Available from Bondwine Books

Lord Talon’s Revenge The End of Earth and Sky Writing Down the Dragon
August 2012 December 2012 Now available!

Mission statement

People occasionally ask exactly what Bondwine Books, as a business entity, is setting out to do. After 30 seconds of panic a long and intensive strategy session, we stole commissioned the following explanatory video. I think this perfectly summarizes what we are all about.

And now, a message from our Tech Dept.

As my 3.6 Loyal Readers will note, I have recently installed a Tip Jar on this website (see at right), and am beginning work on setting up an automated mailing list. For those of you who may wish to do similar tasks on your own WordPress installations, here is a simple training video that tells you nearly everything you need to know about how these tasks are done.

This technology was originally developed by Chrysler for use in the electronic diagnosis and denoberation of transmission misaccelerance, but has recently found a whole new range of uses in the emulation of dystactic fimularity on hexameric server configurations, such as that employed by WordPress. I hope you find the original description as informative and helpful as I did.

 

Tolstoy McStudge

Sarah Dimento has the honour to inform us that Tolstoy agrees with Smiggy McStudge about Wagner:

The actor with the horn opens his mouth as unnaturally as the gnome, and long continues in a chanting voice to shout some words, and in a similar chant Mime (that is the gnome’s name) answers something or other to him. The meaning of this conversation can only be discovered from the libretto; and it is that Siegfried was brought up by the gnome, and therefore, for some reason, hates him and always wishes to kill him. The gnome has forged a sword for Siegfried, but Siegfried is dissatisfied with it. From a ten-page conversation (by the libretto), lasting half an hour and conducted with the same strange openings of the mouth, and chantings, it appears that Siegfried’s mother gave birth to him in the wood, and that concerning his father all that is known is that he had a sword which was broken, the pieces of which are in Mime’s possession, and that Siegfried does not know fear and wishes to go out of the wood. Mime, however, does not want to let him go. During the conversation the music never omits, at the mention of father, sword, etc., to sound the motiv of these people and things.

It is not known at present whether Tolstoy was a McStudge by blood, by marriage, or by adoption, or whether he merely learnt his craft at the prestigious Studzhnik Institute in St. Petersburg.

Tip jar

Following a suggestion made earlier by several people, I have installed a ‘donate’ widget in the sidebar at right. Through the good offices of Wendy S. Delmater, my friend and boss at Abyss & Apex, the widget has been tested, and I can confirm that money dropped into the tip jar will reach me at the other end.

Any donations will be gratefully received. I hope to be able to send a personal acknowledgement to every donor, but if this is not possible, let me thank you in advance. And thanks also to my 3.6 Loyal Readers for sticking with my humble blog, and reading my books. You have been a lifeline to me through trying times.

Another letter

More rubbish about my personal affairs, reproduced here so that in days to come, when I want to look back and figure out Why What  Did That, I shall have a better idea of the chronology. —T. S.

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Just so we know where we stand—

—Larry Correia presents The Official Alphabetical List of Author Success.

For what it may be worth, I seem to be an S-list writer in the process of moving onto the N-list.

Smiggy McStudge is a rising young Q.

If I ever collect the whole alphabet, I shall let you all know, because then I shall be able to take my 3.6 Loyal Readers out to lunch.

Zombie Opera

Another guest post by the austere and infernal H. Smiggy McStudge. Take with the usual quantity of salt; that is, if you have no salt mines in your neighbourhood that are willing to make bulk deliveries, strain half a gallon of seawater through your teeth for each sentence. —T. S.

I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws.

—Charles Beaudelaire

Professional jealousy causes artists to say some terrible things; even, in extreme cases, the truth. For the purposes of the McStudge clan, Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen marked a crucial turning-point in our age-long struggle against Art. In one or two very important ways, it foreshadowed the ultimate fate of grand opera, which was once so dangerous to us and is now so useful to our cause.

If you mention ‘high culture’ to anybody in the English-speaking world, and ask them what is the first thing that comes to mind, there is an excellent chance that they will reply: ‘Opera.’ For generations past, the opera has been the playground of the wealthy elite and the social-climbing sub-elite. I do not, of course, mean that these classes of people write or perform operas: that would be absurd. Though the snobbery and self-importance of the people who do perform operas for their benefit, I am happy to say, is equally absurd and quite real.

No, I mean that rich people and senior bureaucrats gather at palatial opera houses, not to see the opera, but to be seen as opera-goers. They dress up, to this day, in passable imitations of the clothing worn by nineteenth-century aristocrats – the closest some of them ever come to being elegant. They then spend hours of agonizing tedium brought on by music that they do not like, by acting that nobody could praise, and by singing in an artificial and constipated style, all done in a language that they do not understand and for which no translation, as a matter of etiquette, is supplied. (Only a philistine, we teach them to say, would ask what an opera means.) But during the intervals, they have the ecstasy of chattering with their fellow elite in the lobby, eating awful finger sandwiches, swilling champagne, and generally carrying on as if they were the favoured guests of Le Grand Monarque for an unusually exclusive evening at Versailles. Like the Pharisee who prayed on the street corners to be seen praying by men, they have their reward.
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Death by Bebop

A guest post by our Evil Alter Blogger, H. Smiggy McStudge. He says that if I let him rant, he will give me back my blood-pressure medication, maybe even before I have another stroke. Do not trust this man. He would steal Tiny Tim’s crutch. —T. S.

The literary novel as an art work and a narrative art form central to our culture is indeed dying before our eyes.

Will Self

Listen: I write pretentious, artsy-aspiring, insufferable literary fiction and even I don’t think there was ever a time when literary fiction was “alive” enough to be called “dead” now.

Libbie Hawker

Literary fiction is dead, my dear Will and Libbie; and I am proud to say that we McStudges killed it. If you want to make out the certificate, I can tell you that it died at precisely the time when it first began to be called literary; you can work out the date from that. A McStudge never sleeps; he may put his audience to sleep, but he himself is always on duty. In the past hundred years, we have killed opera, we have killed poetry, we have killed painting and sculpture, the ballet and the symphony; we have sent ‘serious’ live theatre and ‘serious’ literature to that great arts council in the sky. Latterly, we have started in on merely popular art forms. Even the king of pop culture, the Film Industry (you can tell it is pop because we call it an Industry), has the name of McStudge written across its face in lovely necrotic blotches. We have got written science fiction starting to pine for the fjords, and now we are rubbing our hands with glee, and wondering which genre of popular fiction to kill next.

You may wonder, my poppets, why we McStudges take such delight in killing off art forms; and for the time being, you can take it out in wondering. I may deign to tell you later. For now, I will tell you how this delightful and invaluable work is done. Then you will be in the  position of the pathetic Winston Smith, when he wrote in his diary, ‘I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY.’ He got his understanding in the torture-cells of the Ministry of Love, and you, my dears, will be there soon enough. You may rest assured of that.
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The purpose of fiction

Fiction can educate intellectually, but that is not its main purpose, which is to educate and regulate the sentiments. If you can wiggle it in, an argument that shows that courage is good is good, but first and foremost, what a work of fiction should do is show that courage is admirable.

Mary Catelli

Told by an idiot, No. 8

There was a time, still within living memory, when indoor plumbing was a luxury for the upper classes. Nowadays, of course, indoor plumbing is an evil conspiracy by the American cultural imperialists; but that is neither here nor there. The point is that back in the day, certain members of the English upper classes held that bathtubs were too good for the masses. It was usual to attribute this attitude to old ladies from Brighton; and the classic form of the sentiment was this:

‘What ever would be the use of giving bathtubs to coal-miners? They would only use them to keep coal in.’

This, of course, is proof positive of how evil and reactionary the old ladies from Brighton were. Not, mind you, because they believed such things; a person may believe all sorts of things, and act on those beliefs, without opprobrium. No, no, they were evil because they said them, and that just will not do. Anyway, they erred by aiming their sentiments at the downtrodden industrial proletariat, instead of venting them upon a worthy target.

So in the spirit of the old ladies from Brighton, suitably corrected and brought up to date, I should like to say a few words about this monstrous plague of self-publishing. The publishing industry, as everyone knows, was divinely ordained to be the sole curator and seller of literature to the world. By taking their business directly to readers, these self-published cads represent a terrible threat to publishers, to all that is right and noble – to Culture itself. Of course it is impossible that this threat should ever amount to anything, because the publishing industry, being divinely ordained, will obviously exist in its present form for ever and ever. But the sheer impudence of the attack is an affront to every right-thinking literary person. It is for this reason that I offer a rebuttal.

The cads defend their horrible activities on the grounds that they are giving more money and artistic control to writers. This is a feeble excuse. For what ever would be the use of giving money and artistic control to writers? They would only use them to write fan fiction.

I intended to say more, but I have an urgent deadline to meet. You see, I am under contract with a very prestigious publisher to write a brilliant and slyly referential homage to Gabriel García Márquez. Only it’s not fan fiction, because we don’t call it that when it is Literature.

   (signed)
   H. Smiggy McStudge