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: 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: Twitterpocalypse

Writer’s note: Most of the Twitter handles are invented. And if the reverse chronology is a problem, you may prefer to start this short story at the beginning, but I recommend starting here: LandingPartyONE Displeased we did not demolish Twitter servers instead of using them. Activate sterilization protocol. less than 5 seconds ago from TweeterProbe ...

mark a rayner: Congo: a chimp, an artist, a cautionary tale

Congo began his artistic career when he worked with Desmond Morris, anthropologist, TV presenter and writer of such books as The Human Animal, The Naked Ape, and Chimps-r-Us. Initially, Morris gave Congo the paints just to mess with the poor ape’s head, but after a couple of years, Congo got the hang of it, and ...

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 ...

mark a rayner: The Transmutation of Gary

Early on in the Transmutation of Gary, there was a problem. Gary didn’t enjoy the idea of being transmuted, though he was open to the idea of transubstantiation. (A non-starter, obviously.) We settled on transmogrification, which didn’t upset Gary as much, for some reason. And so the helmet was fused to his body. An excellent ...

mark a rayner: Excruciating Album Cover Art – Ignatz Topolino

I include this cover, not because it is awful, but because the story behind this collection of classic jazz nose-harmonica stylings remind me of such an excruciatingly sad story. In the annals of nose harmonica players, Ignatz Topolino is usually the first entry. He was a genius. Grown men would weep at his rendition of ...

mark a rayner: Vanity Thy Name is Robot

By mid-century, all the grumpkins agreed: robots were the shit. Even the most hardened humano-mechanicals were aware their robotic cousins could kick their asses. And the feed stock? Don’t be ridiculous. They were so squishy. So temporary. The only reason the snarko-collective allowed the progenitor biological intelligences to survive was simple. Even after they became ...

mark a rayner: Camusic of the Spheres 

The dreams had returned, again, and no amount of coffee and cigarettes could keep their influence at bay. The ennui was crushing at times, and even talking with an outrageous French accent would not help. He thought of his days in the theatre. Oh, the crazy antics they’d get up to behind the proscenium. His ...

mark a rayner: Dr. Tundra Perfects the Whatsit Upgrade

Whatsit 2.0 had been so popular that Dr. Tundra did not waste any time getting started on 3.0. It would be ready by the next quarter. And then there was the new Danglybit PX he was working on. If he could capture the men’s market and the women’s market at the same time, his practice ...

mark a rayner: After the Clown Apocalypse

Like all pandemics, the Bozo Virus ran its course. For those of us who were immune, we had to watch society go mad with clowning. Some saw the horrors of chainsaw juggling. Others experienced the exquisite madness of of buffoonibalism. We were there to witness the collapse of a global economy, the end of civilization as we ...

mark a rayner: Doug the neurotic invents a corollary on his daily commute

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m freaking out. I ate at Wendy’s last night, and then I’m reading the paper today — yeah, like I do everyday on the bus — and so I’m reading the paper, and what do I see? Bird Flu! There was another breakout of bird flu in a freakin’ chicken farm ...

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Why do lit-ah-rary types look down on SF

So what is it about science fiction that causes “literary” types to look down upon it? Like any genre, SF has its bad and good. No scratch that, like any writing, there is both bad and good. I’ve read plenty … Continue reading →

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 →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Protected: Disquieting Postcards I’ve Recently Received from My Future Self

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Food for thought

Work has kept me away from my latest long fiction project for a while, and this quote keeps floating around my head. (That, and some kind of growling sound…) Alltop only growls when it’s happy. That cool background photo is … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: The Gruntwerx Paradigm

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: New sect of Pastafarians believes it is Vikings, not pirates, that cause global warming

London, Ontario (The Skwib) — The first schism within the Pastafarian religion has appeared in the sleepy Canadian city of London, Ontario, and it is led by the charismatic preacher Dr. Maximilian Tundra. “Other worshipers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Hello, My Name Is Indigo Montoya

Billy was up to three packs a day, but it was okay; he was in training for the All-Tar Olympics. His coach said he was a natural, and he had several lucrative endorsements even before he won any medals. He … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Cindy and The Ravens

When the talking ravens had appeared, introducing themselves as Hugin and Munin, naturally everyone had been astonished. They could speak English, several Scandinavian languages, and a tongue not heard in a thousand years, though a few scholars recognized it as … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Blogger ponders on things instead of musing about them

LONDON, Ontario (The Skwib) — The web is still reeling from the revelation that a blogger has been pondering things instead of musing about them. “Yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time musing, in fact, the tagline from my blog … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Clown Apocalypse: The Clownnui

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Dr. Tundra versus the flashmob zombies

Dr. Maximilian Tundra had never felt so paranoid. Earlier that day he’d lost his medical license; luckily, he also had a PhD in biochemistry, so he would still get everyone call him “doctor”. But it was the loss of easy … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Thag Go Grunka Gathering!

Everyone at the Grunka Gathering was in good spirits, except Thag. Every fifth or sixth summer, depending on the position of the stars, all of the Grunka clans would gather and share their stories, swap items (sometimes mates too) and … Continue reading →