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The Wall

I originally wrote this story for an anthology of cosmic horror that ultimately never came to fruition.  It is based on an idea from my son, Cayden, who asked during the run up to the 2016 election, what if they actually did build a wall, and then there is some kind of  apocalypse and instead of keeping people out, the wall ends up trapping everyone inside with the sickness?  So when I saw the call for submissions for cosmic horror stories with a political theme, I asked him if it was alright if I stole his idea as long as I give him a co-author credit, and that he had better say yes, or I would make him pick up the dog poop all summer.  He agreed, his brother got stuck with the poop patrol again, and I sat down and wrote this story.  Since the anthology never came to pass, and it was written for that alone, it has been sitting in my file for quite some time.  Recently, there has been a lot of wall talk in the news again, and so I decided to just put it up here because, after reading …
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Dissolution

Here is a good word for you: dissolution.
It means is the end of a relationship or contract. What it means to me is that Antiartists is no longer being published by Pen Name Publishing.
And I am-
I-
Look, it took me a long time to adopt the word writer when describing myself, because I think it is one of those words that come with a lot of baggage.  I don't like term as a title, because I believe people are too ready to adopt it as their own because it gives then a sense of accomplishment or importance or mystery, and there is no other word that distinguishes between a hobbyist knocking out a couple hundred words every other month if they remember, and someone like myself that has put significant parts of their life into the craft.  We are both writers, and I understand that, but let's be real here, okay? There are writers, and there are writers, and for sure there are good and bad examples of both, but I am one and not the other and there is no word to distinguish between the…

Godspeed, Old Girl

Few religions are definite about the size of Heaven, but on the planet Earth the Book of Revelation (ch. XXI, v.16) gives it as a cube 12,000 furlongs on a side. This is somewhat less than 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic feet. Even allowing that the Heavenly Host and other essential services take up at least two thirds of this space, this leaves about one million cubic feet of space for each human occupant- assuming that every creature that could be called ‘human’ is allowed in, and the the human race eventually totals a thousand times the numbers of humans alive up until now. This is such a generous amount of space that it suggests that room has also been provided for some alien races or - a happy thought - that pets are allowed.

Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero



I have been thinking of pets, and why we invite these furry little beings into our lives, and why it hurts so bad when they leave.  It is stupid of us, like volunteering to carry a grief time-bomb; whether they get struck by a …

Better, or Worse?

I want to tell you something I am not proud of: when I was a teenager, I used to tell racist jokes.  We would sit around and tell these shitty jokes and laugh, just a bunch of white as Wonder Bread suburban boys giggling at stupid stereotypes, and I swear I would never have understood why it was bad, if there were no people that would be offended by it around to hear it.  What was the harm, if nobody cared?  It honestly didn't occur to me that I should have been offended, that I should have cared.

I don't tell racist jokes any more, haven't for decades, and the reason I don't is because I understand now.

Words have power.

It is not okay for a jackass teenager to tell racist jokes because it only serves to preserve these ideas, to solidify them in our minds, because there was always that one kid there that would laugh too hard, too long, that would then say something violent or truly hateful.

And even though I would have fought you if you called me out, I would have tol…

The World Has Moved On (Pt. 1)

“The world has moved on,' we say... we've always said. But it's moving on faster now. Something has happened to time.”― Stephen KingThe Gunslinger


Okay, so this one might get a little nerdy, friends, so buckle up.

We're going to flash back a few years ago, to when Microsoft was about to unveil their new gaming console. It was rumored to be called Xbox 720, the double of the 360, get it?  I'm an Xbox guy, given that Halo was the first version of a console FPS that I loved, and I think their controllers are superior to those of the Playstation, and so I was very excited to see the unveiling of a new console.  Leading up to this, nerds everywhere were speculating and rumoring, and 'it is expected'-ing, and it became pretty clear to those of us that were paying close attention that it would likely be a large improvement hardware-wise, that there would finally be an integrated Blu-Ray player, since the other format, HD DVD, fizzled out.. Nerd Stuff.  You get …