Monday, August 24, 2015

Lives in the Balance

There are the few who make a difference and the many that do not. Station does not determine this distinction: There are the many among those in power who live and die insignificant and there are the few among the lowly who prove noteworthy.

In fiction the important characters never die or do so dramatically. Unimportant characters are slaughtered in droves and we are grimly amused no matter the body count. Reality is not so different.

In fiction a hero is loved for his heroism and a villain for his flair. The anonymous, even if granted token names, are entirely expendable whether supposedly good or bad. Reality is no different.

We celebrate our fictional heroes because they live and die for things worth fighting for. We enjoy our fictional masterminds for bothering to make evil interesting. We appreciate the slaughter of our fictional bystanders and cannon-fodder because their grim fate is the only thing that makes them interesting. Again, reality is no different.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Death of the Scarred Warrior

What if our science and religion are debased aspects of an older culture? Our “diversity” may very well be the strewn rubble of what was once a glorious civilization.

Suppose there were originally three habitable worlds in our solar system. What if the asteroid belt is the shattered remains of one of them? Mars was a moon of the hapless planet and was blasted and flooded by its destruction. The sudden waters receded only to be followed by a drought that never ends. The lush green of a living moon became the barren red of a barely habitable new planet. Only the hearty and resourceful survived to be Martians. Severity became a way of life. The World of War was born.

Suppose the humanity of prehistoric Earth and Mars were not so different than the humanity of today. Struggles for wealth and influence escalated into wars. Things got out of hand and weapons of mass-destruction were employed. Hyper-dimensional physics initiated a massive plasma bolt that tore open the atmosphere of Mars as it bore into the mantle and shorted the planet’s core. The Red Planet has been dead ever since. Earth survived but was devastated. Our prehistory has since become myth and legend.

Maybe, maybe not. Whatever happened occurred whether we know or believe or not. The "scarred warrior" of our old tales may very well be the telling of a history barely within our memory. The idea does not debunk our science and religion because our science and religion are the very things that give us the hint of what may have happened. Never fear to ponder.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Stormtroopers, Amazons and Concubines

The Imperial Stormtrooper is deservedly the most popular foot soldier of villainy in all fiction. Not only does he have a catchy name and a sleek look but he enjoys a relevant context.

The Imperial Stormtrooper is selfless, loyal and obedient. He is selfless because he accepts that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of individuals. He is loyal because he believes in law and order. He is obedient because there is neither law nor order unless they are enforced.

Until the Imperial Stormtrooper the Amazon of Classical Mythology was the most popular expendable baddie. Comely and aggressive she exemplified sex and violence as one and the same. Though usually belligerent she was never particularly villainous.

A formidable villain is assured attention: the wise and witless alike finding power and prowess interesting. The little baddies are typically nameless and insignificant, thus, are seldom worthy of recognition. That said, even a lowly thing is not at its best if turned into something else.

The Stormtrooper is his mask and armor. The army of the Amazon is her identity. Stormtroopers and Amazons are readily slaughtered but so long as their numbers endure they prove immortal. As many they garner our interest and hold our attention.

I am a writer, artist and game designer. I created an army of clone women for my Strange Galaxy universe. Like the Stormtroopers they are selfless, loyal and obedient. Like the Amazons they are a nation and army of women who are usually hostile but never sinister. Like their templates my clone women are readily slaughtered combatants. Their qualities are unassuming. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Yississ War: Reviewed

            “A huge naked corpse-woman with six breasts and tentacles for legs is the chief antagonist of Shawn O’Toole’s The Yississ War, which I’m prepared to go out on a flailing zombie limb here (confused metaphor and all) and call a modern masterpiece.” 

            -- Jason Kehe, Wired

If you want something new then you want something unusual… if you are truly hoping for more than a refresh of the usual.

I am a writer of weird fiction. My work is not strange for the sake of novelty. I am inspired by what is already available. Alas, by love of the tried and true I am stirred to write things new and unique.

Like most people, my favorite fiction is heroic adventure stories. I revel in the daring and prowess of the protagonists. I am thrilled by the dramatic violence. Comely female characters make it all sexy. Elements of horror accentuate every thrill; violent and sexual. Magic makes it all fantastic. Speculative science proves interesting if plausible and sheer fun if ridiculous.

I am an artist and game designer but a writer first and foremost. It is the story of a game or picture that captures me. It is the drama of character interactions that make me care.

I wrote a story that is but one of many that are my Strange Galaxy universe. The Yississ War is the tale of an army of clone women battling the monstrous forces of a demon living in rotting flesh. A mortal man and his “army” of three superheroes ally with the clone women to save the galaxy. Weird? Totally. Stupid? Not at all.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


What if the asteroid belt really is the fragments of an exploded planet? The notion is flippantly dismissed because it cannot be deduced how such a phenomenon could occur naturally. What if the event was a deliberate action? Why not? Is not our own world threatened by weapons of mass-destruction? We know there are ways to annihilate beyond all reason.

The fossils of extinct apes are no more proof of human evolution than the bones of gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans are human remains. Unusual human fossils are no more unusual than the skeletons of pigmies and professional basketball players. I was born with six toes on one foot… and not because we are “evolving” more digits. Actually, we are losing parts, not evolving new ones. A theory of human devolution is more in sync with the actual evidence. Yes, we have our growing technology but remember: humanity built its pyramids without our modern toys. We are what we are and as such we make our own trappings.

One is the quality of existence. All quantities, even those fractured, deficient or of opposing polarities, cannot exist unless derived and maintained by the absolute one. Nothing is simply nothing at all. Giving nothing a name does not give it substance for if it is truly nothing then there is nothing to substantiate.

What if the Big Bang was a human voice and the universe a human creation? We imagine. We create. We give meaning to what would otherwise be meaningless. What if there is a God and he is the first of us? Man may very well be the measure of all things, indeed.

Animals can only do what comes naturally. Yes, we may teach them tricks but we do so by manipulating their innate inclinations. We may even breed them or otherwise genetically tweak them to our own ends. We may soon design new creatures entirely. We may even change ourselves, for better or worse. We are the only creature who can entertain such notions.

Good is flow and balance. Evil is when flow is stifled into stagnation or balance teeters towards chaos. Good restores itself by counteracting. Flow is restored by creating an imbalance. Balance is restored by channeling flow. Alas, all things are clean of themselves.

A war preceded us. All our wars are offshoots of this one and ongoing conflict. Most of the fighting is evil against evil: elites vying for power. Vastly outnumbered and hopelessly outgunned the good find themselves fighting alongside the wicked that the lesser evils may overcome the greater. Ultimately, however, the strongest evil shall devour all others and good alone shall remain to fight it. Numbers and firepower are decisive in the material plane of existence but they prove impotent in a clash of spirit.

Every man is one man. He is less or he is more than the sum of his parts. His nature and experiences shape what he is but who he is must be of his own making. A man who is only his nature and experiences is a nonentity. His life is insignificant and his death inconsequential. A man who strives, for good or for evil, is on a path that shall take him beyond where he finds himself. Whether heroic or villainous he shall make a difference. His death shall not be the end of his doings.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Imagining Sex and Violence

We all imagine being naughty with someone we find attractive. We vent by envisioning excessive violence. We may fancy being virile, seductive or fearless. We love stories about a hero slaughtering baddies and bedding damsels. We enjoy tales about people like us being stalked and murdered, especially if there is a “scream queen” to be had.

We want our girls comely but relentless bumping and grinding proves restless and becomes desperate. We relish the thrill of vicarious violence but even intensity is uninspiring and becomes boring if meaningless.

A woman is naturally sexy. Her form, voice, mannerisms and eccentricities arouse needless of intent. A shapely physique, a soft and mellifluous voice, graceful gestures and endearing quirks assure an erotic appeal too unassuming to exhaust its beneficiaries.

Violence is naturally thrilling. The very idea of someone willfully inflicting harm upon another is rife with spiritual implications, especially if the intent is to rape or kill. Vulgarity is neither artful nor inspiring. An implied assault or bloodless killing is a nuance of violence too understated to distract from its dramatic connotations.

To be prudish is to deny pleasure. To be libertine is to squander enthusiasm. Indulge but artfully. Sublimate every thought and feeling into a creative endeavor. Appreciate fantasies of sex and violence for what they are: imaginative intensity.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Strange Galaxy: Good Against Evil

My Strange Galaxy is unusual in that it celebrates the struggle of good against evil as a little thing that makes all the difference. An individual, not a faction, is the champion of freedom and justice. Personal friendship, not impersonal idealism, is the ray of hope that burns away the cold darkness.

In both reality and my fictional reality indifferent mediocrity is the norm but sinister intent and heroic gumption are the decisive forces. The excellent few, good or evil, are the vim and vigor of the universe. The insignificant many are nonentities whose alignments are divided among the few.

Politics and war are not the struggle of good against evil. In both reality and my fiction the struggles of factions are survival of the fittest in play. It is only natural that the wily outwit the gullible, the assertive dominate the timid, the limber outmaneuver the lumbering, the skillful outmatch the inept and the strong overpower the weak. The universe cleanses itself by fire.

Cruelty is not always evil for evil is most often thwarted by fear. Mercy is not always good for to suffer the wicked is to condemn the innocent to suffer. Freedom is no more liberty than it is slavery. Justice is no more law than it is crime. The freedom and justice of Strange Galaxy are what they actually are: Freedom is to sow of one’s own accord. Justice is to reap what one has freely sown.

For all the rape and slaughter my Strange Galaxy is spiritual and thoughtful. It is neither an escape from reality nor is it cynical. Good is stronger than evil for it is substance whereas evil is nothing more than nothing where there should be something. Strange Galaxy, for all its murder and mayhem, really is the triumph of good against evil. Enjoy.