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.