Friday, April 18, 2014


"Number 11811 get back to machine and forget that you ever left it."

We build comforts out of unseen misery,
We who are rich, by every standard of the poor,
And yet we give the power that we might use,
To help our brothers, to the richer still,
Who build the jails around us while we sleep,
What I could do, I do not,
Where I would, I fail,
Forgive me my brothers of the depths,
That having risen up, I fell,
Rather than raise you in my stead.

(On watching the restored Metropolis).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Suffering from, chest infection, asthma, hayfever, and what may be shingles or bell's palsy, or some other facial nerve issue, or not, and still depression/anxiety.

May be a while before next writing project finishes.

Simon BJ

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Some friends of mine (I hope I can call them friends) are doing this...

Blog Tour Meme

 Andrew Hickey and Lawrence Burton, did this.  I'm taking the liberty of assuming Andrew would have tagged me if technology had allowed.

This is mine:
1 What are you working on at the moment?

I'm 90% done on a version of 'the original' King In Yellow, the cursed verse play written in the 1890s.
I'm teetering between starting a kickstarter to fund the french translation component, or wading into doing it myself, and using a kickstarter to provide for nice hardback editions.  Its got a scholarly introduction, the French and English texts of the play, some afterword essays, notes on the text, and a secret behind the scenes account for those who don't want to play the 'it really existed game'.  The text is about 25,000 words at present.

I was asked a while ago to write a mash-up of the Time Machine, and Professor Moriarty for the Steampunk Holmes Project, that's about 15,000 words done, but looks like its going to come out as almost 60,000.  As there's no advance involved it keeps getting bumped by other work.

I've got a long standing project editing an anthology based around my Obituaria concept, for which a lot of talented authors wrote me stories (which I have paid for), but I keep being distracted by other things before it gets done.  I may try submitting the idea to Jonathan Cape in their 'new authors' call (1st to 30th June).

I promised Stuart Douglas I'd write an 'Unofficial Guide To Obverse Books Vol 1".

2 How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I'm not sure I can tell if it does.  A lot of people seem to think I write abstrusely, but I'm only trying to write interestingly and effectively.  I think a work of fiction should be thoughtful.

3 Why do you write what you do?

Either (a) it's something that I want to do, in which case I'll do it even if there's no market and either try to make a market or put it up for free on my blog, or for sale as an e-text on Amazon or both, or (b) someone's paying me, in which case I'll firstly try to find something that I really want to say / do in or about the universe or characters they're dealing with. If I can't I won't just write for money. I have a day job for that. [Disclaimer, offer me enough money and I'll leave the day job.]

4 How does your writing process work?

Once I have the core idea, the thing I want to say, focus on, consider (which might not be the thing the reader expects), and an outline which includes the beginning and the end (though not always the middle) I start writing the beginning and the end until the middle connects them. In the process everything is up for graps.  I write about 1,000 words an hour: but as I have a job (see above) it can take me a week to write a short story.  I'm also much slower on novels than I was at first : GHOST DEVICES took 4 months.

I hate showing people things until its nearly done, and then I have to because I become convinced its awful. Working with co-writers on recent novels has helped with this fear (a bit), because they've all been excellent.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

King In Yellow announcement

I have completed my first draft, new english translation of The King In Yellow.

I'm in the process of setting up a kickstarter to fund a full revision of the French text for publication in a single parallel format with scholarly notes and essays.

More on this when I have more to show you.


I'll be removing my earlier King In Yellow work in progress posts, while I work on the combined French and English texts for publication, together with intoductory and scholarly essays by Jaune experts.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Another Brakespeare Review

Humbert on GB, about the Brakespeare Voyage: "I finished this book last night, and remained astounded all the way up to the end." Simon BJ

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Imaginary TV Shows #2

"Alienating Statement"  7 episodes BBC 2  1988.

An oddity of a series, in which characters (one to an episode) attempt
to defend their stance over "The Incident" to an unseen tribunal.  It
combines the talking heads monologue with flashback / "found footage"
evidence shown on giant screens surrounding the character, which often
counterpoints or contradicts their evidence.  It is only as the series
progresses that we learn that "The Incident" was a first contact
situation between humanity and something else (an alien, a
supernatural force?) which has ended disasterously.  Its ending -
controversially - is set ten years later, and is a member of the
Tribunal (up to this point only a voice) being tried in the same way,
by implicitly a later regieme.

Episode 1:  POLITICIAN
Episode 2:  PASSERBY
Episode 3: VICTIM
Episode 4: GENERAL
Episode 5: NURSE
Episode 6: SOLDIER
Episode 7: TRIBUNE

Something of a cult series, occasionally compared to "The prisoner if
it was written by Alan Bennett and H P Lovecraft", it is well worth 7
x 45 minutes of your time.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Random Sentences as a Marketing Tool...

Having enjoyed this glimpse, into the next Faction Paradox novel
Here’s a bit of something I’m working on.
Eight  random sentences from “Oliver Hardy’s Lives of the Great Murderers”
Films that Oliver had put into the projector and watched reel by reel as they flickered in the beautiful light.  
You may wonder why you’re having this dream. 
The numbing embrace of a tightly made bed, and the feeling that there was murder being done in the night, whether or not you could face getting up to stop it.
Malcolm decided he’d better buy a train ticket to Iowa.
As the boy who now called himself Cromwell Nelson, mused after this fashion, Joseph Moore was, after bowing good-morning to the Missess Spillingers, saddling his own horse. 
He would see his Catherine never became such a saucy minx, prouder of her bonnet than her bible-reading. 
Even the Spillinger sisters have their lives before them, not all of which will be spent in bickering and rivalry, and their mother, spared of the news of their deaths, will her son still be stillborn in the next week, or will he too, press at the soft caul of time, and tread where no-one walked in the old past?
A town at any rate in a partial uproar, a beautiful country town, that can’t realise that today was once worse.

(This is not a guarantee these will be in the finished story/novel)

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The accretion of legendary, in a War context.

Even well documented events (cf The Book of the War) can become rapidly misremembered, misconstrued, elaborated, or distorted in the retelling.  One such distortion is at the root of the so-called Prophesy of Seven.

Once the Seven Prophesied Heads have spoken, the story goes the war will end.  The first - it is implied - is the head of the president involved in the Declaration, however this is clearly UNTRUE.

While severed the head was returned with a message in its mouth, it DID NOT SPEAK.


From "The Book of the Peace"

An early document concerning the Brakespeare posted for those interested in the evolution of texts.


[(1)-the eldest son of Ismael, in Hebrew and Islamic lore, - Ismael of course being the  only survivor of the whaling ship in Moby Dick.]


The Seventh Wave Boy’s Book Of Whaling For Universes.


On Whaling.

Imagine the timelines of all the spiral politic as a tree, its roots the anchors of the web.
The tree is a mangrove. Its roots stand in the flat, drained 'soil' of the primal universe, surrounded by the 'waters' which are neither time nor space. [This 'floor' is sometimes called by Whalers 'the skin wall' - as in the whaling song:-

"A Captain there was who was full of sin,
and his ship grew as heavy as lead,
and he sank that ship in the wall of skin,
where it glows like a fish that is dead". ]

(Of course we may well get to see this ship and its crew of ghosts and walking dead during our narrative...)

In those waters are fish. Around the lower parts of the tree: the early epochs of eternity, they swim: but the roots of the tree seize the fish and draw them in, and their essences are incorporated into its strength. Some say among the roots, not pieced and made into the tree, is a great serpent. Others, more surely, say that certainly the fish are not all. There are larger dwellers beyond the mangrove.

There are whales, that are 'universes' in themselves - bounded bodies of space-time, sleek as porpoises, wild and unchained that escaped in the ceremonies of the Houseworld, that binding that set the first taproot of the tree. And of the school of those whales, there is a King Whale - an Emperor Fish - Leviathan, greatest of the swimming kind. Its exobiodata, its quiditty, is the most prized dream of the whalers.

It is said that it bears on its back, tiny trees, seedlings sprouting from the torn roots of the anchorage. Ghost timelines that can never now be. These too might well have their values. [It is rumoured that timeships believing themselves to be safely within the spiral politic have betimes landed upon the back of Leviathan within one of its pallid and strange branched trees, only to be drowned in the depths of non-space and non-time as Leviathan has dived once more. However a moments thought will suggest that this can hardly be true, since no survivor would exist to begin the rumour.]

The whaling 'ship' "Inclusivity" [formerly, the "Diversity" - renamed by order of the sponsoring House following the twelth committee on progressive description] is
seventy five galaxies long and twelve broad at the beam and tipped with a single specially constructed star, of which more later. While this is still 'minute' compared to some sighted whales, it possesses the capacity to display larger, exuding dark-matter, enhancing its gravity with revisionist geometry. (The geomancers are a core caste of the ship, by their work is it 'wrapped in its skin' the spacetime form that encloses its own seperateness.)

It has the standard armaments of the smaller 'whalers' the sun-cannons, starpoons, and galaxars (galaxies capable of firing as a single controlled quasar-laser, their pulses beginning 50,000 years in the past, and delivered as a phased wavefront in the present
as the light sweeps outwards star by star by star) - a weapon obviously that can only be used by a time active culture, and one which incidently binds a whaling ship to a certain path since like a proverbial samuri's sword: the instruction to use the weapon has in a certain future already been sent back to our past, and hence the weapon 'will' be used at a certain point, and all aboard know it (and it is said that the ships weaponsmasters know the very second of the very hour in which the galaxies will 'finally' flare). Already the power is broiling and burning through the skies of a million worlds even as the ship rests in its transdimensional docks. These weapons are essentially trivial however, and the whalers refer to the sun-cannon particularly, with the dismissive phrase 'pepper-shot'. The ship itself is a weapon, a spear tipped with a Strange Star.

The ship is galaxies wide and long and contains many cultures, but the backbone of the ship is the timeline of a single star and world, unthreaded from space-time. The bridge world, which orbits the 'Strange' and killing star of 'The Point' is the last thousand years of the world. Everything done in the rest of the ship, all the maneouvres and makework, all the threshing of blubber and the gutting of whales (of which more anon) is overseen by the local bridge-world, and thus part of the history of 'The Point'. Thus is defeated the problem of communication, for the Captain knows the history of his ship and thus its every part. Because of its 'removal' from space-time the world itself has no part in the history of the spiral-politic and its native inhabitants are therefore forbidden to ever leave the ship. They are the caste known as 'Jonahs' because their lives are lived forever in the whaling ship, and their religion/culture has it that the ship is - itself - a whale. Whether this is more than metaphorically true or not, it is certainly the case that a whaling ship is an Empire in time as well as space, and the descendants of a threshing world, may well pass their skein of woven exoblubber to their own ancestors on the world from which they migrated to process it further, as it is moved 'back' along the ship, into the 'past'.

[The Houses prefer not to think too hard about the notional paradoxes involved in this. The official view is that a whaling ship is a 'black box' event and that no paradoxes within can leak out to the 'real' universe of the tree and the anchoring of the web. It is suspected that Faction Paradox takes a different view and may have agents among the whalers. The whalers themselves scorn this - in its internal time a whaling ship exists for 3,750,000,000 years bow to stern, from the 'moment' of construction, plus of course the duration of its projected thousand years of voyaging. More than long enough they say to 'winkle out any lubbers, and treeboundmen'. In this perhaps they underestimate the Faction.]

On ‘Hunting-Fish’

The major innovation brought by Scaratt to whaling following his investigations in the region of the Anvil Stars.  Trained ‘hunting’ universes bred from the Leviathan-seeds isolated in the region of the Anvil. This resemble the ‘friendly’ universes sometimes sited by whalers, too small to merit gutting, which often travel along side whaling ships as part of some migratory pattern - or interuniversal non-spacial current.  Scaratt has devised a means to use these entities to ‘herd’ swimmers.  This innovation is, while it has yet to be grasped as such, a blow at the hunter-killer model of whaling and implicitly a move towards a ‘farming’ model.  For this reason it is already ‘felt’ as a breach of taboo among the worlds of the ‘Inclusivity’ even though the geomancers, the fleshers, the ‘poonmen, and the jonahs would be hard pressed to delineate the source of their disquiet.

On the religion of the Jonahs

An important point of conflict in the novel is the world view of the Jonah caste. To them the whole flat plane of ‘the skin’ is but the hull of an even vaster boat, and the thread anchoring history merely its main mast.  Those of the Jonah who have heard of the City Of The Saved in the very pinnacle of history, regard it merely as a distant crows nest. A point simply of vantage.  Their belief is that the purpose of a life is to grow to be the steersman of that ship, the ship that contains all universes and all time, and to sail it to the Great Port where the First Shipwright will marvel at the men who have brought back his handiwork to land, and issue - at last - the true maps of the Heavens wherein it will thereafter sail.  Any action which increases a Jonah’s skill aboard the whaler is seem as producing an equivalent growth in the skills and virtues needed to pilot the True Ship. To be craftworthy is the only virtue.  In many ways the Jonah’s are much like the Pariah-caste of the deeptime engineers: the nechronomancers. It is perhaps unsurprisingly that each regards the other with horror.

For the Jonah’s hold that to be is to be moving, to be sailing onward, whereas the nechronomancers believe all time and space is illusionary and hence there can be no movement. It is one of the Seven Problems, that both approaches have produced incontrovertible results.  It is undoubtedly the case that Scaratt’s primary problem on inheriting(1) the captaincy of the Inclusivity stemmed from his insistance on bringing aboard a nechronomancer among his retinue.  (1)The term inheritance is here used to refer to an assumption of a war-role based on a loom-similarity to an officer unable to undertake the mission. In the case of a Whaling ship, the appearance, ethos, and iconography surrounding the bridge-crew, is a predetermined legend across the million worlds of the ship, and any replacement is undertaken with obsessive care. Scaratt whose birth in any event represented an experimental divergence from war-practice has come to suspect that part of the reason for his breeding was to fit him in due course for the assumption of this captaincy.  He has expanded some considerable effort to discover the reason why the original captain is unable to take the helm.

The former Captain

His face is on the heraldic banners of a million worlds.  In form, how perfect, in attitude how indomitable, in repose how serene. Cultures were engineered to follow him, and then he defected.  What must it feel like to have a God-king turn traitor?  The Jonahs know. What must it feel like to step into the shoes of a defaulting deity? Scaratt is learning.  And as for ‘the Captain‘, a house traitor, a renegade, stripped of his name, known on the Inclusivity, as a hissing and a byword, and an excuse to hawk spit, where is he?  He  is - reputedly - the latest recruit of Faction Paradox.  Captain No-One.  [An in-joke of a kind that I will cut if it is too intrusive Captain ‘Nemo’ is the original Captain ‘No-One’].

Captain No-One’s agenda.

Born as Scaratt was but of the illfated and retrodenied Sixth Wave (in some respect Scaratt’s was created in his image) the Captain was crafted of human tissues loomed with house world bio data technology, and carried in a living womb. With him (and perhaps with the other ’missing’ members of his cohort, although this can not be determined) the psychological aspects of the process left him profoundly disturbed.
By temperament a nihilist, a romantic, and a ‘Byronic’ suicide: the Captain avoided the fate of his wave (whatever it may have been) during his deeptime training to Captain the Diversity (as it then was). He was regarded as possessing the correct ’flamboyance’ to command such a ship-culture, but the planners of ‘the whaling effort’ neglected to take into account the effect of exposure to deeptime reality on such a personality.  The Captain was a morbid and suicidal mind that learned it was threatened by that most awful of dooms - irreversible and unavoidable immortality. At the end of time, he has learned, lies the City Of The Saved, a hideous and ineluctable trap leering at him with a mouth of mumbling years.
At first he considered that he would be ‘safe’ from entombment in the City, if the Diversity were to flounder deep beyond the spiral politic, but making contact with the Faction, he learned via their representative in the City that the human-derived crew of the skin-embedded ship ‘Indomitable’ nevertheless were reborn on Resurrection Day in that great iron prison.  If going beyond the universe itself was not enough to avoid the harrowing engines of eternity, what could he do?  He determined to learn the secrets of Faction Paradox, seeking - not as the Grandfather had to remake himself as a shadow that had never been, but to erase himself utterly - embracing
Nothingness.  In return the Faction asked him to abandon his command: leading to the goal they desire, the provision of the whaling ship ‘Inclusivity‘ (as it now is) to Scaratt‘s Captaincy, one which they believe will achieve great things that the nihilistic Captain No-One would never have conceived.
However:- despite the Faction’s honestly attempting to erase No-One from history - there is a place he remains, and it is in the cultures of his ship, where his presence is a perpetual absence, looming at the back of every endeavour.

No really, what really happened…

The above account is what the Faction claim (a claim based on half truths and intended to portray themselves as still important powerbrokers) it is not entirely true.  Captain No One is not dead, he was that rarest of Homeworld-born a twin.  He did not discover that the Indomitable sank, he killed his own brother - its Captain - and piloted it himself into the skin (feeling some trace sentiment at the breaching of his own vessel, if not at the killing of his kin). Reborn in the City of the Saved, he hunted his brother down there again imprisoning him in an exitless metal-prison, so that decamping by the downtime gate he could step back into his own shoes, and take back his own ship.
However he miscalculated the relative strain of the principles of linearity and even though he had been gone a brief span, he had been declared dead - believed killed on the Indomitable with his mad brother - and his ship had been handed to Scaratt.
Very well, he smuggled himself aboard as a simple ‘poon man. He would take back his ship. The weight of its whole history is shaped to him. He will own it, and he will hunt Leviathan and drive his great ‘poon into its core.
He will command Leviathan and pilot it through the Maw, a flaw in the thread of history itself, bringing it up to the ends of time (it alone has the ‘lifespan’ for that voyage into deep time where even the timeships falter) until he bursts the floor of the City of the Saved and brings its slaves true death.

So much and no less he intends.

But what do the Faction Want From Scaratt?

Cousin Ermintrude and Cousin Discarnadine, are the dissolute and - in another sense - abandoned members of the so-called ‘Seaman’s Missions’ a defunct Paradox Cell founded to investigate the possibilities for paradox implicit in the bounded universe of a Whaler, and the exobiodata it collects.  Discarnadine is sadly addicted to ‘splendour’ the pungent effluxia left after the Houses have taken their refined extracts from the Whalers’ hold-worlds.  The long suffering and contemplative Ermintrude is concerned mainly to prevent Discarnadine passing away from ‘splendid isolation’ the peculiar state of nihilistic lucidity associated with the extract, But Discarnadine has conceived that rarity among the Faction, a heartfelt belief.
He believes that in the roots of the world tree - trapped by the weight of all history, is the great serpant - the King Loa.  He intends that Scaratt should pilot his whaling ship into the Great Deep and bring sacrifice to the King Loa.  [Implicitly the sacrifice is seen throughout the book as something large perhaps the ship, itself, perhaps Scaratt, perhaps the long-suffering and patient Ermintrude who surely can not be as innocent as she appears, but it is Discarnadine’s shadow he intends to offer, letting the King Loa take back the emblem of Paradox, giving up his own mastery.  Emptying himself into the Loa. While he would claim to have no hope of ’gain’ from such an act, it is hard to think that he doesn’t see the role as essentially messianic - bridging the gulf between Faction, and the Spirits in a new and transcendent way.
As will be seen it is Ermintrude - his minder - who is preparing him for this role, to carry the scroll seen sometimes in his shadows hands, of which he is consciously entirely unaware ‘back’ to its origin in the deeps of time.


His character is at best unusual. He has no self-interest: that is he does not find himself interesting, nor is he interested very much in the war, or the tasks the Houses set him.  He is interested in finding out things that the Houses do not realise, or more likely do not recognise in the ways he can.
The cultures of the whaler delight him, as a child with a new game. He intends to see the denizens of the Greater Seas, and aye land Leviathan as Nebaioth the ‘poonmaster demands if need be, and see the very roots of time as the Faction ask, if it please him.  If the Jonah’s do not kill him, of course, and if he can learn the secrets of his vessel before Nebaioth impales him as a False Captain.

The book is among other things his biography.

The Incidents of The Voyage Of The Inclusivity and Their Resolution In The Great Maw.

Chapter-by-chapter breakdown to go here next……

Simon BJ
20th October 2005

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A BBC PDA proposal that was eventually rejected after Ian Mckintire and I did some more work on it.

Proposal by Simon Bucher-Jones


3rd Doctor and Jo Grant   PDA  - role for future Master

The third Doctor is called into a UK experimental laboratory where light is being slowed down by laser bombardment to give “captured frozen quantum states” a process that will revolutionise super-computing.

There have been strange reports of “drops in temperature” – “ghost like apparitions” and “enhanced déjà vu”.  And one of the physicists is exhibiting signs of paranoia, and has attacked a colleague with whom he was on good terms on the grounds that “he was going to break up my marriage” – when asked what the man had done to do this he had only replied “not yet, stupid” and refused to talk about his motives further.

More than light has been slowed down – tachyons – particles travelling back in time faster than light have also been caught in the Bose-Einstein condensate webs of the project and are affecting the scientists working on it.

Realising this the Doctor devises a way to divert the future particles away from the main experiments, but discovers while doing so that they are being modulated. Someone in the future is calling out for help.  Decoding the messages he discovers that they are coming from a time traveller trapped on Earth twenty years in the future.

The messages warn of a current threat to Earth, a political conspiracy using alien technology at the heart of Whitehall and the White House – to try to break it will mean risking the Brigader’s career and he has only the Doctor’s word for the messages, and doubts their truth.

So too does the Doctor  - for he suspects that the messages come from a future version of himself embittered by a further twenty years of exile, or worse from the Master.

Sent undercover to gain proof  Benton, Yates and Jo face mutants built using the changes in gene switching discovered to be inherent in cloning (these are parody X-men figures used as “heavies” by the conspiracy, some are merely deformed but some do have psionic powers – and it is one of these whose mind controlling power will be used to rig the forth-coming election and  take Britain and then the US under a single dictatorial thumb).

The novel is about trust, and when and why it is right to give it.  In fact the messages are from the Master but he is in fact honestly helping the Doctor to escape the horrible England that the
Conspiracy will create.  He conceals his identity believing the Doctor will not trust him – but it is revealed to the readers at a midway point as a “cliff-hanger/shock”.

It is the Doctor’s decision to trust his informant, the decision of the mutant Charybdis to trust Jo and defect from her masters, and the Brigader’s trust in the Doctor that win the day – the conspiracy is a
Personification of mistrust, of things done solely for personal advancement by Widmerpool-like
Bureaucrats and members of the military.  Scenes focused on the villains show the temporary but ultimately unsuccessful results of distrust, it is – in part – their refusal to trust their underlings’
Ideologies (and particularly their distrust of their experimental subjects) that fosters rebellion in
Charybdis and others.

It is trust that is the real Bridge of Light, not the slowed photons of the project.


1st Possible using his contacts made in the War Machines, and with the possibility that the future time traveller is the Meddling Monk, but some of the edge is lost as the Monk while venal is more trustworthy than the Master.

The 2nd Doctor could in theory be used, meeting the Brigader between Invasion and Spearhead, and the
Future Master could pick up the Kochei – continuity.

Early 4th before Seeds of Doom, interesting new interactions between Tom Baker’s Doctor and the Delgado master.

5th just possible but less useful I think as he is so trusting that the tension will be lost.
6th equally this Doctor is far less likely to trust, and the 7th would have the matter in hand without future prompting.

8th As the 8th Doctor has lost his political/UNIT contacts this is unlikely to be a plot that would fit him, unless your longer term plans include some re-establishment of this perhaps with CONTROL rather than UNIT.  If so the element of trust could be the Doctor establishing it for the first time with
the authorities of the 21st C.

Simon Bucher-Jones

Part of a 'game' of imaginary TV shows:

Pilot: “The Long Slow Stench Of Dying” (1992) 90m,Dying in a blue on blue, friendly fire incident in Chicago,
law-enforcement officer (his ‘live’ rank is never revealed in the
show) Justin Manwe (JM) played by Scot Catheta, finds himself in
charge of  “a precinct house of the Dead, in a City built out of bone,
on the hinterlands of Hell, on the outskirts of Heaven”.  Nominally in
charge of, in practice surrounded by fellow ex-military and ex-police,
all under orders from the sinster ‘Blue Phone’: he attempts to make
sense of, and enforce the peculiar regulations of an afterlife he
never made. An honourable sinner running a neutral place in a
spiritual war.

The Pilot introduces the main characters of the series, although one was recast
(Doctor Phibes-Crippen - Pilot: Colin Myco, Series Paul Kits) and one
replaced: (Sussen The Demonspawn, by Sissen The Devilbought. -  Pilot:
Mary Du-Kram
Series: Attica M’colaq), the three types of Demon, the four
Interrogating Angels (only one of who: Obliteral, appears in the Pilot), and
the threat (not yet explained) of the Blind Piper.

Character (first appearance)
Played by
Justin Manwe
Scot Catheta
Series 1
Doctor Phibes-Crippen
Colin Myco
Paul Kits
Sussen the Demonspawn
Mary Du-Kram
Series 1
Sissen the Devilbought
Attica M’colaq
Red Demon  (Plauticus)
Animashaaun Waqas
Green Demon (Nausicus)
Anna Ashworth
Gray Demon (Inssissipus)
Critchlow Stuart
Interrogating Angel One: Obliteral
Sian Heldt
Madam Rotifer
Christiana De La Haye

Shard Apocrypha - Brakespeare Initialisation

While clearing my files, I found the text below from [Re: to [Now]]. I haven't edited it.

It's part of an e-mail chat between myself and Lawrence Miles, back when "The Brakespeare Voyage" was first being formulated just after TBOTW:

[Caution some notional spoilers by implication]

Re: A slightly mad proposal...

This story is, as you've described it, about a cluster of universes linked by a single theme. It's alarmingly close to the same territory.

…quite, delete all reference to parallels.  Accepted as given..

The second problem is more fundamental. The trouble is that you've got a plot - indeed, a central concept - which demands something incredibly dynamic, but a lot of it seems to be set in an environment that's very very static. Which is to say: this is a story about a bunch of supercharged universes hurtling through un-space towards the screaming mouth at the beginning of time (not 100% accurate, I know, I'm just pointing out the potential drama of the situation), but you seem to be pitching it as a relatively low-key "investigation" novel. The Victorian-style characters delve into the centre of their world, while the twenty-first century characters do some careful research, and together they discover that they're actually inside one of these hurtling universes. The material about Scarratt comes across as back-story, not the thing that's driving the plot. This is reasonable, from a rational point of view - there's no reason that people in a hurtling universe *should* realise they're hurtling, obviously - but aesthetically it's a non-starter.

…I’ve already been thinking about that, since writing and I came up with the following: 1) As a leviathon is forced into the Maw, bits of its own future break off and are impacted back against its own time-line.  Thus a huge chunk of 1940s NY might suddenly ‘fall’ into the 1880s mid western plains, dead (always dead) characters from the future are found their bodies horribly crushed and distorted, their wallets full of money that hasn’t been printed yet. 

In short, let the book be a HUGE temporal DISASTER MOVIE, in which time is being broken down as the world(s) within the Leviathon(s) are driven back into creation.

The culture within the Leviathon(s) should be always looking forward to some portented disaster on the horizon. These ‘impact’ events are very obvious THINGS THAT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN, and one which will galvanise the intra-Leviathon characters considerably.  However (and I accept this almost brings us back to parallels, and that this could be a weakness) it relies on the history of the intra-Leviathon world(s) bearing some relation to our Earth’s or the impact will be less. 

2)      The ‘stress’ on a Leviathon being driven ‘up-stream’ as it where, is such that everything happening within it will be highly volitile, not unlike a ‘supercharging’ of history.  So (despite what I just said in 1) the history will be different because its ‘hotter’ and ‘quicker’ than ours.  In short, if Warlords Of Utopia provided a take on the classic parallel history for FP, this book would provide a take on ‘steam-punk’ : where the divergance is not x battle was fought differently, but x invention happened earlier.

3)   A sub-effect of 2) but it is likely that the ‘stress’ will attempt to create within each Leviathon a counterforce capable of breaking the control being exerted by Scarratt’s whalers.  I intend to use the Order Of The White Peacock as the intra-Leviathon model for this, and mirror them with one of the Great Houses that is in opposition to Scarratt without.

Much as you've tried to underline the "it's about inward-looking cultures" theme, the Hollow Earth idea doesn't really seem to gel with the Big Story, i.e. Scarratt's attempts to fly into the Maw. But it strikes me… do you remember, a while ago, we briefly discussed the idea of a story that was like MOBY DICK with Leviathans? We never really went into detail, but you can see the appeal: teams of "whalers" from the Great Houses, penetrating the Leviathans' universe-sized bodies and stripping them down for materials, specifically materials that can't normally be manufactured in the "normal" universe. Suppose you exchange the JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH imagery in this story for MOBY DICK? It's still suitably nineteenth-century, but suggests exactly the kind of sea-going, storm-ridden sense of movement that's implicit in your Scarratt idea. Everything seems to fall into place. Rather than using the seeds of new universes, Scarratt engineers some infant Leviathans (as in THE BOOK OF THE WAR), and steers them towards the Maw.

…this was actually what I always had in mind (the hi-jacking of the birthing cycle of universes) when I was writing TBOTW entries.

We might speculate that Scarratt himself has a small "whaling universe" from which to guide them, and that each Leviathan might be used in the book as an environment in itself, occupied by whatever characters might be necessary. Apart from anything else, this fills in one of the blanks of the story as it stands: right now you have no counter-force, no "menace" to balance out Scarratt. This version allows you to bring in a Moby Dick to his Ahab. However you want to interpret that… - LM.

…See above for counterforces within. 

[Now]  So as always, I want to acknowledge my debt of gratitude to Lawrence who so cogently above steered what might have been quite different towards the novel I actually commenced writing.

Friday, January 17, 2014

On reading cheerful, forceful poems while depressed.

Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


In that wane light that picks out me
Leaving no hidden place or den
I have no hood nor shelter free
To shield me from the view of men.

Though circumstances by enlarge
Were mostly pleasent - others guessed.
They did not know the thoughts who's charge
Shrivelled my soul within my breast.

Beyond this life of dust and lies
Maybe oblivion, maybe not,
But lacking strength to cut the ties,
I can not seek the final shot.

It pleases not, the broad broad road
It pleases not, the winding way.
I am not master of the goad.
I am the donkey pulls the dray.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Brakespeare Voyage

Starting to get some more detailed reviews....

And that reminds me that now I've finished writing it, I have reviews of its predecessors to write, myself.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The origins of the Cyberpapacy

The Papal Mainframe, derived its core operating systems from a number of sources during the so-called Syncretistic Popes of the 50th to 53rd Centuries. It was still subsuming other systems into itself as late as the early 52nd century when it absorbed via ORACular circuit elements, the entire operating algorithms and core substrata of such sites as New Alexandria, The Library, Penguinhiem, and Ukko.

The latter papal emulations of the LEM series (deriving their name from St. Stanislaw) are rumoured to have instated their operating code from strip-mining the above secular engines.  It is hardly surprising them that after this, the Church began a militant, expansionistic, and self stilled Flexifaith based Mysticanity.
This hot-house flowering was to end, as we know, with silence, but for a time the song from the old texts was again embodied in the Papacy.

Extract from the Book of the Peace.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Crack of Doom in the period of the Cracked Worlds, when past and future collided and the universe experienced a number of resets, there were also a number of contacts with supposed Homeworlds.
       Earlier in these lectures we have discussed the neotonous Gallifrey, that with its childhood iconography and emotional hooks was able to be dragged out of the time-war by its heart strings, but that Gallifrey, encapsulated as it was in Picture-Time, lost in another universe,could not rationally be expected to have exerted an immediate influence on basal time.  In later discussions to permit clarity we will designate that Homeworld "Jewel" after one of the old names for Gallifrey.
      What then are we to make of the signal, certainly in Gallifreyan, certainly weighted with energies identified with Homeworld technologies and instrumentalities, which caused the 'Final Battle' of the Time War (according to some historians) on the world known respectively as "Trenzalore" or "Utterlost"?

It is tempting to identify the source of the message as not Jewel, but another.  Perhaps the 'extreme war' iteration of Rassilon's World, but its disinclination to force the Crack open, suggests a more pacific or at least a subtler or more individual power.  What power then, of Gallifrey, seeking specifically the Doctor (let us not mince words here but identify him at least clearly), interested seemingly in keeping the Doctor alive into another regenerative cycle. a gift available only from the original Triumvers, the President, or the High Council. What power that comes at the every end of a War.  What power that we, still, subliminally associate (following earlier exigences involving the Cracks) with unknown Prisoners.

Who but, the entity designated.... END.

Extract from "The Book of The Peace"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Llykej.

Among the hedonistic and carefree,
Much pitied is the poor llykej,
For unless it sups potions weird,
It soon adopts a Van Dyke beard,
No longer with women content to grope,
It fusses with a stethescope,
Asks after stranger's health, and tries,
To bring a glow into their eyes.
It does not trample flower-girls dead,
But gives them vitamins instead,
Warm clothes, and shelters them inside,
And if you scare it, it may hide.

The Ymmum.

The ymmum, is a slew of bile,
And other rejected organs vile,
Its brain which through a Pharaoh's nostril,
Was pulled now harbours thoughts quite hostile,
To pyramids and wealth piled high,
With slaves emtombed therein to die.
It appreciates the poor man's lot,
Which - when in Pharaoh - it did not.
Its curse is far to weak to fuss,
The Thing in the Sarcophagus,
So it resorts to crude hi-jinks,
And knocks the nose off Rhamases' Sphinx.

The Namerew

Once a month when the Moon is new,
The pitiful mewling Namerew,
Elongates from its lupine norm,
Into a pallid, lesser form,
Its fur falls off, its teeth sink in,
It can not howl, and to begin,
To enumerate how it grows wrong,
Would make this rhyme go on too long.
It smells all funny to the pack,
Which is why, mostly they attack,
And bite the beast until it's dead,
For only silver its blood won't shed.

The Eripmav

The nosferatu of the Slav,
Is mirrored by the Eripmav.
It only lives when in sun's rays
And in the night it hides and stays.
In boxes of earth from distant shores,
Emiting loud and varied snores,
It wears white clothes, estues a cape,
Will gladly drink wine of the grape,
But when it plunges into you,
Its hideous fangs of cobalt blue,
And pumps you full of its bad blood,
You'll see that turnabouts not good.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Story 2013

The sprite was barely luminous now, fizzling and sputtering on the hearth stone, one wing mauled by the cat’s fangs.
The iron grill over the fireplace was holding against the swarm, but the scout had got through somehow, despite the disruption to its paramagnetic fields. 
One wasn’t a threat, but if enough got through to build a portal, the hab would be overrun before dawn.  Experience had shown that.
Papa, hefted his iron tipped walking stick:  ‘No truck with Satan,’ he hissed, defiant yet fearful to speak more loudly.  Mama and the children – like their father dressed in the ragged black and white costumes of the puritan minimalists, nodded their agreement.  No one laughed at his slip of the tongue. On the single wooden table, a cracked china plate held the food they would consume tomorrow: four slices of cold white spun-protein, some tubers from their own veg-stack, a handful of reconstituted peas.
A harsh cracking sound from the hab next-door (home to a family of ‘Maronists – fellow refuseniks from a different tradition of austerity) indicated a breach in the commune’s defences.  The dense, loud, ‘hooo’ of a portal being assembled echoed through the thin wall. 
Little Timos shuddered. He knew the children next door.  Pale, interesting Marcian, the older, sneering Poull.  Neither of them deserved the influx.
Packages, foodstuffs, consumables, novelties, candy, chocolate, biscuits, sugars, alcohol, presents, pouring through the elsewhere door in the swarm’s heart.  
In minutes the narrow confines of the small living space of the poor would be filled with the odious costless largesse of the affluent of the galaxy.  Many would suffocate.  Injuries from treading on bits of toys, and hyperglycaemic reactions would abound. For months they would be shovelling debris from their hovels. 
‘No truck with Santa, ‘ Papa shouted, louder now, and set his back against the inward bulging door.

Monday, December 09, 2013

On taking medication for anxiety.

At times I'm quite all right,
and then again,
A vacuum cleaner, insecurely stowed,
Shifting in a cupboard under the stairs,
Pushing the door open from the inside,
Gradually, inexorably,
As they always come,
From out the grave,
Can make me shiver to the bone,
And jump, and fear.

Although I neither fear,
In theory, the dead,
Nor yet, the vacuum.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Faction Paradox Stands

The process of evolution in a time war context produced a number of
decoy or false gallifreys as well as iterations designed to follow one
or other extrapolation of the time-war to a logical conclusion. It was
the hope of the powers behind Rassilon, that this myriad engine of
Gallifreys, would act in essense as a quantum computation on a
macroscopic scale resultimg in entities capable of ending the
time-war.  We have seen the horrors of one extreme of that 'range' in
earlier lectures.  However there was a secondary consequence at the
other end of the spectrum. Just as there were the Gallifreys that had
become dark, and evil, and distorted, there were those that had become
'weak' and 'victimised', and this was to provide the final route out
of the time-war impass for at least one version of the Homeworld.  For
by abandoning the looms, by returning to organic models of childbirth
to replenish the dying, by enacting the rituals of the 'entrenched
last stand' of gallant victimhood, that Gallifrey in essense cried out
to the unknown future "We are the 'deserving-at-war", rescue us!
Won't someone think of the children!" Consequently it was that
Gallifrey and, so far as we know, that Gallifrey alone that passed
through the diffraction slit of the grand experiment, into the
potential future.  All it seemed was well.  But, what power or powers
could so engineer a world as to appeal to the sentiments of the
future?  Were we in fact swapping the Nightmare Child of the War
Homeworld with its smoke-looms and War-King, for a world of something

"Extract from the The Book of The Peace"

(That said, I thought the 50th was astonishingly good!)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Holmesiad Book 1 Part 1

I had taken my degree as a medical MD,
in London and was attached to the corp,
of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers
who marched to Candahar, with fears
and hopes for honour in the second Afghan War.
But when the Jezail bullets flew, it was the Berkshire's standard true,
I served under 'til I couldn't stand to scurry,
Wounded with a shoulder shot,
I raved within a soldier's cot,
Saved by the courage of my orderly, Murray.

Over his pack horse, a mess of war, he took me to old Peshawar,
And there I recovered enough to stumble ,
But the reaper would not let me go, but with enteric fever
Endemic where his rusty blade, a soldier's life would sever,
Laid me back upon my back to keep humble,
After that, I was shrunk and worn, emanciated and forlorn,
As much use for active combat as the Brontes,
Even an army board could see,
No foe would flee from me,
So I sailed home in the troopship "Orontes."
My health was undermined, but the government divined
A pension of nine months to make it right,
I had neither kith nor kin in England and was therefore free as thought,
To drink away my pension, night by night,
I had spend the larger part, far more freely than I ought,
And as I had a metropolitan mind, I concluded I must find
Someone here to share the costs or rusticate,
But where to find such a fellow,
Left my growing mood not mellow,
As I poked the embers dying in the grate.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Three Trezanelles from The Necronomicon


The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be
Not in the spaces we know, but between.
(Yog-Sothoth is the gate and holds the key)
They walk serene and primal, and unseen.
Yog-Sothoth's key and gate, both one and twain,
Not in the spaces we know, but between.
He knows where they broke through, and shall again
Where They trod earth's fields, and where They still tread
Yog-Sothoth's key and gate, both one and twain,
Their smell may sometimes, show them, it is said
And mayhaps their begotten seed may sprout
Where They trod earth's fields, and where They still tread
Some signs are subtle that mark their sons out
Others are almost born akin to that
(And mayhaps their begotten seed may sprout.)
Shape without sight or substance, which is them.
The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be
Others are almost born akin to that.
(Yog-Sothoth is the gate and holds the key)


They walk unseen and foul in lonely places
Where the words were spoken and the rites were howled
The wind it gibbers with their voice's traces
The muttering earth, their consciousness has fouled.
They bend the forest and they crush the city,
Where the words were spoken and the rites were howled
Yet, none beholds the smiting hand, nor pity.
They pity not mankind, nor aught of ours
They bend the forest and they crush the city,
Kadath has known them, and what human powers
Has known Kadath, or seen the old carved stones
They pity not mankind, nor aught of ours
And where they tread, they leave but dust or bones.
The South's ice-desert, or the barnacled tower
Has known Kadath, or seen the old carved stones
But none have known Kadath nor gained its dower.
They walk unseen and foul in lonely places,
The South's ice-desert, or the barnacled tower,
The wind it gibbers with their voice's traces.


Great Cthulhu is their Cousin, yet but dimly
Sees shades of forms that are, yet are as air
Ia! Shub-Niggurath! The trees crowd grimly,
Their hand is at your throat, yet they're not there.
Their habitation is one with your threshold,
Sees shades of forms that are, yet are as air,
Pass and re-pass, envelope you and press cold,
Though guards may walk its ramparts evermore.
Their habitation is one with your threshold,
Its crennelated turrets, armed : a door.
(Yog-Sothoth is the gate wherein the spheres breed.)
Though guards may walk its ramparts evermore
They are not souls of woman, nor of man's seed,
The ghosts of us, foreseen, they will return
Yog-Sothoth is the gate wherein the spheres breed
For after summer, winter, seasons turn
Great Cthulhu is their Cousin, yet but dimly
The ghosts of us, foreseen, they will return
Ia! Shub-Niggurath! The trees crowd grimly.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Touch of Other Seas

The green tide rises, and the beaches feel
Touched by the otherness that lies beyond
The taste of things washed from the deep ship's keel
The slow strange stirring of a seaweed frond
The flotsum washed from fabled Trebizond.
The green tide rises, and the beaches feel
Uncanny callings no land-wind can heal
The pirates call that leads youth to abscond
The taste of things washed from the deep ship's keel
Their colour, blue, turquoise, verdue, or teal,
The white bleached bones, of sun-scorched vagabond.
The green tide rises, and the beaches feel
What treasure hunters only hope to steal
The ancient relics, gold so white or blond
The taste of things washed from the deep ship's keel
Doubloons of Spain, or steelwork of Sevile
The things worn smooth, as water in mill-pond
The green tide rises, and the beaches feel
The taste of things washed from the deep ship's keel

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Poet's Book Of Ironic Executions #1

A chancer once there was condemned to die,
Who told the King, that reprieved for a year,
He'd teach his horse to talk.
When asked just why,
He'd picked a pupil difficult to steer,
Even with spurs, at adverbs like to baulk?
He shrugged and said, "Why in a year what may!
I may die anyway, the King, a lance
Might perforate in war, the horse on hay,
Might choke, who can be sure to live another day,
And in a year the horse may talk perchance."
A year gone by he at the scaffold stood,
The stallion silent underneath his King,
The rope stretched taut, sent shivers through the wood,
The horse remarked, "Why there's a funny thing."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Dialogue With Lucifer, by Aleister Crowley and Simon Bucher-Jones

Hymn to Lucifer by Aleister Crowley

Ware, nor of good nor ill, what aim hath act?
Without its climax, death, what savour hath
Life? an impeccable machine, exact
He paces an inane and pointless path
To glut brute appetites, his sole content
How tedious were he fit to comprehend
Himself! More, this our noble element
Of fire in nature, love in spirit, unkenned
Life hath no spring, no axle, and no end.

His body a bloody-ruby radiant
With noble passion, sun-souled Lucifer
Swept through the dawn colossal, swift aslant
On Eden's imbecile perimeter.
He blessed nonentity with every curse
And spiced with sorrow the dull soul of sense,
Breathed life into the sterile universe,
With Love and Knowledge drove out innocence
The Key of Joy is disobedience.

Reply to Aleister Crowley, by Lucifer
(as transcribed by Simon Bucher-Jones)

I am not yours to justify your live’s
wild stabs at freedom, nor redeem your acts.

Sought you, your meaning in my firey fall,
But not in the mean trick a cuckoo plays?
Worship freewill do you? Who swayed to all
Your in-build greed for freedom’s luring ways?
All you have done is move as you were made,
Crawled like the snail, and like the ant rejoiced,
What is your praise to me? You shivering shade,
Your magick mute, your hymns cold and unvoiced,
By the petard of your own smugness hoist.

Still you did little real harm to any,
And Hell is not constructed for your crimes,
Although there are poets here, there are not many,
Despite their ugly horribly forced rhymes.
Once on Hell’s outer fringes you’d have found,
The virtuous heathens, or the limbo-lost,
But Mother Church has disavowed that ground,
And ended the small mercies for the ghost
Whose art-magick was silly as profound.

The Key of Joy is disobedience?
My kingdom if divided, can not stand,
The Door Of Nothingness, unlocked, is open, hence!
I want none here, who scorn to hear command.
When Heaven falls, there will be freedom, less.
My realm all order, minutely prescribes
You may be glad of all your Nothingness,
If gladness outside Everything, survives,
I am not yours to justify your lives.

Rejoinder by Aleister Crowley
(as transcribed by Simon Bucher-Jones)

It seems the Devil is no gentleman
And will not take a compliment as given,
Alas no bed in Hell for any one
Who will not fight in Host against the shriven?
So be it, too proud I, to bend my knee,
To rebels now turned Tyrants in their turn,
His bitter fire, is not the fire in me,
Though it in lakes eternal blaze and burn,
I am my own torch, monument, and urn.

In the dull void, of limbo’s former state,
I will inscribe my own new open realm,
To every magic user who’ll not prate,
Of War twix Good and Evil, I’ll affirm,
A unaligned path from their axis quite,
Do I do only what I’m made to do?
In plotting my own course into the Night,
If that’s the case, then Lucifer, what of you?
In wrongness did you serve your Maker right?

I am not made to justify your fall,
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, that is all.