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 didn’t say it here first) with peaches and pomegranates, squeezing out seeds seductively and acting all sweet. Trust the Japanese to capitalize on that. So you think you’re sexy, tomato? Also earthy? Ha ha, f%*k you, into the jello cup you go! It is the summer of the tomato (or tomats, as they’re fondly known) in Tokyo. Tomatoes are everywhere. …

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. Story Jon Cusack plays Paul Soames, an American spy sent to look into the suspicious death of his buddy spy in the Japanese sector of Shanghai, the last Chinese city not wholly under Japanese control in the middle of World War 2. He arrives with a bunch of Nazis- his cover is as a Nazi sympathizing reporter- to see Japanese …

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 is another big stepping stone towards getting my work more widely out there. Here’s an excerpt- “Shh,” I whisper. I lift my bone shears and disconnect his left clavicle at the articular process, snap it at the foramen. He is screaming but I do not hear it. The smooth shank of bone sucks out of the trembling meat of his …

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, humor, human drama, science fiction, fantasy, absurdist, bizarro, weird, new wave, bugpunk, Cthulhu, Sherlock Holmes, historical fiction, and more. Purchase At the moment it’s available only on ebook- here are the links: – Kizuna: Fiction for Japan > US – Kizuna: Fiction for Japan > UK – Kizuna: Fiction for Japan > DE A print version should be available later …

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 no longer shine, their bodies crumble and decay. They are curios and museum pieces for tourists to explore. Here are 10 from around the world. 1. Rubjerg-Knude lighthouse, Denmark Construction of the Rubjerg-Knude lighthouse in Jutland, Denmark straddled the last two centuries, beginning in 1899 and finishing in 1900. It was built on a dune-less cliff 200m away from the …