TREMENDOUS NEWS! S. Elizabeth publishes a book!

ART OF OCCULT

So proud of my ghoulfriend!

The Art of the Occult is a visual feast of eclectic artwork informed and inspired by spiritual beliefs, magical techniques, mythology and otherworldly experiences. 

Mystic and occult practices date back centuries, but why, after so much scientific progress, do we still chase the esoteric? Over the past two centuries, artists have been drawn to these unknown spheres and have created curious artworks that transcend time and place. From theosophy and kabbalah, to the zodiac and alchemy; spiritualism and ceremonial magic, to the elements and sacred geometryThe Art of the Occult will explore:

  • the symbolic and mythical images of the Pre-Raphaelites;
  • the automatic drawing of Hilma af Klint and Madge Gill;
  • Leonora Carrington‘s surrealist interpretation of myth, alchemy and kabbalah;
  • the theosophical practices of Mondrian and Kandinsky;
  • and contemporary tattoo artists inspired by sacred geometry.

Featuring prominent, marginalised and little-known artists, The Art of the Occultcrosses mystical spheres in a bid to inspire and delight. Divided into thematic chapters (The Cosmos, Higher Beings, Practitioners), the book acts as a light introduction to the art of mysticism – with short chapter introductions examining each practice, followed by a series of carefully curated artworks, supported by explanatory captions.The art of the occult has always existed in the margins but inspired the masses, and this book will spark curiosity in all fans of magic, mysticism and the mysterious.

The author

S. Elizabeth (aka Mlle Ghoul) is a Florida-based writer and blogger specialising in art, the macabre and the supernatural. She has written for ‘Coilhouse’, ‘Dirge’ and ‘Death and the Maiden Blog’ and is now staff writer at ‘Haute Macabre’. S. Elizabeth was also the co-creator of The Occult Activity Book (vol 1 and 2) and runs two successful blogs: Ghoul Next Door (ghoulnextdoor.tumblr.com) and These Unquiet Things (unquietthings.com).

website!

Whither Now, Oh Muse… (OR: What’s left on The Desktop)

So, four major unfinished pieces remain on the desktop.

MaxVonSydX3_new comp

MaxVonSydX3 is a short story about Father Merrin from The Exorcist, Antonius Block from The Seventh Seal, and Ming The Merciless from Flash Gordon sitting down to an Ultimate Last Supper with a curious bystander at the end of the world… two curious bystanders, if one counts the story’s AI, and I do. Hilarity ensues!

What’s the hold-up? This damn story! Goddammit, I had 20-odd pages —some would say very odd—of notes and sketches that were destroyed in THE EXTREMELY UNFORTUNATE ANNIHILATION OF DRAX SHIT IN THE BLACK FALL OF 2018… I don’t want to even glancingly reflect on what was lost. It was bad. “Catastrophic” doesn’t come close. Anyway, those 20-odd pages were among those items lost forever. And I was so bent, man; some of those pages were hot. So I didn’t want to think about this story for a long time. But hey—it wouldn’t leave me alone. So I am thinking about it, and writing it. We’ll see.

WORLD WITHOUT BOWIE COVER

WORLD WITHOUT BOWIE is… weird. (There’s a shocker.) But seriously. It’s about a failed writer on the last day of his life and a tied-up girl. There’s also a spooky messenger in a cemetery, malevolent gravediggers, and a race of all-powerful aliens. And a tied-up girl. Who’s always tied up. For the entire story.

What’s the hold-up? Man, for the longest time I didn’t know what the flying fuck this story was. [Spoiler: a completed short story version of it is currently under consideration for a forthcoming anthology. We’ll see! Whoo-hoo!] But I really didn’t know what the fuck World Without Bowie was, what it was supposed to do or be. Another spoiler: I started it the day after Bowie died. Yes my gears grind slow.

I can tell you this much: when completed it will be a long short story / novella / short novel. And while some of the details mention above might sound like very familiar territory, it will be unlike anything I’ve ever written. ’nuff said.

HEAVY cover

Ah, HEAVY. Formerly GRAVITY. But too many movies and books claimed that title for my liking, hence the change. Which suits me just fine. What’s it about? See above. The cover says it all. Crashing planes and rock and roll.

What’s the hold-up? It can be summed in one word: FEAR. Of pulling the trigger, of completion, of final form. I think I am inching closer to that final form, however, which will be a short novel.

DARK AUGUST_Cover 2020

 

And my great unfinished “great American novel,” DARK AUGUST. This project suffers the same disease as HEAVY. But it’s on the desktop, and I poke it regularly. It will be a full-length novel. Edited to add: DA‘s now a widget in the “forthcoming” category. So it’s out of the drawer.

And, while this book is not currently on the desktop…

Doomtroopers_Typewriter

Yeah, it will continue. Once I’ve got the hook.

Any questions?

Ω

 

Well, Look at What Has a Brand New Cover…

AlwaysApoc (resized)_REVISED

Smashing, no? I’ve adored this painting, Ahasuerus at the End of the World by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl, for what seems like centuries, and it’s been on the back of my mind—for various reasons—to revise the cover of my book of poems. This morning, BOOM! Posted on twitter by Joan Pope aka @sexdeathrebirth. Many thanks. Truly an “Ah-ha” and epiphanic* moment. We are very pleased here on Planet Drax. Available now—though the old cover will still be online for a day or so, I promise the new cover (above) is what you’ll receive.

* new word alert

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They Look Pretty on the Outside…

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…but no so much on the inside. There are formatting errors and the type in the novels is so small as to be unreadable. But we are far from discouraged! We will get it right. In the meantime, don’t buy them.

(Well, you can. If you really want to. I can’t un-publish them at this point. But I’d warn draxfans against it. They can’t be un-published, but they can be improved.)

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Review: SABBATH by Nick Mamatas—Sex, Violence, and Philosophy

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SABBATH | Nick Mamatas | A Tor Trade Hardcover | $ 27.95 | 304 pages

Though I’m uncertain super-scribe Mamatas would agree (given that he mentions in the acknowledgements of his latest novel that he should thank the “meatheads in heavy metal t-shirts” but he won’t), it is however this reviewer’s belief that all true and authentic metal is deeply entrenched in matters of philosophy. I’m thinking of the thunderous epics of Zeppelin and Maiden, real bone-crunching operas that shake fists at cruel fate and indifferent skies. Thus so with SABBATH, with its titular hero Hexen Sabbath, an 11th century warrior who questions nearly every jab of his weighty blade as he cuts a bloody swath through modern day Manhattan in his quest to “track down and kill the living personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins before they bring about Armageddon!” Whew! Sabbath is aided by an “Angel of the Lord” who niftily keeps our hero 21st-century savvy with instant mental downloads, as well as a way-cool illuminated tat of NYC streets that directs Sabbath to his prey. Along for the ride are two perky art scene lasses, Jennifer and Miriam who thankfully “keep things real” and offer not so dry commentary on the mayhem and gore. Mamatas treats this admittedly ludicrous scenario with a deft hand and never allows the material to slide into dreaded tongue-in-cheek, thank god. It’s a heady—and heavy—trip that gallops to blistering heights, and Mamatas pulls it off with a master’s technique. Four out of five stars.

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And In Yet Other News…

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… the paperback edition of DOOMTROOPERS is now available via Evil Amazon. You know you want one! Assuming you don’t mind a few glaring pagination goofs, that is. Repeat after me: “Thank you Amazon Robot Typesetter.”

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In Other News…

ALWAYS APOCALYPSE ALL THE TIME is now available in paperback!

AlwaysApoc shadow

Makes the perfect (sort of) Hexmas gift!

ALWAYS APOCALYPSE ALL THE TIME now in paper

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On Sale Now: SABBATH by Nick Mamatas

Mamatas_Sabbath_Promo

 

“Like stuffing your face with Cheez Whiz while listening to Iron Maiden, this is the right kind of crazy.” —Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of Gods of Jade and Shadow

“A thought-provoking and witty satire.” —Booklist

“Armageddon has never been this funny. Run, don’t walk, to the bookseller of your choice… while you still have time.” —Simon Drax, author of A Very Fast Descent into Hell

 

O N   S A L E   E V E R Y W H E R E

F U L L   R E V I E W   C O M I N G   S O O N

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Happy All Souls, AKA Saturday November 2; HEXES Final Issue Update; Recent Films + Books + More…

spirit-2304469_1920-e1520661783949Photo: Haunted Museum of Nature

Intro!

HELLO, hello! May we please go vertigo? We will accept your silence as an implicit yes so here we go, shuffling through the wrinkled Snickers and Twix wrappers and uneaten candy corn of Halloween, another Samhain come and gone, sad but true but oh babies, don’t you panic! By the light of the night it’ll all be all right, we’ll get you a satanic mechanic…

Entry! HEXES The Final Issue, aka The Final Hex is shaping up to be the thing of things, an issue compiled entirely of original material solicited exclusively for this issue. You might want to re-read that sentence, because it’s quite the break from normal operations in HEXES land. Ya see, the modus operandi usually went like this: The Creep in the Art Department would find an image so compelling he just HAD to turn it into a magazine (or webzine, if we’re splitting atoms) cover, and then it was over to the editor (moi) to scour that week’s internet offerings for an engaging TOC and links, featuring clips of text and very pretty pics, and that was that. There were exceptions, of course, most notably in the “themed” issues, such as THE VAMPIRE SPECIAL and HELL AT LAST and DEATH BY SOUND. But even so, any given issue of HEXES was compiled entirely of preexisting material.

Not so for The Final Hex. The final issue will consist entirely of original pictures and words commissioned specifically for the bid bad swan song. Big artists, Big writers.  Behold, The Creep’s call for cover models…

HEXES Model flyer

Of course it’s internationally recognized! We have readers in the UK, Europe, Asia, Russia. Just sayin’.

At any rate, The Final Hex will be the Bees’ Knees, the Show of Shows. But we already know of at least one feature that won’t be included…

Entry! SABBATH by Nick Mamatas…

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…will be published by Tor later this month. I had originally planned on reviewing said tome in The Final Hex. However, once I began approaching certain artists and writers for the above mentioned original material, I realized they needed a doable deadline (which is December 31st, curious scribblers). SABBATH pubs in a few weeks, so my review will coincide with the release. Perhaps Nick will agree to an excerpt for inclusion in the Swan Song. Who knows? In the meantime, stay glued to these pages…

EH_pevCWwAIhWSvSpecial thanks to Tor for the ARC

Entries! Current (and currently favorite) Book: MOON by Oliver Morton. It’s a masterpiece, and Morton is nothing less than a poet.

“Oliver Morton explores how the ways we have looked at the Moon have shaped our perceptions of the Earth: from the controversies of early astronomers such as van Eyck and Galileo, to the Cold War space race, to the potential use of the Moon as a stepping stone for further space exploration.” And so much more. This book belongs on every Lunaphile’s shelf.

61QZ+TSOUpL

 

Followed by the very best heroic action film we’ve seen in way too many Moons, ALITA, Battle Angel! 

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This movie kicks ass, man, putting all the Marvel shit to shame… Wait, what? What’s that you say? Ah. The answer is Nnnno. I am in no way prejudiced or predisposed to sing Alita’s praises. Yes, I loved the original manga and 90’s era anime, but if anything that love would make me even more critical. Example: I liked this “live-action” version of Alita far more than I liked the 2010 live-action version of Space Battleship Yamato. There are solid reasons for Alita’s potency, as it was directed by Robert Rodriguez with a screenplay by James Cameron, who also served as producer with Jon Landau… um, these guys know what the fuck they’re doing. They deliver the goods.

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And finally

Entry! For all the limp scarecrows.

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For The Men: Featuring “The Binding of the Babe in the Backseat”

Dolly bound and gagged in her sexy lingerie- barefoot!

Model: Dolly / Photography: Restrained Elegance

YES, it’s ink. And I am very very pleased. I really wanted to be included in this anthology, and I am so grateful to Rose Caraway and all her hard work.

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Kindle, audio, and paperback available HERE.

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