• Endless Joke
    Endless Joke
    by David Antrobus

    Here's that writers' manual you were reaching and scrambling for. You know the one: filled with juicy writing tidbits and dripping with pop cultural snark and smartassery. Ew. Not an attractive look. But effective. And by the end, you'll either want to kiss me or kill me. With extreme prejudice. Go on. You know you want to.

  • Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    by David Antrobus

    Please click on the above thumbnail to buy my short, intense nonfiction book featuring 9/11 and trauma. It's less than the price of a cup of coffee... and contains fewer calories. Although, unlike most caffeine boosts, it might make you cry.

  • Music Speaks
    Music Speaks
    by LB Clark

    My story "Solo" appears in this excellent music charity anthology, Music Speaks. It is an odd hybrid of the darkly comic and the eerily apocalyptic... with a musical theme. Aw, rather than me explain it, just read it. Okay, uh, please?

  • First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    by Sybil Wilen, P. J. Ruce, Jeffrey McDonald, John Page, Susan Burdorf, Christina Gavi, David Alexander, Joanna Parypinski, Jack Flynn, Graeme Edwardson, David Antrobus, Jason Bailey, Xavier Axelson

    My story "Unquiet Slumbers" appears in the zombie anthology First Time Dead, Volume 3. It spills blood, gore and genuine tears of sorrow. Anyway, buy this stellar anthology and judge for yourself.

  • Seasons
    by David Antrobus, Edward Lorn, JD Mader, Jo-Anne Teal

    Four stories, four writers, four seasons. Characters broken by life, although not necessarily beaten. Are the seasons reminders of our growth or a glimpse of our slow decay?

  • Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited

    I have two stories in this delightful compendium of every 2012 winner of their Flash Fiction Challenge—one a nasty little horror short, the other an amusing misadventure of Og the caveman, his first appearance.

Networked Blogs



Places I Hang Out

Dreamscape (Transatlantic Version)

So, I was in London somewhere on the Thames Embankment and we were looking for a decent place to get coffee. It was a bright, sunny afternoon. A passerby pointed around a corner, by a bridge abutment and below a patch of grass, and we saw a tall, wooden ladder leading up into what looked like a child's tree fort. We proceeded to climb it, and just as I was able to see inside the building through the hatch, my companion started to slip and I grabbed her under her thin arms before she fell the entire way. She was panicked and I tried to soothe her. She was not exactly human, I noticed now; her head more canine, from which hung spindly arms and a body shaped like a cylinder. She had no lower limbs. Once she had calmed down and I'd pulled her through the hatch, she said, both apologetically and matter-of-factly, "there is not much to me, I'm just a head and one vital organ, probably a kidney," as we joined the cafeteria/canteen-style lineup/queue. I felt puzzled and mildly irritated.

© Art Nahpro, 2011It seemed to take forever; the proprietor—an unkempt and unattractive man—kept leaving his post at the cash register/till to attend to something fussy and seemingly unnecessary across the café and I could feel my patience stretch taut like a garotte. When it was our turn to pay, I attempted to hand him a ten pound note/twenty dollar bill, and once again he left to attend to whatever it was that was bothering him on the other side of the room, and although I planned to say something along the lines of "this is too long to wait to buy just coffee", once we were finally served I lost my resolve, paid up in silence, and walked over to the crude wooden picnic-style tables, nursing two steaming drinks. The coffee was not even particularly good, but as soon as I'd downed it, I realised I had somehow managed to eat the entire face of my companion as well, whose exposed foxlike skull was still smeared in globules of yellow fat atop her hollow tubelike body, all of her still twitching gently. My wet lips tasted of salt. Ashamed and quietly horrified, I left quickly, throwing her remains down the ladder into what was now a foggy London evening, scurrying after them like death's ugliest sibling.

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.


Lifting All Boats 2

Next up is a book I already reviewed over at Amazon, so I don't want to repeat myself too much, but it's an impressive debut by another independent author. In fact, no, forget that, I think I will repeat myself and paste the review here, as I still stand by it:

"With Joe Café, author JD Mader unleashes a noir thriller heavy with character but light on the nihilism. Despite a harrowing and brutal opener reminiscent of A History Of Violence, this is a surprisingly thoughtful and even likeable book, as if the spinner of the tale were a fishing buddy releasing each choice detail over the course of a slow summer afternoon. Not that there's anything slow about the pace of this excellent novel; it is almost perfectly weighted, and for a novel in this genre, is not only emotionally satisfying but genuinely affecting. So what is it about? Well, the compellingly told story follows a resentful killer and his captive, a stripper, through a pursuit involving both colourful mobsters and one very morose law enforcement officer... which all sounds very stock-in-trade on the surface, and yet Mader breathes new life into these tired tropes, leaving the reader with some unexpectedly conflicting emotions. How do I say this more clearly? Okay. Personally, I don't remember the last time a crime/noir thriller left me with tears running down my cheeks. Therefore, I very much recommend this novel."

Here are a few details about JD Mader, whose future output I will be following keenly: Dan Mader is a writer and musician, but mostly a writer. He is 6'2" and 220 lbs. He wears a size 11.5 shoe. You can find more of his work at Unemployed Imagination.

He also leaves two spaces between his sentences thus forcing me to edit his bio. His blog is well worth following and, if you insist, this is what the dude looks like:

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.


Lifting All Boats

So, true to my word, time to talk about someone else... more specifically, fellow writers who deserve exposure.

What have I been reading lately?

Well, in between all the work that accompanies the promotion of my own tiny piece of this much larger puzzle, not to mention the writing itself, I do try to read stuff written by others.

First up, I just finished a very strange collection written by the prolific and multi-talented K. S. Brooks and a dude with the pleasing name of Newton Love. I use the word "strange" here in an approving sense, since the book is titled Odd & Odder: A Collection of Sensuality, Satire and Suspense, so it would have been, um, odd if it weren't strange, if you get my drift. And besides, strange is my own stock in trade, really.

Anyway, it's a collection of short stories, poems and vignettes that draw from crime, noir, police procedural and spy fiction and something less definable yet mystifyingly intimate. The stories in particular are impressive, moving with a kind of relentless energy and fun and skirting genre pastiche without becoming cartoonish. The vignettes and poems allow for changes of pace between the intensity of the Fleminglike/Chandleresque stories. The strangeness, I suppose, is in the juxtaposition of styles, and however perplexing these choices are, the whole works better as a sum than the parts would alone. There's a kind of bipolar spirit running like electricity beneath the rollercoaster ups and downs of this distinctive and original carnival ride.

Here's some biographical stuff:

K. S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist, photographer and poet.

Ms. Brooks’ first novel, Lust for Danger, won her Honorable Mention in the Jada Press Book of the Year Awards as well as a spot in the “Next Big Thing” tent at the Baltimore Book Festival in Baltimore, Maryland. Since then, The Kiss of Night (2010) and Night Undone (2011) have been published by Cambridge Books. Ms. Brooks has also written 3 children's books, also published by Cambridge Books: The Mighty Oak and Me (2009), Postcards from Mr. Pish (2010) and Mr. Pish's Woodland Adventure (2011).

Her feature articles, poetry, and photography have appeared in magazines, newspapers, books and other publications both in the U.S. and abroad.

In the serenity of her new surroundings in Washington State, Ms. Brooks now devotes her time to writing action-adventure thrillers, romantic suspense novels, and children’s books which promote outdoor learning and literacy.

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.


Tilting At Windmills

Of course, this isn't all going to be about me and my introspective self, it's going to be about writing, too... and publishing... and books... and writers and readers, and the overlaps therein. Oh, and sex. Okay, maybe not sex, unless you consider language sexy, in which case, you have my blessing.

Earlier I was talking about the two trips I took across the continent of North America, coast to coast, so to speak. This second time, I saw plenty of changes, not least (in a physical sense) the incredible number of wind farms that had sprouted most everywhere the land lay flat and the air moved fast. Thinking about all this, I came across the following:

Similar thoughts had crossed my own mind, but that last panel is genius. Anyway, you gotta love the Web and I couldn't have asked for better timing. And, bonus, it's always worth a plug for the incomparable xkcd.

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.


Where It All Begins

So back in 2001, I was having a rough time of things and decided that the only way I was going to shake my head back on straight was if I drove the 10,000 kilometres from my home near Vancouver, British Columbia to New York City and back. For the life of me, I don't remember why this seemed so imperative, other than it was a solo road trip over a hell of a long distance and I had a friend in Brooklyn as well as friends along the route.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I picked a date pretty much out of a hat, a random date that will now be remembered for a long time... and not because one small person began a trip that day. It was, of course, Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

Well, I witnessed many things both during the journey and at its destination, eerie post-apocalyptic scenes, jarring contradictions and touching moments. It was both cathartic and humbling, putting into perspective my tiny trauma against such shattering global events. All of it went into a short book I wrote soon afterward and eventually published as an ebook. The cover is a photo I took on the trip itself, and I chose it because to use a shot of Ground Zero itself would have seemed crass or at least insensitive so soon after nearly 3,000 people had perished in such an appalling way.

My book wasn't political. It largely avoided judgment. I wanted it to be about the sometimes strong too often tenuous connections between people and not a diatribe against America or the Middle East.

Well, ten long years went by and I couldn't avoid the impression that what had been an opportunity to forge something positive from that terrible wreckage had been passed by in favour of ideological ambition, fearmongering and a servile media.

But if I were to be fair, I would have to retrace my steps of ten years earlier and be in New York City on September 11, 2011 when the anniversary was in full swing, if only to feel the changes up close and personal for the first time since those surreal days a decade before.

So, once again I set out on a late summer/early fall day and drove that vast distance and had a new, different adventure, possibly even a darker adventure, certainly a more extreme one in its implications. Which is all going to be laid out in the sequel, as yet untitled, currently being written.

So this is the blog that begins to chart that journey; not the journey itself, but the writing journey that emerged from the physical one. It is and will continue to be a story of movement, of restlessness, and of migration. Restless spirits, the movement of words, the migratory impulse in the physical realm and in the artistic/creative.

If anyone joins me for all or—more likely—part of the ride, all the better. Solo road trips are great, albeit incredible tests of one's capacity for loneliness, but shared journeys are more colourful and redolent of possibilities, potential... and yes, even hope.

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.

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