Saturday, February 28, 2009


Sometimes even a mushroom needs love...

Maybe I should copyright that? (c) Marty Young. There.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grim Tidings for Black magazine

Alas, so it has come to pass. Black magazine will no longer be found in newsagencies. And that is such a bummer. That bites the big one. Black filled a void in Australia and it was only getting better, too.

The wonderkids at Brimstone Press should stand tall and proud because they achieved something grand. And fortunately it's not all doom and gloom. This from the website:

[ BLACK: Australia's dark culture and entertainment magazine is moving to a free-to-read online format.

We are immensely proud that Black Magazine has been embraced by the Australian public and generated thousands of eager readers and fans. We are also proud to have published Australian exclusives previously thought out of reach for an independent press: a new short story from Stephen King, interviews with genre stars such as George A. Romero, Alice Cooper, M. Night Shyamalan, Jared Padalecki, and Jensen Ackles, and many Australian authors, and in-depth coverage of issues outside the realm of the mainstream media. We also published some brilliant fiction including Paul Haines' Australian Shadows Award finalist "Her Collection of Intimacy".

However, the magazine industry presents high risks and low returns for a small publisher, and the investment required in money, energy, and time in a period of economic uncertainty has proven too much for a two person management. After much consideration, we have reluctantly decided that issue #3 will mark the final print edition of the magazine.

The plan is to relaunch Black in 2009 as an online portal for Australian dark culture. A key component of this plan is to merge Black with Brimstone Press' award-winning HorrorScope website, which currently publishes book and movie reviews and acts as the news source for the Australian Horror Writers Association. Black Online will continue to publish many of the feature interviews, articles, and regular columns that appeared in the print edition. ]

There's more on their website you should check out, including a newsletter you really should sign up for.

Angela and Shane, you guys kicked arse. Hang on a sec while I put on a top hat.... Okay, there. Now, I take my hat off to you both for what you've created, and you have my full support in Black's new future.

Let's hope it returns to print sometime in the future...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Myspace on Facebook's blog twitters and flickrs...

How do you keep up? Facebook and Myspace and Live Journals and Blogs and Flickr and Twitter and oh dear God there's more...

Fortunately I'm IT-illiterate and don't know half of the web critters out there just waiting for a plump juicy bug like me. I think I'll stick to this rusty blog (and a website once I'm a big famous writer). So if I don't sign up or accept your request for friendship or post photos of me next to the pottie explaining how much of a relief it is to get THAT out, it's not cos I don't like you, it's cos I'm running just to keep up. I'd rather spend the time I do have free on my writing than updating various profiles on various websites for various people to whizz across on their way somewhere else--or perhaps nowhere else in particular. Just another star in the sky, watching meteors.

Shit, what did I have for dinner? Whatever it was seems to be repeating on me.

Wonder how many people are lost in the web? And the irony of it all? We share so many aspects of ourselves with the world, with a whole heck of a lot of strangers, and yet our physical selves close off more and more.

Right. That's it. I think I'd best pour myself a scotch and get rid of whatever else is twittering away inside of me before I sprout more nonsense...

Friday, February 13, 2009

My love/hate relationship with mankind

Sometimes I love being human. Most times I hate being human.

It's a shame it takes something as terrible as the Vic bushfires to bring out the best in us. But wow, how good can we be when the situation calls for it? I've been brought to tears by how compassionate people can be.

And it's equally as fucking terrible that during such times, the real assholes of humanity float to the top. To them I guess an opportunity is an opportunity.

Can you believe it? Looting. Fake charity collectors. At a time like this! And lets not even talk about the wankers that started the fires...

Urgh. Okay, got that out of my system. And I held back, too. You should hear me ranting and raving in the privacy of my study.

Okay, on a happier note. The key word--well, one of them--this summer is koalas. Some fantastic photos going around at the moment about these poor buggers coming to us for water. Cripes, it must be hot if they're doing that (I just hope they can tell the assholes from the rest). So let's end on a happy note:

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Danger! Zombies!

As bushfires rage across Victoria and floods ravage north Queensland (be safe, everyone), here's a little bit of craziness to take our minds from the real life horrors.

Wacky kids in Illinois have hacked into electronic road signs and changed the text.

Other signs have been changed to read 'DAILY LANE CLOSURES DUE TO ZOMBIES,' 'RAPTORS AHEAD - CAUTION,' and 'NAZI ZOMBIES! RUN!!'

Pretty distracting if you're driving, I imagine.

Officials aren't sure how they're gaining access to the signs, and for those of you curious about how you might hack into one of these electronic road signs once you do have access (not condoning anything, of course), a good place to start would be here.

But remember the boy who cried wolf? If we all go out and start claiming that zombies are coming when they're not, who will believe us when they really do show up?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Frightningly Awesome Past

How's this (taken from the website):
'STUNNED scientists have found the fossilised remains of the world's greatest snake - a record-busting serpent that was as long as a bus and snacked on crocodiles.

The boa-like behemoth ruled the tropical rainforests of what is now Colombia some 60 million years ago, at a time when the world was far hotter than now, they report in a study released today.

The size of the snake's vertebrae suggest the beast weighed some 1.135 tonnes, in a range of 730kg to 2.03 tonnes.

And it measured 13 metres (42ft) from nose to tail, in a range of 10.64-15 metres, they estimate.'

They had an artist's rendition too:

This thing, at its greatest width, would've come up to your hips.

...and you wonder why I get excited about geology. Yeah I'm a geek but it's also a horror writers' paradise.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Hawaiian Ghosts

So I'm off to Hawaii in March for a 4 day meeting. Kind of a cool place to hold a meeting, I reckon. It's for a new role I've taken on at work, meaning I have to attend 2 international meetings a year.

That aint so bad either.

So Hawaii. Aloha. Pipeline. Lava. Scantly clad women. Baywatch beaches. Dave Hasselhoff in speedos.

I'm looking forward to it. My first night there I'm off on a ghost tour of the island of O'ahu. Cool bananas! Get to hear some local tales of the supernatural, visit haunted locations, old graveyards. Should be a hoot.

Then on my last day, I've got a flight to the Big Island (Hawai'i) where I'll spend the day on a volcanic tour. Hopefully I get to poke flowing lava. Cool--perhaps slightly toasted--bananas!!

This year is shaping up to be an interesting one. It seems my passport will be getting an excessive workout with several O/S trips coming up for work. Still, the old dark fellow is pretty excited by it all. Old Darkling Muse, he's been a bit starved of late, but now the novel is done and off to editors and publishers, it's time to flex his wrists and bring him back to some semblance of life.