Posts filed under ‘The Big Hand’

KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money

New from The Big Hand – KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money by JMR Higgs. Out now on Kindle.

To celebrate, the artist Shardcore has built a time-limited algorhymically generated Discordian internet radio station called Radio Eris. He explains more here.

The author, meanwhile, has set up a related Tumblr called TheFuckersBurnedTheLot, and talks about the book here.

They were the best-selling singles band in the world. They had awards, credibility, commercial success and creative freedom.

They deleted their records, erased themselves from musical history and burnt their last million pounds in a boathouse on the Isle of Jura.

And they couldn’t say why.

This is the story of The KLF, told through the ideas that drove them. It is a story about Carl Jung, Alan Moore, Robert Anton Wilson, Ken Campbell, Dada, Situationism, Discordianism, magic, chaos, punk, rave and the alchemical symbolism of Doctor Who.

Wildly unauthorised and totally unlike any other music biography, ‘KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money’ is a trawl through chaos on the trail of a beautiful accidental mythology.

“[Higgs] takes us on a switchback ride to the edge of madness, taking in Discordianism, The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Alan Moore, Carl Jung and the number 23 as part of the experience. It’s like he has channelled the spirit of Robert Anton Wilson in the form of a rock biography and invented a new genre along the way.” – CJ Stone, Author of ‘The Trials of Arthur’ and ‘Fierce Dancing’

 

Amazon UK | Amazon US

November 23, 2012 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

The Shuffle

Richard Blandford’s long awaited short-story collection, The Shuffle, is published today by The Big Hand.

It’s a story collection unlike any other because it takes advantage of things that the Kindle isn’t supposed to do in order to deliver stories in a random order and trap you inside its neverending pages.

Not bad for £2.04, huh?

We’ll have some reviews for you soon, and as it’s the best thing Richard Blandford has ever written (his words) we’re expecting a lot of love for this ebook. Until then, though, here is the blurb:

Inside the Shuffle the Devil lives in the roofs of terraced houses, the art world finds Picasso’s lost colouring book and a contagious virus causes everyone to talk with the voice of Tom Baker. Inside the Shuffle there’s a Facebook-style afterlife, the hardest jigsaw in the world and the disappointing return of Christ. Inside the Shuffle sex and death, food and love, art and life are jumbled and reimagined. There is no way out of the Shuffle.
The Shuffle is a short-story collection that gives a different experience to every reader. It’s an ebook with a ‘shuffle’ feature, meaning that the stories it contains can be served to you in a seemingly random order. It also includes three hidden stories which the reader is highly unlikely to find. It’s a unique presentation of a unique story collection which takes the reader deep into the heart of the Shuffle – and traps them there.

The Shuffle by Richard Blandford is available now on Kindle at the foolish price of £2.04.

October 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

JMR Higgs speaks to Flinton Chalk

Here at The Big Hand we’ve been delighted by the reaction to The Brandy of the Damned, the debut novel from JMR Higgs. Here Flinton Chalk from the band TC Lethbridge emerges from his decades-long slumber to speak to the author:

Flinton Chalk

FC: As I understand it, you’re won’t talk about what The Brandy of the Damned means, is that right?

JMRH: More or less, yeah. I made a promise to one of the first people who read it that I would never explain it, to him or to anyone. I think he feared that the explanation in my head would be a great disappointment compared to whatever interpretation he had in his head. So, other than to reassure you that the whole thing makes perfect sense, I try not to be too specific. I can talk around it, of course. I can talk around it like a good ‘un.

FC: One review I read said that it “was to middle age what Gregory’s Girl was to the teenage years.” Would you agree with that?

JMRH: Yeah that sounds good, doesn’t it? I can’t actually remember much about Gregory’s Girl but I think it’s a compliment. As for the middle age bit though – as I see it, for the first half of our lives we’re driven by a yearning for euphoria and in the second half of our lives we’re driven by a yearning for Grace. Which is a good system, I think, I think we’re lucky it works like that. But the switchover point is not an easy one to navigate, and that’s roughly where the characters are in their lives, so I can understand it for that reason.

But that said – if you were to set a novel in the very heart of Britain, you would have done that in order to talk about Britain in its entirety. The centre point is a good place to get perspective in all directions.

FC: Another reader called it “dense like a fruit cake.”

JMRH: Yeah! But that’s what books are supposed to be, aren’t they? Or at least, it’s how they’re going. Readers deserve twice as many ideas told in half as many words, I think. Especially in non-fiction, where there are all these ‘one idea’ books that would have made brilliant essays, but which have been strung out to whatever length it is that conforms to the publisher’s prejudices. So one good thing about the ebook revolution is that maybe we’ll get past all that legacy baggage and treat the reader a bit better.

I’m slightly wary that some reviews make the book sound hard going or difficult, though. It’s a really easy, light, good-humoured read. It’s only afterwards, when people start to write reviews, that they get bogged down with all the stuff that it’s dredged up for them.

JMR Higgs (moonstruck)

FC: Is it easy to market such a book like that? It’s not part of any obvious tradition.

JMRH: No, it’s totally impossible. It’s a debut non-genre novel from an unknown writer, there’s no hope for it. But that said, there is always word of mouth. And a good way to get word of mouth is to write something that plays bloody hell with the reader’s subconscious, to the extent that they gibber about it afterwards with anyone they meet in order to get their head stable again. That’s pretty much the only option available to me.

I dread to think what damage my next one will do, that goes much further along that road (ED: this is a book that’s not been announced yet, but which will be out in September.) (UPDATE: Let’s say January). Reading The Brandy of the Damned seems to make a really positive difference to people, but the next one might undo all that good work, I fear.

But it’s a good time to do this because publishing is in such a weird state. It’s never been easier to get published and so everyone is getting published, which is great. But oddly, they are all publishing books that don’t need to be published. They are all writing books about vampire cops or some shit. Because that’s what the logic of the industry demands, you know, books which are the same as books that have already been written.

It’s no different to music or films or whatever. They’ve just made a $200 million film about the Battleships board game, not because anyone involved thought it was a good idea but because everyone involved understood that the logic of the industry dictated that the film would actually get made and they’d get paid. So as long as you completely ignore the prevailing wisdom of the industry, it’s actually a great time to write something like The Brandy of the Damned, something that I think comes from a deeper place but without falling into the moon-eyed, sentimental new-agey thing, because no other fucker seems to be doing that at the moment.

FC: But if they were, would you know about it?

JMRH: No, you’re right, that’s where the whole theory falls down. I suspect most of the potential readers for stuff like this don’t have time to read it because they are too busy going on the Internet to complain about the Battleships movie.

I take the view, though, that I’m extraordinarily lucky because I have such a remarkable readership. I mean, they’re great, my readers, they are qualitatively better than other writers’ readers. They just rock, basically, there’s research out there that claims that one of my readers is worth 50 normal readers. Why this is, I have no idea, but I’m not complaining!

As I understand it, all literary conferences next year are devoting sessions to debating the phenomenon, with an eye to reacting to it sometime in 2017.

FC: That’s not true, is it?

JMRH: No, not at the moment. But if you put it in the interview, and people read it and repeat it, it’ll become a little bit more established and that is almost as good as truth. On a practical level, I mean.

The Brandy of the Damned, by JMR Higgs

The Brandy of the Damned is out now on Kindle at the ridiculous price of £1.64 or somesuch, and will be available in paperback at a more sensible price in the near future. The author can be found over on his blog and on Twitter. Flinton Chalk may or may not appear online soon, you can never tell.

June 14, 2012 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

Two New Books From JMR Higgs

Much excitement here at The Big Hand as we prepare to publish not one but two books by JMR Higgs this year. You may know Higgs as the author of I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary, or maybe from the interview he did for us with CJ Stone.

First up is The Brandy of the Damned, his short debut novel and a strange jewel of a book. It’s the story of three members of a band who, twenty years after they broke up, meet again to embark on a quest to drive around the coast road of Britain – in order to see where the coast road goes. It’s balls-out confident, unpredicable and a completely original book that plays with notions of fate and our relationship with time in a winningly good humoured and largely absurd manner.

We think it will delight you.

The Brandy of the Damnedwill be published in paperback in September but, for those of you who need summer reading on your Kindle, the ebook is available right now, DRM-free, from Amazon. Best of all, it has the low price of £1.64, and it will stay that price until the paperback is released.

Also in September comes his next book – which we are keeping close to our chest at the moment, save to say that it is a non-fiction title. We’ll announce the subject in due course, but until then if we tell you that the ground the book covers includes Carl Jung, Alan Moore, Robert Anton Wilson and Doctor Who, then perhaps you can work out what it is about?

May 27, 2012 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

‘Nabob’ Special Edition for Killing Joke Tour

A special edition of the Nabob of Bombasta has been created especially for the Killing Joke tour.

It is beyond wonderful.

It’s a rather luxorious hardback, to start with.  It has a bonus story by Brian Barritt, The Island, added at the end.  There’s a small gallery of extra artwork by Youth, not included in the paperback.  Each copy is signed by Brian Barritt and Youth, and each copy has an original – and wildly differing – drawing by Youth in the inside cover.  There are currently only 60 copies in existence.  And it is only available – for this year, anyway – from the merch stand at the Killing Joke tour.

But the best thing is the CD that you’ll find inside.

The entire story of the Nabob of Bombasta has been read by Brian and set to music by Youth – music that matches the spirits of the text’s unapologetic exuberence.

Truly, it has to be heard to be believed.

The new Killing Joke album – featuring the original line-up of Jaz, Paul, Geordie and Youth – is released on Monday.


September 26, 2010 at 8:51 pm 2 comments

The Trials of Arthur – free ebook and Vote Pendragon!

The Trials of Arthur: The Life & Times of a Modern Day King by Arthur Pendragon and CJ Stone will be back in print in a new paperback edition in the very near future. The ebook, however, is ready now, and is free to download, print, read online and generally do with what you will.  By clicking on ‘share’ in the top right hand of the widget below, you’ll be able to include it in your own blogs, social networks and webpages.

Arthur, meanwhile, is standing as an independent parliamentary candidate for Salisbury. Details of his campaign are here, and also on this facebook page.

View this document on Scribd

La Vie D’Arthur, the sequel to The Trials of Arthur, is coming soon.

April 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm 4 comments

Nabob of Bombasta Now Available

Happy All Fools Day!  Brian Barritt’s unacceptable masterpiece The Nabob of Bombasta is NOW AVAILABLE!  Buy from Amazon, order signed copies from here, or just download for free.

…reads like Douglas Adams possessed by some unnameable horned god” – Orlando Monk

I have to say that the Nabob of Bombasta is probably the most ridiculous book I have ever read, and that it had me laughing like a gibbon from page 1…. Gloriously ludicrous, magnificently deranged” – CJ Stone

View this document on Scribd

April 1, 2010 at 6:11 am 1 comment

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