Camp Court TV: Joan Collins V Round House Publishing

Merry new day to you all! I was much amused by this unexpectedly fascinating documentary, essentially the most entertaining bits of the trial of Joan Collins (she of the shoulder pads, 80s soap operas and 70s British horror movies) vs her publisher Round House.

As the info for the doc says on YouTube, watch out for the grey haired lady who seems confused over whether she’s in a courtroom or doing stand up. See also Joan Collins prepare for battle in her best early 90s war garb.

It’s an aspect of publishing we don’t often think about, the possibility of being sued for doing a terrible job. Is it even fair? The court must decide…

Modern Gothic, Extreme Horror And Haunted Vaginas: Bizarre Book Club

Today’s pretentious book picture is brought to you by Utopia coffee shop in Southend, Essex. Books, hipster decorations and brilliant drinks oh my!  img_20160806_145807

Good day my lovely packets of weird flavour crisps that you’re not sure if you’ll like at first but turn out to be really good. I’ve read a bunch more weird books so join me on my wild ride. P.S. I’m on rather a lot of painkillers so forgive me if I gibber nonsensically like a drunk aunt on Valium.

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle. ballad-of-black-tomThe thing I enjoyed most about this modern weird fiction tale was the characterization. Black Tom, a man from 1920s Harlem, is completely believable and draws you into his story of finding a strange book for an even stranger old white man.

Set in the Lovecraft universe, it offers a unique perspective in that the author is an African American man. The dedication is to Lovecraft himself and ‘all (the author’s) complicated feelings towards him.’

Sunruined by Anderson Prunty. sunruined This collection of short stories has a gothic Halloween flavour to it, I could almost smell the Autumn leaves. Or perhaps I was just desperate for Autumn to begin.

They may not always be outright horror, in fact some are probably dark fantasy or whatever the kids are reading these days, but they’re always beautiful and very imaginative. Don’t worry, there’s no vampires, but there are screaming trees and predatory women.

While The Black Stars Burn by Lucy Snyder. whiletheblackstarsburnIt’s very shallow but the main reason I bought this book was because of it’s beautiful cover. LOOK AT IT! Then I was pleasantly surprised by the stories.

There are a number of genres here but mainly science fiction and weird, two of my favourite things. The author uses these strange set ups as a backdrop for everyday feelings, such as the woman in mourning who goes on a space voyage. The ending of this one is wonderfully dark, by the way, as are many of them. Read it!

The Teratologist by Edward Lee and Wrath James White. What a pair of sick puppies. I took a picture of my face whilst reading the second page. THE SECOND PAGE!img-20160823-wa0000

Generally I would say this kind of thing isn’t my cup of tea as the grossness is kind of an endurance test, while the aberrant sex gets a little tiresome. However something about it kept me reading. It sounds like I hated it but I really didn’t, I found the story quite fascinating. Two men, a journalist and photographer, are invited to the house of a wealthy man who secretly collects deformed people and religious leaders and feeds them lust enhancing drugs in order to offend God and bring him to Earth.

I think I enjoyed it, but seriously, only read if you have a strong stomach.

The Haunted Vagina by Carlton Mellick III. thehauntedvaginaI expected a very different book to the one I got. I thought I’d be reading a gross, immature comedy with not too much depth, but entertaining. It was entertaining, but it was also a very sweet and heartfelt look at relationships and the odd little things that make us love a person and, often, why relationships don’t last.

It is occasionally a bit gross, such as when the main character oils up to dive inside his girlfriend’s nether regions to explore the strange world within, but sex and love is sometimes gross and messy and we can’t explore these topics without getting a bit dirty.

There we have it! I won’t be posting next week as I’m having a holiday in my house, but you have plenty to be getting on with. Adieu!

Bizarro Erotica: Taken Hard At The Magical Time Travel Sex Resort

My tiny (10,000 word) surreal, bizarro, weird and any other adjective erotica novelette was released today with New Kink. Sometimes I get the urge to write rude things and, being me, they end up just as odd as the usual stuff.

P.S. My artistic partner in crime and cuddles Bill Purnell did the front cover, he’s a very clever pickle.

Here’s the Amazon link.

New Kink proudly presents…

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Before you get too excited, let’s give this video a shot. The beloved Sauda Namir reads an excerpt for us in a series called Bizarro Bedtime.

Bizarro Bedtime: S3 E4: Madeleine Swann from Sauda Namir on Vimeo.

With a gorgeous cover from artist Bill Purnell, and a lot of kink packed in a small package, let’s see what she’s about.

“Lillia Gardens is the largest erotic resort in several dimensions. It’s home to colourful flora, weird creatures and time travelling visitors, all ready and willing to get filthy – like Wonderland or Oz but smuttier.

Each story follows a woman from a different era who recieves a mysterious card inviting them to the Gardens, including Sam, a modern Western woman in a failing relationship; Aysun, a member of a Sultan’s harem and Itzel, a Mayan princess. Overseen by their mysterious guide Rex, a rainbow half-man half-bird, they experience all the strange and wonderful things the resort has to offer from vagina seats in the park to a sensory depriving tube.

But it can’t be sunshine and orgasms for everybody, and the Garden needs payment…”

Creepy Interactive Online Horror Stories

It’s almost Halloween! OK it’s still technically summer but by golly if you squint really hard and pinch your nose against the delicate scent of flower blossoms it could be autumn.

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With this in mind I went on a hunt for the spookiest, scariest, creepiest online horror stories. Some are more inventive than scary but please be aware there is a chance you may scream very loudly, causing any housemates, friends or partners to come running.

My Father’s Long, Long Legs

This Weird Fiction tale is the reason I delved into the world of interactive stories. It’s cleverly done, subtle and very creepy.

Wear your headphones to get the best from the sound effects. You have to click the words in bold to get to the next part, and there is one section where you’ll need a little patience. You’ll know the bit. And keep going if you’re not sure, it will be abundantly clear when you’ve reached the end. Good luck!

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The story is entertaining though not terrifying, but what makes it even better is the number above. Call the number after finishing the story and you’ll see what I mean (please check for potential charges though, I have poor impulse control and am now waiting to see if I get an abnormal bill).

The Dionaea House

This intriguing tale begins with a series of emails you have to click through. At the end, if you click on the Updates page, you’ll find more ‘information’ and links to other sites corroborating the story. It’s very clever and the story itself is fascinating.

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Joralemon

Similar to Annie96 Is Typing (another good ‘un) this story appears as a chat history needing the click of your button to show the next piece. Not only that but a link to a wikipedia page correlating with the story appears which is a nice touch.

Annie96 may be slightly creepier but this one is still good. I think the thing that tips it for me is the friendship between the two girls.

The Bongcheon-Dong Ghost

If you haven’t seen this one yet you’re in for a treat. Keep scrolling down and make sure you’ve been to the toilet beforehand, that’s all I can say.

If you like scary webcomics try The Split Lip or the Midnight Tea Party anthology serieseseses. Well, what’s the plural of series? Series’? Serieses? I’m tired.

My Dead Girlfriend Keeps Messaging Me On Facebook

Though not interactive, this creepypasta makes good use of facebook chat and pictures. Plus it genuinely gave me the creeping willies so there was no way I wasn’t going to share it.

ALSO…

There’s a few fun interactive spooky stories on youtube including The House, A Knock At The Door and Stillshore CottageEnter if you dare, mwa ha ha!!! Um, that’s about it, until next time…no, really, that’s it, I’m going to make tea now, you’ll have to get off the porch. Bye!

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Blood, Body Parts And Evil Angels: 6 Creepy, Weird Or Scary Plants

Hello!

It’s almost summer and the flowers are sprouting, which is the best time to remind ourselves that nature is the weirdest thing you’ll ever experience. As you can tell from previous posts, I love weird nature and creepy creatures, they’re brilliant prompts for stories, but today I shall focus solely on those life forms that were here long before us and will remain when we’re gone – plants.

The Bleeding Tooth Fungus: We’ll start with something really grotesque because you can handle it, you’re grown ups with eyes of steel. The Bleeding Tooth Fungus apparently isn’t poisonous but has a very bitter taste rendering it inedible. Doesn’t it make you hungry though? It reminds me of jam. bleeding-tooth-fungus

It lurks mostly in North American forests but has been spotted elsewhere. The ooze (or sap, if you want to be all sciencey about it) is sometimes yellow (mmm, pus) pink, beige or orange.

Bleeding Tooth Fungus: In French With English text

Angel Trumpet: brugmansia

The very epitome of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, these South American plants appear heavenly but are said to have a darker secret than an Edgar Allen Poe character.

They contain atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine, the last of which can apparently be used to alter another person’s state of mind, or create ‘zombies.’ I don’t personally know how true these claims are, much of it sounds a little over-hyped, but cases exist where the plant has been blamed for causing a hypnotic state, such as in the victims of a trio of thieves arrested in Paris who ‘willingly’ handed over possessions. However it’s unclear whether scopolamine can actually remove free will.

World’s Scariest Drug

Rafflesia Flower: We all know of the Titan Arum corpse flower and it’s scent of rotting corpses, but perhaps slightly less known in some parts is the Rafflesia from Southeastern Asia, also known as the corpse flower. Confused? Good.

It’s a parasite which latches onto the roots of a host plant. It’s innards stink of decomposing flesh to attract the flies it feeds on. Naturally, with all this going for it, it’s the official state flower of Indonesia (?).

worlds largest corpse flower Rafflesia Arnoldii

Devil’s Fingers: Mistaken online for an alien life form the Devil’s Fingers fungus, or Octopus Stinkhorn, is truly rather strange.

Growing mostly in Britain it bursts from an other-wordly sack to release it’s foul stench (for attracting flies) into the world.

Devil’s Fingers Time Lapse

Clitoria: clitoriaThe scientist who named this beauty certainly wasn’t shy. He/she saw a flower that looked like it had a clitoris and called it as it was.

Another native of Southeast Asia, this flower is used as food dye or eaten deep fried. Others have historically attempted to give it less ‘controversial’ names but they never stuck because, let’s face facts, it looks like a fanny.

Dracula Orchids: orchid-dracula With a name evoking the undead you would expect these flowers from Central America to look creepy but they’re actually quite cute, if you like monkey faces. Slightly judgmental monkey faces.

Being Orchids these are cultivated by fanciers for their beauty and rarity. They were named Dracula because of the red colour displayed by some.

There we have it my little summer popsicles. Go, now, and frolic amongst the monkey faced fields and corpse laden air. I’ll be watching.

Annoying Clouds, Pensioner Circuses and Kitten Houses – Stories From My Charity Fundraiser

Well well well, I managed to write with a crayon for four whole hours for Hands For Syria. I raised over 100 pounds which may not sound much but I’m so happy I managed to get more than a penny.

Below you’ll find the stories I wrote non-stop until my brain dribbled from my ears, and the video of Sunday night’s scribble fest. Don’t expect beautiful poetry, I did the first thing that came into my head.

Be warned – I thought I had The League of Gentlemen on very quietly in the background but it’s…really not quiet at all.

Incidentally there’s still time to give, here’s the fundraising page. Thanks so much to everyone who already did. Now I have to go rest my neck.

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Bizarre Book Club 16: Space Mermaids, Sitcoms, Naked Friends And 20s Paris

Well, hello, glad you could drop in! There’s salsa on the table. OK, no there isn’t, could you pop out and get me some salsa? I’ll…pay you later…

Let’s dive in and look at the weird words that have drifted past my eyeballs the last few weeks.

naked-friends-justin-grimbolNaked Friends by Justin Grimbol. Not only does his surname sound like a crotchety troll living under a fallen log, but his book made me laugh out loud, or ‘lol’ as the unselfconscious say. Sure, it’s sometimes gross, quite juvenile and gamers will be sad at their portrayal (I’m sorry), but it really did tickle my funny bone.

It’s kind of a cross between The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time and Bored To Death in that the main character is an inept wannabe detective who advertises on Craigslist, but it’s definitely got it’s own feel. A feel that includes a layabout rich boy with three half naked girlfriends and a man called Boner who lives in his van.

2. Planet Mermaid by Leza Cantoral. Leza tickles my eyes with poetry and planet-mermaid-leza-cantoralimagination. However don’t let that fool you, this novelette has some pretty shocking things in it and I don’t recommend it unless you’re fairly robust.

I enjoyed the fact that mermaid cliches were turned on their head – the water is icy so their skin and hair is dull, there’s no rainbow colours or tropical seas here. It’s darkly fantastical and very beautiful, and I’m really looking forward to more word magic from her.

3. The Last Girlfriend On Earth by Simon Rich. You might recognise a number of these short stories from a recent sitcom called Man Seeking Woman. Indeed the massively imaginative, humorous pieces on lost love, finding love, unreasonable men and women were strung together to form the story line of a man navigating surreal scenarios on his quest to meet a lady.

The original stories are perhaps even more enjoyable and I can’t believe he’s only 31 with so many credits to his name – several books, a sitcom, written for SNL and Pixar. I mean, does he sleep? Was he birthed pitching ideas to The New Yorker? Either way I really enjoyed his book and already have several others to get my peepers into.

Here’s one that made it into the sitcom, Cupid Intervention:

4. The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas by Gertrude Stein. That’s right, Alice’s autobiography-alice-b-toklas-gertrude-steinautobiography of bohemian Paris was written by her long term partner Gertrude Stein in 1933.

it’s not quite in the modernist, stream of consciousness style favoured by Virginia Woolf but the sentences gallop strangely creating a vivid, dreamlike feel, as if the reader is glancing about and taking note of all he or she sees. The people and events are vivid and mixed together in a memory soup.

An extra layer of oddity is added when Alice describes Gertrude as a genius, only of course it’s not Alice’s words, it’s Gertrude’s. Was it something Alice said to Gertrude or is she guessing, or having a joke?

If you love the art, literature and lifestyle of the bohemian 20s like I do you’ll love it, and you’ll want to go to Paris.

5. Cotton Candy by Kevin Strange. I thoroughly enjoyed this long short story of cotton-candy-kevin-strangeerotic oddity. It reads like a winding Victorian tale told through a letter, only with gang bangs and were-furries.

After his wife dies a professor fills his life with increasing decadence and daring sexual exploits, finding himself in a remote building filled with other men, one woman and large, plushy teddies… large plushy teddies that move when no-one’s looking.

Well, dear readers, there we are! Another bag of weird joy. May we meet again one darkened night, you’ll have to wait till I’ve got my slippers on though.