This morning I’ve mostly

…okay, I’ve mostly been working, but then I stumbled on the Incorrect Quotes Generator during my coffee break and was vastly amused. You can designate up to six characters and put their names in the fields, and the generator spins out some lines.

I naturally did Creepy and Hatboy:

Then I had a chortle at this little selection of characters from my upcoming book:

And then, finally, a medley of Final Fall of Man characters (rather too 21st Century pop-cultural in places, and Çrom says where’s instead of whereas at one point, but it’s still good):

That last one, I believe Contro and Zeegon should be switched because Contro would drink tea and Zeegon would definitely not only start this conversation, he would have a dumber scar story. But the ending made me smile.

That’s it. Carry on.

Posted in Astro Tramp 400, Creepy and Hatboy Save the World, Oræl Rides To War | Tagged | Leave a comment

Podcast pilot episode is in processing

Check it out here, it may still be a day or so.

A whole lot of work and a whole lot of waiting for a five-minute podcast (only two-and-a-half of which is actual reading), but I’m learning.

I was delighted to remember that my good pal Oliver St. John had gifted me with an excellent sci-fi musical riff to use in a book trailer I never ended up making, and so I had something neat to put in here as a mood enhancer. It had some Strauss (Richard and Johann) from 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I also kept but separated out into additional bits. It’s all arranged by Ollie though.

I quite like the sound editor in this program, and I love the way I can edit out my snuffling and snorting after I’ve read a segment. I fucking sound like a coke addict and I had none of the fun of actually getting to take tons of coke in order to sound that way.

Still, not the best production values around – still a work in progress. I’ll put up the next part ASAP.

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So hey, how about we try podcasting next?

WordPress just teamed up with Anchor to create a “change your blog into a podcast” service. I have no idea how it works and aside from Welcome to Night Vale I have no real idea what a podcast even is.

So, to celebrate the 2,427th post on the Hatstand, I’m going to make this post into a podcast and see what happens. Let’s keep it simple for now and then maybe some longer rants, or maybe even short stories, can achieve audio form even though Amazon and Audible is still messing us around.

This is a test of the Hatstand podcasting system. Please stand by.

Get it here.
Posted in Podboy's Podstand | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Goin’ vacationing

It’s winter holiday time, and although I have gone into radio silence already on the blog, I will come roaring back one day with new and confronting content. Also more books. And then more books, probably.

In the meantime, have a nice and relaxing end-of-February. I don’t know how relaxing mine will be, but it’s my first holiday since summer 2019, so I’m going for it.

Let’s close out the winter (or summer, depending on what half of the planet you live on) with some glorious, soothing wisdom from yet another sage and vastly entertaining voice from Perth. We really are the city that doesn’t stop fuckin’ giving, you know. You’re welcome, world.

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Weak Ass (P)ideology

Remember the WAP song? Remember how conservative snowflakes lost their minds about it[1]? It was funny. P-word is, uh, female genitalia. Classic.

One facet of it has been rattling around in my head for a while, and it’s a silly little facet that doesn’t really matter, but this is my blog and it’s been quiet lately, so I’m going to do a brief lukewarm take on it.

This gif has nothing to do with the post. But it’s a very underrated gif that deserves more time in the sun.
Fight me. I am Galdolf.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh right! Ben Shapiro, male masculine penis-having big boy man, was vewwy upset and responded hilariously. He also demonstrated what real music was, and in a move that may have actually upset me more than any amount of lightly-oiled in-your-face Cardi B rear-endal voluptuousity could achieve, he very nearly spoiled Les Misérables for me.

Now, I like Les Mis. I couldn’t say why. The story doesn’t exactly resonate with me, since I’m not a lower-class Frenchman from 1830. But it’s stirring. It put to music a sort of ideology of fighting back instead of giving in to unfairness that I suppose helped turn Little Hatboy into a social justice warrior, even though Little Hatboy identified more with Gavroche than he did with Valjean or Thénardier[2]. To this day I cannot watch this video without weeping, although that’s only about 25% to do with the song. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables will forever be right up there with Khe SanhBrothers in Arms and The Green Fields of France on my anti-war anthems list.

So I was a bit disgusted to see Shapiro singing Stars, the main theme of

Oh, right.

Yeah, I guess if you’re going to be a contard with a deep emotional connection to a character in a musical, it might as well be the cruel and morally inflexible authoritarian and (literal) son of a whore whose inability to show the merest scrap of humanity and mercy is such that – when faced with the choice between doing what is right and doing what is legal – he commits suicide rather than accept he’s the bad guy. The ultimate symbol of fragile ideology and absence of moral character.

Makes sense.

Anyway, that was how I learned to stop worrying about Shapiro liking a musical I like, and went back to laughing at what a weenie he is.

Also, today is my big brother’s birthday and he has always been a far better singer than I am.

Big brothers always are.

Happy birthday, Jim! Dare I say, WAP-py birthday?


That would be wrong.


[1] Fun fact, the last time I talked about WAP was last August and we had a plumbing renovation underway. Well, yesterday the dude came by to put in the last tiny plastic plug they’d forgotten to put in, a bit of negligence that was filling our front room with the smell of Wet Ass Sewage, and put the cover back on the water heater. So they’re done! It took them less than a year, people! Actually I think Aaron was the only person I was still actively following up about this with, but there you go. Closure. And by “closure,” I mean “of the sewage stankhole.”

[2] Another fun fact, I very nearly auditioned for the part of Gavroche when I was a kid and Les Mis was casting an Australian troupe. I didn’t, in the end, because I was too shy. But my family still give me shit about it. Hardly seems fair.

Posted in Hatboy's Nuggets of Crispy-Fried Wisdom, Office Posts, Random | Tagged , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Drive-by rage tweets

My esteemed friend and Hatstander in good hat-standing, Toon, delighted me this morning by revealing some of the childhood gastronomic favourites of Australia had found their way into the artisanal boutique wankery that is the Mount Lawley foodie scene.

Mount Lawley, to almost every single last one of you who doesn’t know, is a northern suburb of Perth, Western Australia. Even when I left the country in 2000 it was a known enclave of protohipsters, and this news has forever locked my opinion of the place in stone.

I mean … polony and sauce, it can’t by definition be fancy lunch meat and tomato relish. Damper has been an overpriced hipster and boomer treat since at least the ’90s, but it’s fucking campfire bread.

And to make it worse, now I’m hungry.

Edpool had a brief rant about this inevitable stop along the train line to cuisinal gentrification, but had to conclude it was inevitable, and nothing if not original.

Although if the Ozzy Man wants to have a yell about it, that would be funny.

You have to be careful, shouting about things on the Internet. If I had several million times the online influence, this might be seen as an attack on the restaurant owners. As it is, I like to think I’ve really just convinced Toon she needs to go to this place and waste (this is my official guess) $18 on a polony and sauce sanger.

I hope they have fairy bread for sweets. I’m going to get myself some lunch.

Posted in Kussa mun hopoti?, Office Posts, Random | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Farewell, Ambassador

I was saddened this morning to learn of the death of Mira Furlan, who played (among many other roles) Ambassador Delenn on Babylon 5. Her performance was always full of heart and soul and quiet strength, the Minbari people and their class schism very much a founding inspiration for the Molren of my own fiction.

What I didn’t know about Furlan, which adds so much to her performance and my admiration of her, was that her early life had taken place in a travelling theatre troupe in civil-war-torn Yugoslavia, and she brought a lot of that ferocity to Delenn’s character. I can do no better than to quote the article here:

It is a night of great sadness, for our friend and comrade has gone down the road where we cannot reach her. But as with all things, we will catch up with her in time, and I believe she will have many stories to tell us, and many new roles to share with the universe.

When Mira Furlan came to audition for Babylon 5, her home country of Yugoslavia was in turmoil and shattering into two separate countries. During our first meeting, we spoke about her work and her life, and I learned that she had been part of a touring theater group that continued to cross borders of the disintegrating country despite receiving death threats from both sides in the civil war.

I expressed my admiration for her courage, but she shrugged and waved it off. “What’s the worst that could have happened? Yes, they could have killed me. So what? Art should have no borders.”

Very few people knew that side of Mira: the fiery, fearless side that fought ceaselessly for her art. She brought all of those traits to Delenn, and in turn I tried to write speeches for her that would allow her to comment on what was happening to her homeland without calling it out by name. I guess I must have done it correctly because one day during the Minbari Civil War arc, she appeared in my office door, a cup of tea in one hand, in full makeup but wearing a pull-over robe from wardrobe, and said, “So, how long did you live in Yugoslavia?”

Rest in peace, Mira. And thank you.

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I Had A Dream (US Inauguration Day)

Weirdly, I had a dream last night.

It was the night before Biden’s inauguration, and for some reason I was hosting Donald and Melania Trump at our house (or possibly backstage at the inauguration, but it was our house). Maybe they booked us because we did such a good job looking after them when they visited Finland to meet with Big Daddy Putin.

It was decidedly odd. I had a chat with them both, and found Donald to be … pleasant. Like his public and online personae were just an act. It was all fairly quiet and inoffensive, even though I was trying to be critical and challenging, I found I had very little to say because he was so laid back. I did get a bit of a zinger in, while explaining the great influence my older sister has had on my life, personality and ideology. Donald was like, “ah, your family in Australia,” and I said, “yep, I’m one of those immigrants who didn’t bring his whole extended family with him when he moved into the country.”

I meant it as a “not all immigrants are bad and it’s not a takeover by foreign powers, it’s just diversity” statement, but Melania asked whether it was maybe a jab at her and the way she’d brought her parents into the US. It was mildly amusing.

And then they bought one of my books! I was looking around my bookshelves for a spare paperback to give them, and getting agitated because they’d all been cleared away somewhere, when I woke up.

I mean, that was weird, right? They don’t read.

Happy Inauguration Day. Welcome to the world, President Biden. Don’t fuck it up, it’s already a huge mess.

Posted in Kussa mun hopoti? | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

New Year, New Look

My esteemed and warped-genius colleague, Creepy (aka. Mister C, aka. … well never mind, he has more nicknames than I do) has invested in graphics software and turned his efforts to (among other things) a DeviantArt page. Go and check it out.

The prize of the collection though, at least so far, has to be this one.

Revel in it.

I want to thank my weird and wacky and wonderful brother in penslinging for making me look even remotely like Jason Momoa. I am taking this straight to Mrs. Hatboy and showing it off with great glee. Furthermore, I have found a new avatar for myself – a long-overdue overhaul to my various profiles, and a new me for the new year / decade.

Damn right. He even nailed the eyeroll.

Couldn’t be more chuffed.

Posted in Creepy and Hatboy Save the World | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Where to next?

Yesterday I wrote the final words of my first draft of The Last Days of Earth, and got the editors’ proof paperbacks into production from Amazon Spain. All that remains is to edit, get my cover (the drafts I’ve seen so far look predictably amazing), and get it out there.

545 pages, 155,485 words. Done.

I know I don’t do word counts and stuff so much anymore, since I don’t post daily anymore. But there’s my total. Lucky #17 is essentially done!

I abruptly found myself at a loss. Not only have I been working on these two books – The Last Alicorn and The Last Days of Earth – side by side since the release of Panda Egg in November 2019, but this book marks the third and final instalment of the Oræl Rides to War trilogy and a chronology of Earth from 1990 AD to its final year. With occasional dives into the distant past.

It’s been brewing and bubbling away for years. The Archangel Barry was already part of a story I started telling online on the old Monkeyhouse website in the late ’90s, and The Last Days of Earth is based on a dream I had even earlier in my life, and has only just found its way into story form. There are bigger and more important series to get out – with any luck this trilogy will have shaken some of them loose – but Oræl Rides to War was a huge one.

This is still where we’re at, pending the cover to The Last Days of Earth.

So I suppose the next stop is a new anthology – Tales of the Final Fall of Man 4. Then there’s the second half of Tales of the Always Night, Wump and Toop will be wanting me to get on with that. And then, apparently a colouring book! That could be fun. The girls already immediately opened The Last Alicorn when I gave them their copies, and started colouring the pictures.

Ahh, but Phase 3 beckons. Haven’t ventured into hard fantasy yet, it’s going to be fun.

Posted in IACM, Oræl Rides To War | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments