Doctor Shamass, 1896 – Part 5



Dear readers, I can tell you, it ends! This year, the sixth and final part of A Christmas Tale of H.B. Shamass, 1896, will be winging its way across the world by other than electronic means …

If, perchance, you wish to receive hard copies of this story, email me at antyphayes [at] gmail [dot] com and say hello

However before you can read part six you need to read the fifth. And, dear and loyal raeders of the airwaves, here be the fifth part, finally in zipbook form.

The fourth part was published in the Shamass card of 2014the third part was published in the Shamass card of 2013the second part was published in the Shamass card of 2012, and the first part was published in the Shamass card of 2011.

To recap:

In part 1, Lord Jacks & ass., nemesis par excellence, captured our hero and transported him to the southernmost continent for nefarious ends. As all loyal readers know, such is the case even though this noble blackguard had never yet figured in the back catalogue. Shipwrecked on an icy shore, Shamass, Jacks & some remaining ass. approach the Antarctic plateau and the mysterious entry to the lair of the most enigmatic of souls: Saint Rouge.

In part 2, Doctor Shamass, Jacks & some remaining ass. find succor in the Lair of Saint Rouge, co-conspirator of Lord Jacks. But wait, Saint Rouge is not in league with Jacks, he is a saltwort friend of the good Doctor! Alas Jacks finds out this noble deception and after a brief but decisive struggle throws Shamass into the vast dark of the hollowed out Earth [cf. the diagram on the back of the 1896 (cont.) card].

In part 3, Doctor Shamass, flung into the vast and empty void within the (hollow) Earth itself, fell and dreamt of other days and impossible things.

In part 4, the good Doctore, having been kidnapped, carted, shipwrecked, and sword fightin’, plunging-through-the-very-centre-of-the-earth-n’-rescued-from-the-howling-wastes-of-the-North-Pole-by-themysterious-Miss-X, discovers himself once more in the clinging grasp of his sinister nemesis par excellence. A battle ensues.

Now read on…

[and don’t forget all things Shamass here]
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O’Connor Shops, Canberra, 1994

O'Connor Shops, Canberra, 1994

O’Connor Shops, Canberra, 1994

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New SF short story – “Tumbleweeds”


A new story by my third favourite author: Tumbleweeds by Ainslie Hill. Available from the good people at Andromeda Spaceways (issue 64).

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S.H.U. – Arkham Towers

Arkham Towers

A sonic project I am involved in. Our latest “album” available here.

More S.H.U. evil available here.

Posted in Canberra, Cut-ups, Détournement, Music, Poetry, Science Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Study for a failed painting



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Warhol’s fake boxes: It’s the economy, stupid

The following essay was first published on the now defunct blog on 9 January 2008. I wrote it in response to the “revelation” that the Warhol Brillo boxes then on display at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art were “fakes”. Of course the revelation was nothing of the sort. Warhol, like the detestable Avida Dollars, was never above faking his own work — not to mention working his own fakes. In the case of the Brillo Boxes, Warhol’s “creativity” amounting to reproducing what had already been mass reproduced in a factory. Which is to say, a slight variation on Duchamp’s readymade with none of the original’s verve or corrosive criticism.

One of the themes of this piece is the venality of self-professed “internationally renowned art experts” like Pontus Hulten. As wiser people have remarked about such shady characters, they’re only in it for the money.

There are a few things I would change if I was writing…

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Alien Earth (1949) by Edmond Hamilton – sf short story review

First appearance: in Thrilling Wonder Stories (April 1949) – ed. Sam Merwin, Jr.

The version I read: in The Great Science Fiction Stories Volume 11, 1949 (1984) – ed. Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg


I hazard to even guess what is going on in this pic. At the very least the contrast in clothing options is remarkable.

Poor Edmond Hamilton! Should I even say such a thing?

“The slow, pulsing beat of day and night alone was enough to unseat one’s reason.” (152)

Variously known as the world saver and world destroyer, Hamilton was one of the few kings of the 1930s pulps who continued to have a relatively successful career after the Campbell “revolution”. To the extent that this was also helped by his marriage to the excellent Leigh Bracket, author of the cool Eric John Stark stories (and script writer of one of the best westerns bar none, Rio Bravo) is a question worth pursuing – but sadly beyond the scope of this brief review.

“But modern man has forgotten this other Earth. Except me, Farris – except me!” (156)

Alien Earth is a story published some years after Hamilton’s pulp heyday. Even though it is perhaps more ruminative of the insignificant fate of the human against the background of “nature” than much pulp, it’s pure pulpy goodness nonetheless. The fetid, jungle setting initially reminded me of Ballard’s The Crystal World (The Drowned World?). Even the central conceit of Ballard’s novel appears to be influenced by Hamilton, albeit filtered through Ballard’s self conscious concern with literary modernism. In the story Hamilton channels H.G. Wells and William Hope Hodgson, in the process turning Wells’ The New Accelerator on its head to reveal a hidden world which surrounds and under-girds humanity’s misplaced self-importance. All with a dash of colonialist hierarchies (the drug addled intellectual fled to the authenticity of the jungle frontier) and you have the perfect pulp confection.

Just my kind of story!


At the gates of a mysterious and needless to say futuristic city our hardy protagonist ponders her fate astride a Kanger-Tauntaun…

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