An Extract from the Notebook of an As Yet Unpublished Novel

November 30, 2008

And then we departed into the cold air, him in the lead and me behind on mule-back holding the rope of the other mule too. I had never been one fond of the country or mountains or any other ugly humps of dirt bristling with trees, and now here we were in the wilderness in almost the dead of winter and it seemed perilous beyond all measure to be venturing up to those heights. But I knew very well that my master would have it no other way, just as I knew his generosity was by no means of the stingy sort.

Special 2 for 1 offer

November 28, 2008

A special offer to those living in the USA.

Buy a copy of Dr. Black in the Guerrillia from me and I will throw in a free signed copy of The Translation of Father Torturo. The Dr. Black book is 20 bucks, plus 3 bucks for media mail shipping. Anyone interested can paypal me at or e-mail me at huysmans67 at hot mail dot com.

As an addendum, here is a reviewish sort of post I lifted from Jeff Vandermeer’s old blog:

I’ve enjoyed Brendan Connell’s tales of Dr. Black, expert extraordinaire, for quite some time. Forrest Aguirre and I took one for Leviathan 3 and I took another for Album Zutique. Each new story seems to be better than the last, and the newest of all, Dr. Black and the Guerrillia (83 pages, hardcover, Grafitisk), is available in handsome 300-copy limited edition book form direct from the author.

In the novella, Dr. Black visits San Corrados, looking for the Yaroa tribe so he can finish off his latest book. As is the usual case in Dr. Black stories, Dr. Black strides through the landscape having odd adventures and barely escaping with his life. Not only does he encounter the Yaroa, but also the guerillas who are fighting to take back the country from the corrupt general who leads it. Of course, Dr. Black becomes embroiled in their efforts.

I’d be hard-pressed to pick my favorite parts of the narrative. I mean,
the encounter while “under the influence,” of some local druggery, with the God of Metanatural History ranks right up there. As does the slime molds playlet. As does the interior monologue leading up to Dr. Black’s possible shooting at the hands of a firing squad. It’s insanely wonderful stuff–daft, droll, and experimental in a fun way. (The book is also nicely illustrated by John Connell.) I’d also be hard-pressed to pluck an appropriate quote to entice you simply because Connell’s work contains so many pleasures, so instead here are a couple of snippets…

The deity had the head of a large, tropical American edentate (Myrmecophaga jubata) attached to the pale body of a man of affairs. He spoke, not in English, but rather in a variety of Pennsylvania-German-Pali-Middle-Mexican-Persian which the doctor, an able linguist, could perfectly understand.

Black inquired as to the significance of the objects in the glass case.

“Those are your sentiments Doctor,” the deity replied.

“My sentiments?”

“Your sentiments.”

“And what are my sentiments doing here, might I ask?”

“This is the Heaven of Metanatural History, and it is where all the non-material parts of Earth’s imminent scientists are kept for both study and display.” The deity scratched its snout and then rolled out a long protrusile tongue.


“Would you like a blindfold?”

“No. I would prefer, at the moment of dissolution, to have my visual awareness entirely unimpaired.” [Dr. Black replied]

The other bowed stiffly. “As you wish.” He turned to the gunmen. “Ready!” he cried, opening an enormous mouthful of yellow teeth.

The doctor considering how a bullet can contain a supper of roast game…freedom…a river of sadness…the end of a noble career…travelling at two-thousand feet per second..with rifles positioned about thirty feet away…upon being fired…the projectiles would arrive in about twelve thousandths of a second…but taking into account air-resistance…partial differential equation…”


seeing: childhood = Alabama (to the sounds of Sweet Nadine: huge, crowned with red hair, her beautiful voice + his own father: a thick and elongated torso; great great great grandson of noted physician and chemist Joseph Black = discoverer of carbon dioxide…If he were killed he would sorely miss the chicken heart back at his laboratory on Long Island which he had kept alive for twenty-seven years pulsating in a solution of sea salt.

“This is unpleasant,” he thought.

Another Fast Ships Review

November 27, 2008

A review of Fast Ships, Black Sails¬†over at Joe Sherry’s Adventures in Reading blog, with a positive reference to my story.

Some Notebook Notes for Dr. Black

November 26, 2008

half our knowledge we must snatch not take

we have already begun. When the

The art of the blowgun

Manioch beer


Flying ants

Rust coloured bank

The streets were all dirt

A wrong move will result in a lethal shower of darts by the world most expert dart-blowers

Quote of the Day

November 21, 2008

I am a dog and you are my master. So I bark and ask for my dog food.


Super rapino a Milano (1964)

November 20, 2008

Not a bad film, not a good film. The basic story is about a group of guys who rob a huge amount of money from a bank in Milan and hide out at a monastery disguised as monks. As it is both directed and starring Adriano Celentano, the music is cool, which is something. An added bonus is the presence of Don Backy, who is actually a very good actor.

Stryker (1983)

November 19, 2008

I just saw this Philippine Road Warrior rip off by the great Cirio H. Santiago. I have to say, that this was way better than the Italian Road Warrior rip offs. For one thing, it appears that they are using live ammo in this one. A dwarf clearly seems to get some gun powder in his eye. So if that is your thing . . .