Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I’ve seen a few anthologies fly by the board in FB, some mentioned as upcoming, some already filled and set for release in the near future. A few of these looked interesting if not grounds for an interesting and entertaining write. The problem is…either I missed a call somewhere sometime , or they were by invitation only and I didn’t get an invite. That can be disenchanting.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


My fantasy satire short story “The Church of the Holy Shaggaho” (as in “shag-a-ho,” but I don’t think I really needed to explain that) appears in the Rooster Republic Press anthology TALL TALES WITH SHORT COCKS VOLUME 3. Release date is 26 February 2013, so grab it up folks!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


My fantasy satire collection, Selections from…THE ILLUSTRIOUS ANNALS OF SLAGHEEPIAN HISTORY, follows the misadventures of a variety of slimy undesirable nitwits and ne’er-do-wells. The collection is now available in pocket paperback format from Lulu.com.

TOC is…

Varnie Proposes Marriage
Rasta Booglely-Doo and the Old Seer of Frogtown
The Terrible Tragedy of One Colorful Character
The Church of the Holy Shaggaho
Tale of the Trojan Sphynx
Time Warped
Billy Space Codger & the December Frog
Spaced Out in East Mudbucket
Sex, Drugs, & Siren’s Songs
Froggenstein’s Monster
Brain Transplant
Time & Time Again
Blue Moons over Widdlydink
The Other Slimy Cesspool of a Frog Shit Village
The Mesmerizing Sound of Lethargic Radiation

Back cover blurb -

Dudes and dudettes, ya’ll come along; plenty of misadventures for all. There’s Lil’ Skippy Shitler enacting a war on anyone over two feet tall. There’s the king stoner himself, Timidly Blurry, brought back from the dead to promote one last rok concert. Just can’t leave out her portliness, Bulldozer Bertha Bustanut, as she makes an unscheduled stop in the village of East Mudbucket much to the horror of the East Mudbucketeans. Yeah, these and many many more! Far out and groovy baybee! Don’t forget to make a stop of your own at the Church of the Holy Shaggaho ‘specially so if you’re a foxy lookin’ babe-o-licious!

Brief excerpt from “Blue Moons Over Widdlydink” (a top ten finisher for Editors & Preditors Reader's poll for 2011) -

Bobos on the Watch

…….Quoddie Quodlibet looked up at the night sky. It was black as black could be up there. Blacker than a hairy Huht’s ass. Couldn’t be anything else. There’d been rumors about some fool loony things called stars. Points of light, the conspirators had said. Big points of light. HUGE kind of big. But only loonies and crazies and brain baked druggies believed in them anymore. Hell, by the flamin’ feet of former Frogtown fasting followers of the Filosophical Frogorum, those learned gentle jokers of a bygone age and the bygone village of Frogtown had once proclaimed: It is a black sky and forever shall be a black sky. Ain’t no froggin stars, dammit! And they were right. No frogging stars.
…….And Quoddie knew they were right.
…….Still, secretly, Quoddie kinda wished they were real. Secretly ‘cause you gotta watch what you wish for and say in these long last dark days of Slagheep. Some people don’t like you wishing and hoping for things, much less thinking and/or saying what you think. Yeah, thinkin’s a bad thing. Mostly outlaws resorted to such primitive unsavory practices like thinking and wishing and hoping. Caused you to say things you shouldn’t.
…….Saying and wishing and hoping and nonsense like that had caused the Bobo’s to spring up. They were (and are) a group of authoritarians in service to The Big Throbbing Head bent on stomping out the last vestiges of thinking and hoping and wishing…and when they hear of such despicable acts, they’re right there on your tail with the metaphorical soap and water bucket to wash your brain out. Eyeah, metaphorical, ‘cause what they really do is unspeakable in these long last dwindling days. They figure they ain’t got nothing to loose.
…….Pookipsee Pisswater, known as Pookie Pissie to his friends, and PeePee (PP) to one other (yeah, that would be Quoddie Quodlibet that called him PeePee) was one of those dastardly free thinking, free wishing, free hoping, free saying, free wheeling, free dealing, toking-on-a-number outlaws that the Bobos were after. Pisswater was a dastardly hard ass hardened criminal of the first order who had the audacity to think freely, and what’s more, to speak those rather fried, confused, and muddle thoughts. Bad dude, he was, eyeah, real bad BAD dude. And the Bobos were keeping a watch on the ole brain fried stoner.
…….Through some miraculous miracle unbeknownst to science, superstition, and sorcery, and even with his brain fried to the rather dark and crunchy side of a BBQ, PeePee had some vague inkling that the Bobos were keeping an eye on him. So, the brain fried stoner took to hiding in a joint that was commonly known as the Forbidden Palace through all the alleys, highways, byways, and backyards of Widdlydink. In the olden days people called it a library. It was a big one. Four stories high. But now was mostly in ruin; moldy, crumbling illegal items called books and magazines lay everywhere under dust inchidees thick.
…….But down in the basement, in a small corner room with a few side rooms for space, contraband, Huht Rinds stash, and other dastardly items of the illicit variety, was the Hep-Pad (as PeePee called it) where the brain fried stoner and his far out freaky stoner friends lived in way cool drug induced hallucinogenic secluded illusion. No one knew that the stoner and his far out freaky stoner friends were hanging out there. Hell, no one much gave a fuzzy frog’s ass where they lived or what they did. And when the stoner started talking about stars, just about every genuine pink blooded Widdlydinkan gave the brain fried druggie a wide berth. Except Quoddie.
…….Quoddie was enthusiastically deliriously brain screwed about the fool ass bullshit stories the brain fried stoner told her. Like a kid in a Widdlydinkan candy store, she would sit and sit and sit and sit and listen to the stupid stories of long dead people and events – King Huht-Uncommon and his pyramid (whatever a pyramid was; the stoner never explained that); Cap’n Henri Huhtson sailing up some long vanished river; Cap’n Brane Phart traveling the Spaceways; the long ago day that ex-President of the galaxy, Bulldozer Bertha Bustanut, came calling to Slagheep (before she became president due to a most unfortunate accident); and the wild stories of the long dead King Stoner himself, Timidly Blurry. Such a mythical figure, this Timidly Blurry.
…….But stories about the stars in the sky thrilled Quoddie the most. Far out groovy, PeePee would say. And he always had a faraway look in his eyes when he did. Said the stars were real. Said…theyz a twinklin’, a far out light show, kinda like they used to do at a Freaky Froggy and the Hepfrog Frogettes concert. Far out man. Cooooool.Groovy baybee! Whatever that meant. Quoddie didn’t know what it meant. PeePee liked to talk like that. All funny-like. Needed a dictionary to figure him out. But dictionaries were (and are) illegal. Had to explain himself on many occasion.
…….But there were no stars in the Widdlydinkan skies this night. And the blue moons hadn’t risen yet. Now they were something to see. All big and fuzzy and blue. There were six of those pretty blue fuzzy things. Soon they’d be bopping across the sky. And it was time for Quoddie to be bopping back to Widdlydink.
…….She traipsed through the high grass and came upon a path that led through the woods. There were weird dark scary things in those woods that made your skin crawl or your scales (if so inclined to have them) quiver. The dark was everywhere. Strange things hung out in trees. Eyes watched and leered. Funny faces made funny faces. Quoddie got a rush from the nasty feelings of being watched. The path suddenly opened into a small clearing that was softly aglow under the blue light of a newly risen blue moon.
…….There were two glows in the night shy, the soft sickly yellow glow of Widdlydink, and the wispy blue light of the risen blue moon. With the blue moon hanging in the sky like a great fuzzy frog’s ass, it was time to hang out with the stoner. Quoddie smiled, remembering the last words the stoner had said to her – "When the first blue moon is a quarter of the way above the horizon, baybee," PeePee had told Quoddie, "you just come on back to ole PeePee daddy. But watch out for the bobos!”

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


My horror noir collection, AT THE HOTEL MONTICELLO, is now available in pocket paperback format from Lulu.com.

TOC is…

At the Hotel Monticello
Something Like Mephistopheles
The Beasts of Harrow Point
Share and Share Alike
The Shade
Of Alexandra, Possessed
The Masquerade Ball
Night of the Blood Red Moon
The Dead, Death, and Decay

The back cover blurb reads…

The Hotel Monticello, a little joint at one of many crossroads in time and space. Not many hang out there, but those that do, they’re an odd lot. There’s the old woman who plays a sad crying violin; a time traveling gangster blues pianist and his blues singing whore; a gay couple fresh out of the big house; a mysterious woman who never removes the Venetian Masquerade mask that she wears; a writer being chased across time and space by her own creations; a two-bit hood come to make a buck at the expense of a well known politician; and a small assortment of other down on their luck characters. Then there are the demons that appear from time to time to entertain themselves at the expense of the hotel clientele.


Here is an excerpt from my story “The Masquerade Ball” -

…….That’s where Victoria Devon had called home.
…….Poe literature and visits to Poe’s grave had taken hold of Victoria at an early age. Guilty by Poe association, if only in literature, were Collins, James, Radcliffe, Blackwood, Bierce, and others.
…….Victoria had become an avid reader.
…….The term Gothic had quickly entered her vocabulary, and before long, the term Goth in its contemporary sense and lifestyle.
…….Black clothing and black roses became the order of the day.
…….On the date of Poe’s birth, January 19th, she would wait at his grave hoping to meet the mysterious night visitor with three red roses and a bottle of cognac, but never saw him.
…….Alone, in the cold, she would toast the horror master with her own glass of cognac, leave her own three roses, and hurry away to the nearest Goth nightclub.
…….On one such cold and icy January night, she stood at the Godefrey Carriage Gate of the Westminister Burying Ground and made her toast. Then turned and started to walk away.
…….A figure stood on the side walk near the south end of the wall that surrounded the burying ground. A tall woman. Long dark hair framing her face and rolling across her shoulders.
…….A strange woman…
…….Shrouded in shadow.
…….Odd that she appeared to be wearing an ankle length strapped gown with nothing covering her shoulders on this cold January night.
…….Her face seemed to be disfigured and long thin horns sprouted from her forehead.
…….Victoria caught her breath and stared.
…….Something passed between them and then the strange woman turned and walked away.
……. “Wait!” Victoria called out.
…….The woman didn’t.
…….Victoria hurried after her to the corner of Baltimore and Greene, paused, looked in vain for the strange woman. The woman was gone.
…….Across the street in University Square Park walked a misty ghost-like figure in a long gown.
…….The strange woman.
…….Victoria ran after her, but again the woman was gone.
…….Shadows cut across her path, the trees; a light post on the nearest corner. Victoria stopped, sighed, and stared. Disappointed.
…….Then, a soft touch on her shoulder.
…….Victoria turned.
…….The woman was there. Smiling. Staring into Victoria’s eyes.
…….There was a reason for her disfigurement; she wasn’t disfigured at all. She wore a Venetian masquerade mask. Golden with a beak nose, and the horn tips fading to black. The horns exposed her forehead in a V-shape, and the mask road down her cheeks to points.
…….Flowers were attached to the mask above her right ear, real flowers with an overwhelming scent that made Victoria swoon euphoric.
…….The gown she wore was indeed a shoulder strapped affair, her shoulders bare, skin cool to the touch, the gown gossamer with a wave on a slight breeze.
…….Victoria was captivated.
…….There was an aura of mystery about this strange woman, something of the old world, Europe.
…….She closed her eyes, breathed in the scent of the flowers as the strange woman rested a hand on Victoria’s shoulder, and gently stroked her cheek.
……. “Who are…?” Victoria began to say, her eyes still closed.
…….The woman gently touched her lips to Victoria’s lips. Held them there. A brief moment.
…….Victoria’s body rippled.
……. “Be still,” the woman finally said. Voice soft, musical. “I will come to you again.”
…….The touch was gone.
…….The woman’s hot breath on Victoria’s face was gone.
…….The mesmerizing scent of the flowers was gone.
…….Victoria stood, eyes still closed, and held her breath. Wondered. Thought a ragged jigsaw of wanton lust and curiosity.
…….Finally eyelids fluttered and Victoria peered about.
…….The strange woman was gone.
…….It was cold.
…….Poe’s birthday.
…….The mysterious night visitor to Poe’s grave hadn’t shown up again this year.
…….It looked like the visitations had ended.

NOTE: The artwork below captivated me and was the inspiration for this story, artist unknown.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Coming soon, edited by Dorothy Davies; includes my story - “Children of the Light.”

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Okay peoples, as noted in a couple of previous messages, I have now closed shop on writing horror/science fiction/fantasy for the foreseeable future, perhaps permanent (not certain on that as of yet). Currently, I’m working on my 1970s road novel (still) and a few Noir stories. All published under a pen name (not Tangiers). I will say that the Noir stories are violent, and a few may have very VERY brief elements of the supernatural, but those elements are not integral to the plot. And that’s all I’ll say.

The page here will remain devoted (for the most part) to my interests in science fiction, fantasy, and horror with a slight deviation from time to time.

Nothing about the material I’m currently working on as noted in the first paragraph will be mentioned in this blog (mainly due to the content and byline) except for brief highly vague notes mostly to say that they are progressing. There’ll be no titles, no plots, no examples or excerpts, etc etc etc.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Lately I’ve taken to downloading and watching short films...mostly horror and science fiction. Most are student films, a lot of the horror dealing with escaped killers. Keeps the budget down, I suppose. Then there’s “88:88,” a blend of horror and science fiction with a very familiar theme.

Shackles and chains and locks and ratchet straps and reinforcing the door locks to the bedroom and using brackets to bolt the bed to the floor... At first I thought this lady had unpleasant special plans for her boyfriend, a film of violent revenge. But that wasn’t it at all. The chains and locks and ratchet straps are meant for her. Then an outdoor shot...a full moon. Okay, she’s a werewolf, chaining herself to the bed. No, that’s not it either...check it out. An exceptionally well done film.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I just wrapped up Clarke’s EXPEDITION TO EARTH last night (12 Jan 2013). Now going back to Asimov’s Black Widowers with BANQUETS OF THE BLACK WIDOWERS.

Yes, I had just mentioned my start at a reread of Sagan’s BROCA’S BRAIN. I tend to have two or three books going at the same time.


On another website, a question was posed, asking what was our favorite STAR TREK film with the original cast members. My choice was quick and easy. THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. I think Christopher Plummer as the Shakespeare quoting General Chang made that movie. Of course, that’s not to take away from the original cast members, I grew up watching the original show, and it’s still my favorite off all the STAR TREK series.

Here’s a clip in which General Chang meets his end, quoting Shakespeare to the last...

Saturday, January 12, 2013


My next re-read is Sagan’s BROCA’S BRAIN. I haven’t read this since October of 1980 (yes, I keep a list of books I read and when I read them, incomplete though it may be). As best as I can remember, it was entertaining.

The title invokes another book I read, something to actually do with the human brain. Paperback it was, late 70s. I have no surviving record or memory of the book title or its author, just a memory that it was exceptionally well done for a lengthy pop-science book for the layman to understand. It is one book I’d love to read again, but I don’t think that desire shall ever come to pass.


For a slight change of pace…

On Facebook I post climate change/global warming (whatever you wish to call it) articles from time to time for three principle reasons:

1. Having worked with climate scientists on a number of occasions, I have a vested interest on how climate change affects cultures, living and dead, and what the existant environment was for any given culture/civilization, living and dead.

2. I tend to post the “skeptical” side of the climate change argument; due to past research and experience, I tend to agree with the premise set forth by this side (of course, not all archaeologists agree with this sentiment which is to be expected; that’s how science is supposed to work).

3. There maybe those who have an interest in the debate due to its high political profile, but have formed no opinion either way. These articles may inspire them to take a closer look at both sides of the argument (yes, BOTH sides; again, that’s how science is supposed to work) with an open mind to make informed decisions on the subject.

A brief tangential commentary.

Twice above I made the statement “that’s how science is supposed to work.” Normally, that is true. Scientists have different ideas, different schools of thought, formulating different hypothesis that require data gathering and testing for validation through the scientific method. However, it’s increasingly apparently that proponents of CAGW don’t see it that way.

In the last few decades proponents of CAGW have taken it upon themselves to denigrate, ridicule, condemn, belittle, and/or dismiss out of hand everything dissenting skeptics say or publish. Further, dissenting climatologists risk suppression of their work, rejection of grant funding, rejection of paper and/or periodical/journal publications, and more.

Some CAGW alarmists call us “non-scientists” and some say that our skepticism doesn’t fit the mold of scientific methodology and inquiry (a point that had arisen some time ago in a discussion I had with two colleagues that I’ve worked with, one a paleoclimatologist [same as Mann] and the other a geophysicist; the point elicited laughter from both of them).

CAGW alarmist ridicule of dissenting skeptics is often accompanied by such terminology as “denier,” invoking the Holocaust or “heretic,” invoking the Inquisition. Some say we are diseased and need treatment; others say we have committed crimes against humanity and should be tried, jailed, and even executed.

Perhaps I should be offended by such accusations and proclamations, of having my integrity as a professional archaeologist (albeit, retired) called into question for having a dissenting opinion, but I’m not. If anything, I’m amused that CAGW alarmists have stooped to the level of witch hunts to silence dissent. They’ve only succeeded in making fools of themselves. People who use such tactics to silence dissent and utilize ridiculous terms such as “heretic” and/or “denier” deserve to be ignored. These people do not merit a response of any kind.