mark a rayner: The void loves you

The caption is perfect if you imagine it being narrated by Werner Herzog. Herzog continues to read: “The orange sky, like the creeping shadows that threaten to engulf our fictional protagonists, is a visual clue that this never happened beyond the void of imagination.” If this cause a full-on existential crisis, watch Herzog talk about ...

mark a rayner: New Fiction: Wormageddon

My latest short story just appeared in The Saturday Evening Post: Less schmaltz-y, WAY more worm-y. You can find Wormageddon here.

mark a rayner: New fiction: The Real Primo

Corvus Review just published a new short story that I’ve been noodling with for some time: The Real Primo. (pp. 59-67) If you’ve ever watched (and enjoyed) Groundhog Day, or read Friedrich Nietzsche’s difficulty concept of the Eternal Return, or have a passing familiarity with the “Eastern” concept of reincarnation, then this story will appeal ...

mark a rayner: The Procedure

Grounding the team had been difficult, but not impossible. Dr. Hansrik assured them there would be no danger, once the patient was unconscious. Prior to sedation, the patient was capable of anything. (Just ask the good folk of Peoria, Illinois, who’d made the terrible mistake of not taking the patient’s demands for “unlimited chicken wings and non-stop ...

mark a rayner: New Fiction: Empty Space Times Two

This piece is probably the most straight-up sentimental thing I’ve ever written, but I’m quite chuffed to join the ranks of the writers who have been published by The Saturday Evening Post. (That includes, you guessed it, my literary hero, Kurt Vonnegut.) In case you’re wondering, it’s NOT autobiographical, though I did take a typing ...

A Writer's Mind: Lilian Nattel Reflects: Midnight Romeo

He pulled his fedora lower over his brow to shield his eyes from rain. Someone was watching him from the balcony, a woman, he thought. Dark robe. A hint of pale leg. A photo posted by Lilian Nattel (@a.writers.eye) on Feb 6, 2016 at 8:57am PST Filed under: Fiction, Mini-Stories, Photography

A Writer's Mind: Lilian Nattel Reflects: Room Service Surprise

“Room Service!” I knocked again. No answer. No sound from within. There was no “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. I checked my instructions. Nothing about leaving the service outside the door. I checked my phone. Five minutes until my shift was over. If I brought the service back to the kitchen, there would be ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Shell-Shock: A novel by installments

Here is an unconventional move. I am considering publishing a novel by installments. This has been done in the past, but is not the current norm. But I am not sure if it has been done while the novel is still in the process of being written. That would be a bold, and perhaps risky ...

mark a rayner: William Shatner’s Inaugural Address

(After Winning the First Post-Two-Party Presidential Election) Friends, Americans, Countrymen! Lend me your ears. I come to bury our two-party system, not praise it. I stand before you today, not as a conqueror, not as pop icon, but as your President. An American president. Now, what I say next is not said with malice, but ...

A Writer's Mind: Lilian Nattel's Blog: Cold Hard Cash

Finding a birthday present for my mother is never easy. After all, she can make anything she wants. My sister always comes up with something inventive. She’s like that. For example, on Mother’s 125th, Maggie gave her a dozen rubies that turned into roses, which threw off a fragrance of an Italian spring, and then ...

mark a rayner: The Ruins — a new flash fiction at the Caesura Letters

I have a new flash fiction up this week at the Caesura Letters called The Ruins. It’s a different kind of piece — a meditation on the nature of Stoicism (though to be fair, it has a dash of existentialism in it.) If you haven’t already checked out the Caesura Letters, you really should. It’s ...

mark a rayner: Fiction: At the GruntWerx Board of Directors Meeting

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Apocalypse Cow

Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were going all the way. Kurtz got off the boat. He split from the whole fuckin’ program. And me? I was off the boat the same time as Kurtz. … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Leonides and the papier-mâché spatula

Gregorina awoke that morning feeling stranger than usual. She’d had vivid dreams of ravaging Leonides, their local butcher, with his own meat tenderizer. In the dream – or perhaps it would do her good to think of it as a … Continue reading →

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Canada’s New Parliamentary Budget Officer Doesn’t Disappoint – Stephen Harper

After former Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page locked horns with the Conservatives over their voodoo math, he was replaced by someone whose inexperience would be much easier to manipulate. Not that Jean-Denis Frechette isn’t a nice man, but as Michael Warren noted of his appointment, in the Star: … the appointment of Jean-Denis Frechette as ...

Melissa Fong: National Anthem: A poem; “Year of reconciliation? Prove it.”

A poem on our state of denial.

Melissa Fong: Once upon a time, there was a Vancouver Mayor who promised he’d end homelessness…

Once upon a time… There was a handsome young prince named Gregor Angus Bethune Robertson.  He was a much envied prince. He represented his fiefdom, Vancouver-Fairview, for years before he, […]

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: The long course of civilization

“With the collapse of totalitarian empires, we believed that living together, peace, pluralism, and human rights would gain the ascendancy and the world would leave behind holocausts, genocides, invasions, and wars of extermination. None of that has occurred. New forms … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Blake meets Zathir [excerpt from The Fridgularity]

  Author’s note: here’s another quick hit from The Fridgularity, which is still available for 99¢ in May. Not much needed to introduce this one, except to say that the main character, Blake, has been drinking, and that he’s been … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Another day on the job in Paradise… chapter one

Mayor Ralph “Bosco” Hearne, whistling softly “Everything’s Up to Date in Kansas City” under his breath, gazed at the wood-and-polished-brass, 19th-century front doors of town hall and nodded slightly in approval. He stopped whistling, paused, and breathed out a gentle … Continue reading →

Art Threat: 1984 is blacked out in a graphic tribute to George Orwell

Penguin Books is releasing new editions of George Orwell’s best known books on January 21 to commemorate the inaugural “Orwell Day” — an annual event to celebrate the author and his influence on media and modern discourse. Designed by David Pearson, each book has a unique, typography-focused layout. It is the cover of 1984, however, ...

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Teaser from The Fridgularity: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Fridgularity is a satire of Internet culture, so that means it’s rife with pop-culture references, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of them. I can’t tell you any more, as that would be a spoiler. But I … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: How Landon, Ontario got its name

Here’s a little snippet that didn’t make it into The Fridgularity. I cut the description of Landon, Ontario’s founding because it doesn’t really add much to the story, though it’s fun for anyone who lives in the real place, London, … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Fonts of The Fridgularity

TYPOGRAPHY One of the ideas that I play with in The Fridgularity is that the entity Zathir — you know, the one that takes over the Internet and promptly locks all humans out of it — is actually a conglomeration … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Excerpt from The Fridgularity: a ski in the storm

Given the arrival of Winter here in Souwesto, I thought I’d put up an excerpt from the second half of The Fridgularity (A Cold Reboot), in which the lead character goes for a little cross-country ski, and things go awry. … Continue reading →