The Fireman

Finished reading the horror novel “The Fireman” by Joe Hill. It felt like getting kicked in the balls by a good friend. Nothing like a good swing of a steeled-toe boot jiggling your most precious, most cherished, pearls of the Orient sea. It’s a fond memory, something you guys can laugh about, but at the same time, you know it god damn hurts.

“The Fireman” hurts like hell. I had no idea how this book was going to turn out to, and from what I’ve heard, Joe Hill, himself, had said that this is his version of his father’s “The Stand,” which was marvelous though anti-climatic mega monstrous book. Somehow, “The Fireman” didn’t feel that way. There were bits of “Andromeda Strain” in it, as Hill said, though it’s almost like a nod to the late Michael Crichton, than something that might have influenced the book. I don’t know what I’m saying.

In any case, “The Fireman” is a road trip, a highway to hell kind of expedition, where every scene you pass by is a smoking heap of tragedies and hope burned to a charred wisp.

I’ve run into two people who have said, even though “The Fireman” is a great book, they wouldn’t classify this as horror. I disagree. It is frightening to live in an isolated territory, where any time, a group of trigger-happy people can storm in and murder everyone in sight. It is frightening to live in an isolated territory, where food supplies are running low. It is frightening to contract a deadly disease. It is frightening to hold onto hope, when there isn’t any.

“The Fireman” is eerie, funny, and sweet. It’s also just as bitter, and its disturbing scenes are cringe-fests. I can’t wait for what Joe Hill comes up next.



Innards of An Erratic Writer #5

It has come to my attention that I’ve been writing shit for some time now. It probably happens to others as well, and I’m just glad to be back on track. I suppose I have a couple of things to thank for, one of them would be the first-person shooter, Bioshock Infinite. The storytelling in that game was simply mesmerizing with a bit of mind fuck, especially the “Sea of Doors” chapter, which left me stupid for a moment, and after it all sunk in, I almost cried. Great stories, trigger emotions and thought you will want to savor for the next couple of days before moving on. The other thing I have to thank for is reading Neil Gaiman’s blog post, this one, about wanting to be a writer, if you do, just “Keep writing.” Other quotes and writer habits I’ve read long ago started rushing back, and it seemed the best kick start I’ve had in a while.

So, I started writing…

… And I am proud to say my little Bonsai project is more alive than ever. Out of a planned 90k epic fantasy, I have written 20k so far, before that I had 9k. Along the way I realized some scenes will not work, and so I had to terminate a lot of stuff to coincide with the things I wrote. Many were changed, nonetheless, I’m pretty happy with the outcome. The only thing that must be done, is to stir the direction back to Book One’s main goal, which, got lost somehow.

Scar City has been shelved. I’m a little saddened that my progress with this one is taking much longer than expected. It’s practically a crime story carried with the influence of several mob films: Once Upon A Time in America, Mean StreetsThe Untouchables, Donnie BrascoThe DepartedCasinoGoodfellas, and of course, The Godfather. It was originally a story set in an Old West fantasy world, partially inspired by The Quick and The Dead and Evil Dead/Army of Darkness (which all three shared the same director, Sam Raimi). The story followed a retired sheriff and his niece, which were somewhat revamped to fit the change of venue in Scar City.

In the last three weeks, I have written two horror shorts, each titled, The Queen of Spiders, and, The Halls of Silence. Both are ghost stories. I had someone read them, and she said it felt similar to Neil Gaiman’s October in The Chair and/or Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghost, which doesn’t really make sense to me, because I’m pretty sure they’re all different. Well, at least I’m sure Neil Gaiman’s and Joe Hill’s are. So, I’ll let mine cool off and have another look at them after a couple days, while I proceed to work on my third ghost story, Three Smokes and A… I’m not really sure if I should put it “Whisper” or “Dame”.

I’m hoping to send one of these shorts to Shock Totem. They just released their sixth issue, if not, they will soon. I’m hoping to get into their seventh issue, as 7 is a good number for me. If I don’t, oh well, the game of perseverance will go on. 

On other news, I’m pretty devastated My Chemical Romance has broken up. A lot of their songs inspired some of the stories I came up with.  The very least, I guess we can expect something amazing in the future. Their legacy will carry on.

Finally, a new trailer for The Last of Us was just released by Red Band. So much love for their trailers, my first taste of them was the Evil Dead remake, like this, and then this! Don’t watch it if you’re not into insane gore shit. Plus, I recently found out there’s going to be a Carrie movie as well, featuring Hit-Girl. Lots of awesome so far.

Anyway, back to work!