Love them or hate them, we all have them. They are counted amongst the darker, more mysterious recesses of the human body, and yet in most of western society there is no law banning their public appearances—only taboo prevents them from being openly flaunted. Shaved naked or furred, they are never listed as person’s most attractive feature. The humble armpit, or aptly abbreviated ‘pit’ if you come from the USA, is much maligned, and so I took it upon myself to lift our furry friends into the poetic realm for a much-needed boost to their public image. Continue reading
It may seem insincere to say I have the greatest respect for the Royal Family, but financial debates aside, I believe they all, and especially Her Majesty, have worked hard on behalf of charities, and for our country.
Two other facts are pertinent, however:
Firstly, The Queen is still a human being, Her Royal Biology no different from our own.
Secondly, when writing a poem about bodily wind, the more upper-class, and auguste the personage concerned, the funnier it is. It is simply one of the eternal rules of comedy.
So, this is not an attack on the Queen’s Royal Person, but rather an acknowledgement of the paradox that is royalty: that according to ancient tradition* they are God’s Appointed, sent to rule over, and take care of us, and yet, they are also human, and so subject to all of the daily comedies and tragedies of which the human condition consists.
So I offer, this, my humble poetic tribute to the humanity of our Queen, and hope that I may prevail upon the Royal Sense-of-Humour, not to hold this against me when one day, God willing, I will be nominated for a Knighthood. Continue reading
After this poem came to me yesterday I was forced, after much introspection and self-examination, to come to the inescapable conclusion that I am, in fact, a 9-year-old boy trapped in a grown man’s body. Again, you have been warned…
Snot, bogey, luge, luger, buger; its aliases are many, but even in its brief life there can be found the hands of fate, pathos, and drama.
This is my first attempt at poetry in, well, decades. It is written in a style vaguely reminiscent of Roald Dahl. It isn’t pleasant, and I’m not sure if it’s even good, but for whatever it is worth this poem is mine, even if it takes courage to own.
I believe you have had sufficient warning, please proceed at your own risk, as no responsibility will be accepted for any distress, emotional or mental, that is caused by the reading of this piece. Comments, and critique, are welcome. For your delectation: I hope you enjoy:-
This will be a short post as I’m still sorting out the tail end of the project, but after eighteen months the book is finally out in the wild! (Overuse of exclamation marks is allowed when a writer is happy.) Apologies for missing the deadline; my excuse is that—being an indie writer—I’m author, editor, proofreader, project coordinator, publisher, agent, and promoter (with a little help from my friends). That’s quite a few hats. Fear not though space-munchkins, the writing and editing have taken up 90% of my time and I’m pleased with the result, both in terms of the story and the presentation. Until reality tells me otherwise, I shall maintain my grin even as I start work on the backers’ Epub version. I’ve thanked everyone, everywhere, it feels like, but you’ve been a great community to be part of. The book’s now yours and I hope you feel it … Continue reading →
Elite: Out of the Darkness is nearly ready for launch: pre-flight checks are well under way and final countdown will commence mid-September, 2014, at the latest. BACKERS: ENSURE YOUR LANDING PAD IS READY… Distribution details and links to the eBook files will be sent out via Kickstarter message, so PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR KICKSTARTER ACCOUNT DETAILS ARE UP TO DATE. Initial release will be single-format (although readable on pretty much any mainstream device), and I want to make other formats available as soon as possible. In order to do this, I can’t email files to everyone individually. (If you’re really stuck, I’ll do what I can, but you’re Elite: Dangerous fans for hyperspace’s sake! The process won’t be that complicated and I expect your tech skills will be easily up to the job. ) Some help tips will be provided on the download page.
After much consulting of experts (many, many thanks to Colin Barnes, Alex Bowden from Frontier, and Liam ‘Mobius’ Rafferty for their input), and the community (my thanks to all those who expressed their opinions in the poll and on the thread) we finally have a cover! It’s what you asked for: different, distinctive, yet still ‘Elite’. I hope you like it… ‘Elite: Out of the Darkness’ is undergoing the final stages of editing and will be out ‘soon’. (For a definition of ‘soon’, please contact Michael Brookes of Frontier Developments. .) Aside: I’m still on holiday; more news and details of the book to follow…
Things may have appeared static since the last post but, like watching a burrowing badger, none of the effort shows on the surface… Feedback Feedback is now coming in from final-stage gamma readers—the news is good; two have already said they’ve had to go back and re-read chapters for mistakes because they were gripped. When they did re-enter crit mode, the worst they found (so far) were typos and a couple of basic continuity issues that were easily fixed. There is still a significant amount of feedback to come, but if it keeps errors in the released book to a minimum it’s worth the wait. Cover After six concepts and over twenty rough drafts, the cover design has been finalised. I received some immensely helpful pointers from Colin Barnes, a friend of mine who is trained in graphic design and has been releasing his thriller/SF books with custom covers for … Continue reading →
Good news this week: Out of the Darkness has been approved by Frontier. That means it stands alongside the contents of the game and the other fiction as part of the official canon, the Elite universe as envisaged by David Braben and brought to life by the Frontier Developments team. After a year and a half, this feels incredible—to have contributed something to the ever-growing epic that is Elite: Dangerous. But how ‘Elite’ is Out of the Darkness? I know what I think, but you’re going to want evidence, aren’t you? Tweeted questions (not mine) about whether David Braben has read any of the fiction go unanswered. Emailed hints, submitted alongside legitimate scene content queries, about whether Michael likes what you’ve written are studiously not acknowledged. (Yes, mine. Sad? Maybe, but writers want to know what any reader thinks, and doubly so when that reader has the power to require a re-write!) Does … Continue reading →