Tuesday, 24 December 2013

LIBERATOR FPS2 - Xmas Day Chapters - 58,000 words running total

while the book is still at 50,000 words, there are two chapters that have been 'introduced' into the narrative and given their 'chaptorial' place withing the 40-chapter index but are stubbornly resisting being written.

It's a 'me' thing, I've just been ... reluctant to lay the brickwork, point the gaps.

Both chapters deal with The Mighty Quins: the eponymous chapter is a 'four years ago' chapter showing how the quins became involved in the LIBERATOR narrative, the other chapter Safari (which comes directly before it) shows how these children are hunted down for their usefulness by the Black Pentagon leading towards the latter part of the book.

New titles, headings and positions for you, eh? Excited?

DECEMBER 25th AFTERNOON UPDATE: hmm, well, that didn't go 'exactly' as I 'might have planned' but the two missing chapters (mentioned above) have been written over the course of a single play through of Riuchi Sakamoto's THREE. I'm wondering if I can even write LIBERATOR without having his music playing in the background. It's like some sort of intellectuo-narrative free-forming talisman that my flying fingers can't do without. This book.

Running total: currently 54,000 words. And I don't feel I'm any closer to 'really' understanding how LIBERATOR got here or where it might go during its pre-amble towards the final chapter(s) which have already been written out. So many loose ends right now, and I'm not convinced it's worth being too tidy about how many of them are tied off. A little blood is a good thing in an action adventure, right? Except this shit is 'narrative blood' and that might erk the reader ... like I care.

DECEMBER 29th UPDATE: and having crashed headlong into a bit of a dead end, I popped out the other side within Cloud City. A crackin' scene, lots of revelations. Lots of tied off ends. Lots of new narrative to explore. 58,000 words is the current running total. 10,000 or so to go, I guess. Where to start REAPER FPS3. Who knows?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Liberator FP2 novel - 50,000 words - subtle restructuring, new chapters, motoring along...

technically, I'm 45,000 words in.

A couple of the later chapters are still to type in from notebook, but I'm confident they'll amount to about 2,000 words per chapter.

I've gone back in and ADDED two earlier chapters #2 and #3 so that the whole Free Planet world (four years after Custodian) is fully fleshed out, so that the reader has no misconceptions that this really is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT world to the one the Corporations nearly ruined.

Kinda really enjoying this book still; as you can see from the racing word count, it's becoming quite an obsession.

TEN DAYS LATER UPDATE: this morning, I added another two chapters, slotted them into positions 3 and 4 in the 40-chapter index. Just to add another layer of understanding (for me as much as) for the reader. This way we both get to understand what's gone on, what's about to happen, and why I'll stab that back of both of us with LIBERATOR FPS book #2 revelations. The book's anywhere near 50,000 words or so (I haven't been keeping track over the last few hours), or it will be once I fold in that 'still not typed in' stuff. I have the notebooks open in front of me for the 'afternoon sessions'.

EVENING UPDATE: yeah, final tally came to one hundred and twenty words under 50,000 at the end of today's manic session. There are still a couple chapters that need content, so it's technically over that Magic 50 already. Just gotta type in the rest.

I'm really at my most Hertzan Chimera-like this novel, my most Loki-like, of dirty old bastardness. And lovin' the gruesome trip, man.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Liberator FP2 novel - 35,500 words - 2014 cover image

just hammered through the 35,500 words first-draft mark of Liberator (free planet novel #2) and I'm now MORE CONVINCED THAN EVER where this trilogy's going and how and when and why it'll suicidally crashland into Planet #3, Reaper in 2015.
Oh, yes, and that is a first look at the new cover design for LIBERATOR: free planet #2 (this cover's far more relevant to the extreme horror content of the book than the stand-in design that was 'borrowing' a non-copyright image from off the net).

I'm not necessarily a big fan of draggin shit out for the sake of a series, so I've upgraded one or two ideas from Book 3 to happen in Book 2 ... I did this not because I've run out of ideas (yet) for Liberator FP2 but because I have ADDITIONAL ideas for Reaper FP3, and it'll make loads more sense when you read what I did and why, some years later when I reveal the randomness of my writing process, the Channeling of Narrative via Character.

Trust me, I'm a Machievellian.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Liberator FP2 - brought to you by - Ruichi Sakamoto's THREE

quick post: the first 31,000 words of the Liberator Free Planet novel #2 has been brought to you in assocation with the Ruichi Sakamoto CD "Three". I've been replaying this inspirational CD every single time I've been typing in from the notebook(s). Crackin' stuff.

Ruichi Sakamoto is the ex-keyboardist of 80's goth band Japan, and Three is his solo album dealing with his instrumental and audio film score work such as Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (the Bowie film), Seven Samurai and The Last Emperor. Here's a track list:

1. Happy End
2. The Last Emperor
3. Bibo No Aozora
4. High Heels
5. Seven Samurai
6. A Flower is not a Flower
7. Still life in A
8. Nostalgia
9. Tango
10. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
11. Ichimei (Harakiri - Death of a Samurai)
12. Tamago 2004
13. Parolibre

Basically, PROPER RECOMMENDED writing accompaniment. I hope my words in this novel do his pianoing justice.

TWO DAYS LATER UPDATE: I haven't read a novel for weeks while I've been obsessed with Liberator FP2 but it arrived, David Baldacci's The Hit (book two of the Will Robie government assassin series), so I'll not be writing for a while. I'm in reading mode, hundred pages into the book, and lovingn it. I realised I don't like David Baldacci's presidential/detective books, but I 'love' his Robie series. It's probably because Robie works 'outside the law' or 'outside common understanding' of the way the world really works. It's a sick (amoral (corporate (war))) place, and one that's perfect for novelisation.

WEEK LATER UPDATE: The Hit was great, can't wait for book three. Currently, I'm reading "The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter" by Malcolm Mackay while still writing the Liberator FP2 novel. I'll obviously do another update on FP2 soon, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Liberator FP2 novel - 28,000 words - Military vs Civilian

so... I've re-assessed how many words Liberator currently is, by discounting the couple of pages of rough notes at the back of the book, and it comes to 26,000 words. They'll all get written up in full anyway, so I'll add the totals up without them.

More important than that, I've finally resolved a big quandary I was having with the first part of the book. Basically, I fell in love with one of the side characters and started to fully flesh out their story. I was going to do this anyway, but in a less linear way. The book was in danger of just becoming 'that character's story' from A to B. And I didn't want this book to be just that.

So, I drew some spidery diagrams of the narrative elements I'd come up with so far, then went in and listed the most important threads of narrative direction, then decided that the alternating-chapter structure used in Custodian FP1 (namely, CUSTODIAN vs YOU THE PEOPLE) had to be replicated/emulated in this second novel as cleanly as possible. And analysing all the possibilities of who has allegiance to whom or what the decision has been made.

Liberator FP2 will be split between MILITARY and CIVILIAN, alternating chapters, this way I can follow my main-thread obsessed-with character-progression and also address the issue of the 'four years previously' (shit you were never told, about 'this iteration' of a free planet) that I'd intended to examine this time out. I've already re-organised the entire book thus far written into this split structure up to and including Chapter 17. Hopefully, this has been the right decision. I think I have enough psy-ops revelation in here to support such a strong structural adjustment.

TWO DAYS LATER UPDATE: I had the fear... it only lasted for a few minutes, but it was intense. I had the fear that reaching the end of the first notebook would exhaust my creative urge to finish this second Free Planet novel. But "No!" not at all, the second notebook inspired a classic outpouring of character-driven wordage from one of the stars of Custodian FP1 who never really got to say her piece. You'll like this, and it ties into the four years ago military sample that's at the back of Custodian. You know, if you bought it.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Liberator FP2 novel - 25,000 words - plus I know where the narrative is going, yay!

thanks to my (misplaced at the time?) faith in the simple act of 'writing to character', I now have an absolutely solid and foundationed reason WHY for the Liberator FP2 book. I'm writing it in long-hand again, just like Tandem and I'm at the end of notebook one, which means I technically have another two notebooks of that length, shape and style to go.

Twenty-five thousand words per notebook would give me an estimated novel of 66-75,000 words, more or less, depending on how the novel goes. And I'd be more than happy within that range. How did I do it? How did I find my story?

I simply kept asking the twelve or thirteen characters I've allowed to vent their spleen, "What's the story?" kept demanding an answer to this question of my invented characters as I gave them a platform for their thoughts.

But what's the story, Mike?

Well, you'll have to wait, won't you. Wait until the book's finished and available to read. But be assured it's NOTHING LIKE YOU'D HAVE IMAGINED where the second part a Free Planet trilogy (that began with Custodian) might have gone. I've allowed the characters to take this story into an insane place - as it had to for such a 'free reign' writing engagement. I'm actually getting excited that this story will actually seem like I meant it that way.

But it wasn't me. It was the characters. Writing the reason for the narrative that slices them open and lays their 'raison d'etre' all over the floor.

DAY LATER UPDATE: of course, things are moving on a pace and, as you'll see from the URL for this post, it was only very recently a 23,000 words update. It's now at the 25, 000 words and interest is still rising. Unfortunately it's rising in ONE SPECIFIC BRANCH of the three-branch narrative I'd hoped this book be. So I'm fully exploring the one aspect of the story that's really taken my affection (can't help it) while the other two planned aspects are being hinted at in sporadic chapters here and there but not expanded on to the degree of detail.

Of course, I'm now not sure what I'll do. Where the break-off point, where the fold-in point (or points) will occur. I keep wanting to move the already done 2nd 3rd branch chapters to later in the book but that would leave it too linear as an opening. I could 'easily' ABANDON this initial-interest aspect where it's at NOW until later in the novel, then come back (after 2nd 3rd branch expansion) and show where the other two aspects affected it. Only more writing-to-character will testify to either solution. There may, of course, be more than one solution. Something 'character' hasn't hinted at yet. Kinda scary but kinda interesting is the writing process, for me.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Liberator FP2 - 17,000 words and counting...

well, it's still racing on aplenty.

Since my last update (four days ago @ 11,000 words) the book has now risen to 17,500 words, as of this afternoon. If you're in (Oxford) town centre and you wanna say "Hi!" in a faux-American accent, just drop by the Calendar Club stall in the Clarendon Centre and do so. I'm very approachable and don't bite, unless otherwise directed.

As of this week's narrative/character investigation, I realise that the cover (while relating to 'organic metamorphosis of the narrative' via its characters) actually relates to another uber-important inter-stellar twin-like union expressed elsewhere in the story.

Anyway, intrigued yet? Time for an exclusive (first draft) excerpt yet?

Hmm, here goes:

It'll be my fourth birthday, soon. Me and Sally and this Free Planet. We're all three of us intimately linked by the moment of our births. We're a trio of rowdy teenagers not knowing what to be yet. How to act. Who to look up to. To respect. To protect. It's all up in the air.

And four years isn't very long to cram in all the social accidents that amount to one's upbringing. Here on Free Planet we've always had to 'learn on the fly'.

I can't believe it's all gone so fast. One minute me and Sal, that's my non-identical twin sister, were hatching out of a massive owl egg. The next moment Puberty is upon us both and the whole world looks, smells, tastes, feels different. The wants of youth got biologically re-prioritised in the blink of an eye and our dad's considering, actually Considering, enrolling me and Sal in the Arranged Marriage Market so we can have wives/husbands chosen for us by the Free Planet housing system. That's the way it's done now, it's all left to the sniffing abilities of the communal Floating Home Diversities that flutter and flap and sing like bees across the liberated sky like protein floating in the human eye.

Most of my peers, and there aren't that many of us, aren't sure if they want to be part of some continued biological experiment 'for the good of free planet'.

“Isn't that right, Sal?”

“Not many of us, Tim.”

“You said it, girl,” there's not that many of us hybrid originals, born of this free planet. Like someone thought it would be a bad idea to have a go at making more of us once we hatched. I mean, it's not even that. Don't they know? Haven't they even at least got suspicious that their kind can interbreed? The re-wilded? Can't they scent it? Don't they have some sort of animalistic detectors up their snouts and beaks that'll make this truth transparent to them?

Or are they afraid of committing a bestial act under the gaze of the Flockers? Is that how 'mating among their kind' might be judged? Like bestiality? Like some sort of original sin?

Friday, 8 November 2013

Liberator - I think I'm just going to have to 'write the fucking thing'

I have all these wild and wacky ideas for where Free Planet #2: LIBERATOR 'could go' and I'm just getting nowhere with it. It's a stalled project that's looking too far up its own righteous anus to be anything worth reading or writing.

I think I either a) have to forget it and just write something else entirely different or b) just forget all this 'scripting shit' and take the fucking bull by the horns and JUST DO IT, and screw your gay trademark claim against my use of three words. Just screw it.

There's no other way to face what will be an insanely obscure lifestyle, four years after the Free Planet simulation has been set in motion by the Morans That Be. Only the stream-of-unconsciousness totally-liberated-writing-mind approach will work with this book.

Literally, there'll be nothing like it ... until it happens ... so why worry about 'getting it right' or making it 'enjoyable for the reader'. It's gonna have kinks. It's gonna have issues. Hell, the whole planet's gonna be a real-life 'learning experience' so why shouldn't the book about it also be?

So, just write the fucking thing and publish it became the simple answer. It's not that hard. It's just words making sentences making scenes making chapters wrapped round characters on missions. I'll leave all the ruptured artery suturing for Free Planet #3: Reaper.

DAY LATER UPDATE: well, it worked. I have the first real chapter in the first real writing of the first real draft of the first real....  where was I? Oh, yes, the JUST WRITE IT ethos panned out. Exculpatory gold. And by that I mean, once I'd decided to TOTALLY GIVE MYSELF TO THE WRITING OF LIBERATOR the words came flooding out. Fourteen hundred words of it, today.

I don't need no stinking script. I just need to allow the old Hertzan Chimera writing machine to take the bull by the fucking horns and get on with it. I already had a list of characters to write about, and that's been listed out now, twelve characters. Job's basically writing itself.

ANOTHER DAY LATER UPDATE: man, this is easy as fuck. I knew it would be. Once I'd made the decision to just write the effin' thing. Ah, what a delight, what a joy, what a release. I'm back, I tells ya, Hertzie's back. And with a vengeance.

So, opening chapter's the military Free Planet sim goes live chapter that's at the end of the Custodian novel FP1. Second chapter's an insight into the Floating Homes that are made from twelve rutting party goers halfway through book one. Third chapters a reet good rough-up in the form of the Borstal Boys or Flockers..


..the literally fascist free planet police statesmen who can do whatever the fcuk they want to ANYONE WHO GETS THE WRONG IDEA or thinks about taking the piss out of the Free Planet non-profit ideal of Creativity, Passion and Kinship. Anyone dares do owt, they gets their arse raped right proper. I've been stuck on narrative/plotholeriddling island for the last few months thinking too hard about where this middle book might go. Stuck on 6,000 words or so. I know where book three's going, so no worries. Now I'm on 9,500 words and I'm back in the writing seat, where I always have the most fun. Hacking away at the sweating coal face.

Chapter four's for tomorrow, in the notebook, long hand ... I'm not which, of the twelve chapter/characters I've decided to concentrate on for FP2: Liberator, it'll be yet. But I'll know when I start writing it. I'll probably get a message on the way in to work. A transitionary book of insights. Insights. Nowt wrong wi that for the second book of a planned trilogy, eh?

13TH NOV UPDATE: currently at 11,500 words and still going... I rewrote an entire chapter yesterday (about one of the young survivors of the Custodian novel) that's less concerned with 'narrative' and more concerned with 'character'. And it's working. There'll be another chapter today, possibly the dad, the role taken by you-second-person in Custodian. Either him or Timi, we all remember Timi the re-wilded dinosaur-dog, don't we?

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Liberator - free planet #2 - back on track

after a brief (two months) distraction with the TANDEM (war world) novel project, I've picked up the reins of the LIBERATOR (free planet #2) novel and started to 'really see' where such a Natural Lottery-derived world might take humanity. Again, like Custodian, it's a split narrative novel. Where that was shared between You The People and The Custodians, this time out it'll be the conflicting viewpoints of We The People and The Monsters from Hell.

Four years since the events of Custodian (free planet #1) novel, the world is a radically different place and the quest for 'freedom' is blazing along apace. I'm currently 6,500 words into the doc version and I'm not sure whether I should invest in another mega-notebook, a-la-Tandem writing month, while I'm based in Oxford's Clarendon Centre helping out a friend with a spot of retail work for the saison de Noel and get the guts of this thing spooling nicely in my down time.

It'll not be a pretty hippy kumbaya novel -- oh, no sir no -- of that you can be assured.

The EMPIRE STRIKES BACK analogy might be worth wheeling out at this point. What mankind thought was his victory or his 'right to freedom' or his 'free planet' might not have been exactly how this particular war was lost or won. There might be a more sinister Corporate War narrative afoot that neither You The People nor The Custodians were party to. Something the other two parties might have to learn of the hard way, as turmoil starts to set in and Free Planet begins to rot from the feet up.

The CORPORATE WAR OFFICE might yet get its revenge...

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Custodian - Amazon reader review - Gene Brewer, author of K-PAX

Custodian received a reader review from non other than the writer of K-PAX, Gene Brewer. He had warned me up front that it wasn't going to be a totally positive review, and he did go into his thoughts on that. But most importantly, he was very complimentary of the writing and 'couldn't stop turning the pages':

Mike Philbin's new novel isn't really a novel. There isn't much plot or development--most chapters are a lot like the ones that came before. Whatever it is, however, I kept turning the pages. Some of the images are astonishing, all are powerful, and there are moments of good humor. Mr. Philbin is a good writer, and his choice of words and syntax are sometimes striking. More importantly, the book is a scathing indictment of the socio-economic-religious culture we have become. It sticks with you long after you've finished it. Well worth the read.


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Custodian - first five star customer review - Amazon reader Giggsy

Just back off my European hols (where I spent four weeks 'totally off the grid' doing nothing but relaxing and writing a new novel called Tandem) and this lovely FIVE STAR customer review of my Free Planet #1 novel Custodian is there on Amazon, from reader Giggsy:

Mike Philbin is back with another anti-corporate tale, another novel where he immerses you, the reader, into the book as a character. And he's getting good at it. 
This is likely his strongest work to date. 
His dystopian near-future seems so extreme at times, so odd, and so far away. And yet when you realize he's blending non-fiction (aka "The Truth") in with the fiction, you begin to realize just how near we are to losing our planet. He offers an unique presentation of his ideas that doesn't have boring economics theory, generic propaganda, or political lies.

Nice, thanks!

Friday, 19 July 2013

The Oxford Times - Local Author slot - Mike Philbin's Custodian novel

the Oxford Times has just featured Mike Philbin's new novel CUSTODIAN (Free Planet¹) in their online Local Author slot - click the above image to read the editorial or click the novel title to purchase direct.

Monday, 1 July 2013

The Research Notes of Miss Asalah Al Faghori

this is a 100-page Kindle publication that supplements events in the recently published Custodian (free planet #1) novel.

We meet central character Asalah Al Faghori who not only creates, inspires and manages the Custodian Liberation but is also the genetically enhanced host of the Natural Lottery show that infiltrates the GES or Global Evertainment System.

This digital diary allows us to witness her increasingly warped logical and frighteningly academic solution to the prison-world insanity of what she sees as the Corporate War Machine's ruination of her once-beautiful home world. We see how she comes to understand that only a 'rewilded' world, a 'de-consumerised' world, a 'jail broken' world can save mankind, as a supposed-Custodian race.

The owl-based cover refers back to the Messianic flavour of my 2008 novel Planet of the Owls but also alludes to the Moloch-worshipping i.e. Bohemian Grove's Skull & Bones, ritual symbology that will only really make its presence felt in Liberator (free planet #2) when it's all too late for our young heroine to attempt to rectify.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Free Planet¹ novel CUSTODIAN - published - available in Amazon Kindle, ebook and paperback formats

today, Friday the 14th June 2013, Free Planet¹ CUSTODIAN has been published on Amazon Kindle (buy now), various other ebook formats (buy now) and paperback format (buy now). Many thanks to (my editor, format guru and BFGS co-writer) Alex Severin who ensured that this 82,000 words novel was the best it could be.

What's Free Planet¹ CUSTODIAN about?

A group of Oxford University's finest minds, the eponymous Custodians, offer mankind a technological 'get out of jail free card' enabling them to slip from under the yoke of Corporate Slavery to THE INDUSTRY. 
Radical elements within the student body engage themselves in the Patent Wars and start a TV show called Natural Lottery that broadcasts to the global Evertainment System, every night, 7-9 p.m., all channels, full spectrum dominance.
You are taken through a physical relocation of your corporate arm of The Industry from Dusseldorf to Oxford. You are 'made redundant' in the most spectacular public fashion and your world starts to (literally) crumble, or pixellate, around you. 

Scene from the Opening Chapter:

Asalah Al Faghori will die tonight and we shall share the moment of her passing so that she can fulfill her promise of a brand-new future so far denied the inhabitants of this cruelly commercial world.

She will die so that you the people can understand Creativity.

She will die so that you the people can translate Passion.

She will die so that you the people can share Kinship.

She's not going to die strapped to a chair receiving four hundred stab wounds from some 'lunatic home invader' like unlucky French biochemists. She's not going to be discovered in some GCHQ safe house, zipped into a locked pink sports bag, decomposed well beyond the few days since her demise. She's not going to be discovered with her wrists slit in the wrong way, undigested paracetamol in her gut and no blood near her corpse in the woods.

And from a Later Chapter:

1) You have to clear a human turd off your desk. Not a toy one. Not some practical joke piece of moulded plastic. This is a real human turd. Someone would have had to squat down, right there on your desk before you got in, to lay this length of steaming brown pipe. You can even see where the anus muscle has crimped off the tail of it, begging like a clever puppy, its front-paw in the air.

2) The email flag pops up cheerily and it's a collection for your funeral. Enough money has already been pledged to buy quite a nice casket. Seriously, that is not right.


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Welcome to the Goodreads crowd...

if you've arrived here via the Event Invitation on Goodreads, welcome.

Make yourself at home. The wait is almost over. Custodian is available soon in ebook, Kindle and paperback. As you'll know, I've already set up the CUSTODIAN page on Goodreads, so that you can start   Recommending it and mark it as To Read etc.

While you're here, on the Free Planet novel series blog, add yourselves to the Followers list for all the latest updates and features of this blog dedicated to the release of the Free Planet (Custodian¹ 2013, Liberator² 2014 and Reaper³ 2015) novel series.

If you can find any virtual wine, grab it before it's all supped. Otherwise, plug your Evertainment sockets in and assume the uploading position, corporate slaves.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Anger, The Final Push and Shameless Happy Endings.

Custodian (book one of what might be a Free Planet series) is an angry book - from an angry person.

You probably guessed that already, right?

What you might not have guessed is that Custodian has a shamelessly happy ending which, for a post-apocalyptic novel, might not be to everyone's taste. And I don't really care if that offends you or not. I don't spend three years researching and two years writing these books to get your approval.

Custodian was finished on the 21st of April 2012 i.e. one year ago I could have happily passed it on to my literary agent who'd have auctioned it off to his three-choice publishers, the victor would have assigned it an editor and a marketing slot and they'd have changed everything (including my home-made Fields of Rape cover) so that everybody was happier with it.

Myself included.

I'm saying, "It's a flawed novel," but aren't they all? I was particularly annoyed that I would need to write a second book Liberator (which I'm a couple of chapters into) to explain what happens after mankind finds the other half of his DNA. I did come up with 'substantiation' for Asalah's chapter-one claim of ninety billion souls. I did take the reader through the intergalactic reason for it. But I wasn't totally happy with the aftermath. Remember, I'm an angry boy. Not really yet matured. Yet to grow up.

I remember thinking, for the last year, "What would happen if Custodian (Free Planet as it was named then) never came out, never found a publisher, never found shelf space?"  And I never came up with an answer. I had this sinking feeling, for the last year, this simple understanding that 'my' free planet, as outlined in this fictional Devil's Advocate excuse for 'entertainment' will never probably come about. Creativity, Passion and Kinship will have no impact on the human condition. Do Right By (free planet) will not be a guiding principle - we will never leave it better than we found it. There are too many problems with the whole Free Planet concept. Not least the seven billion people who'd be needed for such an endeavour to nullify all the forces that would rise up against such an ANTI-PROFIT movement. Custodians would literally be slaughtered on the streets, as foreigners all over the world are being slaughtered in the streets.

People like you, people like me, people you know. Corporate armies and insane inbred educational philosophies of 'how the world should be' are crushing screaming baby skulls under their boot. And nobody gives a fuck. As long as it doesn't intrude upon their cosy life they've tacitly thrown away all freedom for. Call it democracy, call it religion, call it dividend. As long as the 'status quo' isn't disturbed. Where is the energy to combat or rectify or alter one iota of that? I suspect that after maybe a decade or more of Total Global Surveillance and corporate fascism in the name of PAY, PAY, PAY mankind will start to look for an alternative to the petro-dollar, the water-dollar, the grain-dollar. By then it might not be too late, but Custodian sprouts from a time when mankind is totally embedded in the Consumerist Way. He is lost in it. He needs a radical solution, a clever get-out clause to have any hope of escape.

There is light at the end of the 'free planet' tunnel, there really is a shameless happy ending at the end of the book. But like all systems of neo-liberty there's a big flaw, a potential spanner in the works, You The People. The freedom (or continued slavery-for-profit) of mankind depends on you. You're the only one who can save Free Planet.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

why Custodian won't be - the Next Big Thing

I've known Nicholas Alan Tillemans for years and we've collaborated on a number of things, mostly notably our short story The Mound (which he published in his Acetone Enema collection). When he asked me to participate in THE NEXT BIG THING blog hop, I agreed. That was six months ago. Since then I've been in a panic. Just literally not able to do anything, such was my panic about finding first a literary agent then a publisher for my first 'free planet' novel Custodian, then I even panicked about awaiting for the final edit to arrive - and it's still not here.

Finally, here's my instalment of THE NEXT BIG THING.

What is the working title of your book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

I thought I could change the world by stating the obvious, "This is a Free Planet." I was wrong. Custodian will NEVER be The Next Big Thing. My life and my career is doomed to failure, and you (as gormless Consumers) need to revel in my moment of doom. I'm the Past Master of Failure, and I've done it before. I've walked away from a £30,000 a year job in the games industry. I've slaughtered ten years worth of life-size oil-on-hardboard oil paintings. I'm a terminal Spring Cleaner. In all the years I've been writing these daft 'genreclectic' books I haven't earned a single penny. Not one. Not one jot of concern.

What genre does your book fall under?

Extreme adult sci-fi horror fantasy gene-spliced space romance thriller with a talking bird and a talking cat.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Who would I choose to play the big talking birdy from Planet of the Owls or the big growling kitty kat from Pre-history? Well, let's examine this. During the course of the book (which I wrote in a style to make it especially easy to adapt for the Big Screen because I understand how much help a script-writer needs; how criminal that third act sell-out can be) I thought maybe 'some unknowns'... And the star of the film, YOU, could be played by the audience holding up a mirror to their gob-smacked faces through the whole length of the film and checking that they're still breathing by misting up the glass with their Popcorn-stinking Soda-laced breath.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A group of Oxford University's finest young minds offer to pull you from under your Corporate Slavery Yoke - most don't listen, many perish.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published. It has to come out NOW gadamit. It's the LIFE GAMBLE.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Too long, in terms of years wasted for no projected return. When I could have been working my butt off for the man and bringing home the bacon for momma, my ever-suffering wife, who was subsidising my very existence so that I could justify being on the internet EIGHT HOURS A DAY researching all the stupidest and least relevant conspiracy-nut tin-foil-hat nonsense there is. And believe me there's a lot of that shit out there, if you're 'that way inclined'.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

None, there's nothing like this ... oh, apart from Tron, maybe. Or K-Pax.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Alex Jones, James Corbett and David Icke phoned me up one night on ICC or International Conference Call and sang to me like a choirboy trio, "Michael (they actually used my full christian name in the opening bar) Michael," they sang, "You have to write this novel because Humanity is fucked otherwise," like I could actually do anything. Like anything I said, right now, would make THE BLINDEST BIT OF DIFFERENCE to The Complacent.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It starts and ends with a sermon about Mankind's Enormous Swollen Surrogate i.e. capitalism, small c.

If you wanna read some REAL WRITERS, do yourself a favour and check out these five amazing literary superstars you'll never have heard of Kurt Newton, polycarp kusch, Alex Severin, Destiny West and John B Ford -- I wrote about these five amazing writers in the very last (obituary) edition of Red Scream and I stand by what I said, back then.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Custodian¹ going through FINAL EDIT stage, Liberator² is being worked on.

yes, there's a blatant MICC angle
I've never been the most patient of writers, so (while Free Planet¹ "Custodian" is still being final-edited in the USA) I've decided to get back into the writing of Free Planet² "Liberator" right away.

There's no more time to waste pondering ideas, structure and resolution of this second book of three (as the current plan stands).

In fact, I already have two pages of bullet-pointed notes and am a few thousand words in having already mostly fast-drafted the first three chapters. Liberator takes place four years after the anti-corporate Natural Lottery events of Custodian. There are only a few survivors from  the original narrative, but certain intimate historical dependencies are explored in fatalistic detail.

In fact, I've decided to add the opening chapter from Liberator² at the end of Custodian¹ and I've had new thoughts on structure. Where Custodian was an alternating split narrative between You The People and The Custodian Liberation, Liberator's mostly-split-narrative structure will have an 'infrequent visitor' in the form of a 'third narrative stream'.

There'll be WE THE PEOPLE because now it's even more communal. There'll be MONSTERS FROM HELL because there are always prejudices and conspiracies. And there'll be a special feature section that opens the book and returns every now and then through the bulk of the novel to chart what really happened during Custodian, and it's nothing like you'd expect. It's sinister and will still haunt the narrative of Liberator, FOUR YEARS EARLIER.

Get ready, this brutal bastard'll sting.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Custodian Libertion presents The Natural Lottery

Every night at exactly seven o'clock local time, the Natural Lottery Show will hack into the GES or Global Evertainment System to deliver the intended message of a Free Planet for all.

"We are gathered here, today, in a secret location known only as Bullingdon Woods to the select members of our new Diversity,” Asalah begins her introduction, “It's nice to see so many who've already adopted the Custodian way, and so many who've shown commitment to such in a future iteration, are all present at this inauguration of the official Campaign for a Free Planet. I'd like you to raise your glasses, beaks, muzzles, funny-shaped back things, your too many arms, your communal living spaces to the cause we've committed our physical and intellectual lives to.”

"You know this is really gonna hurt, don't ya?” one dissenting voice from the back mutters.
"We are … yes, we will have to make the ultimate sacrifice for our fellow man. But this is something we are all aware of. No negative voices are to be allowed to 'sway our resolve'. We aim that every living person on Planet Earth will hear our message. Like a new record no one likes on first hearing, we will repeat and replay our message of a Free Planet for all the world to hear, until people finally get it. Until the world starts to wake up from its ridiculous monetary nightmare. Until people under.stand.”

"What if it doesn't work?” the voice again, from the quivering underbrush, the one dissenting voice of reason.

And you know what, the more Asalah Al-Faghori thinks about it, the more she becomes concerned that the whole Custodian Liberation is a complete red herring doomed to ultimate and embarrassing failure...

"CUSTODIAN" the first novel of the free planet series is due in ebook, kindle and paperback REAL SOON.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Kevlar Kubitz - gets you from A to B in perfect harmony

One of my favourite features of the Custodian novel are the Kevlar Kubitz that transport corporate drones i.e. You The People, from your CDZ or Corporate Dorm Zone to your offices of The Industry like mosquitos trapped in amber. They have this 'genetic muzak' that plays in your back brain that you can only 'hear later' while you're digesting the odorous tasks of the working day. And they don't always tell the truth. Though it's not like you'll have any discernment anyway, so any old crap story works. THe more lurid and insane the better.

But there are 'scintillas of truth' therein. If you know what you're being told. This particular bit is pulled straight out of the early part of the novel when you're not quite sure what your heroic role is.

P.V.s or Psyche-Vertisements, another ESI ready-to-wear, will push any old marketing to the core of your brain during your daily commute: here's a classic. 
January, 1932. Dusseldorf, Germany. Everyone knows the story about Lord Adolfus Hitler, 'cos you can't unknow a psyche-vertisement until its contractual erosion time has expired'. Heil Hitler, so the story goes, had just given a rousing speech before the Industrial Club in Elberfelder Strasse, just round the corner from where you recently worked in Wupper Strasse in what's still known as Dusseldorf in what once was called Germany. Heil Hitler was leaving the meeting, his protective entourage surrounding him, and he just slipped on something in Elberfelder Strasse, right outside the steps of the Industrial Club.

Died on the spot.
Everybody knows this … it's part of your Industry Education.

When a Kevlar Kubitz arrives in your Corporate Dorm Zone it'll sniff you out, home in on you, chemically. It'll ferret you out of your stinking pit of Evertainment slumber where you're allowed to be who you really wanna be. This is the perfect tactic for a ruthless organism like The Industry who may need to apply Leverage™ later on in your career cycle. You know, when your role as an asset for the Corporation, your paid-for loyalty, is put under 'ethical pressure'.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Angie's Diary reviews Custodian and it's not even out yet.

art, literature and lifestyle website Angie's Diary have a review of Free Planet¹ CUSTODIAN on their site, and the book isn't even out yet.

"Custodian" is the tale of one group of Oxford University's finest minds, the eponymous Custodians, who offer mankind a technological 'get out of jail free card' enabling them to slip from under the yoke of Corporate Slavery to THE INDUSTRY. [source ANGIE'S DIARY CUSTODIAN REVIEW]

"Custodian" (the first Free Planet novel from Mike Philbin) is due out real soon in ebook, kindle and paperback edition.

TEN DAYS LATER UPDATE: Angie's Diary have also run with that Kevlar Kubitz feature (in the post above) with slightly different data than the post content.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Free Planet¹ CUSTODIAN

custodian final cover
free planet¹ CUSTODIAN third draft complete:- 
novel available soon in Kindle and Paperback format.

as this first Free Planet novel was about three years in the research and a couple years in the writing/rewriting, the start of the book and the end of the book needed 'stylistically welding'.

I've edited, reworked and tightened up the opening chapters and gone through the rest of the opening part of the book so that it ties together better with the attitude, speed and style of the latter part of the book. I got rid of the introduction which, while being a nice rant about the education system that I'd rewritten kinda like about eight times, just got in the way of the real narrative.

Also, a very good friend of mine (editor and writer) will be going over it with a fine-tooth comb for one final line-edit. And there's a new cover design incorporating the power numbers into the free planet subtitle. After much internal debate, I left this message on the dedication page...

dedicated to all our children's children

...as (should such a thing as a Free Planet ever come about) that generation of people i.e. the children of today's children, will probably be the first to understand 'then' what we did or are trying to do for them 'now' and be able to deal with the crucial and life-enhancing chaaanges that they'll need to incorporate into their lives.