Monday, 30 December 2013

Sons of Anarchy and The Son of God (part 2)

by Yvonne M Carson

Last week I explained what I like about SOA. This week I draw parallels between its characters and characters from another story.

DISCLAIMER - the following is merely my personal pondering and is by no means intended to cause offence to anyone. Neither is it the basis for any kind of theology!

SPOILER ALERT - you may want to skip the sections on Opie and Clay to avoid some plot reveals

Jackson Teller / Jesus
Often known by his initials 'JT', Jax reminds me of 'JC'. He is also a stepson who is very close to his mother. Jax is just a loving son trying to do right by his dad (also not seen). He is a man who works with his hands (a mechanic). JT has a vision and is on a mission. He sometimes has a beard.

Gemma Teller Morrow / Mary
JT's 'mom' is married to Clay Morrow, who is not the father of her son, but from whom her son learned his 'earthly' trade. Gemma is hugely influential in her circles and is almost revered by her many followers. She has known the loss of a son. She does not have a beard.

Harry 'Opie' Winston / John the Baptist
Opie and Jax grew up together, like brothers. Opie's dad, Piney, and Jax's dad, John, were very close (like Elizabeth and Mary). Opie always had Jax's back and was willing to die for him too. He has an awesome beard!

Alexander 'Tig' Trager / Simon Peter
Tig is a 'go-to' guy, ready to do anything - but he often gets it wrong, being led by his emotions, and is very prone to violence. Simon Peter cut off a servant's ear in John 18 v 10… exactly the kind of thing I could see Tig doing. He has a short beard.

Filip 'Chibs' Telford / Matthew
Like Matthew (aka Levi, a Jewish tax collector working for Rome), Chibs was thought to have betrayed his country by serving in the British Army whilst also being involved in pro-IRA activities. Both are fiercely loyal to their leaders. He has a medium beard.

Robert 'Bobby Elvis' Munson / Andrew
Elvis is very manly ('Andrew' means 'manly'). He is also a treasurer and club secretary, good at dishing out resources like Andrew giving out loaves and fishes. Bobby is Jewish. He has a full beard.

Clarence 'Clay' Morrow / Judas Iscariot
Need I say more? He has a beard.

Did I mention I like beards as well as tattoos (see part 1 last week)?

So, may be you've gained great spiritual insight from this reading. May be you've just enjoyed it and laughed a bit. May be you've just indulged me. I just know that without the grace of God, I'd probably have been some Prospect's old lady by now!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Sons of Anarchy and The Son of God (part 1)

by Yvonne M Carson

I love a good story and, for me, the more removed from my real life the better. So of course, I just love Sons of Anarchy (or SOA), an American TV drama all about the shenanigans of a Motorcycle Club (or MC).

There are other reasons to like SOA:

1. Charlie Hunnam, who plays lead character Jackson Teller (aka Jax / JT), is not only 'phwoar' in the looks department (frequently displaying a full back tattoo), but is also a Geordie lad (ex of UK children's drama Byker Grove) and a pretty fine actor too!

2. A lot of the male characters have bulging biceps, pert pectorals and plenty of cool tattoos on display. Some even have amazing beards (if you like that sort of thing).

3. The female characters usually have plenty of poultry parts (breasts, legs and thighs!) to show off and they have their own fair share of tattoos to boot.

I like tattoos! Did I mention that?

Of course, there is liberal use of vernacular vocabulary (they swear - A LOT); characters frequently get intimate (they have sex - A LOT); most characters are involved in some sort of illegal activity (they commit crimes - A LOT); plenty of folks get injured or die violently (there is A LOT of violence); and generally, this isn't the kind of show you would expect a good Christian gal to write about.

So why am I? Because beneath the surface 'sleaze', the story has what intrigues me the most: ordinary folk facing the human condition; their desire to 'do right' conflicting with their desire to 'do the right thing for now'; their search for love and meaning…their search for God?

It seems to me that the MC, like any unit or institution (or family or church), has its fair share of complex characters. So I've drawn some parallels between those in SOA and some others I've come across…

Come back next week to read what I've found.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Gathering in the new year

For the first time in a good while, SUB will be gathering together in the new year.

Please put FEB 1 in your diaries and come along. Location is to be confirmed, but Claire will be hosting and the theme will be Blood.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Female authors of gothic, horror, fantasy & science fiction (part 7)


Welcome to the final blog in this series:

Holly Black (1971-) - Spending her early years living in a decrepit Victorian house obviously had an impact on Holly, who went on to write the children’s fantasy series Spiderwick Chronicles (2003-2004) - five books in two years! Holly has also written a number of young adult fantasies, graphic novels and short stories.

Sarah Pinborough aka Sarah Silverwood (1972-) - A prolific and witty tweeter as well as a writer of horror fiction, supernatural thrillers, fairy tale reworkings and tv scripts. Daughter of a diplomat, Sarah grew up in the Middle East, spent many years in boarding school and had a career as a teacher. Sarah uses the Silverwood psuedonym for her young adult fiction. Her writing goes from strength to strength, with 2013 being a big publishing year including her VERY saucy fairy tale trilogy Poison, Charm & Beauty (all in 2013), Ripper-era thriller Mayhem (2013) and the sublime and touching The Language of Dying (2009, but reprinted December 2013). I love Sarah, she's very funny.

Stephanie Meyer (1973-) - Controversial for introducing the vampire who sparkles with her best-selling Twilight series (2005-2008). This, as I’m sure you’re aware, is a vampire romance that has been turned into a big movie franchise, leading Stephanie to sell over 100 million books and earn over $50m in 2009 alone. Although receiving an English BA in 1997, Twilight was apparently her first attempt at writing fiction. An author whose religious belief (Mormonism) hasn’t stopped her delving into territory others might shy away from, her character actions are probably directly influenced by this background.

Gail Carriger (1976-) - Gail is the pen name of Tofa Borregaard, archaeologist and steampunk fiction author. Her main work to date is the Parasol Protectorate series (2009-2012), which is paranormal romance about a woman without a soul living in an alternative history version of Victorian England, where Werewolves and Vampires are treated as equals to the Human citizens. Gail is currently working on a 4-book Finishing School series (2013-) for young adults.

Erin Morgenstern (1978-) - Although Erin (usually a painter) has only written one book so far, it’s made a bit of a splash. The results of one of Erin’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) products became the inspiration for her novel The Night Circus (2011).

During the course of this blog I’ve noticed a gradual move from gothic horror to fantasy, with sci-fi tending to remain on the fringes. There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of recognisable authors as time goes on as well as an increase in the volume of output from those authors. Encouraging trends, but I’d like to see some more gothic tales balancing out the fantasy. It’s also encouraging to see that perseverance has paid off for a number of these authors (and paid off handsomely for some). If you’re a female author waiting for a breakthrough, don’t lose heart!

As always, feel free to leave comments and thank you for reading this blog series - I hope you've found it informative and have added some books to your reading list.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Female authors of gothic, horror, fantasy & science fiction (part 6)

In our penultimate blog for this series, the heart of the 60s brings us some authors that may have slipped under your radar and one that most definitely won’t have:

Jacqueline Carey (1964-) - Jacqueline has written a trilogy of trilogies known as Kushiel’s Legacy (2001-2011) along side others like The Sundering series (2004-2005). Although I haven’t read them, there appears to be themes of fantastical alternative histories and religious imagery, such as Angels, Saints, Martyrs, etc.

Caitlin R Kiernan (1964-) - As well as being a published palaeontologist, Caitlin is the author of dark fantasy and sci-fi novels, comics, novellas and short stories and some would add ‘weird fiction’ for her The Red Tree (2009). I know her best for having scripted The Dreaming (1996-2001), a wonderful comics series spin-off from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman world.

J K Rowling aka Robert Galbraith (1965-) - You must all have heard of J K Rowling, author of the massive Harry Potter series (1997-2007). A true rags to riches story, Jo is leading by example by giving huge amounts of her newfound wealth to charity. Controversially, her latest novel The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013) was written under a male pseudonym to try to get some distance from her now very famous real name.

Trudi Canavan (1969-) - The Australian fantasy novelist supported herself initially as a graphic designer. Trudi’s career received an injection when she the Aurealis Best Fantasy Short Story award for Whispers of the Mist Children (1999). I know her best for the successful The Black Magician Trilogy (2001-2003). Apparently Trudi received a seven figure sum from Orbit to write a prequel and sequel to that series, which goes to show that writing CAN pay and doesn’t have to rely on building a franchise (like Potter, not that there’s anything wrong with that either)!

As always, feel free to leave comments. Next week will be our last in this series, showcasing the youngest authors on my list.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Female authors of gothic, horror, fantasy & science fiction (part 5)

We now enter the 50s and early 60s, which is bringing some authors that are very popular right now:

Charlaine Harris (1951-) - Having experimented with poems about ghosts in her early writings and then moving into writing mysteries, Charlaine hit the big time when her Sookie Stackhouse series (2001-2013) gained wide exposure by being the basis of the TV show True Blood. Harris stuck with a supernatural edge in her follow up Harper Connelly Mysteries series (2005-2009), about a young woman able to locate dead bodies and see their last moments through their eyes.

Margaret Ogden aka Robin Hobb aka Megan Lindholm (1952-) - During the 80s, Margaret wrote contemporary fantasy under the name Megan Lindholm. However, she is most well known as Robin Hobb and for writing fantasy epics such as the Farseer Trilogy (1995-1997), Liveship Traders Trilogy (1998-2000) and The Tawny Man Trilogy (2001-2003). If you even have a passing interest in epic fantasy, then I highly recommend Robin to you. I’ve read all three trilogies above (which have sold over a million copies) and they really are immersive, intriguing adventures.

Suzanne Collins (1962-) - I’m not sure how many people know her name yet, but you will no doubt know her work. Suzanne wrote the Hunger Games Trilogy (2008-2010), which has been turned into a very successful film franchise. Suzanne began her career by writing children’s television, which led to writing children’s fiction in The Underland Chronicles (2003-2007). This influence carried through into Hunger Games, as did her understanding of the effects of war through her father, a US Air Force officer in the Vietnam War.

Laurell K Hamilton (1963-) - May be slightly under the popular radar at the moment, but Laurell’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series (1993-) has well over 6 million copies in print! While these have made her name, she is also writing the Merry Gentry series (2000-) about a Faerie Princess private detective under constant threat of assassination. I’m intrigued by how Laurell’s schooling at an Evangelical Christian college led her to write about faeries and necromancer vampire executioners

As always, feel free to leave comments. Tune in next week for some more authors born in the 60s.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Female authors of gothic, horror, fantasy & science fiction (part 4)

Now we finally move into living authors. As the genres have grown (and women’s presence in them), the output is increasing and some of these writers have huge back catalogues:

Ursula K Le Guin (1929-) - A prodigious writer of fantasy and sci-fi, Ursula has won several awards and is probably best known for her Earthsea series (1964-2001). This started with a short story, The Word of Unbinding (1964), and ended in 6 novels and 6 more short stories published up to 2001. Her books often explore themes of sociology, anthropology and psychology, which play out in treatment of gender, political systems and issues of difference/otherness.

Margaret Atwood (1939-) - A noted Humanist, Margaret is a Canadian novelist and poet who includes myth and fairy tale among her inspirations. She has won many awards, taught in many universities and been given many honorary degrees. She is included in this list for works such as The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) and Oryx and Crake (2003), even though they were described by Margaret as speculative fiction rather than science fiction i.e. they might actually happen rather than being stories about squids in space. Also, she was a guest character (playing a post-apocalypse self) on one of the episodes in the Zombies, Run! mobile phone game.

Anne Rice aka Anne Rampling aka A N Roquelaure (1941-) - One of the most widely read authors in modern times (with around 100 million book sales), Anne has produced an unusual mix of work that includes horror, gothic fiction, fantasy, christian literature and erotica (published under one of the pseudonyms)! She is best known for The Vampire Chronicles (1976-2003) spanning 10 books (12 if you include the new tales of the vampires), which also has some some crossover with The Lives of the Mayfair Witches series (1990-1994) in Blackwood Farm (2002) and Blood Canticle (2003). Her return to Catholicism in the naughties changed her literary direction somewhat and more recently she has turned away from organised religion while still retaining a personal faith.

Susan Hill (1942-) - Susan has the honour of being a Commander of the Order of the British Empire! She has an interest in the classic English ghost story and influences in this respect include Daphne du Maurier. I would say that Susan is most famous for writing The Woman in Black (1983), but she has written much more, including short story collections and children’s books. Other ghost stories include The Mist in the Mirror (1992), The Man in the Picture (2007), The Small Hand (2010) and Dolly (2012). She now has her own publishing company (Long Barn Books), which produced one work of fiction a year.

Tanith Lee aka Esther Garber (1947-) - Tanith Lee writes a lot (including 2 episodes of Blake’s 7!) in the genres of sci-fi, fantasy and horror. Although brought up in a house full of wonderful and strange fiction and having struggled to learn to read (later diagnosed as due to mild dyslexia), Tanith was first paid for writing when she was 21 (for a 90 word vignette). Working for around a decade in ‘regular’ jobs (e.g. waitress, file clerk, librarian) it wasn’t until The Birthgrave (1975) was published as a mass market paperback that Tanith could become a full time writer (10 years of trying takes persistence). The Tales from the Flat Earth series (1978-1986) is also recommended, but there are so many books to choose from (for adults and for children), that I advise you to investigate yourself and see what takes your fancy.

It’s a good sign that there are more and more authors coming through as we get nearer to the present day. Tune in next week as we move into the 50s.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Female authors of gothic, horror, fantasy & science fiction (part 3)

Moving on we get to the 20th century, which brings a vast increase in the number of notable writers. Here are a few ladies born pre-WWII:

Daphne Du Maurier (1907-1989) - There are now a few links between authors: Ann Radcliffe to Jane Austen; Charlotte Dacre to Mary Shelley; Elizabeth Gaskell to Charlotte Brontë. Daphne extends this by writing a biography of Branwell Brontë and being influenced by the writings of Charlotte Brontë. A notable scary short story was committed to screen by Alfred Hitchcock - The Birds (1963). Although having written many novels, including Jamaica Inn (1936) and Rebecca (1938), it is short stories that reveal elements of terror and dark fantasy, such as Don’t Look Now (1971), The Apple Tree (1952) and The Blue Lenses aka The Breaking Point (1959). A recent discovery of short stories written in her youth expands the catalogue and includes The Doll (1937), a gothic tale about a mechanical male sex doll...

Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002) - I’m not sure how fitting this is for such a list, but like Enid Blyton before her, the Swedish Astrid wrote several fantastical children’s book series that are well remembered. Her most famous is Pippi Longstocking (1945-1948, 1969-1975, 1979 & 2000), which tells of a nine year old girl whose father is lost at sea and who has superhuman strength and various other eccentricities.

Tove Jansson (1914-2001) - And another author of well-known children’s books, Tove is the Finnish writer of The Moomins (1945-1993). This fantastical world was created in nine books, with five picture books and a comic strip. It has spread into the formats of TV and film and even a theme park (Moomin World in Naantali, Finland).

Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) - Shirley’s work just keeps growing in the strength of its appreciation, influencing the likes of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King and Richard Matheson among others. Apparently famous for her short story The Lottery (1948), I am more familiar with her for The Haunting of Hill House (1959). That said, she has written a massive amount of short stories with gothic horror titles like The Witchcraft of Salem Village (1956), The Bad Children (1959) (and those two are children's stories!), The Daemon Lover (1949), The Possibility of Evil (1965) and The Very Strange House Next Door (1995). In 2007, the Shirley Jackson Awards were established to recognise outstanding achievements in psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic.

Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011) - Anne is a fantasy and science-fiction legend. She was the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction, the first to win a Nebula Award and had one of the first sci-fi novels to hit the New York Times Best Seller list, The White Dragon (1978). A prodigious writer, I will highlight her Dragonriders of Pern series (started in 1967 and still going via her son, Todd) and leave you to search out the wealth of other material.

These write-ups are getting longer (as is my ‘to read’ list). Please share your thoughts in the comments. Next week, we finally get to highlight some authors that are still alive!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Female authors of gothic, horror, fantasy & science fiction (part 2)

Continuing the expose on female authors, this week sees us move into the 19th century with the following recommendations:

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) - Her father was a Unitarian minister in Failsworth and although born down south was soon moved back up north and raised in Cheshire, eventually marrying in Knutsford to another Unitarian minister and settling in Manchester. Elizabeth also had connections, socialising with the likes of Dickens and Charlotte Brontë and having the conductor Charles Halle teach her daughter piano. Next summer you should be able to visit her home, 84 Plymouth Grove in Longsight, after extensive renovations by The Gaskell Society. Whilst famous for writing works such as Cranford (1851-3) and North and South (1854-5), Elizabeth also wrote some chilling tales. Novellas and short stories such as The Old Nurse’s Story (1852), Lois The Witch (1861) and Disappearances (1851) can be found in collections such as Penguin’s Gothic Tales (2000).

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) - Starting to turn the gothic exploration from outward horror to inner turmoil, Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre (1847). That novel includes childhood terrors, nocturnal incidents, an isolated building, a pursued young heroine and a dark Byronic hero - gothic indeed.

Emily Brontë (1818-1848) - Her only novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), is a gothic staple and his inspired many other artists (notably Kate Bush). While not clearly supernatural, it includes many gothic elements, such as a tyrannical father, imprisonment and escape, a dangerous suitor, revenge, adverse weather, bleak landscape and so on.

Enid Blyton (1897-1968) - Well known for children’s book series like The Famous Five (21 novels from 1942-1963) and The Secret Seven (15 novels from 1949-1963), Enid just creeps into this section, although only 3 years old when we leave the 19th century. Her inclusion is for bringing fantasy to life with series like The Wishing Chair (2 novels & a short story compilation, 1937, 1950 & 2000) and The Faraway Tree (4 novels from 1939-1951).

Monday, 28 October 2013

Female authors of gothic, horror, fantasy & science fiction (part 1)

Prompted by an article by Sarah Grace Logan, and inspired to a bit of academic research by Manchester’s new Centre for Gothic Studies, I thought it would be good to run a series of blogposts about female authors of gothic, horror, fantasy and sci-fi. I hope you feel inspired to go and check out some of these amazing ladies (in fact, I hope you’ve read some of their works already!)

There are so many ways to cut the list (and such a big list it is too). I’ve selected those that stand out to me and ordered them roughly by age (for which none of the ladies on this list would thank me, I’m sure). Starting with the beginnings of gothic and horror literature, I would like to bring your gaze to rest upon:

Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823) - Produced the definitive gothic novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), in the middle of her writing career, also noted for inspiring Jane Austen. Another of gothic note, with themes of concealment and disguise, is The Italian, or the Confessional of the Black Penitents (1797).

Charlotte Dacre aka Rosa Matilda (1771-1841) - Name-checked in a poem by Lord Byron and influencing Percy Shelley, this female author pulled no punches with her female characters, who could be as aggressive and violent as their male counterparts. Of her works, the standout from a gothic perspective is Zofloya; Or, The Moor (1806).

Jane Austen (1775-1817) - I’m sure you’ve all heard of her. Jane wrote Sense and Sensibilty (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815) and Persuasion (1818). However, it is to Northanger Abbey (1818) that I wish to draw your gothic attention - the first to be written and last to be published, this is the book in which characters are spooked by reading Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho!

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) - Who doesn’t know of Mary? Writer of all time literary classic Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). Mary also wrote lots of historic, romantic & poetic works, but didn’t miss out on a bit of sci-fi - The Last Man (1826) is set at the end of the 21st century!

Let me know what you think if you’ve read their works. Let me know if there are other female authors born in the 18th century that should be noted. Tune in next week as we move into the 19th century.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Ikea or Death

Here is something you may find amusing - thanks to Richard for finding it!

Test your knowledge of death metal and ikea furniture in...

Monday, 14 October 2013

Return To Eden (part 4)

Our YouTube channel (Sub Kulture) has now been updated with Return To Eden 2012 (part 4), showing the final segment of video footage from last years service at Greenbelt.

Please subscribe to the channel, like the video, share the links with others and leave your comments.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Return To Eden (part 3)

Our YouTube channel (Sub Kulture) has now been updated with Return To Eden 2012 (part 3), showing video footage from last years service at Greenbelt.

Tune in next week for the last instalment.

Please subscribe to the channel, like the video, share the links with others and leave your comments.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Return To Eden (part 2)

Our YouTube channel (Sub Kulture) has now been updated with Return To Eden 2012 (part 2), showing video footage from last years service at Greenbelt.

There will be more instalments released over the next few weeks, so keep us on your radar.

Please subscribe to the channel, like the video, share the links with others and leave your comments.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Return To Eden comes to YouTube

In the continuing expansion of our YouTube channel (Sub Kulture) you can now find Return To Eden 2012 (part 1), showing video footage from last years service at Greenbelt.

There will be more instalments released over the next few weeks, so keep us on your radar.

Please subscribe to the channel, like the video, share the links with others and leave your comments.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Rattling the chains of Gothic Manchester

The ever industrious Manchester is not only the home of SUB, but plays host to a whole realm of strange and wonderful things. Whether it be music, film, books or the very fabric of the city, Manc has gothic running through its veins and through its inhabitants.

This academic year, Manchester brings you another first - The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies - and what a wonderful home this northern citadel will make.

To celebrate its arrival there is another first - Manchester Gothic Festival. Taking us on tours of its streets and artworks, watching and discussing films made in its environs, educating us about its music and encouraging us to be inspired and create, the new Centre gives us quite a lot to chew on and whets our appetite for what delights it has in store for those undertaking the new course. Our good friends over at ARA have also opened their doors to the festival (and others besides) for a boogie and a chance to reflect on the events of the week.

Please take your internet browsers over to the Centre for Gothic Studies to find out more and come find us navigating its activities.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

New Youtube Channel

We're very excited to announce our new YouTube channel, Sub Kulture.

To accompany this you can find a new video, Gothic Requiem 2013, showing images from the recent service at Greenbelt.

Please subscribe to the channel, like the video, share the links with others, leave your comments and all that good social stuff :)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Gothic Requiem playlist

Whether or not you managed to attend the Greenbelt funeral service, you may be interested in the music we played. Here's a list for you:

Anathema -  Presence
Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir - Lacrimosa (III. Sequentia) from Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor
Ennio Morricone - Moses Theme, Main Title, 1974
Elfonia - Anoranza
Nox Arcana - Lair of the Vampire
Metallica - Wherever I May Roam (Instrumental)
Lovage / Dan the Automator - Anger Management
John Harles - Silencium (Theme from Silent Witness)
Demon Hunter - My Throat is an Open Grave (Acoustic)
Awaken - Narrow Door
Extol - Dawn of Redemption
P.O.D. - Alive

SUB thanks Rob Carter

A big thank you to Rob for his illustrations of our monsters - visit our tumblr site soon to see the images he drew for us.

It would be great to work more with Rob and transform the various character background stories into graphic novels, but I suspect time will be against us. However, if you know of any publishers that would be interested, please feel free to pass on our details.

You can find more examples of Rob's work over on and find him on twitter @the_artyman. Please visit and contact him if you would like any of his artwork or to commission him to create something for you.

Thanks Rob :)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

SUB thanks Fat Roland

I just want to say a great big THANK YOU to Eyan for crafting the #substory these last few months.

It was not the only project he had on (you may have seen him only last week at the Edinburgh Fringe, or around Manchester at various writing and performance events), as well as actually holding down a day job.

Please find about more about his writing (including buying his published works!) through his blog and follow him on twitter @fatroland

As you know from the other posts, the #substory is the lead in to a service at Greenbelt, so please join us there (and say hi to Eyan and the rest of the SUB crew) to find out how the funeral of You Know Who turns out.

SUB Story Week 9

This is the epic conclusion, the final week of #substory. For a round up of the week pop on over to our tumblr site, which uses the power of Storify to share tweets without needing twitter. Here's an even shorter summary of what happened this week (August 15 - 20):
  1. Vampire sells Werewolf's house to gain some money after gambling losses
  2. Zombie's tree becomes home, but then she gets a note saying it will be bulldozed to make way for a new branch of Primark
  3. Werewolf gets arrested by fake police officers, but escapes to Vampires house
  4. Zombie works out that the graffiti is co-ordinates of all the times they've felt they encountered Thingy...all except one that they haven't been to yet
  5. The trio reconcile for the last big push and move in on the last co-ordinates. They find You Know Who ... dead :(
  6. A funeral will be held during Greenbelt, in the Aspire venue on Saturday at 9pm
Wow, what a story. I don't know about you, but I got quite attached to our monsters and their foibles, getting frustrated at how they beat each other up with words sometimes, but happy when they made up again. Let's hope this isn't the end for them.

Will their reconciliation be temporary? Can they fight their natures to overcome long-held bad character traits? Their leader is dead - what on earth will they do next? Are they finally released from You Know Who's hold over them? How did Thingy die? Were the co-ordinates written by You Know Who (if so, before or after death)? Were the co-ordinates written by You Know Who's killer? Where will they go now that they are effectively homeless?

Please share the story with others and let us know what you think about the story in the comments below.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

SUB Story Week 8

Last week the monsters were largely apart from one another in #substory. For a round up of the week pop on over to our tumblr site, which uses the power of Storify to share tweets without needing twitter. Here's an even shorter summary of what happened this week (August 8 - 14):
  1. You Know Who is leaving lots of signs, but Zombie and Vampire are getting scared by them (even though they actually want to find Thingy)
  2. Werewolf is running wild, gatecrashing parties, getting into fights and gatecrashing jobs
  3. Vampire tries to recoup financial losses with some business ventures - first a blood stall and then online gambling
  4. Vampire's businesses don't do well so she resorts to trying a casino and ends up losing everything
  5. Zombie doesn't want to get trapped with Thingy, so tears down her fortress and relocates to a tree, which she starts to add mod-cons to and make a new home with the squirrels
Do the monsters want to find You Know Who or not? They desire to find their mythical leader, but when presented with signs of presence, they shy away. Are they any better for not being with each other? Why is Vampire suddenly so bad at business? Zombie has hidden skills, can she use them for the good of the group?

Please share the story with others and let us know what you think about the story so far in the comments below.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

SUB Story week 7

Last week our monsters got scared, in #substory. For a round up of the week pop on over to our tumblr site, which uses the power of Storify to share tweets without needing twitter. Here's an even shorter summary of what happened this week (August 1 - 7):
  1. The monsters dream, some good, some bad. Zombie's turned into a vision of Thingy.
  2. Vampire wakes from her dream and see's You Know Who. Werewolf doesn't believe either of them.
  3. Werewolf's website is mysteriously updated with I AM HERE repeated all over it.
  4. Zombie is scared and keeps saying "i am here"
  5. In a shock move, Vampire moves in with Werewolf saying she can't return home, but she also can't say why not.
Is this another joke by Arowane, the vengeful merman? Or is someone, or something, trying to get through to the monsters? Can our characters pull themselves together to find You Know Who? Why doesn't Werewolf believe anyone? And what on earth has happened to Vampire's home?

Please share the story with others and let us know what you think about the story so far in the comments below.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

SUB Story Week 6: I am here

Last week our monsters attempted to reconcile with mixed results, in #substory. For a round up of the week pop on over to our tumblr site, which uses the power of Storify to share tweets without needing twitter. Here's an even shorter summary of what happened this week (July 25 - 31):
  1. Vampire recovers from transforming into a bat (her lack of control over this is most embarrassing) and apologises for having been grumpy.
  2. Zombie builds a fortress so complicated she can't find her own way out, which might be a reflection of her inner state.
  3. Vampire is soon back to bickering and calls her friendships with Werewolf and Zombie over.
  4. Werewolf tries to go it alone, but he's used to being in a pack - he demands a last attempt at friendship via parties, with each friend hosting each night.
  5. Although Vampire started feeling some guilt over her actions toward Werewolf, she puts on a girly night in revenge at Werewolf and blames Zombie for lacking confidence. Werewolf chills out with a hippy party, but gets slammed by Vamps for its spiritual nonsense.
All our monsters are struggling to maintain their friendships - what tensions will finally pull them apart? Can they actually overcome these issues and remain as friends? Is that healthy for them anyway, or would they be better apart? What party will Zombie throw? Will she stand up for herself, or carry on being bullied? Can you stand the tension?

Please share the story with others and let us know what you think about the story so far in the comments below.

Monday, 29 July 2013

SUB Story Week 5: Dissolution

Last week our monsters got a bit doo-lally in our #substory. For a round up of the week pop on over to our tumblr site, which uses the power of Storify to share tweets without needing twitter. Here's an even shorter summary of what happened this week (July 18 - 24):
  1. Vampire confuses everyone by going off grid while setting up a new laptop - Werewolf and Zombie think she's gone AWOL like You Know Who.
  2. Werewolf admits his responsibility for the art fiasco and makes up with Zombie.
  3. Werewolf gets full moon madness from fleas. In the process, Vampire turns into a bat to get away and is promptly knocked out by Zombie who swats her like a fly.
  4. Werewolf figures out what's happened after full moon, but can't help as panicked Zombie has made her fortress massive. Wolfie is angry again at Zombie for the whole situation.
  5. Werewolf admits to needing Vamps to sort his life out for him - his 2 week deadline for finding You Know Who has expired, but he needs help.
Why can't Werewolf remain friends with Zombie - making up one minute and blaming as soon as something else goes wrong? Have Zombie and Werewolf enjoyed their time away from Vampire (like they actually wanted)? Did Zombie cope when she was left effectively in charge? Werewolf has realised he needs help, but will he survive the treatment to be given by his friends?

Please share the story with others and let us know what you think about the story so far in the comments below.

Monday, 22 July 2013

SUB Story Week 4: I can't believe it's not flutter

It's been another tense week for the monsters in our #substory. For a round up of the week pop on over to our tumblr site, which uses the power of Storify to share tweets without needing twitter. Here's an even shorter summary of what happened this week (July 11 - 17):
  1. Not only did Vampire use Werewolf's art money to buy blood, she tries to make amends by trading the blood for an exhibition space at the Tate.
  2. Vampire may be business-savvy, but she's not immune to being conned - Zombie's date, Arowane, takes revenge and we discover the Tate show is not actually going to happen.
  3. Meanwhile, Werewolf is panicking and uses Zombie to make art for him. Surprisingly it doesn't go well and the new exhibition in a Scout Hut completely bombs. Everyone blames Zombie.
  4. Zombie, understandably upset, decides to build a fortress to keep her friends out (and the apocalypse, should there be one of those any time soon).
  5. The search for You Know Who has stalled, but Werewolf's clock is still ticking...
Can our trio ever find a way to stop arguing and blaming each other - will they get to live in harmony (or is that just unrealistic)? Vampire tries to make amends, but Werewolf can't see it - what else is his rage blinding him to? Can Zombie survive on her own, cutting herself off from her friends? With the 2 week counter rapidly coming to an end, will they find You Know Who in time?

Please share the story with others and let us know what you think about the story so far in the comments below.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

SUB Story Week 3: Damien Hirst eat your heart out

Further monster madness this week in our #substory - the mysterious You Know Who is causing a rift without even being with our fiends.

For a round up of the week pop on over to our tumblr site, which uses the power of Storify to share tweets without needing twitter. Here's an even shorter summary of what happened this week (July 4 - 10):
  1. We find out Vampire spent all of Werewolf's art earning on buying blood.
  2. Vampire promptly takes herself off to negotiate a deal for profit, but Wolfie is far from happy.
  3. Werewolf is tired of the arguing and puts it down to You Know Who having left.
  4. Wolfie sets out an ultimatum: find You Know Who in 2 weeks or he & Zombie are off.
  5. Zombie is feeling left out and put upon again, so distracts herself with squirrels.
Will Vampire try to restore her relationship with Werewolf? Can she buy her way back in to his heart through her cunning business acumen? Will they find You Know Who or will we lose Werewolf & Zombie forever? And what is Zombie going to do with all those squirrels?

Please share the story with others and let us know what you think about the story so far in the comments below.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

SUB Story Week 2: Purple Brain, Purple Brain

The twittersodes are taking us on a twisty journey with our characters, tagged #substory. We hope you are enjoying the story, but also seeing some themes and plots starting to emerge.

For a round up of the week pop on over to our tumblr site, which uses the power of Storify to share tweets without needing twitter. Here's an even shorter summary of what happened this week (June 27-July 3):
  1. Vampire tries to get the group to prepare for Greenbelt with a session at the Frank & Stein pub, but over-planning raises tensions that leave Vampire holding the drinks.
  2. Zombie isn't as dumb as people thinks she is - her art site for Werewolf is a hit.
  3. The profits Werewolf is making are being fought over by Zombie (who thinks they should invest in Lego) and Vampire (who thinks Zombie's ideas can't possibly work).
  4. Zombie has a date with a merman (who Vampire still thinks isn't real) and it doesn't go very well.
  5. With romance in the air, Werewolf gets a bit horny and Vampire turns to her native French, the language of love, to express her softer side. But still insists career comes before relationship.
What will happens with Werewolf's profits? Is Zombie better at business than Vampire? Can Zombie fall in love? Can Werewolf look for more than lust? Can Vampire be satisfied by business alone?

Please share the story with others and let us know what you think about the story so far in the comments below.

Friday, 28 June 2013

SUB Story Week 1: Time Unmanagement

We hope you've been enjoying the daily twitter episodes (twittersodes?), tagged #substory. There are around 70 of you following our characters, which is great. Please share our story with others, as we'd love to have more.

For a round up of the week pop on over to our tumblr site, which uses the power of Storify to share tweets without needing twitter. Here's an even shorter summary of what happened this week (June 20-26):
  1. We have been introduced to the three main characters (Zombie, Werewolf and Vampire) and seen reference to another mysterious being, currently AWOL, referred to as You Know Who.
  2. Werewolf goes through a full moon transformation, creating lots of paintings as a by-product. Zombie thinks these are great (they look like brains).
  3. We discover that Vampire trades in blood and is highly organised, but constantly foiled by Werewolf and Zombie.
  4. Vampire has a tendency to berate the others if they don't fall into line with her plans, although she still cares for them. Vampire and Werewolf both look out for Zombie, but in different ways.
  5. After watching an Animal Planet documentary, Zombie now believes in mermaids (they probably taste like sushi). Werewolf thinks Zombie can believe what she wants, but Vampire doesn't see the irony and thinks mermaids aren't real.
Who's your favourite character and why? Will Zombie beat Vampire at business, making a success of the 'artist' Werewolf? Is it ok to believe whatever you like (and how should others respond to that)?

Let us know what you think about the story so far in the comments below.

Friday, 21 June 2013

SUB on the Greenbelt Blog

Big thanks to Greenbelt for their support of our twitter experiment, which as you know is laying the groundwork for the SUB worship event at the Festival itself in a couple of months time. Greenbelt wanted to see what was possible in terms of extending the reach of a worship service through social media, beyond the confines of the service itself. This is SUB meeting that challenge. Read about it on the Greenbelt blog.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

0 days...

Tune your twitter into our monsters at 6pm today to watch the story start to unfold. Just a quick recap on the various ways you can follow the story:

1. Follow the monsters - @sub_vampire, @sub_zombie and @sub_werewolf
2. Follow our master account, @sub_kulture, for all the main news
3. Subscribe to the twitter list subkulturemash, which will show you the twitter timelines for the three monsters in a single view
4. Use our hashtag to track the twitter conversations - #substory
5. See regular story catch ups on our tumblr
6. Read this blog for story summaries

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

1 day...

It's so very close now. We hope it makes your synapses fizz and sparkle with intrigue and laughter. SUB Story: Life Beings will start at 6pm tomorrow night...

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

2 days...

A story to really sink your teeth into, starting in only 2 days...

Monday, 17 June 2013

3 days...

You ready to get those brains whirring, the cogs turning? @sub_zombie is ready to get your brains whirring...

Sunday, 16 June 2013

4 days...

Clawing ever closer to our start point, @sub_werewolf suggested a painterly approach for countdown number four...

Saturday, 15 June 2013

5 days...

It doesn't seem long since we last blogged, but there's only 5 days to go *squee*. We're not only excited to see the story of Life Begins unfold, but also to see how you interact with it. Watch out for @sub_vampire though, she'll be going over your grammar with a fine tooth comb...

6 days...

Sorry we've only just clawed out of the grave to tell you yesterday was our '6 days to story' countdown marker...

Thursday, 13 June 2013

7 days...

Beware lest a seal is broken, there are only 7 days left until the start of Sub Story: Life Begins...

8 days...

Yesterday the tentacles started to unfurl and stretch and search for prey...

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

9 days...

Yesterday the countdown to our twitter story began. Only 9 days to go...

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Twitter growing

Our twitter feed @sub_kulture is gathering followers as we get ready to launch the story between @sub_vampire, @sub_zombie & @sub_werewolf in the run up to Greenbelt. We hope this story will be relevant not just to Christians, but to a wide variety of people for many different reasons. Please spread the word and support us by following the accounts and engaging with the story as it unfolds.

This year Sub will be holding a service as part of the worship section of the Greenbelt programme. We try to find ways of worshipping that have special meaning for those with a sub-culture background, but this doesn't mean everyone else is excluded. This year we are also supporting Greenbelt's desire to push the boundaries of social media by extending our service content well outside the bounds of its festival slot.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Moving home

Today Sub has moved home to Blogger. Hopefully this will be easy to read, use and maintain. Please feel free to comment on blogposts or email me with ideas or suggestions.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Hate crime

We don't usually report from the worlds we inhabit, but thought that this news item was worthy of an exception. Greater Manchester Police have become the first force to include 'alternative subcultures' as a recognised group that may be subjected to hate crime. Only 5 years on from the murder of Sophie Lancaster, this is a strong step forwards in acknowledging the abuse directed at those in alternative subcultures.