Archive for Australia

DESK JOB BLURB

Posted in Australia, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lyn McConchie's friend, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, set in Australia, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN

BOOMERANG OF FIRE!

Lewis Carroll’s Alice thought Wonderland was strange. Sarah Hollingsworth knew her adventures in Office-land were twisted and downright bizarre. The office of the 1990s was a hunting ground where the unprotected were bagged and disposed of. The trick was not to be one of them. Hawks flew high, mules slogged away on their computers and praying mantises searched for prey. Butterflies and moths danced in the neon light. And the old caterpillar looked on passively to various unfolding dramas. Meanwhile mall rats and lika-lika birds, growing up in this decade, fervently hoped that everything about the office would become more civilized by the time they had to get a DESK JOB. Whether or not the office has really changed much since the 1990s I will leave to you, dear reader, to decide.

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GHOST DANCE by ROD MARSDEN

Posted in Australia, dark fiction writer, horror writer, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, pulp fiction writer, USA, Vampire author, Writer with tags , , , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by ROD MARSDEN

GHOST DANCE

Available through AMAZON and also Night to Dawn

A novel that takes you on an epic journey from Australia to Germany on a quest to save a young man from lycanthropy and also defeat a modern day warlock.

GHOST DANCE

GHOST DANCE 

Introduction

The menace of the vampire has been with us for a very long time. Over the centuries, various societies have developed their own methods of dealing with it. The Japanese in the 17th Century created the Rising Sun Group of specialist ninjas and samurai. In the British Empire and then the British Commonwealth the Secret Compass, an offshoot of Freemasonry, came to the fore. It now has many branches including the Scottish Maclean branch. In and around Greece there were the Greek mystics who eventually formed an alliance with INTERPOL and then with the Sydney, NSW branch of the Secret Compass. In the USA there was the Pinkerton Detective Agency out of Chicago followed by the FBI and the CIA. Over time such organizations have come to share information, resources and even personnel in the continuing fight.

The events mentioned in this book primarily take place in 1975. The events of the previous novel, Disco Evil: Dead Man’s Stand, take place between the years 1976 and 2010.

In 1975 Lilith and Paul Priestly can be seen at The Blue, an inner Sydney disco but have yet to meet up and form an alliance. Lizzy, Miles Henry’s niece, can also be seen doing her thing at The Blue. Her fate has yet to be sealed. It will be soon enough in 1976.

Helen Kiln, a Secret Compass psychic, knows The Blue in 1975 as a place that might attract the undead. Miles Henry and Frank Long are field agent partners in the Sydney branch of the Secret Compass and have worked together off and on since the Korean War. They are both attracted to Helen. Miles and Long, however, are not the only field agents working for the Secret Compass.

Note:

“Bring back the buffalo,” was the cry and the hope of a generation of North American Indians. “Bring back love and hope,” was the cry of a different people of a different generation. It was more universal but just as heart-felt. Both people, both generations thought they could do it through music and movement. They thought the Great Spirit would weave magic their way and it would be done. They were wrong. Both are examples of the now traditional ‘GHOST DANCE’.

There is, however, another version that is just as well known and just as traditional. It is part of Mardi Gras and the Venetian Carnivale. In both instances it evokes the meeting of two worlds – the living and the dead. Both sides are masked. Both sides are to be revealed. If properly executed, it is quite a powerful dance and the results are totally unpredictable. It is the dance of the present, the past and the future. It can be joyful or the complete opposite. It is the dance of the living hand-in-hand with the dead. At such events the ungodly need to be wary.

If Helen Kiln wanted a quiet, no-nonsense life she should never have become a psychic for the PSI division of the Sydney, Australia branch of the Secret Compass. Of late there were ghosts to sort out, vampires on the loose, a Gypsy warning to heed and a young man becoming a monster to befriend. With any luck she’d get in her morning cup of coffee and donuts!

Frank Burkhard, the young man, and Petra Card, a female vampire, were expected in Worms (Voems), Germany where they were hopefully going to save the world. There was also a warlock out to save humanity by killing off a lot of people. In all of this Helen could envisage, through her powers, a dead man about to make a stand. Helen knew this for a certainty. It just wasn’t clear to her who it was going to be.

Rod Marsden

Check out Disco Evil: Dead Man’s Stand by Rod Marsden….published through Night to Dawn and available right now through Amazon.com.

Also check out Undead Reb Down Under Tales by Rod Marsden…published through Night to Dawn and available right now through Amazon.com.

….For a short story with bite there is a tale by Rod Marsden coming out in the next issue of the vampire magazine Night to Dawn which will be out shortly.

Night to Dawn

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/ghost-dance-excerpt-reviews/

THE CROWDED CITY AND THE NEED SOMETIMES TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL

Posted in Australia, Barbara Custer, dark fiction writer, desk job, horror writer, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lyn McConchie's friend, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, set in Australia, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
VOICES!

VOICES!

The city is where most of us make our living. The little luxuries of modern life are all tied up in the ‘Big Smoke’. Luxuries such as the internet and television.

It is good sometimes to get away from the crowds and go some where you can be more yourself. I virtually grew up with a fishing rod in my hand. Fishing has always been my sport. When the big city gets to be too much it is great to go away somewhere and do some fishing.  I am a salt water fisherman. I have had nothing to do with fresh water fishing though I might have a go at it some time.

While fishing it is possible to contemplate the universe and your place in it. With beautiful surroundings you can relax and, if the fish are biting, there is excitement.

Of late I have been collecting WW One and WW Two fighter planes. They worm their way sometimes into my fiction.

Occasionally the great Clarence River and the people living there make their way into my books and so do the people of the Wollongong area.

I remember my last visit to the USA and that also helps my writing.

 Right now there are some nice Agatha Christie novels in reprint coming out. I’ve picked up the first in this series more out of curiosity than anything else. It has been a while since I read any Agatha Christie.

I have also laid my hands on the latest Terry Pratchett novel. If anyone knows the strangeness of modern life and can write about it it would be Pratchett. An earlier Practitioner of this would be Lewis Carroll. I have a shot at it in my latest novel, Desk Job. http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/desk-job/

REVIEW OF DISCO EVIL: DEAD MAN’S STAND

Posted in Australia, Barbara Custer, dark fiction writer, desk job, Glasgow, Great Britain, horror writer, Knightswood, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, Neil K. Henderson, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, pulp fiction writer, Romance, Scotland, set in Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Vampire author, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
Disco Evil

Disco Evil back cover art

Neil K. Henderson

Knightswood, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

6th Sept. 2009

Dear Rod,

Finally getting the chance to comment back on DISCO EVIL: DEAD MAN’S STAND…You have certainly taken an interesting angle on vampire culture, with not only the uncompromising contemporary setting, but the ‘moral code’ adhered to by your (anti-) hero. Indeed, the entire novel has a ‘both-sides-to-the-story’ aspect which leaves one finally unable to take sides. As in life, no one is either all good or all bad. You make this point repeatedly, and stress the need for mutual understanding and co-operation. This indeed comes to pass not only between the Secret Compass and Rising Sun Group, but with Muslim and non-Muslim Australians…

I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed being transported around the globe for a bat’s-eye view of human existence in recent times. I like the way you handled differing timescales, with life going on as normal in NSW, while Paul maintained eternal youth. The only fault I found with this was that it didn’t leave enough scope for in-depth vampire adventure on those travels. That’s an unavoidable problem, I suppose, since too much time spent with Paul would unbalance the structure of the novel. He did at least have some exciting near-misses with the forces of Life and Order. I have to say, I didn’t fancy his chances with those Maclean fellows one bit…

Anyway, I’ve had a ball reading your book. I found myself drawn into your fictional world and engaging with your characters in a way that says plenty for your descriptive skills. I hope you have a great success with it, and that it leads the way for many more.

All the best,

Neil

Neil k. Henderson is the author of a number of fictional works including MALDEHYDE’S DISCOMFITURE, or A LADY CHURNED (Pentagraph Press, Brighton, 1997), FISHWORSHIPPING – AS WE KNOW IT (Regent Books, Wolverhampton, 2001), AN ENGLISH SUMMER IN SCOTLAND AND OTHER UNLIKELY EVENTS (Skrev Press, 2005), and HORMONES A-GO-GO (Atlantean Publishing, 2009).

Extract from DISCO EVIL BY ROD MARSDEN

Posted in Australia, Barbara Custer, dark fiction writer, desk job, horror writer, Love, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, pulp fiction writer, revenge, Romance, set in Australia, Sex, USA, Vampire author, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
flight of the vampire

The vampire: flight toward revenge

Extract…Disco Evil: Dead Man’s Stand

CHAPTER  ONE

Sydney, The Rocks, the first Friday in November, 1976

The dock rats were still around but in fewer numbers than before. The smart ones had already staked their claim to the Hyde Park area and to the railroad tunnel system between Town Hall and Circular Quay. There people dumped plenty of food in quarter, even half filled packets. Also, there were lots of dark, safe places to get some sleep during the day.

The Rocks area of the docks, however, had retained some nocturnal life. It had, in fact, built upon certain beliefs in humans and had flourished. Strangely enough, like the rats of yore, certain comings and goings were not only of the night but also took place beneath the pavement where life could be chilly in winter and muggy in summer. There was even the mating dance, not dissimilar to the one performed by the rodent only crueler in its promises and in too many of its outcomes.

For Western style humanity the summer of love had died, killed by a number of movements including disco, a less than amiable bowel movement. Even so, young men still went along to the below ground venues of false light and loud music for the remnants of the hippy dream. They wanted to howl at the distant moon like lycanthropes or maybe at the giant ball that rotated in all such places as a cold, rotund ice goddess. It was all so similar to the North American ghost dance and the hope of turning back the world to a better time that one could choke on the tears it invariably elicited. Yet dance cannot turn back the clock or the calendar. Dance can neither bring back the buffalo to the American prairie nor can it take us to that oh so special summer in which the best of emotions reigned. So what, in the end, is the use of it?

The young men at the disco were told that how you danced no longer mattered and were then judged on how they danced. The scotch served early in the night was of a cheap brand no matter what was on the label of the bottle it came in and got progressively weaker from being watered down as the night progressed. It was a rip-off from start to finish but, hey! Where else did you go to meet girls? And they were girls and you were not quite a man but, oh so anxious to become one, God help you!

Listening to the recorded music was like having two gallons of corn syrup from the ‘States or forest honey locally produced dumped on you. The senses quickly became blocked with all the phony sweetness. A hole to breathe through could be cut with a glass or two of bourbon but the ensuing alcoholic haze carried its own falsehoods. The bourbon in the gut, in the end, held best the lies one tells one’s self when things are not going well. Only one usually has the common sense to keep those lies to one’s self. It was amazing what one might say while in that haze and to whom. It could be down-right tragic or, if not tragic, then comical in an executioner’s joke book sort of way. And who needs a laugh more than the guy about to get it in the neck?

Sure, I’m Bogart looking at some tall, luscious babe. Sure, I’m Sean Connery going after some hot dame who knows something. Sure, I’m Mad Max only not so mad. And all in one night folks! All in one single night and without strings! All happening right here, right now, this night folks!

Here there was a nasty cycle of unrealistic promise followed by despair followed by more unrealistic promise. Only the elite got anywhere but very few participants understood this. Plenty of fools thought they could make their dreams come true and their money was as good as anyone else’s. Others knew from night one the odds against them were ridiculously high but gambled anyway because there was nothing else they could see themselves doing. Besides, didn’t Batman always fly home a winner to the bat cave? Was it then so impossible to meet a nice girl you could actually have a good time with? Did the success stories all have to be about supermen with their Lois Lanes?

‘The Blue’ was once part of a warehouse. It was the below ground part where coal was once stored. Since becoming ‘The Blue’ there had been a glittering sign on the street pointing downwards to the action. From there stairs descended into what appeared at first to be a dark pit lined with old, cheap carpet. The carpet was red and the stairs always smelled. Sometimes they smelled of vomit but more often than not of cleaning alcohol or industrial strength antiseptic. No one commented going down and once down it was hard to communicate with anyone save whoever was serving the drinks. The management liked it that way. There wasn’t a cover charge. Obviously watering the drink at the appropriate hour was enough.

Paul Priestly had taken the stairs a dozen or more times. On the last night he’d truly be himself he said to that inner voice he’d never, ever do it again but that would not be entirely true.

He was on his own. He was a small, skinny guy always alone and he wanted to change that. He had come to realize, however, that this was not the right venue for him. Maybe it wasn’t the right venue for anyone with a soul. Maybe this realization at last made him smarter than some of the other people who tried their luck there but he was still dumb enough to turn up one last time just in case he was wrong. It was pathetic. Hope burned and the intensity of the flame meant he had to have at least one more throw of the dice he knew had to be loaded against him.

The only thing he could think of to make himself feel better about where he was and what he was doing were the bizarre murders he’d read about in the paper. They had taken place less than two blocks away and involved a jock football player who had had his right arm broken in three places before being siphoned of blood. Also a female tennis player had had her neck broken before being emptied the same way. Paul didn’t see himself as the type this killer or killers were after but that could change. At present, however, they seemed to be after people he had no reason to like and that suited him fine.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/

BIO ROD MARSDEN VAMPIREBIRDIE

Posted in Australia, dark fiction writer, desk job, horror writer, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, London, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, New York, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, pulp fiction writer, Romance, set in Australia, USA, Vampire author, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
art by Rod Marsden

A fanciful medieval style set of glass panels in an ancient church

Bio: Rod Marsden

Rod Marsden was born in Sydney, Australia. His very early influences were his father, Charles, who taught him how to fish and how to appreciate nature and his mother, May, who helped him to value the written word. Other early influences include writer Stan Lee and artists Jack Kirby and Gene Colan. He has three degrees; all related to writing and to his other passion, history. His stories have been published in Australia, England, Russia and the USA. His written work includes short stories in Cats Do it Better. Undead Reb Down Under and Other Vampire Stories is a collection of his stories on vampirism. His novel Disco Evil: Dead Man’s Stand is his first venture into the vampire novel. His  Ghost Dance is his first go at a dark quest style novel. His Desk Job is a salute to Lewis Carroll and some indication of how insane life got in the office in the mid-1990s.

Back in the 1970s, Rod took a trip to the USA and still has fond memories of his time in New York and San Francisco. He also visited Bali way back in the 1970s.  He would love to visit Britain and this desire does appear in his work.

Rod Lives on the South Coast of NSW, Australia and still occasionally puts a line in the water. He has a fondness for the Wollongong area but an abiding love for the more northern Clarence River region of his home state.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/

LOTS OF NEWS AROUND BUT NOT MUCH INFORMATION

Posted in Australia, Night to Dawn author, set in Australia, USA, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
The art you see in these postings I created!

THE MEDIA SHOULD AND CAN DO BETTER

Even today it is hard to believe how badly the world’s media let us down when it came to what was and what was not going on in Iraq before the start up of the Iraqi War. Where were the weapons of mass destruction? There were perhaps more legitimate reasons for taking over Afghanistan.

Much of what passes for news on television is fluff. If a big story breaks it is usually given five minutes or less coverage. If we are luck a show such as A Current Affair or Today Tonight might pick it up and run with it giving further information.

There is sometimes misinformation and one has to wonder just how deliberate this misinformation happens to be. In December in 2011 a show I won’t name on television put across the outrageous notion that Muslims and Jews living in Australia were all for banning Santa Claus. This did not impress the general Christian community. As it turned out, neither the Muslim community nor the Jewish community were in favor of such a ban. It was just a political correctness scam, a bad joke, a beat up for ratings. How much harm it did or could have done to the Muslim and Jewish communities living in Australia we will never know. As for it being news, it was the worst kind of garbage.

News papers and news centers in Australia and elsewhere in the world are cutting back on investigative reporters. This means that more and more information on world events will come from government hand outs. This means we will be relying more and more on the honesty of world governments and also on the honesty of more localized governments. This would be good if we could always rely on their honesty.

But who then speaks for the ordinary bloke on the street when the government is not acting in his best interests? Why should the government, any government remain honest when they have the only voice on an issue, any issue? More and more we need the media to be up and running and doing its job properly. We need investigators with savvy. We need someone who can keep the bastards honest as the Democrats once claimed to be able to do.

THE OFFICE CONTINUES TO BE A MOST CURIOUS PLACE!

Posted in art, Australia, Butterflies, desk job, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lyn McConchie's friend, Moths, mythology, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, set in Australia, USA, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT!

THERE ARE STILL WARRIOR WOMEN AND PRAYING MANTISES AROUND!

The office, indeed, continues to be a most curious place. In the first decade of the 21st Century computers have grown up. The screens are less bulky than they were in the mid-1990s. In some offices access to the internet is essential for up to date reasearch.

Whether an office worker has much of a life while alive in this first decade remains debatable. In some offices in the USA coffee breaks and toilet breaks came to be clocked and in other wats monitored. Any worker spending too much time with one or the other could either get demoted or sacked. Medical conditions, of course, were taken into consideration. Clocking office workers in this way by management in Australia was considered but generally rejected as a practice.

Back in the first ten years of the 21st Century there were call centers operating in New South Wales, Australia. Much of this work has moved overseas to places such as India and Pakistan. where they can be run more cheaply. By this period of time not much remained of the clothing manufacturing industry that showed so much promise in the late 1960s and early ’70s. Once it was the wool trade that kept the country economically viable. Today, in 2012, it is mining. This trend toward mining becoming so very important was noticeable in the early years of the 21st Century. Now, more than a decade after 2001, it looks like the mining boom is petering out. I cannot say what it will be replaced by if it peters out too much but it will then have to be replaced by something.

Today, in too many offices in major cities, there are still praying mantises doing their thing along with butterflies and moths. In too many work venues, including banking, there are caterpillars puffing away on their water pipes. In the better run establishments, of course, hawks run the business without the necessity of a caterpillar. Oh and you will occasionally meet a warrior woman with some substance along with a dung beetle of no substance whatsoever and that rareset of all creatures, a mule with wings.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/desk-job/