I have been asked by people who enjoy my philosophical writings whether I do fiction. The answer is “Yes.” I’ve written short stories, have outlined several novels with a number of chapters being completed, and written both feature film and TV series treatments. As a solstice gift I now begin offering some of my fiction for your reading pleasure. It spans work from decades ago to recently crafted tales and the first two postings show that timespan. These are presented as PDF files and the copyrights belong exclusively to me. They may not be reproduced or reprinted elsewhere without my permission.
If you enjoy any of my work, I always enjoy gifts of appreciation and I have two Amazon.com lists for that purpose:
May you find something herein to enjoy!
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore
• Short Story: “The Ties That Bind”
This is a sample chapter from my unfinished novel “Undead in the U.S.A.” There are more chapters and an outline for this and two follow-up novels. Written back in the 1980s, it was first published in a vampire fiction ‘zine. My vampires are fairly old school, not in the least romantic, and much of the action for this book’s present is set in New York City.
This chapter includes a rather graphic sex scene, so it is intended for adults only. If you access, read or download this piece you are stating that you are legally of age to read such material which may contain content that some users might find objectionable and is intended for a mature person. It must not to be accessed by anyone under the age of 18 (or the age of consent in the jurisdiction from which it is being accessed).
• Film Treatment: “Beyond Prometheus”
I quite enjoyed the possibilities offered by Ridley Scott’s ALIEN prequel which set my mind in motion with thoughts for where things could go to eventually bring us around to the opening of the original film. I read one of the early drafts for the finished film, which purposely left much open to speculation. I’ve offered possible answers.
Scott had mentioned in interviews that in addition to doing a sequel to BLADE RUNNER that he thought of his ALIEN and PROMETHEUS as being in the same fictional universe, hence I brought aspects of the replicants into my plot. Additionally, I’d read that Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of Lovecraft’s novella “At the Mountains of Madness” had been scrapped since both films would deal with the idea that an alien species was the creator of humanity, so I riffed off of some of Lovecraft’s ideas in this proposal for two films to follow. And some might enjoy how I’ve referenced one of my favorite films: FORBIDDEN PLANET.
This is a rather rough presentation of plot concepts intended as an initial field of ideas for more detailed development. It is not in any way a completed screenplay, so the writing is not polished. I’ve shared this with a number of friends who enjoy science fiction who thought I took things in interesting directions. It will be intriguing to see what finally emerges from Scott and his creative team.
• SHORT STORY: “Zann’s Reprise”
Back in the 80s I was writing fiction—extended screen treatments for films and TV series, short stories, as well as chapters and outlines for several novels. I had been through NYU as a composition major, attaining B.S. and M.A. degrees, with my graduate studies focused on electronic music, using vintage synthesizers as well as the then new Fairlight CMI. You can hear some pieces from those days as downloads on my music page, and there’s a complete album,Sinfonie Sinistre, available for purchase.
I’ve been a fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft since I began reading his tales at about age 10. Being a composer, naturally I was captivated by The Music of Erich Zann and while working in the NYU music studios and crafting my own experimental pieces, I conceived of a sequel to this haunting tale. I thus wrote up Zann’s Reprise in the late 80s, probably somewhere between 86-88. It was just something fun and I did not then disseminate it—though I still have the print out from my Commodore 64 in a folder with other writings from that period. In 1995 I was invited to contribute a story to a short-lived Cthulhu Mythos fiction fanzine, and so my sequel was released to the world.
Now, over three decades after it was written, I’ve gone back to this story and blown off the cobwebs and done a little polishing so that in celebration of my 60th birthday I can present this story once again as a gift for those who are interested in my fictional efforts.
The PDF file may be downloaded here. The copyright on this tale belongs to me and it may not be in any way reposted or reprinted without my permission. You are free to share the PDF file with anyone you think might enjoy reading it.
Many thanks to Andy Howl and Jimmy Psycho for creating visuals and music to accompany this release of the refreshed edition. And thanks to Gene Lavergne for tastefully sweetening the audio space in Jimmy’s piece. Please read the classic Lovecraft original prior to mine so that you will have the full impact.
Jimmy has graciously provided a note about his composition:
NOTES on Zann’s Reprise
I was very excited when I received the message from Magus Gilmore that he was going to be releasing a new story for his 60th birthday. I was even more excited when I learned that this “new” story was actually written over 30 years ago! When he told me the story was originally written on a Commodore 64, it was like hearing of a newly discovered tome of days gone past, especially in this rapidly-paced digital age! Needless to say, I eagerly anticipated its arrival.
As with all of Peter’s writings, I found Zann’s Reprise to be both well-crafted and inspiring. I read the story three times that evening, which fueled the fire for when I was honored with the request to create some accompanying music for the story.
The imagery and clarity portrayed in Peter’s words played like a film in my mind, and quickly the idea of composing music that would be akin to a soundtrack for the story became the path of choice.
I felt there were some key elements from Zann’s Reprise to definitely use when putting this together: a string section, 80's midi technology (and sounds), and a composition that had many layers based around "a theme" that climaxed into the opening of the other dimensional world. So somewhere within, you'll hear those elements in there.
As far as the process involved with this song…, I must admit, I haven’t had much experience working with strings, but after a few trial and errors, I was able to create a dialogue between the strings that ultimately formed the foundation of the song. At that point, I can honestly say that the music started to take on a life of it’s own and after adding the remaining elements, I realized that the resultant score sounded like it could be a lost track from a John Carpenter movie from the 80's based on this story (the same decade in which Zann’s Reprise takes place)…which isn’t a bad thing at all.
It was indeed a pleasure and an honor to be part of the select group to bring Zann’s Reprise to the masses on this day, the High Holiday of my mentor, collaborator, and most importantly, my friend…Magus Peter H. Gilmore.
And since the release date is my 60th birthday, if you enjoy the tale and feel inclined to give me a gift in return, my Amazon list is here. Please have your name and address included in the note with your gift so I can send you a signed “thank you” card. I’ve been quite remiss in doing that in the past—my apologies to the generous folks who have been kind enough to send me wonderful presents—so I intend to mend my lack of civilized etiquette.
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore