Murakashi Derelict Industrial Ruin

MJG Featured Story, Haikyo, Mines / Factories, Tochigi 6 Comments

The ruins of Murakashi mine trail up the verdant Tochigi mountainside like a Studio Ghibli dreamscape, scattered about with the rusted-stiff robot arms of cranes that guard its approach like frozen heroes in Medusa’s cave. Zoom out and the blaring red canopy roofs of this rustic industrial graveyard begin to look like the shiny spilled guts of a snake, slithering languidly out of the mountain’s clean-cut grey-granite belly. Guardian arms. Murakashi mine drilled limestone and dolomite out of the Japanese mountainside topsoil for 50 years, closing down some 30 years ago. Now it’s a relic of a bygone age, when Japan actually had natural resources to mine. I visited with Rob and Jan after seeing the Western Village cowboy theme …

Killin Jack $0.99 on Kindle

MJG Featured Story, Jabbler's Mons, Kindle, Writing Leave a Comment

I’m launching my short story Killin Jack on Kindle!! It’s a story of revenge and dark morality in the ramshackle fantasy city of Jabbler’s Mons, available now for $0.99 Killin Jack Killin Jack is a man-made monster stalking the blood-slicked warrens of Jabbler’s Mons, a brutal city where back-street mogrifers sculpt living flesh into twisted zoo-morphized contortions. Jack hunts the Bunnymen, lascivious cross-breeds that once rutted the city to the point of oblivion. But when his last victim proves to be a baby, Jack’s moral certainy falls away, and the final leg of his long-wrought revenge begins. Contains KILLIN JACK (@ 5,000 words), plus excerpts from CELIBATE JAYNE and FREEMANTLE MONS. The story was originally published in the online magazine …

Exploring Japan’s deserted Mount Rushmore

MJG Featured Story, Haikyo, Statues / Monuments, Theme Parks, Tochigi 6 Comments

Disneyland has the grand pink Sleeping Beauty castle. The wizarding world of Harry Potter has Hogwarts. Japan’s abandoned Western Village theme park has a 1/3rd scale replica of Mount Rushmore. Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln- Japan Outside Mount Rushmore As grand-central-structures-that-pull-their-thematic-landscapes-together go, it’s an odd one. First off, you can hardly even see it from within the park. Instead it fronts the nearby highway and bullet train tracks boldly, like a grand welcome sign that turns its back on you as soon as you enter. Second, it doesn’t fit all that well with the park’s cowboy theme. Did cowboys wage shoot-outs on Roosevelt’s nose, or rustle cattle out of Lincoln’s big nose? Ahem. See any cattle hiding up that big nose? …

Sky Painter @ Something Wicked

MJG Books, Fantasy, Stories, Story Art, Writing Leave a Comment

My story Sky Painter – an epic fable about a fallen king and the love he left behind – has just gone live at Something Wicked, the South African magazine that also published Freemantle Mons a while back. SW was on hiatus for a while as editor Joe Vaz moved the production to ebook format. You can check the new style and subscribe here. Here’s Joe’s introduction to the issue- We start the issue off with ‘The Silver City and The Green Place’, by Abi Godsell, which tells the tale of a breakthrough scientific experiment in artificial intelligence. Next up is ‘Unstitched Love’ by Michael Bailey, which is all about a little girl making a teddy bear for her rather …

History of the Western Village Amusement Park, Japan

MJG Haikyo, Theme Parks, Tochigi Leave a Comment

Western Village is a quantum pocket of the Old West Disneyfied and transplanted wholesale from the American collective unconscious, replete with a $29 million replica Mount Rushmore, Western saloon, ghost house, jail, post office, shooting gallery, actual fake Rio Grande, and vast Mexican barrens. It was built in 1975 and shut down in 2007, likely due to its remote location and the pull of other nearby parks like Disneyland sucking away its tourist base. Now it’s a ruin, or haikyo, open only to urban explorers willing to take their chances clambering over the stockade wall. The car park outside the Village stockade. Mid-shootout, bleeding rust. Kerchiefed cowboys driving a wagon across the car park plain. Sturdy, tall, tough to climb …