Robert N. Lee

So it goes. (And free book. ABOUT GAMERS.)

So…that turned into way longer than a few months’ break to get married before my wife’s father passed away.

More stuff happened, since the last time I posted and said “Whew, finally got a breather, back to work.” More life happened. I don’t have a lot to say about some of it, right now.

One of my best friends ever, I think maybe my oldest friend I’m still friends with, and one of the very few people I talked to every day died, suddenly and…not very well. I mentioned that I was working on his book cover, recently.

Like I said, I still don’t know what to say about that, but it’s been a few weeks and I figured I should say something. I cannot exactly figure out how I live in a world without him.

I’ll just post this, a tattoo I designed for my friend Doug a long time ago – later he ran it as an illustration in a disabled issues magazine he edited, so I actually got paid for it.

I heard it still looked good after the accident.

douglas_lathrop_tat

***

The same week Doug was dying, my dog Ramona had an accident and lost her eye. I was the only one with the dogs at the time, it was…pretty bad. I can’t even deal with eye trauma in gory horror movies I watch anyway. As a real life event, I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious and immediate post-trauma shit for the last several weeks, from everything.

That’s gotten better – luckily I do have plenty of experience dealing with PTSD. And Ramona’s lots better and looks even more absurd:

 

all new ramona

***

Things have gotten better and calmed down some, and I got back to work, finally, and got this issue of Shimmer out and it’s up now and…it’s a really good issue. I must say.

 

Shimmer-21-Featured-Image-1024x393

 

***

As all this was happening, this also happened:

“What I have been reading is the 666ties series by Robert N. Lee. These books are white hot. Like face meltingly awesome. Every single one of you has to read these books now, or face the consequences of living a life that is hollow version of what it could possibly be.

“So what are they? Well, they are a series of alternate history scifi clusterjam kick ass novellas. Each book is set in one of year of the 60s, starting at 1969 and counting down to 1960. The books in the series don’t link up (I think, Mr Lee is yet to finish them all, so who knows, perhaps when we hit 1960 he’ll bring it all together in one ball of amazing awesome amazingness… but I doubt it) but each one is a delectable course of mind blowing wordage. In these books you have Crowley, Brian Wilson, a meeting between Phil K Dick and Bruce Lee, a world where Otis Redding and Elvis are superheroes – complete with their own superhero teams that are spending a lot of time having meetings while the civil rights movement is happening in the background.

“This shit is electric. Written to the absolute bone. It’s been a long, long time since I read something this exciting. It reads like someone who grew up on the all the pop culture the rest of us did but that had a mind that pushed all of that through a Jerry Cornelius type sieve.

“Fuck.

“It’s hard to even talk about how good these books are. I know that personally they have done irreparable damage to me. My next books are more than likely to forego anything to do with Steve and his adventures as a Bastard, instead they’re probably going to be about ninjas that work day jobs as IT consultants and at night wage clandestine wars against anthropomorphic assassin cows.

“The only bad thing I can say about these books is that Mr Lee hasn’t finished the series yet. So far he’s only released 4 books. And that’s a shame because we need all of them now.”

 

Wow. Um…that’s exactly why you write things, somebody responding like that. It’s why I do, anyway.

I feel awful that I was so consumed with what was going on in my life that I barely even acknowledged this post by Sean MacKaay, who couldn’t have possibly known how great it was to read that in the middle of all that. (Great and terrible: I read it once and then couldn’t read it again for a week.)

Thank you so much, I can’t even tell you how much that meant to me.

***

And the good news is: “She’s Not There” will be done and out for editing this week, I’m also working on redesigning the Awesomedome site, when I can’t work on writing anymore, but after that I’m just moving on to “Killin’ Dylan” and then the rest of the stories after that. I am all of a sudden really freaking itchy to write all the time. It’s been a while.

I’m abandoning any kind of regular schedule for the rest of the series, and just releasing them as I can get them written and Julia can get them edited. I don’t have anything else on my plate until Shimmer rolls around again in a month or so, so I’m taking advantage of the break.

***

Thanks to everybody who’s now been very patient about this, and I hope the wait will prove worth it. Thanks again, especially, to Sean MacKaay, your praise is embarrassing. In a good way.

Anyway, #amwriting.

***

Also, I heard video games were real popular this week on Twitter, so I decided to try to make up for eight months of near-silence by giving away copies of the last 666ties book published,  the 1966 story “Untitled Bruce Lee/Phil Dick Project.”

Since it’s about video games and all:

 

“Phil Dick walked by all the rows and rows of computer game cabinets, tourists’ kids clustered around them. The machines around the entrance were all Monkey Cong — this had been the case all summer, Monkey Cong was a smash, as they say. Phil didn’t want to think about the goddamned war in Vietnam anymore right now, even if he’d been in the mood to play computer games. Which Phil never was, he loathed the damn things. He had a Magnavox and an Engelbart at home, the latest models, because he had to. They had piles of games stacked next to them, and scattered around, many never opened. The game machines were never turned on unless game biz company was over, which happened less and less frequently, of late.

“Never, you might even say. Lately.

“At least the home games he worked on had some kind of stories, Phil thought – these hardware-limited arcade machines were just a Sisyphean horror show of doing the same things over and over and then doing them over and over again, ad nauseam. Primarily said “doing things” meant shooting weird-looking living things or eating weird-looking living things or otherwise destroying weird-looking living things: in the case of Monkey Cong, shitloads of cartoon VC who looked a lot like the cartoon Japs Phil remembered from World War II cartoons as a teenager. VC who never stopped coming, not until you died three times.

“You hit them with a big hammer, the Viet Cong, to kill them in Monkey Cong. Phil didn’t get that part at all, was that some kind of crypto-fascist Wagneresque thing? Mjölnir wielded against America’s foes?

“He heard the voice of Monkey Cong himself issuing from a dozen machines or so lacking players, running the nickel-begging tout display over and over. The buck-toothed, twisted, grinning yellow Tojo-cum-Ho Chi Minh abomination at the top of the bamboo cage players had to climb, the last weird-looking living thing for players to smash, the final step before falling back down to the bottom and starting again, Monkey Cong after Monkey Cong shouted over and over: “‘ME PRAY JOKE, AMELICAN: I RIIIIIIIIIVVVE.'”

 

1966-Untitled-Bruce-Lee-Phil-Dick-Project

 

The book will be freely downloadable from this link until…I have something else to announce.

Should be soon.

-RNL

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