Archive for July, 2012

Pierre Pelot

July 30, 2012

The Child Who Walked On The Sky and But What If The Butterflies Cheat? by Pierre Pelot (translated with an Introduction by Michael Shreve), Black Coat Press, 2012.

Report on Student-Subject 23 from special class 45. At the end of the teaching cycle, he has obtained negative results and is to be led to the Death Chamber, as the Law of Zod demands…

Pierre Pelot is one of the grandmasters of modern French science fiction. His writing career spans over 40 years and includes over 200 novels in various genres, from westerns to science fiction, and crime thrillers to prehistoric novels. His books have been translated into twenty languages. However, this is his first translation into English.

The Child Who Walked on the Sky (1972) is Pelot’s third science fiction novel, in which a maladjusted eight-year old is forced to flee the strange, artificial world of Zod, but his search for truth and a better life will take him to an entirely new world, beyond even his imagination.

What If Butterflies Cheat? (1974) is a masterpiece reminiscent of Philip K. Dick, taking place in a bizarre, dystopic future America where a wave of mental illnesses may be attempts at communication by entities beyond reality itself.

Includes a Bibliography

Available at Black Coat Press


The Beast

July 27, 2012

The Beast by Jacques Barbéri (translated by Michael Shreve), Triangulation: The Morning After, July 2012.

It’s nice to see horror from outside the US and Jacques Barbéri’s story (translated from the French by Michael Shreve) is full of frightening incidents as the trip becomes a descent into madness. This is effective horror.
-Chuck Rothman, Tangent

The most bizarre or surreal of the group must be “The Beast” by Jacques Barbéri. When you think you’ve got a handle on the speculative universe, the author pulls the carpet out from under you…as a surprise piece of okra amid the anthology stew, the story was a welcome surprise.
-Trent Walters, SF Site

The Man Who Talked to Spiders

July 7, 2012

The Man Who Talked to Spiders by Jacques Barbéri (translated by Michael Shreve), Scfia no. 1, July 2012.

A Letter from Mazas Prison

July 2, 2012

A Letter from Mazas Prison by Clément Duval, Le Révolté, n. 29, November 1886.


Although I am not well known to you, you know that I am an anarchist. I am writing this letter to you to protest against the insanities that must have leaked out about me in particular and about the anarchists in general in all different kinds of newspapers which joined together to say, when I was arrested, that I was an ex-convict and had already been convicted of theft. As if you could call someone a thief who was a worker who had nothing but misery whereas for me theft does not exist except in the exploitation of man by man, in short, in the existence of everyone who lives at the expense of the producing class.
Here is why and how I committed the offense that they call theft. In 1870 I was, like so many others, stupid enough to go and defend the property and privileges of others; but I was 20 years old. From the war I brought back two wounds and rheumatism—a terrible sickness that has already cost me four years in the hospital. After serving as cannon fodder, I served as a guinea pig for the gentlemen of science. They made me take more than a kilo of sodium salicylate, which drastically weakened my eyesight. Proof is that at 36 years old I am wearing glasses and the bosses do not like that.
So, in 1878 I got out after three months in the hospital. I started working again for eight days; I got sick again; I stayed home for a month. I had two children and my companion got sick as well. No money and no bread in the house. Even though I was not part of the anarchist movement, which did not exist or was very small at the time (the study of sociology had not ended and it was still only in an embryonic state, plus they had not yet cut off the heads of anarchists to spread it), I had already, long before, freed myself of the prejudices that block the minds of the masses, an enemy of all authority.
I was an anarchist in heart, in love with what was beautiful, grand, generous, revolting against all abuses and injustices. From this fact I recognized the undeniable right that nature gave to every human being: the right to exist. An opportunity presented itself. With no qualms I put my hand in a stationmaster’s cash box. I took my hand out with 80 francs. 80 francs does not go far when you have nothing—medicine is expensive.
Therefore, I decided to go back and visit the stationmaster’s cash box, telling myself, “So what? The company steals enough from its employees. I who have absolutely nothing can very well take a little of its surplus.” What a bad idea because I was arrested there and sentenced to a year in prison. I am not embarrassed by this conviction, I take full responsibility. When society refuses you the right to exist, you have to take it and not help it along, which is cowardice.
There, companions, is the exact truth of my conviction. No companion knew about it, so I took sole responsibility for my actions and whoever takes advantage of human stupidity to try to discredit such a just and noble idea as the one that the anarchists defend, trying to dump on the whole of it the faults and wrongs (if faults and wrongs they are) of one of its defenders, is a cretin who trembles before the strict logic of the anarchist idea.
I thought that these explanations might be necessary for the anarchist companions, so I would appreciate it if you would include my letter in the next issue of Révolté.

–Clément Duval, Mazas Prison, October 24 1886.

Also at The Anarchist Library

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