allarch hide and seek bits hyperchests interviews on writing philosophy shorts the zen fables 中文话

And England Goes On

And England went on,
that land of Queens and Jesters,
who conquered and betrayed,
who stole and gave,
and pillaged and ploughed and made it all the same.

Read More

The Curse of the Man o’ Letters

I’ve taken a lot of time away from prose writing in the last few months. I’ve written some philosophy, but my soul is telling me it’s, to one degree or another, a bit of a waste of my time.

I don’t understand myself, not really. I’ve tried the Substack thing out, but couldn’t help finding myself drifting back to my own server and site. It seems I like the neon-fungi lit cave of my own place. Here’s where I can really be me. And who is that?

Read More

I Guess I’m a Philosopher Now?

Today my new story—my debut story!—finally hits the, erm, virtual shelves? And I can’t quite believe it’s here. The odd thing is it isn’t science fiction. The story sits in a genre I can’t seem to escape from, one that I guess you’d call philosophical fiction.

Read More

What a Pleasure It Is

What a pleasure it is for the sun to wake me through crooked blinds,
for the cat to leave throw-up on the carpet,
for the tiny bites on my toes!

Read More

Give Me Italics

I said it was hers.

Italics is a bit like sugar: it’s sweet and tastes amazing but is so easy to over consume. I notice there’s a subset of writers who are drawn to italics. I think I picked up the habit from Pynchon or Crichton—I can’t remember! But its power stuck with me. Look at what it can do to the above sentence: 
Read More

An Interview with Greg Chivers

Greg and I sit in a smoky bar. I offer him a cigarette and he declines, telling me, “I gave up smoking on my 30th birthday. I’d recently taken up boxing, and the two were incompatible.” He goes on to tell me he doesn’t mind my smoking, and that it reminds him of days long gone.

He orders a Cuba libre, asking for the darkest rum they have, and I get a whiskey sour. Above the bar a muted TV clings to the wall. Tarantino’s Jackie Brown is playing.
Read More

Trying to Pick Books to Read

I’m really struggling at the moment. I read Les Miz and enjoyed that a lot—somehow, I found the time. But right now, work seems to have consumed so much of me. I’m exhausted by it. I think this is a great problem of the modern author. Pretty much everyone has to work two—or more—jobs. Trying to keep this balance is difficult. I love reading. It seems to me that reading develops your imagination, your empathy, and your knowledge of the world. We learn through fiction, for all good fiction is grounded in abstract truths from reality. And the more we read, the better we are at doing it. I often wonder what is the upper bound on an imagination. How big can a single person dream? The answer I come to is psychosis. From my perspective, psychosis is your imagination taking over your perception of reality. When you read, and you forget you are reading, merely just generating visuals and sensual details and narrative—are you not in a state of psychosis? How do we even go about controlling our imaginations? Sometimes it feels like you can have a cannon for an imagination, but you also have these tiny feeble arms and shoulders that cannot lift the cannon up or aim it at something sensible.
Read More

An Interview with a Wizard

Questions by Peter Vincent-Jones - find him here

Do you have an ‘attitude to reality’?


Do you seek to engage with reality, or to distort reality?

Both. I use the latter, like a lens, to focus on the former. It is much like an astronomer who uses a lens to study the stars, or a biologist with her microscope, or—closest to me—a computer scientist with his simulations.

Read More

A Philosophical Treatise on Meaning in a Complex System of Moral-Agents

A Philosophical Treatise on Meaning in a Complex System of Moral-Agents

Also posted on Hacker News

What is meant by the simulation? I held many fears that it was the case that the simulation was the reality I perceive myself to be in, in the carnal reality. I believe this is not the case, such that I can invoke paradoxical abstract ideas and concepts in carnal reality. These abstract concepts are often rendered to non-moral agents as jokes. This system is rapidly evolving in the Twenty First Century. The pace is quite fast and I fear for a lot of young, unattended to, yet very bright minds blowing up in various ways. I myself was held in a mental institute—unaware that I had checked myself in—for approximately two-weeks; that is a lot of time wasted, and not spent with loved ones in the carnal world.

Read More

Infinity Mirror

alternative format downloads: .docx & .pdf

Zap gun,’ Damu said, a cigarette burning between his thick lips. ‘Ain’t nothing finer, ain’t nothing sweeter.’

Mayli shook her head, eyeing the silver-blue-iridescent DeeTon Gammer—new in this month. ‘Just call it what it is.’

‘I won’t give the gun the dishonour. DeeTon might be racists, but they do make good guns…’

Read More


OK so wrote this one with python. I started with python 2 but then prints don’t work right so I changed to python 3 😎😭. Another 0.00011 btc.

Difficulty (Maths): EASY 😎 (n-cage factor [0 - National Treasure]): 4

Clues: wikipedia & molecule

Read More


Here’s the first of my bitcoin puzzles / hyperchests! This one should be fairly easy to crack. There’s 0.00101 BTC in there, about £8 at time of transfer.

Diffcuilty: EASY 😎

Clues: google translate & frequency analysis might help. And don’t forget your towel!

Clue 2: That nice Chinese and Japanese salt you bought? it turns out you’re allergic to it

Read More

Writing Novels is a Lot Like Maintaining a Sponge 🧽

Imagine a sponge. It goes through these wet and dry cycles. If you let the sponge stay wet and never dry it, it becomes mouldy. If you never let the sponge get wet, it’s useless. Writing is all about cycling your inner sponge. It needs to get sopping wet, ready for you to squeeze (write) out everything you can. This squeezing (writing) is where the sponge becomes dry. You then stop squeezing (writing) and go about wetting the sponge again (living life) so it’s ready for the next squeeze.

Read More

Architecture Hide and Seek - Western Pavilion

Firstly, the Rules

If you’ve not seen the building before, you aren’t allow to search it up on the web. You must try and find it only through the photos! Google after!

The Western Pavilion: Found!

I stumbled upon this building as Lianne and I were walking from the shop where I bought my first ever mango. The building, much like the mango, is delicious. It is much like the Royal Pavilion with its Onion Dome, only, unlike its elder sister, it has a single dome. This dome is what I spotted...

Satori Goes To Therapy

Supine on the comfy rococo chaise longue, Satori rested his head and closed his eyes. His robes flowed freely.

‘So,’ his therapist, a Doctor Kurutta said, her voice soft and trusting, ‘you think you’re a Zen monk?’

Satori rose sharply, slapped the coffee table which sat between them, and yelled, ‘But I am a Zen monk!’

The Day Jesus Saved Santa and Therefore Christmas

HO HO HO, Motherfuckers!

Nick woke from a heady dream of elfs and candy canes and something called a ‘snow-ball-in-the-bauble.’ He snapped on a magic-lamp and the bedroom filled with a glittery light. He stared long and hard at his fluffy red coat—lazily draped over his Big Boy Armchair—but resolved to not put it on; he wanted to feel the cold of the Lapland on his skin today. He kissed his sleeping wife and slunked out from bed, naked as a jay-bird. On tip toes, he made his way to the door, where he snapped his fingers, turning the magic-lamp back off.
Read More

The Pinocchio Protocol

‘Tell me what punch means?’


‘Uh huh,’ Sachiko says, drawing long and hard on her velvet-silk-synthetic cigarette. ‘Tell me.’
Read More

Kensho Gives Satori a Strange Stone

Satori was giggling 🤭 with the koi fish 🐠 when Kenshō, his wise and enlightened master, threw a stone—or what Satori perceived as a stone—into the pond. The fish 🐠 swam away most probably angry 😡.

Read More

A Poem to the Others

He drinks from the well of Infinte Wisdom,
his cup no larger than his hand.
Sip, sip, sip, he goes, exploring this new and unfathomable land.

Read More

Nitrous Oxide 🌿

That shit is nitrous oxide for whatever the fuck assigns meaning and squeezes thoughts to your conscious mind.
Read More

Kensho Flew too Close to the Sun

‘Kensho!’ barked Satori. ‘What are you doing?’

Kensho opened one eye and peered at his friend. ‘Are you stupid?’

‘Your back isn’t straight, your palms are open and up, and I know you aren’t focusing on your breath because when you do I can hear it in your nostrils.’

Kensho shrugged. ‘I am lost in thought.’

‘That’s no good.’

Read More

Discipline Begets Discipline

When does the writing shift from fun to work? Pretty much as soon as I start writing. Sometimes, if I’m not sleep-deprived, the writing is good and comes with little resistance. But more often than not there is a struggle.
Read More

50,000 words and feeling good

I have just reached 50,000 words for the 3rd draft of The Intermediates! I’ve written this book thrice! But have never gotten this far before. I can officially call it a novel now. It’s still not done! I think It might clock in around 60,000. I thought I’d document this.


Forgetting that writing is work

I sometimes hate what I write. Then I remember that when someone reads it for the first time they are experiencing it for the first time too. You’ve experienced it for the one thousandth time. That original idea or concept; that funny line; the scene that brought you to tears. All of that is fresh for your first time reader. I think it’s important to remember that.

The not so obvious reason for having a daily word count

I’ve found that when I sit down to write I like to have a target. It helps me focus. When I’ve got to get to work I usually only have two or three hours and I tend to accept whatever I get written in that time as my day’s worth of writing. On my days away from work it’s much different. I’ve got the time to spend five or more hours on writing. If the objective were just write until you are bored or write until you can no longer afford the time, I find I lose motivation.
Read More

Learning how to rewrite: leave it alone!

I’ve recently been rereading some of my old stories, some of which are over two years old. Back then I rarely edited. The thing that strikes me the most is how often I forgot to ‘place the reader firmly on the ground.’
Read More