pigs headI never held with ruddy Hallowe’en. Another excuse for the kiddies to come terrorising you, leaving filthy parcels on your doorstep, chucking eggs at your windows and such like. Now that I am dead, I like it even less. Its on a par with racialism and homophonia to make fun of dead people, using crude stereotypes like skeletons and ghosts with sheets over their heads. Have a little ruddy respect, that’s all I have to say on the matter. You will be dead soon enough, and then you’ll understand.

Any Road, I noticed that a few people have been putting scary stories on here, and one of them, “Would you like flies with that?” by my old friend Nicholas C Rossis, has a pigs head in it. I reviewed his science fiction book  “The Power of  Six”  in my Book Club a few weeks ago, a ruddy good read it was. and this story is too. Only its not so much science fiction as like an episode from the “Twilight Zone” which was a good programme if you liked having the willies put up you on a Saturday night.

Pigs is the theme of one my nephew Michael’s poems out of another book that I reviewed in my book club. “The Great British Poets” so in the spirit of Hallowe’en and as a compliment to Nick Rossis’s story I give you a taste of our michael’s literary offerings


Hog Roast

I must admit that I’ve had better days
Trotting, truffling
Snorting, snuffling
I used to have cloven hooves
I used to have a curly tail
I used to have a sty of my own
I used to enjoy simple pleasures
For crying out loud!
Look at me now
What am I reduced to?
A Sideshow
Skewered and scorched
Sliced for sandwiches
Apple sauce?
Don’t mind if I do!
Mind you
Mustn’t grumble
Chin up
Keep on smiling
I’ll survive
No.. I will
I’ll live on in all those who munch on my mortal remains
Ingesting the messages stored deep within my DNA
Replicating and reproducing
You, my new host
A little less human
A little more porcine
A little less you
A little more me
I don’t mind if I do!

The Great British Poets Volume XVIII: Mike O’Brien is available as both an illustrated paperback and a non illustrated kindle thing on the Amazon.

Auntie Doris’s Book Club #9: “The Power of Six” by Nicholas C Rossis

Power of 6

My Raymond’s brother Cyril always liked the Science Fiction stuff. He always had his ruddy head buried in an Isaac Asminov or Arthur C Clarke. He liked that Ray Bradbury as Well. Robots, rockets, Computers, It all fascinated him. Probably because he worked with radios, valves and transistors, so he felt close to technology and that. Radios were pretty futuristic things in those days.

The thing is, he lives in a care home now, and has lost the ability to follow a good story. It will return to him. And I would imagine that he would enjoy “The Power of Six” once he got into it. I will give him a copy when he gets to the other side. I can imagine him having a bit of a grumble at first. Like he used to grumble about Star Trek after they got rid of Captain Kirk and got that bald Yorkshireman. “They are always messing about on that hollow deck,” he would say, “its about time that they got down on a few planets and had one or two proper adventures,” But then, after a while, the imagination got to him, and he started to enjoy it. I dare say he became a little bit obsessed. What is it about men and ruddy “Star Trek?”

Any Road, the stories in “The Power of Six” are more about computerised simulations of reality than about adventures. But they are imaginative, entertaining, and thought provoking. Like me really. Well, they made me think anyway. How do we know what is real and and what isn’t? Thats a ruddy good question when you think about it. I’m not sure that I know the answer. I’m not even sure if I’m real. I used to be sure when I was alive. Now that I am dead, I can see that I wasn’t as ruddy clever as I thought I was. Nobody knows anything really. I suppose that reality depends on your perspective.

In some of the stories in the Power of Six, the characters believe that what is happening to them is real, but then they find out that it isn’t. Or they don’t realise that it isn’t, but you do whilst you are reading the story. Which is ruddy double funny, because you knew that it was a story when you started it, but you accepted the reality of the story world only to have old Nick Rossis turn it all inside out. It makes my ruddy head spin.

Even the poor old war veteran, who tells the people in the pub that he has actually fired a few ray guns in a real interplanetary war… is he telling a story, having a story told about him, having a story told about him telling a story or what? In the end there is a right old twist and you don’t know what on earth to believe. My Raymond’s brother Cyril would have like that. It would have made his ruddy head spin an’all.

Then there’s the one about having a personality totally different to your own taking over your body and giving you a totally different perspective on everything. My nephew Michael could tell you a thing or two about that. Its interesting though. Look around you, the next time that you are in a crowd. How many people are actually in control of themselves, and how many are being operated by dead relatives or glowing orbs? Or are they really there at all? Could it all be a computer stimulation?

If you like thinking thoughts like that, then you should definitely get your hands on a copy of “The power of six. Whilst you are reading it you can think them sort of thoughts to your hearts delight. There is a paperback, and the kindles edition is on sale up the Amazon quite cheap at the moment. And there are a couple of bonus bits in it too. There’s a story about a universe creation game by one of Nicholas’s friends and a bit out of his Perseus trilogy. I would definitely recommend spending 99 cents or 69 pence or whatever it is on a copy.

Nicholoas C Rossis has a wordpress Blog at www.nicholasrossis.me