One of the lesser-known things about me is my interest in UFOs. It started at an early age, with Multi-Coloured Swap Shop's UFO Special in the late 70s and just kept on going. When I got The UFO Encyclopedia for my 11th birthday there was something missing... anything about Scotland.
Nothing was in the local library to solve that. All that I had was the occasional sighting in the newspaper, which I cup out and saved in a folder. There wasn't much. But skip a few decades and the National Archives has thousands of declassified UFO documents. There are thousands of zines newly available at the Archives for the Unexplained. And so I had the idea of compiling all the Scottish cases I could find.
In the end I amassed a selection of over 800.
These range from sightings to close encounters, from well-known cases to cases which have never before been presented to the public. I've written it in an unsensational style, being mindful of what the facts are. Best of all if you're a researcher, there's a comprehensive index and each entry is fully referenced. If you want to follow up a sighting then the casebook tells you where the original source can be found.
Would you like to check it out first? I've got a smaller, but free, version available from the Downloads menu! Or in fact from right here! The Scottish UFO Casebook - Free Edition
There was a podcast called Terms which began in 2015. This detailed the fictional political events surrounding a demagogue US presidential candidate. The cliffhanger ending of Season 1 was the sitting president refusing to go and... well there's parallels with recent events. I'd encourage you to listen to the whole season. In the gap between seasons, they opened it up to other writers for a possible anthology season. I submitted a pitch, which was accepted, and then wrote the script.
At the time, which was 2017, I wrote on my site: "Production currently aimed to take place sometime in 2019, assuming that reality in US politics doesn't continue to outstrip anything that fiction and satire can come up with." Well, that was some assumption.
Needless to say, reality outstripped fiction and further episodes were never produced. So I've decided to make my unproduced script available for download. It's written as a standalone episode and explores why the intelligence agencies never saw it coming...
FREE STUFF ALERT! My lockdown project is ready. I used to write a single-page fictional newspaper for the Cyberpunk 2020 roleplaying sessions I used to play with my friends. After the adventures ended, I wrote it all up as a report. And then a few years ago I wondere if I could do the same thing... but with real world news. Unlike the other projects, this is non-fiction. It's a newsletter -- no scratch that an information supplement -- based on stuff I found in the real world. It's a bit of an experiment.
Cyber Rebel is an idea of how to present news of interest to notional cyperpunks, how to present data, with one eye always on how do I know that? It's a bit sweary, often angry, kinda weird in places, but it's all true.
Just to prove that we're serious about this whole comic creation business Archangel: Shattered is a 16-page one-shot set in the Archangel universe, with a script by myself adapted from a movie vignette by Nicholas J. Cook. Art is by the amazing combination of AC Rillo SR. on inks with Bee Jay Bolaji on colours. Best of all, it's a free download! So you can enjoy tales from the Archangel universe without worry.
It's been released! Check it out over at Comixology for the bargain price of $1.99 for 40 pages of demon-busting goodness. If you're not sure yet, download the special teaser edition from the Free Stuff menu at the top. The free edition contains the first ten pages, plus some bonus material you wont find anywhere else, to sweeten the deal. The teaser includes preliminary art studies and a text story based on the upcoming web TV series.
❝There's a limit to the rate that you can believe in the miraculous…❞ What kind of world is it, when a day hunting demons in lonely valleys is normal? Especially if you’re hunting it with the avatar of the Archangel Michael? But today isn’t a normal day. And his time is running out.
Art by Bryan Sevilla
If you like it, please recommend it to someone and leave a rating on Comixology. Everything helps, not least to the egos involved. And the more popular Archangel gets, the more of it there's going to be.
Archangel is set in the present day. It's the story of the current incarnation of the Archangel Michael and his last day hunting down a demon before, well, he doesn't have much time in which to do it. Secrets are revealed and larger events are triggered. The script had been kicking around for a while, but the pace of production ramped up in the middle of 2018. I delivered a revised edit to Last Ride Digital VideoI joked that it should be Last Ride Dynamic Vision. It got a laugh, therefore it's official. (in the form of head honcho Scott Torwalt) earlier in the year. Last Ride Digital Video?
Video? Wait. Isn't this a comic?
Not to begin with. Archangel began as a web-TV show, now in early pre-production. Scott Torwalt, the showrunner, asked me to write a prequel comic, with the brief of showing how Michael got to the beginning of the show. Bryan Sevilla inked and coloured the pages. Since one of my old jobs from the games industry days was typesetting, it made sense for me to construct the final output. Along the way I offered to do the lettering too, as it was a way to get a quick way of tweaking the script without endless back and forth.
Successful? Well since I've now been asked to pitch an entire Archangel series, I reckon so. And also another unrelated one-shot which I can't talk about yet.
Having pitched an outline, I'm now working on a treatment for a one-shot
Four part Science Fiction thriller Osiris is going ahead. I'm not writing this one, but I'm on lettering and typesetting duties. Osiris follows the fortunes of Admiral Thomas Malarek who recounts his life, and his adventures, where he first fell foul of the law. Check back soon for a free teaser issue containing the opening scenes of Part One.
I actually made this
Based on a ridiculous idea I once had, I’ve completed writing of a roleplaying game system. Part satire, mostly stupid, with occasional deep thoughts masquerading as jokes or possibly the other way around, CWAK is the roleplaying game of the real real world. Inside it has much the same surrealist/ deadpan/ sarcastic humour as I deployed when writing the Uniracer/ Unirally intruction booklet for Nintendo way back in 1995. Some people found that quite funny, as evidenced by Arstechnica calling it “…goofy and hilarious…” and by Nintendo Life as “…refreshingly irreverent and zany…”. That's one advantage to me never fully maturing.
A long term project, I've been at this for several years now. DMA Design is the Scottish games company I worked for in the 80s and 90s, notable for creating Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto. I've been writing down my memories of that time, doing research, and going through all the paperwork I still have, adding events to a master timeline where I can. That stage is mostly complete and I’m now asking other former employees for their memories. Indeed, so interesting is DMA that I know of at least four documentaries in various stages about Grand Theft Auto, of which I've been involved in more than one. But I can't reveal any details yet. Sorry!
Several years ago I wrote a short film script for independent amateur filmmakers Starship Intrepid. We have been making short films since 2003 under the banner of Star Trek Fan Films. Since the new official fan film guidelines are now in place, and we seem to conform to them, we are pressing ahead. Filmmaking with my friends is a hobby, but this has been the first time I've directed a script I'd written myself. Filming was completed last year and the project is now at the editing stage.
Destruct Sequence Filming
At Scotland's Secret Bunker, picture taken by my good friend Jo. No megalomania in evidence. (Not much, anyway.)
Back in the 90s I used to work for the games industry as a writer, amongst other things. My credits from those years include Lemmings, Hired GunsI can and will talk about Hired Guns to an almost endless extent, if asked. Best avoid the subject., Uniracers, Body Harvest and a brief stint on GTA from which I’m still recovering.
After spending most of the 21st century in the aerospace industry coding engineering tools and calculating phase matching on microwave coaxial cables, I’m now a freelance writer. I have several projects in development: a novel or two, a comic and the complete history of DMA Design, which happens to be that games company I worked for.
Before those are completed, I have some short stories and articles which you can read on this site and download for free if you wish.
When I'm not being a writer, I'm a hobbyist moviemaker who still attempts to keep his hand in with programming. I have too many interests to fit into a week.
I use British English spelling and idioms, if you tend to worry about that sort of thing.
Additionally I'm Scottish, so 'outwith' is unquestionably a real word. As is 'drookit', 'puggled' and 'numpty'. I am occasionally all three of those.
I created this site using a combination of W3 CSS, Jekyll, Emacs and my inability to enjoy web development IDEs.
My name is in the very first paragraph of the first page of the first GTA design document*. (Excluding cover and table of contents. I mean, right?)
I directed Britain's first ever Star Trek fan film, which we started production of in 2003 and released in 2007. We're still making episodes: Starship Intrepid
If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, I can be found here:Follow @snap2grid Tweets by @snap2grid
If you don't see anything here which resembles Twitter, then you've likely got adblocker/tracking protection on... respect!
Are wondering how on Earth you can show your appreciation? (You are? Really?) Okay, then. If you enjoyed one of my free downloads, or have fond memories of a retro game I once worked on, you can donate as little as you like. Entirely voluntary of course. Or, of course, you can buy Archangel on Comixology.
Cheapest of all, of course, is just to tell me thanks! It's all appreciated.
You can even hire me to letter your comic! Get in touch.
For some unnacountable reason, I have T-Shirts for sale. Including that "Lemmings" one that everyone asks me about. Find them here:snap2grid.redbubble.com