Are you ready to be disturbed?


Woodie Guthrie the folk singer once said ‘I write songs to comfort the disturbed, and to disturb the comfortable.’ So, if you don’t want to be disturbed, you’d better not watch my new video for ‘The Psychonaut’ – and you certainly won’t want to check out the two new horror artists I’ve discovered this week.
But before you move on, remember I said I’d tell you about the novella I’m working on at the moment? Well, here’s the blurb (at least it’s a first stab at one):

The disturbed #1

You’re seeking the ultimate experience, but is the prospect that you’ll be dead in the next twenty four hours a thrill too far? Fourteen T-types make landfall on Apocritas – a newly discovered, earth-like planet with extreme sporting challenges to test one’s metal. Only there’s an unanticipated additional event – dodging the bullets fired from two of the party’s self-appointed hunters. Climbing precipitous peaks, wing suiting from dizzying heights and white-water rafting down a torrent more hazardous than the Colorado, are just three of the stages to be completed. Now they have an added incentive. 
They thought the goal would be accolades from fellow coffin-dodgers and a cash prize, but the greatest reward might just be their continued survival.
From the author of The Psychonaut comes this fast-paced tale of inter-galactic horror. Available in kindle format from Amazon in August 2016

The word ‘disturbed’ doesn’t quite do justice to the emotion I’m trying to convey. The nearest I’ve come is the Italian Perturbante – meaning perturbed. Thomas Ligotti describes this feeling more eloquently than I can. In his interview with Pixar Thinking he makes reference to the real essence of horror as something disquieting but without focus:

“I would say that a story becomes disturbing when it makes us feel or think something that we never thought or felt before, which is so often something terrible. A good writer can produce stories that work upon us in this way. Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” is an excellent example of such a story. Few people have ever seen the world through the eyes of the narrator of this story, which are also the eyes of Conrad. But when they read this story, they do in fact see through these eyes. Surprisingly, what they see is something they already knew, especially what is most awful about being alive. Almost all enduring works of literature are based on what is most disturbing in life. Few people can afford to dwell on such matters very long. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to live. They would be undermined by the same horror that destroys the character of Kurtz in “Heart of Darkness.” But while they are reading Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” they are disturbed by this vision. Afterward, of course, they forget all about it so they can go on living as they did before.”

It’s well worth checking out more of this author’s thoughts on writing.

The disturbed #2

Now, how about dipping your toe into troubling waters? I’m grateful to Rachel Watts for introducing me to the idea of ‘Penny Dreadful’ 99 worders. The idea is that the story must be exactly 99 words long – no more, no less. This is quite  a demand. So here’ s what I came up with. The tale only has time to convey a flash of emotion or a snapshot of haunting imagery. So, here it is – it’s entitled Bete noir:
You ask the same question they all do – How could I? Let me pose you a counter-question – what do you desire in a lover? Attractiveness? Companionship? Loyalty? Soul-sharing? Deep, satisfying sex – and let’s not beat around the bush – that’s a must.
My beast gives me all these things. He dwells in the machine. Here, let me show you. No, don’t be afraid. Look, I climb into the nook he has opened. Ahh, his sex enters me – organic, metalloid, an orgasmic delight. You want to share? I cannot allow that. But his brother, just over there, is available.

Inspired by H.R. Giger.

The disturbed #3

This is my attempt at a promotional video for The Psychonaut. This is a second version, the first one being over-long and limited in terms of its transitions. Be sure to drop me a comment and let me know what you think:



The disturbed #4

Two zarjaz artists.

The first is James  Flaxman. He has a cartoon like style and often morphs organic forms with mechanical. Each vision produces something that is truly grotesque and often surviving despite its limitations.

This one on the left is called Leadspitter, while that on the right is Plague envoy.

Disturbed: Lead-spitter
Disturbed: Plague











You can check out a wider range of his work on my Flaxman Pinterest board:

The second artist is another from Poland. You might remember my feature on Zdzisław Beksiński. Well, this guy’s name is similarly unpronounceable: Grzegorz Kmin, Aspius. Gazing at his paintings, I’m reminded of feelings that are curiously familiar, only twisted into the bizarre and the grotesque. That’s what makes them particularly terrifying. He’s also a master of colour. Despite being very dark in a Turneresque kind of way, the different shades are incredibly vibrant. I’ve chosen two images that show him off to his best.

The one on the left is called Church, while the one on the right is Birth. I’ve attended many church services and births in the past, but none quite like these.

Disturbed: Kmit - Church
Disturbed: Kmit - Birth










Check out more images on my Kmin Pinterest board:

So that’s the round-up complete for this week. I’ve got a couple of book reviews coming up next. In the meantime,

What would you like to share, Connoisseurs of Chaos?

Do you have an undiscovered artist you’d like to share with us?

Ever fancied a go at writing a Penny Dreadful? Send it in and I’ll post it up here.

What can I improve in my Psychonaut video?

Are there any topics you’d like me to do a post on?

As always, put it on the comments below or on my Facebook page.



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