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My Story Goes Hollywood

My story “The Curious Story of Frank” is one of the finalists in the Roswell Award science-fiction contest.
It will be read out  by a celebrity guest this Saturday,18th of May, 5:00pm – 7:00pm (Los Angeles time) at the Litfest Pasadena in Los Angeles.
You can find out what time that will be in your area using this link: https://www.worldtimezone.com/
You will be able to watch the whole event live at this link:
Do not despair, however, if it will be too late or too early for you, because a recording of the event will be posted online, and I will send you the link to it once it becomes available.
I include below 3 posters showing the finalists, the celebrity readers and the judges of this contest. And there’s also a poster about this literary festival.
Representatives from movie studios, networks and production companies will attend the readings and will judge the stories, and so there is the chance of my story being turned into a cinematic format. 
After the readings, the first, second, and third place winners will be announced. 
There will also be an audio message from me played at this event.
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Gallery

An Interview by The Australia Times Unearthed Fiction Magazine (Please click on the images to make them readable.)

 

Gallery

An Interview by The Australia Times Fiction Magazine (Please click on the images to make them readable.)

 

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Welcome to the Machine – El Diario article (English translation)

Welcome to the Machine Canary Islands Newspaper English image 2Welcome to the Machine Canary Islands Newspaper English image 3

HELL ON EARTH OR EARTH IN HELL?

Dear Friends, despite the scepticism of some, I have been able to fully justify your view that I am a philosopher of hope and joy.

I am proud and delighted to announce that recently, while attempting to come up with a new proof of the Pythagoras’ Theorem, I serendipitously stumbled across the most beautiful, elegant and ingenious mathematical proof that we are all, in fact, living in Hell.

Consequently, we have nothing at all to worry about as things cannot get any worse and there is no hope for salvation.

People who think that this is hell on Earth are actually extremely inane optimists living in a fool’s paradise, still clinging on to the false hope that things could improve, whereas our real situation is in fact infinitely worse. They should have their illusions demolished by a helpful and gentle pointing out of the error of their beliefs.

People who realize that this is not hell on Earth, but rather that the whole Earth is in Hell are free from any delusional hopes and are in a better position to deal with the realities of life.

I will attempt to render this proof accessible to a layperson some time soon.

My Stories in a Sci-Fi Anthology

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to let you know that 3 of my stories have been published in a science fiction anthology titled “Synthesis”.
I’m one of the featured writers of this book and my name appears on the back cover of the book. I include an image of the front and back cover below.
As a big added bonus, the foreword to this book is by the actor and author Robert Llewellyn. If you have ever watched the classic British sci-fi/comedy series “Red Dwarf”, you will know him as the actor who played the robot Kryten. I include a photo of him below.

In Memory of a Free Man

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My Song Parody Performed Live by Moogy

Hello Everyone,
 
 
Some of you already know that, in my bid to become the next Weird Al Yankovic, I have been working on song parodies lately.  

Well, recently,  I have been honoured to have one of my song parodies performed live by the very talented Belgian-Australian singer/songwriter/pianist Deborrah “Moogy” Morgan. The song is titled ” Those Were the Nights” and it is a parody of the classic song “Those Were the Days”.
 
Moogy performs every Tuesday at a seafood restaurant/bar called Claypots and I changed the lyrics of the song to be about this restaurant/bar and the people who come there. (The lyrics are not about me personally.)
 
You can watch a video of Moogy performing this song at the link below. Her enthusiastic and delightful performance brings my song parody to life! (The video also features the very suave percussionist Apú.)
 
And these are the links to Moogy’s Facebook page and her YouTube channel, where you can see more of her marvellous performances of other songs.

 

 
 
So if you are in Melbourne or happen to be passing through Melbourne, do come and see Moogy perform at Claypots, 213 Barkly St, St Kilda, every Tuesday night at 9pm. She sings a wide variety of great songs, including classic French songs of the 50s and 60s, and Jazz-Pop originals, both in French and English. You are sure to have a very enjoyable time!
 
I include the lyrics of the parody below.
 
 
(Please note that “alco” is Australian slang for “alcoholic”)
 
 
THOSE WERE THE NIGHTS
(You can watch the original song together with the original lyrics here)
 

Once upon a time we went to Claypots
Where we used to eat a fish or two
Remember how we boozed away the hours
And thought of all the dumb things we could do

Chorus


Those were the nights my friend
There was no time for bed
We drank mulled wine forever and a day
The band played all night long
We’d sing and dance along
For we were drunk
and didn’t care what people say
La la la la…

Then the busy week went rushing by us
Monday, Thursday… is it nearly the weekend?
If by chance I see you there this Tuesday
Will you still remember my full name?

Chorus

Just tonight I stood in front of Claypots
No one there looked familiar to me
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Who’s that alco staring back at me?

Chorus

Through the door there came familiar singing
I saw Moogy and heard her call my name
Oh my friend we’re sober but no wiser
For in our brains all cells have died away

Chorus

The Pen of Plenty (or A Portrait of an Artist as the Entire Universe)

“The Gift” by Alex Grey

Part I

“Take this Boris, may it serve you well!”, a booming voice commanded, as a hand, holding a shining writing implement, extended towards me.

I was all of thirteen years old when the Hand from Above bestowed the Pen of Plenty upon me.

” You shall be my voice! I shall speak through you with this pen. You shall be a conduit to that Other Reality, the one inhabited by Eternal Truths, Infinite Beauty and Ineffable Questions. From this pen will spring forth an inexhaustible flow of Magic, you will not be able to help begetting works of perfection, each one more perfect than the one before it.

There is a price to pay. You will not be able to feel, smile, laugh, love, pursue ordinary human activities. You will only be able to write, writing alone shall be your existence.

You shall move solely in the Infinite, Eternal, Universal sphere. You will capture and portray through your writings every permutation, manifestation and aspect of life, yet you shall remain cut off from mankind.

This pen shall be the bathyscaphe with which you will descend to the lowest abysses, and it shall be the alpenstock with which you will ascend to the highest heights not yet scaled by mankind. The world will ostracize, scorn, misunderstand, persecute, laugh at you and it will cherish, adore, worship, celebrate you. But you will stay numb, unmoved by both love and loathing.

You will not know how to be young, yet you will not grow old and will stay a man-child, for, by not partaking in the outer world, you shall be free of its deleterious effects.

You will give life to an infinity of uniquely bizarre, wondrous realities, yet you yourself will be a mere metaphor, an empty shell of a shadow, never being able to feel real, concrete. The worlds you engender will be suffused with sensation and meaning, while your own outer reality will be bare, senseless and pedestrian by comparison.

This pen shall be the flame that will illuminate truths as yet invisible, you will help others find their identity, will bring clarity and enlightenment to humanity, will reveal the underlying, inner structure of existence, yet you will be forever lost, confused, at odds with yourself and the world, drifting aimlessly through existence, a jellyfish in the ocean of life.

This pen shall speak with a thousand voices, educing hysterical laughter, uncontrollable tears, twisting minds into Moebius strips, creating transcendental beauty that will stop others dead in their tracks, dumbfounded with awe, even if they have had just a fleeting contact with it, but you will be blind and deaf to its powers and will stay frozen inside. You will feel no pride or pleasure in your creations, for you will know that you are merely a conduit.

But even though this is a Pen of Creative Cornucopia, one day it shall run out and will write no more. Consequently, writing will be the hardest and most terrifying task of your existence, for you will be forever insecure, not knowing when you no longer will be able to create any more. Yet, before that time comes, you shall be flooded with a ceaseless deluge that will demand every instant of your life and your very sanity.

Once you take this pen, it can never be un-taken, you can never disown it or rid yourself of it.”

The voice stopped. I waited a while for it to resume, but it remained silent. Then, with childish, reckless eagerness, I extended my hand upwards, to meet the hand reaching down from above, caring not at all about the consequences.
Part II
The Writer sits in his room, writing at his desk. He has access to the deepest secrets and mysteries of the Universe, but the question that the whole world, from the tiniest and simplest organism upwards, seems to know the answer to, he can not solve: ” Why live?”

The Writer is torn apart by two contradictory thoughts that occupy his mind simultaneously and seem equally valid. He is certain that he is blind to a fundamental truth that the rest of the world is in possession of, for how else can one explain the whole world choosing life over death and existing with a purpose, something that he is not capable of. Yet he also knows that he is in possession of a fundamental truth that the rest of the world is blind to, for if it was privy to this truth, it would not be able to live in certainty.

The Writer is triply trapped by his room, his mind and his pen. Occasionally, overcome by curiosity and longing, he steals a brief, wistful glimpse, through the window, of the world outside that is teeming and pulsating with life in all of its infinite variations, life that he can never be a part of and whose simple pleasures he could never enjoy or grasp the meaning of. Other times he catches sight of a sliver of the sky that is visible to him from his sitting position. But he immediately feels guilty for neglecting his sacred task and hurriedly resumes scribbling, letter after letter, word after word, sentence after sentence, in his notebooks of madness.

Life passes him by, and then death passes him by too. He has no time for life and he has no time for death either. Neither life nor death can arouse his interest or get their hands on him, and just as he has forgotten all about time, so time has forgotten all about him. In any case, the Writer can not die, for the pen is still working and so he must keep on writing, for his commitment to his pen is greater than his commitment to life and death.

Years, centuries, millennia, billions of years elapse. The Sun expands into a red giant and then collapses into a white dwarf. The stars are torn apart by the forces of the Universe’s expansion, and the protons themselves rot into pieces. Cosmos begins to wind down, all of its energy having dissipated and turned into useless forms. Then the fabric of space-time dissolves.

Still, the Writer remains writing at his desk, which is now floating in vacuum, separate from time and space. Now and then he sneaks looks at the outside world, even though nothing remains there but pure nothingness.

And then, for the very first time, something leads the Writer to take a close look at the pen he was gifted with. He examines it carefully and notices the faded blue letters forming the words MADE IN CHINA etched on its side. Distant memories come flooding back to him, memories of his mother buying pens at the local supermarket, for the start of the new school year; memories of the bare walls of the bathroom that distorted the acoustics, and how he liked to speak to himself there and listen to his boy voice transforming into the stentorian voice of a man. He remembers standing in the bathroom and hearing a million voices calling out his name, then turning around and seeing all of humanity in the mirror looking back at him, as his left hand passed the pen to his right hand.

The Writer now realises that he is the Creator. Having had encompassed the Universe with his mind, the Writer expands to encompass the Universe with his body, so that the Universe and the Writer become one and the same, identical entities, coinciding precisely with one another.

With quiet satisfaction the Writer slowly puts the pen down and that is how the Universe
( and this story) ends, not with a bang or a whimper, but with a .

Note

1) In Australian English, “.” is known as “full stop” rather than as “period”.

THE ETERNAL ANSWER

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“His Only Wish Was to Touch” by Ryohei Hase

Theirs was a love affair for the ages, the likes of which the world had never seen before and unlikely to ever see again.

Philippe was born with a very rare medical condition of having his head shaped like a giant rat skull. His emotional and mental faculties were not impaired to any degree; he could talk, think and feel. And he needed love, like the rest of us. Yet the oversized rodent cranium on Philippe’s shoulders caused him to feel shame and self-consciousness and he resigned himself to a life of loneliness and unfulfilled desires.

Salvation came to Philippe in the arms of Olympia, the one woman in the world who accepted him as he is and who fell head over heels in love with him.

Olympia’s favourite expression of affection was to pat Philippe’s head tenderly; eventually she became so used to its cold, hard texture that she would be repulsed by the feel of soft, warm skin.

To those who scorned her and mocked her choice of partner, Olympia always had the same answer: “The appearance of your loved one will deteriorate over time. The skin on their faces will sag and grow wrinkly; their chins will multiply in number; their hair will turn grey and eventually fall out. But the face of my beloved will never age. It will always look exactly the same as that blessed day when I first laid my eyes on him.”

As with most happy marriages, after a few years of unbridled joy in each other’s company, Philippe and Olympia’s thoughts turned to procreation. Despite their obstetrician’s repeated warnings of unforeseen results that their union might produce, they enthusiastically went ahead with their plans for becoming parents.

As events rolled inexorably towards their climax, a child was born – Alexander, a child of the Evolution. The infant was free from any physical defects, except for one thing. He possessed two heads so solidly fused together, that no surgeon would ever dare to attempt separating them. One head was inherited from the mother. The other head, a skull (albeit of human, rather than rodent, shape), clearly came from his father’s side.

Given such a physical form, it is not surprising at all that Alexander grew up to be a most peculiar man, engaging in somewhat unconventional activities. Due to his double head construction, he was able to experience and exist in both the Living and the Dead Worlds at once. Consequently, he did a roaring trade as a medium and a prophet, informing the grieving relatives of how their dearly departed were faring in the Afterworld, as well as spreading the Gospel of the Afterlife and letting the living know what existence really was like in the next world.

His consulting table was cluttered with heads, hearts, genitalia and other parts of the human body. These were unmistakable reminders of his role as a conduit between the two realities, for put together, these objects constituted the human body, the most powerful symbol of life, while separately, they were the most vivid mementoes of death.

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“Der Wäger von Kopf und Herz”by Michael Hutter