Archive for Lewis Carroll

BULLYING!

Posted in Australia, dark fiction writer, desk job, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, revenge, set in Australia, Set in Germany, United Kingdom, USA, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2013 by ROD MARSDEN
DEMONS OF THE MIND AND  THE SOUL - THE BULLY!

DEMONS OF THE MIND AND THE SOUL – THE BULLY!

OVERVIEW
This is a complicated subject in that bullies have often been urged to do what they do or have been bullied themselves and are seeking their own form of revenge. I came across a story in Kindergarten when I was a young kid that stuck with me. It involved a man stressed by bullying at work who hits his wife and in turn his wife hits their son and the son then hits his little sister. So who does the little sister hit? Her teddy bear. What’s the message here? It is transference of anger and hurt. It isn’t very nice but it is understandable and it is, sadly, all too human.  

In the movie The Breakfast Club starring Judd Nelson (1985) a youmng man is urged to pick on a brainiac because his dad is a jock and so hates brainiacs. The young man doesn’t want to do it but he does want to please his dad. Later on in the film he says he is sorry to the kid he picked on to please his dad and they decide that they can be friends after all.

RELIGION
Religion can be a factor in bullying. In a doctumentary I saw a while ago a high school girl living in the Bible belt of the USA was picked ion by teachers as well as students because she was Jewish. I just hope that since that film was made the particular school in question plus its teachers have managed to clean up their act. Even so, that it should happen in the USA where freedom of religion is assured by the constitution is scarey.

In New South Wales, Australia a small group of Muslim youth decided to pick on Australian girls on Australian beaches because they were wearing bikinis and not tents. To add fuel to the fire, a life guard was hit after he had saved a life. Was this bullying on the part of this Muslim youth? You bet it was. The result? A peaceful demonstration against this abuse got out of hand and turned into a riot. Unfortunately the media today only remember the riot and not what caused it.

RACISM AND SEXISM

Racism and sexism exist. What’s more, they have been with us a very long time. Wars have come about because of racism. Dictators have been put into power because of fear and hatred for the other whoever the other might be.

hitler

Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany because the democracy created in the last year of the First World War had, in the eyes of the people, failed. Its failure in the eyes of the people could be linked to the bullying the German people suffered from the English and the French after the First World War. The people had gone through shortages of food and medicine. Jobs were hard to come by and for years inflation made life very difficult. The USA calmed things down with loans to Germany but, when the Great Depression hit, those loans were called in. It seemed obvious that a strong leader was needed. Hitler seemed to be that leader. The Jews, Gypsies and what Hitler thought of as other non-Germans living in Germany were blamed for Germany not winning the First World War. Communists and strong union leaders were also seen as the enemy of the developing Nazi state. In a sense those who had felt bullied were now becoming the bullies. The result of all this? Concentration camps, death camps and all out war.

SCHOOL BULLIES

Nowadays in countries like the USA guns are too easy to come by and there are strong divisions within schools. A kid picked on by jocks because he isn’t a jock can too easily get a gun to get even. A jock humiliated in class by a brainiac might turn to violence but will most likely use his fists. Women are not cut out of this business. Young women don’t seem to be as yet responsible for hands on violence in schools to the extent of young men but they have been known to egg bullies on. This I believe is worse than ascting the bully. The answer? Weaken the divisions in the schools. Make guns hard to come by. Make sure bullioes are properly punished for what they do and also have them come to terms with the wrongness of what they have done. Also punish any cheer leaders of violence by at least making them aware of the damage they do.

RACISM AND SEXISM IN THE OFFICE

I am with Franz Kafka on this one. I am also with Lewis Carroll. Governments may do their best to address these issues but it is really up to the people in whatever office. I know about political correctness. I know it doesn’t work. What you end up doing is substituting one form of racism wirth another, one form of sexism with another. I make this clear in my novel Desk Job.

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

AN ENGLISH SUMMER IN SCOTLAND BY NEIL. K. HENDERSON

Posted in Australia, dark fiction writer, Glasgow, Great Britain, horror writer, Knightswood, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, mythology, Neil K. Henderson, Scotland, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN

A HOLE IN THE FLOOR

Neil K. Henderson’s An English Summer in Scotland and Other Unlikely Events does have more than its fair share of the unlikely and also the just plain demented. Each story takes you on a trip into Henderson’s imagination and it is some imagination.

 

It seems that no one can put meaning to butter and parsnips the way this wild Scot from Knightswood can. Also, no one can put together a dream girl, a birthday and a quiet time at home with a hole in the kitchen and creepy-crawlies doing their thing quite the same way. The hole is so deep it may reach all the way to Australia! What’s more, there’s a candle of all things shedding some light at the other end, making the hole even more of a wonder.

Colour explodes. There’s a kind of magical mystery tour going on amidst ancient grim even though no one is going anywhere fast except the crepy-crawlies. Then the scene changes.

Does Bunchie Nuttall get Ali Butterfield in the end? Does he even want her in the end?

Also, what’s with this dead, demented zombie cat? Is witchcraft afoot in Scotland or is it just the heat?

Can you have a quick draw thing happening in Scotland? Well, there is a Quick Draw at the Lazy B.  Laundrettes are places where apparently a mamn has to do what a man has to do.

Bath-time in Hell can be a bad scene especially when the number one bad guy turn up.  Again there are the creepy-crawlies to consider.

There are The Cat with the Inside-Out Head and The Cheesey Buscuit Goblin to make you wonder or at least push you in that direction.

Henerson’s style isn’t quite like fantasy writer Terry Pratchett but, then again, Terry Pratchett is English and loves his swords as well as his sorcery. Also in style Henderson is definitely more over the top and a dozen or so valleys away.

This book could be compared favourably with The Steam-driven Boy and Other Strangers (1973)  by Englishman John Stadek. Also An English Summer in Scotland is Henderson’s salute to british writer Lewis Carroll in that it has a mysterious hole, a girl like Alice in Ali and creatures best read about in the context of this fiction. Be warned though that this is experimental stuff. If you want further comparisons than try A Spaniard in the Works by John Lennon (1965).

An English Summer in Scotland and Other Unlikely Events by Neil K. Henderson was first published in 2005 by Skrev Press. For further information on grabbing a copy go to:

www. skrev-press.com

or write to:

Skrev Press

41 Manor Drive

Hebden Bridge

HX7 8DW

Scotland

UK

 

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.

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

THE CAT’S MEOW! From Egypt to England to an Australian DESK JOB

Posted in art, dark fiction writer, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Lyn McConchie's friend, Night to Dawn author, Writer with tags , , , , , on June 24, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN

SMILEY CAT

The Cat’s Meow! The Cat’s whiskers! The Cat’s pajamas! These are good British expressions that tend to put a smile on the dial of certain readers and, at the same time, conjure up pleasant if somewhat unusual images.

The there’s the childhood story of the kitten who lost his mitten that no doubt came out of some golden book edition. Nowadays, thanks to the Americans, the puss in boots is a rather dashing expert with the foil. In the hit television show The Big Bang Theory we have a song about a soft kitty who is warm. In the hit television show The Simpsons we have cats going through their nine lives rather quickly.

A cat once wanted to visit the Queen of England while yet another fur ball was happy to curl up on a mat near the fireplace.

In the USA there was a cartoon tom by the name of Sylvester who, on numerous occasions, mistook a kangaroo for an extraordinarily large bouncing mouse and there have been quite a few American felines, in fiction and real life, who have inherited great fortunes.

Some years ago I was asked to write some stories for an anthology titled: Cats Do it Better. One of the stories I wrote for this American book dealt with a cat that was an old salt and had the run of the ship he was on. Why was the cat an old salt? Well, many a sailing vessel in the old days did have a cat on board as a mascot. It wasn’t just a matter of companionship for the crew. A cat had a practical use. If you want to keep mice and rats out of the scullery and thus out of the sailor’s food they are the natural and also the most economical way of doing so. In fact, our long standing relationship with felines probably began when it was discovered that they could be of use in protecting the harvest.

In ancient Egypt, no doubt because of the importance of the grain, cats were at one time worshiped. No grain, no bread and the end result of that, of course, is starvation. Hence a small, usually furry, creature that can keep the vermin at bay and thus keep the grain safe has to be considered. at the very least, as asset worth keeping around. I say here usually furry because there is a hairless type of Egyptian cat. The hairless Egyptian, in fact, was in one of the Austin Powers movies as a regular cat who had supposedly lost his fur after being frozen then thawed out. In any event, the hairless Egyptian is ideal for the cat lover who happens to be allergic to cat hair.

Black cats for some time have been associated with witches and witchcraft. The idea that a black cat crossing one’s path will bring trouble is a very old superstition. The word catastrophe has cat in it.

Even so, a lot of nice things over the years have been written about cats and writers, such as New Zealand novelist and researcher Lyn McConchie, have been responsible. Her cat Thunder is amazing but, then again, many of the other animals on her farm are most unusual as her book Farming Daze would tend to point out.

Of late I have been examining the two Alice books by 19th Century British writer Lewis Carroll. They are not without cats. The best noted cat in them, of course, hails from Cheshire. Among other things, he has a great big grin and a marvelous disappearing act. He is also rather mysterious and cheeky. Naturally, when I decided to write my salute to Carroll a Cheshire like cat or two was definitely called for. I would not want readers to feel they were short changed in any way. Besides, my niece, Aila, has a new pet cat and that was also a pretty good reason to sneak at least one fur ball into the book.

In my novel, Desk Job, There are four felines that fit the bill. Two have fur coats and the other two seem to get along quite nicely without them even though neither happens to be Egyptian. In any event, a certain fictional office in Sydney, Australia would not be complete without at least one tail to balance out the overall tale.

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

DESK JOB BY ROD MARSDEN

Posted in dark fiction writer, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, Writer with tags , , , on June 23, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN
COVER TO DESK JOB BY ROD MARSDEN

DESK JOB BY ROD MARSDEN

Desk Job (excerpt from pages 11 and 12)

 

When she reached the bottom of the slope, she came across two hundred mules tethered to two hundred desks. They were facing two hundred computers. Every once in a while they moved keys on the keypads with their snouts. She asked a stout looking male mule what he was doing. “Navigating for my hawk!” snorted the male mule. “It’s a living!”

“Are all you mules navigating for hawks?” asked Sarah.

“Yes!” snorted the male mule. “My hawk has a dozen navigators!”

“Careful!” sniffed a nearby female mule. “They may hear you!”

“Oh dear!” snorted the male mule.

Among the mules there were a dozen human sized praying mantises. They were cracking whips with their spiked forelegs and reading out loud from a book of rules.

“If I am seen talking to you, Human beast,” said the male mule Sarah had been chatting with, “they will punish me! If they ask you, could you please tell them that you talked to me first!?”

“Why?” asked Sarah.

“We’re not supposed to talk unless spoken to first!” he told her. “It’s one of the rules!”

“I shouldn’t have spoken to my mule friend!” confided the female mule who had spoken. “I shouldn’t be talking to you!”

“Are there many rules?” asked Sarah.

“Lots!” said the male mule. “I’d best get on with my navigating!”

“Goodbye,” Sarah told the mules as she began to walk away. “Good luck with your navigating.”

Then, from the other side of the hill, came the roar of a dozen low flying World War Two Japanese Zeros. They were being chased by a dozen American Hellcat fighter planes. The Hellcats were hot on the tails of the Zeros and managed to shoot down two before the remaining planes disappeared into the distance. One Zero did drop a bomb before going away. It exploded a short distance from the mules.

     This has nothing to do with Pearl Harbor, thought Sarah. Hellcats didn’t come into that war until much later. Even so, these Hellcats are like dark mules with wings and the Zeros are like great big butterflies with bombs and a work ethic strange for butterflies.

Out of the bomb dust a figure stirred. What was it? The sky was darkening and a savage wind was stirring. It hammered at the desks of the mules and threatened to drive the hawks from the heavens. Then a flash of lightning revealed the presence in the bomb dust of an old Asian witch with her face painted white and her lips decorated a cherry red. She had on a white flowing gown that moved swiftly. It moved as rapidly as her black fluid hair. 12 She ventured closer to the mules. As she got nearer to them the intensity of the wind increased.

A desk was overturned in the ensuing gale, freeing a mule from his tether. The mule then kicked the witch, sending her into a dozen computers. Sparks flew as the witch, choking to death from a crushed windpipe breathed her last.

“God help us!” cried the male mule that was closest to the dead witch. “God help the one responsible!”

The mule who had kicked the witch, who also happened to be a male, cried out: “No! I didn’t want to do it! I didn’t mean to do it!”

“She was bad,” said Sarah.

“Was she really?” questioned one of the praying mantises. “Or was she simply doing what one would expect a wind witch to do?”

“A wind witch?” questioned Sarah.

“Yes,” hissed the praying mantis in Sarah’s face. “Would you deny a wind witch her ancestry? Would you deny a wind witch her culture? Would you do these things for the sake of some puny computer slave? Well! Would you, my dear, would you?!”

“I don’t know!” cried Sarah in confusion as the wind faded to nothing and hideous insect like orbs bored into her eyes.

“I don’t know!” Sarah screamed after a moment of heavy silence as the air became still, the fog came in and so did the static.

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

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/

A SALUTE TO MY FRIENDS UP NORTH

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, New York, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, pulp fiction writer, set in Australia, USA, Vampire author, Writer with tags , , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN

aaaaaaaaaab

I grew up in a suburb of Bankstown in New South Wales, Australia. My fondest memories of childhood, however, were those Autumn holiday trips up north. Every year my dad would travel further and further up north until he came to Iluka, in NSW. My parents fell in love with this wonderful fishing village and, when they retired, that’s where they moved to.

Nowadays my youngest sister lives at Maclean, not far from Iluka. She is married with three kids that are not really kids any more. One will some day soon become a primary school teacher.

In my novels and short stories the Clarence River area of New South Wales gets some mention. It remains a beautiful part of my home state and I can’t see this changing much in the future. Look for references to Maclean, Iluka, Yamba and the Clarence River region in Disco Evil, Ghost Dance, and Desk Job. My latest work, Desk Job, is my salute to Lewis Carroll.

And speaking of up north, I have friends in Scotland and also in the USA. Hence Scotland and the USA also feature in my writing. I visited the USA way back in the ’70s so I do have some personal experiences there. Mind you I have friends in the USA who do tend to keep me up to day as much as news reports, fresh new novels by American writers, and the internet. And my Scottish friends do keep me informed of what is happening in Britain.