Monday, December 30, 2013



Herbert Marshman Pettigrew

Owner, Reale Pictures Inc.


All Departments

It is with great happiness and satisfaction that I am able to announce that we will be re-opening production on A Woman in the City. All departments are to return to work immediately. Please see your supervisors for assignments and our restructured timetable.

We have successfully concluded our dealings with the restaurant and settled on the damages to be paid to the establishment. We regret the unfortunate circumstances that led to this situation, but they were wholly unforeseen by myself and the company’s officers. I wish I could offer a rational explanation as to what was witnessed on that strange and inexplicable day, but I find myself fallen woefully short on that score.

Regardless, Reale Pictures is poised to move forward into a bright future and to put the entire debacle behind us. If anyone in any department is approached by or receives any communication of any sort from the two persons involved in the disruption of filming at the restaurant, please inform myself or Mr. Gayme without delay.

I would also like to express our regret at the loss of Mr. Ashton Clark as Director on A Woman in the City. We have heard that the sanitarium to which he was recently admitted is a pleasant place and we hope that it will serve to soothe his troubled mind and that he will return to us for future productions. We will be announcing his replacement shortly.

Also, I require the Print Department to please forward all existing, developed footage from A Woman in the City to my office, along with a projector.

Yours Truly,

H. M. Pettigrew

You may read all about this troubled motion picture company and their encounter with the Unknown in the upcoming SGT. JANUS RETURNS, out soon from Airship 27 Productions. In the meantime, please consider ordering a copy of the first volume in the Janus series, SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, at AMAZON.COM.

All content and characters © Jim Beard 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Most everyone who knows of my Sgt. Janus by now knows that he wouldn't exist if not for William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki the Ghost-Finder. First published over one-hundred years ago, Carnacki's adventures into the Unknown inspired Janus' own crusade against spirits that vex the living. It's difficult to explain in mere words the debt of gratitude I owe to Mr. Hodgson and his inventive hero.

When earlier this year I saw a call for Carnacki submissions for a new volume of adventures - to be published by "Sargasso Sam" Gafford himself, a Hodgson Scholar - I grew fearful of even attempting such a thing. What thing, you ask? Writing a new story concerning a character on who I'd placed so much weight and importance to my own meager attempts to emulate, a situation that eventually I got over and finally made the plunge into Carnacki's dark world of haunts and the haunted. And I'm pretty happy with the results.

My story, "The Haunting of Tranquil House," is now ready for consumption, along with several other and potentially better tales, in CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES. As Michael Nesmith once said, rush out in a buying frenzy and make this new volume a success for Sam. Here's where you can pick up a copy: AMAZON.COM.

And please, gives us review when you've finished, eh? Writers cannot write in a vacuum.

Look for SGT. JANUS RETURNS to join this new book on the shelves very soon, too.

Friday, December 20, 2013


SGT. JANUS RETURNS, the second volume of the adventures of Sgt. Janus Spirit-Breaker, will be arriving soon. It will pick up from the ominous ending of the first volume and detail the long path to recovery for the Spirit-Breaker, featuring all-new cases and new characters that enhance and expand upon Janus' world.

It begins in the small, sleepy town of Canal Chichester. What role does the town and one of its less-than-stellar citizens play in the return of Janus? How are its deeply-buried secrets important to the Spirit-Breaker's newest investigations? And why are the officials of Canal Chichester eager to pass judgment on those persons deemed too strange and alien?

The answers lie in SGT. JANUS RETURNS, out soon. Keep your spirits up 'til then!

To catch up on the first volume, SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, please order a copy on AMAZON.COM, in print or Kindle editions.

All content (c)2013 Jim Beard

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Very Janus Christmas Carol

The breakfast table is not the best place to have a discussion about spirits, perhaps, but I’d been perusing the library again and after a pleasant hour or so with a holiday classic, I had a burning question on my mind.

“Did Dickens have it right?” I inquired, stabbing at the air with a glob of preserves on my knife for emphasis.

My companion looked up at me from across the table. “Beg pardon? Did he have what right?”

“The Ghosts, of course. Past, Present, Future, all that. They hardly seem the sort we’ve encountered – was he being fanciful? Or are there such higher forms of spirits?”

“Let’s just say that Mr. Dickens had a way with words and leave it at that.”

Undeterred, I forged ahead. “No, I mean it: are there spirits like the ones he described? His seem almost a force unto themselves, hardly the type to have had previous mortal lives.”

That one took hold and my companion eyed me with some minor annoyance.

No, or at least not in my experience. What the man told of in his overly-sentimental bit of tripe were akin to angels or heavenly servants than true ghosts – that is, the spirits of human dead. I wouldn’t trust Dickens for honest reporting; it’s likely there was more absinthe to them than ectoplasm.”

I thought I had already experienced much in my young life, but coming across someone who actually did not care for A Christmas Carol was a startling revelation to me – especially over breakfast.

Glutton for punishment that I am, I pressed on.

“Than we are only to credit Jacob Marley then?”

“Yes, actually,” admitted my companion. “That is a fairly good fictional representation of a true spirit, which you should well know by now. The amount of chains was a bit much, but the suffering appearance and the wailing – not to mention the warning of post-death punishment – are all within reason.”

I smiled. “Then God bless us everyone, Dickens isn’t a complete waste.”

“No, in fact, as a sleeping draught I find him very effective.”

Well, very little can drain me of the Christmas spirit, but my companion gave it the old college try. I sat quietly for a moment or three, rallying my forces and aligning my final salvo.

“If you had to say,” I asked carefully, “whether or not a man like Scrooge could ever do enough in life to save him from the yawning pits of Hell in the afterlife, how might you opine?”

Incredibly enough, I was met with eyes not shooting daggers, but with an odd wistfulness that belied the early part of the conversation.

“There your writer does impart some small, valuable nuggets of wisdom,” came the reply in even tones. “The lesson of Ebenezer Scrooge is that we may indeed atone for much before the grave, and help to insure an eternal rest with the Creator after.”

Satisfied that we had come full circle and that Charles Dickens’ legacy remained intact, I returned to my breakfast with gusto.

“Merry Christmas,” I whispered around bites of biscuit.

“Might I suggest,” offered my companion just then, “that you also pose the same question to our guest?”


“Yes, the one standing right there at your elbow. Go on, ask him.”

“Oh, come now! I haven’t finished my breakfast!”

All content (c)Jim Beard 2013.