Now reading: James Craig | London Calling (2011)

In the middle of a General Election, someone is targeting former members of the ultra-exclusive Merrion Club - youthful hedonists addicted to excess metamorphosed into pillars of the political establishment.
Next in the murderer’s sights is charismatic, ruthless Edgar Carlton, the man poised to be the next Prime Minister. But, with power almost in his grasp, Edgar will not stand idly by while his birthright is threatened.
When Inspector John Carlyle finds a body in a luxury London hotel room he begins a journey through the murky world of the British ruling classes which leads all the way to the top. Operating in a world where right and wrong don’t exist and the pursuit of power is everything, Carlyle has to find the killer before Carlton’s people take the matter into their own hands.

Now reading: James Craig | London Calling (2011)

In the middle of a General Election, someone is targeting former members of the ultra-exclusive Merrion Club - youthful hedonists addicted to excess metamorphosed into pillars of the political establishment.

Next in the murderer’s sights is charismatic, ruthless Edgar Carlton, the man poised to be the next Prime Minister. But, with power almost in his grasp, Edgar will not stand idly by while his birthright is threatened.

When Inspector John Carlyle finds a body in a luxury London hotel room he begins a journey through the murky world of the British ruling classes which leads all the way to the top. Operating in a world where right and wrong don’t exist and the pursuit of power is everything, Carlyle has to find the killer before Carlton’s people take the matter into their own hands.

Now reading: James Craig | The Enemy Within (2012)

Yorkshire, June 1984: War is raging between the police and striking mine workers. New recruit John Carlyle is sent up from London to man the picket lines. But when seventy-eight year old rose grower and political activist Beatrice Slater is found dead, the young constable’s tour of duty takes a dramatic turn. With the internal security service watching his every move, local police chief Rob Holt is under pressure to make a quick arrest. Carlyle finds himself drawn into a murder investigation that gets more complicated by the day. Was Slater’s death a robbery gone wrong? Or was she silenced because of her support for the strike?

Now reading: James Craig | The Enemy Within (2012)

Yorkshire, June 1984: War is raging between the police and striking mine workers. New recruit John Carlyle is sent up from London to man the picket lines. But when seventy-eight year old rose grower and political activist Beatrice Slater is found dead, the young constable’s tour of duty takes a dramatic turn. With the internal security service watching his every move, local police chief Rob Holt is under pressure to make a quick arrest. Carlyle finds himself drawn into a murder investigation that gets more complicated by the day. Was Slater’s death a robbery gone wrong? Or was she silenced because of her support for the strike?

michaeltalbot:

The evolution of the eInk Kindle range, in one animated .gif
I’ve seen this posted around in a few different places, so figured I’d post up a copy as well. It’s not - as some sites have said, the complete evolution, as it’s missing two models: The Kindle DX and the Kindle Touch.
Still, it’s pretty cool to see the evolution. To this day I still can’t believe how much of a 90s prototype the original device looked like.

❤

michaeltalbot:

The evolution of the eInk Kindle range, in one animated .gif

I’ve seen this posted around in a few different places, so figured I’d post up a copy as well. It’s not - as some sites have said, the complete evolution, as it’s missing two models: The Kindle DX and the Kindle Touch.

Still, it’s pretty cool to see the evolution. To this day I still can’t believe how much of a 90s prototype the original device looked like.

Now reading: Clive Barker | Weaveworld

Here is storytelling on a grand scale — the stuff of which a classic is made. Weaveworld begins with a rug — a wondrous, magnificent rug — into which a world has been woven. It is the world of the Seerkind, a people more ancient than man, who possesses raptures — the power to make magic. In the last century they were hunted down by an unspeakable horror known as the Scourge, and, threatened with annihilation, they worked their strongest raptures to weave themselves and their culture into a rug for safekeeping. Since then, the rug has been guarded by human caretakers. The last of the caretakers has just died. Vying for possession of the rug is a spectrum of unforgettable characters: Suzanna, granddaughter of the last caretaker, who feels the pull of the Weaveworld long before she knows the extent of her own powers; Calhoun Mooney, a pigeon-raising clerk who finds the world he’s always dreamed of in a fleeting glimpse of the rug; Immacolata, an exiled Seerkind witch intent on destroying her race even if it means calling back the Scourge; and her sidekick, Shadwell, the Salesman, who will sell the Weaveworld to the highest bidder. In the course of the novel the rug is unwoven, and we travel deep into the glorious raptures of the Weaveworld before we witness the final, cataclysmic struggle for its possession. Barker takes us to places where we have seldom been in fiction—places terrifying and miraculous, humorous, and profound. With keen psychological insight and prodigious invention, his trademark graphic vision balanced by a spirit of transcendent promise, Barker explores the darkness and the light, the magical and the monstrous, and celebrates the triumph of the imagination.

Now reading: Clive Barker | Weaveworld

Here is storytelling on a grand scale — the stuff of which a classic is made. Weaveworld begins with a rug — a wondrous, magnificent rug — into which a world has been woven. It is the world of the Seerkind, a people more ancient than man, who possesses raptures — the power to make magic. In the last century they were hunted down by an unspeakable horror known as the Scourge, and, threatened with annihilation, they worked their strongest raptures to weave themselves and their culture into a rug for safekeeping. Since then, the rug has been guarded by human caretakers.

The last of the caretakers has just died.

Vying for possession of the rug is a spectrum of unforgettable characters: Suzanna, granddaughter of the last caretaker, who feels the pull of the Weaveworld long before she knows the extent of her own powers; Calhoun Mooney, a pigeon-raising clerk who finds the world he’s always dreamed of in a fleeting glimpse of the rug; Immacolata, an exiled Seerkind witch intent on destroying her race even if it means calling back the Scourge; and her sidekick, Shadwell, the Salesman, who will sell the Weaveworld to the highest bidder.

In the course of the novel the rug is unwoven, and we travel deep into the glorious raptures of the Weaveworld before we witness the final, cataclysmic struggle for its possession.

Barker takes us to places where we have seldom been in fiction—places terrifying and miraculous, humorous, and profound. With keen psychological insight and prodigious invention, his trademark graphic vision balanced by a spirit of transcendent promise, Barker explores the darkness and the light, the magical and the monstrous, and celebrates the triumph of the imagination.

Now reading: Weird Tales #358

Weird Tales is the original storytelling magazine of the dark and fantastic. This issue features:THE EYRIE, by Ann VanderMeerA SWEET DISORDER IN THE DRESS, by Genevieve ValentineWEIRD CINEMA, by Robert A. KowalTHE LIBRARY by Cynthia WardCARRIE ANN BAADE, Interviewed by Ann VanderMeerTHE DINER ON THE EDGE OF HELL, by Ramsey ShehadehJAGANNATH, by Karin TidbeckA BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SANDCASTLE ALCHEMY, by Nik HouserLOOK AT THE JAM I’M IN, by Richard HolingerTHE HAND, by Gio ClairvalA CONTRACT WITHOUT LOOPHOLES, by Eric LisBEELZEBUB’S MESSIAH, by Brant DanayLOST IN LOVECRAFT, by Kenneth Hite

Now reading: Weird Tales #358

Weird Tales is the original storytelling magazine of the dark and fantastic. This issue features:

THE EYRIE, by Ann VanderMeer
A SWEET DISORDER IN THE DRESS, by Genevieve Valentine
WEIRD CINEMA, by Robert A. Kowal
THE LIBRARY by Cynthia Ward
CARRIE ANN BAADE, Interviewed by Ann VanderMeer
THE DINER ON THE EDGE OF HELL, by Ramsey Shehadeh
JAGANNATH, by Karin Tidbeck
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SANDCASTLE ALCHEMY, by Nik Houser
LOOK AT THE JAM I’M IN, by Richard Holinger
THE HAND, by Gio Clairval
A CONTRACT WITHOUT LOOPHOLES, by Eric Lis
BEELZEBUB’S MESSIAH, by Brant Danay
LOST IN LOVECRAFT, by Kenneth Hite

Now reading: Jack Ketchum | Ladies’ Night (1997)

Tom Braun and his wife Susan aren’t exactly a picturesque couple. Thus it comes as no surprise that Tom continually spends late evenings in bars and cheats on his wife. Unfortunately, their son Andy is caught in the middle of his parent’s childish banter and family chaos. One life-altering evening turns this family’s, along with most of New York’s, perceptions on the nuclear family and male/female relationships upside down.When a tanker trunk with “Ladies Inc.” emblazoned on the side crashes in a quiet area in New York, an area it doesn’t have authorization to be in, it liberally spills its contents all over the road and into the surrounding atmosphere. The local authorities deem the contents of the spill to be safe, based merely on the assumption that products coming from a women’s label are more than likely benign. Moreover, the smell emanating from the spill is one of sweet cherry, similar to lollipops, which must of course be harmless if not favorable. This aforementioned assumption proves fatally incorrect. The chemical load the truck was hauling procures a discomfiting, bestial effect in women, forcing them to savagely attack males in their vicinity. Be they former friend or foe.Tom, while at a local bar, absorbs the evening’s strange turn of events with traumatizing clarity as he witnesses first hand the metamorphosis of surrounding women into gruesomely instinctual brutes and mantis-like predators. He must get home to his son Andy, who is currently alone with his wife Susan. Hopefully before it is too late.

Now reading: Jack Ketchum | Ladies’ Night (1997)

Tom Braun and his wife Susan aren’t exactly a picturesque couple. Thus it comes as no surprise that Tom continually spends late evenings in bars and cheats on his wife. Unfortunately, their son Andy is caught in the middle of his parent’s childish banter and family chaos. One life-altering evening turns this family’s, along with most of New York’s, perceptions on the nuclear family and male/female relationships upside down.

When a tanker trunk with “Ladies Inc.” emblazoned on the side crashes in a quiet area in New York, an area it doesn’t have authorization to be in, it liberally spills its contents all over the road and into the surrounding atmosphere. The local authorities deem the contents of the spill to be safe, based merely on the assumption that products coming from a women’s label are more than likely benign. Moreover, the smell emanating from the spill is one of sweet cherry, similar to lollipops, which must of course be harmless if not favorable. This aforementioned assumption proves fatally incorrect. The chemical load the truck was hauling procures a discomfiting, bestial effect in women, forcing them to savagely attack males in their vicinity. Be they former friend or foe.

Tom, while at a local bar, absorbs the evening’s strange turn of events with traumatizing clarity as he witnesses first hand the metamorphosis of surrounding women into gruesomely instinctual brutes and mantis-like predators. He must get home to his son Andy, who is currently alone with his wife Susan. Hopefully before it is too late.

Now reading: James Herbert | Creed (1990)

Joseph Creed is a paparazzo, one of that un-illustrious band of photographers whose sole purpose in life is to chase and harass celebrities for candid shots, preferably of the seedier kind. Creed, himself, is a sleaze of the first order, but good at his job; nothing will stop him getting the right shot. He’s a coward, a liar and a would-be blackmailer. He’s also a womaniser and a divorcee. He looks a little like the actor Mickey Rourke (and is aware of it). After the funeral ceremony of a major Hollywood actress, he photographs a man of ravaged appearence desecrating the grave. Creed himself is observed and there follows a series of horrific events designed to intimidate him into handing over the film. The person he has photographed bears a remarkable resemblance to a man hanged in the 1930s for murder and the mutilation of children. Creed eventually discovers his antagonists are the Fallen Angels of Europe, whose origins can be traced to Biblical sources. Their powers are waning, the centuries and the evil they have perpetrated have taken their toll. The demons are weary. Creed finds them in an old folk’s rest home…

Now reading: James Herbert | Creed (1990)

Joseph Creed is a paparazzo, one of that un-illustrious band of photographers whose sole purpose in life is to chase and harass celebrities for candid shots, preferably of the seedier kind. Creed, himself, is a sleaze of the first order, but good at his job; nothing will stop him getting the right shot. He’s a coward, a liar and a would-be blackmailer. He’s also a womaniser and a divorcee. He looks a little like the actor Mickey Rourke (and is aware of it). After the funeral ceremony of a major Hollywood actress, he photographs a man of ravaged appearence desecrating the grave. Creed himself is observed and there follows a series of horrific events designed to intimidate him into handing over the film. The person he has photographed bears a remarkable resemblance to a man hanged in the 1930s for murder and the mutilation of children. Creed eventually discovers his antagonists are the Fallen Angels of Europe, whose origins can be traced to Biblical sources. Their powers are waning, the centuries and the evil they have perpetrated have taken their toll. The demons are weary. Creed finds them in an old folk’s rest home…

Now reading: Kurt Vonnegut | Breakfast of Champions (1973)

"We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane." So reads the tombstone of downtrodden writer Kilgore Trout, but we have no doubt who’s really talking: his alter ego Kurt Vonnegut. Health versus sickness, humanity versus inhumanity—both sets of ideas bounce through this challenging and funny book. As with the rest of Vonnegut’s pure fantasy, it lacks the shimmering, fact-fueled rage that illuminates Slaughterhouse-Five. At the same time, that makes this book perhaps more enjoyable to read.
Breakfast of Champions is a slippery, lucid, bleakly humorous jaunt through (sick? inhumane?) America circa 1973, with Vonnegut acting as our Virgil-like companion. The book follows its main character, auto-dealing solid-citizen Dwayne Hoover, down into madness, a condition brought on by the work of the aforementioned Kilgore Trout. As Dwayne cracks, then crumbles, Breakfast of Champions coolly shows the effects his dementia has on the web of characters surrounding him. It’s not much of a plot, but it’s enough for Vonnegut to air unique opinions on America, sex, war, love, and all of his other pet topics—you know, the only ones that really count.

Now reading: Kurt Vonnegut | Breakfast of Champions (1973)

"We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane." So reads the tombstone of downtrodden writer Kilgore Trout, but we have no doubt who’s really talking: his alter ego Kurt Vonnegut. Health versus sickness, humanity versus inhumanity—both sets of ideas bounce through this challenging and funny book. As with the rest of Vonnegut’s pure fantasy, it lacks the shimmering, fact-fueled rage that illuminates Slaughterhouse-Five. At the same time, that makes this book perhaps more enjoyable to read.

Breakfast of Champions is a slippery, lucid, bleakly humorous jaunt through (sick? inhumane?) America circa 1973, with Vonnegut acting as our Virgil-like companion. The book follows its main character, auto-dealing solid-citizen Dwayne Hoover, down into madness, a condition brought on by the work of the aforementioned Kilgore Trout. As Dwayne cracks, then crumbles, Breakfast of Champions coolly shows the effects his dementia has on the web of characters surrounding him. It’s not much of a plot, but it’s enough for Vonnegut to air unique opinions on America, sex, war, love, and all of his other pet topics—you know, the only ones that really count.