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Letter From The Founder
While writing the blurbs/sentences of praise for these weeks entries the same phrase kept on popping into my mind again and again. With seemingly every piece it was both applicable and relevant to write: ‘this is one of the best things s/he has written to date.’
Everyone has really stepped up this week. Not that I don’t think anyone has ever phoned it in since the Omnibus was first started over 6 months ago, but it seems that at the moment everyone is really starting to hit their stride and to be truly relishing exploring the particular lanes they have made for themselves.
I must single out a few people, in particular and those are the people who have submitted fiction and poetry this week. The standard is uniformly excellent (and my story isn’t bad either) and it tells me that any future STSC short story collection collaboration would be fantastic.
Also, while on this theme I must say that I was especially impressed with Vanya’s new recording of his short story Phantomic Rabbits. Him and Craig have really pushed the boundaries of audio (and sanity) with this one and I hope others will follow suit with innovating like this. In a world of tedious, wittering podcasts it was great to hear someone really having fun with the underutilised aspects of audio.
So grab a drink, pull up a chair and enjoy that recording and all of these other wonderful offerings from the online vanguard.
Until next week,
(P.S. I felt compelled to briefly return from my self imposed twitter exile to write the following thread. Enjoy, if you’re into that kind of thing)
Memoir #1 by Huw
Seems like we’ve finally convinced Huw to start writing his memoirs. Hopefully these fun little anecdote from the classroom will be the first of many from our man from Wales.
Vans converted for love among fields converted for food by Trilety
Fleeting, poetic, a little filthy. Vintage Trilety prose right here. Excellent.
bookmark #483 by Deepansh
‘there is no person as rich as the one who prefers their days as they are, with all their tribulations and blessings.’
This might rank among the very highest of Deepansh’s daily meditations and I say that as someone who must have read hundreds of them by now.
Creator Spotlight - Anne Theriault by Mark Dykeman
Now as a rule I would not highlight a piece that interviews a non STSC member (you have to prioritise your own people after all) but this is so good and Mark is such a nice and decent chap that I went with it. Mark is a very good interviewer.
Independent Subversive Networks by Pr0ph3t
From the title alone I knew this was gonna be a good ‘un. And so it had proven to be. What is asserted is resolved in that uniquely Pr0ph3t style. Another masterfully carved brick in the cathedral that he is building.
Depression [2/?] by !?
On depression and dating profiles with reference to Betrand Russell. This is unflinchingly honest and personal stuff and the courage is matched by the clarity of the prose. !? is firing on all cylinders here.
Trapped in the Village by the Sea by Katavasis
The incendiary Katavasis has put a lot of fantasists and internet pretenders on notice with this one. It should spark plenty of conversations and debates and absolutely deserves to be spread far and wide. In a world where this phrases has been cheapen to almost nothing this is genuinely thought provoking stuff here.
Travel Diaries #30 - Revelstoke by Gavin
He’s back! After a 6 week hiatus Gavin has blessed us with a new essay. And it goes without saying that it is excellent. I’d missed these tales from his excursions.
Models are sucking the fun out of fun by Simon
They tell me that this latest from Simon has become something of a viral hit. And rightly so. This is one of his very best pieces to date and the teletext screenshot of the football results sparked deep, deep nostalgia in me.
Intellectual Humility by Luke Burgis 🔒
This piece in and of itself is worth the cost of admission to Luke’s premium Substack. Absolutely outstanding and cut through with the spiritual searching which is Luke’s calling card. The world needs more people like him.
Writing as a Video Workflow by D.B.
Every writer needs to read this. Every filmmaker needs to read this. It’s quite rare for a piece about workflows and systems to get me excited and get the mind racing with new ideas and possibilities but this piece has done just that.
Spontaneous Combustion by Paul Publisher
The latest update on the goings on with the stars and planets. Remarkable, unique and practical as always. And yet again I will plug Paul’s reading services as he is still unbelievably, criminally underrated given the extent of his skills and insight.
The only certainty in life by Felix Kammerlander
Felix has really found his niche with these philosophical excursions of his. Combined with an editorial assist from Vanya and Trilety this one is a winner. Love seeing the team push each other to new heights like this.
weekend watchlist: when the ghosts won't shut up by MaryAnn🔒
You know the score by now- MaryAnn is an excellent film critic and her pieces will help you discover the good stuff and swerve the overrated. You should also check out her extensive Letterboxd page too, the thing is a resource unto itself.
Lost Ideas by Charles Schifano
‘And one way in which I’ve changed is that I now discount the role of logic or strategy or design in moments of creativity. Perhaps a part of me has always considered this true, but the mixture has certainly changed in recent years. Obviously there are no absolutes, or clear recipes for innovation—to believe otherwise is to assume that creativity is a mere consequence of labor, which would imply that all the greatest writers and painters and musicians are simply the hardest workers.’
Sometimes instead of writing a sentence or two of (deserved) praise I am tempted to simply cut and paste Charles’ essays here and type ‘how can you not love this, just look at it’ An exceptional writer.
Pockets of Peace/Convenience Isn't a Virtue, it is a Mortal Sin by Tony
He’s back and it looks like he’s written this one all by himself! Tony is a unique voice among a gang of unique voices here. Every piece is a weird and wonderful delight and a law unto itself. This latest stream of consciousness is no exception.
Book Review: Karen by Lyle
A memoir review in the form of a letter to its late author. Poignant and powerful, as is always the case with Lyle’s words. I had to stop and stare out of the window for a while after I read it.
The Masculine Urge to Visit a Psychic Giraffe in Khartoum by Charlie Becker
The seems to be brewing a bit of a culture in the STSC of writing short fiction based on found prompts. This is Charlie’s second foray at this and if the title isn’t enough to win you over then the story itself will be. Excellent.
The Carver by Adam Kozak
Emotionally and technically, this long poem is breathtaking. It needs to be experienced for itself. In this world of content I am extremely grateful that there are still people creating true art and that I have a platform here within which to share the good word. This whole project was made with writers like Adam here in mind.
(Audio) Phantomic Rabbits by Vanya
Another covert STSC collaboration- this time in audio. What we have here is Vanya’s short story Phantomic Rabbits recorded and brought to life by the talents of the man himself and the man with the soundboards and the weird voices himself Mr. Craig Burgess. The word ‘weird’ doesn’t begin to describe it. It is also, however, great. Give it a listen.
The Record Collector by Thomas J Bevan
I finally wrote another short story. I’m pleased with how it turned out. Thank you in advance for reading it and thanks for the STSC members who bullied me into put something new out promptly.
… And then I found the secret binder (Tragedies of Modernity #14) by Thomas J Bevan & Craig Burgess
Our first real sit down conversation with a guest and it turned out to be a belter. Jim Clair spilled the beans on the world of online scam artists while me and Craig egged him on. We had a great time with this one.
Straw Hat Philosopher by Madspace
Despite the heat our man in Long Island has blessed us with another episode. They say that dogs die in hot cars, and this is true, but our host here just becomes some combination of enraged, nostalgic and hungry. Thaaaank yoooou.
Podcast Conversations (Wednesday Audio #65)
I will now verbatim quote what I replied in the comments to this one, as it sums up this episode perfectly:
Really enjoyed this podcast conversation between the legendary comic book writer Alan Moore and the famous 1980’s puppet Orville the duck. I was pleased to learn that following the sad death of ventriloquist Keith Harris, Orville has still been able to get work.
TJB Film Recommendation
Hell Drivers (1957)
D. Cy Endfield
W. Cy Endfield, John Kruse
S. Stanley Baker, Herbert Lom, Peggy Cummins
A properly Great British film this. It essentially takes the Post War Angry Young Men generation energy that was simmering at the time and converts it into an action film.
‘The Welsh Marlon Brando’ Stanley Baker stars as a down-on-his-luck working class bloke with a shady background who manages to blag himself a job at an equally shady seeming trucking company. They pay big money but expect their drivers to take extreme risks by delivering their cargo at breakneck speeds. There is fierce competition among the drivers (who all have a mid century masculinity that it impossible to fake. Young Sean Connery is somehow not the toughest guy in the room).
Of particular note, in my mind, is the villain of the piece- the shortcut taking, scoreboard leading bully Red, played with a permanent scowl and cigarette by Patrick McGoohan.
Very early on this film tells you exactly what it is and what it offers and it delivers on that premise. The overcranked truck driving scenes build genuine tension and there is an underlying toughness and realness to this (all of the actors look like they really coulr be the hard living, reckless driving that they depict) that make it an eminently rewatchable film.
Thanks as always for reading/listening and thanks in advance for pressing all of those various buttons at the bottom which help the Omnibus spread further.
Also I can again confirm that Craig and I will be recording a new episode of the Tragedies of Modernity podcast tonight at 8pm GMT. We’ll host it and record it live from the STSC community and then post it via this Substack tomorrow.
If you want to join us live and listen in and post questions/comments/heckles in the podcast channel chat you are more than welcome. You simply have to sign up to the community first.
I look forward to seeing you over at the Social Club.
Thanks for indulging me, Skipper!