So, this happened… I wrote the cover feature for this month’s Fortean Times.
Ever since I first read FT as a kid (when it was still a fanzine rather than a professional monthly), I had a dream that I’d be in its pages some day – maybe in an article about weird shit, possibly in a review or even a memorial in the Strange Deaths column!
To not only be commissioned to write for them, but to get the cover first time out, is literally a dream come true – and the highlight of my writing career so far.
Huge thanks to FT editor David Sutton for asking me to write for them, Jenny Coleman for her interesting alternate view of Slendy alongside my piece and Etienne Gilfillan for the beautiful cover art.
Issue 317 of Fortean Times is out now.
I’m happy to announce the publication of Darklore, volume 7 by Daily Grail Publishing.
This year’s book is another stunning collection of the best of modern Forteana – and it also contains the second half of my look at the way the Slenderman meme is infiltrating the ‘real’ world.
This piece, Killing Slenderman, looks at what this could mean and what to do about it – taking on such examples of the fictional entering the quotidian as Alan Moore’s meetings with his own creation John Constantine, and Grant Morrison’s near-death experience writing The Invisibles.
As with Part One (which is still free to download as a pdf article here), I’ve put an extensive set of footnotes and links on the site – you can find that right here – just scroll down part the Part One notes.) I include a little more detail in exactly how, as a combat magician, I might deal with a Slenderman incursion.
And remember… No Wifin.
So, a few things have been happening since my last post.
My divorce/separation continues. As far as these things go, I guess it could be worse. Looks like Kirsty & I won’t be moving until January at the earliest (the wheels of legality grind exceeding slow). Many thanks to all those who have wished us well.
In the midst of all this, it seems as though I’m actually becoming a professional writer. My two-part piece on the Slenderman phenomenon has been accepted for publication by the prestigious Fortean journal Darklore. Part One should appear in Volume 6, later this year, Part 2 in the following volume. My thanks to Greg Taylor for offering me the opportunity.
This is officially my first paid piece of writing, and I’m pretty pleased at how it came out. I will of course remind you all when it’s released. (I’ll also be putting up a permanent link page on the site for all Slenderman-related stuff.)
I’m also happy to say that my long-delayed Mason Lang Film Club series at Weaponizer is now in full swing. The first piece, on The Matrix, is here and the second, covering The Thirteenth Floor, is here. The rest of these should be appearing roughly every month – the next installment discusses The Truman Show.
There’s a few other items on the horizon… one hint I can drop is that there could be some interesting developments in regard to The Tribe Of The Strange. More news hopefully soon!
(Weaponizer logo design by Paul Sizer. This and similar goodies available here.)
One of the many creative offshoots of the Warren Ellis battery farm for genial artists, writers and other wonderful passionate madfolk that mortals call Whitechapel is the group writing blog Weaponizer. Under the kindly eye of Bram E. Geiben aka Texture, it’s set a very high standard of work in a short time.
So last weekend I thought I’d try submitting a piece for them, see if I was ready to play with the big boys and girls.
Seems the piece – Tribe of the Strange: Origin Myth – went down OK. Enough for Bram to invite me onto the team as a staff writer, working the Fortean and occult beat.
I am beyond chuffed to be doing this. I have huge respect for all there and hope my mad point of view finds a home among them.
First piece as staff writer – Frequently Asked Questions about Weird Shit – went live this evening. Hope you like my new(ish) direction…
(To come at WPNZR – more rumbling on about oddness and hopefully the birth of the Mason Lang Film Club!)
And here, the next Guttershaman – “…of Jedi and Jail” – coming soon.
When I was a boy, I read an awful lot of shite books about Fortean matters.
I ploughed through Erich von Daniken, dodgy tomes about the Bermuda Triangle and witchcraft and Earth mysteries. Like Stephen King described the process of reading/watching bad horror stories, I was prospecting through mud, seeking those few glimmers of gold.
Every now and then, I found something truly good, which asked hard questions and offered theories without falling into the trap of declaring their point of view as pure Truth. One of these was UFOs – Operation Trojan Horse, by John Alva Keel. It made a difference in how I looked at the world. Like Robert Anton Wilson (who I read about the same time), Keel showed me that ‘maybe’ was not a bad perspective to take – and that orthodoxy can so easily trap a mind. In other works, such as Our Haunted Planet and especially in The Mothman Prophecies, his perspective and unapologetically personal approach were a breath of fresh air in the stale pulpiness of so much Fortean writing.
And now he’s gone. I’m startled at how sad this makes me – but perhaps I shouldn’t be. After all, we should mourn our ancestors when they pass, even (especially) when they aren’t blood kin.
Fully broadbanded again, thankfully.
While I was out, there was an interesting little flap about an ‘undiscovered’ Amazonian tribe, with photos and everything.
Shame it was all bollocks…
“They are the amazing pictures that were beamed around the globe: a handful of warriors from an ‘undiscovered tribe’ in the rainforest on the Brazilian-Peruvian border brandishing bows and arrows at the aircraft that photographed them.
Or so the story was told and sold. But it has now emerged that, far from being unknown, the tribe’s existence has been noted since 1910 and the mission to photograph them was undertaken in order to prove that ‘uncontacted’ tribes still existed in an area endangered by the menace of the logging industry...”
Well at least it was bollocks for a worthy cause. That makes it alright, doesn’t it?
Well, no. It fucking does not.