Archive for October, 2014

90,633

Fireworks

Wonderful is complete. Go wild and crazy!

In the dying hours of October – by which time I hoped to have finished writing, editing and started to send the book off – the news is that I’ve FINISHED WRITING Wonderful.

It comes in at 90,633 words, which is respectable enough for the comic fantasy genre. Works out at 318 double spaced Word pages.

 

Technically, there’s still a little work to do on it – there are two scenes I’d like to add in, both of them short, and hell, I still have a couple of hours before the end of October. And I need to redistribute my chapter headings and put in some page numbers, but essentially, it goes from title page to the words “The End” – and I have actually edited a great part of the book, I just need to run through the last…maybe 10-15,000 words for the flow and word-choice.  But in its essentials, the book’s done. Will work on it till bedtime just to smooth out these last issues, then tomorrow, it’s back to editing – and I’m guessing, working on the synopsis and letter, which actually feels a lot clearer in my head now the story’s finished. So – that’s the easy bit done. Now to try and sell the book and become a published author.

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The Possibility Matrix – WarpedFactor

Michelle Gomez as Missy.

Love-child of the Rani and the Valeyard. Just wait and see.

You’ve got to really love the smell of Whovians going stark raving bonkers in the morning if you’re going to make it long-term in this particular fandom. No really, you do, because it was stated as one of the Laws of Gallifrey in a Robert Holmes story thirty years ago. Go on, you check, we’ll wait.

 

As fan speculation over the Series 8 story-arc reaches demented levels, Tony explored the nature of modern fandom in the ‘possibility matrix’ world of Doctor Who.

 

Read the piece here.

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A Kick in the Nethersphere Redux

Michelle Gomez as Missy

The mysterious Missy.

As the arc of Missy and the Nethersphere draws, we assume, to a climax, it’s seeming more and more likely that a metaphysical dilemma is being made, if not exactly flesh, then certainly steel over the course of two episodes.

 

As the Whovian world went more than a little nuts over the Series 8 series-arc, Tony once more waxed philosophical about the Cybermen and souls on WarpedFactor.

 

Read the piece here.

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Remembering Carrie – WarpedFactor

Movie poster for Carrie

\Not so much a horror movie, more a social commentary on non-conformity.

Carrie is the only Stephen King book I’ve ever managed to finish. Carrie the original movie was the first video tape I ever bought with my own money. And it is with my Not-A-Stephen-King-Fan hat on that I tell you that Carrie is a practically perfect horror movie.

 

As Hallowe’en approached, Tony took a look back at the original Stephen King movie – Carrie.

Read the piece here.

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The Potential of the Cybermen

The Cybermen marching through Paris.

The Cybermen – should be far more Cyber than men.

The Cybermen have never been used to their full potential on screen.

The Cybermen are Doctor Who’s silver medal monsters. Only the Daleks outrank them in the show’s history, and the reason for that is that, like the Daleks, they work on two levels – the immediate, threatening, scary monster level and the philosophical level, embodying a primal human fear.

As Series 8 moves towards a two-part cyber-finale, Tony Fyler argued that the potential of the Cybermen has never been fully realised on screen. in an article for WarpedFactor.

 

Read the piece here.

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Heaven Is A Gated Community

A blond-haried angel with huge wings and a small Celtic harp

Hark as she first appears – wonderful but incredibly naive.

You have to love an internet quiz.

It’s probably the law.

Earlier tonight a friend of mine took an internet quiz that aimed to tell her “What her job would be in the Afterlife”. It turned out she was destined to be a gatekeeper in Heaven.

Which is as much of an excuse as I need to share an extract of Wonderful with you all. Be careful what you wish for, would seem to be the message. And just possibly beware the kind of people who think they probably deserve to go to Heaven.

***

‘Fill out these forms and hand them to my colleague,’ said the spirit of what was once Geoffrey Alexander Mottershead, his nasal whine perfectly recreated despite him only having the spiritual memory of a nose to whine with. He was bored almost to tears, and that, according to the rules, was perfectly fair.

When Purgatory had been abolished some years previously and Azrael had gone off to ‘find himself,’ Heaven and Hell had seen a massive influx of new residents. And while the Son had protested, as he did to anyone who would listen, that in His Father’s kingdom there were many mansions, Heaven was full of the kind of people who didn’t think any Johnny-come-lately should be able to just turn up and get a mansion, when they obviously hadn’t been devout enough to deserve one outright. If there were mansions, they felt, then they should be reserved for those indigenous, unquestioning believers who had been pure in their belief while they were alive.

The Son had sighed, reflecting, not for the first time, that he’d left a rather significant loophole in the system. Believing in him had seemed like a foolproof entry requirement when he’d first thought it up, but as time had gone on, he’d noticed that it did let through rather a lot of people who weren’t, when all was said and done, as it invariably was by the time he ran into them, very nice. The Crusaders were a more or less devout bunch of chaps, but they would insist on slaughtering people who were different to themselves. Likewise, the Spanish Inquisition fellows (who had, as comic convention appeared to demand, appeared en masse one morning, unexpectedly), were nothing if not enthusiastic believers. The Son had stopped arguing altogether when the Reverend Falwell had turned up. It was obviously pointless. Besides, the Father had no problem with these people.

And so there they were, all the mansion-claimers in their ultimate gated community. And while Heaven was in absolutely no sense a democracy, there were rather a lot of these people, and no-one likes unfriendly, muttering neighbours, so a solution had been found. Hell might be a bureaucracy, but in terms of its ability to stretch a point, spin a line or pick a nit till it howled and begged for mercy, Heaven was more like a law firm. One of those ‘how-much?’ ones that celebrities and rock stars use when they’ve shot someone in the face and need a defence. A solution had been found, or rather engineered. There were plenty of menial jobs in Heaven, most of which had previously been done by the meek – because after all, they never complained and they were due a big windfall one of these days – or by virtue of Grace, the atmospheric field of Heaven.

Now all the new arrivals found themselves doing these menial jobs – tuning harps and cleaning out trumpet spit-valves, polishing thrones and diadems, paving streets with something that glittered, but which fundamentally wasn’t gold, or, in the case of the real borderline specimens, doing the paperwork. Heaven generated a lot of paperwork these days, though of course it wasn’t real paper, any more than the streets were paved with real gold, or the trumpets were filled with real spit. But in a universe where everything was non-material, including the people, it felt real enough to Geoffrey Alexander Mottershead and his colleagues. It felt real enough to the mansion-claimers too, who smiled smugly at what they’d managed to achieve, and agreed to put their heads together more often. It might be Heaven, they said among themselves, but that didn’t mean it had to be fun.

Not for everyone, anyhow.

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The Original Nightmare on Elm Street Series

Portrait of Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger.

Freddy Krueger. All about the backstory – and the glove full of knives, obviously.

Of the horror movie icons born or prominent in the 80s, only one has real backstory. Jason Voorhees was just a poor bullied kid originally, Michael Myers appears to have been just pure bad from a very young age, with his lack of understandable motive one of the most compelling things about him. But Freddy Krueger was all about the backstory.

Freddy Krueger slashed his way through a generation of teenagers in the 80s and 90s. Tony took readers on a whirlwind tour of the Springwood Slasher’s early career in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies at WarpedFactor.com.

Read the piece here.

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In Defence of the Sixth Doctor’s Costume

Colin Baker in the Sixth Doctor's costume.

The Sixth Doctor’s costume – he was the Pied Piper of space

Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor has one of the shortest tallies of on-screen adventures, but is one of the most successful (some say the most successful) audio Doctors. Many people, including Colin himself, have blamed the garish multi-coloured costume he wore in the show for turning people off the character.  Tony stood up for the benighted costume on WarpedFactor.

 

Read the piece here.

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Aftermath of the Omen Trilogy – WarpedFactor

Collage of images from Omen projects beyond the trilogy.

The Omen – will it ever actually die?

Having looked at the original Omen Trilogy in a previous piece, Tony squared the pentaram by taking on the two part IVs, part V, the failed TV show, the re-make and the disturbing news that Damien Thorn is set to return to our TV screens in 2015. The Omen continues to prove you can’t keep a good AntiChrist down.

Read the piece here.

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The To-Do List

So – people everywhere tell me the feedback from Orion is among the most positive reactions theyve ever heard from a publisher. That’s nice of course, but the only real positive reaction that counts is “We’d like to publish you, here’s a cheque and a sports car and a twelve-book deal, now go away somewhere lovely and don’t come back till you’ve written the next couple.”

Still, there’s time for that, I suppose.

Was discussing the To-Do List of the book with a friend by email earlier. I explained that right now, I need to add one sentence to the first chapter, give my Ritz ‘cat-in-a-box’ scene more action, give my two Galileo scenes a bit more danger, finish my Shakespeare scene, deciding whether Shakespeare gets his brain burned out before he writes Hamlet, or after, add in my Gandhi scene, re-write the ending of my Moon landing scene, punch Dante in the face again, just because, and then it should all be plain sailing to the end of the world.

There was a pause between emails. Then she came back.

Well, that’s…different, she wrote.

I know, I assured her. Dilemmas of a fantasy writer. I bet Dickens never had to deal with this sort of thing.

Another pause. Then:

You’re probably right, she said.

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