Due to an agreement between the Sci Phi Journal and Castalia House, Issue 2 of the Sci Phi Journal can now be bought there before the official release date on the 1st of November. If you can’t wait to get your hands on it, head over there and shop away!
Sci-Phi Journal Issue 2 is now available for preorder at amazon,
or castalia house:
the issue itself becoming available on the 1st of November.
The first three chapters of Beyond the Mist appear towards the end of the issue and the cover above is based on the story. This will be the first paid writing commission of my career, and I hope you’ll all enjoy it, and that this worthy journal becomes a successful venture.
Continued from part one:
A pack of pitchfork-wielding men soon gathers in the yard.
They make sure every door and window is securely barred,
Then off into the murkiness they move in groups of five.
“Keep within shouting distance, that foul thing must not survive!”
Each group sees a short distance by their burning torches’ light.
Fog and smoke combine to blur this dark unholy night.
Tension rises, deer are spooked, the trail seems to be cold,
Then a mangled carcass leaves its story to be told.
“The creature clearly went this way, advance and call the others!
We must not let it get away, forward, band of brothers!”
They form a line and move between the gnarled and ancient trees
After an hour they hear ahead a faint inhuman wheeze.
It’s gruesome silhouette emerges from the murky gloom
Foreboding fills each mortal man, it exudes certain doom.
“Be strong and force that monster back into the old tar pit!”
It gives a piercing wail that makes them feel their heads will split.
Faced with an angry line of spikes, it slowly backs away
They follow, full of fearful rage, driving back their prey.
A farmer that breaks from the line is cut down by its claws
Its cruel strike and his chilling scream give all the others pause.
“Don’t give up now, together we are stronger than this beast,
If we flee now then our beloved will be its next feast!”
With fresh determination they resume their slow pursuit
And doggedly begin to corner this most gruesome brute
It senses it has no retreat and starts just lashing out
Men fall back gravely injured and the outcome is in doubt.
Then the mist reverberates with an unholy roar
The aberration charges in and battle is in store.
They both sustain such wounds that would destroy a human life,
They’re forced by pitchforks to the edge, distracted by their strife.
The aberration stumbles and pulls his creator down
They fall into the thick black ooze and there begin to drown.
The farmers take no chances and they set the tar ablaze,
ending both monstrosities in a pungent haze.
They trace the trails of havoc back and storm the castle yard
Destroy its great laboratory, leave its library charred.
When he reports back to the girl, she weeps for all that’s lost
For all the pain her father caused, for all his science cost.
Her family is now all gone, her home wrecked and reviled;
pain and guilt and shame and sorrow on each other piled.
Moved by more than all her woe, he offers his embrace.
Deep within his warm, strong arms, she knows she’s found her place.
Now that there is no way back, she starts a whole new life
As her favourite farm boy’s friend and treasured, loving wife.
This fun little celebration of B-movie sci-fi horror is nearly finished and has grown to be quite long, so I have decided to split it into a couple of posts. Enjoy!
In goggles, gloves and coat of white, a balding moustached man
By dim and dreary lantern light unfolds his cunning plan:
A gleaming living man of bronze, a rocket to the moon,
That unprecedented breakthrough that is coming oh so soon.
“I can transform this rancid skin and vats of squirming goo
To twelve-eyed toads to flood the roads from here to Timbuktu!
But that can wait, here on this slab old life will be reborn
Old corpses iced then sliced and spliced into a whole new form!”
With triumph shining in his eyes he cackles like a witch.
He cries with glee “For Science!” and then throws the power switch.
Torrents of pure lightning flow from one globe to the next;
Reanimated limbs are stirred, their muscles stretched and flexed.
An unholy aberration wakes up with an angry roar,
And foul green birthing liquid spills onto the stony floor.
It bursts through doors and fragile walls, repelled by fire and light
Devouring dogs and squealing hogs, it limps into the night.
“It lives!” He cries, and raises to his lips a tepid flask
Of a strange concoction meant for quite another task.
On realizing his mistake, he gasps and grabs his throat,
Collapses to the ground as his whole face begins to bloat.
His arms extend, his teeth grow sharp, black fur sprouts everywhere,
His eyes take on a beastly and most terrifying glare.
Extra limbs and tentacles erupt from his hunched back
His helpless lab assistants are now but a tasty snack.
His stunning nubile daughter watches, truly horrified,
At what her dear dad has become, at how many have died
To satisfy his fevered mind, enact his twisted plans,
How in his wake he leaves a trail of poisoned, battered land.
She jumps from her high balcony down to an grassy slope
And flees pursuing foulness to her last faint ray of hope.
A sturdy square-jawed farm boy stands and maims the creature’s face,
As it retreats the girl faints into his surprised embrace.
Her fragile beauty stirs his heart, his duty to protect
All that is worthy in this world of honour and respect.
He lays her gently down and brings her water from a stream.
When she awakes and sees his face, she asks, “Is this a dream?”
“That creature here was real enough, you see the havoc wrought,
The fences smashed, cattle gouged, the marks of battle fought.
Others will arrive soon to destroy its threat for good;
Together we will hunt it down in that accursed wood.”
I recently noticed that The Kindle ebook version of Nobility Among Us had an error in it, the Noble Hierarchy chart image was not displaying in the file, and the two maps were on their sides. These issues have now been fixed and the price of the ebook has been reduced to only $2.99, the price for other amazon territories being reduced to match. So take a look, and risk a little less of your hard-earned money to see if the rest of the story is worth it.
I’ve been a little overloaded with work this last week, so haven’t managed to finish this week’s poem. However, I have just been paid for the first installment of Beyond the Mist. The first three chapters will appear in issue 2 of the Sci Phi Journal, with another two chapters appearing in the issue after that, with more to follow in later issues. Whether there are any later issues of the journal will depend on how well the first three issues sell, so please give it a chance to succeed. For those of you who haven’t seen it, here is a preview of the cover art for issue 2, based on my story, painted by the Australian artist Cat Leonard.
In my opinion this is my best work, certainly the best opening to a story I’ve ever written, and I’m really excited to hear what you’ll all think of it once it’s available.
I’ll be sure to let you all know when issue 2 of the journal is available for preorder, this is going to be a very interesting ride.
A question was asked over at the Sci Phi Journal website.
I was wondering if anyone out there could shed some insight onto the following question: How do you make a serialized series that intends to go on for at least two decades, have large epic plots that still manage to make cogent philosophical points?
I ask because it seems that most tales that do make cogent philosophical points most seem to be one-shots. Even the Twilight Zone, as chock to the brim with far more insight than both recent live-action Star Treks combined as that show was, was an anthology, or a collection of one-shots with little to no serialization.
Though I love to make philosophical one-shots and read such one-shots, I must admit that my heart lies in making tales with long plot-threads, as it was such shows like, everything in the DC Animated Universe, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and Avatar: The Last Airbender that got me into wanting to be a writer in the first place.
I think that it’s not impossible, as those three things I mentioned above somehow managed to do it, but I’m just curious as to how one accomplishes such a thing and how difficult it really is, because I seem to be finding it’s mighty hard.
Short answer, yes it is very hard. Long answer below: Continue reading
O’er barren rocks and burning sand
We trek across this arid land
Our strength and hope begin to fade
Desperate for a piece of shade.
That cruel mirage that taunts our flesh,
Promising rest and water fresh.
Yet what is this? What have I seen?
Do my eyes lie? Is this a dream?
No, those are trees! Now we are saved,
For such mean so much more than shade!
Where there are trees, there waters flow
All manner of life can cling and grow.
Here cool relief and fragrant air
Are savoured with a grateful prayer.
Yet this is what we’re called to be
As planted by a living stream,
To bless our world, transform lost souls
Heal their wounds and make them whole.
Provide a place, where peace remains
Light is found and truth still reigns.
Despairing hearts see from afar
As if there guided by a star,
That here is love stronger than death,
A throng infused with holy breath.
Among us all they find the home
They have sought out as they did roam
We’ll point them to the One above
Source of all hope, true life, and love.