The Interconnectedness of all [book] things

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve recently finished the second, and sadly last, season of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

It’s weird, silly, irreverent, and absolutely wonderful. Warning that it is a little gory and there’s lots of death. It was everything I loved about the novel and a little more. I highly recommend it.

One of the main themes of Dirk Gently is that everything is connected. It means the show throws a whole lot of disjointed weirdness and then manages to put it all together in the end.


I got a great email from a reader this weekend and I have to say it made a particularly tough weekend so much better.

The email was praising Parasomnia (Available on Amazon and from Renaissance Press). I had mentioned to this reader that Parasomnia and A Study in Aether exist in the same world and they asked for clarification and if we’d see more of that in the future.

I have a plan to connect all my novels. It’s not going to be necessary to have read all of them to follow, but those that do will get an extra treat and information about certain characters.

It won’t be soon; it’ll come to fruition after years of novels but I have plans…. Mhuhahahaa!

Stay tuned and you’ll get all kinds of interconnectedness.


Later Days,


Jess Goldie – Part 2 of 2

I’m on vacation but enjoy this story!

Read Part 1

It was a terrifying place. I almost turned back but I saw movement and had to investigate. I followed the movement for a little, thinking I was hunting it. It lead me to a small clearing before two more of it came out of the forest.

It was fascinating; a grizzly sized capybara crossed with a teddy bear. As I looked at them in adoration they started to sing the sweetest song, layering harmonies. Before I knew what was happening, the one I’d followed had closed its jaws on my shoulder. The pain was excruciating and cut through their siren’s song. It ripped off a part of my shoulder and then salivated on it. Its saliva dripped onto my wound and I felt myself healing. I also learnt everything I needed about it.

Its natural predator was a form of large black hound, whose skin cracked and extruded some form of burning liquid. I forced myself to change shape and mimic the magma hound. When I’d grown to five times my size, I howled the howl the haunted the Adlat’s dreams.

The three creatures ran away and I shrank back to my dog form. I felt strange like I was missing something. I was scared and alone; all I wanted was the warmth of home.

I ran back to the gopher hole I’d made leaving the city. I looked at the hole and tried to bring up the memory of a gopher. I couldn’t. The knowledge I had about gophers was gone. That’s when I discovered my memories were spread across my being and losing part of me meant losing memories. I put myself to work and dug out the hole enough that I could get back into civilization.

I was part way through digging the hole when a howl, similar to the one I’d made earlier, echoed behind me. I melted back to my original shape and hurried through the rest of the hole.

I don’t like being goo, it’s like being naked, both physically and psychically. As goo I can feel all the emotions around me, plant, animal, human, and more. I also taste and feel every part of the earth.

Whatever made that noise was big and probably couldn’t get through the gopher hole I’d made. I changed into a crow and flew straight back to Jessie’s home.

Inside I walked gently into the kitchen. Even having changed several times, my heart beat swiftly.

“Goldie?” Jessie asked behind me. I jumped and made a strange snuffling noise and he giggled. “I can’t sleep. I had nightmares.” He shivered and I got a vague impression of a clown and the terror that accompanied it.

He walked over to me and hugged me, his little face buried in my fur. All the fear, mine and his, drained from me and was replaced by his love.

He took a glass of water and walked over to the couch near the antique television. “Do you want to watch something, Goldie?” I gave a soft woof of disapproval but he took it as acceptance and put in his favourite old movies (one his father didn’t let him watch alone). It was in colour and had a large insect like alien that tried to kill the crew.

I lay next to him and he put his hand in my fur, he was asleep before the first crewmember died. I don’t sleep but I was comfortable and not paying complete attention. I should have been sharper. I should have been more careful.

I lazily turned towards the kitchen and caught sight of two glowing violet eyes. Before I knew it,, the Magma hound had pounced towards us. I moved as fast as I could but I was too slow. It bit into Jessie’s leg, pulled him, and started to shake him.

The movie behind me influenced my shape and I changed into the alien. I’d never been so big before and I could feel it draining my energy. My double set of jaws snapped at the Hound. Surprised, it dropped Jessie and tried lunging for my neck.

I contorted my new body and unhinged my powerful jaws. It caught me in the throat but I bit down on its back, snapping its spine. The hound fell to the ground with a thump.

The terror in Jessie’s eyes when he looked at me haunts me still. I changed back to my Goldie shape and tried to move closer to him. He screamed and despite his bloodied and broken leg he scrambled backwards away from me.

Pain, fear, and betrayal emanated from him as he lost consciousness. I knew from his feelings that he’d never trust me again and that hurt more than the wounds that the Adlat or the magma hound had given me.

There was a lot of blood and I was worried that Jessie’s leg was still bleeding. Remembering the Adlat I transformed into one and started to salivate on his leg. Instantly, the bite marks started closing and he started looking healthier.

I felt fear emanating from the staircase at the same time I heard the sirens. Jessie’s parents had seen me change and then salivate all over their child. They feared too and now Elmsley was coming. The private police force of the NAF would show me no mercy.

I had no other choice but to leave.

I spent a long time living as various city animals. I watched Jessie grow up. His leg was never the same after that night but he eventually lost the haunted look I’d caused with my carelessness.

I was wallowing in guilt as a pigeon when I saw a poster on a mailbox with the picture of a young girl and the caption, “Missing.” I remembered the detective movies and decided it was time I started living like a human.

The wonderful thing about humans is clothing. It hides any form of sex organs and makes it much easier to mimic them. I chose a shape that was androgynous to let my clients expectations decide what I looked like. I took on the name Jess Goldie and I’m now a Private Detective.

Jess Goldie – Part 1 of 2

I’m on vacation but enjoy this story!

I was a pile of goo on the sidewalk, and it wasn’t because of a cute boy or girl. I was literally a pile of goo. The first thing I remember was oozing – yeah that’s the sexy description – towards a green lawn. Everything is a little fuzzy but I think I was running away from something.

I oozed under a white picket fence and felt the need to change my shape. When I’m around people I can sense what they’re expecting me to look like. My first shape was a golden retriever puppy. Exactly what Jessie Heaney wanted for this fifth birthday. I’m extremely grateful I didn’t show up the next year when he was into dinosaurs.

The only problem with the need to transform is the lack of information. Jessie knew what a puppy looked like and had a general idea what they should act like but no specifics. I did what I was expected to do and that was jump around and yip happily.

The early morning sun was warm on my new coat but the dew on the grass was refreshing. I didn’t mind running around. It was better than oozing.

When his parents saw him hugging me, I felt their sadness at the idea of hurting him. They said he could keep me if I was a stray and not someone’s pet. Jessie insisted that we go ask all the neighbours.

As they walked further out of their neighbourhood, Jessie asked, “What if someone owns the puppy?”

“If someone owns the puppy we’ll go to the pound and get you another puppy,” Jessie’s mother said.

He promptly burst into tears. Between gasps of breath he said, “But I don’t want another puppy! I want Goldie.” He’d given me a name. Names are odd, they’re abstract representations of the concept of self but it has a sort of power.

“I think he’s named the mutt,” Jessie’s father chuckled as he spoke.

His laughter was drowned out by the low growl from a black lab. It towered over me – everything towered over me – five or six times my size. My first instinct was to make myself small and curl into a ball.

When I did I heard a woman’s voice shout, “Calm down Ebony!” I risked a look up at the other dog and it moved slowly towards me sniffing me. I must have smelled wrong. A little boys mind doesn’t contain dog smells.

Ebony must have assumed I had rolled in something strange because she came up to me and licked my head. A shock ran through my entire being. Everything Ebony knew about being a dog and physically being Ebony was contained in her saliva.

It might be considered a gross way of getting information but it works. Any bodily fluid I come in contact with gives me all the physical information I need to imitate that being or species. It’s limited by what the other being knows genetically. In this case Ebony was a female black lab and that’s what I got as information.

It gave me the information to create animal genitals and basic behaviour, but the vet and dog experts would often mention that my behaviour and temperament was that of a lab not a golden retriever.

My life with Jessie and his Parents was simple and beautiful. I played, ate, and was loved. My days were spent lazing in the back yard, my evenings playing with Jessie and my nights exploring the city.

I learned a lot about the world from listening to Jessie’s homework sessions.

“It’s interesting,” Jessie’s father said, “I’d swear she knows what we’re saying.”

“Oh don’t be silly,” Jessie’s mother replied before asking her son another question, “Where do you live?”

“1227 Shatner Ave. Ottawa, Algonquin. Capital of the North American Federation.”

“Good job, and when was the NAF founded?”

“July 17th, two-thousand and thirty three.”

“Good Job, Champ!” Jessie’s father would say the same every time Jessie gave a right answer.

One thing I liked doing with Jessie was watch his father’s old movies. They were all on clunky round disks instead of data chips and they had to be watched on an old flat imaged television in the basement.

My favorites were mysteries from the late twentieth century. Not knowing what was happening was my default state but these movies gave clues and the men, they were always men, were confident and brash. By the end the bad guy was caught through hard work and intelligence.

Jessie however liked the movies that had monsters in them. His father wouldn’t let him watch any of those that were in colour without a parent watching with him.

After watching a movie where a rabbit had been made large with lion DNA Jessie wasn’t able to sleep. I had found the rabbits laughable. I’d licked one once and there was nothing violent or dangerous about them.

After waking up crying, Jessie asked his father, “Daddy, are there any real monsters?”

“I wish I could say no. There are no giant rabbit monsters and there are no monsters in Ottawa.” His father gave a big sigh and continued, “However, there are monsters out there. Both creatures and people with unholy powers. That’s why we have Elmsley.”

“Aren’t they police?”

“Yes but they also protect us from monsters. And you have Goldie to protect you.”

I gave a soft woof of agreement and he gave me a furrowed look.

The conversation intrigued me and my nighttime explorations went from learning all I could about the wildlife around the house to exploring further and further out. I learnt a lot more about humans and dogs than any other animals.

Human’s leave their bodily fluids everywhere. I learnt from cigarette butts, half chewed gum, pieces of garbage, random spit on the ground, and humans that marked their territory. The older the sample the less I get from it but I learnt a lot of the cruelty of humans in those nights.

The hardest part of walking around at night is avoiding people’s expectations. In daylight they feel safe and expect other people or dogs. It’s a vague tugging on me making me want to mold to their expectations. At night, people expect their nightmares and fears. It’s a sharp and almost painful feeling. If I give in to it I’m tugged from one nightmare to the other. If I fight it, it’s like trying to keep water in a shape. It means I move slowly and must concentrate on my shape.

Eventually I reached the border between city and wilderness; it was marked by an electric fence. The fence was easily five metres high and made of hard thick metal. Underground it only reached a metre and was nothing for a gopher. (They were fun to chase even if I didn’t need to learn about them).

The wilderness around Ottawa is filled with wild, nearly random, tropical plants; nothing like the well curated plants of the city. The mists of the jungle clung to the plants in a way that I’d only seen in the movies with Dracula, Swamp Thing, or Frankenstein.

To Be Concluded

Wargrave Island – 2016 Serial Story Option

“Best Party Ever!” yelled Jonathan. His hair was thinning and starting to go grey, but he was unmistakable.

“Remind me why I came?” Riko asked her partner Ethan.

“Because this is your ten year high school reunion and you’re the youngest person to make Inspector in Ottawa police history.” Ethan smiled proudly, looking at the quickly approaching island.

His pride was something she appreciated. Most men’s egos were too fragile to handle their female partners being promoted ahead of them.

“So how are you doing? I’m a lawyer you know.” Jonathan was drunk and they hadn’t reached the island yet. He pressed himself against her and she pushed him away.

They were on a nice sized yacht that was taking them to Wargrave Island; a small island in Lake Ontario which had some top notch facilities for high end events. It was overly expensive, but apparently Allison, the school nerd, had made it big with some sort of wearable tech invention.

“Jonny, piss off. You’re drunk.” Riko couldn’t stand the man when he had been a sober high school student. Now she was fighting the urge to throw him overboard. He was easily three times her size, but he was drunk. When he grabbed her ass, she punched him in his side hard enough to hurt, but not enough to have him pissing blood the next day.

He called her a few nasty names before saying, “Who invited the buzzkill.” He walked away from her looking grumpy until he saw Zoe. She had been the popular girl at school. The pretty one who all the guys, and some girls, wanted and none of them could get close. Riko’s facebook stalking showed her that Zoe had graduated from a prestigious University in Psychology and had gone on to do educational videos online.

“Thanks for the help, ‘Partner’.” Riko glared at Ethan. His sandy brown hair and scruffy beard made him look more like a beach bum or hipster than a police sergeant. He was large and everything about the way he moved and talked screamed, “I am not a threat.” It was half an act and half a lifestyle.

“I was ready to jump in and save you,” he paused before laughing and adding, “from throwing him overboard.”

The smell of the lake, a combination of fish and clean air, wafted over the deck as the boat slowed down and blew its horn three short blasts.

Everyone, Jonathan, Zoe, Ethan, Riko, Abe, and Arun, gathered on the deck.

“You didn’t tell me you had an underwear model in your class.” Ethan whispered gesturing towards Arun. He was the athelete of their class. He had gotten a huge scholarship to play hockey for an American College and Riko had lost track of him. His lush black hair was cut short now, but other than that he still looked the same as last time she’d seen him, powerful muscles hiding under tight dark caramel skin. Riko tried not to blush.

It was odd to see Abe without his cloak. He had always been a little odd, always wearing a dark cloak and making obscure, often inappropriate, geeky jokes. He’d been teased and called Dracula. He had been harmless and awkward. She hadn’t heard anything about him since high school. He seemed to have traded his cape for a smart looking vest and tieless dress shirt. He looked less like Dracula and more like Benedict Cumberbatch.

The ship docked and they all disembarked. The island was dominated by a large building. It was a beautiful turn of the century house that would feel at home in Avonlea. The only difference being it was four stories high and there was some sort of techno-remix of the Backstreet Boys playing.

“Yeah. Let’s get wasted!” yelled Jonathan obnoxiously.

After the last person got off the ship, the crew untied the ship and drove back to the mainland. “That’s the only boat on the island?” Riko pointed at a canoe that was on the beach. She didn’t like the idea of being trapped here.

“It’s only one night. They said the boat would come back tomorrow morning to pick everyone up.” Zoe’s overly chipper words sounded forced and certainly didn’t make Riko any less comfortable. She checked her cellphone and it had full bars, which did reassure her.

The lobby of the hotel was a stark contrast to its exterior. Everything was clean modern marble. The lobby was a hexagon where none of the six walls were the same length or height. The wall furthest from the entrance had an elevator and open-air staircase going up. On the wall behind a black stone counter was a banner saying, “Welcome Trudeau High, Class of 2006.”

There was a large television on the wall below the banner and it cycled between three screens. The first said there were drinks and food in the grand ballroom, the second had twelve names and room numbers, and the third had a collage of pictures from highschool.

“Is that everyone who could make it?” asked Zoe, disgusted.

They were all on the second floor and there was enough room for everyone to have a room of their own. Riko and Ethan had connecting rooms. In her room, she took off her regular clothing, stored her gun in the safe, and pulled out her dress. It was a sparkly purple dress that went to her ankles. It had a slit on the left side that went to her mid-thigh.

She was part way through doing her makeup when Ethan knocked on the connecting door. It was a hard and almost panicked knock.

Opening the door she didn’t get a chance to ask anything, he just pushed passed her and opened the curtains in her room. Floating towards the shore, was a large canoe or small boat and it was on fire.

The flames reflected on the calm surface of Lake Ontario, giving the impression that they were bigger than they seemed.

Running out of the room, Riko and Ethan grabbed a pair of fire extinguishers from the hallway. Not wanting to wait for the elevator, they ran down the single story flight of stairs and out the front entrance. The hill to the beach wasn’t steep, but she was happy to have slipped on her flats on the way out of her room.

The boat gently washed onto the beach. In her dress, the heat from the flames was intense in the cool night. As strong as the flames were, they weren’t a match for the fire extinguishers.

“What happened?” asked Jonathan, drunkenly staggering towards them, trying to get to the boat.

“What’s in there?” asked Zoe, who was followed by the rest of the party guests who must have seen the fire.

Riko tried to keep them back, but Jonathan made it past her and yelled, “Oh shit, there’s a dead body in there!”

Read Next