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A friend was recently reading the revised version of John Finn that appears to be making its way into print sooner than later and suggested that a particular chapter might stand on its own. It happens to be one of those I posted first about eight years ago when John Finn was newly minted apart from its origins in the Henry Sullivan Hound novels. Long absent from view, I was happy to oblige. read more…

Rejoice! (if not, read Joyce)

I am told by my betters that I am too negative. Not for the first time, of course. So I have looked again at this ongoing collapse of Western Civilization that surrounds me in the rubble of all that I hold dear—other than family and friends—in the hope of finding some morsel of good cheer, happiness, and prospect for good times ahead.

Lo, I have found it this day with the arrival of another volume I had just ordered through the all-knowing internet (in this instance AbeBooks.com, a subsidiary of the mighty Amazon) for my current project—I am re-writing A Young Man from Mars, and I’d already sold some of my original research materials from that project several years ago). This is a copy of Alexis De Tocqueville’s translated and edited journals, written on his Journey to America during his quest to understand the still new Democracy in America, which was his greater effort. Lovely stuff. read more…

In our lost time

 

[A portion of the novel A Young Man From Mars, currently being re-written and somewhat available elsewhere in this ethereal site]

Recalling any given lecture I am impressed by the fact that Professor Tripp himself was not nearly as kind as his classroom manner allowed. The record of his first talk concerning the Collapse is a good example:

Looking back at the first part of the Twenty-first Century, it is difficult to feel pity. With three thousand years of human history, of ‘blood sweat and tears,’ and more, of creation and joy, tossed away, and the history of countless billions of human lives destroyed, carelessly. All pity must be reserved for those they desecrated. Certainly some compassion must be felt for the children. They alone might deserve that. But for their parents, and the rest, there can only be disgust. And as those children who survived reached maturity and took possession of their own lives, those who followed the same bloody rites as their parents, in retrospect, lost any claim of innocence. Worse. They made of their very births a sacrilege. An especial disdain must be held for those who saw the horror about them, knew it for what it was, and out of cowardice did not rise up against it. Thankfully, revulsion leaves no stomach for hate, else we might consume ourselves in the very heat of hell the people of that time made for themselves. Though mercy, even of thought, is impossible given the ruthless brutality they showed toward the rest of mankind. read more…

The bright side is pretty dim

Trying to see the bright side of the current cultural malaise is difficult in the glare of modernity. Over one hundred years on, that is since the infamous Armory Show, the squandering of Western culture has reached its nadir with a wallowing in wantonness and a rejection of good and bad, along with all such standards and values.

Other than that, what’s not to like? The pervasive music is loud, and the beat distracting, the visuals titillating, and feelings are all the rage—the showers are just ahead, so keep moving please. (The holocaust reference is not made gratuitously.)

So sorry! I shouldn’t be repeating myself. I wrote something like that in the early 1970’s, didn’t I? Where have I been? How can we have reached a nadir in 1974 and still be there? read more…

In Grand Delusia

In the land of Grand Delusia, I roam again. It is true enough that an author of fiction must persuade a reader to come along for the ride, but first the author must cajole himself. It is not a simple thing. The Lesser Existentials crowd at every side. There are shores of things to do. Mountains of bills to pay. People to see about and weather to weather. Never mind the need to rest. There is little time for play. . . .And yet, without it, all the rest and all the weather or not, mean little or nothing.

Come again?

Longtime readers of this ethereal site may recall another project of that near past of some years ago when, soon after one more attempt to write A Republic of Books, I faltered again and in frustration launched myself headlong into another of my grand delusions, A Young Man From Mars. I posted several parts here and spent a year on that before running aground on the aforementioned shoals of the Lesser Existentials. I had then recently completed two mystery novels, Hound and A Slepyng Hound to Wake and that feeling of accomplishment buoyed a belief that I could undertake the larger project. I was wrong. My map was missing parts. My compass wanted other directions. read more…

A Young Man From Mars: the future retold

 

“Those who cannot remember the future are condemned to repeat it. The past can never be repaired or reclaimed. The future may be reimagined at any moment, possessed at any time, and thus easily known.”   Joe Trees

 

This is the journal of Griffon Macdonald, his expedition to Earth, and what he found there; being also an accounting of some other matters learnt during that doctoral investigation into mankind’s persistent use of slavery as a means.

 

Offered here with additional records from the Council Court of Inquiry as well as the emendations and notes of his brother Robert.

 

It is said that after two-hundred years Joe Trees still lives somewhere amidst the forests of Mars. It is a legend, a myth perhaps, but a tale retold often enough to have its own life. It is believed that men do not live so long, so perhaps he is no longer a man.

 

 

 

 

 

# August 19, 2267: the origin and cause of my zetetic

 

From various sources, but mostly the words of my father, I have fashioned here a short account of an ancient relative, Flora Macdonald—Fionnghal nic Dhòmhnaill in the old Gaelic. She was the daughter of Ranald MacDonald a tenant farmer of Milton, which is on the island of South Uist in the Hebrides, an archipelago close by to the northern reaches of Scotland, on Earth, and of his wife Marion, herself the daughter of Angus MacDonald. It is thus that our clan was from the one root, though the MacDonalds were prolifically spread throughout those lands. Flora was born about 1722. It was her father’s unfortunate death when she was yet two years old that brought on the wooing of a cousin from the Isle of Skye for the affections of her widowed mother.

Now Marion had small property of her own but was a great beauty and even more than that a woman of adamantine will. She was not interested in this cousin. However that be, the cousin, Hugh Macdonald of Armadale on the isle of Skye, would not put off his love and finally kidnapped Flora’s mother by force, as well as Flora who was then the youngest of the children and still unweaned, and carried them off to his home across the near sea to the Isle of Skye. This was often the way of those times. And thus, Flora was raised among this other sect of her clan, amidst greater fortunes, even to be educated in language and math and the truths of the Bible and that stern God and the ways of the Kirk, as was the manner of the Scots of the time. But Flora never lost the sense of where she was from, nor of the sentiments of her true father—these things being kept for her by her mother’s heart. And when Flora was old enough she returned on visits to her older brother who had maintained the family stead and managed to buy some of his own land as well on the Isle of Benbecula.

It was during one such visit and on a particular morning when Flora had been gathering seaweed at the rocky shore for her brother’s furrows and the air was thickened by the vapor of a steel grey ocean, that a pitiful young man and his companion appeared out of the veil of mist seeking refuge from the numbing cold. The fog could not conceal this man’s fear, nor his bearing. The Stuart claim to the throne had failed at bloody Culloden some months before and now the Hanoverian troops were hounding the rightful prince of Britain, Charles Edward Stuart, to those ends of the Earth. Flora had little use for such a ‘Prince without a palace.’ Though a daring horseman, a fine bowman, and the master of five tongues, he must yet have been a sad sight in battered britches and broken shoes.

Flora’s own stepfather, who had taken the winning side, was a captain in the search. But something else was now at work. She knew her own sentiments, and that the faith of her true father were in the Stuart cause. It was being said, ‘any that helped the fugitive Jacobite would suffer punishment,’ and few others could find the courage to risk what little they had, only to trade masters, or just to be hung for the difference.

But the young prince was a symbol to many. And symbols are more important when the facts are hard against. read more…

Latest Blog Posts

Stories

A friend was recently reading the revised version of John Finn that appears to be making its way into print sooner than later and suggested that a particular chapter might stand on its own. It happens to be one of those I posted first about eight years ago when John...

Rejoice! (if not, read Joyce)

I am told by my betters that I am too negative. Not for the first time, of course. So I have looked again at this ongoing collapse of Western Civilization that surrounds me in the rubble of all that I hold dear—other than family and friends—in the hope of finding some...

In our lost time

  [A portion of the novel A Young Man From Mars, currently being re-written and somewhat available elsewhere in this ethereal site] Recalling any given lecture I am impressed by the fact that Professor Tripp himself was not nearly as kind as his classroom manner...

The bright side is pretty dim

Trying to see the bright side of the current cultural malaise is difficult in the glare of modernity. Over one hundred years on, that is since the infamous Armory Show, the squandering of Western culture has reached its nadir with a wallowing in wantonness and a...

In Grand Delusia

In the land of Grand Delusia, I roam again. It is true enough that an author of fiction must persuade a reader to come along for the ride, but first the author must cajole himself. It is not a simple thing. The Lesser Existentials crowd at every side. There are shores...

A Young Man From Mars: the future retold

  “Those who cannot remember the future are condemned to repeat it. The past can never be repaired or reclaimed. The future may be reimagined at any moment, possessed at any time, and thus easily known.”   Joe Trees   This is the journal of Griffon...

A Republic of Books, et tu?

The original story idea for A Republic of Books was conceived shortly after I was forced to close my own bookshop, Avenue Victor Hugo Books, on Newbury Street in Boston after 29 years. The tale was imagined as a means of relieving some of the pain while grasping the...

Act 4: Scene 2 ; the problem with fire

[A revised morsel from A Republic of Books, the novel in progress to be found elsewhere on this ethereal site.]     Act 4: Scene 2 the problem with fire     The bookshop is closed. The lights are low. Deirdre and Michael are sitting down stage, center right,...

Winkling out the meat of a nut

when the fool is unable to sleep (Late thoughts from A Republic of Books, the novel in progress, more of which may be scavenged elsewhere on this ethereal site.)   Philosophers have turned away from purpose and became obsessed with means, as with math—a mere tool...

Love in black and white

In mid-winter, Valentine’s day means Oscar will soon be coming out of the closet to look in the mirror. If he sees himself, it will be a good year at the multiplex. But sometimes you have to look through the thorns on the odorless long-stemmed roses to find anything....

A Republic of Books: Act 3: Scene 3

[The newly commingled portion of the novel and play in progress] Act 3: Scene 3 Unto an age of Romanticism or, On the Beach   Down stage center. The illumination is bright. A stone wall ranges left to right. Michael and Deirdre settle themselves with their backs to...

In mythos holt: a venture to the interior

At the loom of history: the sley The worst and most imminent danger of artificial intelligence is not that it will outstrip the mind of man, any more than we fear a steam locomotive for being more powerful, but that it will be used as a tool by some men to gain...

Novels & Novellas Available for Purchase

I Am William McGuire

I Am William McGuire

It’s a bloody Cro-Magnon world.
What’s a Neanderthal to do?

 

A Slepyng Hound to Wake

A Slepyng Hound to Wake

Leaving well enough alone is not good enough at all—not if the reason for a death is to be found in the life that was lost.
Hound

Hound

Henry Sullivan has made a simpler life for himself, finding and selling books. There is little room in it for either love or murder.

 

About

I have been informed by trusted authority that the short quip which I have placed here for the last year or so, by way of biography, lacks gravitas. “Over-paid by others for hyphenated jobs such as lawn-work, snow-shoveling, house-painting, office-boy, dish-washer, warehouse-grunt, table-waiter and hotel night-clerk–I’ve since chosen to be a writer, editor, publisher, and for most of my life, a bookseller, and even managed to occasionally pay myself. Hound is my first published novel.” And so it does. It is hard to be serious about so unserious a subject as oneself. But herewith, and keeping the ‘nasty bits’ (Brit expressions are so brilliant) to myself, I offer then, this ongoing post begun as posts at Small Beer Press. If anyone is interested, from time to time I will add something at the end to bring the epic closer to the present moment.

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