The Hums of Ceres Wunderkind
Sep. 13th, 2012
12:01 pm - THE LAST POST
Here's another extract from THE LAST POST, available in print and Kindle editions from Chalk Path Books
IAN COLLINS STOOD PERFECTLY STILL and upright in front of the Remembrance Garden and commanded his right arm to salute the dead. Long way up, short way down, was the way his drill sergeant had taught him. Bend the elbow out as you raise the arm, but keep it straight as you lower it. That was the way it had always been done. Ian snapped his arm back against the side of his body in a single sharp movement. He held himself stiffly at attention for thirty seconds, bowed his head once, turned on his heel and marched past the Shrine of Remembrance and the Eternal Flame, and down the steps to the park gate.
A child standing nearby caught sight of his face and started to ask her mother a question, but she was quickly hushed.
Later, in his Melbourne hotel room, Ian crossed a name off a list. Corporal Romilly Summerscale. Fabulous Romy – brave and determined and so extraordinarily bright. Romy with her red hair and freckles and effortless ability with a hadron beamer. Romy the Guvnor.
Ian lay back on the bed and sighed. In a few minutes he would be able to take a shower and go downstairs to the hotel restaurant where he would eat prawns and dabfish with sea vegetables. But first – first he had to service his suit. He sat up, unreeled the cord from the RG box and jacked it into his elbow socket. Ten minutes. That was all it would take. Ten minutes with nothing to do but remember…
From NO KNOWN GRAVE, by Peter Kendell
Sep. 1st, 2012
11:29 am - THE ISLAND
Here's a short extract from THE ISLAND, one of my contributions to THE LAST POST:
So most days it’s just Rory, me and the Landie. I fill it up every week or two at Jas Stewart’s pump by the lifeboat launching ramp in the port and don’t tap the red oil in the heating tank. After all, when it comes to it, I’d rather keep warm than mobile. The croft is self-sufficient and well provisioned and its water is supplied by a hundred-foot deep borehole. I could hold out for weeks if I needed to.
When my duties allow (or, indeed, demand) I walk along the beach and let Rory off the lead so he can run around. I find odd pieces of wood than have been washed up and throw them for him to fetch and bring back to me. It amuses me – and sobers me too – to think that these grey fragments must once have been part of a mangrove swamp or seaside plantation in some land far to the south and have been carried here across thousands of miles of ocean by the same Gulf Stream that keeps the sea from freezing every winter. Even so I feel the northern chill reaching into me, despite its being mid-May already. I wake to clouded windows and frosted paths.
If the weather is fine and the sky is clear I like to stand at the place where gravelled sand gives way to coarse yellow grass and focus my binoculars on the western horizon, where distant spires catch and return the light of the morning sun.
Aug. 31st, 2012
01:59 pm - THE LAST POST
The Last Post
Edited by Darren Everett & Peter Kendell
A FULLY ILLUSTRATED SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY
Sixteen variations on a theme…
From the Lovecraftian horror of THE LETTER to the lyrical magic of THE ISLAND, from the challenging mystery at the heart of PAST, LOST to the dark satire of BOGEY GETS A JOB, and from the long-buried secret of ARABETH to the hope, despite all, of PHEIDIPPIDES…
Eleven talented writers and artists have joined together to create THE LAST POST, a fully illustrated anthology of new and original short fiction linked by an intriguing question – what does the Last Post mean to you? Their answers will surprise and delight.
This is a collection of astonishing variety and imagination.
Don’t miss THE LAST POST!
Jul. 29th, 2012
12:50 pm - This is what we're like
This is on my Facebook, but I thought I'd post it here as well.
I've read a few reviews of the Olympics opening ceremony now. There's an interesting split. The British media - even the most rabidly right-wing of them (with certain disgraceful exceptions) - have been enthusiastic about it. The US media - especially, it seems, in the blogosphere and its commentards - have been (with exceptions) somewhat negative. The most commonly used word has been "boring", a word that parents such as myself are used to hearing from their teenaged offspring.
This interests me. The British are quite likely the most self-critical nation on Earth. We have a strongly right-wing press which, nevertheless, praised a show which gave two fingers to the present Conservative-led government. But - only one Conservative MP - Aiden Burley - complained about the show and he was instantly, universally condemned.
So what's happened?
My hypothesis is this: The show said: look, this is what we Brits are like. We're cranky, traditional, forward-looking, creative, funky, tolerant, argumentative, kind, repressed, humble and vain. When we want to be, we're the coolest people on the planet. See! This is what a post-imperial, post-industrial racially and culturally diverse country looks like. We come from the past, yes, but also from the future. Maybe your future.
Perhaps some countries would rather not be reminded that empires fall and dynasties end. Perhaps, like the teenager who uses the word "boring" to describe everything that he or she considers uncongenial, some countries would rather stick their fingers in their ears and shout "la-la-la, can't hear you".
Jul. 28th, 2012
04:13 pm - Mood Elevation
I've been enjoying a real first-day-of-the-holidays feeling today and it's all down to Danny Boyle's ramshackle, crazy, optimistic and inspired show last night.
Thank you, Sir Danny!
Dec. 7th, 2011
11:42 am - Writer's Block: Out of this world
Dec. 3rd, 2011
Attended a funeral yesterday. The crematorium where it was held was appropriately (I suppose) cold, bleak and wintry with bare trees and a clear cold blue sky. The funeral went as well as these things can, but gained an air of strange magnificence when the coffin was piped into the chapel by a piper in full regalia - kilt and sporran. I hope he had warm underwear.
This morning, woke dreaming that I had died and that my body had been propped up at the bottom of the garden of the house in Watford which was the family home from 1977 until my father's death in 2002. I watched from a short way off as my face started to sag and my body (I was wearing a suit) tipped over; and then my father appeared and cried out "Peter is dead" at the top of his voice. My observing self tried to reassure him that I was all right really.
And then I woke up, otherwise I wouldn't be remembering and recording this dream now.
Nov. 10th, 2011
12:47 pm - Dodged a bullet?
Well, it seems that my brother (who was hauled into hospital last month) may be, if not exactly out of the woods, at least on their borders.
The lump that was obstructing his bowel has turned out to have been malignant, but there are no signs of the cancer having spread into the lymph nodes and they're pretty sure they excised all the affected tissue. So - he's being put on watch and it's been suggested that a short course of relatively minor chemo could help with his long-term prospects.
Oct. 28th, 2011
06:40 pm - That's OK, I guess
Purloined from dolorosa_12
You are The Sun
Happiness, Content, Joy.
The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.
Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.
The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon's Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Oct. 17th, 2011
06:56 pm - SJA
Oh, that was great.
Especially the bum control for Mr Serf and Rani to Clyde:
'We'll do it my way. We'll take precautions.'
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