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‘Norman Mailer’s USA’: Little-known documentary from 1966
08:07 pm



The verdict on Norman Mailer is swayed too easily by a revulsion to his private behavior, rather than by any examination in the quality of his writing. The problem stems from Mailer himself, whose need to impose his personality and his opinions, on anyone who would listen, placed his private life on center stage. This he did without thought to the damage it would cause his literary reputation.

While his opinions were sometimes daft and offensive, it did not mean Mailer couldn’t be original and vital.

Much of his essays and journalism, which he fired off like some revolutionary pamphleteer, are crucial to an understanding of recent American history. His non-fiction books were ground-breaking, in particular his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Armies of the Night and The Executioner’s Song, which are two classics of New Journalism.

This is all well and good, but Mailer considered himself a novelist first, with ambitions to write “The Great American Novel.” This never happened. Indeed, his fiction never achieved the critical and popular success of his first novel, The Naked and The Dead, which says much.

There’s a truth in John Updike’s observation that Mailer had once the potential to be the greatest American writer of the twentieth century—if only he hadn’t squandered his talent on a desire to being a respected public figure. Writers write, they don’t run for office, or make unwatchable movies, or compensate for their own insecurity by turning everything into a fistfight.

With all this in mind, it is perhaps time for Mailer’s reputation to be reassessed. This week sees a new volume of his essays, Mind of an Outlaw (with an introduction by Jonathan Lethem)  and a new biography, Norman Mailer: A Double LIfe by Peter Lennon. Both will be published on October 15th. A book dealing with the infamous Norman Mailer/Gore Vidal spat, will be published in December. Sales of these books should give a good idea of Mailer’s current standing and relevance.

In 1966, Norman Mailer was interviewed in a documentary for Swedish television. It contains what was good and bad about Mailer—an overweening need to push his ordinary ideas (today’s word Norman is “totalitarianism”), with those occasional sparks of brilliance. It can be summed up by the know-it-all-booze-in-one-hand-Mailer versus Norman-being-a-father-and-husband, who is willing to admit he sometimes doesn’t know the answer.

(As a footnote: Nice juxtaposition to all of the above with the freeze frame below…)

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
David Yow talks to Dangerous Minds about ‘The Jesus Lizard: Book’
11:02 am



David Yow has been a very productive fellow lately. On the heels of a well-received Jesus Lizard reunion a few years ago, the plainly reinvigorated singer/bassist/actor/designer has released a fantastic solo album, Tonight You Look Like a Spider. The album is difficult to unconditionally recommend to fans of Yow’s past bands (TJL, Scratch Acid and Qui) - not that it’s bad, mind you. To my ears, at least, it’s extremely cool stuff. It just delivers entirely different kicks than Yow’s fans are accustomed to. There are lengthy prog instrumentals, moments reminiscent of Scott Walker’s idiosyncratic later albums, passages of computer-generated speech a la “Fitter Happier,” and some pieces that are just so completely unglued as to exist beyond simple classification, but Yow’s famous torture-victim-screaming-through-a-ball-gag vocal stylings are not to be found in any abundance on Spider. There’s a great deal there to enjoy if you clear your mind of ANY expectation of experiencing the concise, visceral gut-punches the Jesus Lizard delivered.

But fans who still crave the Jesus Lizard thrill machine’s kinetic and oft-imitated signature sound aren’t left in the dark. Yow’s label, Joyful Noise, announced the impending release of a lavish coffee table book/7”/CD/DVD set devoted to the Jesus Lizard. In keeping with the band’s unbroken habit of four-letter titles, the book is called Book. (I asked Yow if the book would have happened at all had “book” not been a four-letter word. His answer was a laugh, followed by a swift and unequivocal “No.”) It’s impossible to properly review, as the release date is months away, so we went straight to the source and spoke to David Yow about what’s in it and how it came to be.

Johnny Temple from Girls Against Boys, who runs a publishing company called Akashic, approached us/me, probably over three years ago. I initially didn’t have much interest in doing a book. I didn’t see much point in it, seeing how long we’d been broken up. But the impetus was just Johnny asking us if we wanted to do it, and the more we talked about it, the more I thought, OK, this could be worthwhile.

One thing that was very important to me was that there have been a few things that have come out since we broke up that I didn’t have much hand in the design on, and with this, I just said “Well, I’m designing the book, I don’t trust anyone else to do it and I won’t like it if they do.” I designed it and had Henry Owings [Chunklet] help with the layout. There are bios, written by all four of us. Mac’s (McNeilly, drums), Duane’s (Denison, guitar) and mine go from childhood up to Jesus Lizard days. David Sims’ (bass) is more informational about the kind of stuff he’s interested in as far as recording. He also wrote a lot of notes about each of the recordings.

There are contributed written pieces by a whole lot of folks - two of them in particular I think make the book worthwhile alone. Mike Watt wrote a piece that is so Dada/Beatnik/Abstract poetry that you can’t even tell exactly what he’s saying. It’s sort of like looking at an abstract painting and saying “I’m not sure I know what that is, but I sort of feel like it’s this.” Also, Alex Haacke from Einstürzende Neubauten wrote a particularly good piece. Albini’s in there. There’s tons of photos, a recipe of mine, and David Sims kept an exhaustive list of every single show we played, so that’s in there, with who was on the bill, the date, the venue, and whether we opened or headlined. That part’s really kind of cool, it’s fairly small type and takes up several pages. It’s a lot of fuckin’ shows!

I would love for Book to be a tombstone, but with the recent Scratch Acid and Jesus Lizard re-enactment tours I’ve learned to never say never. It’s possible that there will be more Jesus Lizard shows. We’ll see.

Book comes with my endorsement. I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t honestly mean it - it’s a worthwhile thing. It’s pretty cheap too, considering how big and heavy it is, I think it’s like $18-$20. [Per Akashik, retail for the regular edition sans pre-order goodies will be $24.95, though it’s a bit less on Amazon - RK] It’s a good book. It’s conceivable to me that somebody who didn’t even give much of a shit about the band could find it worthwhile and interesting.

While the plain old book Book is due out in March, the pre-order version claims a mid-December ship date, and for $80 comes bundled with Yow’s Spider CD, a DVD containing 5 videos for that album’s “Opening Suite” by directors Adam Harding, Tim Rutili, Jared Varava, Todd Adam Phillips, & Jennifer Lynch (yes, David’s daughter), and a 7” signed by all four original band members, featuring never before released recordings of the JL songs “Fly On The Wall” and “Elegy,” recorded by John Loder at Southern Studios.

the jesus lizard: the book: the photo
And if you’ve never seen the man in action, good lord, watch some Jesus Lizard where they excelled most - in concert.

The Jesus Lizard - Thumbscrews - 2009 from David Yow on Vimeo.

Previous Kretsch-on-Yow action on Dangerous Minds

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Christianity was a hoax’ and scholar claims he has the proof
07:56 pm



Covert Messiah
To the question Was Jesus Christ a real person? American biblical scholar Joseph Atwill says, “The short answer is no.”

Oh boy! This ought to be fun.

On October 19 Atwill will present some provocative new findings in London. Atwill’s thesis is that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats who fabricated the entire story of Jesus Christ. Per Atwill: “The Caesars committed a crime against consciousness. They reached into the minds of their subjects and planted false concepts to make them easier to control.” Atwill claims to have iron-clad proof of his claims.

Atwill’s most intriguing discovery came to him while he was studying “Wars of the Jews” by Josephus—the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea—alongside the New Testament.

I started to notice a sequence of parallels between the two texts. Although it’s been recognised by Christian scholars for centuries that the prophesies of Jesus appear to be fulfilled by what Josephus wrote about in the First Jewish-Roman war, I was seeing dozens more. What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus. This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern. The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar.

Here’s a promo video about Atwill and his findings:

(Thanks to Ron Kretsch!)

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Guillermo del Toro’s incredible ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ sketchbooks to be published
06:43 pm



Guillermo del Toro, Cabinet of Curiosities
You have to see only a single one of Guillermo del Toro’s lush, vivid movies to realize that the Mexican director, most recently of the Godzilla-style throwback Pacific Rim, is some kind of creative Tasmanian devil—another Tim Burton. It’s no surprise to learn that del Toro is a first-rate draftsman and has been obsessively marking up art notebooks for years. Fans have been wanting to a look at those notebooks for years, and finally, the day is nigh: Timed perfectly for Halloween gift season (is that even a thing?), Harper Design on October 29 is releasing a gorgeous edition of Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions. It may not be quite as spectacularly weird as Luigi Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus, it’s pretty damn weird and spectacular in its own right.
Guillermo del Toro, Cabinet of Curiosities
Guillermo del Toro, Cabinet of Curiosities
You can pre-order the book from Amazon for $36 (down from $60). If that seems pricy to you, then you probably aren’t super interested in the “Limited Edition,” which comes “encased in a cabinet with partitions and a secret compartment that holds the book”—that baby will run you $633.82. Marc Zicree is credited as a coauthor, and —as befits the A-lister del Toro has become—a foreword by James Cameron and an afterword by Tom Cruise.
Guillermo del Toro
Here’s a charming video trailer for the book, with plenty of mouth-watering closeups of various oddities in what I presume is del Toro’s own home:

In related news, Guillermo del Toro’s reference-tastic opening to the Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror” was released yesterday, and it’s fantastic. It’s meticulously detailed (like the Cabinet of Curiosities) and jammed with classic horror movie references. I spotted The Birds, The Phantom of the Paradise, The Shining, and del Toro’s own Pan’s Labyrinth are gimmes; I leave the rest for you to spot.

via Collider

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Wendy James: Previously unreleased track ‘Schneider’s Ride’ inspired by Michael Herr’s ‘Dispatches’
06:24 pm



Michael Herr’s memoir on the Vietnam War, Dispatches has provided the inspiration for a previously unreleased track by Wendy James called “Schneider’s Ride.” 

“This song was provoked in me by reading, many years ago, and then re-reading Michael Herr’s incredible account of Vietnam: Dispatches,” Wendy tells Dangerous Minds.

“Vietnam is such a flashpoint for transformation around the world, whether viewed by the Vets that served time in it, or the cultural and political shifts that were happening around them and it and the world.”

The title comes from an incident during the War, recorded in Herr’s book, when photographer John Schneider:

“...fixed a white flag to his handle-bars and took a bike from the top of Hill 881 North over to Hill 881 South during a terrible battle, in what came to be known as Schneider’s Ride.”

Herr worked as War Correspondent for Esquire, and Dispatches was hailed (by John Le Carre) as the best book written on men and war In our time. It is the personal stories of the soldiers involved in war which appealed to Herr.

War stories aren’t really anything more than stories about people anyway.

Herr’s writing on soldiers, their lives, and the horrors witnessed, also the book also inspired Wendy James’s song-writing.

“I enjoy very much that team spirit, the brotherhood that arises out of the basic ranks of the Marine Corps, the ‘Grunts’. I think I could handle that stuff… and in Michael Herr’s book, stationed as he was into different postings around the occupation/invasion, he is eye witness to philosophical revelations and frankly, downright absurdist gallows humor. The cynicism the troops feel with the so called leaders in Washington and the full realization that these guys, most often black guys, would be water-hosed back in USA or set on by Strom Thurman’s dogs, are out there serving their country, facing death, and also yukking it up with rock ‘n’ roll and drugs and booze and pictures of sweethearts and far-away pin-ups. What else are you going to do?

“But still these guys, these soldiers, they are match-fit every call of duty. I cannot claim it for myself, but in any war, I imagine, facing death and witnessing the millisecond randomness of living and dying is a soul-changing experience. The one upside is the team spirit with your fellows that you bring home, and carry for life. Maybe the discipline, too.

“Anyway… this song strikes me as a perfectly beautiful moment, not necessarily attached to anything else, but existing in its own space… and so… here it is.”

After his time in Vietnam, Michael Herr returned to the US, then went on the road with Ted Nugent, writing the experience up for Crawdaddy. Dispatches was published in 1977, and Herr then wrote the narration for Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979), then co-wrote Full Metal Jacket (1987) with Stanley Kubrick, which contained elements of Dispatches.

Wendy James, meanwhile, is currently recording her latest album with an selection of famous and seasoned musicians.

“The line-up is Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols on Bass, Jim Sclavunos from the Bad Seeds and The Cramps on drums, for now I’m on rhythm guitar, but maybe Judah Bauer might come in after his Jon Spencer Blues Explosion dates, if not, then…TBA!  It’ll be someone fabulous!!!

“We’re recording down in the East Village so I can walk Broadway each morning, which is pretty magnificent in itself… New York City is my home-town now, no doubt, it embraces me, captures my imagination, captures my heart. I belong here.”

Wendy has also written eleven new songs (inspired by books, films and some of her favorite bands), which have been described as her best songs yet.

“My fingers are raw and calloused! My voice is pure and strong! My mind is fully charged and focused, and I am happy.”

Wendy then gives a breathless listing of what we can expect.

“Glen and Jim on rhythm section and so much more… these men are so, so talented,” Wendy begins.

“Songs ranging from down-home Howlin’ Wolf dirty blues, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins devilish raconteur-ing, heavy and bad-ass rumbles on guitar, stepchildren of the Stooges and Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, a little Who-like odyssey at the top of the album, and journeying on through West Coast desolate surfer Dogtown and Z-Boys music inspired by Joan Didion’s short stories, when the waves are an act of ferocious and glorious nature and human life is tossed about at their will: No Guts, No Glory. Then comes a little Cowboy edge, out there on the high plains drifting with William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody! and my own little personal moment with a song called “Screamin’ Back Washington” which is so deep it cannot be explained… you know, an orphan child…

“Anyway… in a few weeks, it will be done, and then… I’ll be shouting from the rooftops in NYC… Eureka!!!”

And we certainly look forward to that!

Photo of Wendy James by Ricardo Gomes.

Bonus: Michael Herr explains why he went to Vietnam.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Codex Seraphinianus: A new edition of the strangest book in the world
09:41 pm



In October Rizzoli will be republishing what is regarded by many to be the strangest book in the world, the Codex Seraphinianus. The Codex is unlike other historically well-known strange books (such as the Voynich Manuscript), in that the author of the book is not only known (Luigi Serafini is his name), he’s still alive. But the book is just so damned strange that it has accumulated a veritable industry of speculation about its meaning, deeper origins, and whether the language in which it is written actually has any syntax or not. Serafini has said relatively little about it himself over the years, and denies that the script has any meaning, but no one really believes that, including me.

My fascination with the Codex Seraphinianus dates back to the early 1980s when it was published and when I was working in a Waldenbooks store on Montague Street in Brooklyn, known to other stores as “The Zoo” because of the cast of characters who worked there. Some of the customers recognized me as a kindred spirit so they’d come in, shoot the shit, and we’d discuss weird books and other stuff until Bob, my manager, gave me a “look” or told me to work the register. Bob was cool actually, and didn’t mind at all that I’d come in to work totally baked because I not only had tunnel vision at the register and was super-accurate, I’d get bored and order up books for the Sci-Fi, Philosophy and Religion sections and my books would sell pretty quickly. Phillip K Dick? Stanislaw Lem? Lama Anagarika Govinda? Kierkegaard? You bet I stocked ‘em. I kept all their books on the shelves. (Though I wonder what Bob would have said had the $40,000 Tibetan Tanjur I ordered as a gag through Waldenbooks HQ actually shown up.)

One day one of “my” customers came in and told me about the Codex Seraphinianus: Man, it’s like a hundred dollars and its got drawings of trucks with human heads, skeletons getting fitted for new bodies, weird animals that don’t exist and shit, like from a whole ‘nother universe. It’s not written in English or any other language but the dude who wrote it made up his own language…I never saw anything like it… Back in the pre-WWW days you couldn’t just whip open your phone and command it to give you a rare book: You had to brave odd looks in rare bookstore after bookstore by people who had never heard of The Codex Seraphinianus and who highly suspected you had either hallucinated the existence of such a book or had heard of the book from someone else who had hallucinated it.

Recently, however, I was finally in a place where my finances matched the book’s availability, so I got myself one, only finding out shortly thereafter that Rizzoli was putting out a new edition in October. This kinda explained the panicky bargain price I got for an unopened copy of the 1993 French edition. But let me say, that after all these years, the book really does live up to its reputation: The drawings are in turn hilarious, disturbing, bizarre and, sometimes, just flat-out incomprehensible, but all of them are annotated in Serafini’s script. Even in my relatively abstemious state of mind these days I can spend hours “reading” it. One typical image is shown above and, in the video below, you see a bunch of pages out of the early chapters.

Over the years a whole cult has grown up on the Internet devoted to the Codex Seraphinianus. For instance, this group discovered that the numbering system is base 21, and this guy discovered certain grammatical rules governing the script, and even created a sort of transliterator you can use. This lady claims to have hallucinated herself into the world of the Codex, even prior to having heard of it. No one, however, has yet cracked the Codex and translated it. As for the author, he is very much alive (and apparently real, as you will read below) but continues to deny that the script has any meaning. (His website doesn’t, unfortunately, doesn’t have a heck of a lot of info.) In the forthcoming edition, however, Serafini now states that a stray white cat that joined him while he created the Codex in Rome in the 1970s was actually the real author, telepathically guiding Serafini as he drew and “wrote.” Recently, I traded email questions about the new edition and about Serafini himself with Charles Miers, Rizzoli’s chief publishing honcho, who himself is a long-term fan of the Codex:

Dangerous Minds: So how did this new edition of Codex Seraphinianus come about? Was it something Rizzoli initiated or did the author Luigi Serafini initiate contact?

Charles Miers: Rizzoli and Serafini have been working together for years in Italy on several other successful projects on Serafini’s art such as the recent Storie Naturali inspired by Jules Renard, in Italian, still in print,

DM: I think I heard that there’s new content and even drawings in this edition that haven’t appeared previously. Is that true? What’s new about it?

CM:Yes that’s true, the first 2 chapters are made with completely new drawings, also new is the 22 pages “Decodex” insert in which the author explains in various languages when and how the Codexcame to life and the crucial help he had in this from a white cat.

DM: Do you expect this book to sell like hotcakes? Yeah, it’s kinda pricey but I finally bought my own copy of the 1993 version several months ago, and I’m only slightly sad to find out I could have had a newer one for about a third of what I paid.

CM: We expect to sell out fairly quickly of our first print runs of both the trade and deluxe limited edition. Serafini’s literary following is very impressive.

DM: So have you spoken to Luigi Serafini yourself? Does he even speak English? For that matter is he actually real or just a pseudonym of someone else?

CM: Serafini is absolutely a real person and he speaks very good English.

DM: Any interesting stories you or your Italian Rizzoli counterparts have heard about Serafini? Though I don’t think he’s a recluse or anything, his website doesn’t exactly have a whole lot of information. The story is that he has a whole warehouse of ceramics down in Umbria or somewhere, but I haven’t heard much more than that about him.

CM:Serafini has very interesting homes both in Rome and in Milan and had, until a few years ago, a ceramic laboratory near Deruta, in Umbria,  which is no longer operating.

DM: Have you spent any quality time with the Codex yourself? Any thoughts on the language therein? Serafini has supposedly said that it means nothing, but there do appear to be fairly clear clues that at least some of it has some meaning. For instance, the numbering system is base 21.

CM: The book has been in my personal library since its original publication and is a favored treasure of mine for both its bookmaking production and nuances. The page numeration of the “Codex” does follow a math system based on the number 21: having said that, Serafini particularly denies any numerological influence in his work. But this is something which has already sparked speculation for many bloggers.

DM: Any discussions about bringing out something new by Serafini in the future?

CM: Absolutely yes, Rizzoli Italy is talking with Serafini about a couple of ambitious projects, which are inspired by the popular ancient Italian literature.

Well, I’d bet that’s a Dangerous Minds exclusive! We may see an additional title to two from Serafini in the future! And I must admit to wanting to get my mitts on that new edition with the new illustrations, but as I’m rapidly running out of room for more books I guess I’ll have to pass… for now.

Here’s part one of a symphony devoted to the Codex Seraphinianus, with great images of the early part of the book:

Pulp fiction: Classic works of literature with hard-boiled covers
12:07 pm



Pulp! The Classics publishes classic works of literature with retro-pulp fiction covers. The books are redesigned and reset with the original texts, while the covers mash-up images of such Hollywood stars as Marilyn Monroe as Tess of the D’Ubervilles, and Humphrey Bogart as Heathcliffe on the cover of Wuthering Heights. Others include Colin Firth as D’Arcy in Pride and Prejudice, Alistair Sim as Scrooge, Ryan Gosling as Dorian Gray, and Alan Ladd/Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby.

The covers were painted by David Mann, who explains the story behind the covers on the Waterstone’s Blog. Here he explains his cover for Thomas Hardy’sTess of the D’Ubervilles:

This version is a second attempt. Watch what you say about the body because that’s my wife! No seriously, that’s my wife. The head is that of a famous Hollywood sex object from the olden days. There was going to be a rustic pipe dangling from her mouth in keeping with Tess’s agrarian credentials. However somebody at the New York Times (fancy!) made the suggestion of a bottle of whisky and a smattering of pain killers. No pain killers (leaning too much towards MM reference), but here’s the whiskey…. with a comedy straw. My personal favourite of the covers.

Follow Pulp! The Classics on Twitter

This cover was originally painted only as a sample for the publisher, but ended up being published on the first Pulp! The Classics. I used a photo of Colin Firth to paint from, as I felt that he’s still the definitive Mr Darcy for most people, the aim was to produce a Colin Firth-esque visage, not necessarily a bang-on portrait. I’ve subsequently been told it looks just like him/ nothing like him / a bit like him / just like myself!


The cover is a pastiche of the old Alan Ladd movie poster (but you knew that right?). I’ve made the cross-reference to Robert Redford in the head area.


Another mash up, featuring Alistair Sim’s mug, but the body is courtesy of Googling ‘scrooge’ . My rendering features the threat of a possible ultra-violent outcome, for increased comic effect.

More pulp classic covers, after the jump…
Via Waterstone’s Blog

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
J. G. Ballard: A gallery of 1980s book covers
11:51 am



James Marsh designed these iconic covers for J. G. Ballard’s novels in 1985. His style, a mix of Surrealism/Futurism/Art Deco and Allen Jones-ish fetishism, certainly captured something of the themes contained in Ballard’s beautifully constructed fictions.

I had quite a few of these (and most of the David Pelham’s Penguins), as they were eminently collectible. Marsh also supplied memorable covers for Kurt Vonnegut, Doris Lessing, Ray Bradbury, Angela Carter and Lewis Carroll.

Amongst my favorites here are the instantly recognizable covers for Crash, Hello America and the beautiful one he did for The Crystal World. If you look closely, you will also note a small portrait of Ballard contained within the rear-view mirror for Concrete Island.

These images were uploaded by Wire-Frame, and there is a fabulous collection of other covers on his or her Flickr page. There is also a good article over at Ballardian on the artwork for Ballard’s novels.

More on James Marsh can be found here.
More images of the near future, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
T-Rextasy: Dinosaur-on-Girl romance novels are apparently a ‘thing’ now
10:43 am



T-Rex Troubles
T-Rex Troubles

Christie Sims is the foremost practitioner and almost certainly the founder of a new literary genre: “Dinosaur Beast Erotica.” It seems likely that she is the only practitioner of the genre, but give it time. Over the past year or so, Sims has flooded Amazon’s Kindle Store and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Book section with dozens of curious ebooks for sale, several of them centering on sex with dinosaurs. (Alara Branwen is credited as coauthor on all the volumes I checked—I checked a bunch of them—but it seems that Sims is the main author.)

But that’s not all—Sims hardly limits herself to actual beasts from the historical past. In addition to sex with T-Rex, she’s written erotica about imaginary monsters including gryphons, orcs, weretigers, wargs, centaurs, and many more.

Here’s Sims’ author statement from the Kindle Store:

Hi! I’m just a plain old, everyday Midwestern girl that lives a normal life. However, while my outward tastes are relatively simple, my inner thoughts are filled with lusty thoughts of big, strong, powerful monsters having their way with beautiful maidens.

It all raises so many questions…. I assume the Institute for Creation Research looks on these books with favor? Or maybe not, because as upstanding religious folk they disapprove of interspecies sex? I must know more!

I guess I could always sign up to Alara Branwen’s newsletter…..
Mating with the Raptor
Mating with the Raptor
After the jump, a few of Sims’ non-dinosaur titles….

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
While you wait for Morrissey’s ‘Autobiography,’ here’s The Smiths live, 1984
01:03 pm



The recent Internet rumor that Morrissey: Autobiography was no longer to be published by Penguin Books (allegedly due to a “content disagreement”) has been finally quashed by the publishers, who claim the eagerly anticipated memoir will be published in the coming weeks. This has also been confirmed by the Morrissey fan site, True To You, which posted the following:

“The publication of Morrissey’s Autobiography remains with Penguin Books. This is a deal for the UK and Europe, but Morrissey has no contract with a publisher for the US or any other territory. As of 13 September, Morrissey and Penguin (UK) remain determined to publish within the next few weeks.”

So, it looks like American Morrissey fans may have to wait for a US publisher to pick up the rights. With the interest shown in this memoir, that shouldn’t take long.

Meanwhile, the former Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr, who released his debut solo album, The Messenger, in February of this year to overwhelmingly positive reviews, has been telling the press what he likes in music:

“...short, sharp, snappy songs with glamorous, sexy guitars and lyrics that sound like poetry that moves at the speed of light – that’s what rock or pop music should be about and it should come alive on the stage. Bands you can see and come away knowing they’ve put a lot into it. A lot of bands I saw when I was younger gave me that feeling of really wanting to be there. You feel like you’re having a unique experience with the band and they’re having a unique experience with you.

You’ll find a damn fine selection of short, sharp, snappy Smiths’ songs (all dressed up with poetry and guitars) on this classic edition of Rockpalast, from 1984. You’ll also note that the band repeat three of the set list as an encore—obviously they didn’t have enough songs back then—finishing on “Barbarism Begins At Home” which would feature on their 1985 album Meat is Murder.

Track listing

01. “Hand in Glove”
02. “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
03. “Girl Afraid”
04. “This Charming Man”
05. “Pretty Girls Make Graves”
06. “Still ill”
07. “Barbarism Begins At Home”
08. “This Night Has Opened My Eyes”
09. “Miserable Lie”
10. “You’ve Got Everything Now”
11. “Handsome Devil”
12. “What Difference Does It Make”
13. “These Things Take Time”


14. “This Charming Man”
15. “Hand In Glove”
16. “Barbarism Begins At Home”

Johnny Marr tours the UK in October and the US October/November, details here.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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