals. Through the 1930’s and into the 1940’s, the region seethed. There was the Colombia-Peru War (1932-33), the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay (1935-38), the Peru-Ecuador war (1941), a near conflict between Peru and Chile over Tacna and Arica. There were major Fascist parties and Fascist movements in almost every single South American country. There were social tensions, ethnic tensions, class conflicts.

South America was caught up in the economic and political transformations of the 20th century, it was a powderkeg that never quite blew. There were all sorts of events that could have kicked off an epic conflict, but never quite.

It’s a fascinating landscape to tell a story.

So, here’s a teaser….

Read moreAxis of Andes, Sneak Peak

Dawn of Cthulhu and other stories….

Are you a Lovecraft fan? Can you pronounce Cthulhu? Do you recognize the guy with the tentacles? Azathoth? Yog Sothoth? Leng? Mountains of Madness? Shoggoths? Innsmouth?

If any of that meant anything to you, the answer is ‘yes.’

If it didn’t, stick around, you might find this interesting anyway.

Or you could go back and read my blog post, H.P.Lovecraft and Me. Seriously, it’s worth reading.

Anyway, I’m a writer, and something of a Lovecraft fan. I’m not blind to his shortcomings either as a human being or as a writer, I certainly don’t endorse them. Lovecraft’s strengths and weaknesses as a person and as a writer both deserve attention and consideration. There are things that can and should be condemned, but at the same time, I think that nuance is appropriate. In the end, all our ancestors were monsters, and all their works are tainted. Yet we live in the world they made, and we build our houses upon their rocks.  There’s a blog post I’ll get to.

But Lovecraft did do some things well, Lovecraft was influential, and deservedly so. I certainly have, in some ways, been influenced.

I’ve actually written two major Lovecraft stories.

I will caveat that – not major in the sense of setting the genre on its ear, winning awards or even getting much notice. But major in the sense of being very large works, the two stories together probably run better than 25,000 words, and which, I think have unique but effective and interesting twists on the mythos. Maybe someday they will get some notice.

One of these is called Life, Love and the Necronomicon, its psychological horror exploring the mad Arab, Abdul Alhazred and his world. You can find it in Giant Monsters Sing Sad Songs.

The other is The Secret History of the Cthulhu Cult, one of three long stories found in Dawn of Cthulhu. I don’t think I need to explain what it’s about. The three stories are about Cthulhu, Lost Continents, and Muppets.

Yeah, you heard me. Muppets.

Read moreDawn of Cthulhu and other stories….

PRISONERS OF TRUMP’S EGO

I think it’s worth discussing Donald Trump’s peculiar, even bizarre history with the Coronavirus.
 
Trump supporters of course agree that the President did everything perfectly, everyone else is to blame, the Chinese lied, governors undermined the country, the WHO is corrupt, and no matter how many die, the President has done and is doing a terrific job, better than anyone else. Nonsense of course.
 
But it’s worth going back and taking a deeper look. What exactly happened? Why did the United States do essentially nothing through January? Why did the President spend most of February and early March minimizing the issue? Why does the United States continue to flounder today?
 
Admittedly, not everything can be blamed on the President. Most of the nations of the developed world have been slow off the mark, criminally so. In the United States, there’s an outbreak of what can only be called idiocy as Governors, states, state populations, communities and people just refuse to appreciate the risk – how else to explain mega-church services, or public beaches open in Florida, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Spring break parties, and what appears to be a right wing cause in rejection of social distancing. There’s a lot of blame to go around, especially in the United States.
 
But I would argue that in this pandemic, there is a central figure who has single handedly moved the needle from crisis to disaster.
 
Donald Trump: Essentially, he’s a poorly informed, disinterested narcissist.
 
If it doesn’t actually involve him directly, he’s not interested.  This isn’t my opinion. This is actually the recurring observation of a number of sources, including the ghost-writer of Art of the Deal. It’s a recurring observation from a number of sources former white house staff persons and insiders. He hates to read, he likes pictures, he’s uninterested in briefings, he is extremely incurious.
 
He’s literally only interested in his own initiatives and ideas, whether it be buying Greenland, threatening and then meeting with North Korea, confrontations with Iran, or tearing up trade deals and treaties. Basically, if its not coming from him, he’s just not interested.
 
This has put most of his senior cabinet on the wrong foot steadily, except for Kushner. Because anything they advocate, or initiate or any progress they make, is a threat to him, so he undermines them, or demands ingratiation, flattery and obedience. Any policy formulation or legislative development from the White House is invariably sabotaged by Trump himself.

Read morePRISONERS OF TRUMP’S EGO

LEXX Unauthorized, Series 2 – The Light at the End of the Universe

IT’S ARRIVED!  THE  CHRONICLES OF LEXX SERIES TWO officially released! 

Now hear the stories of episodes dreamt and episodes realized, last minute inventions, cast changes, surrealism and sci fi.

It can be found on Amazon, Smashwords and Draft 2 Digital, Kobo and many other platforms.  It may take a little time to go through, but definitely look for it.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1012721

I hope that it lives up to expectations.

Remember, this is a small private project, so if you like it, let me know. Post reviews. Recommend it to fellow LEXXians, Cult Sci Fi enthusiasts, and just about anyone else you can think of.

 

Countdown to LEXX: The Graveyard

OPENING SCENE – DEEP SPACE – The LEXX is cruising through empty space. It turns, the Gigashadow looms in front of it. The LEXX cruises slowly past as the Gigashadow turns slowly, motionless. It’s not the Gigashadow, just another of the species, and its dead, scorch marks and gouges in its side. As the frame opens, there are other carcasses of dead insects, some dismembered, all of them visibly damaged. The LEXX passes among the dead leviathans, as it flies, small insectoid forms – things resembling stingers and moths, spiders, crabs, centipedes and beetles are visible, forms strange and exotic and all clearly dead. One of the drifting objects is a craft that is half viking longboat and half scorpion.

CUT TO – LEXX Bridge – Stan, Kai and Xev are looking up at the viewscreen, as the LEXX cruises through the insect graveyard. Stan is pensive.

STAN
This gives me the creeps. I think we need to get out of here.

The third LEXX script never actually got written. I had a story worked out, just never followed through.

So you’re probably wondering, why don’t I just upload the second script that I actually did, instead of just blathering away over something that never got done? And for that matter, why didn’t I?

I thought it might make for an interesting story in and of itself.

I started with the Insect Wars….

Let me back up a little for those who don’t know LEXX (and if you don’t, I’m not sure why you’re reading this), the backstory of LEXX, particularly the first two seasons, is that many many thousands of years ago, there were two space faring races. Humanity and the Insects. Unfortunately, the Universe was only big enough for one. The great conflict was called the Insect Wars and ended with the near extermination of the Insect race and the ascendancy of humanity, lead by the Brunnen G.

Unfortunately, a single insect survived, and was able to pass its ‘soul’ or ‘essence’ into a human host. This human/insect became the first Divine Shadow, created the Divine Order, and proceeded on a plan, over thousands of years, to wipe out the human race. That was always Paul Donovan’s backstory.

Details changed over time. Originally, the Divine Order’s homeworld, The Cluster was a giant graveyard/war memorial, and the Divine Order started off as grave keepers, which influenced their costumes/uniforms, their traditions and rituals and technology.

Later on, in Gigashadow and Mantrid that got retconned a bit, The Cluster was just the small world/big asteroid where the last Insect hid to wait for its victim, no war memorial, no monument, etc. Instead, just the dormant insect, being fed on human flesh and growing and growing for thousands of years, while His Shadow and the Divine Order conquered much of the Universe, waiting for the apocalyptic moment when it could burst out.

But we never really did find out much about the Insect Wars. There’s a suggestion in the first season that humanity won, in part by adopting the Insects own living technology and turning it against them. I think Donovan was going to write a novel, but eventually set it aside.

Read moreCountdown to LEXX: The Graveyard

Countdown to LEXX: Remembering G….

Welcome to another one of my Blog Posts to promote or celebrate the official release of UNAUTHORIZED LEXX, From Here to the End of the Universe, Season Two, on March 31, 2020.  UNAUTHORIZED LEXX, Backstage at the Dark Zone, Season One, is already available as an ebook.

For the third season LEXX volume, there were only thirteen episodes, fifteen if you count the two versions of Rated: LEXX, and the production wasn’t nearly as chaotic or freewheeling as the first two series. So the book was going to be pretty sort. I decided to do biographies and character sketches of the key LEXX people.  This is a version of the Chapter I wrote for Lex Gigeroff.  I offer it up as a tribute to the man, no longer with us.

“On every television show, there’s one person who’s the heart, the emotional center. Every show has one, and it’s Brian, but Lex is right up there with him. He was the guy I really connected with when I was there. He was like a kid in a candy store. He was the one I got to give me a tour. He and Brian set the tone of the set.” Mark Asquith, who did the 2nd and 3rd season LEXX documentaries.

Lex Gigeroff was the sort of friendly hearty guy that’ll fix you with a merry twinkle in his eye, grin broadly, throw his arm around your shoulders as if you were his best friend, and tell you some long complicated but funny story as he reached down and felt around in your pockets looking for loose change.

He was just a fun guy.

And along with Brian Downey, he was the beating heart of the show.

This was the guy that gave his name to the show! And to Giggerotta! And the Gigashadow! Although he had only two solo writing credits, his shared credits with either or both Paul Donovan and Jeff Hirschfield, encompass roughly twenty-seven of the series episodes, and he’s credited as script editor for the entire fourth seasons episodes.

He appeared, in person and in voice through twenty roles in series, played the bound man and Divine Shadow in I Worship His Shadow, he played the musical Klaagyan in Eating Pattern, he played five roles in Lafftrack, appeared in His Shadow’s costume in Brigadoom, Doctor Rainbow in Tunnels, President Hufferton in Fluff Daddy, he has at least four voice roles in fourth series episodes. Often, he was the guy on set, fixing lines, solving problems, actively involved when Paul Donovan was doing producer stuff and Jeff Hirschfield was in Toronto.

Read moreCountdown to LEXX: Remembering G….

Countdown to LEXX – Hobo With a Shotgun!

LEXX finished it’s run in 2002. But life went on for everyone, and in 2011, Brian Downey, star of LEXX, got back together with Rutger Hauer, who had starred with Brian in the LEXX movie, Eating Pattern for a rematch – this was Hobo With a Shotgun.

The story behind the story is appropriately LEXXish. Jason Eisener and John Davies were a couple of local film makers with a wicket sense of fun, they liked gross and over the top.

Around 2007, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez were collaborating on a film project called Grindhouse, a tribute to the old B-Movies, Drive-In features, and gritty downtown moviehouses of the 1970’s. They were going all out, so not only were their movies cheesy and over the top, the films were full of scratches, burn marks and even a missing reel. As part of that grindhouse experience, they decided to run it with a series of cheesy b-movie trailers.

Robert Rodriguez created his own trailer for Machete, starring Danny Trejo, which eventually spun off into a pair of films, Machete and Machete Kills. Eli Roth who had done the Cabin Fever movies did a slasher trailer called Thanksgiving. Edgar Wright, known for Ant-Man and Scott Pilgrim, did a britsploitation called Don’t. Even Rob Zombie came in with Werewolf Women of the SS.

Rodriguez even held a grindhouse trailer contest at his South by Southwest film festival. The winners were Davies and Eisener, with the fake trailer for Hobo With a Shotgun in 2007. It ended up playing with the Tarantino Rodriguez movie in Canada.

You can find the fake trailer on youtube:

Well, apparently, it wasn’t just an award winning trailer. Within a few years, they were making a movie.

Read moreCountdown to LEXX – Hobo With a Shotgun!

Countdown to LEXX – The Lost Stories!

Ah LEXX, those classic movies and episodes – Back to the Cluster, the Return of His Shadow, Brunnen H, Dorkakia, My Bonnie, The Salesman, The Clizzards of Woz, the Last Days of the Brunnen G, Prison Planet, Flytrap...

Wait? Never heard of them?

That’s because these are the stories that got lost along the way – that were abandoned, or didn’t get made, or got pushed out of the way by better ideas.

A lot changed on the way to LEXX.

For instance, there were only going to be three movies the first season, and the middle movie was going to be Love Grows. But a very different version of Love Grows, with a live kai and mutating monsters instead of sex changes.

And the last movie was going to be Back to the Cluster, which was completely different from what got made.

Even when Gigashadow was being made, Robert Sigl, the Director turned in a completely different cut and vision of his movie.

LEXX’s creators had big plans for the second season. They were working on it and writing episodes before season one had even finished production. In June 2016, literally 18 months in advance, they released a bible for twenty episodes. Of those twenty, maybe six were made. The rest were lost or radically mutated.

Read moreCountdown to LEXX – The Lost Stories!

Countdown to LEXX – Xeveninety!

Three weeks to go!  That’s three weeks to the release of LEXX Unauthorized, Volume 2, From Here to the End of the Universe!

This is an ultimate LEXX Book, focusing on the second season of the surrealistic, sexy, strange space opera, LEXX, about a cowardly captain, an undead assassin, a virgin love slave, an annoying robot head, all of them looking for a good time, while carting about the Universe in a giant bug ten miles long that blows up planets. Twenty years in the making, packed with amazing revelations, interviews and all that good stuff!

LEXX Unauthorized, Volume One, Backstage at the Dark Zone, chronicling the first series is already out!  Volume Two will be out March 31, 2020. Don’t miss it! Spread the word!

Seriously, spread the word. I’m writing books about a series that’s been gone for almost twenty years. They’re good books, they’re amazing books, but, I could use some help. A little word of mouth, dropping notes to fellow Lexx fans, or even anyone into cult sci fi. I’d appreciate it. Really. Do me a solid, help a guy out.

To promote the book, I’m circulating weekly blog posts, to hopefully raises some interest.  So here goes!  Today, I’m offering up an entire LEXX script, never before seen by human eyes.

XEVENINETY – a bit Gothic romance, a bit ghost story, a bit Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and all LEXX all the time….

Read moreCountdown to LEXX – Xeveninety!

Countdown to Lexx – Farscape vs Lexx

Hey!  Free stuff!

The next few posts are to try and drum up some interest and attention for Lexx Unauthorized, Volume 2.  [Seriously! I’m trying to sell this book. So if you’re reading this, do me a solid, share the link, pass the word, and circulate this to anyone out there who might possibly be interested? I’d be ever so grateful!]

I thought I’d take people on a little trip down memory lane.

Lexx was a late 1990’s, early 2000’s Canadian cult television series about a group of fugitives fleeing on board a gigantic living space ship. The crew consisted of a red suited former prisoner, a mysterious black clad former agent of the evil empire, a plant lady, a half-alien woman, and an animatronic puppet, notable for wacky situations, occasional nudity and off the wall humour.

Farscape was a late 1990’s, early 2000’s  Australian cult television series about a group of fugitives fleeing on board a gigantic living space ship. The crew consisted of a red suited former prisoner, a mysterious black clad former agent of the evil empire, a plant lady, a half-alien woman, and an animatronic puppet, notable for wacky situations, occasional nudity. and off the wall humour.

Okay, they weren’t quite identical. Farscape was a lot less nihilistic, less surreal, and featured an American astronaut, John Crichton, trapped in deep space with the crew of fugitives learning to survive. In the first series, Crichton got beat up a lot but as time went on he drifted into the heroic american hero mold. The series had a lot more animatronic puppetry, I think that the Henson people were more involved.

They were both part of that post-Star Trek backlash that rebelled against the ST:NG sensibility that included a number of other series, like Battlestar Galactica, Starhunter, Babylon 5 etc.

Anyway, I loved them both.  At the time they were on, I used to frequent Bulletin Boards discussing each.  It was fun. I made friends, we had lively weird discussions.  I did a bit of writing, a bit of speculation.

And I accidentally created The Bobs.

Who were The Bobs?  They were cosmic rednecks, Jim Bob Turhok, Billy Bob Truckstop, and Bob Bob Roberts, divine beings of awesome power, low intelligence and lower appetites, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Imagine Star Trek’s Q, with less intelligence, less taste and a more active libido.

Read moreCountdown to Lexx – Farscape vs Lexx