Sweet Tomato Jello

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 10 Comments

Tomatoes are the great pretenders; spies who ply both sides of the aisle like double-edged moles in a John le Carre novel. One day they’re cropping up as vegetables, hidden amidst a salad, getting all the juicy low-down on what the peas are really up to with the carrots, and the next they’re in bed (are they gay? bisexual? I …

Why Jon Cusack’s ‘Shanghai’ isn’t Casablanca

MJG Book / Movie Reviews, Featured Story Leave a Comment

The movie Shanghai wants to be a big hullaballooing tapestry of love, espionage and betrayal in WW2 China, woven through with parallels to Casablanca. What we get though is more gold-threaded doily then Bayeux, knitted with great pomposity from dramatic but impersonal threads, few of which we really come to care about at all. In short, it’s empty. Here’s why. …

Bone Diamond @ Beneath Ceaseless Skies

MJG Books, Fantasy, Featured Story, Writing 2 Comments

My story Bone Diamond – a sweeping tale of greed, madness, and murder in alt. Egypt – has just gone live at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. This is my first ever pro-rated sale, so I’m utterly proud and pleased with it. It’s the first step towards three pro-sales, which leads to SFWA (Science- Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) membership, which …

Ice-Flock Gulls @ Kizuna Anthology

MJG Books, Featured Story, Japan, Writing Leave a Comment

Kizuna: Fiction for Japan is a charity anthology of 75 stories from authors all around the world, with all proceeds going to benefit the orphans of the disaster-stricken Tohoku area, through the charity Smile Kids Japan. It includes a story by me- The Ice-Flock Storks of Soroya – one by Michael Moorcock, and 73 others ranging across all genres- Horror, …

Dead Sentinels: 10 Stunning Abandoned Lighthouses

MJG Featured Story, Lighthouses, World Ruins 9 Comments

Lighthouses are the sentinels of globalization; for thousands of years they have stood on barren shores the world over and guided the spreading hands of global trade, keeping unknown seafarers and their precious cargoes safe in the night. Now they are dying, as modern technology renders them obsolete. Without people to maintain them, they slowly come to pieces: their lights …

Abandoned Lighthouses 10. Fish Fluke Point

MJG Canada, Lighthouses, World Ruins 3 Comments

The Grand Harbor Lighthouse on Fish Fluke Point, Ross Island Canada, was built in 1879, a square wooden tower 32-feet tall with the Keeper’s dwelling attached. Its fixed-white catoptric light was visible for 11 miles in clear weather. It was closed in 1963 when a replacement lighthouse went up on the nearby Ingalls Head breakwater, then smashed hard by the …

Abandoned Lighthouses 9. Ship John Shoal

MJG Lighthouses, USA, World Ruins 1 Comment

Construction of the Ship John Shoal Lighthouse in Delaware Bay took 27 years, from a decision by the US Congress in 1850 that a light was needed, through various incarnations of caisson-foundations, screw-pile roots, 2000 tons of rip-rap, and a temporary anchored lightship, to placement of the completed iron tower in 1877. The lighthouse went unmanned in 1973, and as …

Abandoned Lighthouses 8. Aniva Rock

MJG Lighthouses, Russia, World Ruins 19 Comments

The Aniva lighthouse was built by the Japanese in 1939, on a chunk of rock off the southern coast of Sakhalin, a thin 950 km long island situated just east of Russia, between the sea of Japan and Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk. The island was largely uninhabited until the 1800’s, when both Japan and Russia became interested in annexing it; …

Abandoned Lighthouses 7. Capo d’Otranto

MJG Italy, Lighthouses, World Ruins 3 Comments

The Capo d’Otranto lighthouse was built in 1867, situated at Italy’s most eastern point, marking the point where the Ionian and Adriatic Seas meet. It was abandoned in the 1970’s, but restored and reopened to tourists in 2008, where it hosts the Centre on Environment and Health of the Mediterranean ecosystems and a multimedia museum of the sea. Prior to …

Abandoned Lighthouses 4. Mogadishu

MJG Lighthouses, Somalia, World Ruins 1 Comment

The crumbling Italian lighthouse perched on the edge of Mogadishu’s Old Harbor was built over a century ago, and abandoned some 20 years ago as trade dried up and the failed state of Somalia descended into a home for extreme jihad and piracy. Now it stands as a reminder of the spectacular city Mogadishu once was, a bullet-pocked shell left …

Abandoned Lighthouses 2. Talacre Beach

MJG Lighthouses, UK, World Ruins Leave a Comment

The ‘Point of Ayr’ lighthouse has stood on Talacre Beach in Wales in various incarnations since 1776, watching over ships make the trek across Liverpool Bay from the Welsh town of Lllandudno. Abandoned since 1840, it has lived through numerous cycles of disrepair and refurbishment, with the latest reconstruction in 1994, leaving it a cheery red and white candy-pole on …