The Nameless Horror

And the results are in!

Not that you can see the entries yourselves yet, of course, but the winner of Crimeculture’s alt-Holmes flash competition, as chosen by yours truly, has been announced. All ten shortlistees will be published on Crimeculture in July, and they’re well worth a read; expect linkage as and when.

Thanks again to Kate Horsley for asking me to don my wig and gavel (the latter something I’ve been banned from waving around in public since that unfortunate incident in 2007), and if you’re one of the non-winning entrants, please don’t hate me. I’m lovely.

Review: Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat

I’m waaaaaaay later (to the tune, Finder tells me with its ‘file info’ stats, of a whole year) to this than I wanted, and I haven’t yet even finished it, but here’s the non-quite-complete book review for Andrez Bergen's superbly-titled darkly humourous sci-fi film noir hybrid thing Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat.

You can, if you follow that link to the publisher, read it for yourself, gratis, and decide if it’s worth paying actual money for (seriously; Another Sky Press puts its e-ditions out for download, with a ‘pay what you thought it was worth’ arrangement if you like them, which is very cool), and that’s probably the best way to see what it’s about. I won’t go into the plot, save to say it’s a character-driven noiry thing set in a near-future/alt-present Melbourne. If you picture Blade Runner mixed with Sam Spade and A Scanner, Darkly, you’re probably in roughly the right area.

It’s very good stuff. The writing’s sharp, Floyd (the main character), is likably miserable, and while it has its feet planted squarely in Bogart’s shoes (though it also has other feet elsewhere, so you might imagine it as some sort of centipede if that helps) it always stays the side of good rather than cheesy. The plot’s nice and convoluted and grimy, the titular goat is there, as described, and everything moves along very nicely indeed. And it has one of the finest titles there is.

I commend you to the downloadatron.


By Chip Zdarsky:

Part of my One Page series. Some names have been changed because of copyright issues.



Via the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Jack Bridges’ work on the last remaining inhabitants of Chicago’s old Robert Taylor housing project. The whole thing on his site at, along with his other work, is well worth checking out, albeit in the form of a rather dinky Flash -- .


Auto-posted to my timeline seconds after accepting a friend request from this total stranger (with, I was told, 23 mutual friends; I’m not an idiot). If you use this kind of approach yourself, anywhere, you are a fucking arse who deserves to have the internet taken away from you because you can’t be trusted with it.

Would you behave like this in actual face-to-face conversation? On first meeting a stranger? “Hello, bus driver. A single into town please, and by the way my first book is available to download and you should tell all your friends about it. Here’s the URL and why are you kicking me off…?”