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 …

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 …

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 …

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 – …

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 …

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 Groundhog Day Gale in 1976. It has not been repaired since, prompting calls by locals and lighthouse aficionados for ownership to be transferred to a more dutiful custodian. Looking out over the Bay, white wooden boards battered grey. Image from …

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 recently as last month (June 2011) it was declared no longer necessary by the Coast Guard and made available for public sale. Ship John Shoal sitting on a heap of concrete and rip-rap. Image by Nick Zelinski. The Shoal upon …

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; the Russians for use as a penal colony. Almost a fairy-tale castle on the water. That led to years of conflict, retrenchment, and buildup of military forces, with both nations agreeing to split the island across the 50th parallel. A …

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 restoration, in crumbling and colorless condition. Italy’s easternmost point. The 32 m (105 ft) tall round stone lighthouse rises from a 2-story keeper’s house, the tip of which requires advance booking on New Year’s eve, when many Italians flood to …

Abandoned Lighthouses 6. Klein Curacao

MJG Caribbean, Lighthouses, World Ruins Leave a Comment

The Klein Curacao (‘Little Curacao’) lighthouse was first built in 1850, on a tiny spit of land 11km off the southeastern tip of Curacao in the Caribbean Sea. It’s exactly the kind of place that Jack Sparrow would have pranced around. Now it is hollowed out, crumbling rapidly, and nominated for endangered status, despite being rebuilt once in 1879 and again in 1913. White masonry tower, red brick keeper’s dwellings. Image from Philip Stevenson Located on a barren flat of rock and low scrub.? Image from Luciano Gollini The 20m (66ft) tall lighthouse tower is abandoned, along with the two …