Midnight Widows Progress Report: May 2019

Time for another update on the shape of Midnight Widows, the comic I’m putting together with my lovely artistic team. The last time I posted an update, my pre-crowdfund to-do list was down to five items; now, it’s been whittled away to just three. Rather tidily, each of those three tasks has fallen to a different person; my job is to finish off the promotional film.

While I’m hesitant to make any promises right now, it is quite possible that the crowdfunding campaign will launch this month.

Until then, here’s a sneak peek from issue 2. Pencils by Marcela Hauptvogelova, colours by Jio Butler, inks and script by myself…

Page 3 issue 2


Clare Winger Harris and the 16 Main SF Themes (circa 1931)

The August 1931 edition of Hugo Gernsback’s Wonder Stories has a letter from author Clare Winger Harris where, after some comments on the science fiction films (or lack thereof) existing at the time, she identifies what she believes to be the 16 main categories of science fiction:

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How I Spent April 2019


Winter is finally fading away as we approach the final British springtime of the decade, and fittingly, April was a month of transition for me: I spent a good chunk of it getting ready for things that’ll be happening in May.

For a start, my book on The Mummy is scheduled to be published at the end of May, so that’s something for me to look forward to. I’m still gearing up for the Midnight Widows crowdfunding campaign, and May is still looking to be a viable date. I’ve also had a short story accepted for an anthology, but I won’t be able to go into detail until the formal announcement in — yes — May.

So, I’m pretty eager to see May roll around. As for April, well, I got a few things done…

Articles of mine published elsewhere this month:

Article topics for May and beyond:



On Amazing Stories issue 25


The latest post in my Amazing Stories retrospective is now live; this time I’m looking at the April 1928 issue, which includes a rather marvellous story called “The Yeast Men” (a fitting alternate title would be… DOUGHLEMS).

This issue marks the magazine’s second anniversary; I’ve now covered two whole years of this pioneering publication, and two thirds of Hugo Gernsback’s run as editor. Bit of a milestone…

The Demonologist and the Thief

A few times now I’ve butted heads with a chap named Brian Niemeier, a hard-right indie sci-fi author who believes that demons are turning people into Marxists. I’ve seem Niemeier turning up as a topic in the blogosphere again lately; these discussions have focused mainly on his religio-political views, but I’d like to take the opportunity to talk about something a little different. I want to point out how Brian Niemeier has made a grave ethical lapse as an author by lending support to a known plagiarist.

Now, this isn’t exactly news. I mentioned the subject in passing back in 2017, but I didn’t go into detail. With this post, I hope to make the case clearer.

First, let me introduce the plagiarist who Niemeier supports. His name is Douglas S. Taylor and he runs a one-man publishing company called DarcWorX. Taylor has committed literally dozens of acts of plagiarism by using copyrighted artwork without permission on book covers, publicity material and merchandise. I’ve already written in detail about my experiences with Taylor, but if you don’t have time to read that, here are a few samples of Taylor’s theft:

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The Grimms at their Grimmest?

A lot’s been said about how the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm are sometimes darker and more twisted than the sanitised versions consumed by today’s children. We all know about the mutilations that happen in the Grimms’ version of Cinderella, and some of us have dug deeper and found such oddities as Hans-My-Hedgehog or The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage. And yes, we’ve all made thunderingly obvious puns involving “Grimm” and “grim”. Myself included, in the title of this very post, because I’m that lazy.

But there’s one story in particular I’d like to bring up; one I’ve never heard anyone talk about in the context of freaky fairy tales. That surprises me as it contains what must surely be the single most twisted moment in the entire Grimm canon. It’s called Cherry, or the Frog Bride.

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