Dec 102018
 

Church of the Cosmic Skull is a seven person supergroup that has come together to form a new religion as well as make the best 70’s prog music of 2016. I am not sure what the religion is about but the music kicks ass.  Imagine the Blue Oyster Cult crossed over with Fleetwood Mac.

Here is my favorite song of theirs, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

Dec 072018
 

I guess it started with role-playing notebooks. I was often the gamemaster so it would be up to me to write up the adventures. As I got more sophisticated, I wanted to keep track of continuity so I would fill up these spiral notebooks with maps, names and vague notes about plots.

As a player, I almost never took notes until I played Call of Cthulhu. Like any Lovecraft hero, I recorded my adventures into madness and despair. Those notebooks were very short.

When I started to write, I only needed one notebook. It had scraps of ideas. Once in awhile I might actually outline something. Mostly though, I used those notebooks to create lists of ideas I wanted to explore.

Nowadays, I have too many writing notebooks to count. There is a drawer in my cabinet filled with nothing by writing notebooks. I start one for each big project, scribbling ideas, character names, outlines and anything I can think of that I can’t use right away.

My chose-your-own-adventure books involve three of four notebooks for each one. I dedicate a page in the notebook for each choice, then I number every page. These notebooks become my hard copy outlines. I use a page for each choice because even though I usually only use three or four sentences for each choice, I rewrite a lot and I need that extra space.

When I got into magic a few years ago, every books recommends keeping a journal. This is so you can record your magical experiments and have a document that you can refer to. That is what it is for in theory, but I find that more often I find the empty pages to be a gentle reminder to do more magical stuff so I can have something to put in those pages. My magic journal is the only one I do on my computer, because I type way faster than I write and I don’t want the urge for brevity. Plus, it is backed up on three computers thanks to Dropbox.

When I moved to Wisconsin, I decided to take up bowling. My first few games were really bad and I got discouraged. I got a tiny notebook to fit in my pocket so I could record the days I played, how many spares and strikes as well as my scores. Only when I wrote them down did I see that I was actually getting better, just with some hiccups. I also found that I bowled for shit on Sundays.

When my Mom got cancer, I drove from Wisconsin to North Carolina to visit her. My wife was just starting her job so I had to go alone. It was the first real trip I had done by myself as an adult. I was a little nervous and overwhelmed by the details I needed to keep up with, so I got a notebook. Using a little magic, I have it a name and a personality to that not only do I have a notebook to keep track of my reservations, mileage and receipts, but I also created a placebo safety blanket of knowing my trip was magically protected.

This year I worked on my biggest book yet. It consumed so much of my head space, that I struggled to keep track of chores. I read a book that had a lighthouse keeper, and the book showed the deterioration of the keeper’s mental state by printing the daily report that he logged. There was something about the listing of chores he accomplished or didn’t finish that really clicked with me. I used to do something similar for my factory job, and I remembered how writing all the breakdowns on my machines made me feel better by how little I accomplished some days. I decided to start keeping a daily housework notebook, and it really helped me keep up with my chores as well as assure me on those days that I got overwhelmed.

Last month, I made fried chicken for the first time in ages. I remembered the seasoning blend, but couldn’t recall the cooking times. I had written them down, but lost track of it. We have a binder style notebook for recipes, but the times and temperature it listed was outdated. The book mostly contains recipes we have printed or cut out. what I really needed was a journal that I could write experiments or works-in-progress until I settle on a final recipe for printing and inclusion in the binder. So that’s why I got a spiral cooking notebook.

I put stickers inside my notebooks. It sounds childish, but it really makes the notebook stand out. It transforms the blank pages into something that has a life of its own. There is also a lot of adult themed stickers out there on the internet.

Anyone else compulsively notebooking?

Dec 052018
 

The woman in front of me turned around. “Fuck me,” she said.

Woman don’t say that to me often, and certainly not while standing in line at the post office. She was pretty with long blonde hair pulled back into a strict ponytail. Her jeans were tight, but her sweater was frumpy. Freckles spotted her face and she had a slight underbite.

“Fuck me,” she said again, loud enough for everyone to hear. She stuck her tongue out and it was unusually long. The tip of her tongue curled and uncurled, betokening me to enter her mouth.

No one reacted. The woman behind me sighed in boredom. The man in front of the blonde stranger shifted the box he was carrying from one hand to the other. They must have heard her.

“You’re not real,” I whispered.

The blonde rolled her eyes. She lifted her sweater to reveal a white bra holding massive pale breasts.

“Fuck me!” she yelled.

The man at the register called for the next customer. The line moved forward. The blonde walked backwards, still exposing her bra.

This wasn’t real. I knew that. This had happened before. She was some entity that I called up in lust and ignorance a week ago. It was just a card game; how was I supposed to know that the forces it dealt with were real?

The blonde pulled her sweater back down over her chest. She turned around and I heard her jeans unzip. In the awkward silence of the post office line, the sound of her zipper was impossible to ignore.

No one noticed. Not for the first time, I wondered if this was a hallucination. Was I experiencing some sort of wet daydream created by another? Did the blonde really have a white bra so transparent that I could see the saucers of her aureoles, or was that an invention of the capricious thing I had brought into this world?

The woman pulled her pants down. The tight jeans slid over her round butt and fell to her ankles. There were no panties. A strange scar covered the right buttock. Was the scar real or just another weird detail to this fiction I was seeing?

“Fuck me,” she said again, and this time she stepped back until her butt pressed against my crotch.

This felt real. My cock pulsed inside my jeans and against her ass. As discreetly as I could, my hips shifted and thrust towards her.

Oh God, it felt real.

The woman reached behind her. With a dexterity that couldn’t be human, she unzipped my pants and reached into my underwear. Warm fingers gripped my manhood and pulled it out. She pressed the head of my organ against her ass and slid it up and down her crack.

I looked around. A couple came in through the door with a clear view of everything the woman was doing to me. They frowned at the sight of the line and dutifully went to the end.

The woman leaned forward. She guided my cock into her sex. Wet heat gripped my shaft as I sank into her. The clenching walls of her sex held onto me.

I shuddered. My hands curled into fists. The urge to moan was incredible but I bit my lip. No one could see or hear what the woman was doing to me, but I didn’t know if I was just as unnoticeable.

This couldn’t be an illusion or daydream. I never felt a pussy this wonderful in any of my dreams. The entity must be controlling these people. It must have these people under some sort of a trance, so it can have its way with me.

The woman humped me. The sound of her wet sex getting filled grew louder and louder. She grabbed the hips of the man in front of her for support. He braced his legs and held the box in both hands as she held onto him.

“Yes, yes, yes, fuck, fuck, FUCK!” the woman cried.

The line moved forward. The woman held onto the man’s hips and the three of us took a step together. My cock never left her tight heat.

My climax approached. I lost control and grabbed her hips. My hands held her in place as I slammed into her. Frustration and fear drove my cock into her mysterious sex.

“YES!” the woman cried and then she cackled as she came.

I came as well. I yelled my orgasm to the uncaring line. Pleasure filled my body as I filled her pussy with me seed.

The woman slid off my cock. She pulled her pants up over her ass and the strange scar. The sound of her zipper was twice as loud as before.

I reached for my pants, but they were already zipped with my cock back inside. Did she do it or was it me? I don’t remember. It was always hard to remember details after the entity gives me an orgasm. It was one of the things that makes me doubt whether these encounters really happen or not.

The line moved forward. I took a step and my underwear stuck to my wet cock.

Dec 032018
 

Ramsey Campbell is a grandmaster of horror. He has been around for ages and has been writing the entire time. He got his start writing Lovecraft Mythos books, creating his own corner of cosmic terror in England. Most Call of Cthulhu fans know him for his early work but the guy has kept writing and only gets better.

Personally, I am a little burned out on Lovecraft and the problematic issues that come with reading his stuff. When I heard that Campbell has returned to Lovercraft style stories with “The Searching Dead,” I was motivated to seek it out. A rave review convinced me otherwise and now I am glad I have read it.

The Searching Dead is about a young boy, Dominic, in Liverpool in the 1950’s. England is still rationing, neighborhoods are still devastated from German bombing and people are getting awfully worried about Communists.  Dominic has two best friends that he formed a little child detective group with when they were younger. He writes about their fictional adventures, much to the embarrassment of his male friend.

One day, Dominic overhears his parents talking to a family friend who is convinced her church can raise ghosts. Dominic’s parents think spiritualism is a crock, but Dominic experiences a few strange incidents and becomes convinced that not only are ghosts real, but the church that is raising them is up to no good. To investigate, Dominic enlists his friends.

Now, this sounds like British version of “It”, or maybe a Hardy Boys Meets a Shoggoth, but the thing that elevates this book is the hyper-realism. There are weird things going on, but they are subtle, so obtuse, so damn-near-mysterious, that you would have to be a lunatic (or a reader) to assume any of this weird stuff is real. Empty coats look fuller than they should. There is a whisper in Dominic’s ear. A bunch of kids have bad dreams on a field trip. This is the kind of evidence that would make Fox Mulder roll his eyes and declare it swamp gas. Dominic believes, but his friends, parents and school does not. Dominic is truly alone in this really creepy situation.

And ghosts and cultists are not Dominic’s only concern. He goes to a religious school that already thinks he’s a walking sin machine. His parents really wish Dominic would not find out about any terrible conspiracies because that means they would have to do something and that would endanger their social standing as normal good citizens. Other adults are looking for commies and labor organizers with the zeal that should be reserving for cultists. Quite frankly, Dominic lives in a scary restrictive dystopia and its called the 1950’s.

Which is why I enjoyed the book so much. Sure, the creepy mystery and cultists were cool, but the setting is the real horror. It captures a weird moment in time and marries it with the helplessness of being a kid. Oh, and throws in some really creepy theories about death and the soul.

This is the first book of three, but it ends with a satisfying conclusion. Dominic solves the cultist church problem with a mixture of cleverness and pre-teenage tantrum-throwing.  There is a final scene where Dominic witnesses something truly mind-blowing that is too creepy to give away here. This book is going to stick me with for a long time and I can only imagine what the other books will be like.

 

Nov 282018
 

One of the first erotic books I ever read was Sex Mates of a Chess Mistress. It was part of my step-father’s porn collection that was barely hidden in the attic. I found the book and read it even though I was far too young to be reading porn. I barely knew what sex was, and the exploits described within baffled me. There was a scene where a woman covered herself in french toast batter and then cooked under a sunlamp until the batter became a yummy crust that another woman ate. It gave me the impression that all sex was a rather complex affair.

My step-father confiscated the book at some point but the memory of it lingered. For one thing, I recalled that it was about a secret agent who was protecting someone. I remembered something about Russians. And I never ever forgot about the weird deal with the french toast.

Years later, I tried looking for the book but I couldn’t remember the name. “Spy porn with chess and french toast” doesn’t help your internet searches. Still, off and on I kept trying and this past year I got lucky. I found this book on Amazon and instantly recognized the rather lovely cover. I bought it instantly and read it as soon as possible.

So what is Sex Mates of a Chess Mistress? first of all, it is a comedy, something I didn’t realize when I read it as a teenager. Regina Blue is a former prostitute who now works for a private agency that does government work.  She is tasked with protecting Barbie Flounder, a young nymphomaniac who is also a chess genius. Barbie is scheduled to play the greatest champion of chess, a Russian man. The Russians want her dead, as do the anti-feminists, the Checker fanatics, and about a dozen other groups. When Barbie is nearly killed, her sex drive dies and so does her chess skills. It is up to Regina to respark Barbie’s sex drive while also protecting her.

So yeah, not exactly a book that a young person should be taking sex education from.

I will say that this book is far funnier than I expected. Comedy in the 70’s is usually terribly racist or misogynistic but this book avoids those traps. A flaming gay guy does get raped by Barbie but since we find out about it through a deposition written by conservative Southern cops, the result is hilarious without ever crossing over into mean. The groups out to kill Barbie are ridiculous and worthy of a Mel Brooks movie. There is an assassination attempt by a kangaroo for crying out loud.

There is less sex than I remember, which helps keep the story moving.  Being the 70’s, there is a sex scene with a llama, but for the most part, the other sex scenes are pretty inventive.  The scenes with a rather tiny endowed gigolo would be memorable in any book that didn’t include french toast sex.

Sadly, this book is the second book of a series about Regina and there never was a third. It is a shame because the comedy and sex are still worth reading today.

Nov 262018
 

Some books make you ache from the beauty inside. They take you somewhere unearthly where there is equal parts cruelty and wonder. You know that it is a place where you would surely perish but the experience would be worth it.

Night’s Master is a fantasy book in a very loose sense of the world. Sure, there is a Flat Earth where man goes about their business with uncaring Gods above and very-caring Demons below, but this is not a Tolkien-inspired world with their endless gibberish names for everything and multiple fantasy species. This is a fantasy world closer to the Arabian Nights with greedy kings, arrogant wise men, and heart-broken women. There is no learning curve here because it is about people and all of their faults.

Another thing in common with the Arabian Nights is the structure of the book. It is comprised of three main stories, and those stories are made of smaller stories. The end of one story chains directly into the start of another. Instead of cliffhangers pulling you along, you are drawn to the next story to find out what happened to the widow, prized necklace or forgotten child of the previous story. The end of the book chains back to a theme of the beginning of the book; which creates a wonderful cycle of fiction.

The stories are told like fables, with an executive-summary approach. Years pass in a sentence and entire interactions are summarized briefly. That might irritate some readers but for me, I appreciated the brevity. Other stories would tell of a beautiful necklace but in this book, it is THE most beautiful necklace and capable of causing spouses to murder each other in order to posses it. A wicked Queen is not merely evil, but so terrible that she will never be forgotten. The realm of Demons is described with such wonder that I refuse to spoil it for you here.

The most magical part of this book is Azhram, Prince of Demons. A darkly handsome being with vast powers, he amuses himself with humanity. He can be kind or cruel on a whim, and the best you can hope for from him is indifference. He is the prime instigator of the book, either taking center stage in a story or being the cause of some terrible or wondrous thing that is happening to others. In no way is he a hero, or even an anti-hero, but there is something refreshing about a primal force that does not seek any sort of redemption.

Of course, being wicked means that he does things that are highly problematic. He adopts a human baby and has him as a lover when he turns 16. A crippled women is graphically raped. Injustices are visited on many people. The fantasy fable approach to the stories lessened the impact for me, but I completely understand if others are unable to enjoy these stories.

Which is a shame, as I truly feel that Night’s Master might be one of the most wondrous fantasy novels ever written. It is the first book in a five book series and I am greatly looking forward to them.

 

Nov 232018
 

I love the pulp era of fiction from the early 20th century. At least, I love it in theory. I like the idea of smart men fighting evil, exploring strange areas and wrestling with both science fiction and magical enemies. I like plucky sidekicks and reporters who don’t know when to quit. I am super fond of sexy killers who are usually not evil, just working for their mastermind father.

What I am not so crazy about is the actual stories from the period. Quite a few of them are racist as fuck and the less said about the treatment of women, the better. So what does a person do when they want to capture the flavor of the era but with modern tastes?

In search of that flavor, I came across Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont. The premise reads lick a gimmick, the writers of Doc Savage, the Shadow and a pre-Messiah L. Ron Hubbard, team up to investigate the mysterious death of H.P. Lovecraft. Along the way, they discover a plot that threatens all of Chinatown!

Yeah, that almost sounds too goofy to read but Malmont makes it work. for one thing, it is a very grounded story about some remarkable writers. Lester Dent and Walter Gibson are fascinating people in real life and it comes across in this story. Gibson was a pioneer in stage magic books while Dent had a fatherly interest in teaching young boys as much as about science as he could. These two are the stars of the book and their adventures are believable.

The plot itself is also rooted in reality. It involves some poison, some Chinese history and an interesting take on H.P. Lovecraft that makes him sympathetic without sugarcoating the man’s really horrid racism.

Other famous writers make cameos but I won’t spoil them here. As good as the adventure was, I found the discussions about pulp fiction to be the highlight of the book. If you are a fan of the pulps, or just curious about them, this functions as a really good primer and proof that their form of writing has a lot to offer the world.

Nov 212018
 

My next interactive sex book takes place on an alien planet inside a sex arena. You play a fuck-fighter who is there to compete in a sixty-four being tournament. Before you can begin, I explain how a normal fuck-fight happens. Now, drawing on my years of explaining rules and instructions to players and employees, it occurs to me that I may take some knowledge for granted without realizing it. I would like to share the training section with you today and get some feedback. Could you please read it, and let me know if there is a part that you don’t understand? Thanks!

***

Fuck-fighting is a three round contest between two fighters. Each combatant is allowed two articles of clothing and one set of energy weapons. Clothing and weapons vary from fighter to fighter and the whims of the Queen. Prisoners, for example, are often poorly armed and dressed and added to the fights as a punishment. Other fighters will have access to better and more expensive weapons than their competitors due to rank or wealth. There is no fairness in Fuck-Fighting.

Clothing usually covers a fighter’s genitals or secondary sexual characteristics although there is no rule as to what must be covered. Clothing can sometimes be armored to provider protection, but most clothing is designed to titillate the thrill starved crowd. The only rule is that clothing must be easy to be removed by an opponent.

Energy weapons are used in the first round. An energy weapon is usually a hand-to-hand weapon with an energized tip or side instead of a sharp edge. An energy sword, for example, consists of a metal hilt that projects a sword made of energy.

Glancing blows from energy weapons on bare skin will cause pain and burns. A direct blow to a limb might cause paralysis in the limb as the energy overloads the nervous system. Energy weapons that connect with the heart, head or other vital organs will cause uncontrollable seizures and partial loss of consciousness.

Once a fighter is incapacitated by an energy weapon, the Arena Warden will sound the horns and Round One will come to an end. Round Two will begin immediately.

Round Two is fought with no weapons. Only the fighter’s natural abilities are allowed. Round Two continues until a fighter is stripped and then knocked unconscious or forced to submit.

Because stripping an opponent is essential to winning, most winners of Round One will take advantage of their enemy’s helplessness to begin the stripping. All fighters recover at different rates from an energy weapon, so speed is important.

Every move is legal in Round Two except the further use of energy weapons. Biting, punching, scratching, groping, kicking, penetrating, slamming, fingering and head-butting are all allowed.

When a fighter is knocked unconscious or screams their submission, the Arena Warden will sound the horns and Round Two will come to an end. Round Three will begin immediately.

Round Three, also known as the Queen’s round, is a chance for the victor to win favor from the crowd and the Queen. The victor can do whatever they wish with the defeated competitor’s body. They can inflict pain and punishment on the loser, as well as sate their carnal desires.
It is important to consider the crowd’s wishes. Fuck-fighting is a favorite sport of the masses and they delight in the humiliation of the fallen. If the crowd is unhappy, or worse, bored, with a victor’s Third Round, it is possible that the Queen will be displeased.

Displeasing Queen Erishella is considered a form of suicide on Euphoria. You have been warned.

Round Three comes to an end when the Queen wishes it to be. The horns will sound and the Queen will make her judgement. She will either spare the life of the loser if she wishes them to endure future humiliation or she will consign the loser to the Pit.

The Pit is the final resting place of fallen Fuck-fighters. Last year the pit was filled with a terrible machine that shred and sprayed the blood of the loser a hundred feet into the air. It was a great success with the crowd but a single drop of blood landed on the Queen’s heavenly right breast and she was displeased. The designer of the machine was fed into the machine and the machine was removed.

This year the Pit has been filled with a Cocksquid from the distant planet of Cronen. The Cocksquid is twenty meters long and has ninety-six tentacles that double as sexual organs. Stimulants have been added to the Pit to keep the cocksquid in a constant state of sexual frenzy. Fighters thrown into the Pit can look forward to days of being violated before the cocksquid realizes they are edible.

There are sixty-four fighters who will compete against one another in single elimination rounds. To win the tournament, you must defeat six opponents. The Grand Winner will be rewarded personally by Queen Erishella. This can include wealth, slaves, or personal attention from the Queen herself.

Glory to the Queen!

***

Nov 192018
 

In the last Phantasm movie, Mike and Psychic Girl were ripped out of the backseat of a hearse even though the Tall Man was absolutely, positively, no way out of this dead.  The third movie picks up with the Tall Man stepping out of a portal and walking past his corpse. What? How is that possible? Forget thinking about it reader, this is Phantasm.

The movie cuts to Mike and Psychic Girl getting ripped out of the hearse. Mike, now played by his original actor, wakes up and oops, Psychic Girl is dead and has her head chopped off. Tall Man is coming for Mike but Reggie, the world’s greatest ice cream vendor, saves him. Mike then slips into a coma. Two years pass with Mike in a coma.

Okay, bear with me because this is things get weird, even for a Phantasm movie. While in a coma, Mike is visited by the ghost of his brother Jody. Jody helps Mike snap out of his coma just in time to fight off a evil maybe-possessed nurse. Once Mike is awake, he finds out his brother’s brain was placed inside one of the killer spheres. Yes, the secret ingedient for making a cool killer sphere is human brains. Jody broke free of his control and is now helping Mike!

Right until Mike gets kidnapped. Sigh.

Now Reggie has to go save Mike, again. Along the way, he picks up a small child who is the last survivor of his town, and incidentally, a crack shot with a pistol. Reggie also picks up a kick-ass black woman who was in the Army and wields nunchucks. Tagging along with this insane group is Jody, the renegade-now-good-guy killer sphere.

If Phantasm was a dream and Phantasm II was an 80’s action movie, then Phantasm III is a tabletop role-playing group. The guy playing Reggie refuses to roll a new character, there is the guy who min-maxes so he has the best fighter but his disadvantage is that he is a child, there is the woman playing her tough woman character from a streetfight game, and finally, you have the one player who insists on breaking the theme of simple humans against dark forces and wants to play a dark force-turned-good.

 

And you know what? It is fucking glorious. It doesn’t matter how many players or characters there are, the Tall Man is still awesome and they just gives him more people to fuck up.

there is a big climatic battle and we find out the secret to his immortality: the fucker is just a meat puppet for the killer sphere inside his head! Creepy! You gotta kill the sphere if you want to kill the evil man.

Oh, and Mike is just a killer sphere inside a body too. What? How? Why? This changes everything, maybe? I feel like I have been Phantasmed.

So the gang kills the Tall Man and his sphere for good this time. The cool woman decides to leave the party before the Phantasm tradition of the heroes getting fucked at the end of the movie and good for her. That player has been paying attention. Mike leaves too, probably to wonder the earth, visiting town after town and solving their problems but then moving on because of his dark secret.

What about Reggie and Kid Shooter? Well, Reggie gets swarmed by like a hundred killer spheres. Turns out the Tall Man has been busy. Kid Shooter tries to save him but then the Tall Man FUCKING APPEARS EVEN THOUGH THAT BASTARD SHOULD BE DEAD FOR REAL THIS TIME. Before Kid Shooter can complain to the gamemaster, Jawas grab him from behind and pull him through a door.

Sorry Kid Shooter, you should know better than have your back against anything in a Phantasm movie.

Nov 182018
 

This piece is titled is “Music Witch” and is by Anastasia Catris. I think I bought it seconds after seeing it. Stevie Nicks has been a magical part of my life for a long time, and American Horror Story’s adaption of her as a Witch was a real Pop Culture Magic moment for me.

Years ago when I was a high school teenager, my alarm clock was a radio set to the local rock station. One morning, it played “Rooms on Fire” by Stevie Nicks. My dreams were instantly transformed into something magical and filled with so much longing that my heart felt it would burst. It truly felt like I was experiencing something divine so imagine my surprise when I woke up and discovered that the angelic music I was hearing came from a real life person. I had no idea who Stevie was, and in per-internet days it was really hard to find out who sang that song. I think it took me a couple of weeks, the whole time wondering if what I heard was real.

So yeah, that started a life long love of Stevie Nicks. Everything is more important when you are a teenager and Stevie is one of those touchstones for the whirlwind of emotions I felt back then. She is an instant connection to magic, wonder and beauty so bright that it hurts.

There is something magical about her if I do say so myself.