The Last Days of Thunder Child

The Last Days of Thunder Child
War of the Worlds - spin off adaptation novel.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Watch Scotty M on YouTube - GREECE: Punishing Greece and the Successful

Check out Scotty M on YouTube. He has a lot of good things to say. I don't always agree with all the things he speaks of, but I do concerning this YouTube clip. I begin, once again, to think of voting UKIP.

Halloween on the Bin Round in March, Cambridgeshire.

The Fenland's are battling against the oncoming winter and, for the moment, the flat lands are holding their own. 

At work, we all like Fridays on the Bin round. I like it because it is the last day of the week and the bins are in my own market town of March. 

Our works' yard is also there, so we finish and work close to base. 

Today was a very strange Halloween day indeed. All week the weather as been exceptionally warm for autumn. Well, today it was 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The last day of October, in Britain, and we have 70 degrees! We worked till dusk which is around 16.30 and it was like a summer evening around 21.30. It even smelt like summer apart from the leaf fall around the streets.

Still make the most of it, because it will not last much longer. I wonder if we'll get back pay in the summer?

Monday, 27 October 2014

The Bin Round in the Fenland Market Town of Whittlesey, historically known as Whittlesea

Whittlesey, historically known as Whittlesea, is an old market town in the Fenlands of Cambridgeshire. I was emptying bins here today (27th October 2014). It was a beautiful clear autumn day with bright blue sky and the old church spire looked resplendent from every street. I had to get a snap of it because it looked so glorious.

Every where we went the spire loomed above the rooftops of all the houses and the old world streets where house's front doors opened upon the roads of the little old lanes, where our dust cart could barely get into.

It was a grand autumn day of fine weather. No doubt, one of the last before we drift into the winter months. 

Leaving the market town and heading back to March, where the depot is,  we were treated to the sight of hawks and kestrels hunting the ploughed fields, now void of their crops till next spring.

Nothing compares to old England on days like this. I was just wondering about the little lanes and doing my job with the spire against the sky. It was a gem of a day.

UK's Official Migration Watch Tells the Truth about Uncontrollable Migration of Millions Pouring Into Britain.

Migration Watch telling the truth. The cold hard facts of what is happening and how the EU hamstrings the UK and its electorate from being able to govern their boarders and prevent this. We MUST LEAVE THE E.U.

Please bring the referendum forward and vote UKIP.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

A Dangerous Gamble - EU without Britain - Splendid Debate on German t.v.

This is a great debate on German t.v. One of the best I've seen yet. Sensible talk by rational people. Well worth a watch. No one gets over excited and no one butts in. Everyone gets to talk and is listened to. Also the presenter is A-one with questions to each person.

My own conclusion is that the UK cannot avoid leaving the EU now because both sides of the argument are locked in a paradox. The pro-European German and don't budge on concessions man sees the UK as never being satisfied, no matter how many concessions she wins. It will never be enough. He does have a point.

The other pro - European German man is more for allowing concessions and is understanding of British concerns. He seems more ready to try and persuade the UK to remain. Although he does not like the immigration angle of the UK. Unfortunate because it is the dominating one. Wrong or right; immigration is the main issue for the overall UK electorate.

The young British man who is also pro-European sees the sad reality of why the UK might leave the EU concerning uncontrolled migration, which will dominate the referendum vote, regardless of losing power and influence on the world stage. The UK electorate will prioritise reasons for and against. He tries to point out that all though the reasons against leaving are sound economically, in some ways, the UK will not put that above other issues and also many in the city of London are beginning to regard the finance industry as being hamstrung.

It is also agreed that the EU might lose more and be forced to change anyway by a UK withdrawal. Also the UK is not afraid of going out into the big wide world. The island nation has never feared this. Something the German man who fears making concessions admitted too.

Its a great debate with many different points of view spoken by articulate people on all sides of the discussion. I really enjoyed this and it does leave me feeling sad that the UK will probably leave the EU, but is also a very necessary thing.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham - Dystopian future Sci/Fi

This is a great dystopian story and like all John Wyndham; so well written. This is my third favourite of John Wyndham novels. Its not that it does not make the grade, because it does. Its just that The Midwich Cuckoos and The Chrysalids were so fabulously out there. The Day of the Triffids is too, so my advise is to read all three. You'll not be disappointed in any of these sci/fi gems.

The Day of the Triffids gives us a chilling dystopian world were Triffid plants are being cultivated for their oil and so on. The plants are dangerous because they can move and have a lethal sting. Only specialists can farm them. 

Then a meteor shower cripples the world population. Over night everyone who witnessed the comet display becomes blind by the following morning. Civilisation is at an end and nothing can function. Only a handful of people, who never saw the meteor display, can see. They are so few in number that they cannot do anything for the multi-millions of people who are blind. 

The cultivated triffids brake free from the confines in the agriculture industry, which no longer functions. As said, the plants can move and have a sting. They can also consume dead flesh. The blind population are a feast awaiting triffid attention.

The world is turned upside down and the survivors with sight have their work cut out for them. Only the strong and ruthless can survive. The millions of blind are of little use.

Now you get the picture?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Battlestar Galactica Blood & Chrome (Off shoot movie in the Battlestar Galactica Universe)

I was in town wondering around my local supermarket when I saw a swivel stand with cheap DVDs. Also, to my surprise, was a couple of sides donated to cut price blu-ray movies. These were selling at £5.

I noticed several that I might like being a Sci/Fi and historical fan.  On the historical front, I could only see two which was Braveheart and Gladiator. Gladiator is fantastic, but I already have it and unfortunately, I can't stand Braveheart because it is about a load of Sweaty Socks winning against the English. I'm English and can't stand the Sweaties winning anything. Even if its a football match, so Hell can freeze over before I would even give Braveheart a viewing again. 

What I did get was Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator - a peach of a movie and one called Battlestar Galactica - Blood & Chrome. I watched all of the new t.v. series and enjoyed, so for £5, I thought I might give the off shoot movie a go.

It was a sort of b-movie made for t.v. relying on some special effects that one might see in a video game, but the plot moved along fast and the small group that the story centred about worked well. The plot progressed in several stages of adventure while our heroes went upon a quest. 

It was not the best movie I've ever seen, but then I did not expect it to be. It was, however, pleasantly surprising because I found it a little better then my expectations. It also had a great ending for me. 

The Cylons were not overplayed either. The viewer is aware of them more as an unseen enemy for most of the movie. We get glimpses of them at a distance, in the beginning, and the unseen knowledge of them works too. Off course they make an appearance towards the end, but the entire story works well without them for most. I can't believe how enjoyable this little modest movie was.

I would say it is well worth a buy if you see it going cheap in the supermarket. A good story with some good action sequences. The film moved at a nice pace and did not get bogged down along the way. It flowed well and the effects worked. I would give it a 7.5 out of 10. 

Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut) on Blu-ray

I'm an absolute glutton for anything medieval and especially if its done good. Ridley Scott has a wonderful signature with camera work. Atmospheric sets - javelins of light through curtains and all captures ambiance and makes the watcher feel as though he is inside the story.

He did this with The Duellists back in 1977 when capturing the period of Napoleonic France. He did it with Gladiator and Ancient Rome. In the Kingdom of Heaven, he does it with the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 1180s.

Our hero is a re-invented version of Balian - a real knight of the Holy land who had to defend Jerusalem against Saladin the Great. In real life Balian was a married man in his early fifties. However, for our story Balian is a much younger man who is a widower in his early twenties. He goes to the Holy land in search of redemption for his dead wife who committed suicide. He is of humble origin in the story, though this was not so in real life. It does not matter because our Kingdom of Heaven story is a wonderful work of art with so many grand historical characters in it. We have Baldwin the IV - The Christian leper king of Jerusalem, Guy De Lusignan, Raynald De Chatillon and, of course, Saladin the Great.

The Directors cut is by far the best version to get and on Blu-ray it is an absolute peach of a movie. There is some 45 minuets extra footage concerning much of Queen Isabella's dilemma concerning her young son. I loved this movie and would say its one of Ridley Scott's best. (Does he have bad movies?)

Well worth the money and I would give it a 10 out of 10. 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

More Sales for HMS Thunder Child Pastiche Story and the Growing Idea for a New Book Cover!

All fans of War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells have their own idea about the ironclad HMS Thunder Child. We know the brave little ship charged three Martian tripods to aid the escape of a paddle steamer.

In my pastiche story: The Last Days of Thunder Child by C.A. Powell, I always see the plucky little coastal defence vessel as obsolete. Even by 1898 standards. She still has short stubby muzzle loading guns. Of course the Royal Navy did away with muzzle loaders after the teribble accident aboard HMS Thunderer during a gunning excersise off Marmora in 1879.

For the pastiche story of HMS Thunder Child, the little ironclad ram has not been updated with breech loading guns. The ship is a misfit and ready to be decomisioned and broken up. The Martian consequence allows the ship a respite from the scrap yard.

I'm planning a more dynamic cover for the book, which has had several edits and new font work after opinions that print was too small. It has been edited with font setting to 250+ pages now. 

All that is needed is a more dynamic cover. This will be tendered out for competition soon with prize money for the winning entry.

I have been designing how I imagine Thunder Child to look on an art package. Of course the design will look more detailed and realistic when it is tendered out for competition on new cover idea. However, I hope the small designs and doodles would give a potetial artist an opinion of what I'm looking for in the new book cover. Also, I'll need bold eye-catching writing for the title and author name. At the back will be the short synopsis and brief which is already on the book.

I hope that gradually my vessel will inspire a talented book cover desiner or artist to have a go. The project will be launched on crowdSPRING in the new year.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Dario Argento's Dracula Movie

I've always watched Dario Argento's movies because the first horror or X film I ever got into the cinema to watch, was Suspiria - a great Argento movie. I loved the film Suspiria and have watched it so many times. In my view it is his best. Therefore, I keep watching Argento films hoping he will get the right ingredients, as he did in Suspiria.

However, to date, I've yet to come across an Argento movie that even comes close to the atmospheric suspense that Suspiria had for me. When I saw the title in my supermarket; Argento's Dracula, I thought, 'Wow! maybe good old Dario has pulled another one out of the bag. It would be about time too, since 1977.

The front cover boasted good actors: Thomas Kretschmann and Rutger Hauer. Therefore, with ill deserved confidence, I bought the DVD and that evening, with arrogant aplomb, I sat down to watch the Argento version of Dracula.

Oh dear! I waisted a couple of hours of my life. I felt robbed and cheated and begin to wonder when Argento will make another movie that could even compare with Suspiria. I can't help thinking that actors of Kretschmann and Hauer's mold might be a little disappointed by the finished product too.

I'll keep watching Argento movies because of the one good one I have seen - Suspiria. I will keep living in hope, but everything he has done since can't begin to compare. In my humble opinion, Argento's Dracula did not flick any switches for me. It is not important that it drifted from the original story because there are so many good adaptations of Dracula. So a different slant is fine and I expected such. It's just that the presentation of the whole thing was dreadful. The acting and all. It just did not work. It was worse then a bad Hammer House horror.

Keep trying Dario and look at all the grand suspense you created in Suspiria. You got it all right in that. You just never seemed to be able to build upon it it.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Death of Grass - A Dystopian World Novel by John Christopher

The ultimate dystopian world novel. It was written and set in Britain during the 1950s so it has a retro flavour about it. All forms of grass are becoming infected by the Chung Li virus and gradually this blight is spreading around the world. Grass is dying - all forms. Even wheat, barley and other life essential crops. Starvation and mayhem ensue.

Britain is a small island and we see the rapid disintegration of society and the governments dreadful response to the growing dilemma as a small bunch of people try to leave London and head north to England's Lake district where the group leader's brother has an enclosed farm within the mountains of Cumbria. Here he grows sugar beat and keeps pigs. Suddenly the land is a prized asset but trying to reach a destination across an island with desperate bands of people battling for survival is another thing altogether. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Harry's Game - A Gritty Thriller (set in Northern Ireland during the mid seventies.) by Gerald Seymour

Gritty story set during the mid 1970s in Northern Ireland during the height of the IRA conflict. A high profile British government worker is targeted and killed by the Provisional IRA outside his home in London. The British Government cannot allow such an act to go by without a response - a severe response. In the corridors of power, ministers sanction the intellegence services to formulate a robust and hard hitting response. The British decide to target the very IRA assassin in his own area of believed safety - the Ardoyne area of Republican Belfast. 

A pro-Britsih, Northern Irish army officer, serving in the British army is sent under cover to locate and terminate the IRA assassin. Gradually the under cover oprative weaves his way around the streets of the Ardoyne and begins to blend in with the local population. 

Very pacey thriller that keeps one turning the pages, especially when the local IRA Brigade commander learns that a suspected British agent is within the no go zones of Republican Belfast. Can the Brit be found? Can the Brit home in on his prized kill - the IRA assasin?

Smashing read. Give it a go!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Isaac Asimov's The Naked Sun - Retro Brit Review.

This is one of Issac Asimov's best novels in my opinon. A detective must leave his over populated world where people live in confined spaces underground. Our hero is agoraphobic and must visit a planet where a world is sparsely populated and very open. The inhabitants of the planet live solitary lives in mansions and are surrounded by robots as servants. When they socialise, they do so via holographic forms. They visit each other only via holograms. They procreate via artificial insemination and can't stand being in the physical presence of one another.

Therefore when a murder occurs, know one knows how to deal with it or how to investigate it. The problem is, our detective needs to interview people, and is agoraphobic too. He can't stand the open spaces. He has the help of an android and must solve the murder mystery and go before people who are physically repulsed by his mere presence. How can these people even get the chance to murder one another?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John Le Carre. (My little blog Review)

Our burnt out operative is called Alec Lemus and an unglamourous alcove of British intelligence wants him for a mission. In order to be convincing he must sink low down in British society. A violent drunk sacked from employment and sent to the benefits office in search of a new job. This scruff is useless and on the scrap heap. This is just prep work. He drinks and attacks a store owner. Its still prep work. He befriends a librarian who is an idealistic young girl. Its just prep work. He is sent to prison for assault. Its all prep work.

Then from the shadows of the under world he hopes to lure communist field agents who come posing as social carers. Then the mission can really begin. 

Set in 1964 during Britain's struggle with the communist bloc nations. This is no James Bond stuff. Its low down, seedy and dirty. Our hero is a burnt out field agent and his betters seem to operate out of seedy little office apartments in Oxford Circus. He knows the game he thinks he's seen it all. Or has he?

Brilliant! Absolutely Brilliant! 

Why I believe the UK must Desperately Push to Leave the European Union.

Why I believe the UK must Desperately Push to Leave the European Union.

I am gone through a real conflict of interests where the European Union is concerned and with the UK's association with it. I've tried so hard to look at the positives of the EU and I beleive there could be. However, the time has come to make one's mind up and I have reluctently decided that the UK needs to leave the EU as soon as possible. It would take too long to try and change things and perhaps we could never do this anyways. 

I try to see the long term logic and think there is one. However, when I consistently see the amount of socialists at the helm of this organisation, the more I am sure we are on the wrong bus going in the wrong direction. The union of European countries is scary when it imposes mass, uncontrolled and extremely irresponsible free movement of people upon national governments. I believe it was a well intentioned law that had unforeseeable consequences for Eastern European migration. 

In the UK we are alarmed about; not thousands of migrants, not hundreds of thousands of migrants, but multi-millions. This is not an exaggeration. We hear politicians telling us we are over stating this, but we are not. We have some of the political classes trying to evade the question and this just fuels resentment of the electorate not being listened to or not being given a voice.

Where I live in the Fenlands of England, I can go into our market towns and struggle to hear my English language being spoken. Everywhere are the voices of Poles, Lithuanians or Estonians. I resent this and get angry about it all. Perhaps I'm a racist for feeling this way. O.K. then stick that label on me.

These Eastern Europeans are decent enough people. I've not come across individuals that I have disliked and many of them do seem to work hard. What I have seen is that there are far too many of these foreign people in my country. When I go to work I see many of my fellow British people who have not been able to get council accommodation while people from other countries jump to the top of the housing list. We can't keep being this generous to foreign people, even if they are decent and well meaning. There are too many of them.

I refuse to be shouted down for saying this because it is true and I utterly resent it all. I feel our country and its ruling classes have let us down big time. Our grand parents and great grand parents were called upon to defend this land and now it is being taken from us. We are not supposed to complain and we cannot trust any of the politicians who continuously try to evade or play the problem of irresponsible mass migration down.

What a Load of Toffee!

The EU only gets the arguments of meddling Banking reforms from high profile Brit protectionist of this industry. High ranking people who seem to get the politicians fighting their corner for them. The argument about Britain in the EU is not banking laws, but mass, uncontrollable migration of millions of people. I feel the high ranking business men of Britain use the electorate as a weapon to protect their ambitions in city finance. Give us our way on certain laws or we'll unleash the electorate of the UK on you. They are not our champions and we are not theirs. We are different in our resentment and banking reforms have nothing to do with it all. The big guns might as well argue over what colour table tops their offices should have. Its all meaningless to the rank and file who are swamped and false fed these benefits of mult-cultralism and how its enriching our society. What a load of toffee! 

For this reason I have now decided. I'll vote UKIP and UKIP only. I'll not be swayed by Tories telling me it is a vote for Labour. I'm voting UKIP because I do not believe we have a choice anymore. Other parties give us half baked truths or else evade and feed us statements that are economical of truth. 

Peaky Blinders (Birmingham Gangsters from Victorian to Post WWI)

Who were the real Peaky Blinders? These gangs were notorious in Victorian times in the city of Birmingham, UK. They wore peaked caps as everyone of working class background did. However, they had razor blades inside their peaks which were put to violent use during fighting. They were early gangsters who ran rackets by intimidation. 

With authoritative and organised networks they began to run illegal gambling outlets and steadily accumulated large sums of money.

Now the BBC has made a new t.v. series called: Peaky Blinders

This drama is set not during Victorian times, but post WWI. Many of the gang members are ex-soldiers from the trenches of France. In the USA, the American film makers make wonderful stories of their historical criminal gangs. It is good to see a UK drama based upon the gangs that were going in Britain. All the big cities had them, but the Peaky Blinders were Birmingham based.

Our post WWI Peaky Blinders gang are around in 1919 and it is a very turbulent time in the UK. Ireland is fighting for secession from Britain and the street gangs of Britain are becoming more organised due to army experience and unemployment after serving their nation. There is wide spread resentment and the times are rather turbulent.

In the BBC production of the Peaky Blinders; our gang have attempted to steal boxed motor bikes from the BSA motor bike making company. The accidentally steal an arms consignment of various weapons, including 25 Lewis machine guns. These are hot potatoes that the Peaky Blinders could do without. So they stash them in a secret location.

In London the government are concerned that the Birmingham gangsters might put the guns up for sale to the IRA who are fighting against Crown Forces in Ireland. Winston Churchill summons a Chief Inspector from Belfast's Royal Irish Constabulary. This Chief Inspector Campbell, played by Sam Neil, comes over to Birmingham and is put in charge of the English cities constabulary in the particular area of Birmingham where the Peaky Blinder gang is operating. With the chief inspector is a contingent of dreaded B specials - a protestant pro-British Irish police force.

BBC Peaky Blinders Gangster Drama

Also an under cover pro-British, protestant Irish woman who infiltrates a Peaky Blinder pub as a bar maid. She is really a loyalist under cover operative charged with trying to find out information about the Peaky Blinder gang led by Cillian Murphy.

The story works very well with a strange twist where by the pro-British Irish are trying to police subversive English working class gangsters in England. It works wonderfully well and the story was rather gripping with all sorts of twists and turns. My only criticism of the drama was the music. We get rock music (electric guitar) fanfares to promote moments of excitement. I just could not get my head around those bits of background music. Musical rock pieces don't go well with the 1919 short back and sides hair cut settings. It could have been English/Irish folk jigs. I honestly think this would capture the mood more.

Still aside from the background music, I did enjoy the Peaky Blinders drama. There is now a season two coming out, and I'm looking forward to it. Well worth a watch if you like historical dramas. 

Bringing You Thunder Child to the Rescue and her Growing Audience.

H.M.S. Thunder Child's story seen from the crew of the ship. Read a pastiche of War of the Worlds from a different perspective. 

H.G. Wells captivated audiences in 1898 with his story of an alien invasion from Mars. There have been a few adaptations of this story over the past hundred years and more.

Here is another angle that science fiction fans will, I hope, enjoy. 

The crew of the old ironclad are expecting their small coastal defence vessel to be taken to the scrap yard. They still have obsolete muzzle loading guns. The rest of the Royal Navy have been re-equipped with longer barrel breech loaders. H.M.S. Thunder Child was nearing the end of her service and for this and other obscure reasons remained without her upgrades.

Then the little ironclad wins a reprieve and is sent on a final reconnaissance mission. There are rumours circulating about a Martian invasion. Some believe it is all part of an exercise - the sort of silly things that the services invent for training purposes. Then there are the outrages semaphore messages and the unusual amount of vessels with foreign navies coming into British coastal waters and being welcome. What an Earth is going on?

Then the crew see hordes of refugees along the coast and gradually the sinister reality dawns. Their little floating world is upon the fringe of unreality. There are aliens from Mars and they are roaming the land. Destroy all and everything before them.