caper_est: Sharpening the quill (writing)
The challenges of redrafting Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland's Yuletide arc over the real-world Yuletide seemed about as tempting as going five rounds with Rudolph and the gang atop the roof-tree, so I didn't.  Back home today, and back to the need to make it make sense.

As a diversion I've been working on a short fast attack novel, provisionally titled The Land of Lemonade, and set in a contemporary extended London in which William Hope Hodgson was a journalist, Princess Louise's legacy is more significant than Queen Victoria's, and the No Tail Paal Pail is food*.  Current wordcount: 5,400.  This yarn shares a world with Carbonek (see previous post), and explores the hyper-liberal urban counterpart to the arch-conservative cosmic defence employed by Sabrina Cottislowe and her countryfolk in Least Britain.  I came up with Carbonek first, but Uncle Jim Harries of Lemonade is so much more dynamic a protagonist than Sabrina's friend Blogger Bill, he's carrying it away by a mile, even now while he's still stuck in pure reactive mode. 

This would be a good one to finish.  I even think I understand the plot.

*  But these are SECRETS.  You didn't hear them from me!

caper_est: I dreamed all knight... (dream)
Are BARRED from my dreams until with strange aeons, even Death shall die. And they shouldn't get up their hopes too much then, either.

Apparently the Crawling Chaos looks a lot like a network manager I used to know, only with charisma upgraded to Maximum Evil, and bringing the Apocalypse instead of the Inconvenience. Also he ate somebody's brains in front of them, which apparently one can do if one has the top level cheat codes, and which I am fairly sure that the Nameless NM never did in any strictly physical sense, or on purpose if it comes to that. Moreover Nyarlathotep committed many other breaches of the rules of cricket, including the one about not sending ravening mobs through the streets after me; and generally degraded the quality of my unplanned nap quite a lot.

The less arseholish student and I eventually stuffed him and the Hasturpocalypse back into their box by timey wimey wish-lawyery woo. Nyar hah!

Nonetheless, I feel no urge to revisit this or any potential spin-off scenario at any time in the foreseeable future.

Dream rating: Two poppies - the second being for technical excellence, and actually having something approximating a plot, which ended better than could have been expected. The three poppies not awarded are for all the myriad ways in which the experience was otherwise objectionable.

I sign off in haste, to read a great big sugarload about kittens and Drones Club doings before my just bedtime.
caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
On First Finishing Mira Grant's Newsflesh Trilogy

Seldom I've dabbled in the realms of red,
Or splashed my cricket bat with sanguine stains:
Who once the zombie genre sore disdains
Not lightly is amused by dudes undead.
At whiles attempts most valiant I'd read:
Bill Swears and Alden Bell took noble pains,
Yet none, meseems, did nosh upon my brains
Till Mira Grant scooped mine from out my head.
Then felt I like stout Rudyard Kipling when
Of all the well-worn ways to tribal lays,
He stumbled on that lost Threescore-and-Ten,
That closes hidebound books, and opens eyes
To all they asked - nor craves we read again,
But do, and do! - and cry, "When will we rise?"


Keats' original can be found here, for those unfamiliar with it. 

[ profile] wswears's Zook Country* and Alden Bell's The Reapers Are The Angels are the other good books reffed above, and indeed are the only other literary zombie-fests I have so far finished.  Not even unmentionable-smashing ninja Bennet sisters have otherwise managed to carry me along with the Brainsss Brigade.  This is probably because I get my RDA of shambly zombie goodness by 5.30 most mornings, courtesy of my trusty shaving mirror - but I digress.

For those unfamiliar with Mira Grant (alias the excellent contemporary fantasist [ profile] seanan_mcguire), what more can I say? Go on, get some read on you!

 * ETA:
Which first persuaded me that a zombie apocalypse book could also be a right good read, and in whose absence I might never have tried out the others.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
"The Tree, the Sheen, the Bridal-Cake:
These thy soul shall surely take.
The Angled Rune, the Bags, the Plough
Find thy flesh a feast enow.
The Banner, Breeze, and World-on-Fire
To deliver thee desire.
The Pig, the Pipe, the Little-Lost,
Fight but at forever’s cost.
The Lane That Lifts, the Squirm, the Spice,
Thee may aid – nor ask the price.
Should thou gain the Doorless Door,
Pass it once, and come no more."
To which my protagonist's not-unreasonable reaction is, "That's it?  Mind out in case we get our souls eaten by the Wedding-Cake of Evil and the fucking Pig and Whistle?  Who even comes up with this stuff?"

And the measured response is something like, "'hem.  The kind of people who met one of the nice things there, so they more or less got home to scribble about it.  It's not a healthy interest, I'm afraid.  Coming?"

This jingle jangle  may or may not get into the final yarn, when it comes together.  The ambience and a few of the Things mentioned might hint at one of the literary influences on the developing story.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 360 words of the Assize from Luke's point of view. There's more and worse here than even his captors can know of. I'd meant to finish this scene today, but not now; not in the going down of daylight; not so close upon the borders of my dreams. It would be pull punches or lack all wholesome sleep, and neither appeals. Tomorrow, then: an end of this, and the way clear to the climax of the chapter.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 390 words. Lord Evil driven to his last bold throw. He's making half of it up as he goes along, and so am I. This can't in any way go wrong, especially if the Young Duke latches onto the thing there was never any chance of him latching onto because, oh, er, whoops. There are a lot of clever people in this room, and at least two epically impetuous ones, and I'm increasingly uncertain as to who's going to win this bout, and how!

The Popinjay: 450 words. Beauty steals the scene from Bright Young Thing, shuts it down, and embarks upon her own. She wasn't supposed to do that. Well, now I begin to understand her, and why she is the person to deal with the Beast-Thing by and by. There's a subtle perversity in her romantic and ingenuous spirit, considerably more disturbing than Money Spider's asocial calculation or Bright Young Thing's edge of cruelty. It's wickedly familiar, but I'm not sure I have a name for it. Not the usual thing that sets belles up with beasts, certainly - nearer to what Arthur Machen meant in The White People, when he discoursed of those great sinners who commit no named sins, and are even rarer and less detectable than great saints. Whether Beauty is heading for great sin or awesome sanctity or just extreme humanity, was always going to be - a matter of interpretation. At any rate, she's already much more formidable than I first took her for.

For my own sins - specifically, trawling YouTube before bed for a half-good version of Cassilda's Song out of The King in Yellow - I was repaid with gloomy and ill-remembered adventures in a decadent Venice. I would call this a step up from my Lankhmar City-Break the other night, except that when my alarm woke me, I found myself channelling Azathoth's internal monologue. As signs go, this is never a good one.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Oh sod it! It has to be expelled from my system, sooner or later!

Here, found in the ashes of a burnt-out village hall whose surviving walls bear strange and troubling markings about which I will not and must not think too curiously, are the only remaining documents in the case of You Won't Believe It!, the ill-fated off-Millbank musical based on Stephen R Donaldson's First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever.

The necromancy and bibliomancy involved in assembling our all-star, all-volunteer cast has been strictly investigated by the proper Authorities, who inform me that it is not to blame for any of the subsequent unfortunate events.


The Cast, who are all completely innocent, especially the ones with tentacles. )


As to the specific cause of the disaster, the Investigator diagnosed 'Natural Justice' and departed.  I have no idea what she was talking about.

Those who have perused the cast list will readily understand that certain... improvements were necessary to render the original story fit for public performance.  The surviving passage - which it appears that the fires refused to consume, no doubt for reasons which seemed good to them - is given below the cut, and translates a notoriously problematic episode from Lord Foul's Bane into popular and family-friendly entertainment, in a style we like to think will prove both edifying and touching.


That Scene from the first act of 'You Won't Believe It!' )


Concerned citizens may be reassured that High Lord Elena turns out (perhaps unsuprisingly) not to be Covenant's daughter; so that after Lord Foul is laughed to destruction in the classic audience-participation number Behind You!, and the Creator cures Covenant's leprosy and resurrects Elena into our world to live happily ever after with him and all Drool's gold and their very own herd of Ranyhyn ponies on Haven Farm, there is nothing in any way illegal or tasteless about the miracle.  Nor about the closing song.  Believe This! is a very superior song, especially when Campaspe is performing it.  And she is not rude, as the vulgar-minded would have it.  She is a cultural and classical treasure of the Western tradition!

Concerned citizens may also be reassured that we can no longer get permits or insurance to perform this big marabou stork anywhere within the Sirian Sector or for twenty parsecs around it.  Also, everybody who knew the script in any detail was rehearsing it in the hall when... that which occurred, occurred.  No least human remains were ever discovered, so it is possible that they will some day return and enlighten us on the matter; but it is also, after all, possible that they will not very much care to talk about it.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

Returning to London last night, I found my phone/Internet connection dead, apparently from a fault at the BT exchange which may take up to 3 days to resolve.  So my communications may be kind of hit-and-run for a time.

A few hundred words of a side-project fairy-tale, attempting to do for Beauty and the Beast something vaguely akin to what Arthur Machen did for Mustardseed and Peaseblossom, only with happier ultimate  tendency.  This has been hanging around in stub form for most of a year, and has suddenly put forth several questing roots and a slightly kinky shoot.  More of this if I finish it. 

No Katherine words are coming, though I did have a dream last night in which I was working for C. the Great, Empress of All the Russias.  As something pretty much like one of Mercedes Lackey's Heralds, bizarrely enough.  Luckily for C. the G. and my brain bleach budget, some oneiric Health and Safety appears to have embargoed the presence of large white superhorsies.


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)

August 2015

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