Beast at the Door

I was going to write a very Emo post … instead I listened to David Hasselhoff.

I like musicals. Rather, I like some musicals. My favourites are Phantom of the Opera; Quasimodo; Little Shop of Horrors; Sweeney Todd and Jekyll and Hyde.

All of which have fantastic songs, beautiful music, and all of which feature sinister otherworldly characters lurking in the shadows. Or the hero as I like to think of them.

One of these (Jekyll and Hyde) I’ve not been able to see performed (Hasselhoff, if you’re reading, please bring the show back to London) so all I have to go off is the soundtrack, which I love because it leaves so much of the ending ambiguous.

It’s not much of a spoiler to say that Jekyll dies at the end. What I’m vaguer on is what exactly happened before that. If you listen to the finale it ends with Jekyll’s fiance Emma singing the words

“You’re with me now; where you’ll always be.”

I interpreted this as being that Hyde had killed Emma at some point towards the end and this was their being reunited in the afterlife. And then, as a fantastic example of story being told literally through the music, the closing chords are alternately glorious and sinister and I assumed that, in the stage production, this was matched with the Hoff looking to the audience not with his mild-mannered Jekyll face, but the sinister grin of Hyde.

I loved the idea of the redemption of the anti-hero (because Jekyll and Hyde truly are the same person) combined with the far more subversive notion that Hyde ends up in heaven, completely destroying any sense of moral justice in this world or the next, his ultimate victory over, well, everything.

Working

Hi All,

Yes I know it’s been forever. I’ve been busy. What with? Well first of all there’s the massive time sink that goes into editing together tha (sort of) monthly Edgar Allan Poecast.

Then of course there’s the job hunting, which is tedious, depressing and, thus far, fruitless. But then again it’s likely to remain that way until I get a job, at which point it will cease entirely (hooray… I think).

On the plus side this has given me a bit more time to do some actual me writing. I’m currently working on another couple of Ghost stories to add to the two already available on Amazon (Shoes upon the table and Shadow Run).

I’m also looking at writing a novel. Nothing too special or hi-faluting, but a romance piece (think Mills and Boon… but a bit crazier… like Jackie Collins… crossed with nick hornby… does that help? it doesn’t help does it?). I’ll post more here when it’s got beyond the vague kernel stage and when I’d love to have folks act as beta-readers.

In other writing news I’ve also started working with an editor which is making a massive difference to my workflow and actually encouraging me to set stuff loose in the real world (well, Amazon… but with other outlets to follow).

Anything else? Well I’m probably going to be moving house (from one part of London to another) so don’t expect any new surge of creativity just yet… nto now… but soon!

Taking the plunge

Just a brief note to say that, for good or for ill, I’ve taken the plunge and started self-publishing on Amazon. Nothing too exciting to begin with, I’m putting up some old and some new Ghost/Horror stories.

If you want you can download the first one here.

Expect a collected edition in time for Halloween.

Can you hear the baker sing?

Hello,

What’s that you say, more than six months and no posts? Can this be?

Yes, and the reason is that I’ve been busy, busy with the following:

  • Podcast work

Remember a while ago I made a couple of audio recordings? (If not then here are a couple). Well moving on from that I’ve started up a podcast (working title “two physicists and a baker discuss literature”) with a couple of friends, dedicated to the works of Edgar Allan Poe. In fact our third episode just went up today. You can find out more at poecast.co.uk

It’s loosely based on a couple of excellent podcasts dedicated to other horror/weird fiction writers, the M.R. JamesPodcast to the curious‘ and the H P Lovecraft Literary Podcast (hppodcraft.com) so try them out too to see it done properly.

  • Story writing

I’ve been working on a few short stories, of which more to follow in the near future (hopefully).

With much effort and much help from the wonderful instructors of the BSKF and my fellow kenshi I passed my grading and got my shodan (black belt) in Shorinji Kempo. Thank you to everyone for your support.

Furiously Fast

I’ve just been to see “Fast and Furious 6″ and, part way through, realised that this is the happiest I’ve been in a cinema for years.

I still remember seeing the first Fast and Furious film many moons ago and being utterly gripped by a (by the standards of the later entries in the series) relatively understated and sincere story about an undercover cop getting progressively taken in by the strong heart-ed but troubled gang leader Vin Diesel (or his character… the two being now synonymous to me). It was set against a backdrop of street racing and robbing lorries, but managed to be both edgy and have a real heart.

The sequels quickly descended into trash (principally due to the loss of Riddick). No 2 was all colour and bright shiny things with no substance. No 3 came about a decade late to the ‘isn’t Japan cool and futuristic’ party, but after that they brought back xXx it really got into it’s stride and did what it was really best at from the beginning, having some unashamed fun.

The next three films saw the establishment of an effective forumla of robberies and driving that will never be as memorable as the Italian Job, but always manages to feel much more real and grow progressively more spectacular (at this point I predict that the, currently in pre-production, Fast and Furious 7 will climax with Shane Wolfe driving an aircraft carrier through Sydney before using the aircraft launch catapults to shoot himself onto the roof of the Opera house).

But No 6 is little short of a masterpiece destined never to be fully appreciated by anyone outside of the UK.

You see, the director and producers have tried to take the ‘Fast and Furious’ template and apply it to the UK. i.e. they’re trying to do Fast and Furious London. And let me tell you, you have not grinned as much as me when I realised they were staging an illegal street race at Marble Arch (but sadly didn’t do a drag race down the Mall). This did nothing to hinder the film, instead I felt able to relax and enjoy it, safe in the knowledge that this wasn’t an edgy dark film, but the travelling pantomime of Private Caparzo and co.

…and it had ‘The Rock’…

…and it had my company car (no, really!)…

… and it had a finale that combines Die Hard 2 and Con Air…

… and it had the guy who played ‘The Iron Giant’…

…and it was good.

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