Bring on the Lovecraftian Tales

Mad Scientist Journal, which I’ve posted about before (like here, and here…and here) and which is home to one of my quirkier stories Mabel’s Mission, has a cool project on the go that might be of interest to all you speculative readers and writers out there. Check out That Ain’t Right – A Lovecraft Themed Anthology on KickStarter.

I’ll let the project video and summary give you the finer details, but as always with MSJ this looks like it’s shaping up to be all manner of fun and weird. You may notice the counter says they’ve reached their basic goal. With 11 days to go, they are hoping to reach a stretch goal that will bring greater reward options to pledgers (I am one) and better pay for contributing authors (no I’m not one, but maybe you can be) and illustrators.

Take a look and pledge away.


Review of a Classic: The Highway – Ray Bradbury

Some time ago, I received feedback on a story I had posted on a writing forum. The story I posted, Conditioning Phase, is among the first I ever wrote, and though I’ve since gone back to the story and can see the mechanics of it leave a lot to be desired, one of the reviewers on the forum seemed to really like it and compared it to Ray Bradbury’s work.

Of course, I had heard of Ray Bradbury, a famous, 50s era, sci-fi author, and was thrilled to be compared to him. It was a good confidence boost early on in my writing attempts. But, confession: I’d never actually read any of his work. Not even the so-well-known Farenheit 451.

Farenheit 451 might have been on the reading list of my one university English class. I can’t recall for sure, but I remember the entire reading list was dystopian themed: A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale, etc. It’s very possible Farenheit 451 was there too. The thing is, I didn’t read any of those books. I was a first-year engineering student in a class of first-year engineering students, 90% of whom were only in the class because it was mandatory (I’m assuming about 10% of the class had some genuine interest in English Literature. I could be wrong). Continue reading

More Mad Scientists

The great thing about Mad Scientist Journal  is that the niche they have carved out for themselves allows them to go from quirky to creepy in the blink of an eye. 

Today I read Zero (or, The Collected Correspondence of Patient Zero) by Cameron

It’s not the most recent MSJ publication, but it’s the one that grabbed my attention today. Definitely more in the realm of creepy than quirky, this essay chronicles the final days of patient zero in a series of journal-like entries giving a little more away with each passage about what’s really going on. Also, the author manages to throw in an impressive level of insight into the potential downfall of the human race with a, slightly disturbing, A Modest Proposal feel to it.

Hope you’ll check it out and become a fan of Mad Scientist Journal in time for my own, more quirky than creepy, story Mabel’s Mission to be published on April 1st. You can also download MSJ’s latest anthology on Smashwords for only 99 cents.


Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2012 — Now Available for Download!

Ok sci fi fans and writers, Mad Scientist Journal has just published their anthology for Autumn 2012. You can find it here on Smashwords, along with their previous anthologies, in a number of formats including HTML, Kindle, Epub, PDF, LRF, and Palm Doc (PDB). This anthology is a compilation of the essays published on the Mad Scientist Journal website throughout Autumn 2012.

Giving a little more bang for the buck–literally, the cost for the download is only 99 cents–it also has some exclusive content like a quirky classifieds section (from the world of Mad Science), including an ad written by yours truly entitled  Experienced Osteo-transplant Specialist Seeks Work, and four short fiction works that are not confined to the usual Mad Science theme.

Sample viewing is available in most formats for free.

Speculative Anthropology?

I just read that there is an anthropological theory stating that people invented civilization for better access to beer. Well, there you have it! The world suddenly makes sense, it all boils down to alcohol.

Sounds dubious? I’ll insert a caveat here: The book I read this in is about breathing and meditation, not anthropology, and though the author does have a Ph.D. in Social Science, he does not cite his source for this particular bit of information. But hey, you never know…

For the sake of interest, the theory goes something like this: Humans have strong socializing instincts; beer is useful in this regard (we know this to be true). To get beer, we need pots to brew it in–voila pottery is born. And of course we need the hops to brew–a stable farming community becomes everyone’s top priority.

Do you feel smarter yet? I feel I should have been an anthropologist.