Heavy Metal Thunder 3 and Other Updates!

By Kyle B. Stiff

First off, forgive me for leaving you guys with no updates for so long! Now, it should go without saying that the B. Stiff was working like mad the entire time, tirelessly giving everything he had just so you – my precious readers – might be entertained. We already know that’s what I was doing, right? Great! Then let’s move on.

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First bit of good news! Heavy Metal Thunder 3: Slaughter at Masada is now available for pre-order at Amazon! Sorry, but it looks like there won’t be a fancy app version. The last time I visited Cubus Games in Barcelona, I was horrified to see their studio in flames. I went inside with my gun held ready, but I was too late… they had all been shotgunned to death by nihilistic murder-junkies from a timeline abandoned by God. Some of my slain allies even had signs of torture, with their you-know-whats twisted into oversized pretzels. I swore vengeance on those who… well, I was going to swear vengeance, but I had a lot on my plate, you know? I figured someone would sort things out.

But anyway, the third installment of the Heavy Metal Thunder series will launch on July 11, but you can preorder a copy right now. How amazing is that?

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I’m also close to finishing VOIVOD Book 3: Forest of Spears, which brings our historically accurate tale of Vlad the Impaler up to the fateful events of 1462 AD, when… ah, but I can’t give it away! Let’s just say that all the goofy tales of blood-sucking vampires can’t even come close to matching the REAL and largely-unknown saga of Vlad and a few  brave knights taking a stand against something so horrific that we can hardly imagine it today, what with being modern-day, pigeon-toed, narrow-shouldered man-children.

I haven’t forgotten about Demonworld, either. I promise, once VOIVOD is done (four books total, third is about to drop), then I’ll work on Demonworld until it’s complete. I’ve dragged it out for far too long!

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At the risk of sounding annoyingly vague, I’ve also been involved in some other… projects. Many projects, in fact. Out of all of them, only one fell apart when the project lead collapsed in a fit of anguish and shrieking paranoia during the relatively carefree early stages of the project. I tend to work alone (that’s part of what makes me seem so cool), and that incident taught me a lot about the mindset a person needs to have in order to be a part of a team. However, all of the other projects are moving along! Who knows, we might even see the B. Stiff place his gentle (yet powerful) hands on some story-based projects that aren’t books.

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Which is great, because how big of a nerd do you have to be to actually read a book?!? Seriously!

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A Child Molestor for a Hero

By Kyle B. Stiff

I’ve been doing some research on ritual abuse and I’ve been noticing the very human tendency to cover up this sort of thing, not for fear of being associated with it and going to prison, but merely because it is disturbing. The hardest thing to deal with in the accounts of the victims is the inevitable part of the story where normal people who aren’t even associated with the abuse either ignore what is happening or actively try to silence the victim. Hearing this kind of crap has reminded me of being a kid and dealing with adults who I always saw as “weak” or hopelessly naive.

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I didn’t know it at the time, but I always had really intense insight into people when I was a child. It’s common for a kid to think they’re more knowledgable than adults – that’s like the curse of childhood, a terminal case of overestimating your own abilities, right? But in my case, I really could see through people. I always had my own estimation of people that existed outside of consensus opinion. This insight even kept me from getting molested! I remember there was a choir director in the church where I grew up. I knew he was a pedophile just by looking at him – and yes, I even knew what a pedophile was! I think my parents thought I was joking when I called him a pedophile, even though his kids walked around looking like shell-shocked victims of trauma. Anyway, one day this guy even had the balls to call my home, ask for me, and then he invited me to come over and play with his train set. I was used to obeying authority, but I told the guy I didn’t want to, and hung up on him. As far as I was concerned, I had dodged one hell of a bullet, and ran to tell my mom what had happened. You know what that little lady said to me? She said I should have gone to his house – I might have had fun!

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The thing is, I think this is pretty typical of the way most people think. Maybe they’re completely out of touch with their own “shadow”, or they have to learn something before they can know something – but whatever the deal is with them, their defenses against monsters are weak because they can’t even imagine that monsters exist. It’s just so far outside of what they consider within the realm of possibilities. For me, I’ve always known that the world is a dark place. My psyche won’t shatter at the possibility that sometimes bad people pretend to be good people so they can rape children. You have to be rough to defend good people and good things!

But eventually I realized that other people can’t handle thinking of stuff like that. They aren’t psychologically built to walk in darkness for any length of time, so they avoid it entirely. I started looking down on adults when I was in my pre-teens because I saw them as weak, and I think I even turned into a bully because of that. Not an overt bully, of course, I wasn’t a mean-spirited little shit, but I definitely wanted the adults in my life to grow up a little bit. So what I did was… I started talking about a known child molestor who lived in our town. I talked about him all the time. I made jokes about him and acted like he was my hero. I even wrote stories about him! I can be sued if I give his real name, so let’s just say he was called Drankie Foul. He was kind of a character. Semi-retarded, extremely ugly, fat, lived in poverty, walked around town a lot, and went to church so he could look for victims. Drankie was a degenerate. He had raped some kids and spent a few years in prison, but was now a member of the community. I guess as far as they were concerned, raping kids was just a phase he had gone through, kind of like when a kid goes through a skateboarding phase!

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I kept cracking jokes about him and getting other kids to laugh and talk about him because I knew the adults were way too pussy to stop me. Ultimately, I knew that if they called me out on always talking about Drankie Foul, I could play my ace card: I’m just a kid. But you’re an adult, and if you know this guy is a pedophile, why don’t you get a gun and go handle your business? Oh, you don’t want to do that? Then how about I just keep talking about Drankie all day, every day, as often as I want to?

Then again, maybe more people have “dark streaks” in their aura than we realize. You ever read an article about a child molestor and then check out the comments section? Lots of people want to kill child molestors! Even people in prison want to stomp perverts, they can’t stand to be around them! I’ve been hearing about pedophile rings being broken up recently, with lots of arrests being made. I hope it’s true. I hope it’s true because life is always better when good people focus their aggressive instincts like a laser rather than pretending that the dark spots on their soul don’t exist.

Script for an Insanely Stupid but Popular TV Show

A scene involving some Persons…

Person 1: You’re gonna do what I say, and we’re not going to talk about why you’re going to do it! That way we can have a stupid misunderstanding that will get the audience all worked up!

Person 2 (to another Person): Nothing was explained to me so I’m going to assume the other Person is a retard. Looks like you and me are going to have to deviate from the plan so nothing will get resolved in this episode and everyone will keep yelling at each other.

Person 3: But won’t that jeopardize what we’re trying to do?

Person 2: Yeah pretty much. And you might think that I should explain things, but I’m not going to explain anything. I’m just going to walk away.

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Let’s All Drop What We’re Doing While Kyle B. Stiff Gives His Opinion About Blade Runner 2049 As Far As It Pertains to Using the Bathroom

By Kyle B. Stiff

Blade Runner 2049 was an amazing movie, but I don’t understand why Hollywood producers don’t understand why it didn’t make a lot in the box office. For one thing, nobody can hold their bladder for more than two hours, especially if they drank a giant Coke during the half hour of trailers and ads that played beforehand. Also every single person in America – even people who live in poverty – have giant TVs with beautiful high-definition pictures, and an audio setup that sounds better than movie theaters. Movie theaters jack up the volume so high that even a deaf motherfucker like me can hardly handle it. Who in the world wants to pay twenty dollars just to get blasted with sound while they need to pee, not to mention while they wonder if the person sitting behind them is going to pull out a gun and get their fifteen minutes of fame?

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Probably what they’re going to have to do for a big film release is a pay-per-view kind of thing where people can stream it from home. That’s the only option. It’s either that or have robots that blow you while you’re in the theater. I certainly don’t want big budget movies to go away. Blade Runner 2049 hit me so hard in the feels that it was like catching a glimpse of the Almighty. It was amazing. But if Hollywood producers just keep throwing up their hands and not giving the matter a little thought, then eventually we will never see anything like Blade Runner 2049 ever again. We’ll only see Madea movies and romantic comedies. That’s all that will be available.

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I just had another idea. I’m old so I remember that films, especially long ones, used to have an “intermission”. Halfway through the film, the screen would go black and music would play. You could get up, take a piss, pinch one off, have a powerful vomit, or just do whatever you needed to do so that you wouldn’t spend the last half hour bent over and holding your dick, whispering, “Don’t do this to me! Don’t do this to me!”

Maybe they could try something like that?

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Fear Training!

By Kyle B. Stiff

I had an intense flashback to my childhood and it put some things into perspective.

Any other old people out there ever freak out to THIS record back in the day?

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Great Ghost Stories… from 1973. I used to have this record when I was six or seven (this was in the 80s), and it was so terrifying that I thought it was like a portal to hell. My house already felt haunted, full of dark corners, ancient orange carpet from the 70s, and surrounded by thick woods. I spent a lot of time alone, and for some reason, instead of doing things to try to make believe I was in a happy, cheery world, I was drawn to this record. I had a burning curiosity, and even though I was convinced that playing this record was no different from stepping into a bleak nightmare with very little possibility of escape, I felt like I had to understand the nightmare. Only a person who could survive the darkness was capable of achieving godhood!

It might seem like I’m playing up the drama, but that’s really how strongly I felt about it! I couldn’t even hold this record without feeling as if I was standing on the brink of an endless abyss. The funny thing is, I found this thing again on youtube, and it’s dumb as hell. It’s just a bunch of goofy ghost stories. He put the tooth under his pillow… but the next day… it was gone! That kind of thing. Years later (but before I was a teenager) I watched Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th and experienced only a kind of robotic, autistic understanding of what was happening. I didn’t feel any fear, really, but just a vague curiosity. But this record! This record!!! Just hearing the crackle and hiss of this thing spinning made me think the evil spirits were going to come through and take me to their horrible world of endless darkness!

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Looking back on it, I think maybe that stupid record gave me some really intense fear training, and maybe even helped me “incorporate my shadow” as Jung would say. I’m sure it shaped a lot of my writing. Most of my stories have a force that’s so dark and powerful that most people can’t even imagine it, and the people who take the risk of facing it must have something heroic in them (and also be a little bit crazy).

Then again, I don’t know if events shape us, or if we seek out the things that fit our souls. Whatever the case, if you give this goofy thing a listen, I just remembered that there’s a real spine-tingler in there about a guy who meets a series of cats that keep getting bigger and bigger. Finally the biggest cat of them all comes along, and then… and then… and then…!!!!!!!

(Kyle B. Stiff clutches his chest and falls over dead.)

Behold I Am the Only Man Who Understands Beyond the Black Rainbow

By Kyle B. Stiff

Bring home the mother lode, B. Stiff…”

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The key to understanding Black Rainbow is to have some knowledge of MK ULTRA and the CIA’s involvement in hippie culture. A little understanding of modern ufology also helps. You don’t need thousands of pages of heavily redacted government documents complete with blurry photos proving that JFK was on the set of the fake moon landing, but you need to know that they happened. Otherwise it’s like not knowing what a gun is and never having heard of World War II, and then watching Dunkirk or Saving Private Ryan; you’d think you were watching a random montage of fever dream images with no basis in reality, rather than a fairly straightforward story!

MK ULTRA… the condensed version. So in the 60s the Central Intelligence Agency ran a lot of strange experiments testing the limits of the human mind. One of the objectives was to find a way to keep a soldier from divulging secrets during interrogation; another objective was to try to make someone follow orders they had no conscious awareness of (this is where the idea of a Manchurian Candidate comes from). Those are both really the same objective, and the idea is to fragment a person’s mind, give information and orders to one facet of consciousness, hide that facet from the conscious mind, and then be able to recall that hidden facet using trigger words or phrases.

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It might sound crazy, but in the 70s a bunch of documents about it were discovered. They were remnants of documents that were supposed to be destroyed when the CIA was covering its tracks in the wake of Watergate. There were hearings in the senate, and the whole affair is far stranger than anything you can imagine if you’ve never heard of it – look into it if you’re at all curious about the bizarre world you live in. One important thing to keep in mind about MK ULTRA is that drugs were a large part of the program; when you’re trying to bend and shift and fold and stretch the human mind, drugs are the most powerful tools you have at your disposal.

Of course, hallucinogens like LSD were in heavy use by the CIA, and plenty of agents were involved in the drug scene in America in the 60s. The hippie movement was not as organic as it would seem. Maybe any scene that moves young and impressionable minds is orchestrated to some extent. Whether some rogue branch of the CIA were the puppet masters or just another pawn in the game, I have no idea. But there’s a reason why the FBI was adamant about looking for Communists in the CIA, and why you don’t find too many Republican hippies!

That’s enough background. I’m getting old and I don’t have the patience I used to. Let’s move on to the actual film!

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Beyond the Black Rainbow takes place in a secret MK ULTRA facility where a girl named Elena is imprisoned. She has psychic powers, much like El from Stranger Things, a story inspired by the same interdimensional muse. Both stories also take place in the 80s, during the Satanic Panic, a time similar to our own when a large pedophile ring is rumored to be operating just under the radar (remember, if you can drug and record a politician having sex with a child, you can control said politician). Though Black Rainbow takes place in the 80s, its roots are in the 60s, when Dr. Mercurio Arboria founded the Arboria Institute. There were a lot of places like the Arboria Institute in the 60s, where funding was given to hippies who got blasted on psychedelics and talked about how All is One and we were on the verge of a utopia. Sorry if I’m trampling the mystique but I’m trying to cover a lot of material in a short amount of time.

Dr. Arboria had an assistant named Barry Nyle (the last name is probably indicative of nihilism). Barry made the ultimate sacrifice by taking part in Dr. Arboria’s experiment to push a human beyond all limitations. First he took a concentrated dose of LSD, then he submerged himself in a pool of hallucinogenic goop. Barry crossed the abyss of Da’ath and was stripped of everything, including his humanity, and the thing that came back from that trip was no longer human. There was an unnamed woman helping out during this experiment; Barry loved her, but Dr. Arboria had already scooped her up. The human Barry would have been content to stifle his jealousy and cover it with a sad smile, but the demon living in the shell of Barry did not hesitate – he killed her.

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Dr. Arboria was so swept up in his own narrative and his sense of being on a mission that he didn’t turn Barry in to the police for murder, and thus jeopardize his Institute. Instead, he assumed that Barry’s actions were informed by a higher intelligence beyond mere human understanding. He probably saw Barry as an avatar of the New Aeon, and he named Barry as his successor to the Arboria Institute.

Of course the idealistic 60s gave way to the “business first” ethos of the 80s, replacing rambling jackoffs like Bob Dylan with charming psychopaths like JR Ewing. The hallucinogens of the Arboria Institute were replaced with mood altering pills. In many scenes Barry looks like he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but after a few shiny pills (“Half a gram is better than a damn!”) his frown turns upside down.

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Barry (or Dr. Nyle) is undoubtedly the antagonist of the film, but he’s also a victim himself. He is clearly young and impressionable in the 60s flashback. Moreover, I believe the woman he lives with is not necessarily his wife – she is his handler (though she may play the role of his wife). In modern conspiracy mythology, all victims of MK ULTRA mind control have “handlers” – that is, one or more people who provide upkeep, reconditioning, and jobs for their fragmented subjects. It is worth noting that Barry’s handler is also a victim of MK ULTRA herself. When her handler calls to provide verbal triggers and instructions, she’s too zonked out to answer the phone; Barry answers, and he knows that he’s listening to his handler’s handler. He is crushed to find out that he is not a paragon of enlightenment and power, but only one link in a chain of command. The phone call marks the beginning of his desire to break free from his prison.

Barry’s bizarre and disturbing transformation at the end marks the final shedding of humanity. Taking off his wig and eye contacts are a way of removing his mask of humanity. He puts on a leather suit because, to a demon without a solid identity, a body is merely a “leather suit”, or something one wears to go on a joyride. He talks to himself in the car, as both driver and passenger, a fragmented consciousness that can never be made whole, utterly narcissistic and beyond any moral limitation (“You’re doing so good!”).

 

RUN PROGRAM > SENTIONAUTS

When Elena collapses outside of her cell, she has to be safely transported back inside. Barry activates a Sentionaut to do the work – that is, an android controlled by a computer program. At the end of the film, when Elena is escaping from the facility, she shuts down a Senionaut using her psychic powers.

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What is a Sentionaut? They’re a common staple of modern alien mythology and ufology. In fact, lots of conspiracy types figure that your typical “Gray alien” is an android meat-puppet. They seem to have no will of their own, low intelligence, abject fear of those higher on the pay scale, etc. The Sentionaut shown without his mask even looks sort of like a Gray alien. Also note that the Sentionaut implants a homing beacon in Elena’s neck. How many stories have we heard of Gray aliens putting implants into abductees?

THE CONTROL PYRAMID

Barry uses an ominous pyramid to dampen Elena’s will and knock her out. The image of the pyramid of course brings to mind the idea of the Masonic pyramid, or Egyptian influence on many other secret societies. I don’t have anything solid about this, but I think it’s the basic idea that people can be controlled by future-tech, especially if it’s informed by any kind of “sacred geometry” that points toward higher intelligence. Is it hard to imagine someone turning up the dial on a machine causing people to go into a frenzy after the last Presidential election in America? Discourse is no longer occurring on a rational level, as those parts of the brain have been dampened by our theoretical machine. The debate now occurs in angry, emotional circles where neither side can even sense the inherent humanity of the other side.

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THE MOTHER LODE

I almost forgot! Keep in mind that Elena was submerged into the same hallucinogenic goop and travelled through the abyss just like Barry, but she did it as a child! Sometimes the very things that we think create villains, like traumatic events, can also bring out the best in us. Being stripped of pretense doesn’t make a person into anything, it only reveals what is already there… the truth hiding beyond the black rainbow!

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Panos Cosmatos is working on another film, MANDY, which also takes place in 1983 and is a spiritual “sequel” or companion to Beyond the Black Rainbow. It will feature the internet’s favorite freak-out king, Nikolaus Kage, star of Daniel Linch’s Wild at Heart!

Meanwhile Kyle B. Stiff is continuing work on VOIVOD, his epic historical fiction series about the life of Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula!

The B. Stiff Flies from One Victory to the Next (Life of Privilege Continues)

Thought I’d send a smoke signal to let you guys know I’m still alive!
I’ve finished the first two books in my new Voivod series. It’s a historically accurate (but fictionalized) account of the life of Vlad the Impaler, the real-life Dracula. It has nothing to do with vampires or pasty fashionistas, and everything to do with medieval warfare and one man’s struggle against the Islamic slave trade in medieval Eastern Europe. I’m working on the third book in the four-book series, which is called Forest of Spears. It’s dynamite! The first two books are already available in hard copy, so there’s no reason to be jealous of the rich kids with their fancy e-readers.

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I’d like to write some more historical fiction later, but first, I fully intend to finish Demonworld after Voivod. That’s right! Demonword books seven, eight, nine, and ten are going to launch one after the other, BAM BAM BAM, like a literary machinegun tearing apart everything in its sights.

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I’m also writing for a few video games. I had an unexpected insight the other day that if a creator doesn’t keep a full plate, then depression comes as a natural consequence. A creator has to keep his to-do list so full that it becomes overwhelming. I don’t think the tricks we use to make our minds go quiet and harness our will are necessarily fool-proof; humans are born to do things, and creators especially are born to make things. So I’m pushing myself to do more and create more. Depression will be the first casualty in this sort of violent engagement with the enemy, but that’s a casualty that I’m willing to accept!

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In closing, if I could leave everyone with a piece of advice regarding time management and achieving goals, I can only say that if you’re on a bunch of drugs and you accidentally run over someone, you should keep driving as if nothing has happened. That usually works for me!

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