Just in case you don't recognise the name, you may know me instead as Henry, Fan, Poe, Poetry, Albert, Intrigued, Dawtrina, Chewy, Twin, English or Halberto. All these, and no doubt many others, are li'l ol' me. Even though I've lived in Arizona since 2004, I am not yet Hank Chuck Frank. I am, however, a centenarian Venezuelan woman on Facebook. I figure that if they want to data mine me, they should have fun doing so.
There's a lot here at dawtrina.com so I created a site map to help you around. Otherwise just browse, explore and enjoy, but please e-mail me if you have any problems.
IT is what pays the bills, but what I am is a writer. Here's an index page to my writing.
I've been scribbling around for years. Some of my short stories and poems have been published and one has been put to music.
I started writing in an organised fashion in 2001 with a project called The Million Word March, following Jerry Pournelle's advice.
I tried blogging in 2002 at Captain's Blog and in 2003 with The Poe Station Blog but I didn't update often enough. The blog that took was Capsule Reviews in 2006, in which I started reviewing films.
It outgrew itself in a year and became Apocalypse Later, which has been my main writing project since 2007. As Apocalypse Later is restricted to film reviews, I also set up Apocalypse Later Now! to cover other writing that doesn't fall under that umbrella.
When not writing for myself, I'm a staff reviewer at The Nameless Zine (I maintain an index here to my Nameless Zine reviews). I've also written for The WOD and Nerdvana. My first book grew out of writing I did for Cinema Head Cheese.
Apocalypse Later expanded into print in 2013 when I published two books about film under the Apocalypse Later Press imprint: Huh? An A-Z of Why Classic American Bad Movies Were Made and Velvet Glove Cast in Iron: The Films of Tura Satana. I've just published my third book and am working hard to achieve a quarterly book publication schedule rolling by 2016.
My books are available for purchase in dollars from Amazon.com, in pounds from Amazon.co.uk and in euros from the various European Amazon sites. They're also available from the usual other online outlets like Barnes & Noble. Signed copies can be purchased from the Dog-Eared Pages used bookstore in Phoenix.
Apocalypse Later has grown in other directions too. Along with the film review site, the blog and the publishing imprint, I started programming and hosting mini-film festivals at local conventions under the Apocalypse Later banner at LepreCon 39 in 2013. I run many of these each year and maintain a mini-film festival archive online.
In 2016, I decided that it was time that the sixth biggest city in the US should once more have its own annual dedicated genre film festival. So I set up the Apocalypse Later International Fantastic Film Festival, which will debut on Saturday, 15th October, 2016 at the Phoenix Center for the Arts.
I'm delving more and more deeply into culture as the years go by, and also I'm getting more and more involved in the fight to preserve it. I maintain film, music and literature sites here as Hal and Dee at the Movies, The Musical Box and The Last Page Bookshop respectively.
While I have some background in fandom, I've gradually immersed myself more and more since I moved to the States. I've worked enough film festivals, film challenges and conventions in a variety of roles to put my geek resume together.
I also co-founded and co-run a steampunk group, the Arizona Penny Dreadfuls. In steampunk circles I'm known as Count Chaos, under which name I host steampunk fashion shows.
I come from an interesting family. Honest. Here are some biographical pages to prove it.
One of the most interesting Astells was my paternal grandfather, who in 1944 ran a key mission behind enemy lines in Greece. Here's an article I wrote about him called Norman F Astell and the Raiding Support Regiment.
Late last century I discovered a groundbreaking online trivia site called Cosmo's Conundrum and it changed my life. Here's a dedicated Cosmo's Conundrum section, containing the Challengers to the Chimp gallery of players and other material. I also wrote a travelogue of my first tour of North America, back in 1999, meeting up with Cosmonauts in all four corners of the US and both coasts of Canada.
I'm an IT engineer currently based in Phoenix, AZ. I've been in full time employment since 2004, so I've finally got round to unlinking my curriculum vitae (or resume). No, I'm not looking for work.
Back in England, I did web design and here is my portfolio. These are antiques in tech years, dating back to the turn of the century but I felt that they were rather spiffing at the time.
Here's a collection of online books and articles about the Yorkshire village of Barkisland and my major article about the Raiding Support Regiment.
For those wondering why my site is called what it is, I wrote an article to explain what Dawtrina means.
Copyright (c) 1998-now, Hal C F Astell | e-mail Hal C F Astell