Entrance; exit

photo credit: prism burst via photopin (license)

photo credit: prism burst via photopin (license)

The lights spark and sparkle, split and swirl; multiplying like amoeba and collapsing like stars, they dance for me – just for me.

You are asleep you are asleep now tell me what you see; says the voice, tiny and remote;  stay close stay very close to this room you are safe in this room and tell me what you see tell me what you see

I laugh and the stars laugh with me; the very idea of explaining the chaos of random creation and destruction, the birth and death of galaxies occurring before my eyes was ludicrous, laughable.

Stay close stay with us come back you are safe here its time now wake up now its time to WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP

I ignore the voice as it dwindles to behind me, my consciousness races forward in the company of the dancing lights and I dance too; I am awake, finally, fully. Continue reading

A Minor (dis)Chord

PHOTO PROMPT ©David Stewart

“God, this band…”

“…?”

“Awful. Just awful.”

“Oh you… you boring old sod! You have no soul! Your musical appreciation stops in 1982, no wonder you can’t comprehend more intricate forms of expression! Jazz is art, aural painting, instrumental poetry. Jazz musicians are sharing their improvisation to inspire the audience. Open your ears for once and open your mind too.”

“I…”

“No wait. You listen for once. Move past Genesis and Huey Lewis. It is NOT hip to be square.”

“I…”

“Yes? You what?”

“I… think they’re supposed to be Christmas carols.”

“Oh…”

“Indeed.”

“Oh my, they really are shit.”

Continue reading

Book review: The Jesus Incident – Frank Herbert & Bill Ransom

The Jesus Incident – Frank Herbert & Bill Ransom

“Does your Flower Room have another name?” she asked. She did not like his answers. Too easive. He was lying.

Murdoch turned to face her and she felt threatened by the pouncing glee in his eyes. Guilty knowledge lay there – dirty, guilty knowledge.

“Some call it the Scream Room,” he said.

Scream room?

“And we can’t go in there?”

“Not… today. Perhaps if you made an appointment for later?”

She controlled a shudder. The way he watched her, the avaricious glint to his eyes.

“I’ll come back to see your… Flower Room later,” she said.

“Yes. You will.”

The Jesus Incident – 4 out of 5 stars

WARNING – THE FOLLOWING REVIEW HAS A MAJOR SPOILER FOR THE END OF THE BOOK DESTINATION VOID BY FRANK HERBERT.

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Snows in spring

Hugging against the arctic wind, we watched our son dance around the snow covered sapling. Skipping, crunching the fresh powder, spinning in awkward loops around it, the torch placed at its base lit the area like a memory of Christmas.

My wife’s tears froze silently on her cheeks.

The weatherman called the late spring snow ‘unseasonal’, as if the concept of seasons were still pertinent in this time of climate-death. Seeds would go ungerminated, flower buds were dying on the branch, bees starved in their hives.

We watched our son dance. A feast of beauty, for the hungry times ahead. Continue reading

On silent haunches

The mood ambushed me, a grey blanket of oppression. They were like that, these sneaky moods, lurking, waiting for me to forget myself. Then fog descends, sapping joy, muting sounds, washing out colours. The fog’s just the beginning, a prelude to real darkness. Video games and a couple of beers, (Nine? Ten?), keeping the darkness back. For a while. I rubbed aching eyes, my inattention causing another on-screen death, video game sprite screaming, dragged to grisly doom. YOU HAVE DIED, the game declares. Dozens of aluminium cans taunt me. I drop the beer in my hand. Not yet, I decide. Continue reading

Book Review: Destination Void – Frank Herbert

“How do you control what must remain beyond control? I’ve already told you. Love.”

“You don’t control it,” Bickel declared. “You merely aim it… and the aiming device has to be instincts. As you say Raj, it must love us, be loyal to us. But does that mean it will worship us? Are we to be its gods? And if it’s to be loyal, does that mean it has to have a conscience? Can there be loyalty without a conscience? And can it have a conscience without experiencing guilt?”

“Guilt’s a prison!” Flattery protested. “You cant imprison a free…”

“Who says it has to be free?”

Destination Void – 5 out of 5 stars

A thought provoking piece of dramatic science fiction, where Herbert questions the ethical and moral issues surrounding creating artificial intelligence, as well as challenging the reader to consider what it actually means to have ‘consciousness’. A short novella from 1966, and a fantastic bit of writing by Herbert. Tense scientific action, building up to a mind-blowing ending. I would place it right up there with his other, much better known work in Dune. Continue reading