Demonworld on Kickstarter!

Nobody gets excited about psychedelic records because they come in brown paper bags. I want nice covers for Demonworld just as much as the next guy. Enter: Kickstarter.

If you want to take part in the battle to give Demonworld a face-lift, or just stop by to see Kyle B. Stiff awkwardly flail about and beg for money, then go here.

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Begging for money 21st century style. If you thought starving artists were sexy before, wait til you see Poverty 2.0!

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Kyle B. Stiff Gets Robbed!

Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about how I’m getting “robbed” by not drowning in money from Demonworld sales. No, I’m writing this to let my precious readers know that Demonworld Six is going to face delays because my little hobbit house got broken into by a gang of meth-crazed goblins. Rich people live only a few blocks away, but I think the thieves could sense something amazing going on in my little hovel. Fortunately they didn’t find my computer (sometimes it pays to be paranoid), but they cleaned out just about everything else of value. Me and my wife are doing everything we can to move to a more secure location, which is no small feat when your budget looks like it’s about ready for an autopsy. I can already see that I’m not going to get a lot of writing done for the next couple of weeks. Forgive me, dear readers!

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But here’s how you can help. Just send money to… no, wait. Scratch that. If you really want to help, take the padlock off your reinforced gun cabinet. Dust off that old set of body armor you made so long ago. Put your superhero cloak on and hit the streets. Hit the streets HARD. Look for anyone walking around saying things like, “This Xbox 360 I stole is the greatest!” or “What kind of idiot hides his money in a jar with the rest of his loose change?” Take no prisoners, readers! Hunt them down! Let the world know what happens when you rob a poor writer and delay Demonworld Book Six!

Don’t you worry, dear readers. They better bring a bazooka if they want to put an end to Demonworld!

Demonworld: PERMAFREE

Holy hell, it looks like Demonworld finally went PERMAFREE on Amazon.

Believe me, this book will make your balls drop, it’ll put your eggs in the microwave, and from now on it won’t cost a DIME to light your Kindle on fire with this thing. If you like reading about monsters getting shotgunned to death or guys with ritually mutilated bodies or she-demons having sex with big lizard creatures but you don’t want to pay one single cent for any of it, or if you just want to hang out with a brutal mystic on a spiritual journey through what can only be described as Hell (a.k.a. Earth), NOW’S YOUR CHANCE. Just click HERE or HERE or even, God willing, HERE.

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Or you can get your hands on almost any of my writings HERE. Who loves you but me?

A Mind-Blowing Encounter with Synchronicities

By Kyle B. Stiff

 

I had an incredible series of synchronicities that was like a peek behind the curtain which revealed evidence of a Director in charge of this strange production we find ourselves acting in.

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Some background: I listen to a lot of podcasts at work, mostly fringe theory or paranormal type stuff and a totally, totally grounding dose of video game news shows, too. One show called Hidden Experiences is all about some guy trying to come to terms with his life going off the rails of the mundane. He talks about synchronicities, so I’ve been thinking about them a lot.

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One day while thinking on this matter, I started listening to an unrelated podcast while walking down a hallway, and it just so happened that my butthole started to itch really bad. I thought about walking to the bathroom to take care of things, but I’d already been fucking around and needed to get back to my desk, so I decided to risk scratching deep up in my crack right in the hallway. As I turned to make sure no one was behind me, somebody on the podcast I was listening to said, “I can’t live my life looking over my shoulder.” Now, that’s not the mind-blowing synchronicity that the title of this piece is referring to, but it certainly impressed upon me the nature of this wild and unbelievable stuff!

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So anyway, the other day I was listening to Hidden Experiences and there was a discussion about the “playfulness” of synchronicities. According to the interviewee, it was almost as if some intelligent force was practically wanting to be seen.

When I got out of work and was walking to the bus stop, I listened to a video game podcast called Rebel FM, in which they discussed the new FORZA racing game and the new Xbox One. My mind drifted because I can’t get into racing games, so I thought about synchronicities. A strange impulse came to me; I wanted to see a synchronicity at that moment. It wasn’t like I was a “skeptic” with his arms crossed and his face puckered up saying, “Alright, let’s see this so-called phenomenon!” No, the impulse was stranger than that, both headstrong and dreamlike.

Anyway, as I leaned back against the bus stop shelter, someone on the podcast said, “… laid back.”

I thought that was pretty cool, but it didn’t exactly blow my hair back. It could just be a coincidence, right? Anyway, I smiled to myself, then thought, “Would it be possible to have another synchronicity?” Immediately some guy on the podcast said, “You can’t turn it on and off.”

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Now I was really feeling it, riding on a wave that existed somewhere outside the norm. Sensing that the universe itself was looking directly at me, waiting to see what I would do, I wondered, “I know I’m pushing it, but how about something now?

At that moment someone on the podcast said, “You have to know how to actually play the game.”

Of course this was just too much. The idea that the universe was playing a game with me made me giddy, overwhelmed by a sense that the physical world was unreal or, at most, a sort of high-end video game constantly being patched and updated by its maker. I turned about on the sidewalk because I couldn’t sit still for this sort of thing, and as I moved the strange sense came upon me again. I was facing traffic and saw many oncoming cars, and at that moment the podcast said, “You see the people facing you are driving…”

The King of All Cosmos by pinakaguwaping on deviantart.

The King of All Cosmos by pinakaguwaping on deviantart.

Four of these things in a row – are you kidding?! I began laughing uncontrollably, and just then the podcast said (and I shit you not), “You’re laughing, and it sees the appreciation on your face…”

BLAM! Five demonstrations of inscrutable other-worldly machinations brought about by mixing two channels, all in a row!

I realize that a lot of you won’t be interested in this sort of thing. Until the dust gets knocked off your pineal gland by a few encounters with unbelievable strangeness, this sort of thing means nothing. For years and years I was a hardcore materialist, so I get that. But from where I’m sitting, it looks like the universe is totally A*L*I*V*E*!

*     *     *

King of All Cosmos by yiannisun on deviantart.

King of All Cosmos by yiannisun on deviantart.

Hey readers! If you like to see the veil of reality pulled aside, even if only temporarily, then be sure to check out my piece about Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and its basis in the tarot. That piece can surely suck a bowling ball through a garden hose!

You should probably check out my books, too. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now. I just recently released the second volume of Heavy Metal Thunder, which is called SOL INVICTUS.

Commence Operation: SOL INVICTUS

Or: Demonworld Five came out a year ago, what the hell have I been doing since then?!

By Kyle B. Stiff

Is it possible that the guy who can knock out a book in two months has had his thumb up his ass for an entire year?

No, of course it’s not possible.

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One thing I did is write the second Heavy Metal Thunder book, which is now available at Amazon. Six hundred pages of branching-narrative choice-driven story for three bucks… you can’t beat that.

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But it didn’t take me an entire year to write one book. Oh, no, not even close. I don’t fuck around when it comes to fucking around. See, I got this crazy idea in my head that I could illustrate my own cover for Heavy Metal Thunder Book 2. When I found out that my skills had gotten rusty, I didn’t give up (like I should have), but instead I expanded the scope of my plans to include illustrating every Demonworld and Heavy Metal Thunder cover on my own. I even had trouble sleeping at night because all these “amazing” ideas would blast into my head. But when it came time to produce, I kept failing and had to restart over and over again.

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Plus I’m working full-time these days. Burning through free time to work on awful-looking covers instead of writing like I should have been eventually beat the snot out of my once-virile body. After several months of this nonsense I had a breakdown and woke up naked in a pile of dried spaghetti next to a wall covered in pentagrams and scratch marks (and all of my fingernails were completely torn off). I took off my sunglasses, reflected on the limits inherent in my current incarnation, and then decided that I would never, ever, ever spend one more second worrying about covers ever again.

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So that’s why the cover of Sol Invictus is a recycled palette-swap of the first one. Sorry about that. But anyway, after months of torturing myself, I’m alive again. I’ve got a couple of blog posts to knock out, then I’m going to finally write Demonworld Book 6: The Love of Tyrants. It’s going to be longer than the average Demonworld book, plus I’ve got to spend most of my day polishin’ knobs just to survive, but I’m a freakin’ SOLJAH so the next Demonworld’s gonna be in your hands before you know it!

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I Had a Blast at NORMAL-CON!

by Kyle B. Stiff

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Just like the title says, I had a total blast at Normal-Con! For those of you who don’t know, the subculture of “normality” is getting bigger and bigger all the time, and Normal-Con is a celebration of that. Twenty years ago hardly anyone had ever heard of normal, but these days all kinds of people are dressing up like normal people and talking about the normalest things imaginable. I took some pics while I was there. Check it out!

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As you can see, the place was packed with what can only be described as the most normal motherfuckers you will ever see!

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Believe it or not, I got to meet Herman Longmember, inventor of the extremely popular “office humor” poster that shows a hamster drinking a cup of coffee and it says, “I can’t suck a cock until I’ve had my coffee!”

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EVERYBODY was blown away by twelve-year-old Suzie Strokemember’s cosplay of an office alpha male!

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I got to see a fascinating PowerPoint presentation on how to change font sizes. The techniques I learned work in practically any situation – whether you’re writing an email in the office, at home, or even at the beach!

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This meeting took place in the hotel’s stadium-size bathroom. You can’t see it from this angle, but the two walls not pictured are lined with urinals (for number one) and doorless toilet stalls (for number two). I took this picture while in the middle of a sweaty forty-five minute battle with the twisted log I had jammed up in my guts!

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“Why wait until the last minute to plan next year’s Normal-Con?” said prestigious board member Harry Cox. “Let’s go ahead and plan that fucker while we’re here so we won’t end up in each other’s shit over a bunch of stupid shit, you know what I mean?”

I couldn’t agree more, Mister Cox!

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Here’s a picture of the super-prestigious founders of Normal-Con. Some of their suits might look a little iffy in terms of fashion, but believe me, dear readers, these people were at the height of normality in their time. Unfortunately attendance at the first Normal-Con was lower than expected because on the day Normal-Con opened its doors it just so happened that some guy down the street was trying to beat the Guinness world record for how many dicks he could fit in his mouth, so people were lining up around the block to see that. (In case you’re curious, he didn’t beat the record, but he was already the world record-holder so shit worked out in the end.)

Duncan Trussell: A Perpetually-Blossoming Blood Lotus Found in a Gray World of Endless Death

God’s in His heaven and all’s right with the world because I finally wrote about the amazing Duncan Trussell. Do you give a shit about one of the most entertaining and enlightening human beings walking around on Penal Colony: EARTH? If so, click HERE!

Found on deviantart, by barontieri

Found on deviantart, by barontieri

The Death of Kyle B. Stiff!

By Kyle B. Stiff

Artists and writers are usually much less interesting than the stuff they produce. Little Wodi journeying through the wasteland and trying to find an answer to the riddle of the demonic suppression of his species (also known as Demonworld) – now that’s interesting. Or Cromulus from Heavy Metal Thunder fighting against an alien bureaucracy that’s so hungry it had to cross thousands of light-years just to eat his species while Cromulus himself doesn’t even know who he is or why the human species has lost its will to live – that’s interesting, too! Heck, I almost never bother to write about myself on this blog. In a best-case scenario, I’d focus on posting about weird connections between pop culture movies and esoteric occult systems, but today I’m going to deviate and write something about myself. Not because I’m terribly interesting, but because I’m going through some ego-shattering stuff that might help a few others on their own journey.

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Here’s the short version: I sell my books on Amazon, I was doing good for a while, but sales have recently plummeted. The bottom has fallen out on the whole venture. Hope perched on my shoulder while I looked at my sales, and I spent most of my time writing and looking forward to a time when my meager income would become a stable fountain that could sustain a healthy, wholesome, productive lifestyle. I never asked for much; I’m a work-oriented kind of guy who finds more happiness in following through with projects rather than buying flashy things. Any time I worked a “real job” in the past, I always felt like I was wasting my time. Having my energy drained by masters without vision and rubbing elbows with coworkers lost in drama never seemed all that mature and productive despite any propaganda that said otherwise. I always resented it… always.

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I spent years writing, and it’s true that you need to spend about ten thousand hours (or ten years) if you want to come close to mastering any craft. Only in the past few years have I produced anything that would be worth a stranger’s time, much less their money. Plus it’s fun to see the ego diminish as competency increases; I’ve thrown away enough bullshit literary flourishes and pretentious use of language to the point that I don’t have to worry about being completely embarrassed when I look at my own writing. But then again, that’s still just ego talking… because now I’ve got to get a real job, and since I don’t want to be unhappy while doing it, that means I’ve really got to set some ego aside when I put on that necktie-noose.

By Tim Flach

By Tim Flach

See, for years I’ve gambled everything on storytelling. I single-mindedly devoted myself to that and let everything else slide. Part-time jobs, poverty, milking unemployment, borrowing, begging, sometimes stealing – and those were the good times! Now that my Amazon sales look like ET when he was dying on the bathroom floor, I have to wonder if maybe I’ve built up a humongous pile of bullshit in my head and sold it to my ego in lieu of living a real life. When you think of those phony artists that dress the part and hang out in bars and spin a big yarn about the bullshit they’re into, don’t we naturally react with disgust once we realize it’s all a farce? Of course we do, but then again, it’s easy to see the bullshit when someone else is spouting it. But what if I’m the one spouting it to myself? What if it’s a fact that not every schmuck who’s decent at storytelling gets to do what he wants to do for forty or fifty hours a week because the world simply can’t sustain that fantasy, and he just ends up using people and draining them because he can’t sustain himself? What if he ends up on his death bed and as his heart finally sputters and chokes on a wad of crusty scabs he breathes his last and the veil is lifted and he sees reality – true reality, not the illusion of endlessly shifting forms – and all he sees is a path paved with regret and the idiotic things he did to other people because he thought that it was all going to pay off once he inevitably “made it”?

Fuck me runnin’! That sounds awful! Citizen Kane, It’s a Wonderful Life, and now… me!

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Then again, let me rein it in a little bit. I’m not trying to be a huge drama queen. I’m not giving up on writing. I couldn’t even if I tried! But I’m going to have to scale it back. Heck, most “real” writers who get paid so much that they have to open multiple bank accounts in order to hold all the money that’s thrown at them can’t be asked to crank out more than one book every few years… and how could they? Can you imagine juggling a schedule of vacations, meetings with architects building your mansions, parties with television and movie producers, AND writing a book on top of that? I’ve already got a leg up on those guys; despite being racked by the guilt of not being able to pay my way through existence, I can knock out several books a year, no problem. The only difference is that now I’m going to have to devote most of my time and energy to a job; someone else’s vision, rather than Demonworld, will have to take precedence. Unlike a younger, dumber Kyle B. Stiff, I’m going to devote energy toward finding a way to enjoy it rather than resent it. I probably won’t be able to write during the week because, let’s face it, I’m physically weak and just can’t handle it… but I can still devote a decent chunk of the weekend toward receiving transmissions from the Grand Architect Omni-Mind Entertainer (who gives artists their visions) and chronicling the further adventures of li’l Wodi, Cromulus, and those cute bunnies in my short stories.

William John Hennessy 1879 The Pride of Dijon

Let’s look at this transformation in a positive light, you guys! I’m going to set aside my ego and quite possibly become a real human boy! Kyle B. Stiff is dead! The new aeon of Kyle B. Stiff has begun! There are no longer any maps or guideposts to lead the way. Those were only a fantasy, the hallucination of order where no order was even possible. Strange horizons will be our only goal, and the person I’ll meet on the mountaintop will be a mysterious freak I have never met before, dancing out of rhythm and wearing a mask in the shape of my own face…

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