Friday, August 12, 2022



Look at that! The cover of my next (probably) book!

Many of you may have been wondering where that splatter western I was talking about a while back went to. I swear, it's finished and almost ready. Even if I die tomorrow, it will still be published at some point, as it is waiting in the folder I have called IN THE EVENT OF MY DEATH. And goddam! That's a beautiful cover from Luke Spooner! But oddly enough, that's not what I'm here to talk about today.

For a very brief period of time the splatter western was all the rage, and as I suspected, it ran out of gas pretty quickly. That's what happens with a lot of sub-sub-sub genre stuff. I thought the phrase was pretty laughable, and I still do. This is actually a book I originally wrote in 2003 and was doing a huge overhaul on, but I knew there was no way it would be out in time to cash in on the Great New Thing, which wasn't all that new, anyway. I much preferred it when it was called the Weird Western Tale.

Regardless, my topic for tonight is my disdain for publishing labels. Or any marketing labels, really. I think it diminishes the work because humanity just absolutely cannot stop themselves from classifying everything. I understand it when it comes to science, but when it comes to art? No thanks.

You may also recall me talking about my splatter SF book, and I'm here to assure you it was very much tongue in cheek. Who the hell writes a splatter SF book, anyway? You might mention the movie, Event Horizon, which would qualify if I didn't despise labels so much. But when you think of SF, you mostly think of hard SF or social SF, and even those labels are too much for me. To quote Heinlein, "Specialization is for insects."

I get the need for some categories. Horror, SF, mystery, fantasy, so on. But when you start splitting those up into sub-categories, that's where you lose me. Must we turn every single fucking thing on this planet into a marketing scheme? I guess the answer is yes, but very few see it as cheapening art, which it is doing.

I remember when I first heard of Korpiklaani, which I simply consider to be metal. But because everyone loves labels, I started going around calling them Finnish folk metal, just to see if anyone would bite. Imagine my surprise when, a couple of albums back, they had a sticker on their CD cover proclaiming them to be Finnish folk metal. I doubt they got that from me. I hope they didn't. But if I started something, I really need to stop talking about splatter SF before some fool takes up that banner and waves it like a lunatic.

Maybe I'm just being ye olde stick in the mud. Perhaps I am. But this situation is almost as bad as people calling art "content." I fucking hate that. If art really is content, maybe I should give up writing and become a YouTube star. To quote Jello Biafra, "Is my cock big enough? Is my brain small enough? For you to make me a star?"

Thursday, August 11, 2022


 Another busy day where time got away from me. I will be glad when I no longer attend those three hour recovery meetings three times a week. That will give me back so much time. Also, I got my eyes dilated today, so reading and typing things is a bit difficult for me. Just typing this took about five minutes when ordinarily it would take less than one. Anyway, I just finished MAKE ROOM! MAKE ROOM! by Harry Harrison, the basis for the movie SOYLENT GREEN, so here is my Goodreads review. I should have something better for tomorrow night.

This was a fun read, and I'm glad 1999 didn't turn out the way Harrison expected. But it's still in the cards, especially now that Roe v Wade has been struck down by the Supreme Court. Andy Rusch is a cop in NYC, and his job is made worse by the economic situation of a city overstuffed with people. Murderers get away with their crimes everyday because the police don't have the resources to investigate them, but when a sleazy dude named Big Mike gets killed, all the politicians and mob bosses put pressure on Andy's boss to make sure he solves this one.

The thing I really liked, though, was Sol's speech near the end about how screwed the world is and how politicians use language to incite the mob to keep business as usual despite the fact that business as usual is atrociously horrible and changing it would make existence for everyone more tolerable. It's something we were probably suffering from back when Harrison wrote this, and it's certainly something we're dealing with now. It angers me that some politicians will defend the "lives" of unborn fetuses that are unwanted by their mothers. Not just because it will lead to the overpopulation Harrison describes, but mostly because it's a woman's right to decide what she does with her body. And yet those same politicians don't care about that fetus once it's born. By then it's just another welfare suck for them. The hypocrisy is practically blinding. The same goes for the reliance on fossil fuels. In the book, they're gone. We used it all up. We're on track to do that now, and what then? Just give up on cars, like in the book? It's really as simple as a politician's reliance on money from oil companies. They don't dare bite the hand that feeds. And the oil companies play it safe by paying ALL politicians. They don't care who wins, just so long as they paid for it. Therefore, because of this fear of not being reelected, these scumbags have doomed the rest of us and the future. I guess the oil companies haven't figured out how to monetize solar or wind power. Once they do, I'm sure we'll have a cleaner future, but they're still going to be horrible people who do things solely for the payday.

I'm getting off track. The big question on my mind while reading this is when do the suicide machines and Soylent Green come in? It turns out that they don't. An odd revelation, considering how famous that reveal is in the movie. And it does make sense that in an overpopulated world, the most reliable food source would be people. But that doesn't happen here. The book still comes to a satisfying ending, though, and for those who feel robbed by it, I would point out how low my opinion of bureaucracy is. Hint: It's lower than whale doo-doo.








YES! It is finally upon us! I have just completed SHIT POEMS NUMBER TWO! And if you buy my new book, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HIERONYMUS ALOYSIS ZIEGE, you will get a copy of this for free! If you've already bought the book, you can send me a copy of the receipt and your mailing address, and I'll send you a copy of this for free. Limited to 30 copies, so first come, first serve. All of these will be signed.

If you haven't bought the book yet, you can do so here. I expect to have a bunch of copies of it myself soon, so you can buy directly from me, and I'll sign them. And if you're in Chicago for Printers Row on Sept. 10-11, I'll have copies of ZIEGE and SHIT POEMS NUMBER TWO.

And yes, there is a bunch more Nic Cage poems in this one, including one for THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT, which I think you'll like.

You can contact me in the comments below, or if you're on my Twitter or Facebook, you can get me there. Or, if all else fails, you can send an email to