The Book That Has Never Sold

Rather too many years past, I wrote the fourth book in my Hamster-Sapiens series. Although the other four tales tempted braver souls to part with their money occasionally, this book…

…has remained, sadly, unread. SO in an attempt to rectify this appalling (and horribly unjust) situation, may I present a random extract. And here it is…

Well naturally enough, after being thrown from his lobster-shaped saddle on several occasions, and having his antennae crushed against the ceiling repeatedly, the captain of the Federation Council Stealth Vessel S.S Bargebutt had no choice but to quickly regain control of his emotions. It took a while longer before he was as successful in recovering the ship from its headlong dive, but eventually the creaking submarine levelled off, and the egg sisters – Blur and Sprightly – released a simultaneous sigh of relief at having survived their own sabotage.

In the lounge meanwhile all was pandemonium. Several pirates had been knocked unconscious by the violence of the descent, and even Sally had managed to poke herself in the eye with a wayward nipple.

Ludwig was furious: Several energy weapons had discharged by accident, and the décor was in ruins. He was also in pain – due entirely to his own weapon discharging, and badly singeing his cod piece. Conversely Bootle had rode out the calamity inside Cringe’s multi-layered dress uniform very well, and now strode amongst the injured pirates, pressing his tiny heel against their private parts, and grinding them with all his might – which, unfortunately, wasn’t very mighty at all.

The aforementioned Cringe lay spread-eagled across the upturned sofa, and groaned quietly as his face began to puff up, and bruises appeared through his facial fur.

Only Wetpatch appeared unfazed by the situation. With the Mind-Cap still firmly attached to his head, he had passed through the maelstrom of furry agonies untouched. Rather like a drunk falling down stairs, Wetpatch’s disconnected body had rolled with the metaphysical punches. He had become limp and compliant. His limbs had become supple, and his flesh yielded to the demands made upon it in much the same way that wet soap slips from even the most tenacious grasp, disappears from view beneath the foamy water, and then mysteriously embeds itself inside the bather’s unsuspecting arse crack.

“Recalculating course changes required to arrive at the Crustacean Collective Council chambers.” Sally heard Wetpatch say to no one in particular.

At first the middle-aged catering assistant felt full of wonder at the child-hamster’s ability to navigate without instrumentation or any fore-knowledge of his destination. Then she realised that if Ludwig were to fall silent from all his teeth gnashing and incoherent roaring, he might overhear the youngster’s stupidly high-pitched voice. So she did what any quick-thinking rodent in such a situation would do: She whipped off her knickers, and stuffed them into Wetpatch’s mouth. Then, after making sure that Ludwig’s back remained turned to her, she knocked the Mind-Cap clean across the room with one mighty swing of her handbag, then chased after it, kicking it into submission, before depositing it in the waste reclamation chute.

Ho, meanwhile, had hidden inside the dumbwaiter that carried meals from the galley to the lounge. And because it was padded with aroma-sensitive insulation, he survived the encounter with near-death with nothing more than a scraped elbow where he’d caught it upon the door handle.

“Hey,” he cheered as he emerged, “we survive good. Well most of us anyway. If anyone interested – Ho cook celebratory dinner.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

There, wasn’t that nice! Naturally this e-book remains on sale at most e-book retailers.

 

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Photography: Sometimes It Really Doesn’t Matter Which Camera You Choose

I like cameras. I like cameras so much that I have more than fifty of the little bleeders. And the problem with owning so many is, which one (or five) do I choose to take on my snapping trips. It’s a problem. Or is it? Because sometimes a scene is so nice and simple, and the lighting so right, that it really doesn’t matter which one I choose to capture it. Here is a case in point. Yup, it’s another of my damned camera comparison posts. Well sort of.

Because I was visiting a river location, I’d decided to take along my sole underwater camera – a simple Aquapix W1024-Y. Here is it’s ( surprisingly huge) 6.12 megabyte effort…

I suppose, for a camera that works better submerged, this open air shot isn’t bad. It certainly compares favourably with this 5.97 megabyte shot from an Olympus D720…

Moving on down the megapixel league, sample this 4.31 megabyte picture from a Sony S2100…

Or this Pentax E40’s 3.77 megabyte shot…

And, finally, compare the first picture with this (supposedly) paltry 1.21 MB excuse produced by a Kodak C533…

Any significant difference? If there is, I’m buggered if I could see much. Certainly not enough to make camera selection that important. So, on this evidence, from now on I’m going to chuck all my cameras in a bucket and select them purely at random. In future all I will need to check is that the chosen one (or five) contains a memory card and a charged battery. You’d be surprised at how many times I’ve failed to do that!

 

Time For Some Hamster Fiction Methinks!

On this occasion I think I’ll serve up a nice little (random) extract from this rather pleasant e-book…

And here it is…

Well after that it all went swimmingly. Both Rootley and Joan learned that Darkwood’s father – Longbeach the King of Sponx – had sent his eldest son out into the world to ‘learn a few things’ before he returned to his homeland where he was expected to dispatch his father (enfeebled by age as he would undoubtedly be by then) into the next realm of existence, and then take over the throne.

Darkwood had been interrupted only once, and surprisingly it had been by the normally quiescent Joan.“Excuse me for interrupting – but you have a most unusual name. Your dad does too. How come?”

Darkwood was surprised that none of his audience was aware that in Sponx the royal children are always named after the place of their birth. “I, for example,” Darkwood had explained, “was born in a dark wood. My father came into this world upon a long beach. Of course naming a child after their place of birth doesn’t always result in names quite so poetic: My younger brother, for example, was born in a public lavatory when the Queen was caught short on a Royal Visit to a neighbouring land. Now everyone in Sponx prays that I survive my experience in The University of Life: The name King Brick Shit-House would make their kingdom the laughing stock of the known world.

Well as time went by they all learned something of each other – though neither Darkwood nor Rootley could comprehend either that Joan had slipped from her own technologically advanced world, via an invisible, and undetectable, trans-dimensional portal: through into their semi-medieval land. Or that custard could be frozen: And that there was at least one factory in Hamster Britain producing the delicious sweet.

Margarita comprehended in a second, as cavies often do, and was most impressed with Joan’s ability to ‘walk between worlds’, and offered to carry her wherever she desired, free-of-charge, with the promise that although she was a cavy she would temporarily refrain from the characteristic Perambulatory Defecation Syndrome that was so prevalent with beasts of burden like herself.

“Thank you,” Joan replied, “I might take you up on your kind offer. Of course I didn’t know I could walk between worlds: They must have inadvertently opened a door inside my brain when I visited the Institute of Hugely Important Studies for a series of psychic tests. I’m certainly feeling cleverer and cleverer with every passing second: Perhaps in time I might achieve the level of genius. Or perhaps it’s nothing more than the lovely clean air you have here. I don’t know. But that’s by the by: What do we do next?”

Darkwood was very impressed with Joan’s verbosity, and recognised that he would have fallen helplessly head-over-heels in love with her if he hadn’t been hamster-sexual, and only really fancied hamsters with squelchy bits that dangled. And as things stood, Rootley appeared to be the only ‘talent’ available currently. Unfortunately he was a mere serf with whom Darkwood would countenance no dalliance under any circumstances.

“You’re looking at me funny.” Rootley observed.

Although caught out, Darkwood quickly recovered. “I’m royalty: I’m allowed to look at people funny.” He snapped. Then added, “You’re local: Answer me this: To which location do you suggest we transport ourselves next? Food, shelter, and a safe refuge from an inevitable pursuit by the Lawmen of Weasels Pit would be a prerequisite.”

“Dunno,” replied Rootley, “I’ll have to think about it.”

“Well don’t think too long,” Margarita piped up from the shrubbery, “I can hear horns being blown in the village below.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan

This e-book is available at many outlets. Might I suggest you take a look at some of the better-known ones by checking beneath the ‘header’ or looking on the ‘sidebar’ for easy access.

Photography: The Privilege of Living in the Countryside

Born into a life of country living, my rural idyll came to an end when I left the family home to make my way in the world – and headed for the city. I didn’t expect to return. Few do. But, several years ago, I managed to beat the odds and came home to the village of my birth. Naturally, as a keen camera-lugger, I stroll or cycle around the village environs and snap away merrily. But today I realised just how privileged I am to have the opportunity. As I wandered randomly through a wood close to home I realised that I was being watched by a pair of beautiful eyes…

To my surprise she allowed me to loose off a salvo of zoomed shots in her direction. I thanked her and moved on. But a couple of paces farther along the path I discovered that she wasn’t alone…

After satisfying myself that I had (at least) one shot in focus, I turned to leave her in peace – only to discover that I had over-looked another target that lay quiescent and warming in the spring morning sun closer to me…

Three hinds, all in one place, and willing to allow me to stay, amazed me. So when I turned to leave I was quadrupley (if that’s a real word) pleased that another swam into my view finder…

Then, in some silent communication, they all slowly, un-hurriedly, moved off – behind…

…the previously invisible buck. As his harem slipped silently into the surrounding foliage, he gave me a farewell glance…

…and was gone – leaving me with this little bundle of fluff and teeth…

…who, moments after this photo was taken, got herself…

…taken from behind by this randy little sod. Dirty buggers obviously. Ah, the wonders of nature.