December 30, 2011

WTF Movie of the Week: Dagon!

Please, kind sir, do not destroy
my pagan altar!
Aaaaah, Lovecraft... the writer for millions, inventor of dark things that go splash in the night, hypersensitive hermit and scorn of the movie industry. So many directors tried and failed miserably and the ones that did succeed are meagre attempts at best.

Then, early 2011, Guillermo del Toro threatened to bring Lovecraft into the mainstream together with Tom Cruise. His project of bringing At the Mountains of Madness to the big screen unfortunately stranded when Universal Pictures decided that it would be too horrible to show in mainstream theaters. If you want to read more about this, go here!

Well, at least we still have Dagon!

It centers around Paul Marsh who is a rather uptight young man with lots of money and a beautiful girlfriend (Raquel Merono). After their yacht is wrecked off the Spanish coast, they end up in the small village of Imboca. Trying to find help for their friends and to find their way back to civilization, they quickly find out that there's more to the village then meets the eye.

The part that follows is taken straight from The Shadow over Innsmouth. Paul is chased out of the hotel and finds a drunken bum who tells him the sad story of Imboca. The bum helps him escape, but Paul is cornered again. The scene in the house with the freaky Spanish kid yelling for his grandfather is one of the most intense movie moments I've ever witnessed (and deliciously Lovecraftian).
What follows you will have to find out for yourself, but let's just say that the stories Dagon and The Shadow over Innsmouth are balanced equally, complete with human sacrifices, fish/human hybrids, an cameo by Dagon itself and much more...

Firstly, the movie is an American-Spanish collaboration and it does the movie a world of good. The Spanish speaking majority of the cast gives a true feeling of being lost in another continent, with different rules and different customs. This would not have packed the same punch if the fishy people had spoken with a thick Southern drawl.

Secondly, the special effects are amazing for a low-budget, early 2000's, no-big-names, love project. The fish make-up, the skin suits, even the early CGI looks okay if you see it in a flash and are not too nit-picky.

Thirdly, the remaining credits go to Ezra Godden as Paul Marsh (who even looks like Lovecraft in a way) who runs around in Imboca constantly wearing a Miskantonic U. sweater (what a great touch!) and his two beautiful co-stars Raquel MeroƱo as the ill-fated heroin and Macarena Gomez as her horrific antagonist.

A small salute most also be given to Francisco Rabal who plays the wonderfully courageous bum, was overall a great Spanish actor and who died some months before the release of this film.

If you like Lovecraft, go and see it!

Marcel

December 14, 2011

Free Story: Macabre by Michael L. Kersting!

From below the Panama Canal comes tonight's short story of love, suspense and doom!

John Matthews is an architect who travels to Lima, Peru after his anthropologist wife goes missing. The last he's heard of her, she was travelling to the South American country to study a group of native indians, the Jivaros. Arriving at the Peruan capital, he quickly finds out the tribe is not always equally peace-loving. Helped by the local chief of police, he searches the jungle for his wife, only to come it's final and horrible conclusion.

Told with both feeling and a manly determination, Macabre breathes the atmosphere of the great mysteries and discoveries of the Pre-WW2 era. It somehow evokes the spirit of Indiana Jones coupled with the hard protagonists of Ernest Hemingway. Especially the chief of police Mr. Amerez is man who knows the dark side of his country and sometimes has to warn this grief-strucken American, is a wonderful antagonist.

Michael L. Kersting himself was born and raised in Guyana, South America. He knew from a young age he wanted to write and started his career as a writer for several newspapers. Since then he has published several volumes of poetry, flash fiction and short horror stories, most recently the horror collection ‘Room to Let’ which is available at www.lulu.com/michaelkersting. He now lives and works in Ontario, Canada.

I hope you will enjoy this story as much as I did when I first read it and if you feel you could do with some extra publicity: my inbox in always open!


December 10, 2011

WTF Movie of the Week: House of the Devil.

Ah, the 80's: walkmans, hairspray, legwarmers,
devil worship... Yup, it's all there.
When I'm writing and I reach page 10 or something, I frequently start to wonder if one of the characters shouldn't meet an horrible end. Will the reader go through another 30 pages of character development before the juicy stuff starts? And then I start to doubt about the whole story and frequently it lands on the shelf somewhere.

Glad to know what out there, there are writers who don't have these doubts. Like the writers of House of the Devil.

It's a 2009 movie set in the early eighties. I was barely conscious of my own existence around 1981, but I've been told that it does a tremendous job in capturing the essence of the time. The walkman, the leg-warmers, the hairspray and the pay phones, it's all there. It's about Samantha, a college student, who desperately needs money. How desperately exactly we find out as the movie unfolds. For she takes a babysitting job, which doesn't actually involves a baby. The person that needs babysitting is an elderly woman who 'keeps to herself'. Despite numerous protests of her best friend, Samantha stays in the house.

Then, for about 42 minutes, nothing happens. And it's here that most blood-loving gore-ghouls will tune out. Samantha goes on an explore-o-thon inside the house. Since the movie is called House of the Devil there must be something creepy going on, right? So, we the viewers are on the edge of our seats every time she opens another door to another dark room, as she prances around the kitchen with her headphones on, when we see her sitting watching TV. And this is where the movie displays its brilliance. The atmosphere is so claustrophobic and beautifully crafted that it becomes hard to turn away. Even though nothing happens! It's almost a shame when something does happen, because, honestly, that's when the story goes haywire.

What happens is some senseless blood and gore, a few good fights and a frankly ridiculous surprise ending that a blind man could've seen coming. I was happy they didn't stretch that out too long, because I was grinding my teeth already.

All in all it wasn't a bad movie. The director captures atmosphere of the 80's and especially the 40-odd minutes of non-action were enough to send this one straight to the top.... hmmm.. let's say twenty. The odd ending can be forgiven, although I do feel that if the writers had spend the same amount of attention to that, I could've been better as well.

A movie full of unrealised potential! Give it a try, especially if you liked The Others!

Marcel

December 7, 2011

Playlist for the writers!

...lalalalalaaaa--- <hack>....
Recently I started a new writing project. As always it starts out as a novella and we'll see where it takes me this time. One note-worthy fact is that this will be my very first attempt at a full-on dark fantasy story. I've always wanted to do one, but never had an appropriate story. Now I do.

But with writing a new novel comes, of course, a new playlist! Since the previous list was such a big hit, I decided to share this one with you as well. Some songs might seem an odd choice, but this is just what does it for me. Don't hang me up on this one!

1. The Passenger - Kid Loco - The first thing that attracted me to this 45-year old French DJ, was the title of his wonderful album Confessions of a Bella-Donna Eater. Really, how can you pass up an album with a name like that? This song deals with a mystical sounding man called The Passenger who rides down the gnarly streets of the city. It evokes an atmosphere of darkness in the way Tom Waits used to do. Oh, the original is by Iggy Pop, apparently.

2. Perhaps Vampires is a bit Strong, But... - Arctic Monkeys - I passed on this band for the first couple of years and missed their great debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. I'm a sucker for long titles and if it's coupled with a nice retro-post-neo-punk band, it doesn't get any better. Okay, the song itself has nothing to do with vampires, but it's a nice angry-young-men testament.

3. Nanananananana - My Chemical Romance - Really? With a name like that and you're not even mildly interested? Ever since their great album The Black Parade, My Chemical Romance have been part of all my playlists.

4. Ain't No Rest for the Wicked - Cage the Elephant - Another recent discovery, this US band has been pumping out weird rock songs since 2008, but managed to stay under my radar. I heard this one on the radio and was immediately hooked.

5. Black Canal - Fish - Maybe it's the publication of my book Resurrection of a Broken Mind which was read by a Scottish friend of mine, but ever since I fell back in love with Fish' voice. This spoken word epic (8-9 minutes) was released as a bonus track on Suits (1994), but works well on its own as well.

6. Baba Yetu - Christopher Tin - Yes, it was on the soundtrack of Civ 4 and I know it from there. But it's so uplifting and wonderful that I needed to have it. Lately, I rediscovered it and now put it in its rightful place in my playlist.

Dead can Dance - Echolalia
7. Echolalia - Dead Can Dance - Basically for the obligatory fantasy feelings, but I love the dark implications of this one. It's like a chant from some dark cult or something. I have to look it up one of these days. The title itself just implies a psychological condition where the patient has to repeat certain words over and over again. In itself worth a place on the horror list.

8. Lullaby - The Cure - Well, this really should've been in the all-time horror music list, but somehow, it wasn't there. So it goes here. I rediscovered The Cure after listening to their unplugged album and than aching for the originals. One of the best clips you ever saw, as well.

9. Heavy Horses - Jethro Tull - The entire Heavy Horses album reeks of wide-open nature and meadows and fields and other countryside paraphenelia. It should since it's an ode to the disappearing British countryside. It's basically in all my writing playlists.

10. I Miss You - Blink 182 - Actually, this is of my wife's favorites that I kind of took to after hearing the wonderful lyric Catching things and eating their insides. I turned to the clip and loved it in an instant. A lovely song about love that cannot last, a guy who feels he's not good enough, etc. It's as good as The Cure, I kid you not.

Well, that was it for now. When I find more nice tunes, a good movie or read a good book, I'll let you know!

Take Care!

Marcel

November 27, 2011

Writers Resources

Hello everybody!

Lately I've been getting frequent e-mails from people asking me where they can submit their story to be published. For money or for fame. Others ask me where they can submit for book reviews of their indie book or if I'd do a bit of marketing for them.

So, I've put together a short list of writers resources and put them on Floating Robes. You'll find them at the top of the page.

Since the list is still short (and by no means complete) I've also added them below.

I will frequently update this collection and put the most prominent of them in the Writers Resources section on the right side of the homepage.

I hope they will help you somewhat.

Submission openings 

- Dark Markets - frequently showing openings for submissions to various magazines. Specialized in horror.
- Duotrope's Digest - wonderful search engine for short fiction submissions. Dark or otherwise.
- Horror Tree - Great list of openings for submissions with frequent updates. Specialized in horror.
- Writers Market - List of magazines which are open for submissions. It looks dated, but it's still good.

Forums and communities

- Bookreaders Forum
- Book and Reader Forum
- Indie Horror
- Authors Den - community for all sorts of writers. Has a forum and an online bookstory which sells indie books.

Marketing

- Liz $1 Reviews - Funny girl who Twitters about your blog for a day for $1. Gain some extra publicity.


Contests

- International Aeon Award - Annual short fiction contest. Opens for submissions every three months.
- The Birdport Prize - Annual short fiction and poetry contest.
- Bristol Prize - Annual contest. Open to all genres and prizes for all genres!
- Lucid Hills Magazine - Frequent contests. Themes ranging from horror to non-fiction.


Greetings!

Marcel

November 22, 2011

WTF Movie of the Week: Event Horizon!

She could not understand what her new contacts had to
do with her kids'  nightmares...
Ever since I watched Into the Mouth of Madness I have no qualms anymore about Sam Neill doing horror. So, there, I've said it...

Event Horizon is the story of a spaceship by the same name that got lost some years ago and has recently turned up on the far side of our Milky Way. So, the rag-tag bunch of fearless pilots fly their ship over there to take a peak. With them is the brilliant scientist (Neill) who is part of the team that built the Event Horizon. It was designed to breech the borders of the known universe and, by Golly, it did.

As soon as the team docks at the Event Horizon, strange things start to happen. The log gives off horrible (and gory) images of what happened to its (now disappeared or dead) crew and the engine seems to have a mind of its own. Add to that the unexplaineable sabotages to the ship they've arrived in, making it virtually impossible to return to Earth, and you have a recipe for disaster. Soon the crew fall victim to hallucinations and horrible flash backs to the worst moments of their lives.

Event Horizon basically re-hashes the 'haunted house'-stereotype of horror. The sci-fi window dressing is just a nice cadre in which to place it. But this is just one of those movies where you can tell the crew had fun doing it! The actors are really into their characters, the story itself is nice, rounded and deep. No loose ends are left (although the ending hints at a sequal). Halfway through it, my wife went up to sleep, but I just didn't want to join her. I had to know how this turned out.

Sam Neill is wonderful as the evil antagonist. Ever since his Jurassic Park-character he just evokes such feelings of safety in me that his transformation into this almost Pinhead-type monster is horror enough on its own.

If you have two hours to spare and you don't know what to do with yourself, give this a whirl! Really, you won't be disappointed!

Marcel



November 17, 2011

Book Review: I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan

NOT the pretentious tripe it
could have been!

The last of my spending spree in York last fall, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I certainly didn't expect it to be the best of the bunch, but it looked interesting. I had opened it up before and was put off by the stream-of-consciousness writing style which usually heralds a book full of intellectual look-at-me-being-smart-ness.


I was so wrong!

I, Lucifer is the story of the devil who gets to hear that God, in His infinite wisdom, has decided to do away with the Human Experiment. Judgment Day is upon us and He wants to give His fallen angel a chance for redemption. If he lives in a human body when the Apocalypse starts, he can join God and the Angels again. So Lucifer cuts a deal: he will live in human form for a month and after that he'll let Him know what he'll do.

Of course Lucifer would not be Lucifer if he didn't live it up in the human world, but there are also wonderful funny and touching scenes in which he learns about our human world. The scene where it takes him four hours to get from the appartment to the subway station because he can't get enough from all the smells in the street is hilarious. And there are many others like that.

In retrospect the stream-of-consciousness style only adds to the believe that we are listening to the Devil, frantic, sexy, childishly charming, rude and with a deep sense of injustice. Duncan has managed to portray a Devil that is at once disgusting and loveable.

Although the ending is a bit puzzling and Lucifer's ultimate choice is predictable, we understand full well why he has to do what he does. For people with a love of metaphysical humour and are not easily offended by bending the christian dogmas somewhat, this is a great read!

Marcel

Glen Duncan's website.

November 13, 2011

WTF Movie of the Week: Midnight Meat Train!

A solid effort!
"What is this?" my wife asked me.
"It's a horror movie," I replied. "It's from a Clive Barker short story so it's going to be weird and bloody."
She then proceeded to put on her headphones and listen to Adele's latest album with a mixed look of contempt and worry for my mental health.

The Midnight Meat Train centers around a photographer in New York trying to make it big in the art world. To that end he decides to shoot the down and dirty street life. When, one night, he comes across a sinister looking man whom he decides to follow. He quickly learnes this man (played by Vinnie Jones), is a serial killer who makes the subway system his hunting grounds.
Pushed by the gallery owner for more gritty shots, he starts stalking the man and quickly finds this no ordinary Freddy, Michael or Jason, but the manifestation of something much, much bigger.

Judging from the comments on IMDB, feelings are mixed on this one. You either love it or you hate it, depending on what you're looking for in a horror movie. There is tons of gore for the blood-lovers and the acting is excellent. Especially Vinnie Jones' brooding looks sends shivers down your spine. When it comes to the ending, things get unraveled, though. Unfortunately, there is no earlier hint of this bigger picture that is going on. I have been told that in Barker's story things are much clearer from the onset. I, personally, like a good twist on a story, so it didn't bother me so much (although I did raise an eyebrow).

As far as obscure horror movies go, The Midnight Meat Train is one of those hidden gems. The concept is wonderful, like Book of Blood or Hellraiser. The story itself is wonderfully rounded without any lengthy philosphical digressions. And although you can feel where this is going from a mile away, the execution is done so remarkeably it's a joy to watch.

A solid effort!

November 6, 2011

Shameless Selfpromotion: Resurrection of a Broken Mind!


Yes, people, the game is on! My short story Resurrection of a Broken Mind is out now! Available on Amazon MP3, iTunes and CDBaby!



It's all about Peter Holleweg, a reclusive young man diagnosed with schizophrenia. He lives in a draughty old house by the railroad tracks. The only one who seems to notice him is his psychic neighbour. When one night she breaks into his house, Peter learns exactly where his bizarre visions are coming from. And how to stop them...

I'm really happy with the way this story turned out and what a great job Scottish artist Alan Ballany did of reading it. I loved the way my characters came alive once he read the dialogues. And I thank him for his input for my use of the English language.

The story itself has been likened to Clive Barker's Book of Blood and one reader said: "Marcel Admiraal has taken the ghost story up a notch from spooky to literature. Extremely well written and beautifully read, this story is a joy to listen to. Admiraal's descriptive detail transports the listener into the story which builds in intensity until the shattering climax. This was time well spent."

What else there to say? Enjoy!

Marcel

October 27, 2011

Book Review: The Small Hand by Susan Hill!

This is how it's
done, people!
Back to ghost stories and few do it better than the English. I bought this book once in Lisbon's FNAC store and it has been sitting on my book shelf for some time already. After I finished a popular science book that was frankly disappointing, I treated myself to this one.

I was sorry I came to the end.

'The Small Hand' by celebrated author Susan Hill opens on the night when antiques dealer Adam Snow gets lost in the English countryside and finds a large, decrepit house. Staring at it and walking around it's garden he feels the strange sensation of a small hand slipping in his. Afterwards he is plagued by overwhelming urges to throw himself in harm's way, something his brother also experienced during his mental breakdown. He therefore turns to his brother for help and finds out the horrible truth about the house and it's dramatic past.

What is there to say? The author has been lauded and praised already! All I can say is that this is a must read for anyone serious about writing. On the strength of a simple sensation the author weaves a story of great suspense. She doesn't linger in flowery descriptions, but simply (and very elegantly) tells the story. The style evokes the atmosphere of 19th century British literature, but the events are very modern. It's a testament that brooding, atmospheric ghost stories can still happen today.

All I can say is: this is how it's done, people!

October 23, 2011

Arterial Red by Brian B. Baker

Bloody retribution!
Boy, are you in for a treat!

From the flashing lights of ol' Las Vegas, comes today's dark and bloody story of retribution, punishment and death. Author (and bartender) Brain B. Baker kindly permitted me to publish this on Floating Robes for everyone to enjoy.

After weeks of watching the house, the vampire Vincent finally decides to enter. He knows three people live in the house, but the eight-year old boy is the only one he cares about. He can hear him, hear him praying. And he can smell him, smell the dried blood on his skin from where his father hit him... If Vincent can find the father, he will dine tonight...

Told with a truly poetic swing, Brain B. Baker weaves an electrifying story of the worst in human nature and diabolical justice. The choice the young boy faces is equally chilling and understood. Vincent the Vampire is a wonderful devilish protagonist from whom, personally, I'd like to read more.

Keep an eye out for Mr. Baker!

Brian Baker's website



October 20, 2011

Book Review: The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon!

Perfect example of
story-telling!
This one was given to me by my wife on a trip to her family in Portugal. I kept it in my bookcase for a special occasion and our vacation this summer seemed to be just the thing. I read it in one week cover to cover. 

It's that good.

The story starts when the family of Max Carver moves from the city to a small village on the Mediteranean coast. The old and creaky house which they move into is scary enough and the small collection of home movies they find adds to the mystery, along with a garden full of tall, stone figures. Together with his new-found friend and his sister he slowly uncovers the drama that befell the former owners of the house. 

'The Prince of Mist' was originally published as a 'young adult'-book. It's written in short, terse sentences which makes it run like clockwork and there's not a word too many. The characters of the Max, his sister and his friend are very well rounded. Max's father is great as an eccentric watchmaker and dreamer. The story itself is a perfect whole with no loose ends to frustrate over. 

This is a perfect example of excellent story-telling.

I had never heard of the writer or the book, but a quick look at Wikipedia told me this book has been around since 1993 and has won several prizes and awards. All I can say is, it has earned everyone of them.

The only mystery here is why nobody has turned this into a movie... yet...

October 16, 2011

Free Story: Tourist Trap by Robin Lythgoe

Girls wanting to walk up to the ancient
ruin, are not to be trusted!
In response to my little 'call to arms' to writers came this little gem by Robin Lythgoe. Writing in a flowing, warm prose she tells the story of a young man who falls in love with a beautiful girl. When one night she asks him to come up to the ancient ruin and meet the rest of her family, he finds out she's not all she seems to be.

Robin Lythgoe has been making up stories even before she could write! She dictated her first story to her older sister. As a child she's read every book she could get her hands on. Today she writes fantasy, dark fantasy and even dabbles in horror as this story testifies. Her novelette 'In the Mirror' is now available through Smashwords and Nook.

Please enjoy!

Marcel

Robin Lythgoe's Blog


Your story here? Please e-mail me at floatingrobes@gmail.com!

October 5, 2011

WTF Movie of the Week: Resolution!

Ahem, a moment of silence, please...

...

Small budget, hand-held
camera, true indie!
Every now and again we come across a movie trailer or a book cover that looks so promising that we can't keep thinking about it. Our every nerve and synapse is aching to know what this is all about and how this movie is going to end. Where is the writer going with this enormously cool idea?!

Such is the case with Resolution by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorehead. It's the story about Michael who chains up his best buddy Chris in a deserted mountain cabin in an attempt to rid him of his drug addiction. Pretty soon, though, a mysterious stranger starts stalking the cabin in search of a 'story'. They two have no idea what this man is on about. But after a couple of days they start receiving small packages with photographs and film footage and the truth becomes painfully clear.

Hand-held camera and hardly any budget can make for some pretty lousy watching. But seeing the trailer, I have to agree that I'm very anxious to see how this turns out! Let me know if you agree.

Resolution Facebook Page

Marcel



September 28, 2011

WTF Movie of the Week: John Dies at the End!

Watch the trailer!
Buy the book!
Okay, probably not an indie flick, but already one of the most anticipated movies of 2012 (at least by me) is the comic book adaptation of John Dies at the End. Originally appearing as a web comic by David Wong, it's now also available through Amazon. AND... as a movie in 2012, starring Chase Williamson and Clancy Brown.

The idea is that two guys take a highly suspect drug which seriously alters the way they see the world, but also unleash certain paranormal forces from another dimension. Dave, 'our hero' and his friend John do their best to stop the evil forces, but, honestly, their not really hero-material.

If this strikes you as lame or far-fetched, please have a look at the trailer and remember... here at Floating Robes we honour the truly creative writer. This is something no-one has ever done before and probably never will again.

Official Site

Enjoy!

Marcel




September 25, 2011

Free Story: Grandma Bixby's Teeth by Harris Tobias

Teeeeeeeththth!
Those of you who keep returning here despite my sometimes frankly pointless banter, will recognize the name of Harris Tobias as being a frequent contributor to Floating Robes. He is also one of my favorite self-publishing contemporaries in the field of horror and humour. And, more importantly, the combination of the both.

Grandma Bixby's Teeth is a wonderful example of the Tobias' talent. In an almost off-hand manner he unfolds a story of horrific teenage violence and sweet, poetic justice delivered with a punchline that'll keep you grinning for hours after The End.

I was fortunate enough to sample the story about a year ago and I'm truly honoured to have it appear on Floating Robes. It is definitely one of my favorites in the genre. I hope it will bring as much joy to you as it did to me the first time I read it.

Enjoy!

Harris Tobias' blog



September 22, 2011

BACK! Now with 10% less seriousness! Send me your worst!

Yes, I know, low even
for me!
Yes People!

After a month of radio silence, I'm back to blogging! I could bore you to death with the stories of yestermonth, but I won't. Instead let's just dive into the good shit!

Besides all the worries that come with getting married, I've been wondering where to go with Floating Robes... 

Most blog-teaching-sites say that you will find your true voice after 80 posts or so! Well, since this is my 90th post, it is high time to find mine!

So, as of today Floating Robes will focus more on funny horror, dark humour, rire jaune, black comedy, Schadenfreude or whatever you want to call it in your own language. 

And that means you! Because we need more independent writing, cartoons, comics, short films and the like. Times are tough enough as they are! Type in dark humour in Google and precious little is coming up! So send me your satirical brain children, your grotesque comedy and bloody jokes. I swear I'll treat them with respect!

Send them to floatingrobes@gmail.com and I'll drop you a line back!

Looking forward to hearing from each and every one of you!

Marcel

Ps: Picture courtesy of Tentaclii Lovecraft Blog which now also belongs to my favorites!

August 4, 2011

No blogging for awhile; Wedding near!

It's an alien wedding cake!
Okay people,

Sorry to say that it's proving harder and harder to put the wedding together, work at my day job AND updating Floating Robes. So, I'm putting it on hold at least until after the wedding. After that, I hope to be more relaxed and to have more time to dedicate to my writing and the blog.

Hope you'll understand.



In the meantime, here are some blogs of contemporaries I feel are a great asset to the writing trade...


Take care!

July 26, 2011

What have I been doing?!

Hey people,

Recently I've picked up my trusty old camera again and tried to get back into what once was my day job: photography. And since it highly interferes with my usual regularity of posting, I figured it was only fair to show you what I've been up to.

My idea is to get a small collection together of these and to get an exposition somewhere here in Holland. Maybe, somehow, I can get back to doing something that I really love, instead of just making money to feed my family and fund my time-consuming hobbies.

Of course, writing will always be a great love of mine, but in the past I've noticed that the two can co-exist peacefully.

From time to time, I'll be posting some of my photos here as well. Maybe, it can even give the blog some extra depth and personality.

Let me know what you think!

Regards,

Marcel

July 16, 2011

Flash Fiction: In Darkness by Marcel Admiraal

'Flash' Fiction... Get it? Huh?
Recently, I've been trying my hand at flash fiction. And this is what came out.

A short synopsis would probably run longer than the actual story, so let's just say it's horror, it's got blood and a twist at the end.

Enjoy! And if you feel the overwhelming urge to tell me what you think, please do! I can only learn...

July 9, 2011

The highly inspirational, but blatantly superfluous speech of Sgt. Tough!

You bunch of whining maggots!
Okay, listen up, you bunch of nagging maggots! Gather around, take a knee. That means you too, Jenkins! Stop fiddling around with the crossbows. You're gonna shoot yourself in the foot if you keep that up!

Men, I know things look bad right now and I bet you'd like to be at home with the warm fireplace and your mom baking one of her warm apple pies, but instead we're stuck in this dark and evil forest with those monsters! SO SUCK IT UP!

These fricking monsters have been going at us for the last week or so and so far we've kept them at bay and fully intend to keep it that way! We've taken this hill and we're going to keep it! Some fine men died taking it and I for one are going to honour their memory!

So when we see one of those bloodsuckers coming our way, we're going to aim our crossbows and sent them straight back to the hot place where they came from! We're not going to whine and we're not going to nag! Johnson, even with one arm you can still fire a crossbow! Jenkins, help him load it and do it fast. I know he's only got one eye, but he's still the best damn shot we've got.

So men, keep looking for the skies, keep an eye on every dark shadow and look behind every tree and rock you can find. If you see two of their red, shiny eyes, put a silver-tipped arrow right between it. DID YOU HEAR ME, JENKINS?!

Men, I'd like to tell you that all of us are getting out of here, but to be honest, I don't know! I'm not going to lie to you! But I don't care if they bite you on the neck, tear out the flesh from your sides or cut the legs right from under you. I want every man with a working trigger finger on the ready! As long as you can scream, you're not dead yet! ARE YOU WITH ME?!

Sshhhh, what's that over there?

Jenkins, take the crossbow, move Johnson towards the trees. Smith, stop staring at your feet! Porky, move your fat body towards that treeline over there. Their a-coming, boys, this is it. Jenkins, didn't I tell you to stop fiddling around with the crossbow? Jenkins... JENKINS!

Jenkins, what's wrong with your eyes... their all red and shiny! This way they'll notice us for sure!

Oh damn...

July 4, 2011

Places of horror: the Chapel of Bones!

Chapel of Bones, Evora, Portugal
A holiday tip for this year (if you happen to be in the area) for all of you who like solemn, but slightly weird and horrible, attractions, is the Chapel of Bones in Evora, Portugal!

Situated right next to the St. Franciscus Church, the Chapel was built around 1500-something by a Fransican monk when they accidentally uncovered a mass grave believed to be victims of an earlier battle. Instead interring the victims, the monk decided to create a chapel dedicated to life being transitory.

At the doorstep, you automatically halt!
The chapel is entirely built out of the bones of these victims. Walking in, there is a warning in Portugese reading: "We bones, lying here bare, are awaiting yours". Despite yourself you feel a chill going down your spine and your mouth falls open as you halt at the doorstep.

Stepping over the threshold is an exercise in overcoming some instinctive fear of death. The whole chapel is beautifully lit and around you the empty sockets of the skulls are staring down at you. You have to be silent, but that's no problem since the view will take your breath away.

If you are in Europe and if you are in Portugal, please go and visit this more than impressive landmark building. Portugal, in itself, is full of culture and history and definitely worth a visit, but this chapel will be the crown on the whole trip. 

Photos by me!

Yes, these are all human skulls.


July 1, 2011

Sample time: The Art of Bullying: Blooper sample!

Hey people,

Over the past weeks I've been editing my new audio book The Art of Bullying. And since this can be a long and boring part of the production process, here's something to lighten the mood! I'm sure it makes you crack a smile! I hope to have the whole thing up in about two/three weeks!





For another sample from The Art of Bullying: click here!


June 27, 2011

Independent Horror Movie Makers Galore!

All your links are
link back to us!
Hey people,

since my last post was such a blast, I've been looking up more about independent horror movie makers. Funny enough, all the links seem to end up here:

www.indywood.co.uk

It's a joint venture of actors, producers and a band (Wheatus!). You can have a look at what's in store and donate if you want to see this continue. You can also win (or buy) movie roles and production jobs or pre-order some of the movies. It's a cool concept! Have a look! Could be the Hammer of the future!

June 23, 2011

WTF Movie of today: Puppet Monster Massacre!

Sesame Street gone
very, very bad!
In the category 'Too cool to be true' this time we found a short trailer of the  movie 'Puppet Monster Massacre'. The best way to describe this is: Sesame Street goes really, really bad! With a tagline that reads 'The Felt Is Gonna Fly' you can't really go wrong, can you?

The synopsis is as simple as any other horror movie: a group of teens are challenged to spend a night in an abandonded mansion. The owner, the evil Dr. Wagner, has concocted a monstrosity in the basement and plans to make the hapless teens the creature's first big meal.



Sounds familiar? Seen this before? Not with puppets, you didn't!
This promises to be hilarious! This is already released in the US (I think) and we hope it will be released in Europe soon as well!

Puppet Monster Massacre Homepage


Enjoy!

June 20, 2011

Fancy Vampire says: I'm so misunderstood...

Fancy Vampire says:
Alas, I'm so misunderstood
First of all, I'd like to thank the good people from Floating Robes for giving me this chance. Others never were so kind...

A week ago there appeared on this very blog a post (clicketh thine mouse here) from a bitter vampire claiming vampires cannot be any different than blood-sucking monsters. Ai, how I lament this narrow-mindedness... Alas, sometimes we dig the very pittfalls we fall into...

For I assureth thou that there certainly are vampires with a bit more sensitivity to thine human world than this frustrated vampire hast thou believe. I, myself, often marvel at the extent of thine subtle nature and not seldom do I feel empty, bleak and alone after witnessing a wonder of human kindness...

My heart is a dark and haunted place, ravaged by melancholy. I often weep for my long lost mortality. Especially when the screams of the thousand victims I've taken resound in my ears... Their faces pass before my mind's eye in my most darkest hour.

For I AM a monster, doomed for all eternity to wander this vast world to know all the time, the only thing that can eleviate  my misery is to succle from a young virgin. Oh, how I lament the evil faith that has befallen me. It is enough to drive one to insanity...

But let me not fall too much into despair. It is enough that thy knoweth now that not all of our kind are uncaring psychopaths. And judging from the films of late, I daresay thou got the point. So I will now return to my dusky dwellings and leave thou in quiet contemplation. For soon another night is upon us. I will once again feel the hunger ravaging my poor body. I can only pray my mind is strong enough to resist its horrible call!

Let me therefore, translate my feelings into a poem:

Oh, dark night,
such wonders you bring!
And with it, alas, such evil plight.

My the heavens open with every dawn
And the heavenly sun shine down
on the innocence of every fawn.

Let me retreat into my humle pad.
To sleep until the evening's call
When I will awake, hungry and mad,
only not to feed, but to resist my heavenly fall.

With this, I will graciously take my leave. Pray for me in thine most forgiving hour. Or no, just leave it. I'm not worthy of thine thoughts...

Forever thine,

Fancy Vampire

June 15, 2011

Frustrated Vampire: We do NOT sparkle!

Frustrated Vampire says:
"WE DO NOT SPARKLE"

Hello yes? Are we good?

Okay, here we go.

So for generations on end us, vampires, have struck fear in the hearts of man! From the cold, wind-swept mountain tops of Transylvania until the exciting and bustling New World. And our encounters with the human world have been well documented. Personally, I've always loved to watch us lay waste to your kind! Even though the most documented cases you have are the ones where you always out-smart us. The pox on garlic and sunlight, I say!

But recently I've found, my race has been shown in a different light. Portraying us as lovely and courageous little creatures that won't immediately suck the life out of all the young ladies we meet. For crying out loud, we look like blobbering little teenagers!

Well, let me assure you, after a few hundred years of watching you mocking this planet up and fighting wars, you loose some of your sentimentality. We understand full well that we were put on God's green earth for one reason and one reason only: TO FEED OFF YOU!

And here and there might flare up some over-extravagant specimen of my race, donning a black cape and living in a fancy, albeit out of the way, piece of real estate, BUT even he understood that when the rumbling starts in the belly, you better stuff yourself with warm, pumping blood!

And so, let me set some things straight!

- We are not lovable!
- We don't care if you fall in love, we'll still eat ya'!
- We don't eat human food!
- We do not have children!
- We have no issues what-so-ever with drinking every drop of your delicious blood!
- We do not jump trees like some monkey!
- And worst of all, we DO NOT SPARKLE!

Believe me, people, sunlight is a direct threat to out existence and it should not be mocked! Soon you people won't even be afraid of us anymore! We already have scores of teenage girls clammering for our attention...

...and I got to say, thank you for that!

But still, I call upon the good people of Hollywood, USA to come up with more believeable vampires and soon...

On behave of vampires everywhere, thank you and sleep tight!

June 8, 2011

Cool to be Ghoul!

Fancy Ghoul says: we are
just as good as zombies!
Yes, well, there you have it! A trizillion movies made about zombies and exactly how many are there featuring GHOULS?! I bet you could count them on one hand!

See, that really pisses me off! What makes those blundering, would-be-our-food-if-they-just-stayed-dead's so much better than us! Just because we don't actually KILL you, we are not worthy of your time? That's just not right... I'm sorry.

Didn't know that, did you? Well let me fill you in:

1) Food doesn't run. This must be one of the blessings of being a ghoul. You see those poor zombie-schmucks trying toget their hands on a delicate piece of liver that's ten times faster then they are. Well, none of that for us. We like our food fresh, but no longer breathing. In fact, if you'd be so kind to bury your loved ones au filet, we'd be most appreciative. 

2) Always a home. Most of us just like hanging around dungeons, graveyards, abandoned churches and all those nice places that you people avoid anyway. We don't like people coming up into our faces, so we stay out of yours. Apart from some property developer coming by every ten years or so, that is.

3) Fancy talking. As you may have gathered from this little rant, yes, sir, we're actually quite coherent in our verbal communication, thank you very much! None of that 'Brains, brains'-stuff all the time. No, sir, anyone can come up and have a decent conversation with us. It's just... no one ever does...

4) Shape shifting. What? It's been known to happen. Ever read Thousand-and-One-Nights? No? So shut up!

5) No picky eaters. Yes, the most important aspect of ghoul-ism is the fact that we simply get to a graveyard and dig in. We're no picky eaters. We don't need our food to be alive in order to enjoy a good piece of skin. Dried or otherwise, it's all good with us.


6) No biting. Come one, why would we? You're still breathing, aren't you?

7) Just death. And if you do get bitten by one us (you weren't up to any good in the first place, were you?) you don't turn into one of us. Nope, you just die. Great, all the more for us to eat.

Yummy!
8) We don't multiply like rabbits. Ahem, that might need a bit of explaining. We are made during in extensive and intricate ritual than just emerged from the left-over pieces from someone else's meal. We are not just humans that died! No, it takes a witch with considerable skill to come up with one of US. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

9) Never alone. No Saturday night goes by unnoticed for us. We always dig up a date somewhere.

10) Fire. Ai, you got us there. We hate the sight, sound and smell of fire, so keep it very far away from us, if you please. I guess we're just smarter than the zombies on that one. They would just blunder into it, mindless lemmings as they are! Pwah!

And those are just some of the reasons why ghouls are better than zombies! So next time you come to make out at an abandoned cemetery, please have some consideration. Don't disturb us during our lunch with your endless yelling and screaming, and for the love of... something... please don't bash us over the head. We might just have to kill you!

Image by Tendonitis Games!

May 30, 2011

Just plain cool wedding cakes, but I don't think my girlfriend agrees...

Well, those of you who know me a little better (or cared to read my bio) will know that I'm currently planning my wedding. That is, my girlfriend is planning the wedding and I just... well...

Anyhoo, we came across some wedding cakes that were really awesome. Unfortunately, none of them will be chosen, but I thought they'd go nicely right here...

Enjoy!




May 24, 2011

Sample Time: My new audio story 'The Art of Bullying'

Ah.. we all remember this,
don't we? Either one way
or the other...
'The Art of Bullying' is a short story dealing with Eddy the Slayer. He's a high school bully who never really got out of his evil ways. When one night he's stabbed on his way home, he's transported up to Purgatory where he learns exactly what his life of picking on the little guy has earned him...

The story itself earned me an honourable mention in the Lucid Hills Spring Contest. Not too long ago I recorded it with stand-up comedian David Popper one Saturday afternoon. And soon it will be up on Floating Robes in it's entirety for all to enjoy!



May 20, 2011

Care for some publicity? Submit your story! Win a book!

...or at least a chance to show
what you can do!
For those of you checking my blog regularly, you have noticed the publication I did of Harris Tobias' excellent story 'Owl Head Lake'. If you've missed it, click here!

I'd like to make this a regular thing. So here's A CALL TO ALL TRULY CREATIVE WRITERS! I'll be looking for short stories or flash fiction with roots in horror and/or fantasy. That also means subgenres like urban horror, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, magic realism and everything else that falls into the cracks.

This could mean a BIT OF TRAFFIC to your blog, a chance of GETTING YOUR NAME OUT THERE or just nice to GET SOME ATTENTION.

No strings attached, stories will be offered for free reading and I'll do some editing where needed. So take that story that's been sitting on your shelf for a while, dust it off and send it over. Publication will also mean a small feature, so tell me a bit about yourself and add a link to your blog or site.

The five best submissions will be WINNING A FREE COPY of my short story collection 'Beneath Dark Waters'! If you're one of them I will e-mail you at once!

Submissions can be made to info<at>floatingrobes.com!

Hope to see you all there and don't forget to keep writing!

Marcel

May 17, 2011

Free Story: Owl Head Lake by Harris Tobias!

Actually Onama Lake, Japan
by Michael Kenna
In the category 'Other people do cool stuff, too' we have today Harris Tobias. He's a writer, living and working in Virginia, USA. His stories tends to go towards the absurdly humourous with a big slant towards sci-fi or horror. He was previously published in E-Fiction, Vox Poetica and The Calliope Nerve. His novel 'The Greer Agency' is out now! You can read all about him on his blog http://harristobias-fiction.blogspot.com/




Owl Head Lake

Monty, a disgruntled lawyer goes to spend a few days of solitude on the banks of Owl Head Lake. He's been there before; it's enjoyable. Still, when he arrives and finds the previous campers leaving, he finds out that the old wives tales about the lake might have more truth in them than previously imagined...

Enjoy!


Your story here? Drop me a line! Info<at>floatingrobes.com

May 14, 2011

Lovecraft's 'Pickman's Model' in photography!

Pickman's Model in photography!
Doing the cover of my own audio book, I got to endulge a bit in my love for photography. Combining horror and photography seems to be a nice thing to do for me. And it seems I'm not the only one (as I knew I wasn't).

Joshua Hoffine has been photographing the weird and macabre for ages. He has an extensive portfolio of some of the most horrific images I've ever seen. I can't help but gawk and awe over the care and time he invests in each one. Believe me, these photos don't just happen...

Recently he has been doing a series based on Lovecraft's short story 'Pickman's Model' and I finally got a chance to combine my love for horror literature and photography. Below you'll find a link to Mr. Hoffine's site and portfolio.


I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

May 9, 2011

Review: Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner

 A lesson in creativity...
I purchased this in the wonderful city of York, England about 6 months ago and couldn't wait to start reading it. Coming from indepent publishing house Angry Robot, Nekropolis promises to be weird, out-there, creative and exactly what I'm searching for.

And I wasn't disappointed. 

Nekropolis centers around the character of Matt Richter who is a private investigator in the strange city of Nekropolis, a city inhabited solely by vampires, zombies, werewolves, monsters and the like. When one day he is hired by a sexy, young vampirella to find a powerful artifact, the plot is complete. 

Oh, there's one more thing: Matt is a zombie.

Throughout the book, the plot is ever-present. Waggoner doesn't allow himself to be distracted by the lavishly over-done playground that is Nekropolis. He walks through it as if he lived there all his life. As it turned out, he did. The book was conceived around 15 years ago and Waggoner has been building on it ever since.

Combine the creative setting, the humour and a plot that everybody knows and loves, and you got one wonderful yarn! However, this would never work without the hilarious scenes and situations that Matt the Zombie Investigator gets around every corner. Were there ever be made a film of this, one would gawk at it with mouth wide-open!

Not for the faint-hearted.

May 7, 2011

3 Horror Podcasts!

Coming to get ya'!
Since I'm getting into this whole audio book thing, I found a couple of really cool things out there! I know some of you will be going: "Oh man, this guy has been living in a cave for the last few years....". If you're one of them, please don't hold it against me. I just hope I can bring something new to the worlds of others.

Three nice, well-defined horror podcasts: 


Pseudopod - Been around for ages and very well frequented, I'm sure. Submission will take up to five months, so I'm guessing these guys are quite busy. But the site is very cool, podcasts are clear and they offer a fantastic opportunity for new and upcoming writers.

Horror Podcast - Come on, the name says it all, doesn't it? It's a directory for horror podcasts. If you have a site that produces narrated horror stories, you can submit them here.

Drunken Zombie Podcast - Besides having a hilarious name, this feels like a couple of guys having fun. But as you get into it deeper and deeper there does seem to be a bit more to it. With monthly themes and really well-defined podcasts, this is worth checking out!

Most of these guys do this for the love of horror, so be sure to check it out, twitter them or buy a T-shirt. I know I will!

Marcel

Cool picture by 'Tune in for Terror'!
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