Friday, August 27, 2004

It's about time an' all. I was never comfortable with this funny writing name - nobody ever understood what I was trying to achieve with it and I could never bring it out into the public without a twinge of discomfort.

My name is Mike Philbin. I have also dropped the SURREALIST sub-moniker. It was all too corny - confrontational is good until it becomes corny. This will be the last Hertzan Chimera post and from this point on, people interested in reading more of my work will have to look for the name Mike Philbin on the mass market book shelves. It may take some time to get back up to speed but that's the whole idea.

go here to continue this blog

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I usually don't give a shit what people think about my writing; it's none of my concern. What I don't like is misunderstanding about my motives or belief. One well known writer Ray Garton responded to an announcement I made about the exclusive PRETTY SCARY feature interview of the 8 co-writers of CHIM + HER (my new book from Cyber Pulp). He was wondering (quite understandably, I guess) if I talk the same as I write, he was also wondering if I talk about myself in the third person, "like the Royal WE the Queen of England might use" (as he put it) in real life. Was he really calling me a queen? His question did come across as an attack, or at the very least a hugner for blood (maybe Ray is a vampire - I'm sure he won't find this in the least bit funny either). I sometimes don't understand the American psyche or their humour (and I'm sure this is mutual in the other direction across the Atlantic). I'm not sure what riled Ray - maybe it's that I sign on to writer boards as Hertzan Chimera (I have to, nobody knows Mike Philbin in writing circles, nor should they, he hasn't written a word) but then talk about Hertzan Chimera in the third person, something I do a lot when talking about Hertzan Chimera fiction...

HERTZAN CHIMERA does not exist.

Hertzan Chimera is a writing entity; a label, a ghost in the machine. In the same way that Nike doesn't exist other than to describe a brand of sports wear, so I attribute the name Hertzan Chimera to those things I write. It's not like Mike Philbin writing something (I don't even know what a piece of Mike Philbin writing might be like). Mike Philbin lives in the realworld, he has to take public transport and talk with people in shops on a one-to-one level. He certainly doesn't lead anything like the surreal life of the characters in his Hertzan Chimera books. Nobody could. And that's the point, they're fiction.

The joy of going through the fiction-al Hertzan Chimera 'writing membrane' is that I don't need to concentrate on ANYTHING. These extreme pieces of writing aren't dreams as such, they're not transcribed directly from a dream diary (though I used to keep dream diaries to enhance surreal content).

I do feel a little 'uncomfortable' when I am greeted in person as "Hertzan" or "How do you pronounce 'Chimera'?" at some trade show or writerly get together here in the UK. I tell them, "Mike, my name's Mike." I KNOW in my own mind that the Hertzan Chimera identity only exists when my fingers move across a keyboard. He's not even there when the interface with the keyboard is not necessary (like when I'm eating my tea or riding a bike). I can think of subjects, I can plan things to write but it's the Hertzan Chimera entity that actually puts the words in the sentences and attributes mood and motivation.

Yep, this is dangerous and can lead to delusion.

I live once and with that life I will do as I please.

I am happy that the 'invented' Hertzan Chimera entity is allowing me to fully explore ANY subject without censorship, editing or self-debate. I feel like a landlord with a skeleton key to every door imaginable. It's a liberation. But also strange because when I talk about 'it' (the writing persona) I have to use the third person.

And that's the way our 'relationship' has to be. I often look back on pieces of writing I have done using the Hertzan Chimera free-form and sometimes do not recognise it at all. It IS as if somebody else has written it. And I like that. I like the fact that those things can rise automatically from the psyche. Though I don't publicly associate my self with the output of the Hertzan Chimera writing device, I do realise that it is transcribing a silent partner or never-normally-used part of my self.

This is fine, but doesn't have to be integrated into my daily persona. It is a separate thing. A machine that I only switch on when I need to write Hertzan Chimera fiction (which I always do at a keyboard in one sitting). I know I am the power behind the Hertzan Chimera writing label but I don't feel subservient to it's personality. I am in control and it only exists when I let it.

famous last words, eh?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Just spent my Uk-equivalent of $10 and I must say, cut off the first five minutes of sickeningly blatent adverts and the last five minutes of wet-eye, and what an enjoyable film this way. They even had that kid in it Shia LeBeouf out of Even Stevens - he's probably the funniest actor in America right now.

Great fun - but I still wonder why it's okay to show full-frontal animal sex on "Natural History" shows and fully-explicit-robot violence on a 12a certificate film.


Pretty Scary dot Com - the site for women in horror have just uploaded their latest feature, an interview with the co-writers of CHIM+HER.

Women are strange beasts. Under their skins lie terrors, fears, desires and horrors the likes of which men never see, can never understand. In this unique collaborative collection, Hertzan Chimera takes on eight of the most extreme female authors ever.

thanks to Heidi Martinuzzi and Elizabeth Blue for putting this together.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I think I've broken the middle finger on my left hand. I can't be sure but I went to Cambridge last weekend (like ten days ago) and played some volleyball, no it wasn't the volleyball. There was also an American football. There were four or five of us over the course of that Saturday who enjoyed throwing that ball around the field. Right at the end (isn't it always the way, making errors when you're tired) I caught the ball as it came in from altitude and the tip of my middle finger on that left had bent back. It swelled up real red all through Sunday and still now nine or ten days later, it's still swelled on the knuckle there. I am not sure if it's broken but the joint there is still a bit sore and swollen, the colour died down though, so I'm thinking it's just a bad bruise.

Despite this, I've been tapping away at my new story THE PLANET OF THE OWLS. I don't wanna say too much about it but it's going real well. I don't wanna even say if it's a book yet or just a very long story. It's at a stage now where I have the first part of the book done now, a comfortable 11,500 words. This could live on its own, as is. Or I could get further inspiration and write the second part of the story, I am not sure yet if it will sustain itself through, there's potential though. Some place like Interzone might go for such a long, kafka-esque work. I've had the sketch of "Owls" for a few months now, gestating - finally, the little chick has pecked its way out. It's gonna scare some people and I like that.

more updates as/when they occur.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Well, the weather this week here in the U.K. has been absolutely horrible. Torrential rain, floods, mud slides, thunder & lightning. But still, I managed to reach the 50,000 word limit on A NORMAL LIFE? after two weeks of effort. I decided at the end of last week that I would actually start naming names. I began by making up some names for people in my life, people you know only through my subjective view of them - I decided to call them names like Moustache Man and The Twitcher (this gives sufficient description of the person in question. Pure subjectivity rules, remember). That's what a diary/journal is all about. Nearly truth, subjective observation. I decided to actually name all the towns and cities I had lived ina during the first 38 years, it was getting a bit too disorienting even for me calling them Northern Town 1 and Southern Seaside Town. If you work it out, that's a mere 1000 words for every year on this planet. Not a lot is it? But that's all I can manage to want to put into it anyway it's not really about the whole year. As long as I have at least one or two memories to jot down from each year, I'll have a sense of achievement if not fulfilment. Just those examples of what I've got out of life so far. I'm sure there are writers out there who could expand my short and normal life to well over 400-500 pages but for me that's the majority of the problem with fiction (or auto-biographies) today - 50,000 words of added filler or "editor-advised expansion".

fuck all-a that for a game of soldiers.

Friday, August 06, 2004

What the hell are you talking about? You're writing your memoirs? But you're only 38 years old. Why bother? What have you ever achieved? Who cares? You'll never get that published until long after you're dead.


That's the provisional title of it. I spent the week in the sun. Two sessions each day of a couple or three hours. Got 25,000 words entered this week - I have no idea how long it'll end up being; it could be 30,000 or it could be 50,000. The latter is more likely as there are still many things yet to unravel. It's really like I am tesing the remembrances from a distant friend or cousin I haven't seen for ages. It's important to be firm but fair in the self examination - wouldn't wanna scare off honest revelation in favour of histrionics or melodrama.

Hope next week is as productive and as nice weather. I used a style of writing that is very similar to this blog, because I have real gaping holes in my memories of the past, I thought it would be better to go for a more organic approach to the memoirs and hopefully the lost or hidden memories would rise naturally to the surface, spurred from the shadows by oganic association.

it's working so far.
I had the editor of a website called EROS&RUST email me the other day. She was going on about how great the CHIMERAWORLD #1 collection was and how we had to do something.

So, starting with the September issue, there'll be a critical appraisal of CHIMERAWORLD #1 to accompany the story WEB by Kevin Anderson.

The special Halloween issue will run two stories, A STRANGE BREED by Queenie Tirone and NEED by Steve Short. This special CHIMERAWORLD feature will also include an interview with the editor, that's me, about the extremely gore-dripping #1 and the more sombre and downbeat Chimeraworld #2 (which I'll be reading for in September). Yippee!

It's great to receive this much positive attention for one's travail.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Apart from the excellent re-mixed and re-issued ICE COLD GUINNESS adverts that are currently doing the rounds on terrestrial TV here in the UK, the winner of the never before mentioned Hertzan Chimera Surrealist award for the best advert goes to...

hushed expectation from the audience of one...

It starts and continues like the classic movie Alien. The chest burster scene. It's such a delicate and loving pastiche you gotta love it. Another bonus is it's an X-rated scene depicted in a prime-time advert with just as much attention paid to the horrific effect of the reborn beast. But it's an advert for Nik Naks. It's so irreverent. Only in England my friends, only in England.

Eat The Freak, indeed.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Remember that thread? You can't give this shit away? It laid to rest once and for all the claim that you couldn't in fact give away Hertzan Chimera fiction in book form. It was a remarkable success - I had actually donated SZMONHFU and ANIMAL INSTINCTS to the Oxford Library. Those were two copies of books that will never be in print again, in that form. They were unique treasures from a local author who was willing not to take a cut on them so that others in his home town could get to read them FOR FREE. Experience his vision. Well, just heard back that they are NOT SUITABLE FOR PUBLIC DISPLAY. This from a library which stocks such cinematic filth as VISITOR Q, ICHI THE KILLER and SEX AND LUCIA. Double standards? Maybe these two different library factions, video and books, don't use the same criteria to measure what is palatable for the public.

hangs head in shame

Saturday, July 31, 2004

This is the first of the seven Castlerigg paintings I recently completed. I really like the abstract feeling to this, like teeth in a spitting fog. They're acrylic on canvas, but I used a stone spray for the backgrounds. Stones, stone spray, geddit?


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Yeah, I know it means nothing to you. But it means everything to me.

It started last night, just after midnight. I'd just received the IP (that's intellectual property; games ideas, art style, new technology thoughts) from a past employer, so I can go ahead and include any or all of those innovative and sexy ideas in anything creative I wanna do with 3D in the future. I have been artistically released. It was sorta 12 o'clock midnight when I finally received confirmation that my IP was mine, again.

Maybe it was the annoyance that IP is the company's until such time as agreement is made between the parties that what I think is in fact my own, when I started to scratch. I reached up and felt something. A small white milk spot on my left eyelid. Don't touch it! that would be the advise elders would shriek in horror. Your eye will fall out. Your eyelid will swell up and crust over. You foot will fall off! All these and more, I guess. But what the hell. It was really beginning to bug me, and from the pain, it seemed to be near a vast network of nerves but to hell with that, I plundered on.

When scratching it with a finger nail didn't do much, I started trying to squeeze it like a spot, but it was dug in deep and painful as hell when any pressure was applied. This carried on until this afternoon, it is sore by now and I had the answer. Razor blade. I would slice off the skin that was covering the ball of white goo and then squeeze it out like an orange from a granny's fist.

Of course, there's a little bit of tissue damage there where I was scratching at it all night. A bit of blood from this afternoon's effort, I guess. And I know that when the scab starts to form, I'm gonna be picking at that too...

the devil makes work for idle hands, huh?

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Yes, the follow up to the "Chimera + eight female collaborators" 29-story collection CHIM+HER has just been released. Called CHIM+HIM, it is another collaborative project but this time Chimera battles it out with 7 male writers. Here's the spiel:

What is a three-lobed brain?

Chimera, Korn and Lewis invented one back in the 1990's and dubbed it a Tricephallic brain. The term refers to a story constructed by three writing brains in intimate collaboration.

In Chim+Him, Hertzan Chimera collaborates with seven of the most creative authors writing today: Simon Logan, Mark McLaughlin, Vincent W Sakowski, Greg Wharton, John Edward Lawson, MF Korn and DF Lewis. There are 25 collaborative stories in this book, plus a bumper batch of 9 of the infamous Tricephallics collaborations of Chimera, Korn and Lewis.

no other book brings their Tricephallic collection together.
Twelve years avoiding dust accretion and light bleaching in an A1-sized art folder, these 18 lost paintings from the early 1990's have finally surfaced from the carnage of the GREAT AXE ATTACK which claimed thirty of the larger oil-on-hardboard paintings. Gouache on white paper and A1-sized, these surrealistic remnants of a younger, angrier Chimera have never before been exhibited in public.

each painting is for sale at £500

Saturday, July 24, 2004

When I found out I'd won the Tombstone Award (with Alex Severin for our co-written story Modificatum Eli-X, part seven of the fuck star mini-series running on Weird Space e-zine), I thought,'yeah, thanks, won an award.'

But it arrived this morning!

It's a LOVELY looking award. Aluminium tombstone, 8" * 5" or so, engraved with the name and details of the award. Very happy, skippy-on-the-toes moment for me this.

My first award!

Friday, July 23, 2004

It has been confirmed, the eight female horror writers who collaborated with Hertzan Chimera (that's me) to produce the stunning erotic-horror book CHIM + HER are due for a feature interview in Pretty Scary ezine when it goes live later this month. Elizabeth Blue is gonna first be writing a review of the book and from what I can tell from her initial reaction (when she was half way through it) it's gonna be a good review and then she'll take time out to interview all eight girls with respect to their life, aims, career and writing with Chim.

god bless them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Last night, while listening to the delightfully raucous melodies of Fear Factory's OBSOLETE (yeah, I've still got it, AJ) I experienced a fugue state of cowboy horror madness. Overtly gay overtones, oodles of gun-slinging action and 400,000 head of cattle to push across the border - what could go wrong? 2,500 words in one repeat playing of the CD - that's the way, ahuh ahuh, I like it. Just like Kerouac. Here's the opening few bars of the new cunt-tree and western song:
by Hertzan Chimera
It was the first proper job I’d had since the landlords took our home away. I was 16 and as fresh as they come. And lots of shit was on its way, word of God.
400,000 head of cattle to push across state borders, beating off bandits in random gunfights and physically dissuading the arse rapers around the campfire nightly. Protecting one’s own hole became a real fucking chore and I got very little sleep until I had shown one or two of those stinking lecherous varmints my handiwork close in with a .38 Colt Python.
Everything was the law of the gun. It was homo-erotic to begin with. Something a man might point at a man that could ejaculate ‘justice’ out of the end of it. Now what did that sound like if it weren’t a load of gay cowboy nonsense. I was in a dusty rotting saloon in someplace in between. I stank of horse shit, cattle shit, my own shit. The boss had arranged for us all to take a bath (we had to pay for our own whores, which few of us could afford as well he knew) and one by one, this perfume reeking tart would frogmarch us into the bathroom where our grimy backs were scrubbed with a wire brush.
“Man, that was fine.” Clarke said as he slumped down in his chair at our poker table, back in his reeking leathers and spurs, his face all freshly scraped with a blade, his wrinkled neck sorta reddened but fresh looking. You could count his freckles – he had pure Welsh blood stretching way back across the Atlantic like a cheap dog leash...
I'll post where it found a home so you can read the rest.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Two recent reviews of books by the amazing author Whitley Strieber have just gone online - these two books mark a clear return to sex-horror form for the man who gave the world Wolfen, The Hunger and Unholy Fire. THE LAST VAMPIRE has just gone live at Feo Amante dot Com. LILITH'S DREAM has just gone live at Horror Quarterly dot Com.
hit the book-title links 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

HINO HORROR graphic novel SERIES
I have just uploaded two new reviews of Japaneses horror-comic guru Hideshi Hino to Terror Tales Reviews in anticipation of the change over from Terror Tales to Horror Quarterly.

Hino has alleged brought out 150 odd such 'manga' books in his native Japan. He is one of their greatest superstars and DH Publishing is intent on brniging out the entire series. They're already up to #16. Sheesh! That's gonna be some marathon publishing spell. Anyway, it was my great honour to receive actual Hino Horror titles (in American translation - nice one DHP) and the promise of further volumes arriving on the Chimdoorstep is great news.

This brace of reviews is also gonna be syndicated on the Really Scary dot Com site too in a week or so.

ain't life sweet?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I now have an almost full Blood Horror issue. The change over from Terror Tales for HORROR QUARTERLY went very smoothly, when I deleted the remaining author message boards, the community simply moved over to the new area I had set aside for that sort of horror discussion and personal announcements and I expect that communal forum to be as successful as the individual author areas used to be, but now with a gerater feeling of community and considered debate. The cream of the UK (and American) horror crop are on there, day and night giving their opinions and sharing their publishing news. The stories (boy do I have some really bloody stories from some great contributors, Nancy A Collins aming them). I have a wealth of informative and just plain weird blood-related articles. Interviews galore. And informative pieces on Japanese horror (third part of three), 3D games (gore issue) and the always extreme Horror Metal magazine of Destiny West (she's a fucking human dynamo - and she writes a lot, too).

I'll try to get the BLOOD HORROR ISSUE of HORROR QUARTERLY up within the month, something chilly to welcome the Indian Summer we're bound to get in UK.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Here's a choice selection of some of the abusive (and, yes, thuggish) ways a certain recent Stoker Award winner handles his fame, and treats other writers in public. This one I found on his 'blog':

"Hertzan Chimera, aka Mike Philbin, aka Obnoxious Windbag, aka Chim-ney Sweep says that I'm a thug. Me! Mr. Personality. The reader's friend. The guy who does volunteer social work and loves children and animals. I'm a thug. Heh. I do love a good compliment. He also says that I've threatened his life because I suggested he and I strap on the gloves and do a charity boxing match. He thinks that's a "death threat". Let me clarify for you, Chim-ney Sweep. A death threat is when I say that I want to cut off your head, hollow it out like a pumpkin, put a candle inside it, and then stump-fuck your neck. That is a death threat. Trust me, you poncy never-was and never-will-be, the absolute last thing you want right now is my complete and undivded attention. Thug? You have no concept of the word. Hertzan Chimera, the man whose crowning achievement is a short story about a caveman fornicating with a dinosaur egg (and I am not making that up). Why do I even waste typing time on pond scum like this? Luckily, I don't have to. Go take a look at THIS. Cheers to Jon for that insightful article. Thug. Hee hee hee... One of these days I'm gonna take a baseball bat to this entire frigging genre..."

and a while later on a public writer forum:

"You Fronting Phony Mother F*&%er What--suddenly I'm not a thug anymore, Chimney Sweep? You mean you're no longer going to tell Bantam and Leisure what a thug they have on their payrolls? You're pretty good with PhotoShop. Perhaps you can cook up an image of a sentinel (that's what the silver balls were called) drilling a hole in your head... *That* is something with your name on it that I would actually buy."

no, that's not harrassment - and, hey, it's not thuggish behaviour, either. 

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Since I became editor of Terror Tales Online at the end of 2003, I have turned the horror website around from a stagnant English small press clique into a fresh and lively professionally stylish web portal dealing with themed aspects of the gruesome horror pie each quarterly issue. I was always under the impression that I'd been handed Terror Tales to take it to the next league as the old editor John B Ford had neither the time nor the inclination to continue with the franchise.

In a bid to distance the website from John B Ford's continued paperback anthologies entitled Terror Tales (which frankly demean our website by association), I have decided to rename Terror Tales Online to HORROR QUARTERLY. We now have a superb team of writers and journalists dealing with all sorts of contentious non-mainstream horror topics and I wouldn't want to spoil that by continued connection to what used to be. It is time to move on, lads. The change to HORROR QUARTERLY will become effective as soon as the domain change goes through and the current issue and the archived issue are relevantly amended.

this has been a creative improvement announcement.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I have come to the conclusion that I will never break through to the writing mainstream. I have books, collections and editorial duty coming out of my arse. The fact though (and it's a hard fact to face but here I go) is I will probably never break through to those million fans I know are out there. It's not a case of being negative, it's a case of just waking up from a 15 year dream. Yes, I have been writing Hertzan Chimera fiction for FIFTEEN FUCKING YEARS. It's unbelievable that the whole Hertzan Chimera thing started out as a play on words. You know, something for a laugh. I felt like a surfer who has been convincing himself he has been riding a superb curler of a wave... when in fact he has merely been masturbating rather furiously in his bath at home and splashing all over his floor.

I can only write books that are true to my soul. There is no other reason to write. But (like Philip K Dick before me) those sorts of books aren't the books the marketing guys know how to sell, there's no pigeonhole for them. The agents panic, seeing no easy return. Some "future historian" (like Ridley Scott did for Philip K Dick) might come along and raise the results of my mortality to some relevance but I will be a pauper long before that, and why? Because I NEVER compromised my vision (not for anyone) and I NEVER sucked ass so that I could get the contracts. In an ideal competitive world, I'd be out there wasting thousands of pounds doing signings and readings and inviting the publishers over for parties and threatening to take out the competition with knives and guns and bombs but fuck all of that idiocy.

I don't play the political game very well, hence my obscurity.

Monday, July 05, 2004

In homage to that great Venice theatrical featurette before Monty Python's THE LIFE OF BRIAN, let it be known that I am once again back to the Castlerigg paintings. Today, I'll pick up three more canvases and some more cans and tubes of paint. There are some aspects of the Castlerigg Stone Circle that I'd like to explore visually. A change of style here and there and the great cataloguing of this ancient (neolithic) site continues.

if they're good enough, I'll arrange an exhibition of them up in a gallery in Keswick that I was quite taken by when last I was up there.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

As most of you out there might consider HERTZAN CHIMERA fiction a guilty secret to be kept from your family, friends or work colleagues, I thought it about time to launch the GUILTY SECRETS part of the official HC website where those with guilty secrets burning a hole in their hearts can air their souls to the world (in strictest confidence).

let it all out, readers, purge your pain, share your sin.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Not true, as evidenced this morning by the Oxford Public Library who graciously accepted my American-import titles ANIMAL INSTINCTS (the oversized illustrated collection of my short stories from Canadian publisher DOUBLE DRAGON PRESS) and SZMONHFU (my 2001 novel from the American publisher ERASERHEAD PRESS - now out of print + one of the last 15 copies ever). I thought she was gonna ask for money at one point but no she took them off me for nought pence, proving that you can actually give away Hertzan Chimera fiction quite easily.

end of message.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

This afternooon, I put the finishing touches to FOUR semi-abstract paintings based on the NEOLITHIC STONE CIRCLE at Castlerigg in the Lake District, Cumbria where we recently spent a very fine week's walking holiday. As a former figurative painter, I never suspected I'd one day end up painting stones out in the hills, well up on a plateau just south of Keswick in the rolling Cumbrian hills. But there's something truly haunting about stone circles and something equally fascinating about the people who made them and worshipped within and around them. I have four paintings, but I aim to do lots more in this sequence, different sizes, different treatment of the icons, different format of image - I have a plan to to a massive 3 metre * .3 metre wraparound painting of the whole stone circle when I can get the canvas. I also want to do a series of LANDSCAPES with the stones of the circle ERASED from the image - that'll be very exciting.

really worth a visit if ever you're in England.
Hmm, interesting, here was I about to fire off into a massive, heated polemic on the diligent ab-user of the Oxford Public Library scanner machine...

Here's the word from our sponsor as it was gonne be for this bright-fresh morning:

Yeah, jerk, I'm here again. In front of you in the queue again. Yeah, ha-haaaaa! First in line. Yeah. With my funky guitar case and my funky brown leather jacket and my funky blue lumberjack shirt and my funky grey nylon slacks and my funky balding greyness. And my funky-ass bag of shreddedness, my stolen youth. Yeah, you were too slow, jerk. The early bird catches the scanner worm. Yeah, gobble gobble. There's no way you'll ever appreciate my queueing skill, my waiting technique, my pazzazz. I will always win you to the finishing line and this machine, the lover of my life, this perfect box inked to the perfect digital world will always be mine...

What? wait a minute? This scanner is BOOKED? Stay calm, stay calm. Don't show your weapons yet, keep them concealed. Ha-ha, yessss, I saw it was booked only after I sat down, say that. Tell them anything so you can remain close to your beloved scanner machine Mister I've Got Nothing At All To Scan.

Now, I'll bore the jerk-ess who ordered the scanner for 9:15 and onwards. "I only saw it was booked after I sat down. Sit down, it's fine. Yeah, you gotta wait for it to Sign Out (I have so many things to hide). That's it, it's a really wonderful machine is this, plays mp3s downloads like that (cicks his fingers threateningly close to her face)." Yeah, right, I knew all along that this was my machine and she had no right to it. Nobody did. It was my scanner machine made only for me. ME, do you hear. If I had the guts I would rale against you all in full view of the reading public. Those no-hopers checking their email and their agents and their websites, uploading, downloading, clicking on the dodgiest adverts in history.

Oooh, then he was gone - how refreshing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I got there for 9:05am - the Oxford Public Library don't open until 9:15am and even then it opened closer to 9:20am. I was sweating already even though those tall buildings shadowed the sun. I raced up the stairs, two stairs at a time, leaving those lame-ass suckers behind. Raced to my internet terminal. MY internet terminal, d'you hear? The one with the only scanner on it. I parked my guitar case and my luggage down beside me. Started looking at jobs in music £20,000-£30,000 - what were they on? I was worth ten times more than that.

Some jerk had the audacity to ask me if I was using the scanner. I don't care if there are 'other' computers I could use. I don't care if some jerk wants to use my scanner. Hell, I might not even wanna use it myself. I said hello to my black friend Glen who sees me in here all the time and Glen and I had this long chat about how my 'work' was going. I took out my discs.

I took out my discs? Yeah, I took out my discs and loaded MY software onto that God-damn internet computer. It wasnt' powerful enough but what did I care - I had 3D models of aeroplanes to look at. Oh, I put a scruffy image I'd ripped from a colour magazine into the scanner to protect my own back, mark my territory. Nearly one hour later, I didn't care that that jerk was still sat behind me. I could feel him glaring at me. Trying to choke me. Wishing me to have a coronary. Stop breathing. Die.

I turned round just the once and saw the jerk leaving, shaking his head. What did I care. I had my internet machine. I was fucking plugged in...

no, this wasn't really me, I was the jerk who got bored and left.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Well, this is fun. Last year my Severin-co-written paperback BFGS was a Number One Bestseller on Shocklines. This year (and for the last three weeks) the ebook version of my CHIMERAWORLD#1 anthology has been in the top 10 over at Fictionwise. It's currently at Number Three in the horror chart and still selling strong. This points to an interesting thing - Chimera might be a better improver of others writing, in the role of editor, than a creator of original works, as a writer. No worries though, we each need our role in life. I want CHIMERAWORLD to hit #1 next week and stay there for months. (update three days later) Well it got to #3 before heading down again.

this still bodes well for Chimeraworld#2, get your submissions in for September

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Since accepting the redundancy package from Sick Puppies (the creators of Ghost Master whch Empire Interactive closed down in May), I have been writing a lot more than I used to do when I was in full-time employment. I have also been looking for a 'job' as a prototype artist - a prototype artist is one who assesses the risks in any 3D venture and works with a programmer to iron out any problems; controlability, presentation, viewpoint.

Production in the games industry has to be run like a lean mean machine - a factory. And the physical act of making ingame content no longer interests me unless I am at the top end of it. But I really don't have the artistic anality to be an Lead Artist. I am not technical enough to be Technical Lead Artist. I am not submissive enough to go back to the coalface, as they say - just artistically twiddling the next texture, the next character, the next animation, the next mocap session. In reality, I have sat, assessed and interviewed potential employees before and I do know the people I'd want on my team. I could choose a good strong production team.

So, the role of prototype artist who passes already-proven risk-assessed projects onto the production teams is really intriguing. But it's turning out to be quite a struggle - it would seem that the big corporations don't wanna INVEST in that sort of Future Product Evalutation. Which to me seems very odd. You'd have thought EVERY games company would love to reap the harvest of the kiddy dollar, the grey dollar, the soap dollar, the fetish dollar... It seems the corporations want to bleed the curent cash cow dry; the teen to mid twenties market, which seems like business suicide, you gotta diverse and get the most out of all the market, not just the current subscribers by default.

In all honesty, I am actually an improver of other artists' work. I have done this before, improving animations and giving character to dead keyframes. I inspire the best from the best, I see the content from the new perspective. Improver though, mentor, that's an even more elusive role.

I hope it happens soon, I'm getting itchy now - and low on cash.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

I have been chewing the inside of my mouth over a certain scientific principle in the last ten years or so, to which I have donated the name "the HC Unit theory". Nothing too technical involved, just the reappraisal of how light and gravity work.


Well, it would seem that for the HC Unit model to work (with light travelling in reverse - as a Universal fill-in "towards" the source of the "light" - i.e. not an outpouring of photons) I think there may have to be TWO gravities. I intend to call this non-matter gravity THE 'OTHER' GRAVITY.

The classic concept of gravity (little g) reinterpreted by the HC Unit theory is that spatial turbulence that attracts neighbours. The spinning HC Unit randomly generates an excess that Universal Equillibrium (my get out clause) always insists on correcting - the Universe races into the source of the excess. By this nullification method we 'register' atoms - an HC standard output is about one free neutron mass (a Hadron).

Now, in the HC Unit model, a hadron is a relatively stable item, very rarely flipping to excess. But when it flips to excess, it creates either clockwise or anticlockwise (I am not sure in how many dimensions this takes place > 3) spin - this is how we 'register' charge.

My theory is that particles themselves don't CONTAIN a gravity component. In the HC Unit theory the universe is multidimensionally flowing past the HC Units correcting imbalances. So, even though this pulling force is EVERYWHERE, permeating EVERYTHING, it's not gonna be strong enough to tug Mars towards the Sun, unless...

You get out what you put in.

Atoms link at the electromagnetic level, starting with the hadron. These little HC Units sometimes excess, causing charge. This stickiness joins other hadrons together and electromagnetic pressure grows within the system due to numbers. Stars form.


There still isn't any gravity. Unless you formulate a VIRTUAL PARTICLE. This virtual particle is THE SIZE OF A STAR and has its own resonance structure. When IT excesses, it forms a fill-in process that is equivalent to the size of gravity for that star. Universal Equillibrium settles the account by rushing in = gravity. My thought is that gravity, the other gravity, doesn't actually exist in atoms but it is a group spectre, the more you get to gether, the more determined Universal Equillibrium tries to settle the debt.

I would suggest that to test this, you'll find that the hydrogen atoms inside a star are working far harder than the hydrogen atoms in the depths of space.

If I work backwards like this, saying electromagnetic force is the HC Unit excessing (or overspinning) Universal Equillibrium; that light is the interplay of charge within an atom or molecule (remember single hadrons don't give off light, space is dark); that gravity is the by-product of planet (or star) sized HC OVERLOAD...

Maybe I have found what a supernova is? A supernova is the excessing of the virtual particle, the star-sized particle - the neutron star that results from a supernova is the non-charged HC Unit remnants - where all charge (and therefore all gravity) have been settled on a star-sized debt basis. One day a random HC Unit within the neutron star will excess and a dead star will live again - is there any evidence for this?

Has a supernova'd star ever started shining again?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Even with my brain turned to maggot casings and the skin and muscle hanging from my decaying bones of dusty parchment, I still managed to win the DAD'S RACE at my daughter's sports day. I took part last year (when I was further from the grave) and won that, too. The choice to take part this year was an easy one - I'm dead anyway, losing a race is no great loss.

but they were like zombies scrabbling after my floating phantom - eh eh eh!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

He may be the dead rotting corpse of an ex-surrealist but Hertzan Chimera is still bangin' it out full belt. Written this morning from 7 a.m., corrected by the editor Garrett Peck and accepted for the anthology 6pm UKtime, three gut-wrenching stories from Hertzan Chimera will make it into the SMALL BITES anthology.

The theme of the anthology is 'things that eat people' and it is divided into three sections: zombies, animal attacks, and weres - I have a story accepted for each section. The stories are all under 500 words as per guidelines.

The book's proceeds will go to the Charles Grant medical fund - a worthy cause. It will be published by Lulu.

Friday, June 18, 2004

That's what the new advert from Peugeot (here in the Uk) for their 407 model says. It says, "Forget motor show prototypes with their interesting and artistic lines." It says, "Forget innovation in fuel methodologies." It says, "This is the future and it's not only gonna be more jelly mould than it was when they brought out the Ford Sierra (UK model) it's gonna get even more so because we have killed all the other moulds. You will comply." It roars the Borg-ish 'Resistance is futile' of all convinced-of-their-own-success corporations.

I say "Remember the Roman Empire."

Their ad campaign is actually subtitled, "Playtime is over." and I am sure they mean this as a positive message of the professionalism and foresight of Peugeot's dedicated design studios. But it actually comes across like a Dracconian bit of brain-nullifying. As if (once Peugeot has laid down its car design laws in concrete) we can forget about ever having fun with our toys again. And this saddens me.

The advert starts with a person winding up his car, a person crawling out of a taxi, a carboard Police car. There's a few longer shots where some VERY INTERESTING CAR SHAPES scroll by alongside the Peugeot 407. Finally a man pushes his 'very light looking' toy car into a big toy car box. Its a delightful message in a way, cars are cute. Cars are fun. Corporations love you and want to exploit your personal choice by offering you all the methods of transport you deserve.

It seems there's one shade of car grey and that's all you deserve. It would be very sad to see creativity exterminated from the driving process. But that's what this ad seems to be offering.

hey, I don't even like cars (well, other drivers) but if you're gonna ask for $15,000-$30,000 for a car at least let the buyer choose the crazy kinky way he wants his personal transport to work.

or use public transport; the train, the bus, the space hopper - d'oh!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

This afternoon, I walked around the bustling streets of Oxford as the ghost of the dead surrealist Hertzan Chimera. And nobody knew. Nobody spotted I was a living ghost of a dead local writer. I stood on a street corner with my legs slightly apart, like I was "at ease" smiling at the passers by and they didn't see me.

I was invisible.

Usually, if someone stands there on a street corner, with their arms behind their back, watching the pedestrians, someone's gonna look, someone's gonna scowl fearing me to be a beggar, someone's gonna have something smart to say if he's with his mates, someone's gonna fix their top, pretend they hadn't spotted you ten steps back, lick their mouth, flick their fringe, give you the eye - it always happens no matter where you find yourself, there's always someone else out there looking scouring, predatorily, watching for a social sign, too scared to just go up to someone and grab their crotch, breasts, ass, kiss them, lick their eyelids, unsheath themselves from the vaseline smeared underwear in public, tear out a jugular vein with iron-hard teeth, pierce a sternum with a piece of lead piping from a nearby church (there are lots of nearby churches in the centre of Oxford) and drink the gushing rod of blood, nobody's gonna carve your skull in twain in the centre of a crowded town centre in broad daylight. That doesn't happen.

But today it did.

As I stood there, my hands behind my back, up came a police woman. She didn't really see me, I was thinking she'll just look at me a bit funny then continue her beat elsewhere. She stood there, right in front of me, not 3 inches away, also surveying the crowd. I wondered what HER former self used to be before SHE died. As she stood there, I could sense her nylon-stocking proximity her deodorant-armoured underskin shining like mothwings that clung to my fluttering clothing. I had an erection by this time and if you looked down you'd have seen a little tension on the right side there on the inside seam. But ghosts can't be seen.

WPC Baxter (that's what her badge said) put her hands behind her back, her truncheon in her hands. The truncheon rubbed against my swollen cock. Her foot was tapping out some tune in her head. She brought her truncheon to her side and tapped out the rhythm on her thigh - attracting the attention of the passersby. My cock was rock hard by this time. She moved back three inches. Just enough to ensure that her utility belt rubbed against my engorged cock. A soft contact as she raised up and down on her toes, killing her cramps but exacerbating mine. She moved her head in a music lubricated way so that I could see the white nape of her neck, just showing it - that blatant.

Then she turned.

Our faces were inches apart - her breath was foreign, some spicy sausage sandwich and sweet coffee. There was the smile I knew she would give. The in-your-face-ness. She was short. She was a huntress, no doubt the corpse carrier of a dead tribeswoman. She raised the truncheon to my face and I pulled back slightly expecting the flailing.

I can't believe these things can happen to a ghost.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I died yesterday. This is the soul-chained spirit of Chimera disturbing the eroto-ether with the dog-piss remnants of his twisted sickness. Nobody needed that warped fuck anyway. Better that he rot in purple-prose Hell with DeSade and Barbra Cartland. Better that the worms feed on his rotting flesh. Better that his self-made fertiliser is put to some use growing a tree or a potato plant or a bramble bush. Now that Chimera is actually dead we can all get on with our normal world doing our normal things with no concern for the surreal the weird the extraplanetary. Soon Chimera books will be revered as trinket's of purest gem on a beach of historically off-season dogturds and heat-of-the-summer donkey droppings. Now that Chimera is dead and will never write another word we can all pretend to mourn his loss and wonder what his other books would have been like. What would Chimera (the lame-ass cock-sucker that wrote those adolescent pieces of shite for all those years and gave it all away on the internet) have written, given the time, given the support of his peers, given financial backing from the publishing industry. Chimera is dead, forever may he stay that way.

'course now that I know how to blog from the afterlife, no one is safe

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

There's a new Hertzan Chimera interview just gone online at the Carnival of Wicked Writers.

busy busy busy!

Monday, June 14, 2004

Well, it's been a long time coming but the CHIMERAWORLD #1 ebook is finally available through FICTIONWISE. There are 23 stories of nastiness, pain and pleasure from some of the most-extreme writers in this Chimera-edited anthology.

chimeraworld #2's submission period is September 2004 - get 'em ready.

Friday, June 11, 2004

A brand-new online interview with Hertzan Chimera about his involvement in the CHIM+HIM and CHIM+HER books has just gone live.


this may be the last time I make announcements on public forums - I'll stick to my dingy little blogsit from now on

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Here's the latest of a series of book reviews I did for reputable review sites like ZONE-SF, FEOAMANTE, HORRORWORLD and REALLYSCARY:

TIME OUT OF JOINT by Philip K Dick.
SOLAR LOTTERY by Philip K Dick.
CANTATA-140 by Philip K Dick.
FEMMES DE LA BRUME by various female writers.
DEAD SLEEP by Greg Iles.
LULLABY by Chuck Palahniuk.
SLEEP NO MORE by Greg Iles.
DARK DEMONS by Kurt Newton.
RED by Jack Ketchum.
AFTER THE QUAKE by Haruki Murakami

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Just back from my lovely walking hols in the Lake District in Cumbria in the north of England. News today is that CHIM+HIM, the brother publication to the recently released paperback, CHIM+HER is due for publication mid-June from CyberPulp.

For those who are interested, Nevermore is featuring an exclusive HIM+CHIM+HER interview with 'yer gud self'Hertzan Chimera in their relaunched issue, due back online about the 10th of June.

Other news, The Dream People have reprinted the 'disgusting' Chimera story BUKKAKEWORLD this month. They're also using one of my paintings as their cover illustration.

UK website The Red Bridge Review are hosting the brand-new Chimera story A MEMORY MADE FLESH.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

So, blogger's had a facelift. And very nice it is too. Verrrry functional. I filled in the new Profile, I am so gullible for this sorta shit. Uploaded my goofy 1.5face picture, the blue one, goes with my literary bile. Then I noticed. Those favourite movies and favourite books and stuff I'd filled in had active links. I clicked one...

...there are literally tens of people per active favourite. This is not a surprise, I guess. There are a lot of bloggers out there with a lot of favourite things. Someone had to tally at some point. Apart from this one link, say REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, FEAR FACTORY or HANNIBAL. There were even a gallon of bloggers resident in my home town of Oxford.

imagine all those folks linking up?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

What are you talking about? Hertzan Chimera's a surrealist. Always has been, essentially. Always will be, or so he says. Then, why are there four abstract paintings littering the living room of the self-confessed surrealist? "It's a series of four paintings. Two male. Two female. The surface of each looks like a starfield with a horizon line across the bottom. There's a big mummy one and a small daddy one. There's a small mummy one and a big daddy one. They're palettial opposite monochromes with distinctive coloured borders." the greasy little Chimperson was heard whispering into his bathroom mirror the other day, pouting and lifting his shirt to the spectres of the haunted bathroom.

and what's wrong wi' that? :)

Friday, May 21, 2004

Yup. All three parts of FREELANCER are now in the can. Daliville. Hoppertown. 555 Baconstrasse. It feels right to end it where it ended. I have no control over the narrative and content so why should I stick my nose in anyway and demand that it's "this" length with "these" happenings and "some other" conclusion.

let the story speak - and then listen.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Yeah, it's true, I can't get enough of it. What you gonna do? I sit there in my lunchbreak after pounding another 3,000 words into FREELANCER. And there is it, making the veins in my eyeballs itch. CASH IN THE ATTIC - it's an auction programme. Celebrity junk riflers turn up at your house and spot potential antiques that would make a pretty penny at auction. You wanna renovate your crumbling house, you wanna buy a conservatory for your grandad, you wanna fix up your garden for your aged mother, you wanna marble worktop in your new kitchen. You gotta pay for it. Why not sell off those old heirlooms. CASH IN THE ATTIC is addictive watching, the thrill of the chase and the gory kill. The best episode (this one hasn't aired yet, but should) is the Junkie needing his latest fix. He'd have the valuers round to look at his rank collection of old Beatles albums and hitch-hiking socks. This crazed upper-head would be "flippin' the brochure" on his own dirty laundry bids and shouting and raving at the back of the auction hall until security came and dragged his shrieking hole out of there. Cut to a handheld shot in the carpark: the show's shifty-eyed presenters handing over the readies (sfx: police sirens roam about in the background suburban drone). Closing scene, we'd see the sad fucker race off down to the local park pursued by the camera crew for his 'meeting with the man'. An overdose scene would finish off the series perfectly.

if only....

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

That's what they call the sort of tan I've got, thanks to long walks in the woods and long bike rides down the canal; white chest, white upperarms, red neck. It's also known as a cyclist's tan, for obvious reasons. I am, as of this morning, 35,000 words into the FREELANCER book. I have reached novella three called 555 BACONSTRASSE - it's all going really smooth.

If it weren't for the fact that I feel utterly D.O.W.N. about being out of full-time employ, I'd say I was really enjoying the creative liberation. Actually, it's not the fact that I'm no longer in full-time employ that's dragging my spirits down, it's the fact that I'm not yet self-sufficient as a writer. I should be able to BRING HOME BACON. And steps are already underway, but it's a slow slog to grow a list of contacts. Still, I have a month of searching (theoretically) then I'll really have to knuckle down and look for MONEY WORK, be that freelance or permanent.

Good news is, I am on the fourth notch of my belt. A sure sign that fitness is my middle name. Hertzan (Mike) Fitness (Philbin) Chimera. That's one hell of a nomme de chaumage.

Here's a reminder to all you ChimeraFreaks (and I know there's a lot of you out there as I've been closely monitoring hits to the Hertzan Chimera website in recent weeks and boy are you guys busy) that you can sign up for the Official Hertzan Chimera Newsletter and have the chance to win ANIMAL INSTINCTS in fully-illustrated over-sized paperback format, illustrated by Mitch Phillips.

time to go eat a picnic with my lovely French wife - adieu.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Well, I spent that Saturday wandering round the East End of London galleries and let me say this I HATE ART. I just don't "get it". I actually heard a conversation in a gallery where someone was asking for a more,"green one." they were buying art to go with the room. Now that makes no sense to me. A painting is a painting. You like, you buy. I would never consider art a design thing. You can't just do a swoosh of colour to fit in with decor - for fuck's sake. Heathens. There was a generally sad feel to the whole of the London art scene. Poor little galleries with virtually no clients having to sell the LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR. They were selling not what the client wanted. They were selling what the corporation or the designer friend thought might go nice with where they work/live. This gave me even more determination to paint what I want to paint how I want to paint it. I will give the world art - my art. And fuck the consequences.

Christ, that trip really wound me up.

Friday, May 14, 2004

As soon as she looked at the painting, I knew she wasn't gonna bite. Damn, I hate that flinching look - you can see them trying to 'brave' the content, the style, the application of paint. The gallery owner was, however, very helpful and positive despite the fact that her clients would not touch this imagery with a barge pole. So, next week, I am on my first trip in ten years down to the East End of London.

so, wish me luck and blog ya soon.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

I was sat at home waiting for that full-size canvas to arrive at the art shop thinking,"What the hell am I waiting for a canvas from the art shop for?" I went to the art shop, got a slightly different sized canvas and started painting. This time I knew exactly what I wanted to paint. I had taken some pictures with my old camera, I gotta get a better camera. Something digital. I joined two images together as a sketch then flung right into the middle of the paint.

The first pass was awful. The second no better. Two days of struggle. I have to show this painting to a gallery on Friday (that's in 26 hours) and I am not convinced it's gonna impress. Usually, I am very positive about the work I do, or else I destroy it. Maybe my feeling of uncertainty about this piece are a good sign.

26 hours of nail-biting tension later...

Friday, May 07, 2004

This bit is only for those of you who believe in superstition and the magic number of the beast. I was in the local Co-op this morning as I'm still in between jobs buying some groceries or what have you. I put the items through the self-serve check-outs which I love and hate in equal measure - "Please place the item in the bag." - I got through the whole basket of items with no glitches, no computer crashes, no bent and twisted barcodes, no problems whatsoever. Beep. This is going well I thought, then I looked at the total.


Yes, the Number of the Beast. That was my first thought. Just a bit of random luck I thought, no harm in a bit of random luck every now and then, eh? I reached into my pocket to pay by cash. My pocket contained only £6.70 - that's a five pound note, a one pound coin, a fifty plence piece and a twenty pence piece.

That felt very odd such that I was looking around waiting for some supernatural happenstance to rip my livignflesh from my bones or something. Nothing has happened. Yet.

Today, I will take some photographs of NEVER BEFORE SEEN paintings, small-ish A1 sized gouaches from the mid nineties. I aim to get an exhibition of them. They're quite unlike my usual style.

25,000 words into FREELANCER, I'll put in another four hours on the second novella HOPPERTOWN after lunch to take me to 30,000 words.

I should hear back from the agent today about a couple of work opportunities in London - maybe this is where the Number of the Beast strikes his biggest hit. Let's see, eh?

that's yer lot fer noo

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Got my research material this morning from the library. And already there's 2,000 words of HOPPERTOWN on the page this morning. This should be rather an interesting twist on the imagery. Not using it as a background to a narrative as a set-desginer might use it, but more an aura, a personality alterer, a scarer.

I have no idea where this is going remember, tally ho!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Well, that was quite a surprise. After only a couple of weeks and 20,000 words, the DALIVILLE novella has come to a full stop - I have ended the "marriage of three" in fabulously gory style and moved the central character to the haunted locale of HOPPERTOWN. My main aim now is to ensure that HOPPERTOWN is pure paranoia to rival even P.K. Dick himself (I wanna win that P.K.D. award, goddammit). I don't know what really happened with DALIVILLE. And maybe that's the joy of writing on a wing and a prayer. So fucking what, was my first response. There was never any real plan, any real narrative, any real word count. So fuck it. I am gonna write until I am happy and I am gonna get three novellas out of the "FREELANCER" project. So what do I care if my plans for world domination fall at the first hurdle. 60,000 word books should become the norm, that's what I say, I just read both SLAPSTICK (or lonesome no more) and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE - both short books by modern standards.

I was never gonna write MASS MARKET 100,000 worders anyway, this final revelation just keeps me where I belong.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Here's the Tombstones Award Winners for 2004:

Anthology - Exorcising Angels by Simon Clark and Tim Lebbon
First Novel - His Father's Son: Dante's Rage by Diana Bennett
Novel - Night of the Werewolf by Harry Shannon
Long Form Fiction - Anti-Claus by Graham Masterton
Short Form Fiction - Modificatium Eli-X by Hertzan Chimera and Alex Severin
Webzine - Camp Horror

congrats to all the winners.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

I was sitting there on my weeks' holiday in between jobs. And this idea for a series of interconnected novellas just popped into my head. I couldn't even explain it, but it was a sheer moment of clarity. I felt like I had been run over by the proverbial juggernaut. I had planned to start writing my fourth full-length novel KING ANGEL in this free period. I had the narrative of KING ANGEL worked out and after a few weeks' research into those aspects of death I want to include in it, KING ANGEL could have begun, quite happily. It should have begun by now...

So why am I writing the first of three stream-of-reality novellas starting with DALIVILLE? What's Daliville about? Can't tell. Not that I can't tell you. There's nothing I hate more than NEED TO KNOW, but to be honest; I got this wild, creative idea and 70 headings last night. It's an intriguing free-form concept and I reckon I can get about 15,000 words down a week (working week) until I have about 30,000 words. Should be finished on Daliville by the end of May at that rate, then it's a quick jaunt inland to Hoppertown.

The full 50,000 word project is called FREELANCER, it contains three novellas in one book tracing the exploits of central character "Clarke" through the locales of the fishing village of Daliville, the urban backwaters of Hoppertown and the troubled inhabitants of Baconstrasse.

it will hopefully make very little sense to anyone.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Hertzan Chimera has a new Newsletter for his new "green is good" website; thanks to Alex Severin for her sterling design and web work on the site, it's fucking gorgeous. The Newsletter will contain EXCLUSIVE MATERIAL AND COMPETITIONS not found on either the website or this blog.

The first surprise of the new Newsletter will be an exclusive EXCERPT of my werewolf/angel story which recently made it into the as-yet-untitled UK horror anthology! This is an antho of UK (and UK resident) authors and includes short stories by Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, Graham Masterton, Guy N. Smith and Simon Clark. My short story is entitled 'Blood Beast (song of the angel).' I'm thrilled to be part of this one! .

The second surprise will be the chance to win a fully-illustrated oversized-paperback signed copy of ANIMAL INSTINCTS which contains 32 shock-horror short stories from Hertzan Chimera and 32 black and white full-page illustrations from psycho-erotic master Mitch Phillips. The book is 8.5" x 11" perfect-bound.

ANIMAL INSTINCTS started out as a concept very similar to some of the key themes in Doctor Moreau’s Island of genetic freaks – although it became more of a social than genetic study of cross pollination.

What would happen if you transplanted animal mores, needs and, yes, instincts into contemporary cultural settings. How would the reader perceive the twisted narrative? Could this animal mentality affect the way the stories were actually written. The way a panting gazelle is torn apart by hyenas, could the very fabric of the written sentence suffer grammatical shearing and tearing of structure when subjected to the animal passion of these tales?

In this jaw-dropping collection of pure animal lust you will find reflections of the horror of the whim of survival and how it could at any moment be upon us in its hordes, devouring our minds. Bears feed at salmon-fat summer beaches. A bullfighter is gutted open by his love for the joust. Crab shells hide emerging sexual swap. Macaque monkeys greet as only they know how.

sign up now for the Hertzan Chimera Newsletter and ANIMAL INSTINCTS could be yours.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

It took a few weeks of painting and repainting and repainting to get used to the medium but the conclusion is I really like Acrylics. I absolutely HATE the painting I've come up with: the palette is all wrong: the composition is all wrong: the technique is all wrong: the initial surface is all wrong: the final surface is all wrong: thank god I only wasted a 1/2 scale canvas. I have some strategies for work that is more representative of my dream and the full-scale canvases should be in soon, according to the Art Shop in town. I saw a very nice gallery owner today who gave me some pointers on a potentially much better technique to achieve the softness of SKIN I am after.

it's all looking very exciting now for the first full-scale one.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The first test painting in the SKIN series is coming along nicely, it's half-size; 8" * 8". The final SKIN paintings will be 16" * 16" - this first one is a test of both subject and this new acrylic medium. Acrylic is certainly different from the oil paints I used to paint the psycho-erotic series' of the mid-eighties-to-nineties. There's a nice consistency to the acrylic paint medium once you get into it and which, though not as direct and sexy as the oil medium, has a chocolatey charm all of its own. You can build up the image in layers too, so you can have as spiky or softened an image as you need. I am on the third pass on this current painting and it's a wild ride. I haven't really got my hands dirty with art since the mid-nineties and it's bringing back all the memories of hours spent in a creative fugue.

I gotta sort out a gallery once I have this sample - that should be fun.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

It has been over ten years since Mike Philbin put paint to canvas. Something just broke within the artist and it no longer held the allure it once did. But now, a new, more abstract, less serious artist has emerged from the flames of a failed career as a horror writer. It's all for the best, you see. Anything that happens has little or no negative connotation and all the positive connotations a creative could dream for. The other revelation is that I will no longer be creating under the name Mike Philbin - as earlier advertised, Hertzan Chimera will be the name I will engrave on all future surrealistic endeavours, whether writing, art or film. Here's the first pair of DIGITAL SKETCHES for a series of 16*male and 16*female (16 inch * 16 inch, acrylic on canvas) paintings that I will be working on over the coming months once I have found a London gallery keen to support this new fun aspect of my artistic journey. Poetic Inhalation website has just uploaded a Gallery of these digital sketches - thanks again to Star and Andrew for their continued support.

this will be such fun to return to actual painting, the back of my neck is tingling...

Friday, April 16, 2004

Well, it's official - I am 'between jobs' as they tend to say in Hollywood, darling. The game studio where I have worked for the last four years "Sick Puppies of Oxford" was closed down last week by head office. The Ghost Master team has been disbanded; the team members took redundancy or otherwise scattered around the remaining studios within Empire Interactive to perform sundry art & prog duties long and short term.

It's a weird feeling. It has been a good seven or eight years since I was creatively "free" in this way. I have worked hard in the daytime as Mike Philbin, 3D lead artist and animator. I have three released games successfully under my belt; Medievil1, Medievil2 and Ghost Master. In the evenings and weekends I have worn the kinky external underpants of the Hertzan Chimera alter-ego. This unexpected event has given me the chance to seriously reconsider my life as a creative entity.

Do I return to the 'factory' feel of commercial games production for a fourth project?
Do I return to the 'garret' of the artist I denied back in the early nineties?
Do I enter into the field of journalism and uncover the truths behind the creatives I share this small planet with?
Do I consider the writer in residence offer?
Do I move out of Oxford?

rest assured that whatever happens from now on won't be THE END OF CHIMERA

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

It always does one good to escape the torturous world in which one is forced to live. This is sometimes facilitated by travel. Hertzan Chimera's human body recently indulged itself in a week's holiday abroad, in France. I'll stop speaking in the third person now.... it's silly. For the first three days of our trip myself, my wife and daughter stayed with friends in the Eastern region of France up near the Belgian, Luxembourg border, an old steel village called Longuyon. The place we stayed was right in the countryside, a converted barn complex of five two-bed ground-floor dwellings surrounding a central courtyard. The farmer who had done the conversions was a keen sculptor and the front and back of all the dwellings were decorated with these natural-wood sculptures in a naive but appealing style.

Then it was onto Paris. We spent four days in Paris and with us that means four days of walking. We did the whole touristic bit; the Champs Elysee, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musee d'Orsay, MontMartre and the Sacre Coeur. We ate in restaurants and had a great family experience. We were never bored.

The highlight of the trip (for me) was a chance poster we saw in a shop window, FRANCIS BACON RETROSPECTIVE. Usually these posters are years out of date and nothing but depressing showing only what you've missed. But not this one. Francis Bacon has always been one of my favourite painters, his eye for colour and his general bohemian attitude to art is a real charm. Not only did the museum have thirty-odd paintings, it also had an actual Velazquez painting, the one that inspired his Pope paintings from the late fifties. Downstairs in the basement, a Bacon documentary done for Swiss TV in the seventies showed Bacon at his face-shining, drunken best.

When I got back, I checked out how my site was doing with it's new green design and WOW if it didn't all go insane that Saturday - 90 Unique Visits alone on that day with 79 Reloads also noted for that one, crazy afternoon.

my company aims to close down our Oxford studio, so I decided to take redundancy to concentrate on creativity

Friday, April 02, 2004

As Gordon Gekko echoed in THE film of eighties, GREEN IS GOOD. I paraphrase quite liberally. Here's the gist of it, it's Spring. I got sick of the pastel blue palette of the old site. The new site has the same content but is all industrial and exotic and freaky and GREEN

by the time you click the link above, it'll be there

Sadly, my avant garde book of horror writer interviews SPIDERED WEB didn't make the final nomination list for this year's STOKER award - but I did recieve the consolation of a GALLON of embarrassingly positive reviews for my current paperback releases, all available through Shocklines:

1) Midwest Book Review reviews the recent Cyber Pulp Chimera releases Chim+Her, Spidered Web + Chimeraworld #1; reviewer Diana Bennett.

2) The Dream People review my novel of sci-fi-sex-horror SZMONHFU; reviewer Gary West.

3) Camp Horror review SPIDERED WEB and UNITED STATES; reviewer Stephanie Simpson-Woods (who also interviews Chimera after giving her judgement on his product).

4) As a wacky bonus for all those into the more surreal side of writing, there's a column up on Camp Horror that may ring some bells, UBIQUITOUSLY.

I have no idea what sales impact good reviews have these days...
Well, it was another scramble to the finishing line this issue but the FUCK HORROR issue of Terror Tales has just gone online. Here's the line-up for this second issue:

INTERVIEWS (this issue we have Ingrid Pitt, Momus, Todd Tjersland, Matt Cardin...
120 DAYS OF BUNNY lifestyle by polycarp kusch
HORROR METAL music interviews by Destiny West
HOW TO WRITE HORROR FICTION constructive article by Randy Chandler
HOW not TO WRITE HORROR FICTION devil's advocate by Robert Lee
JAPANESE EYE views of Japan by Quentin S Crisp
GAME SURGERY views of non-mainstream games by Alex Sulman
FICTION 1 - 10 stories
FICTION 2 - 10 more stories
ARTIST - feature artist Sean Simmans
BOOK REVIEWS - all the latest reviews
MESSAGE BOARD - connect with Terror Tales via the message board


thanks to everybody who gave their honest interpretation of the guidelines, it's not always as simple an analysis as you'd expect...

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Just went to see DAWN OF THE DEAD last night, here in the UK. What did I think of this remake? Well, I liked the first twenty minutes of it very much. Then it went all soapy, then I sorta didn't care about all the monotony of head shots. The ending though - watch the credits for the intercut ending. I did like the trailer for SHAUN OF THE DEAD though... good old British humour, eh?

Still nothing beats ZOMBIE, FLESH EATER by Lucio Fulci for pure physical brainlust.

in fact, I don't like any Romero films at all, they're soulless

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I have been thinking about this serious subject for about the last few minutes and here are my conclusions. You are what you believe. Is that too trite?

hope that helps

Monday, March 29, 2004

A new day, a new poem. No, this is not something I daily intend to do. No, it's not something Hertzan Chimera intends to do, is it Mike? No, Hertzan, my mind partner, it's not. Wait a minute, who are you? Who? Me? No, you, Star Jewel Smith? I'm the girl who wrote SKIN with you, Hertzie. I run POETIC INHALATION - are you asleep? I told you all this before. Remember? Four or five times at least. I have detailed records, you see, of our involvement; our constitution: here's our fifth amendment, Mike, I mean Hertzie. I mean...

full lips
cusp the glass
hips in heat
sway to a tribal beat
excited nipples
turgid by the shine of his blade

I was there, secreted
under the skin
a riddle of broken dreams in an
upchuck of rotting hunger
the mind maggot

the first incision was a daydream
of blue
strobing lights outside
the ripped net curtain of this
cheap motel
her throat pulsing to the same dark tune

eyes half closed
vicious smile begging
tighten the collar

room spinning
legs spreading
deep 'tween the passage
from mortal to immortal

finger in her pie
pulling out plums
police siren rider

you can read more tales of twisted love in BizarrBooks SKIN

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Most practicing mathematicians are familiar with the definition of one’s Erdös number [that is actually a long Hungarian umlaut over the “o” but we will represent it here by the ordinary two-dot umlaut available in html]. Paul Erdös (1913–1996), the widely-traveled and incredibly prolific Hungarian mathematician of the highest caliber, wrote hundreds of mathematical research papers in many different areas, many in collaboration with others. His Erdös number is 0. Erdös’s co-authors have Erdös number 1. People other than Erdös who have written a joint paper with someone with Erdös number 1 but not with Erdös have Erdös number 2, and so on. If there is no chain of co-authorships connecting someone with Erdös, then that person’s Erdös number is said to be infinite.

In honour of Erdös' collaborative classification, I have researched the first few HC NUMBERs based on direct creative (written or aritstistic) collaborations with Chimera. Use the list below to find your connection to the lower HC numbers. What's your HC number?

HC0 = Hertzan Chimera (of course).

HC1 = Alex Severin, Chad Goulding (a long-time collaborator who proposed this classification), Mitch Philllips (artist), MF Korn, DF Lewis, Paul Pinn, Greg Wharton, Simon Logan, Mark Mclaughlin, Destiny West, Queenie Tirone, Wrath James White, David C Kopaska-Merkel, Stewart Shelley, Vanda Ashante, Brutal Dreamer, Charlee Jacob, Dawn Andrews, Christina Sng, Dave Mathew, Amy Grech, Paul Kane, Vincent Sakowski, the Wordhunger crew, Doll Yoko, John Edward Lawson, Star Jewel Smith, Sean Simmons (artist), Marc Sanchez, John B Ford + Sarah Crabtree (story coming soon)...

HC2 = Kailleaugh Andersson (Alex Severin), Edward Lee, Monica J O'Rourke (both Wrath James White), PF Jeffery, Tim Lebbon, Margaret B Simon, Simon Woodward, Simon Clark, Richard Gavin, Scott Urban, Kirk S King, Gary Couzens, Gordon Lewis, Rhys Hughes, Marni Scofidio, Craig Sernotti, Stuart Hughes, Allen Ashley, Chris Pelletiere, Anthea Holland, Jeff Holland, Keith Brooke, Lawrence Dyer, David Price, Paul Bradshaw, Andy Busby (all DF Lewis), Mythspinner, Dave Bowlin (both Brutal Dreamer), Arthur David Spota, Richard Dotson, Perry McGee, Abel Diaz, Jennifer Barnes, Chris Danaher, J. Scott Malby, Satan165, Justynn Tyme (all John Edward Lawson), Mark Roberts, David-John Tyrer, Christopher Teague, Jeff Vandermeer, Daniel Antil, Trevor Conn, Robin Gilbert (all wordhunger), Michael McCarty, Michael Kaufmann, Lou Badillo, Eric S. Brown, Craig Sernotti, Rain Graves, Matt Cardin (all Mark McLaughlin), Andrew Lundwall (Star Jewel Smith), F. Paul Wilson, Paul Bradshaw, Eddie M. Angerhuber, Gary Greenwood, John Pelan, Tim Lebbon, Steve Lines, Derek M. Fox, L.H. Maynard & M.P.N. Sims, Thomas Ligotti, Ramsey Campbell, Joseph S. Pulver Snr, Steven Lee Climer, Jeffrey Thomas, Paul Finch, Michael Pendragon, Brian Stableford, David Price, (having checked with John B Ford that the round robin work Sailing Into Night is a proper collaboration) Joseph S. Pulver Snr, Michael Cisco, Scot Peacock, Ann K. Schwader, Thomas Wiloch, Steve Rasnic Tem, Matt Cardin (all John B Ford)...

HC3 = Donna Kuhn, Michael Rothenberg, Louise Landes Levi, Kenji Siratori, Eileen Tabios, Trupthi, Mark Kuhar, Alex Gildzen, Paul Skyrm, Kim Vandorsten, Cynthia Plum (all Andrew Lundwall), Kevin L Donihoe (Satan 165)

my gamble at this point is that even writers like the great Stephen King, Clive Barker and William Gibson are a HC6 or less... :)

Thursday, March 25, 2004

For those of you who have never ventured across the pond, Hertzan Chimera has a wicked message board on the HORROR WORLD website in the States. There you can leave H.C. a message and chew some fat or just laze about in the cross-eyed miasma that is THE INTERNET. It has just been given a major graphical overhaul and this more-industrial-surrealism style is soon to be reflected in an overhaul of the Hertzan Chimera Website itself.

green is good - isn't that what Gordon Gekko said? :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

God bless Camp Horror. They be running with an exclusive INTERVIEW of all things Chimlike, and a few very favourable reviews of the latest Chimproduct, in the forthcoming April Issue. Not only that, I was in the THWN chat room just last night and Rick Mohr (the editor of Camp Horror zine) offered me the chance to become a columnist for his site. I sent him some sample documents and already he has accepted one particularly Kinky Kolumn for the forthcoming April issue - this premier camp horror column "UBIQUITOUSLY, H.C." may be familiar to one or two or you, but it's aired for the first time in its entirety on CAMP HORROR.

that's the result of the day!

Monday, March 22, 2004

I did mention in an earlier post that Chimera is taking over from his human body (Philbin). Part of this process involved people in bars or at author conventions calling me by my Chimera-name and me denying this truth. "I am not my writer name!" I yell. Well, I thought it was time to OUT the little fucker, see how he likes it. By splitting a face-on image of Mike Philbin and creating two faces from the reflected halves, I have unveiled the true face behind the keyboard name Hertzan Chimera.

he's out there now, but I still can't tell which one is which....

Sunday, March 21, 2004

You may notice a slight redesign to the right hand side of this blog. That's because the community of horror bloggers has been uniting its message, unifying its fire and other stuff that rhymes with BLOG EXCHANGE. More horror bloggers linking to more horror bloggers means more choice for the reader and more readers for the blogger.

I acquiesced and BLOGLINKER'd myself up...

Saturday, March 20, 2004


she could see nothing, hear nothing, smell nothing.
she pondered this dark smelly new reality.
abandoned to this new credo, she could do nothing about her plight.

she felt a spasm of movement all around her.
voices began to awaken.
feared for her sanity when she realised she was not alone in the dark.

he spoke to her without words, not in the human sense of words.
she understood every ‘word’.
so wet and warm and exquisite.

it was the first time she had felt such a rush of understanding.
she was instantly on fire.
a new piece of her inner topology reached out into the dark like a rod.

she felt her new framework start to tatter and bleed.
the pain was like sitting on a hot, sharp spike.
if she had ears, she would be digging the workings out with painted claws.

her whole body mass was weeping blood as the pain turned to physical trauma.
then she broke.
like shards of shattered fleshly glass, shattered with pain and blood passing.

his words ceased; no more whisperings of ecstatic comfort in the dark.
the coat of many cunts opened sending burning light across her tender membranes.
she would never believe she could be so easily discarded.

she saw his still erect cocks pounding with scrotal potential.
she saw cuntjuice glistening cocks falling limp now as he rubbed a soap stone all over
she wanted that man in her coat of many cunts once more.

but the coat of many cunts is a trinket, a diamond sticking up out of manure.
no one owns it, no one can ever possess it, no matter how the coat may need the wearer.
she watched the sun setting on the scene and wondered where this hell would take her.

the original version of “coat of many cunts” first appeared in the Chimera/Severin collaborative collection B.F.G.S., available from Massacre Publishing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Just found this one. Some things are worth the wait. A mention for Hertzan Chimera's physical bodyparts in the form of an XBOX walkthrough on this official XBOX.IGN.COM preview.

Hey, for those who don't know (and there may be thousands of you out there) I moonlight as Mike Philbin, video reviewer for Video Vista. I like to be sent films that aren't normally reviewed or given air, hence this ecclectic collection:


this is the first time I've ever seen them all together in one place - quite a list

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

At first I thought the opening graphic was a blood-splattered mammoth, then when I started reading I realized it was Hertzan Chimera doing the business. I was struck by the similarity between HC and Des Lewis, not in style or content, but in the desire to play with words, to over-construct input for the senses, the bibliobrain, and in his case, the groin. Overload, overkill, overshoot until you wonder what the devil is going on, what it's all about, what you are doing there. It spawns questions like: Is HC's wife at his mercy or is he impotent? For he is not normal so cannot have sex with the frequency and passion of normal folk, who do it in normal beds bought from normal shops in normal towns and cities. Does he keep his wife chained up in some awful kitsch-coloured cellar? Does he try out all this stuff he describes before he describes it? Do any psychiatric reports exist? Has he eaten the child seen in the photo that once adorned his website? If not, will this child grow to be like HC? Is the child the beginning of a dynasty designed to obliterate the moral majority and replace it with drug-induced perversions and laws that make it illegal to have normal sex in normal beds bought from normal shops in normal towns and cities? Is it right that the author should have his personal life commented upon. Does HC have a personal life separate from that of his creator? What is his work doing to me? Can I escape it or have I been chosen to suffer the indignities of his imagination for ever and ever Amen?

I can't work out if he liked the story or not :)

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Well, that's done. The first draft (officially) of the old text-format 1993 script RED HEDZ has been redone. It is now in full SCRIPT MAKER format, untidied, there were 117 pages of it. Pretty exhausting work formating a text document into script format, all that SCENE HEADING, CHARACTER NAMING and SUCH.... I left out much of the camera work and other transitions, concentrating instead on making it as readable and visual as possible. I went through it with a fine-toothed comb as there were a few lingering problems with the way it was originally adapted from my eponymous 1990 novel. I tightened up the 117 page version and, as predicted, it came out at 110 pages; that's 1 hour 40 minutes onscreen approximately.

I am determined to get this first full screenplay just right, it's off now with a fellow writer for a dialogue pass on it to make sure it's crisp and clean and modern THEN it's off on it's way to PAUL VERHOEVEN for appraisal.

this is gonna knock his socks off
This question dawned on me only recently. Okay, we all know that Hertzan Chimera is a name I dreamt up to write stuff under. It is a special costume that explores the unstaunchable gook that pours out of my broken head. It is a name I use to classify&categorise the writing world with relation to those I have collaborated with. But it is also the name I gave to a scientific principle of light travelling backwards and Universal Equil-librium. But it is also an amalgam of silly things that take my fancy like zero and infinity, like crazy advertising campaigns, like.

I use the name Hertzan Chimera but have no real idea what it is, as an entity. It occurs to me most when fellow writers who I will meet periodically at writer conventions and pub get-togethers in London and wherever that I AM NOT PHYSICALLY HERTZAN CHIMERA. At least I don't feel comfortable being addressed publicly as Hertzan Chimera. I am the person who thought up the character Hertzan Chimera fair enough but, though I want it or not, that Frankenstein's monster is getting a life of its own.

Only recently, one magazine editorial quoted my paintings from the late eighties and early nineties were the work of Hertzan Chimera. Well, they weren't. I wasn't using the media currency 'Hertzan Chimera' back then, this alter-ego hadn't inflated to that great a volume then :) But that bastard, that charalatan, that ill-conceived creation, Chimera, is taking over - I can sense him plotting my actual demise. My "official" website has had 13,000 hits in the last few years but I get very little feedback from readers ... I do not know how many dedicated readers Hertzan Chimera has but everyone is beginning to know who Hertzan Chimera is. Maybe they know more than me? I should ask them to tell me what I am. There may be more well thought out ideas of my psyche out there, my pattern, my theology.

One day I will sign this blog AS Hertzan Chimera with total conviction that that is what and who I am. I will refuse to answer to my real name in public. I will have been consumed by my own creation, lost in commercial denial.

I can sense that day approaching with masochistic inevitability