February 27, 2012

An excerpt from Hungry Hungry Ed by Tyler MacFarlane

I was a zombie fan before zombies were à la mode (...ice cream.... delicious...). I shouldn't complain that they are now. We have The Walking Dead (AMC, not the graphic novels, I linked to the trailer) because of it, or at least it certainly helps. So long as zombies don't go the way of vampires and werewolves in things (yeah things) like Twilight and such we'll be ok. I'm not judging (I am), I haven't read them and they're for a different audience. If they get people to read, it's all good.

Back on track... Tyler MacFarlane. Tyler (I want to talk about Fight club) brings us Hungry Hungry Ed. It is a must read in my opinion. It is also to date the only story we have printed with zombies. It turns out they know how to run a print machine so we may use them again, they're here, our actual printers.

Enjoy the excerpt!
Ed pauses, reconsidering the gravity of the situation at hand. He raises a contemplative finger to his mouth and chews the digit to the bone whilst pondering his surroundings. He stumbles awkwardly about in a circular motion, his tortured mind unburdened by the repetitive action. The thoughts literally ooze out of Ed’s ears. He knows he’s just a player in the game of post-apocalypse life. He knows he was born into a pre-determined set of rules – a system of symbols, semantics, and truth values. Ed continues to think, and surveys what he has to work with. He didnt pass go, didn’t collect $200 – he ate the monopoly board. Life is as subjective as the hunger pangs in his stomach. Truth value: Ed’s hungry. Semantically speaking, very hungry. That’s my justified, true belief, anyways.
The doorknob cowers now in the face of Ed and Murph’s morbidity, quivering and bending with each wildly awkward blow. Perspiration, blood, and guts spill out over the cold ceramic floor. Hunger permeates the charred remains of the MacFarlane’s old house. The undead brothers strike with the force of all things unholy. Three terrible, deformed arms beat continuously against the doorknob. The arms beat and beat; they beat themselves into stumps of purpose, of eminent destruction.
My name is Tyler MacFarlane, and I’m from Whitby, Ontario. If I’m not reading, writing, longboarding, or making music, I just might be dead. In which case, I’d chase you down to eat your brains (after having suffered a radioactive metamorphosis, of course). I’m a teacher by trade, but stuck on a long waitlist for a job, so I earn a living in general construction and carpentry. I completed my Honours Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto, studying Philosophy and English. After that, I moved to Australia to undergo a Graduate Diploma in Education, and graduated this past December. Somewhere between surfing with penguins, chasing kangaroo, and long roadtrips, I decided to start marketing pieces of my writing. So here I am, a 24-year-old teacher without a classroom, passing time writing stories about cute things like zombies. Thanks for the read!

February 26, 2012

Exerpt from "If the Mountain Won't Come to Mohammed," by Ira Nayman.

 Today we present another excerpt from one of the nine stories that will be included in our next issue.  This one is by Ira Nayman.  It's called "If the Mountain Won't Come to Mohammed."  Enjoy!

 Why were they all there? All reality aspires to achieve a state of Monty Python, but some reality is better at it than others. “I want to fund you all to go on an expedition to scale Mount Everest,” billionaire playboy Martin Bowdiggin told them in his comfortably luxurious Vancouver office. “Why?” Pontoon had asked. “To look for the last team I sent on an expedition to scale Mount Everest,” billionaire science hobbyist Bowdiggin answered. The first team had vanished without a trace. And, while the phrase “without a trace” was usually used hyperbolically, in this case it was precise: satellite imaging of the route they had taken had turned up nothing. Not a single body. Not a single piece of equipment. Not a single piece of garbage - and, no matter how careful they were, everybody who climbed her left some garbage behind. It was spooky how clean Everest now appeared to be.
            “In their last transmission,” billionaire expositor Bowdiggin explained to the team, “they said that they had set up base camp and, except for the odd floating cow, nothing unusual had happened. The next morning, they didn’t make check in, and, when we tried to contact them, we got no signal.”
            “Could the floating cows have been rigged to explode?” Fincher blue skyed.
            “Doubtful,” billionaire buzzkiller Bowdiggin responded.

 If Ira Nayman existed, he would be a satirist who dabbles in science fiction. He would have two collections of Alternate Reality News Service (ARNS) stories, Alternate Reality Ain't What It Used To Be and What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children's Toys, in print. A third collection, Luna for the Lunies!, would be available in ebook format from Smashwords. All of the material in all three books would be available at his Web site, Les Pages aux Folles (http://www.lespagesauxfolles.ca), as well as new material every week. "The Weight of Information," the pilot for an ARNS radio series, could be heard on YouTube. He would have written a separate series of short stories featuring Antonio Van der Whall, object psychologist, as well as a novel and two novellas featuring the Transdimensional Authority. Unfortunately, Ira Nayman can neither confirm nor deny his existence, so you’re on your own.

February 23, 2012

Issue 6 Cover Art and The Designer

A picture is worth 1000 words, or in this case 50000, which is about how many are between the cover pages of Issue 6, Settler 26 –not to take away from the power of artful writing and a great imagination.

A cover is the first thing we see on a book and for many books it is also the last thing we see. Like it or not a perfect story can sit on a shelf gathering dust if it doesn’t draw us in, and fast.

Our cover was done this time byAnnabelle Métayer (click on her name). Her range as an artist is incredible. We think she did a fantastic job and the feedback we have had confirms it. It represents for us what we think we are about. It harnesses the energy, creativity and Here-Be-Monsters-twist.

How she managed to draw this out of us over several days while Alex, Vincent and I went back and forth about what a good title should contain, how long it should be and which of us was smarter (amongst much other totally unrelated diatribe) is still a mystery. I did ask. It sounded to me like… well… intuition. We are proud of the fact that we allow creative freedom, so we never said we want... X with X riding X while X does X.

Sure she used our google doc link of absurd key words and strange to ridiculous title ideas, and we had chatted over food and beverage, but really… intuition, both professional and artistic. If it wasn’t intuition then it was one of only two other possible (probable?) options: magic or time travel.

We really think it hits the nail on the head, and much more aptly than that saying. So check out her work, or better yet have her create for you, she's a pro graphic designer and illustrator. To contact go here: Annabelle Métayer.