All 5D Blog articles from June 2017 onwards can be located on the 5D Website at www.5d-blog.com No more post will appear on blogger from this point.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

King Falls AM. Episode 8: Electrolocaust Now

You may not be aware but there has been something rather special happening over the last few months here in Internetland. Unfortunately I'm not talking about the 5D. The Fifth Dimension blog winning an prestigious blogging award. Heck, I would even settle for a not-very-prestigious blogging award - and no, I'm not still bitter about losing out to the 'Fun things to do with bus tickets blog' in the recent AltaVista search engine blog of the year awards (North East Scotland Divisional preliminary round play-off decider). I also thought that a couple of the judges comments about my blogging efforts were a little unfair. I mean, since when have self-indulgent, narcissistic, shallow, childish humour actually been bad qualities?

No, the special thing that in fact has been happening is the increasing public interest in the exploits of a certain radio station located in the secluded mountain town of King Falls U.S.A. The reason that I know for a fact that the late night talk show on King Falls AM has been steadily and inexorably gaining more and more listeners is two-fold. Firstly, and most importantly, they have been named a New & Noteworthy show for three weeks running and have even come close to breaking the top 100 in the comedy section. 

The other indication that Sammy & Ben's show is quickly on the way to gaining worldwide domination is reflected in the ever increasing number of views here on 5D for each King Falls AM article. Now I know it's unusual for me to ......ahem.......talk a little a self-indulgently......."cough"...... , but the simple truth is that the total views so far for Episode 7: Major Tom to Ground Control were a whopping THREE times higher than for any other broadcast so far.

The article can be found RIGHT HERE if you want to have a looksee and also listen to the episode if you have 14 minutes or so. I would love to think that the ever increasing views of my King Falls AM articles were largely due to the articulate, incisive and witty writing of yours truly, but of course once again I would be deluding myself, which strangely enough was another comment that the blogging judges made.

No, I have to acknowledge that the upturn in the radio broadcast articles owe far more to the content within each podcast, so far we have had ghostly sightings, mythical lake monsters, Werewolves and possible extra-terrestrial abductions - to name but a few. Not only that, but Episode 7 saw the temporary re-emergence after a high profile disappearance of local man, Tim Jensen.

Anyhoo.......the much anticipated 8th episode is now available for you good people out there to listen to. In Episode 8: Electrolocaust Now, Sammy & Ben have planned a tribute to King Falls AM's resident jazz legend Chet Sebastian, however an impromptu, and selective power failure, takes out most of the station's broadcast tools, leaving the boys to fend for themselves.

Here is the link for Episode 8:


This is another excellent podcast episode that once again has an enjoyable mix of comedy and the supernatural and I'm sure that listeners will continue to enjoy the wonderful chemistry between Sammy & Ben. However, I'm not sure if Ben's singing escapades may need to repeated, sorry Ben my friend, but I think Travolta's portrayal of Danny Zuko is still safe for now!

Well done people, great stuff as always!

iTunes:

As I've already mentioned , the people at King Falls AM are continuing to make a BIG push on iTunes in order to further improve on being named a New & Noteworthy show for three weeks running and coming close to breaking the top 100 in the comedy section.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/king-falls-am/id1016760065

In an effort to make the most of us being new to iTunes, they are continuing to push for reviews, ratings & subscriptions. It'd mean a lot if you could send in a review and help them in their climb towards iTunes "New & Noteworthy" charts.

Anyway,  if  any of you good people reading this want to help to promote the show and the King Falls AM station, just send Sammy a message and they'll converse with you and plug and all that happy jazz. Sammy can be reached on Twitter through his handle at @KingFallsSammy

You can also locate the show itself on Twitter via @KingFallsAM

The Facebook page for King Falls AM can be found RIGHT HERE




Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The Map of Chaos - Felix J. Palma


Welcome, dear reader, as you plunge into the pages of our final melodrama, where fresh adventures await you even more astonishing than the last!

Before embarking on this story, be sure to go onto the end of the book, where you will find the cast of characters who will accompany you.

If time travel and Martian invasions were not enough to quicken your pulse, you are invited to venture into a world inhabited by ghosts and other monsters of the mind.

You may wish to reconsider before reading on. However, it is my duty to warn you that if you lose courage, you will never discover what lies beyond the world you think you know....



........So the welcome section explains in one of the most extraordinary books I have read for some time. However, my reading The Map of Chaos almost never happened.

The reason as to why I almost missed out came initially when I was contacted by Scribe Publications UK telling me that in August Spanish author Félix J. Palma, the New York Times bestselling author of The Map of Time and The Map of the Sky, returns with the final instalment in his bestselling, award-winning trilogy. The good people at Scribe then asked me if I would be interested in reviewing it and well to be perfectly honest, I was reluctant to do so. Quite simply, I hadn't read the first two in the series and being a man whose time is increasingly precious and taken up with any number of important blogging responsibilities. I simply didn't have time to read them before looking at the third one. However, after reading the welcome section above, in particular the last sentence my interest was not only piqued, it well and truly felt challenged. Besides which, it wouldn't be the first time that I would have read books out of chronological order......Lacking courage, Moi???!!!

My reluctance was further diminished when I was assured that I could safely read the book without having any prior knowledge of the previous plots. I decided to take up the authors challenge, though not before doing just a small amount of research (there I go again sounding all professional-like with that 'researching' stuff) and finding just a brief summary of what had gone before.


The first of the series, The Map of Time, is an imaginative multi-structured storyline which brings together a collection of real and fictional characters from the Victorian era. Here we find weaved around murder mystery and time travel, a narrative that links a heartbroken lover of a victim of Jack the Ripper, but also a Victorian feminist who yearns to free herself from her social shackles and live in a time where she can be truer to herself. Finally, we also find the writer, H.G Wells, who is desperately attempting to save both lives and literary classics being wiped from existence. 

If you add to that mix, a haunted house, well blimey, it's hardly brief on varied narrative is it?

The second instalment, The Map of the Sky, is another multi-strand chronicle that blurs any distinction between fiction and history; we have one story involving the writer Edgar Allen Poe as an arctic explorer who encounters something very John Carpenter-esque in the frozen wilderness, our friend H.G. Wells once again appears and who this time is living out his very own literary fight against a Martian invasion. If that wasn't enough, there is also there's a healthy dollop of Ray Bradbury inspired storytelling. Again, it all sounds rather brilliantly insane.




So what, pray tell, is the final book about?.......well......

In The Map of Chaos........... " The world teeters on the brink of disaster, and salvation can only be found in 'The Map of Chaos', an obscure book that the Palma's mysterious protagonist is desperate to find. In his search, he is given invaluable help by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, and by H.G. Wells, whose Invisible Man seems to have escaped from the pages of his famous novel to sow terror among mankind." 

At well not too far short of 600 pages, as I've already alluded to, there is a huge amount of inter-connecting storyline to fit in. It starts of with a delicious prologue story featuring H.G. Wells and Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) in a battle to save humanity. Then in the first chapter we begin to witness the other main character of the book, Inspector Cornelius Clayton, who is battling with the loss of the woman he loved after solving a series of brutal supernatural killings. However, soon he comes into possession of the fabled novel, The Map of Chaos which will not only see him battle with more nasty and other-worldly forces, but will also see him cross the paths of old H.G, as well as a host of other classic luminaries.

In essence, The Map of Chaos simply has to be read to be believed. Please do not be put off by the prospect of a multi-layered storyline. Yes it is complex in parts but it is quite simply a wonderfully textured and layered piece of writing that not only makes for an ingenious plot but also brings alive the real and imagined characters with at constantly sparkling and witty dialogue.

Palma is clearly a lover of all things Wells and Victorian science fiction (as am I) and he infuses the proceedings with a genuine authentic style and panache to both the language and the feel of this spiritualist era. Add to that a rather delectable slice of Steampunk infusion and you have perhaps the most enjoyable read that I have experience in a long, long time. This is a book, and especially the style of the expansive plot line, that simply shouldn't work - but believe me, it really does. I read this book in three glorious days, it was a shame to have to come back to reality though as soon as I did I immediately ordered the first two books in the series. 

Scribe Publications are publishing this as an e-book only release in August, the novel has already got a heap of favourable reviews since its release in the States. 



So who is this Félix J. Palma fella? 

Well, it seems he has been acclaimed by critics as one of the most brilliant and original storytellers of our time. His devotion to the short story genre has earned him more than a hundred awards. 

The Map of Time, his first book published in the United States, was an instant New York Times bestseller and received the prestigious 2008 Ateneo de Sevila XL Prize. It has been published in more than thirty countries. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed The Map of the Sky. Palma lives in Spain. 

To find our more about to order the ebook and information about this wonderful trilogy then check out the following links;

You can find out how to order the book via the Scribe Publications UK website at https://scribepublications.co.uk

The Facebook page for Felix J. Palma can be found at https://www.facebook.com/FelixJPalma?fref=ts



Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Tailypo (2015) - A short film from Cameron McCasland


Director: Cameron McCasland



Score: Thomas Berdinski


Tailypo, Tailypo. Gives me back my Tailypho!


Sometime last year, April 2014 to be precise, I was able to watch and review a remarkable debut slasher film, The Lashman, from Cameron McCasland. He and the rest of his team managed to take a well known formula produced a film that felt like a genuinely sympathetic throwback to the classic era of the slasher movie, an era before the insufferable sequels and trips into space made the genre a pale parody of previous greatness. If you have the time, inclination and keys to escape from your padded cell you can read the review RIGHT HERE.

Cameron must have been okay with my article because soon after he foolishly accepted my Facebook friend request. As you know, this here blogger has an insatiable desire to mask his own failings by hanging on to the coattails of those far more driven and talented than himself, thereby basking in any potential glory that they might achieve. Some may call it shallow and superficial behaviour, I prefer to call it intelligent thinking with the use of smoke and mirrors.

This week during my daily routine of Facebook stalking I noticed that Cameron is currently seeking reviewers, blogs, youtubers, etc. for a sneak peak to review his new short film, Tailypo. It was suggested by him that if anyone was interested, or knew someone who might be, to contact him with their website details and/or tag the person that they think might be of interest.

Well of course I knew of one blogger who would not be able to resist this offer in a month of Sundays and would no doubt do a faultless and entertaining job of a review article. However that person was't available so I thought I would do it myself........ I immediately had two thoughts (which is one more than I usually have each month); the first was that I would be more than happy to watch something else from this new aspiring writer/director and so I promptly requested that he forward on the super secret online screener to watch. The second thought was "Just what the bloody hell is a Tailypo???!!!"

Well, according to the wondrous (and even sometimes correct) fountain of knowledge that is Wikepedia;

"Tailypo is a frightening ravenous cat-like creature of North American folklore particularly in Appalachia. Alternate names include: Taileybones, Tailbones, Taily Po, Tally Po, Taileypo, Tailey Po and Tailipoe(sies). Most often (and especially in older adaptations) the Tailypo legends are simply titled "Tallyho."

The Tailypo is usually described as being the size of a dog, with yellow or red eyes, pointed ears and a long tail. In some versions of the folktale, it has tufted ears like a bobcat, It is covered in black or dark brown fur to camouflage its nocturnal activities. Its claws are its main weapon. The Tailypo can speak like a man, and demands the return of its tail (the actual phrase varies between versions, but is always repeated, usually three times): "Taily-po, Taily-po...who has my Taily-po..."

The story is almost always set at night in a heavily wooded rural area. The events could feasibly occur at any time period, given the isolation and atmosphere of the tale. The main events occur in a dilapidated log cabin deep in the woods where a hermit and his three dogs live."

Well you learn something new everyday........

Cameron on set, doing his director schtick....
As with any local legend there tends to be an almost limitless number of variations of the narrative that evolve over the years. In this latest rendition of the myth Cameron McCasland has produced a version that varies ever so slightly from the ones that I've been researching (I know, its a dirty word for this here blogger), whilst still keeping the core charm and chills of the ghost story.

In this version, Levon is a hermit living alone in a run down cabin deep in the woods with only his dog, Jasper, for company. Sadly, things are not going very well for Levon and Jasper, with decent food being scarce and so one morning they leave the cabin to go looking for something to hunt in order to eat something else besides beans. The problem is that he hasn't actually seen much wildlife in the area for some time, a situation that is unusual to say the least. Nevertheless, things are getting desperate and needs must. Levon thinks his luck is in when he sees a creature in the distance through the trees and shoots at it, though only whinging it in the process. However he has managed to shoot off its tail - and that can be eaten. Though, it is a type of tail of a creature that Levon has never seen.

Later that day, Levon cooks the tail and after a rather enjoyable meal, settles down for what he expects will be a good nights sleep with a unusually full and contented belly. However, things are not quite going to go as planned for Levon and Jasper....because the Tailpo wants his tail back..........

At just under 14 minutes in length, Tailypo is a hugely enjoyable reworking of a folk tale that as been passed down to frighten generation after generation. David Chattam is very good as the unfortunate hermit who only wants to eat something else besides beans but instead incurs the ire of a mythical beast.

Tailypo, Tailypo. Gives me back my Tailypo!
The tension, despite the limitations of the restriction running time of the film, is slowly and nicely increased throughout, with the final few climactic scenes providing a genuinely effective chilling experience. Nicely filmed and nicely played. 

The film is beautifully filmed throughout with the external woodland scenes in particular providing a very effective and evocatively desolate atmosphere with the internal cabin scenes feeling appropriately claustrophobic. I think I'm correct in saying that it was filmed in the same location in Kentucky as The Lashman, at the wonderfully named Copper Canyon Ranch which  is located 15 minutes north of Hopkinsville, KY.  Owners Carole and Tim Emery have built the CCR from the ground up for over three decades. Copper Canyon is a completely built western town replicated to the 1880's era and decorated inside and out with furnishings of the 1880s. 

As well as being open to visitors wanting to experience a little of the old west, Copper Canyon Ranch has been featured in Hollywood style full feature film productions as well as music videos.

The score was written by Thomas Berdinski (as he also did for The Lashman) and once again the music perfectly accompanies and compliments the proceedings. 

The only negative aspect was that the brief appearance of the Tailypo itself isn't quite as effective as it could be and detracts a little from the chilling effect. However this is only as minor quibble as McCasland successfully makes up for this shortfall with the clever filming and lighting of the particular scenes.

All in all Tailypo is a solid and effective take on an a traditional folk tale with enough chills and thrills packed into its short 14 minute running time - very enjoyable.



The Facebook page for Tailypo can be located at https://www.facebook.com/Tailypoterror?fref=ts


The Tailypo IMDB page is at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4523570/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt


Writer/director Cameron McCasland can be reached on Twitter via his handle @CamMcCasland



Monday, 3 August 2015

King Falls AM - Episode 7: Major Tom to Ground Control.

In the past couple of months King Falls AM, a local radio station in a sleepy mountain town in the States, has been steadily creeping it's way into the wider online listening consciousness. I not sure whether there is actually such a thing as a 'wider online listening consciousness' but it sounds good to me, and if it's not a thing then I hereby demand patent and copyright ownership right now of the term so that I, and only I can use it - well if that Taylor Swift chap can go ahead and do it (whoever he is) then so can I .....

Anyhoo, the radio station brings us a healthy coverage of the local paranormal activities on the late night show hosted by the redoubtable Sammy Stevens and his erstwhile producer and co-host, Ben Arnold. In some of the podcasts so far we have had ghostly sightings, mythical lake monsters, Werewolves and possible extra-terrestrial abductions - to name but a few. If that wasn't enough to satisfy one's radio podcast appetite, then add the usual mix of comedy that comes from the excellent presenters and also the weird and wonderful local King Falls inhabitants themselves who ring into the show. The result is a 15 minute episode that I simply couldn't do without. Even if I wasn't blogging about the show I would still be listening to them (trust me, I'm a professional), it really is the funniest thing I've listened to in some time. All the episodes produced so far can be found in previous posts within this blog, with my favourite article so far (if I do say so myself.......well nobody else is going to) being the interview that I was immensely lucky to get just a short time ago with the two presenters themselves. The link for that particular article, which also includes the first few episodes, can be found RIGHT HERE.

The latest slice of King Falls AM goodiness is in the form of episode 7 and is called  'Major Tom to Ground Control' and was for released just a day or so ago. I usually have the episodes slightly in advance of the main release but on this occasion I was on a top secret special forces mission for the government this weekend and is simply something that I cannot talk further to you about. So for now I'll just use a mundane cover story that involves me having to decorate the interior of my house which meant no access to my Mac.......and just who would believe that??!!

In this week's podcast, the boys at King Falls AM receive a phone call from a familiar voice that sends the show, as well as the residents of King Falls, into a uproar. 

Here is the link for the show:


It's another funny and exciting episode which proceeds to shed a little light upon a recent disappearance of one of the local populace as well as continuing the showdown that the presenters are having with those in the community whose paths they have crossed. 



iTunes:

As I've previously mentioned, King Falls AM are making a BIG push on iTunes - You can tell that it's a BIG push as I used capital letters. The station's show has been named a New & Noteworthy show for three weeks running and have even come close to breaking the top 100 in the comedy section. 

In an effort to make the most of them being new to iTunes, King Falls AM  are continuing to push for reviews, ratings & subscriptions. It'd mean a lot if you could send in a review and help them in their climb towards iTunes "New & Noteworthy" charts......... and eventual world domination.

The link can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/king-falls-am/id1016760065

The team have also informed that they're "super interactive on the Twitter side". I know, I know - I've never in my life used the term 'super anything' but maybe I should get down with the kids more......as they say. Hmmm, maybe I should scratch that idea, I'm not too sure whether the term 'getting down with the kids' could be misconstrued from a legal standpoint.

Anyway,  if  any of you good people reading this want to help to promote the show and the King Falls AM station, just send Sammy a message and they'll converse with you and plug and all that happy jazz. Sammy can be reached on Twitter through his handle at @KingFallsSammy

You can also locate the show itself on Twitter via @KingFallsAM