Archive for May, 2011

When Iain Banks collided with Iain M. Banks, a rip in the universe opened in London and all kinds of evil, disgusting creatures flooded out.  But now the rift has been quiet for several weeks, and has even become somewhat of a tourist attraction – people queue for hours to stare into the trembling, glowing darkness.

Lady Gaga is so impressed with the portal that she has used her not inconsiderable influence and finances to construct a stage around the tear, ready for her London gig.  Now she is onstage, performing in front of thousands of fans as the rip glows in the background; the most ominous but beautiful light display ever used.

China Miéville is not happy that the rip is being trivialized as a special effect at a pop-concert, so he stands watch at the side of the stage, ready, in case the gig should go momentously wrong.

Lady Gaga is gyrating across the stage, wearing what can only be described as a toilet seat, when a cloaked intruder invades the platform; it’s China Miéville’s evil nemesis: The Hooded Bastard! Seemingly recovered from his recent gunshot injury, he sprints towards Gaga, and with unnatural force he pushes her into the rift before dashing away, pursued by security.

The music stops; the fans cease cheering, and silence descends on the arena.  Lady Gaga is gone: swallowed up by the portal.  Moments later, however, she re-emerges to great applause.

But something is not right; another Gaga exits the portal, wearing what can only be described as a book of carpet samples: and then another Gaga emanates, wearing what can only be described as a filing cabinet.  Soon hundreds of Lady Gagas are flooding out of the rift, each dressed in uniquely bizarre apparel.  They begin attacking the fans and a panic erupts: people flee the arena, desperate to escape the rampaging army of demented Gagas.

China Miéville runs onto the stage to drive back this hoard of clones.  One Gaga (wearing what can only be described as several trout) attempts to kick China in the stomach – but a stern punch to her face soon dispatches her.  Another Gaga (wearing what can only be described as a photograph of bees) leaps at China’s head – but he catches her by the ankles and swings her through the air, throwing her back inside the portal.

Lady Gagas now surround China, hundreds and hundreds of them.  He fights them off – a flurry of kicks and punches as he deflects their assaults.  But there are too many of them; this is hopeless!  China Miéville realises what he must do – to destroy the copies, he must defeat the original Lady Gaga. 

He fights his way across the stage, holding off the relentless Gaga assault, when he finally spots her: the Gaga wearing what can only be described as a toilet seat.  Removing his hooked ear-rings, China throws them towards Lady Gaga.  Mid-air the cybernetic worms come to life and then – they make contact! They burrow inside Lady Gaga’s eyes, into her skull and a moment later she drops limp to the floor.  Instantly, the hundreds of Gaga clones evaporate, as if they never were.

China Miéville stands alone on the stage; all is quiet.  The Hooded Bastard is nowhere to be seen.

WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE

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 As China Miéville made his way through the dusty Cairo market he basked in the bustle and noise. He stopped to watch a snake charmer but he could feel eyes colder than those of the serpents watching him… The Hooded Bastard leapt out from crowd, roaring a battle cry. The crowd between he and China Miéville scattered as he twirled his scimitar menacingly. The steel glittered in the hot sun and a combination of the exertion and his climate-inappropriate clothing made The Hooded Bastard rue the day he settled on his criminal moniker, and sweat a little, of course. China Miéville looked around for something to fend off the attacker only to have a revolver thrust into his hands. It was heavier than he’d expected, and as he turned around to point it he felt sickened. He called out a warning, but as The Hooded Bastard kept approaching he fired a single shot.

The crowd, who had been watching The Hooded Bastard’s scimitar acrobatics, scattered at the sound of the shot.  China Miéville dropped the gun to the dusty street and walked to his fallen foe. He grabbed The Hooded Bastard’s shoulders and shook him peering into the unnatural gloom of the aforementioned hood.

“Ah, ah-ha ha ha… ah-ha.”  The Hooded Bastard laughed falteringly. “You’ll never know who I am… and next time… next time… you won’t see me coming…” He sagged into unconsciousness, his threat seeming senseless and hubristic. China Miéville stood, planning to call for some form of medical help for his inexplicable foe, when The Hooded Bastard’s prone form started to shake. For the first time China Miéville noticed a coil of rope attached to his enemy’s cloak, which was rapidly unfurling as its far end trailed off into the distance. Before he could react The Hooded Bastard was gone, being dragged away by some unseen motive force. China Miéville thought about giving chase, but it was too late.

Apart from that stuff at the end it was a total rip-off of that fight from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

 

WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE

CHINA MIÉVILLE vs. CTHULHU

Posted: May 29, 2011 by Tomcat in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Several weeks have passed since the collision of Iain Banks with Iain M. Banks that opened a tear in the universe.  During this time, hundreds of monstrous creatures have spewed forth from the rip: dragons, ogres, demons, zombies, indescribably deformed horrors; even Gordon Ramsey – all have set-upon the city of London, wreaking havoc and destruction wherever they roam.  Thankfully the police have been able to put-down all of these other-worldly threats, quickly eliminating the menace before any significant damage occurs.

But a new creature has now emerged; a monstrosity beyond description – a glimpse at this beast might reveal tentacles, eyes, tumorous mounds of flesh, horns, claws, scales, fins, wings, hooves, fangs, neoplasmic cysts, tails, tongues and jaws in abundance: no two reports yield the same picture.  Now the giant’s shadow has been spotted in the water of the Thames, and police surround the embankments.

A many-eyed tentacle rises from the river and sweeps along the shore, levelling buildings before sinking back into the water.  Next: hundreds of tongue-like protrusions emerge and wrap themselves around a bridge, pulling the structure down into the depths.

“This is hopeless” says an officer “our weapons are useless against this…this… kraken…. this Cthulhu-” his words are cut short by a banshee howl of inconceivable horror that rises from the depths, and soon more tentacles emerge, biting colossal holes in buildings and dragging screaming officers into the Thames.

“We need the world’s leading expert on monster cephalopods” yells the police chief.

“He’s already here” responds another, and all the cops turn to see the muscular figure of China Miéville, hands on his hips, standing on the embankment, staring down into the waters.

“China, thank God you’re here… we need to-” but before the officer can finish, China has dived into the Thames and vanished beneath the surface.

Now the police look on, impotent, as a titanic struggle ensues.  All they can see are shadows and forms in the murky depths, thrashings and monstrous screams of agony.  Giant tentacles and many-coloured limbs splash and contort against the water.  The creature rolls and struggles – and still China remains submerged.

“What the hell is going on down there?” asks the commanding police officer, but nobody has any answers.

Now, with a deafening screech that shatters windows, the waters are suddenly calmed.  Gentle waves lap the shore, and there is no sign of movement beneath.

The police lean over and look down into the still water…

And then a figure emerges; it’s China Miéville! dragging with him a disgusting yet limp tentacle.  He heaves the entire giant out of the river and drags it back to the site of the rip in the universe, pushing the dead creature back inside, it will never emerge again.

WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE

As the applause slowly died out China Miéville, Iain M. Banks and Alastair Reynolds walked off the stage and into the wings, glad to be out of the glare of overly bright spotlights.

“I think that went well,” said Alastair Reynolds expositorially, “for a symposium on British science-fiction… “But did it feel a little bit contrived to anyone else?”

“Ahem.” Iain M. Banks cleared his throat theatrically, which was apropos, given the surroundings. The others looked around to see him holding a small silver orb. “Apologies gentlemen, but this won’t hurt for long.” The orb flashed like white phosphorus, a concussive blast flinging Alastair Reynolds like a ragdoll and knocking China Miéville to the floor. Dizzied and nauseous he got to his feet, looking round to check on Alastair Reynolds, who was hanging unconscious from an uncomfortably metallic lighting rig.

“Hmm…” Iain M. Banks seemed put out to find one of his rivals not yet incapacitated. China Miéville lurched unsteadily toward him, intending to disarm him at the very least, when he heard a family brogue behind him.

“I see you’ve met my associate, Iain M. Banks.”

China Miéville turned, stunned more completely by the presence of a identically brown-suited and rakishly unkempt Scottish writer in the form of Iain Banks than he had been by Iain M. Banks’ futuristic flash grenade.

“Writing is hard,” was the only explanation Iain Banks offered as Iain M. Banks pinned China Miéville’s arms behind his back.

Iain Banks stepped forward, fist raised in preparation for delivering a sound thrashing. His shock lessened by the imminent threat of the aforementioned Dunfermline thrashing, China Miéville dropped to one knee, rolling his shoulder so as to throw Iain M. Banks over, tossing him bodily into his less genre-courting double. Where their bodies met the air was rent with a terrible tearing sound, the force of it pushing them apart. The rip opened wider and wider by the second, and began to draw all the air in the room into itself.

“What have you done?” Iain Banks was screaming, repeatedly, over the howl of air rushing into the hole in reality.

China Miéville stayed low to the floor as Iain and Iain M. Banks were pulled inexorably towards the anomaly, and within moments Iain Banks was gone.

“There will be repercussions…” Iain M. Banks threat was almost lost as he too disappeared into the void which, sated, closed behind him.

In his accent the word “repercussions” sounded strangely comical.

WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE

Chuck Norris has learnt of a new website, one which purports to feature the toughest man in the world as its titular protagonist.  ‘Well’, he thinks, ‘we’ll see about that’.  At home in Chuck Norris Heights, he opens his generously stocked gun cabinet and peruses his armoury, selecting his characteristic pair of Uzis.  But something just doesn’t feel right.  ‘No!’ He realises; ‘I don’t need guns to take down this pretender; my fists alone are arsenal enough’.

Before he takes on China Miéville unarmed, he must ready himself.  He begins by meditating to prepare his mind; a process that largely consists of sitting cross-legged in his living room – surrounded by Chuck Norris memorabilia – and repeatedly chanting his own name in a drawn-out baritone.  After twelve hours of this, his eyes snap open.  His mind is ready.

Next he must make sure that he looks the part.  Applying industrial cement-strength beard wax to his comb, he begins the long process of grooming his facial hair.  A thousand strokes of the comb through the left-side of his beard; a thousand through the right, and a thousand more to secure in place the hair that sprouts from his chin.  Selecting his favourite sleeveless denim shirt from his wardrobe of exclusively sleeveless denim shirts, he dresses himself and leaves his home for the gym, to begin the next phase of combat preparation.

Arriving at the gym, Chuck Norris begins to prime his body.  He starts with the treadmill, but he is Chuck Norris, and no treadmill is fast enough for him! So he turns around and runs backwards on the fastest speed setting and the steepest incline.  Several hours later, the tread has worn away to nothing, and Chuck hops off, not a drop of sweat has formed on his brow.  Next: weights.  But he is Chuck Norris, and no weights are heavy enough to challenge him.  So he lifts the entire building onto his shoulders, and after performing one thousand squats, gently sets the gym down; still, not a hint of exhaustion shows.  Now: cycling.  And as his powerful legs work the pedals, Chuck Norris becomes the first man to perform a wheelie on an exercise bike; simultaneously generating enough electricity to power the entire city.  Finally: some light stretches.

His mind is focused, his beard is groomed, his body pumped; China Miéville cannot escape, for all roads lead to Chuck Norris.  This is it; he is ready – the titanic conflict is about to begin, and much like Chuck Norris’ first day at school: there will be no survivors.

He heads towards China Miéville’s house, ready to take care of this young upstart for good.  But as Chuck Norris rounds the final corner, China is ready for him and smashes Chuck in the face with a two-by-four, knocking him unconscious. China Miéville steps over Chuck Norris’ prostrate body, and continues about his day.

WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE

CHINA MIÉVILLE vs. BANKSY

Posted: May 26, 2011 by Thom Dicomidis in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

 

The footsteps at his back came in short bursts, his inexpert stalker allowing him to get ahead then hurriedly rushing to close the distance between them. Tired and irritated China Miéville rounded the corner and stopped, pressing his back against the wall, and listened for the patter of conspicuous feet. As the stalker, dressed head-to-toe in black and hooded, rounded the corner China Miéville grabbed him roughly by the throat and squeezed a tacit but unmistakable threat.

“Wait!” The hooded figure gasped through incipient strangulation, “I’m not the Hooded Bastard! I’m renowned graffiti artist and wall-botherer Banksy.”

The name had barely left his lips as China Miéville’s fist shot up in a punch, staggering Banksy.

“My work has an important social message.”

The response was a brutal kick which sent Banksy stumbling into the wall. The ball-bearings in his cans of spray-paint rattled as he sat heavily.

China Miéville unhooked his earrings and tossed them at Banksy. In flight the cybernetic worms awoke, they landed on Banksy’s chest with their teeth bared. His eyes went wide as they burrowed into his chest and dug into his circulatory system, then slack as the worms neatly lobotomised him. Stepping forward, China Miéville held out a small case to collect his pets as they struggled out through Banksy’s tear ducts.

The police were never able to trace the anonymous message that told them where to find the inert artist.

WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE

A truck is driving off-road, through dense forest.  It drives for hours, into woods where thick variegated shrubbery, vines and branches twist and converge – blocking out all but the sharpest splinters of sunlight.  It drives into the wilderness of the wilderness where no man has before set foot, and where silver trout, carp and perch swim unafraid in the crystal brooks.

The truck stops in a clearing and three masked men alight.  Minutes later a fourth figure disembarks; it’s Republican nut-job and human rights atavist Sarah Palin.  She walks around the truck and opens the back doors, ordering her men to haul out the person who’s been held captive within.  A figure is pulled from the vehicle and pushed into the clearing where he waits, hand-cuffed and hooded, to meet his fate.  Sarah Palin approaches this man, un-cuffs him and removes the black sack of a hood which has covered his head the entire journey.  The man is revealed as none-other than weird-fiction troubadour China Miéville.

Sarah Palin looks him up and down, her eyes lingering on China’s chest for slightly longer than is appropriate.

“Yes, he will do” she says, “he looks very fit,” she leans to China’s left ear and whispers “athletically and aesthetically.”  Stepping back Sarah Palin gestures with her arm the forest that surrounds them, “you’re free to go” she says, and turns away as if disinterested. China Miéville shrugs and moves off; walking into the endless woods, he is soon lost to sight.

After several hours have passed, Sarah Palin and her men still surround the truck.  She looks at her watch and signals, “That should be long enough. Let’s go: the hunt is on.”  Camouflaged and armed with long rifles, the team sets off on foot, tracking China Miéville through the forest.

But sixteen hours later they are exhausted and baffled: China has eluded them throughout the night, and dawn has brought no further traces of him.  They are sitting in a grassy opening, discussing their plan of action, when one of Palin’s goons suddenly stands and points.  Something has disturbed the shrubbery on the edge of the clearing.  The branches and leaves are shaking with an unnatural rustle which becomes more and more violent until… fifty, no!- a hundred rabbits spill out of the woods, charging towards the small group.

To their left another noise is heard, and they turn to see a colony of beavers tearing towards them.  More sounds, and a gang of elk emerges; wolves and quails, deer and boar: the air filled with birds of every kind imaginable.  And at the centre of this stampede is China Miéville, riding atop a bear that bolts towards the terrified hunters. 

One of Sarah Palin’s men runs for his life; another lets off two shots, but is soon swamped by rampaging wildlife; the third man is trampled by the hooves of a dozen hurrying herbivores.  Only Sarah Palin now remains, and as China Miéville points from atop his bear, the stampeding animals converge and lift her into the air, carrying the former governess off into the dark woods, where her screams gradually fade away, and where an ancient justice still reigns…

WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE