Spent most of the week scraping around the fifteen thousand word mark on Things Unseen/Wonderland, then got past the 'difficult' bit I was in and started moving more quickly towards the twenty thousand mark. In the name of research, I started reading a (second-hand, picked up by MJ on her occasional trawls through the bookshelves of charity shops) copy of 'Psychic Warrior', a purportedly 'true' account of US military remote viewing programs, hoping to glean some information concerning the more bizarre real-life exploits of American black-ops. Instead I rapidly found myself trapped in a sub-Castanedan narrative of wide-eyed spiritual discovery by an individual so unquestioningly God-fearing he makes Marge Simpson look dangerously bohemian. I gave up when the author started getting advice from guardian angels.

Nonetheless, the armed forces in any country has its own quota of mystics and cranks, as does any sufficiently large social group or organisation, and some of the whackier exploits of the US Army are a matter of public record, although I aver on the side of the skeptics in finding little to recommend in the supposed results of these experimental programs: much of it seems the result of wishful thinking and overactive imaginations, and I'm a big believer in the notion that remarkable claims require equally remarkable proof.

Perhaps, given that some of the scenes yet to be written in Things Unseen/Wonderland are far more influenced by the psychedelic journeys of Marvel Comics' Doctor Strange into the dream-realm of the Dread Dormannu, perhaps I was never likely to get a great deal out of supposedly 'true' accounts of remote viewing programs.

Other stuff: Phil Raines of the Glasgow Science Fiction Writer's Circle - writing as Harvey Raines - has found himself a book agent in the form of John Jarrold, which is quite something considering Jarrold is a highly-regarded name in the UK science fiction publishing field (former editor of Earthlight, now freelance editor and, as mentioned, agent). Jarrold was also the 'reader' on Angel Stations: he published the first two books of another GSFWC'er, Mike Cobley, through Earthlight. He also recently signed William King to his agency - King is the author of a series of books for Games Workshop, based on some of their characters, as well as being a one-time, long-ago GSFWC'er. Harvey/Phil's book is called 'Moondog', and probably fits somewhere in that whole 'new weird' area of the genre.

A couple of days ago some of us were discussing this, aware that (H)al Duncan had also mentioned it on the Night Shade Books forum. Subsequent to (H)al mentioning this online, queries came in from a couple of publishers interested in seeing the manuscript. Which just goes to show.
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