Sunday, December 31, 2017

Times That Fry Men's Souls

Wow. I really let my schedule on this one take a beating this year, but it's finally available. I give you Times That Fry Men's Souls, a hex-based adventure locale for tabletop fantasy games (that is, old-school D&D retro-clones). I had fun with this but frankly it became a much bigger project than I originally intended. The next one (Mad, Am I?) will be shorter. Happy New Year.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Proof-of-Concept Pages

Here are some proof-of-concept pages for the Gonen's World game, which I should have made 15 years ago. I was too shy about my art. Lately I decided I'm going to make it anyway, and I came up with a style I like - quick Sharpie sketches on construction paper, cut out and glued onto watercolor-wash backgrounds. I'm pretty happy with how these look. There are 12 character archetypes. I've finished these six. Of course this book will take forever to finish and be very expensive thanks to all the color, but this one is just for me, so I'll spare no expense.

Friday, December 22, 2017

For Those Following Along at Home...

Here's the latest addition to the Sharpie map of our exploration of Fotolk.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Long Dark Break; A Map.

Wow. That's one of my longer breaks in between posts. What can I say - times have been dark and the light is just now dawning (Merry Christmas). Our gaming group just started another installment in our long-running (17 years) Gonen's World campaign. We're filling in the last "blank" on the map. As the party explores the lost island of Fotolk I'm doing a quick Sharpie sketch. It'll take awhile to fill, but no need to rush.

Of course, the players have already introduced tobacco and firearms into a weird new world, so after one session they've left their mark on it. I'm sure they'll end up taking over the place.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Strange Maps

If you love maps, you'll love this. I'm inspired.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Eumenides

Elsewhere (here and here) I've shared my thoughts about the first two plays in the trilogy known as The Oresteia, surrounding the orgy of family-murder surrounding Agamemnon's return from the Trojan Wars. The final play is The Eumenides, and it wraps everything up neatly if not nicely. Orestes has murdered his mother, Clytemnestra, in revenge for her murder of his father Agamemnon with the help of her lover, who has seized the throne. Now, Orestes is pursued and hounded by a trio of vengeance-goddesses called The Furies. With the help of Apollo and Hermes, who have been in Orestes' corner all along, he escapes long enough to get to Athens where he stands trial under the authority of Athena. The goddess organizes the trial, said to be the first in Athenian history. The Furies and Apollo act as prosecutors and defense, and in the end the jury brings in a tie vote. Athena breaks the tie in Orestes' favor. She re-names The Furies "the kindly ones" (that is, The Eumenides), and convinces them to refocus their energies as spirits of vigilance and guard for Athens. The goddess then decrees that henceforth, trials are to take the place of blood vendettas. Frankly after the action of the first two installments in the trilogy, I felt like this one was a little boring - it just recounts and defends the various actions already taken, and smacks of civic pride and propaganda. That being said, it does wrap everything up in a nice little bow, and I'm glad I read the plays of Aeschylus. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Murgatroyd Mysteries

I wrote a collection of mystery stories set in the world our gaming group uses. I don't think the mysteries are all that unsolvable, honestly (I'd be a terrible criminal) but I think I did a good job with the setting and characters. It was a lot of fun.

The Fat Lady Screams & Other Mysteries

Monday, September 25, 2017

Beyond the Pillars of Hercules

Here's the first full-length record from 6 Demon Bag, which is Scott Chaffin and I. There are actually about seven thousand bands on bandcamp with the same name, proving once again how pervasive Big Trouble in Little China has been in my generation. This is not a rock record. It's an ambient/instrumental record. Enjoy.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Double Star

Continuing with my exploration of classic science fiction I've missed, I've tackled Double Star, by Robert A. Heinlein. Written in 1956, it won the first Hugo award for Heinlein, who'd go on to accumulate a large handful. Surprisingly, Heinlein manages to make "one of the oldest plots in literature" engaging and entertaining. It's essentially a political thriller with a strong sub-theme of what it means to be who you are (as opposed to someone else). At what point does pretense become reality? The hero of the story, an actor who goes by the self-aggrandizing title The Great Lorenzo, is recruited (more like blackmailed) by a spaceman who works undercover for Bonfarte, a politician who is currently out of power but very popular. Lorenzo despises him, because Bonfarte wants to give the vote to native Martians (the solar system is dominated by humans). A thorough racist, Lorenzo has a deep revulsion for Martians. Nevertheless, he finds himself impersonating the great man, who has been kidnapped so he'll miss an important political event, ending his career. Lorenzo manages to navigate important parts of the political campaign, and slowly, over time, becomes a believer, especially when Bonfarte is returned, broken by the trauma of his kidnapping. He eventually dies, leaving Lorenzo to take on his role permanently. How this all plays out I'll save for a surprise. I've not read much Heinlein, and I like this one better than some of the other stuff I've read. If there was a way to combine a hippie and a fascist I think it might be something like him. But Heinlein's reputation is certainly deserved. This book was controversial when it came out - mainly because of the emphasis on whether the Martians should have the right to vote, and the author's clear belief that they should. When you remember this was written in 1950s America, it's easy to see what Heinlein is really talking about, and his readers would have certainly recognized it. Social implications are mostly buried, however, in what is at heart a simple, rousing space-opera-type thriller.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


"This is the first song on our new album." - Robin Zander. Enjoy the debut single of my new super-band, Johnny Pharaoh Group. It's the extension of my old Electrophonic Foundation "character" into his solo career and Vegas years. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Galaxy Babes

A buddy posted this article in the Space Opera group on FB today. Of all the science fiction magazines from the "old days" I think I like Planet Stories best. Obviously I wasn't around when it was being published, but stories from that publication have appeared in countless collections (especially those sort of low-quality "50 Sci-Fi Classics!" e-book collections of public domain stories). I've read a few at Comic Books Plus and thoroughly enjoyed the stories and artwork. A lot of greats cut their teeth in Planet Stories. It seems like it was about the best option for the sword-and-planet genre. My favorite writer of that genre, Leigh Brackett, earned most of her bread and butter here (that's one of her stories in the illustration). Of course, Planet Stories was mostly known for its "good girl" cover art, which was sort of a PG13 forerunner of the Barbarella look. Great compositions, bright colors, strong lines. They may not be politically correct, but they make great magazine covers, posters, calendars, etc. - these are in the public domain now, so you see 'em everywhere. A while back I printed a bunch of these and turned them into wall art for my hobby room. Note the triangles and zig-zags in these compositions, as well as what might seem like a preoccupation with light bondage - very common in the magazine covers of the day. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Libation Bearers

This is the second installment of the Oresteia, the tragic trilogy by the Greek playwright Aeschylus. I've been hammering through the ancient Greek dramatists, and have shared my thoughts about the first in this trilogy here. The Libation Bearers continues the story that begun in The Agamemnon, picking up several years after Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus have murdered her husband, Agamemnon, who, admittedly, was kind of a prick (if you read The Iliad). Nevertheless, their children Orestes and Elektra are not at all happy about it. Orestes has been away for many long years (his mother sent him away to aid in her plan of murder). But once he hears about it, he comes back to Argos at the command of the god Apollo, who says Orestes must avenge his father by killing his mother and her lover. Disguising his identity, he comes home and, after revealing his identity to his sister, colludes with the Chorus to distract his mother, who welcomes him thinking he is a stranger. He enters the palace and kills his murderous stepfather. Orestes is then interrupted by his mother, and he begins to kill her, too, but hesitates - after all, she's his mom. His cousin, Agamemnon's nephew Pylades, reminds Orestes of Apollo's command. Orestes does the deed, and, despite the patronage of Apollo, finds himself victim of the vengeance of the Furies, who have an especial distaste for matricide. They hound Orestes unmercifully, and he is forced to flee Argos, the Furies hot on his heels. The story continues (and concludes) in the third play in the trilogy, The Eumenides. We'll get to that shortly.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Music to Destroy the Universe

A member of the Deliberations of the Punk Duchess group on Facebook posted this. I've been really into more "experimental" classical music lately, so the timing was right for me to really get into this. The composer Scriabin (who I am now ashamed to have never heard of) apparently had a vision of music that would melt the universe. He never finished it, but it was pieced together and recorded in its entirety in 1970. It took awhile - Scriabin himself died in 1915. You can listen to the restored intro to the piece here, and follow the links to snippets of the original. I'd say Scriabin is a great choice for those who like a little Brian Eno in their Stravinsky. I'll have fun exploring his work.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Shrinking Man

Here's another science fiction classic I've missed over the years and recently caught up with. I'd avoided it because of the 1950s film version (which added the word "incredible" to the title), because, as a child, I thought it was dated and silly. Truth is, the film isn't that bad, and the book is much better. Where the author, Richard Matheson (who also wrote I am Legend, which has been filmed three times), could have delved into a semi-comic tale akin to an adult version of The Littles, he instead gave us a dark, psychological masterpiece, a terrifying and often sad glimpse into the mind of a man who is literally shrinking down to nothing at the rate of a seventh of an inch per day. We start with action, as the tiny hero, already an inch tall and trapped in his basement (no one upstairs knows he is at home), struggles to navigate his huge environment, find food, make clothing, and do something about the "giant" spider that stalks him each day. As he deals with these challenges, we get flashback sections that show our hero discovering his condition, his mental unraveling in the face of it, and the decline of his relationship with his wife and daughter. His wife attempts to be supportive, but his little girl doesn't understand. Little by little, his life falls apart until he manages to support the family by selling his story. This gives his wife some financial stability, which eases our hero somewhat. Nevertheless, their marriage unravels, and our hero has to come to terms with his new reality. The book jumps back and forth in time rather seamlessly, with chapter-titles indicating the height of the hero in a given section. Like The Odyssey or Star Wars, The Shrinking Man wisely starts off with the punchline and then goes back to show its development. In the end, obviously, our hero can only shrink so much. Or can he? On the brink of thinking he'd shrink out of existence, he realizes there is a vast inner space - both physical and psychological - that has never been explored. Without giving it away, the ending is satisfying, if not exactly a fairy tale wrap-up. What makes this book great isn't the gimmick - a shrinking man - but the spellbinding exploration of just how a man might handle such an experience, and what it might teach him about courage and about his sense of self-worth. Definitely a page-turner.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sweet Jane...

I wish I was born earlier, or you were born later, or that James Keach didn't exist. This is a rare pic from right before she did Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, I think. You usually only see her in good-girl outfits. What a beautiful person. I've had a crush on her since Live and Let Die. Arguably the best Bond girl, and certainly the best Sinbad girl.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Agamemnon

The Agamemnon - the classic ancient Greek play by Aeschylus - is another one that has missed my list over the years. While I'm catching up on all the classic sf novels I've missed (see last few posts), I've also been starting to read some of the Greek plays. They invented drama, after all. Over the past year I've scoured all those Greek writers I'm supposed to have read - Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Hesiod - and several explorations of Greek myths, the best by Robert Graves. At any rate, I'm glad I read all that first, because I would not have understood a lot of the clever references in The Agamemnon. This story concerns the return of King Agamemnon from the Trojan War. He's been gone 10 years, along with most of the other Greek heroes. Many of them have been blown off-course on the way home, but not Agamemnon. He has a different fate waiting. Before the war, he was persuaded to sacrifice his daughter to achieve favorable winds for the fleet. His wife, Clytemnestra, harbored a grudge over this (natural enough). While Agamemnon was gone, she started an affair with his cousin, whose father had been driven out by Agamemnon's dad. When the watchman sees signal-fires announcing the fall of Troy, the entire city is excited about Agamemnon's return. The Chorus of the play (the old men of Argos) explain what the war was about, and why it was stupid to fight one over the return of a wayward cheating wife. They go on to condemn Helen for causing so many deaths. Clytemnestra comes out to greet her husband, but he is cold to her. He's brought home Cassandra, a prize of war, a prophetess who no one believes. Clytemnestra tries to trick her husband into walking on a purple carpet - he says that's the sin of pride and he won't do it, lest the gods get jealous. She brow-beats him into it, and he enters his palace. Clytemnestra orders Cassandra to come in, but is ignored. Cassandra then prophecies Agamemnon's death and her own, but of course, no one believes her. Eventually, knowing she can't escape her fate, she goes into the palace also. Soon enough - too soon, really - the people outside hear the screams of Agamemnon, who has been killed with an axe in the bath by his wife and her lover. They kill Cassandra, too. Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus  display the corpses and are utterly unrepentant, justifying themselves on various pretexts. The chorus of old men then dolefully reminds Clytemnestra that her oldest son with Agamemnon, Orestes, is on his way back to Argos, and will surely bring revenge with him. The tale is continued in The Libation Bearers and The Eumenedes, which I have not yet read. Apparently Aeschylus had all these plays performed one after the other in Athens. They say you've really gotta read all three for The Agamemnon to achieve the best impact. At any rate, I knew most of this story already, so for me the interesting part was one of the themes - that blood vendettas never end. The House of Atreus, from which Agamemnon comes, is haunted by crime and violence and murder. It's also a cautionary tale because at the very beginning of this story, Agamemnon has fame, fortune, power - the world is his oyster. And yet it all comes crashing down in less than a page. None of us stay on top for long. Especially when we sacrifice our daughters. Clytemnestra comes off as a cold, callous, unfeeling woman in this play, but let's not forget her victim killed her own daughter 10 years before. It is Clytemnestra's grief turns that turns her to homicide. She's not the first. At any rate, I'll share the other two books of the play-cycle when I finish them.  

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Long Tomorrow

Unlike the other classic science fiction books in this series of posts, I have read the Long Tomorrow before. It's been awhile. Leigh Brackett is by far my favorite writer of the "Sword & Planet" genre. Here, she turns to a post-apocalypse tale that is equally beautiful and haunting. Published in 1955, it was a timely exploration of post-nuclear-holocaust society. Two generations after a nuclear war, the survivors have come to blame technology for the world's destruction. The Constitution is amended to ensure that no cities will ever develop again, placing limits on population per square mile. Religious sects who did without technology before the holocaust - namely, the Mennonites - make the adjustment easily and come to wield great power. Len and Esau, two young Mennonite boys, witness a religious mob stone a man to death because they believe he is from Bartorstown - a secret place where technology still reigns. Len is thoughtful and resents his small world. The boys eventually steal an old radio and some textbooks and learn that Bartorstown is real. Fleeing punishment, they join a man from Bartorstown who keeps his eye out for them as they travel. First they come to the town of Refuge, only to find tragedy there when a local man wants to build a structure that will defy the population ban. Fleeing there by river, Len and Esau - and Esau's newly pregnant girlfriend - continue their long quest to find Bartorstown. Do they find it? Yes. Is it everything they thought it would be? No. Esau, not as deep a thinker as Len, adjusts easily. But once there, Len begins to doubt. He meets a girl named Joan who, having lived her whole life in Bartorstown, wants to get away. Len's paradise is Joan's prison. This is one of the central themes of the novel - that "elsewhere" always seems better. In the end, Len must make a decision - not so much about whether to stay or go, but about what kind of a man he is going to be. I won't spoil any more surprises, because the book does have some great twists and turns. The whole thing is also suffused with a sense of love and loss - that Tolkienesque idea that something is beautiful because it won't last - and with Brackett's low-key but poetic prose. This is my favorite post-apocalypse novel, right up there with Philip K. Dick's Dr. Bloodmoney. Part epic western, part speculative future story, The Long Tomorrow is definitely one of the finest science fiction books of the 20th century.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

More Than Human

As I continue to explore those classic science fiction novels I've not read, I have to stop right here and say I think I've found a new favorite. Theodore Sturgeon was admired by Philip K. Dick and I can see why. More Than Human (written in the 1950s) is an incredible tale of a "next step" in human evolution. Sturgeon focuses on a half-dozen people with special abilities (telepathy, telekinesis and so on), almost all of whom are social rejects and misfits. An "idiot" named Lone is the default father-figure for this weird group, all of whom are children except him. In many ways Lone is the hero of the story, but there is not much actual heroism in this tale as we'd normally define it. What makes this such a great story is the way the characters realize and come to terms with the fact that they are different, and how they slowly realize they must work together. Each of them, in fact, is part of an overall being, a sort of hive-human that requires more than one body. This new step in evolution is called Homo Gestalt. Sturgeon tells this story with quiet wit, deep emotion, and gives it almost the feel of a modern fantasy or fairy tale. It's told in three novellas all smashed together - The Fabulous Idiot, Baby is Three, and Morality. The final book deals with the key question - what is "morality" for Homo Gestalt, as opposed to Homo Sapiens? What social structures and behaviors are rendered moot by possession of a collective intelligence, shared with other beings? It's not a question that can be answered simply, and Sturgeon doesn't try. Lest this all seem like so much philosophical nonsense, I should say the story reads easily and abounds with emotional impact. I don't think you can go wrong with this one. Even if you're not generally a science fiction person, this is one classic that definitely can be appreciated outside its own genre.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Space Merchants

I'm catching up on those classic science fiction novels I've always heard of but never read. To start, I tackled The Space Merchants, by Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. Written in 1952, it posits a future where America is dominated by advertising agencies and consumer culture. Senators are from corporations, not States. Rebel conservationists fight back against this setup, but they are demonized as terrorists (and some are). Our hero is an advertising copywriter, and he's at the top of society. Venus has just been deemed suitable for colonization. Our hero's corporation manages to snag the rights to colonize the planet, despite its inhospitable nature. But a secret cabal is working against him, and he finds himself shanghaied, with a change of identity and no way home. Only then does he realize that he's caught between the political and ideological forces of consumerism and conservation, and a satirical future-thriller results. I won't say more than that. I will say that I read the book in almost one sitting. It doesn't really seem dated, even with the idea that we could possibly live on Venus (the authors admit much terraforming would be required - in fact, our hero writes misleading advertising copy to get folks to go there). It's a fun read, with overtones of both Asimov and Philip K. Dick. Easy to see why this one is a classic.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

All Beatles Songs From Worst to Best

My good buddy Dave Tice turned me on to this incredible read. I've gotta think this is interesting whether or not you like the Beatles. I'm not sure I agree with it all, but then again I haven't read through it all. Can't wait to burn through the rest of it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Look Out! Vikings!

More from the folks at Vintage News. Check out this collection of Viking and Norman swords. I'm surprised by the way the hilts and handles look. Read all about 'em right here.

Friday, May 12, 2017

From the River: An Iron Age Helmet

The Vintage News is one of my favorite web sites. Here's something they had to share recently. Not a lot of information on it, but this is an iron-age helmet they found in the River Thames next to the Waterloo Bridge. It's one of only three Iron Age helmets found in England. I don't know who wore this, but he probably felt like a badass every time he put it on.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Burroughs Via Japan

 The Mars novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs were a huge influence on me as a child (and I was about 50 years too late for most of it - hell, guys like Ray Bradbury grew up reading this stuff). Anyway, a FB friend shared some illustrations from this original 1917 Japanese edition of The Gods of Mars. It's great seeing this proto-manga take on John Carter, Dejah Thoris, and the rest. My favorite is this top picture, which shows Carter in his famous pose, arms outstretched, imploring Mars to transport him there. Check out some more below.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Because I Love this Photo

...and pretty much no other reason. This is a tread-wheeled motorcycle from the 1930s. It went about 25 miles per hour and was incredibly awkward and unwieldy. Needless to say, it never saw any combat action that I'm aware of. Still - it's pretty cool-looking. :)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fantasy Language Generator

If you want your imaginary world to have that sense of depth and background you find in, say Tolkien or Frank Herbert, you might want to check out this fantasy language generator. You don't need to be an expert linguist - you just need to be able to click. Of course, it helps if you know a thing or two about your own language. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Robotic Fantasy Mapper

On the Old School Gamers Facebook group, I saw a mention of this so I had to investigate. Sure, I like drawing my own maps. But this is worth checking out. It's a bot that spews out a random map of a fantasy world once per hour. How cool is that? I did read a comment from a bitter old grognard that such things would "kill the hobby." Of course, they're always saying that, aren't they? Anything that saves time and energy in a game - that is, pragmatism - gets my vote. Best thing about these maps is that they do have that hand-drawn look. I'm not a fan of those random fractal world generators. They look like satellite images. Cool for Classic Traveller...not so much for fantasy.

Monday, April 17, 2017

More Big Rock from SN@KES

Here's the lastest (and best, I think) track from our project SN@KES.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Hateful Place: A Review

Fans of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay like to talk about how "grim" it is. After perusing Dave Mitchell's fine game The Hateful Place (tHp), I will call no other game "grim."

Full disclosure: I have not played tHp "as written." In other words, I have not used the game mechanics - only because our group is in the middle of a more traditional retroclone game. However, we recently experienced a Total Party Kill. At that, we did a Referee swap and I took over (the Referee took my dead cleric), using Dave's excellent generators and tables to create a Living Hell for the now-dead party. I could not have asked for better tools.

Dave's game is for any setting, provided that setting is in darkness - both literal and spiritual. I'm a fan of rules-lite games, and this one is certainly that. Experienced gamers will get it within seconds and I'm sure newbies would quickly pick it up. Essentially, characters have three stats (Body, Mind, Soul), each with an associated modifier. Success at any endeavor basically requires rolling a 15 or more on a d20 (plus or minus your modifiers). Combat is simple, with a focus on the narration. I'd say this system is simpler and cleaner than any D&D retroclone, or perhaps any other game I can think of. Granted, it does require some maturity and deliberation on the part of the Referee. You'd have to work really hard to mess up these simple rules. I will say this - combat looks deadly. Very deadly. And magic is not for the weak. Every single spell (all of them simply and cleanly described with one sentence or so) comes with a terrible cost. Magic is elevated to the truly awesome in this system, without being complicated rules-wise. Rules for monsters and demons ensure that no creature of darkness will be predictable. The tables for Demon abilities are great fun.

At first glance, tHp seems a little vague in terms of setting. This is intentional. Early on, Dave points us to the real meat of the book, which is the second half - the Generators. This is where the intended tone and atmosphere of the game come to life (not much of a life - after all, it's a hateful place). In fact, the Generators make tHp useful for absolutely any system. The Generators spark the game master's imagination and provide inspiration for everything from the state of the world, the time period, a horrific starting place (such as dangling from the end of a rope or being bricked up alive), cursed magic items, and other general weird darkness. Of particular use are the tables for missions and rumors, which give any skilled Referee fodder for an entire evening's play with just a sentence or two. Dave respects the individual Referee's place in making these his or her own; he provides just enough to whet the appetite for grim darkness. It's left to the Referee and players to fill in the blanks. That's just my cup of tea. Dave provides more "modules" that are a bit more fleshed out, but even these could fit on a standard index card.

Book B (sold separately) provides even more, with some setting-specific rules for things like time travel, superheroes, science fiction and western missions, and, best yet, more generators.

Looks-wise, these books are striking. Like Dave's previous offering Sirenswail, the covers are enigmatic, with no text whatsoever. The cover for The Hateful Place is totally appropriate - just a vaguely unsettling painting called "Riot", AKA "The Pentagram of St. Nobody" by David Paul Hellings. The cover of Book B appears to be a zoomed-in detail of this. Interiors are clean and easy to navigate. They're not fancy, but they get the message across and the job done.

One aspect of tHp I'm in love with is that it makes provisions for solitaire play, much along the lines of Classic Traveller. With the help of some tables and a little imagination, you can visit the dark parts of your own private soul to do some solo gaming on those nights when your fellow players have other plans. I've not delved into this, but having played a solitaire Traveller campaign before, I think I'd enjoy this as well...and I'd probably freak myself out and sleep with the lights on that night.

I'd recommend this to anyone who is looking for a rules-lite, grim game, or if you're looking for tables of creative bits to populate and inform a campaign for any other system - provided it's in darkness. Once again, Dave proves himself to be a thoughtful and sophisticated writer and gamer, and I eagerly await anything else he does.

Visit Lulu to purchase his books. You can get them in paperback or hardcover, and the price is reasonable for the amount of hideous amusement likely to follow.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Felicien Rops: Not Safe For Work.

The Facebook group for Lamentations of the Flame Princess featured a link to the work of Felicien Rops, a decadent French artist of the Victorian era who did some fairly blasphemous artwork. Even today, it's controversial. I like it. Like most fist-in-the-air-I-dare-you-to-be-offended art (like a lot from Lamentations, frankly), it seems a little on-the-nose in places. But that's the point, right? Anyway, this is not at all safe for work, but I have a feeling you'll scroll through all of it.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Rabbit Hole leads to Templar Caves

If you put this at the beginning of a horror movie, people might say it was unrealistic. Well, they'd be wrong. This is a very cool story from BBC News. Farmers, keep looking down those holes.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

If the Moon Were Only One Pixel...

This "tediously accurate" scale map of the solar system allows you to scroll from the sun outward, and get a sense of just how massive it really is. Thanks to Randall Munden for sharing this link with me. Great stuff.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Rock'n'Roll Machine Returns

Some of you will remember the fabulous band Electrophonic Foundation from back in the day. After years of thinking I had no rock'n'roll left in me and a weird ascent/descent into ambient music, I've gotten back together with the original EF members for a new project, Sn@kes. Too bad Tony, our old drummer, is so far away or I'm certain he'd be on this recording too. Here's a rough mix of our first song. I'll keep 'em coming as we make 'em. Enjoy! (Warning - Heavy Rock Ahead).


Yep. I'm getting divorced. Wife fell in love with someone else. It happens. I'll get through it. Just wanted to let some of you folks know. I don't want or need to talk about it. Here's to the next chapter...