Punk Noir Magazine Publication

The good people at Punk Noir Magazine have published a piece of my incendiary flash fiction.

Check out ‘A Different Life’ at Punk Noir Magazine.

And check out all the rest of the great work on offer.

Some really great poetry worth checking out. Warning: it leaves you feeling like you need a strong drink in a dark room with lots of smoke in the air.

The Owl Eyed Man in The Great Gatsby

We might refer to him as the Owl-Eyed Man, but the closest F. Scott Fitzgerald via Nick gets is Owl Eyes or in chapter nine when he attends Gatsby’s funeral, Owl-eyes and “the man with owl-eyed glasses”.

Regardless of how we refer to him, Owl Eyes has achieved an iconic status in The Great Gatsby and part of a series of references, symbol and motifs that contributes to the enduring nature of the novel (see the post on The Green Light, Gatsby’s car and even Gatsby’s smile).

Owl Eyes is first introduced when Nick and Jordan are searching for Gatsby in chapter three. Nick and Jordan are searching the house and “On a chance” try “an important-looking door, and walked into a high Gothic library, panelled with carved English oak, and probably transported complete from some ruin overseas.” In the library, Nick and Jordan find Owl Eyes who claims to have “been drunk for about a week now” and immediately demands their opinion about the books.

The confusion of Nick and Jordan is set against Owl Eyes’ expectation that the library is part of the larger façade that is Gatsby. Instead, Owl Eyes finds a thoroughness and realism that might be mistaken for reality if it were not underpinned by references to construction and pretense. Owl Eyes refers to Gatsby as “a regular Belasco”, a Broadway theatre produce known for the realism of his sets and after handing Nick a book, Owl Eyes “snatched the book from me and replaced it hastily on its shelf, muttering that if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse.”

In his first appearance, Owl Eyes hints at the superficial but carefully constructed nature of Gatsby’s identity. What makes Owl Eyes more interesting is his two lesser know appearances in the novel.

At the end of chapter three, the still drunk Owl Eyes crashes a car. This is a criminally overlooked moment that foreshadows the tragedy of the novel. After Owl Eyes emerges from the crash, a dialogue takes place in which not only does Owl Eyes show confusion about how the crash happens and even denies responsibility for the crash that takes place, but ultimately Owl Eyes (who at this point is referred to as “the criminal”) lets the crowd know that he wasn’t driving and that “There’s another man in the car”.

 Given the lack of responsibility expressed for Myrtle’s death in chapter 7 and the fact that Daisy was driving even though Nick and Tom believe Gatsby to be the river, the crash at the end of chapter 3 takes on a greater significance anticipating the tragedy novel.

Owl Eyes makes a final appearance among the few attendees of Gatsby’s funeral. Here he comments that people used to come to Gatsby’s house by the hundreds. Nick has no comments which leads Owl Eyes to comment “poor son-of-a-bitch” in a combination of sympathy and criticism that encapsulates the conflict in our and Nick’s view of Gatsby.

Owl Eyes might be a fully formed character in The Great Gatsby, but is used by Fitzgerald as an effective reference for aspects of Gatsby as a character, the misfortune that befalls Gatsby and the ultimately sympathetic conclusion Fitzgerald wants the reader to have about Gatsby.

Read more about The Great Gatsby:

The Motif of the Green Light

Gatsby’s Smile

Gatsby’s Car and the American Dream

Shotgun Honey

If you’ve never checked out the micro crime fiction journal Shotgun Honey, there could not be a better time.

Just last week, Shotgun Honey published my story, Waiting for the Butcher.

The publication feels like a small personal achievement in a time of so much difficulty. I’ve been a long time reader, but definitely not a first time submitter to Shotgun Honey. I won’t bore you with the failed stories, but let’s say there have been a couple. I submitted Waiting for the Butcher last year and after a couple of revisions, was very pleased to have the story accepted. To see the publication appear last week and to get some positive feedback from a couple of other authors was a great feeling.

So instead of reading my babble, head on over and read Waiting for the Butcher. Tell them I sent you.

And once you’ve finished with my story, have a look at a couple of the others. The stories are short and pack a punch.

Bitcoin Crash?

If Elon Musk is any judge of business, the Bitcoin may be in for a little trouble. With highs above an astounding $55,000 for a single Bitcoin we may be seeing a sudden fall in the near future.

Or we might not. And if the Bitcoin does fall, aren’t we seeing a new era of sci-fi inspired economics?

Either way it’s worth looking at other digital currencies like the social network supported Pi Network. Instead of inducing blockchains, does the social stability of Pi Network have a more stable background? It’s possible.

Find out at http://minepi.com/Goldpi555

Bitcoin Bubble

The current problem with Bitcoin is the classic financial bubble scenario. Simply put, everyone is interested at the start, but then reality arrives and the value drops rapidly into collapse or to a more stable equilibrium. Think about the dot com bubble; everyone is interested and then there are too many businesses. The bubble bursts and economic continues at a more even rate.

Bursting the bubble might be good for the Bitcoin because at the moment it is increasing and decreasing in value rapidly. Not exactly great if you are looking for stable currency. If Elon Musk is starting to say the Bitcoin is looking a little high, it might be a problem with people either off loading the currency or holding it because why pay with a Bitcoin today if it might be worth 20% more tomorrow. Surely you want to keep it. If Bitcoin is being used as an asset rather than a currency, it is more like a valuable painting than a currency which has a relatively stable value and consequently can be used to make purchases.

The other alternative is the nature of Bitcoin makes it too volatile. Think about most currencies, they have a whole country behind them and we consider the stability of the country in our estimation of the currency. Does no country mean no stability?

The decentralized element of Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency is the key element that takes us into the future. Moving away from centralized control might be exactly what the world needs. What Bitcoin needs is stable backing to make it a currency. A classic chicken or egg situation.

To get stability by handing control should be handed over to a country would undermine the distinction that makes Bitcoin unique. No single individual should control it, but as a community if we are the stable backing of a cryptocurrency, that could add stability. Unfortunately we aren’t there yet. Bitcoin has another 120 years until we have the stability of no more Bitcoins being mined, but there are other alternatives. Pi Network is attempting to build the community before the currency. If it can establish a community of reliable support it can make the currency stable before it launches which might the same as bring out the chicken and the egg at the same time. What do you think?

Have a look at minepi.com/Goldpi555

Rise of the Modern B Movie

In a time of Covid, the B-movie is pushing for our attention and we have become a willfully accommodating audience. Historically, the B movie was a low budget movie that supported the main feature. The plot was formulaic, the acting less than effective, some special effects and the product not very memorable. As descriptions of Netflix films go, it’s not far off.  

We would happily sit down and watch a Netflix movie, because we have already paid for the subscription and it probably contains a familiar face or two. In terms of budget, the films are cheap. Netflix’s Old Guard cost $70 million to make, which if you compare it to the $356 million cost of Endgame, it sounds pretty cheap. You could have over five Old Guard movies for just one Endgame movie. Which sounds about right (and I can’t say I’d want five Old Guard movies).

Viewing figures are a little more interesting. In the first four weeks, Old Guard was viewed by 72 million households. In a similar time, Endgame grossed just under $800 million. It sounds like a big difference, but if a movie ticket is $10, then it accounts to 80 million individual viewings. A little different from household viewings. If you watched Old Guard by yourself, I am truly sorry for your social status and you should probably seek mental health support.

The comparison of Endgame and Old Guard is so far from an exact science I am concerned about even using the word science in this sentence, but it does provide an interesting shift.

When we add in the difficulties of Covid life and falling ticket sales, we find the immediate future contains a few more Netflix B movies and a lots less high ticket blockbusters.

Vivarium movie review

Too much time inside is leading to binge watching TV shows and rewatching film series (if your film franchise doesn’t have three sequels why even bother?). To break the trend, I watched Vivarium. A bit independent film, a little sci-fi and a good bit Avant-garde.

And what did I think?

The first set-up was awesome. Visually very interesting, great conflict between the two main characters. There is a great shift into the sci-fi element of the film and then it sort of crumbled.

The concept of the couple being kidnapped into a suburban maze that they cannot escape was great (hence the title Vivarium, it sounds sci-fi but is just a limited eco-system, usually plants in a large glass jar). The arrival of the child worked well and the crumbling of the couple was appropriate, but that’s all that happened.

Should any normal person find themselves in that situation, that is exactly what I would expect, rapid deterioration, but this is a film and I wanted a little more. Specially I wanted a story and it appeared to be absent, which is a huge shame. While I appreciate a movie is a huge undertaking, it was taken without a full arc for the characters or a third act for the story.

I might not be returning to Vivarium for a second watch any time soon, but I’m hoping Lorcan Finnegan (writer and director with a great name) can make that next step for the next movie because I will be looking out for the next one.

Full Metal Horror 3 On Sale!

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”- H.P. Lovecraft


Delve into the unfathomable immensity of the cosmos with these eighteen horrifying stories of sci fi terror.

Available now from Amazon in paperback and ebook: http://a-fwd.to/3O50iW9

Inside this bizarre and terrifying tome you’ll discover inter-dimensional aliens, man-eating plants, and giant ghost sperm.

Feel fear seep deep into your bones as the shadow of an unknown cosmic horror descends upon your soul.

Happy Birthday Bitcoin

In April, we wished Satoshi Nakamoto a happy birthday.

As you may know, Satoshi Nakamoto is an alias (not a real person but he does have a birthday).

If we can wish an alias a happy birthday, I think we can do the same for Bitcoin.

On 18th August 2008, the domain name Bitcoin.org was registered. Probably not the actual birthday of the Bitcoin, but we’ll take it as a memorable date and make the occasion.

Happy Birthday Bitcoin.

Have you seen the Pi Network? Have a look at the next Bitcoin minepi.com/Goldpi555