Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 3 – Captured by Shark Men

Philip HarrisFlash Gordon Rewatch, Glitch1 Comment

It’s Saturday, so it’s time for the next part of our Flash Gordon rewatch. Things were looking pretty bad for Flash and Dale at the end of last week’s episode – The Tunnel of Terror. Dale had been put into a trance using the dehumanizer and Flash had just fallen unconscious having been caught by a giant crab-parrot-Godzilla thing. I’ve got a feeling things will be okay (at least for a while) so grab some popcorn and your favourite beverage and let’s watch Chapter 3 – (spoiler) Captured by Shark Men.   I was right! Prince Thun comes to Flash’s rescue and kills the giant parrot with a “raygun”. Flash and Thun prevent the final stroke of the sacred gong from sounding, in the process stopping the wedding between Dale and Ming. They rescue Dale and flee, vandalising a religious idol along the way. To Princess Aura’s chagrin, Ming orders the use of the water trap. Flash and Thun (and the still-entranced Dale) are (again) cornered by Ming’s men and (again) Thun sacrifices himself to allow Flash and Dale to escape, but as Dale returns to her normal self, a trap door opens, plunging them into water and the waiting arms of the Shark Men. Princess Aura finds Thun and … Read More

Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet Cover Reveal

Philip HarrisBooks, Glitch, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

The exact release date for my science fiction novel, Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet is still undecided for now, but I figured it was time to unveil the cover anyway. Glitch started as a serial destined for the website but I enjoyed writing the project so much that it grew into a full length project. The novel my homage to the old Flash Gordon serials (I’m doing a rewatch of the 1936 Buster Crabbe series at the moment) so when it came to the cover, I really wanted to evoke the old Flash Gordon movie posters. About the time I was looking around for a cover artist, Hugh Howey mentioned the artist he’d started using, M.S. Corley. I really liked the look of his covers and ended up commissioning a custom cover for the Glitch. I’m really happy with how it turned out so, without further ado, here’s the cover for Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. A huge amount of work went into the image and it fits the action packed nature of the book perfectly. So, a massive thank you to Mike for creating such an amazing cover. The book itself is finished and edited and is now sitting with the first of several proofreaders. Once the … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 2 – The Tunnel of Terror

Philip HarrisFlash Gordon Rewatch, GlitchLeave a Comment

We’re back for the second chapter of our Flash Gordon rewatch. Last week’s exciting chapter ended with Flash and Princess Aura plummeting to their deaths. How will they survive?   Thanks to Ming the Not-Quite-So-Merciless’ sudden change of heart, Flash, his partly shredded shirt and Aura are saved by the last minute deployment of a net that breaks their fall and saves them from the “dragon of death”. Thanks to a conveniently located door, Flash and Aura escape the pit and flee to the tunnels beneath the city. Aura is obviously attracted to Flash, but Flash, clearly not the smartest cookie in the jar, is oblivious. Meanwhile, Zarkov is in “a scientist’s paradise” and a wonderful new ensemble featuring a lovely pair of short-shorts. Even more meanwhile, Dale is being prepared for a marriage to Ming. She resists, but Ming’s high priest is unimpressed and heads off to have a chat with the Ming the Now-Merciless-Again. Aura traps Flash inside a rocketship, apparently simply by removing the very short set of steps leading to the ship’s door. Realising he’s stuck, Flash makes the sensible decision to change into some new (and presumably more durable) clothes, including more of those short shorts. … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 1 – The Planet of Peril

Philip HarrisFlash Gordon Rewatch, Glitch2 Comments

Time for the first chapter of the Flash Gordon rewatch. If you haven’t read the background for this series of posts, you can get up to speed with here. Otherwise, grab your popcorn and let’s settle down and watch The Planet of Peril.   We start the show with Earth already under threat from a mysterious (radioactive) planet that will soon hit Earth and smash it to atoms. Not good. After a quick trip around the world where we see how people are reacting to their imminent demise, we join polo player Flash Gordon and the lovely Dale Arden on a plane caught in a meteor storm. Things are already looking bad, but thankfully the airline has thought ahead and provided parachutes. Unfortunately, safety standards being what they were in 1936, there aren’t enough parachutes to go round. Always the gentleman, Flash grabs Dale and jumps out of the aircraft. Landing in a strange looking country, Flash and Dale encounter Doctor Alexis Zarkov – the prototypical mad scientist who believes he holds the key to saving Earth. After a brief debate, the three of them board Zarkov’s rocket ship and head off to save the planet. Thanks to Zarkov’s rocket and its counter magnets, the three earthlings make it … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch

Philip HarrisFlash Gordon Rewatch, Glitch, Videos1 Comment

When I was growing up, one of the highlights of the summer and Christmas school holidays was the BBC’s children’s programming. Every morning they’d air a Tarzan movie and episodes of serials including a French series that I can’t remember the name of and the old black and white fiction serials from the 1930s – Zorro, The Lone Ranger and Buck Rogers. I enjoyed them all, but my favourite was Flash Gordon starring Larry “Buster” Crabbe. I’d eagerly sit down each morning to see how Flash, Dale and the Doc managed to get out of whatever pickle they’d got themselves into the day before. I don’t know how many times I watched each series (I remember them being shown every year for most of my childhood, although I doubt that’s actually true), but they stuck with me, and I’ve always had a soft spot in my nerdy heart for those serials (helped by the 1980 movie of course). A couple of years ago, before I started indie publishing, I was trying to think of a way to add more interesting content to my blog and post more regularly. I was also trying to think of a new writing project that I could use to fill the time … Read More

Glitch – Draft Three Complete

Philip HarrisGlitch, WritingLeave a Comment

Celebration time! Despite the fact my office is currently hot enough to roast an author, I’ve just wrapped up the third draft of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. Final word count was 60,577, about 5,000 words more than the second draft. Some of that is due to the fact that I added little introductory recaps and a slightly rewritten version of the previous couple of paragraphs to the beginning of each chapter – just like the old serials that inspired the book. I’m not sure what readers will think of that but I like it. It took me about eighteen and a half hours to get through this third draft so I would imagine there’s at least another thirty hours of revisions left to go before I’m willing to call it quits. I’m a firm believer in the old saying – “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” I’m doing something new (for me) with this book, I’ve hired a professional editor for a full content edit. I have had critiques and copy editing done before, but never a full edit like this. I’ve just sent the manuscript off so I’ll be waiting (im)patiently for her to get back to me with her comments. In the meantime, I need to finish off the first draft of Leah and decide whether I’m going … Read More

Glitch – Draft Two Complete

Philip HarrisGlitch, WritingLeave a Comment

I’ve just wrapped up the final tweaks on the second draft of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. This draft clocks in at 55,673 words which is quite a bit less than the first draft – mostly because I cut out a couple of chapters and a few big chunks that just didn’t work. I’m reasonably happy with this new version but it still needs another pass before it goes to an editor at the beginning of July. We’re heading out to Banff for the Banff Half Marathon tomorrow so I’ve printed it out and we’ll be taking it with us. My wife will read it and make some notes and then I’ll do the same. This is what it looks like printed out (I’ve gone for a smaller print size and margins to cut down on the amount of paper we’re carrying – probably a bad thing to do but we’ll see). If I’d thought ahead I probably could have found an app that would allow us to read and mark it up on our iPads instead. That would be much better. Should have thought of that before I started sacrificing trees. [Glitch – Draft Two Complete by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset … Read More

Feeling Drafty

Philip HarrisGlitch, WritingLeave a Comment

I’ve just finished off the first draft of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet (working title). The final word count is 65,228 – significantly more than the 10,000 words I’d originally planned. As always, there’s still plenty to do, including naming most of the characters. I wanted to put some extra thought into all of the names for this one so I ended up just putting [surname] or [mole-man] in place of actual names. When I start the revision process I’ll come up with a set of appropriate names. Before then, the story needs to sit and fester for a few weeks. In the meantime I’m going to wrap up the handful of unfinished stories I have sitting on my hard drive and start revising The Ghost Smuggler. I’m also going to try my hand at a script for a play based on The Z Word. [Feeling Drafty by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 28th December 2013]

So This is Christmas…

Philip HarrisChatter, Glitch, Movies, Television, The Ghost Smuggler, Video GamesLeave a Comment

I have mixed feelings about Christmas. I’m a big fan of the whole goodwill to all men, peace on Earth thing, not as big a fan of the incessant commercialisation. And the perfume adverts…don’t get me started on those. In fact, don’t get me started on any Christmas ads. I’m lucky in that the office shuts down from Christmas Day to New Years Day. That doesn’t always mean everyone gets that time off because it’s not unusual for us to have a project in the final stages of development which means a few people are in the office fixing bugs, testing, coming up with last minute design changes etc. But at the very least the constant stream of email and meetings eases up for a week. Normally, I just stick to the one week of vacation at Christmas but this year I wanted to get some extra writing done so I took Friday, Monday and Tuesday off which means I’m on the third day of my Christmas break already. As usual I’ve got a whole string of things I’d like to get done. Finish off the first draft of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. Write the first draft of a play … Read More

Glitch: A New Novel

Philip HarrisGlitch, WritingLeave a Comment

I appear to be writing another novel. I wasn’t planning to, it just worked out that way. As I wrapped up the first draft of The Ghost Smuggler I started mulling over what I could do while I let it fester. I had a few short story ideas but I wanted to continue my writing streak and even writing just a few hundred words a day, it wouldn’t take me long to get through them. I’d also been trying to think of things to post on this blog, beyond word counts and random ramblings. Somewhere along the line Ethel the Muse suggested I combine the two and write a weekly serial to post here. As a kid, I loved watching the old Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon Saturday morning serials. They seemed to be on TV every summer and at Christmas (along with the old Tarzan movies) and I never got tired of watching them. So, I decided to write a Flash Gordon style serial and post it to the site, one chapter a week. Initially the plan was to write ten chapters of around 1,000 words each. Then I decided that ten weeks wasn’t really long enough for people to discover … Read More