Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Christopher Priest has been one of my favorite writers since I first encountered his stories in the mid-Seventies. Most people probably know him from Christopher Nolan’s film adaptation of The Prestige, which doesn’t come close to capturing the disorienting weirdness and terrors of the novel. Most of his novels, reliably, freak me out. I can’t even describe what it is he does so effectively that creates a sense of reality undermined, but he does it over and over again. It has been a source of frustration that I’ve never read a few of his books, but I’m less frustrated right now, having discovered that Valancourt Books has been reissuing a number of them in inexpensive ebook editions.

A Dream of Wessex

The Separation

The Affirmation

The Space Machine

I have read none of these yet, but The Prestige is on offer too, and I recommend it highly…as I do all Priest’s work.



In the first season of The Sopranos, Tony’s mother Livia enters nursing care, and is sitting up in bed reading when Artie comes to visit. This is her point of view shot: She’s reading the obituaries. HD now allows us a glorious glimpse of the pasted-up paper she’s reading, visible for a fraction of a second…unless you pause it on your iPad and take a screenshot. At first glance, one sees evidence of actual, old school cut-and-paste. But a closer read shows the two columns on the left had some actual work put into them. I’ve done my best to transcribe them below:


Julie Ross

[S]aturday. Chase Township. Julie

[R]oss, one half of the acrobatic

[t]eam of Ross and Toss, was found

[de]ad in a Queen’s NY mental

[ins]titution, apparently as an effect

…her attempting to juggle too

[ma]ny items at once. Ross and Toss

…e famous in the European

…s venues for their

…mplished act. In their most

…s feat, Ms. Ross would

[balan]ce an entire film crew on her

[shoul]ders while Toss would shout

[r]andom schedule changes to

[torme]nt the hapless crewmembers.

…survived by her acrobatic

…of 16 years. Toss, a full

…Cherokee Indian whose

…was knife throwing

…it was rumored for many

…at Ross and Toss were

…r. Toss denied that today,

…Ugh. Me-um and squaw

…just act for show. No

…kyum.” “But, he added,

…otice Me squaw Ross

…heap nice rack.

Services will be

…at the Juggler’s chapel.


Sunday. Brigantyne. Dr. Mitchell Burgess, the notorious “Shore Points Diet doc” was found dead of an apparent exploded stomach after chowing down to an “all you can eat” lobsterfest at a local Brigantyne bar. Burgess, whose controversial diet method, “Eat This Book” made the NY Times best seller list for seven straight years, preached that the fiber content of ordinary wood pulp as found in paperback books was more than enough nutrition for the average American. By eating his books, Dr. Burgess’ readers not only shed pounds, but kept buying more and more copies whenever they wanted a little snack. “He seems to have stumbled on the ultimate selling technique,” opined his Publisher, Robin Green of Random Thoughts Books. “By convincing his readers to eat the books, he kept on the best seller list for all those years.” On Sunday, Burgess, who practiced what he preached and demonstrated a voracious appetite for fine literature by once eating the collected works of [?] was innocently walking down the street [?] munching on a TV Guide…

Left for Read

Since I am no longer actively sharing every single thing I read on Facebook, I thought I’d make an effort to compile and occasionally post interesting links I’d encountered. Recurrent themes may emerge.

The state of our shorelines:

All of Proust in your pocket.

New Story Alert: The Finest, Fullest Flowering

Just arrived in the June issue of Nightmare Magazine, “The Finest, Fullest Flowering.” It lurks behind a paywall until June 15th, which is not coincidentally the day I will be reading at the KGB Bar. Prior to that time, you can pay a pittance to read the entire issue, or, for a slightly larger pittance, subscribe for a year. I will post again when it goes live. Hopefully that opening paragraph proves so tantalizing you can’t resist supporting the Nightmare Empire with some inexpensive clicking.