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Crabs: The Human Sacrifice – Guy N. Smith

Crab HoThe Girls Listened Intently. The wetlands were silver and shadow in the moonlight. The salt marsh grasses rustled. Out on the mudflats, curlews called mournfully. The Girl Shivered. The incoming tide trickled and lapped up hidden creeks. Soon the wildfowl would be winging down, the waders feeding and squabbling at the water’s edge. The Girl Struggled. Despairingly, she pulled at the ropes that held her, naked and spreadeagled, a human sacrifice for the Crabs. Huge, eaten away by the mutating disease that doomed them, they were returning, dragging themselves out of the water, intent only on tearing apart and devouring their enemy: Man.

Once again it is time to indulge in one of my favourite guilty pleasures.  In amongst all the literary fare that I love, there is always room for giant angry crabs intent on destroying humanity.

The plot is a dual drama this time, not only are the crabs intent on doing harm and rending people limb from limb, this time there is a sinister cult at work leaving human sacrifices in praise of their crab Gods.

It is a flimsy plot but nonetheless fun if you don’t mind a little bit of gratuity in your story.  I have used the term ‘B-Lit’ for these stories before, they work in much the same way as a B-Movie does.  Featuring ridiculously over the top violence, excruciatingly bad sex scenes and cheesy dialogue that raises a smile from time to time.

This time though the extra threat of a sadistic crab worshipping cult as well as he titular terrors things are even more deadly although the body count feels more focused which is interesting.  The crabs are reduced to some extent as the main enemy but this isn’t a bad thing after the carnage of earlier books it would have been a little too similar, besides a group of people with warped ideals is a lot more chilling than rampaging crustaceans. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 28/10/2014 in Horror

 

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Paean in Amore

Photo found on todayiwillmake.blogspot.com

Photo found on todayiwillmake.blogspot.com

Paean in Amore

Time unbroken, memories unguarded,
Carved,
Ingrained for all to see and muse upon,
standing undiminished.

A moment etched into recollection, a long faded action of youth,
Or perhaps something more?
a lasting union,
Written in the stars, incised into a dual soul.

The heart yet beats, radiating its own charm
Carelessly lighting up a little corner of the world
rewarding the observant,
Playfully beguiling anew.

Rekindled by the passions of another.
Weathered but unchanged,
A contemplation waiting,
perfect in every way.

 
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Posted by on 21/10/2014 in My Writings, Poetry

 

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Trent to Trenches

Notts! 100Retreating away from the hustle and bustle of life, I found myself, one Thursday last in the oldest Inn in England, which is built into the rock face on top of which the castle wall is built.

Literally surrounded and encased in history with an ominous yet apt tolling of a bell somewhere distant, I proceeded to order my thoughts on the day so far with a pint of Hobgoblin.

I had just been to the Trent to Trenches exhibition at the Nottingham Castle museum, which focused on the Great War.  Most notably the locals who lived through it and the soldiers that left the banks of the River Trent and surrounding areas to fight.

Due to time constraints and having plenty of other things to do (see previous post), I did rush around what was a wonderful museum, in which an enthusiastic member of staff pointed out the best place to start.   so began my journey around old Nottingham then onto Greek vases, clothing through the ages and finally to World War I exhibit that I knew would be the most interesting.

Notts! 032

Somebody’s memories, this is real history at its most poignant.

I did get lost a bit and at one point stepped aside to let somebody pass who also stepped aside and then as I made to go through the doorway did the same, it turned out on closer inspection to be a mirror, why it was there I have no idea but it did remind me to be a bit more observant. Onto the point of the post though, I wanted to focus on the more intimate things as everybody knows what medals and uniforms look like.  I believe what the museum was trying to do was to capture the personal events as well as seismic ones that are well documented.  In this respect they have done an excellent job. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 19/10/2014 in History, Travel

 

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Day Off Dalliances

Having a well deserved day off yesterday, I set off for Nottingham, a trip I have been planning for ages.  I say planning, I assumed it would all work out for the best as I hadn’t actually bothered to find out where anything was.  A quick trip to the Tourist Information Centre helped me on my haphazard quest to find stuff of interest and gave me the best day off I’ve had in ages.SAM_1533Naturally my first stop was to a bookshop but predictably I couldn’t actually remember any of the hundreds of books recommended by your good selves, so left empty handed but still upbeat.  I found myself pottering down a hill to find a big church, it is always impressive to find one that is at the heart of the city centre, tucked in between all the mobile phone shops and bakeries.SAM_1532Nottingham of course is central to many things, most notably Robin Hood and the two football teams of course but it has a charm of its own.  Although it is a busy place, it has a sense of calmness about it, which makes it a great place for sitting and writing, which is what I succeeded in doing in my nine hour wandering. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 16/10/2014 in Blogging, Travel

 

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Attention All Shipping: A Journey Around the Shipping Forecast – Charlie Connelly

Chaz_CoSince its first broadcast in the 1920s, the shipping forecast on BBC radio has inspired poems, songs, and novels in addition to its intended objective of warning generations of seafarers of impending storms and gales. In Attention All Shipping, Charlie Connelly wittily explores the places behind the voice, those mysterious regions whose names seem often to bear no relation to conventional geography.

The shipping Forecast is another great British institution, it is mysterious and magical, yet at the same time totally impenetrable. although it is on four times a day the best time to listen is the late night reading.

To be tucked up in bed, first the theme tune comes on, sounding enigmatic and lilting, then listening to the talk of storms in strange sounding places and thinking of the people out at sea.  It is a very cosy feeling on the cold nights, it somehow feels more profound to listen to it this way, to be safe whilst marveling at nature’s rage.

The zones of the Forecast surround Britain and Ireland as well as reaching to various other countries, giving a varied sense of history and culture. The author gives an engaging look at not only the evolving face of our maritime fortunes but also the pace of change.

The information can be fascinating, Connelly visits some pleasingly obscure places and reveals some surprising history in the process – Sealand is a particular favourite of mine – it’s all very pleasant and the snippets keep the book sail along.  There are some bits that drag though and this uneven nature did lessen the enjoyment of the book a little for me.

The humour is hit and miss also, some of it I enjoyed immensely, whilst at other points I saw the comedy cues but failed to take the bait.  I suspect there is something amusing for everybody somewhere in the pages though because it is so light hearted and delights in a bit of banter. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 12/10/2014 in Travel

 

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Singular Travels, Campaigns and Adventures of Baron Munchausen – Rudolf Erich Raspe

61MSsrnGZPL._SL500_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_No one has journeyed to as many foreign lands as Baron  Munchausen. Nor, when it comes time to fire a cannon, will readers find anyone more accurate. The comfort of courtly life is as natural to him as the harshest polar desert. On the subject of politics and science he has no equal. And all discussion of the moon must start and stop with the only man who has ever been there. His feats of prowess are famed the world over. Who else could leap a hedgerow with a carriage and horse on their back? No one. And then of course there are the bears.

Travel books have changed through the ages, first it was make stuff up or borrow local legends to sell copies and these days there seems to be a trend to the more comical ‘look at what I did’ type of literature but artistic license can only take you so far.

The Baron however is the quintessential traveller,  he has many achievements and accolades to his name, even managing to parody the future and past of a genre.  It’s is definitely his most impressive feat which is saying something, as he has taken a trip to the moon, been trapped inside a giant fish, killed a bear with only two flints and single-handedly disarmed an army to name but a few.

As the astounding Munchausen is quick to point out to his detractors all of his feats are true (and he will fight anybody who says otherwise), Lemuel Gulliver, Sinbad and Aladdin will all attest to this and having read his journal lustily, I am in full agreement of those historical figures.

I did want to love this book and did for the first half, it gets going straight away, has fast paced short and snappy set pieces which keep the comedy quick-fire.  The Barons adventure’s are a delight as he gallivants around the world, constantly inverting the laws scientists believe to be immutable making his legend all the more impressive. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 09/10/2014 in Fiction, Travel

 

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The Ministry of Fear – Graham Greene

TMoFFor Arthur Rowe the charity fête was a trip back to childhood, to innocence, a welcome chance to escape the terror of the Blitz, to forget twenty years of his past and a murder. Then he guesses the weight of the cake, and from that moment on he’s a hunted man, the target of shadowy killers, on the run and struggling to remember and to find the truth.

For those of you who like a bit of paranoia and deception in your literature, you can’t go far wrong with this novel.  This short and pacy read is partly reminiscent of John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps but goes much deeper into the human aspect such events evoke..

Arthur, our accidental protagonist is a mind estranged from the world, struggling to comprehend the seismic changes around him as well as his past actions.

His turmoil of an ordinary individual tortured by his inner demons, coupled with the usual struggles of a lonely man. One just trying to get along, reveals a vulnerable side which has you rooting for the type of chap he is.

This layered character is the everyman, a real human with which each reader can see themselves in his place and empathise with.  His struggles living through the Blitz, at the heart of wartime England just trying to survive and keep same…yet at the same time way out of his depth is a familiar feeling to all of us at some point.

What starts off as a gentle read quickly becomes an intricate tale with lots of questions and loose ends that beg to be tied up.  Starting at a fete, it all feels very nostalgic and British, guessing the weight of the cake is practically a national pastime over here.  Things quickly become serious and mysterious though, giving us a classic innocent man hunted scenario albeit one that also focuses more on themes such as identity and guilt in the past.
Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 05/10/2014 in Classics, Fiction

 

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