Sunday, 19 May 2013


Several good things have happend recently, therefore this post is nice. It has no other pupose really.

Firstly two people took it upon themselves to do art of the Pariahs of Creation

Cedric P dropped some Psychomycosis Megaspores here 

Scrap Princess made a Trilobite Knight, along with a lot of other excellent prehistoric monsters here 

They are both very good so go and look at them if you haven't already.

And a great number of people left entirely civil comments in the post below. Really a surprising number of people.

To explain why these things matter I have to give you a negative example. A long time ago I was writing a play in Iambic Pentameter. It was hard. Every time people asked me what it was about I would tell them "Its a story about a perfect alternative world kept that way by the alteration its own past through time travel. Since inventing it, groups of people have to police it.  One of those groups goes back to do something dangerous. Things go wrong. When the return the world is destroyed-

the teams are dead, the sphere turns out of synch
a gyring crystal palace of the dead
the dangling ornament of a crashed car
final testament of a doomed household
cast from the burning home like a child’s doll
un-scorched, by a ruin, with the family gone.

They find that world transformed into another one, ours

The dregs of men are now confined to Earth
to brawl and war in a slow dying world
pathetic lees of what they could have been
You must undo this thing. At any cost.

The only people who could have done this are someone on this team, the only people who could undo it, are this team. 

So they have to race back their own history and discover what went wrong while also trying to find  the traitor in their midst. The morally-decayed shithole they are trying to wipe from reality in order to bring back utopia is the same word the audience is watching from.

And they time-travel with poetry.

It's possible large parts of the play were pretentious and not very good. You didn't really need to know that much about it. The important thing isn't the play itself, but the look I got when I told people about it.

That look is hard to define. Glassy. Distant. The feeling of someone disconnecting and dissapearing behind their eyes. The sense of being rapidly shuffeled into a box marked eccentric or crank. Watching someones face turn into a polite mask. Waiting for somone to say something about this thing you made, that means so much to you, that you expended so much effort and attention on. Alright it was pretentious, and confused and overlong. But it was about everything, and there were good bits. It wasn't nothing. And they look at you and say "....iambic pentameter .... gosh... that must have taken a lot of work" and they smile a glassy smile.

I ended up taking it to a play reading. It was agony. it was a whole room full of that smile and those dead eyes for half an hour of my own words. I never went back and I never touched it again after that.

Anyway. This blog, and in particular that last post and the response to it. Along with the fact that people like my stuff to draw pictures of it. And all the various comments people have left ove the past year or so. That is the opposite of what happened in that room. Of the tight smile and glassy look. It means a lot to me. It feels odd to say it, i'm not sure why, but its true. i suppose you can consider this an apology for all those times I failed to reply to comments or involve myself in conversations. I did notice what you said and it did matter. Regretfully i may be the worst person on earth to be involved in social networks, being both quite un-social, and also vaguely suspicious of networks.

In addition to which, Liverpool re-opened its central library, my girlfriend wanted to climb the spiral stairs in the reading room and this brought me face to face with an entire shelf of Jules Verne. All the wierd books you never see have been brought out of the central reserve and made accessable. Including many I had never seen and had no idea of. It turns out that Jules Verne wrote a science fiction book set in a scottish coal mine. I had no idea this existed and do not know hw it ends so don't tell me. Vernes scottish miners talk like this:-

"'Good-bye, Simon,' said the engineer.
'Good-bye, Mr James,' replied the overman, 'or rather let me say Au revoir'!
'Au revoir then Simon!' Starr replied. 'You know that I'll always be glad to see you, and talk over old times, in the dear old Aberfoyle.'
'Yes I know that Mr James.'
'My house in Edinburgh will always be open to you.'
'It's a long way off is Edinburgh!'"

There were also two books, total, in dewy decimal reg 796.529, of which I have read one. I got the other one out 'The Complete Caving Manual'

So in the general spirit of good feeling here are some Canonites from the re-written Civilopede, apologies for the somewhat light blogging but I'm trying to spend several hours a day channeling monsters.

"(The Canonites seem evolved centipede-parasites, half-smart, hip-high, pale yellow semi-transparent bipedal tick-things. They can talk intelligently about art and history. They explain why the Civilopede picks objects to collect. Can give long in depth-explanations about an artefacts aesthetic worth. Are wrong and have no idea that they are wrong. They do not know why the Civilopede chooses things. They have no taste or individual perception of any kind but can only explain the choices of others. They have no idea of this and will never have any idea of this. You can change their mind with some force and a CHA test. When changed, it was always this way to them. You can persuade them but you never win.)"

*they have no core, like a body without a heart, how do they live? how can they die?


  1. Ooo the Canonite text is really nice.

    So, after Veins of the Earth, and City with No Name, can you finish that play?

  2. Thank you for describing that reaction that I get from my family and writing buddies. Foolishly, I never suspected it was very wide spread.

  3. That play sounds awesome.

    This is the internet. Find someone to animate some pictures over someone reading it and instant viral video.

  4. That Canonites bit blew me away. It's like the uncanny valley of intelligence. Brilliant.

  5. I find I get better reactions if I somehow fail to mention I have written a piece in blank verse; just read it.

  6. Would read that play.