Gray Skies and Current Things

I’ve never understood the mass hostility toward gray weather—no matter the season. For me (admittedly not qualifying as “most people”), rain and gloom go together like chicory and coffee.

This is one of those gray days . . . rain ticking against the roof, and me ready for only a few minutes on WordPress.

Wednesday night, I was the guest of host Jeremy Scott and producer Amanda Curran, on Dark Thirty Radio. Good energy, intelligent host, and my voice seemed to hold out. Probably I could’ve done without the three triple espressos, but my personal policy forbids alcohol during live interviews—unprofessional, and kind of dishonest.


As of today (21 May), I’m tentatively penciled in for a July 7th slot with host Dave Scott on Canada’s Spaced Out Radio (I’ll forgive them the missing hyphen in their title). I’ve always very much liked Canada. Let’s face it, that country gave us—among other nifty things—the music of Rush, Cowboy Junkies, director David Cronenberg, my colleague author Sèphera Girón, the best seasons of The X-Files, and damn fine bacon.


Yesterday my new short story, “Ambiguity Error,” went live on Amazon. The tale is (very loosely) based on SF master Philip K. Dick’s “Beyond the Door,” first published in the January 1954 issue of Fantastic Universe, edited by Beatrice Jones. I’ve long been fascinated with this very unphildickian yarn, and when I learned adaptation rights were available, I went for it. Phil’s version is perhaps not as dark as mine, except for the ending, but his later works—The Penultimate Truth, The Man in the High Castle, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (filmed as Blade Runner), The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, A Scanner Darkly and, especially, the mind-imploding Valis—maintain an enduring presence in my life. Outside of Nabokov, no other writer has so clearly articulated the lacerating emotional and philosophical horror of possessing an infinity of thought and sensation in a finite world.


Too, here was an opportunity to explore a near-future scenario involving a global corporation in cahoots with the European Space Agency and the Russians, with a cynical goal of terraforming Venus. Besides, Mars has—so to speak—been done to death in science fiction. I’d like to think Phil would approve of “Ambiguity Error” and its Slavic gravity, isolated characters grappling with timeless conflicts, and admitting with grim certainty that humankind, if it survives, will export its traumas and tyrannies across the solar system and beyond.

Ministry, “Dream Song”



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