Category Archives: philosophical ramblings

Innovative Ian’s Dilemmas- going to the upside down

BBRHjwjI’m unsure which I’m looking forward to most- Game of Thrones 8 or Stranger Things 3. It’s a dilemma because it means I’ll need to re-watch one again.

I saw Thrones before Christmas and reread the novels, so I might have a Stranger Things binge at some point. Thrones 8 is April, yet have to wait ‘til the summer for Things.

It is a dilemma, just not much of one really!

In the meantime, got a new Trailer for Grey Dominion to edit and it is Chinese New Year- Say Ni Hao to the Year of the Pig! I tried making a card in school, but that bombed out, as usual.

Anyway, all this rumbling round my head on a spin-cycle had me dream up a new Stranger Project, so I’ll be doing some test shots over the next week or so.

In the meantime- Welcome to the Year of the Pig, let’s see if Babe can fly!


photo of red paper lanterns

Photo by mentatdgt on




A Winter full of shorts (stories that is!)


So this is a sequel to last summer’s extravaganza, where I listed a bunch of stories and where I sent them. Nearly all were rejected and I’m still waiting to hear back from HEARTS KISS about Making the First Move and By the Lights of the Silvery Moons.

I’m still fishing for that elusive, slippery First Commission, wriggling like a fish, if you get the imagery. I have been through and dusted off a few tales and sent them out into the ether, hoping for a response, a bit like the search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence, there’s no sign yet, but I’m still hopeful!

So what’s out this glorious Mid-winter’s day then? Well, The Last Christmas of Planet Earth went to ALBEDO 1, Time of the Centuroids was submitted to FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, Terror of the Centuroids, to HARD UNIVERSE, I have sent The Band of Firebrothers to GALAXY’S EDGE, The Beckoning Call to ORSON SCOTT CARD’S INTERGALACTIC MEDICINE SHOW and SID The RoboDetective to ESCAPE POD, and finally Arachnicide was brushed off and sent to AMAZING STORIES. My one new story– I Slept Through the Apocalypse, based on Grey Dominion, I have submitted to ANALOG Magazine.

So there you have it. Ten stories and there are another six that need editing/revising and then it’s trying to finish the next dozen or so I have begun. And Tiglet might be getting a few new tales as well. So I’m looking for a breakthrough, anyway possible.

And that’s all from the Literary Front. If you’re interested in reading any of my published stories, both A Riot in the Library and Inquisition were relegated to being online by the University of Liverpool in 2015 while Incineration Day was included in Epic Anthology in 2014 and the Case of the Missing Mince Pies in the Chester Writers Anthology in 2017. All are listed on my Linked In page-





HAVEN’T I BEEN HERE BEFORE?- Another walk round Halton Castle

tvp1.jpgYes, it’s that time of year again when I go for a little jaunt up the hill to walk round the ruins of Halton Castle and take a view over the River Mersey.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been up there over the years, but I have never been inside. My Mum did, when she researched her Historical Novels, but I’ve never managed it- so something to do differently for next time I think!

Seeing the new Mersey Gateway Bridge for the first time was different, even tried getting a couple of shots of both bridges- check out the Facebook photos.

At least it was a nice sunny day to kick off the new term!

The photos-

The Video- 

A short history lesson- listen up at the back!-

And back round again!



And even an entry on the old Hiking website-










There was no real snow again over the Christmas/New Year holidays, but I knew I had to try and film something, so began the long-awaited stop-motion series. First three are ‘in the can’ as they say, just needing effects/voices music and editing together. I think it’ll be Easter by the time they are all done, but here’s a photo teaser-trailer from the epic prelude to Series 6- entitled The NeoDoctor Adventures!

Time Travelling has never been so much FUN!



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IW RR4Back in Series 2 of Infinite WHOniverses, in 2015 I introduced A World Without The Doctor- Classic stories retold without the TARDIS arriving and the intervention/meddling/interference of The Doctor and friends.

The First tale retold was THE ROBOTS OF DEATH, from the era of 4TH Doctor Tom Baker.

Now, finally the Sequel to that story is nearly ready- More on that next time.

For now, here is THE ROBOT REVOLUTION- available to download or read online.

Ian Cai Mercer.


robot revolution



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Events- Star Wars Characters and Carol Singers @ Liverpool Central Station

NOT a Comic Con, but featuring Order 66, a costuming group that raise money for charity, this was one of those Extraordinary-out-of-the-ordinary moments, when the everyday occurrence gets a surreal twist, like Darth Vader and Stormtroopers going into Costa for a coffee.144

This was Carol singing with the power of the Force added. As I said surreal!

I wasn’t going to go into Liverpool, but the Geeky Market in Warrington was dead, only a few cosplayers and the lashing rain was a big put-off as well, so I didn’t stay, getting the bus into Liverpool cause the trains were on strike.

I thought I had missed them, as no-one was around, then the Carol singers started and Santa Vader and co appeared. Funniest thing, seeing the ordinary meet the extraordinary at the Train Station, people caught unawares at the sight of Star Wars characters in Christmas getup alongside Carol singing- Darth Vader and the Sandtrooper dancing along, DV’s heavy breathing to the tune of Silent Night! Oh what fun.

And it wasn’t some strange publicity stunt, but fundraising for charity with The Lyons Children’s Foundation and Woodlands Hospice, along with Aintree Community Choir and Ladies Harmony Choir. Very diiferent day in Central station.

I really must get myself organised and edit the video, but for now, check out the pics and the pages of the groups.

Raised £1200.27 on the day, and had fun too!


The Lyons Children’s Foundation-

Woodlands Hospice-

 5th Legion-

Order 66 Cosplay group-

Imperial Order 66 UK



Fusion’s future –Croxteth-

Thanks to Steve, Delroy and the rest of the gang!




paracosm-pictureAs I mentioned the other day, I’ve been thinking more about the Metanarrative of Star Wars- the ‘larger world’ Obi Wan spoke of in Episode four, but I’m thinking it should be the Larger Universe.


One of the things about much Science Fiction is how parochial it can be. Star Trek/Doctor Who/ Firefly and so on concentrate on stories set in the Milky Way galaxy, a few episodes have gone outside to other galaxies, but Stargate Universe went further than most.

Thinking that the Main galaxy, or Galaxy One is where the First set of Tales in the SWU have been set, maybe it’s time to look further afield, see what other stories there are in othe galaxies far, far away.

I learned an interesting new word last week- PARACOSM. A Bigger Universe, a Metanarrative, a story that grows from a serial to an Epic to a Saga spanning generations.

StarWars at its initial release went fro story to Paracosm in an hour, introducing and mentioning so much- The Imperial Senate/The Clone Wars/Jedi Knights and the Old Rebuplic and so much, with Wookies and Aliens never seen before.

That ‘Larger world’ grew even more significantly over the next two films, all built on in comics/books and the prequel and sequel Trilogies. So it’s getting pretty big and crowded in there, yet is still only one galaxy amongst myriads.

It’s worth mentioning other Mettanarrative/Paracosms (MNP’s) like Dune, The Mahaberata, The Bible, Greek myths (and Norse/Egyptian etc) Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, HP Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, The Wheel of Time. Now it’s the Multi-media epics of DC/Marvel multiverses, along with Star Trek/Stargate/Doctor Who/Warhammer 40k/Game of Thrones. The Lord of the Rings kick- started the modern Era, but it was Flash Gordon that the SWU is most indebted to.

Of the old serials it was also longer than most. Buck Rogers, Undersea Kingdom and King of the Rocketmen went for twelve chapters, but the longest Serial was The Hazards of Helen, which lasted 119 Chapters.

Flash Gordon- also known as The Space Soldiers was a 13-chapter serial, with FG Trip to Mars at 15 chapters and FG Conquers the Universe at 12 chapters- making that saga FORTY chapters long.

With The Skywalker Saga being Nine Chapters, what about other tales from The Journal of the Whills?

I think Star Wars has just started its own Meta-paracosm and there are other stories/sagas out there, it’s just a matter of stepping into that Larger World, just like Obi Wan said.

Inspired by Wired- You won’t live to see the final Star Wars movie-