Novels, and Stories, Reviews and Articles, Oh my….
As I’ve said, I’m a big fan of pop culture, b-movies, cult television. I grew up with Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.P. Lovecraft, Godzilla and Doctor Who, and as I’ve grown older, I’ve amused myself and others by writing quirky stories about these worlds, and even quirkier essays about the worlds behind these worlds.
I’ve written literary analysis of Starlost, alternate histories exotic civilisations, I’ve delved into anthropology on alien worlds, deconstructed the origins of fictional lost cities. I like taking things apart and seeing how I can make them work, it’s the mechanics background in me I think. I like to explore the cinematic universe of 1970’s Godzilla, or the literary universe of Burroughs and his imitators. I amost certainly put a lot more thought into them than the original creators. These essays are often casual and rambling, I’m not out to win a prize, I’m just having fun, so take them in that spirit.
I’ve written novels, novellas and stories that would qualify as fanfiction, but which fill the bill for adventure, comedy, drama and experimental work. I think it’s some damned good work, and pieces I enjoyed writing. That counts for a lot, because the truth is, most people don’t really make money from writing. Writing is like buying lottery tickets, but with more humiliation and heartbreak. So if you’re going to write… have fun with it, love what you write, enjoy writing it. Because that may be all you get out of it. And, I’d like to think, if you’re having fun, the reader will have fun.
It’s also, mostly, not monetizable. This stuff here, and the stuff on the links if you follow them back, probably amount to well over a million words of every sort of thing. Yeah, some of it is sloppy and wandering, some of it needs editing. Some of it is dated. I think the best and my favourite is here. But there’s a lot. As I’ve said, most of it isn’t monetizable.
But I’m told, that to promote your commercial work, you should offer up free stuff. Everyone likes free stuff.
So apparently, this is the deal: I offer up free stuff – demented comedy, action adventure, metafictional, reviews, articles, discussions, fiction, nonfiction. You read it, and hopefully decide this Valdron guy is a good writer and I’d like to show appreciation with money by buying his commercial work (hmm – maybe I should come up with a donation box for the free stuff).
Or you read a little bit, decide it’s not for you, and move on, no harm no foul.
Or you decide to be a mooch and stick with the free stuff, in which case, bite me, ya lazy sot. I’m trying to send my cat to university here, and your cheapskate ways are interfering with higher education.
Anyway, for your entertainment, here is a selection of some of my more unconventional online works.
Barsoom: White Apes and Green Men
In the Barsoom series, the most ferocious creations are two races of six armed giants – the White Apes and the Green Men, both startlingly similar and starkly different. I take a biologists view of habitat and ecology shaping their differences.
The Secret History of Tarzan’s Opar
I was never a big fan of Tarzan as a power fantasy. I guess that’s why I never got into Conan. I loved Tarzan the most when he was wandering in and out of of exotic lost cities and civilisations, be it ant-men, or lands full of dinosaurs, or lost roman or crusader states. His most popular creation were the ruins of the lost city of Opar. Here’s an attempt to reconstruct Opar’s history from it’s current sorry state.
People that Time Forgot: Review
Amicus Films was a British production house from the 1960’s and 1970’s, and Hammer Film’s main rival. Towards the end of their era, they produced a trilogy of films based on Edgar Rice Burroughs lesser properties.
Towards a Theory and Biology of Kaiju
So how does something as big as Godzilla manage to take a step without literally collapsing under his own weight? I took a stab at trying to make sense of how a creature could become a living nuclear reactor. Real scientists will not think much of it. But it seems to have a degree of plausibility.
LEXX – Xeveninety, a Lost Lexx Script!
XEVENINETY – a bit Gothic romance, a bit ghost story, a bit Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and all LEXX all the time…. Twenty years ago, I started the book project that became LEXX Unauthorized. But did you know, that not only was I writing about LEXX, I tried to write for LEXX? Yep! I was a huge huge fan. And when you’re that enthusiastic, you want to try your hand. So I came up with three big ideas – Xeveninety, Clones and Clockwork. From this, I wrote two scripts, sent them in…. I did hear once from Hannes Nothegger, Paul Donovan’s assistant, that Paul had liked one of them. I don’t know if that was true, or if he was just being nice.
But you know what? As I’ve been pulling my old drafts of the LEXX books together, I came across them and I thought they were pretty damned good. So decided that they’d be fun to use to try and push the book project. They haven’t been seen in twenty years, but I think they capture the feel of LEXX.
LEXX – The Awesome Sagas of the Godlike Bobs!
Battle for the Ultimate Zev
Is Chianna a Hooker?
Is Kai Gay?
LEXX vs Farscape – An epic in eleven parts
Once upon a time, there was a television series called Lexx, about a hapless group of misfits on the run from an evil empire in a gigantic living spaceship. Once upon the same time, there was a television series called Farscape, about a hapless group of misfits on the run from an evil empire in a gigantic living spaceship. What a coincidence! Actually, they were both brilliant, engaging, and a whole lot of wacky fun. I was a fan of both. For the fun of it, I started writing these little vignettes in which a trio of dangerously illiterate cosmic being, the “Bobs” began to debate and investigate important questions about each series, eventually culminating in an epic deathmatch, where the crews of both series were set against each other in a series of duels. Some knowledge of the two series is probably helpful. WARNING – Unholy and Inhuman things are done to the English language here that warp the very fabric of space time into a pretzel straw. It’s meant to be read out loud, but if you do so, you will either laugh hilariously, or have a stroke. This was some of the most wickedly fun writing I ever did.
Ganymede or Bust!
Mike Resnick is an award winning science fiction author and one of the giants in the field. But before then, he was an Edgar Rice Burroughs fanboy, and managed to publish a couple of sword and planet books set on Ganymede. Nowadays, he’d rather not remember that. But here’s an affectionate, if unflinching review.
The Saga of Jongor, an Australian Tarzan
Tarzan was such an influential character that he spawned over fifty imitations. Jungle men could be found everywhere in the world, not just Africa, but Alaska, under the Himalayas, in Myanmar, in South America. Anyplace that had jungle, or at least a thick patch of woods, would inevitably find a small group of hapless critters saddled with raising a human baby as one of their own. I think that’s some kind of comment on the utter lack of parenting skills of white people. Jongor (John Gordon) was one such specimen, inhabiting a lost land of dinosaurs and monkey men in the deep interior of Australia, for a peculiar trilogy of books.
Super Monster Gamera, Reviewed and Considered
Gamera is a giant, flying, fire breathing turtle produced by a Japanese company called Daie, as a rival to Toho’s Godzilla. Gamera has featured through eleven films, but has had ups and downs. This is a discussion of one of Gamera’s ‘less respectable’ films.
Lin Carter’s Callisto Series
Back in the early 1970’s, Edgar Rice Burroughs work had a revival of popularity. Of course, popularity sins imitations, and this lead Lin Carter, one of the leading fantasy writers of his day, to produce his own seven book series of Barsoom-lite novels set on Callisto, featuring the unintentionally hapless Jandar (John Dark).
Religions of Barsoom
Cinematic and literary universes have been around for a long time before Marvel, believe it or not. Usually, they were the result of accumulation, continued invention, and self referencing. Edgar Rice Burroughs created one of the earliest, continually adding to his literary creations every time he needed a new plot, and yet, somehow keeping it all hanging together. Barsoom or Mars was one of his core creations, and this is a sort of archeological dissection of that world’s religions.
What I Did On My Spring Vacation, by Dana Scully
An X-Files, Friday the Thirteenth, Twin Peaks Crossover
It’s exactly what it says on the tin. This is an eighteen thousand word novella, that I did way back in the heyday when Both the X-Files and Friday the Thirteenth were live franchises. I’m not sure where the idea came from. But somehow, it seemed like the continuing series of murders at Camp Crystal Lake would be perfect fodder for an X-Files story. The Twin Peaks connection came from X-Files star David Duchovny, who had made several appearances in the other series as a transvestite FBI Agent. It just seemed like a lot of demented fun. So I said, ‘what the hell,’ and just wrote it over a weekend.
Yog Monster From Space and Godzilla vs Megalon, Toho’s bottom barrel, revisited
More kaiju (giant monster) goodness. By the time Toho was making these movies, it had run into creative exhaustion. There’s only so many times you can have a giant monster wander about crushing a village or city. Like an exhausted driver on a lonely country road, they fell asleep at the wheel, producing movies that veered into spectacular car crashes. The results are full of subversive sexual and social subtext that rise to the level of texts, a cavalcade of insanity that leaves you wondering…. Did they really think this through?
The New Doctor: A Doctor Who Alternate History
https://www.wattpad.com/story/205604218-the-new-doctor-a-doctor-who-alternate-history —- The British Sci Fi series Doctor Who was cancelled in 1989. In 1992, a local actor named David Burton appeared claiming to be the ‘New Doctor Who.’ His story was eventually dismissed as a hoax. But what if it hadn’t been? What if a small group of producers had managed to get the BBC to license them to produce a season of a low budget television show? What if everything began to go wrong? A novel length work, told as a series of interviews, flashbacks, synopsis, letters and memos. Described by one fan as a work of “absolute genius!” Available for free on Wattpad.
Torakar of Mars
http://www.erbzine.com/mag15/1580.html — A 90,000 word novel, set on the magical world of Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom, featuring a romance between an unconquerable swordswoman with a dark past, and an incomparable Princess with hidden secrets. A tale written in the old pulp style, filled with bravery, adventure, self sacrifice, tragedy, lies, passion, monsters, mayhem, spies, secrets, revelations, heroism, naughty flirting, true love and a Lovecraftian monster.
1973 – Cancelled midway through its first season, with only 16 episodes produced. The creation of Harlan Ellison, Doug Trumbull, Keir Dullea, Ben Bova, Norman Klenman and many others. Considered to be the single worst Sci Fi TV series ever made, mainly because Harlan Ellison had a falling out and was the sort of vindictive bastard who would spend the rest of his life publicly grinding an axe.
Was it really the worst ever? Not even close. What it was, was a Canadian version of Star Trek, reflecting themes of culture and identity during the height of the era of Canadian nationalism. The production values are threadbare, and the style is influenced more by theatre than conventional cinema. But it’s got some great, thought provoking episodes, It’s worth watching.
This is an essay I wrote for my own pleasure a few years ago. Funny story, it was almost professionally published, but it ended up killing the book it was supposed to be in.
But hey, check it out!
So….. buy something!