Wednesday 30 May 2012

Alt-Zombie's here!

The Nunsploitation story went well and will appear in the anthology that asked for it, hopefully later on this year (ebook first, then as a print edition), so more details as and when. I have to say, I’m really pleased with it, as I am about the following news.

Now available on Amazon and all good on-line stores. From the publisher who brought you Alt-Dead & Fogbound From 5, Hersham Horror Books is proud to bring you 21 Alternative Zombie stories.

Featuring original short stories from David Williamson, Alison Littlewood, Joe McKinney Mark West, Jan Edwards, Stuart Young, Richard Farren Barber, Katherine Tomlinson, R.J. Gaulding, Stuart Hughes, Rachelle Bronson, Adrian Chamberlin William Meikle, Shaun Hamilton, Stephen Bacon Dave Jeffery, Gary McMahon, Shaun Jeffrey Jay Eales, Selina Lock, Zach Black plus a bonus story only available in the print version.

Includes zombie stories from a UK #1 bestseller, British Fantasy Award winners, a Bram Stoker Award winner and a writer from the original Pan Book of Horrors....

Amazon UK Link: £8.99

Amazon US Link: $13.79

The Book Depository: £8.74

Barnes & Noble US: $9.99

Hersham Horror Books, we don’t do reprints only newly written works of horror fiction. This book may also be used as a weapon in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

Really pleased to see this, since it not only features my story “In Cars” but I also contributed the cover art.

In fact, I thought it might be of interest to follow the path of the artwork. After discussions with Pete, I came up with a ‘dead face’ concept and worked through several variations, which he liked but ultimately felt was just a little too creepy.

Coming up with some other ideas quickly, I found a picture of a bloody hand and that was the Eureka! moment. I re-created the picture with new elements (the test was a found photograph) and that’s what you see as the final result.

Friday 25 May 2012

The Mill - now available in paperback

"The Mill", my little 'story-that-could' moves into another phase of its life today, as it's released in paperback by those fine folks at Greyhart Press. I'm thrilled, as you can imagine - it's always nice to hold a book with your name on the cover, doubly so when you know that people have really connected with the story.

We have a signing session lined up in July, at Market Harborough Waterstones and more are likely to happen beyond that, mostly - I think - in conjunction with other Greyhart writers.

In the meantime, however, if you fancied getting hold of this wonderful print edition, those very nice people at Greyhart are running a competition that's free to enter, with three copies of the book on offer. To check it out, click the link below:

The Greyhart Press competition to win a free copy of "The Mill"

If you're unlucky, it can also be purchased from Amazon in the UK here and in the US here.

If you're one of those odd people who doesn't like paper books, you can always go the ebook route.

Available from here
Available from here
Available from iTunes (UK) here
Available from iTunes (US) here
Available from Barnes & Noble here
Available from Smashwords here

Thursday 24 May 2012

An afternoon in Paris - and lovelocks

I had to go to Paris today with my work colleague, Rosie - we had a business meeting there and managed to get everything tied up by lunchtime. After taking our Parisian contact out for a very nice meal, we caught the train (a double-decker carriage - British train companies, please take note) and got off at Saint Michel. After a quick refreshment stop at a café across from the Notre Dame cathedral, we walked down along the Seine (where we saw some wonderful stalls, with people selling paperbacks and art and some of it looked great - I wish I could read French) and decided to head over to the Louvre.

There’s a bridge that links the Quai de Conti to the Quai des Tuileries (where the Louvre is), called the Ponts des Arts. There was something on the bridge fencing, which neither Rosie or I could figure out, so we went to have a look. They were padlocks, with names (and often dates) written on them.

I checked it tonight, on Wikipedia and the story behind them is lovely.

Love padlocks have existed for quite some time, though there are no certain sources for their origin. They are a custom by which padlocks are affixed to a fence, gate, bridge or similar public fixture by sweethearts to symbolize their everlasting love.

In Paris Town Hall in May 2010 [there was] expressed concern over the growing number of love-locks on the Pont des Arts bridge, stating: "they raise problems for the preservation of our architectural heritage". Lovelocks disappeared suddenly in 2010, but the Administration denied responsibility and they soon re-appeared.

Quoted from -

Monday 21 May 2012

More love for "The Mill"

A new review, from Gary Swindley at The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog, for "The Mill".

"This story of loss and longing doesn’t just tug at the heart strings, it reaches deep inside and gives the old ticker a good yanking."

Sunday 20 May 2012

The Mill

With print publication due very soon for "The Mill", it occured to me that there wasn't a book trailer for it. So that's now rectified...

A signing has been arranged at Market Harborough Waterstones, which I'll post more details for when I have them. In the meantime, if the trailer takes your fancy, here are some purchasing details....

Available from here
Available from here

Available from iTunes (UK) here
Available from iTunes (US) here

Available from Barnes & Noble here

Available from Smashwords here

Thursday 17 May 2012

Donna Summer, Disco Queen - RIP

As we sat down to dinner this evening, I put the radio on (we generally listen to CDs) and caught the six o’clock news. The last item caught my attention, something about Donna Summer and Simon Mayo confirmed it when he came back on air. Donna Summer died today, of cancer.

I never saw her live and the music she released when I was aware of her (apart from “Dinner With Gershwin”) was the Stock, Aitken & Waterman stuff that I didn’t like. The Donna I enjoyed was the one who came out in the middle of the disco wave, working with Giorgio Moroder and letting rip with that tremendous voice over his electronic shenanigans.

In the late 80s, I used to go 2nd hand record buying in Leicester with my friend Craig and one of our usual haunts was a place called Boogaloo Records (it’s not there any longer). They sold pretty much everything, at a good price and I picked up most of Donna Summer’s back catalogue from there, a lot of them gatefold sleeves, almost all of them featuring one track that pretty much lasted a side.

The first album of hers I got was “I Remember Yesterday” and listening to it now, it transports me back to that wonderful 1987 summer - I was driving a car that didn’t keep breaking down, it seemed to be sunny all the time, I was enjoying life, I fell in love - and it makes me smile. I played that LP so often I wore it out (though I now have it on CD) and had to buy another.

A little later, on a trip to Kings Lynn, I picked up a biography of her (which I re-read a couple of years ago) and continued to explore her music, falling completely for “MacArthur Park” and it’s beautiful arrangement that served her voice perfectly.

Donna Summer had a tremendous voice and the world is a little diminished today, for having lost that. The Disco Queen Is Dead, Long Live The Disco Queen. RIP.

This is the song she’s probably best known for - I like it (it appeared on “I Remember Yesterday” and closed the album) but it’s not my favourite.

This is almost my favourite

This is my favourite, a beautiful love song.

BFS Awards longlist

Following on from my previous post, the BFS have now published their longlists.

I didn't realise this, but I was at a meeting of the Northampton Speculative Fiction Writers Group tonight in Earls Barton and my fellow NSFWG-er Tim C Taylor (also my publisher, through Greyhart Press) told me I was listed for "The Mill".

I checked and he's absolutely right - "The Mill" is listed in Best Novella. What's as nice is that "ill at ease", the collection I co-created and co-edited with Stephen Bacon and Neil Williams is also listed (as is Neil's story, "Closer Than You Think").

I may not have made the long-list, but I'm pretty damned chuffed to get onto the longlist and thanks to whoever voted/nominated me.

In other news, I finished the 1st draft of a nunsploitation story today - a cheerful, gruesome 70s throwback. I like it, I just hope the editor who asked me for it does.

Monday 7 May 2012

BFS Awards shortlist

The list has just been published - here - and it's great to see so many of my friends on it! Good luck to everyone included.

The British Fantasy Society is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2012 British Fantasy Awards. Determined by the 952 recommendations from BFS members and FantasyCon attendees and overseen by the BFS Award Jury, the shortlist is:

The Heroes; Joe Abercrombie (Gollancz)
11.22.63; Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton)
Cyber Circus; Kim Lakin-Smith (NewCon Press)
A Dance with Dragons; George RR Martin (Harper Voyager)
The Ritual; Adam Nevill (Pan)
Among Others; Jo Walton (Tor Books)

There will be two awards in the best Novel category: The August Derleth Award for best horror novel and The Robert Holdstock Award for best fantasy novel.

Terra Damnata; James Cooper (PS Publishing)
Ghosts with Teeth; Peter Crowther (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books)
King Death; Paul Finch (Spectral Press)
Near Zennor; Elizabeth Hand (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books)
The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer; John Ajvide Lindqvist (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books)
Gorel and the Pot Bellied God; Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)

Short Fiction:
Dermot; Simon Bestwick (Black Static)
Sad, Dark Thing; Michael Marshall Smith (A Book of Horrors)
Florrie; Adam Nevill (House of Fear)
Alice Through the Plastic Sheet; Robert Shearman (A Book of Horrors)
The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter; Angela Slatter (A Book of Horrors)

A Book of Horrors; editor Stephen Jones (Jo Fletcher Books)
House of Fear; editor Jonathan Oliver (Solaris Books)
The Weird; editors Jeff and Ann Vandermeer (Corvus Books)
Gutshot; editor Conrad Williams (PS Publishing)

Rumours of the Marvellous; Peter Atkins (Alchemy Press)
Mrs Midnight; Reggie Oliver (Tartarus Press)
Everyone’s Just So So Special; Robert Shearman (Big Finish)
A Glass of Shadow; Liz Williams (NewCon Press)

Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen
Attack the Block by Joe Cornish
The Awakening by Stephen Volk and Nick Murphy
Melancholia by Lars Von Trier
Kill List by Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump

Black Static; ed. Andy Cox TTA Press
Interzone; ed. Andy Cox TTA Press
SFX, ed. Dave Bradley Future Publishing
The Horror Zine, ed. Jeani Rector

Comic/Graphic Novel:
Animal Man; Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman (DC Comics)
Batwoman; JH Williams III and W Haden Blackman (DC Comics)
Locke and Key; Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW Publishing)
The Unwritten; Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Vertigo)
The Walking Dead; Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (Image)

As stated in the new rules of the BFS Awards, the Judges can add a title they feel was an egregious omission from the initial recommendations. This year they added 2 titles to the novel category, 2 titles to the novella category, and 1 title to short fiction. If a category has 5 titles listed, this is due to a tie on number of votes and points.

The BFS Award Judges, James Barclay, Hal Duncan, Maura McHugh, Esther Sherman, and Damien G. Walter, will now review the shortlist and enter into deliberations. The winners will be announced at FantasyCon in Brighton on 30 September 2012.

The Special Juries and shortlists for the following awards have also been announced:

The PS Publishing Independent Press Award:
Sandy Auden
Peter Crowther
Nicholas Royle
Peter Tennant
Darren Turpin

Chomu Press; Quentin S Crisp
Gray Friar Press; Gary Fry
NewCon Press; Ian Whates
Spectral Press; Simon Marshall-Jones

The Artist Award:
Guy Adams
Anne Sudworth
Christopher Teague

Ben Baldwin
Vincent Chong
Les Edwards
Daniel Serra

The Non-Fiction Award :
Djibril al-Ayad
Roz Kaveney
Adam Roberts

Lest You Should Suffer Nightmares: A biography of Herbert Van Thal; Johnny Mains (Screaming Dreams)
Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero; Grant Morrison (Jonathan Cape)
Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen since the 1960s; Kim Newman (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Studies in Terror: Landmarks of Horror Cinema; Jonathan Rigby (Signum Books)
Case Notes; Peter Tennant (Black Static)

Thursday 3 May 2012

It's for charity...

Here's a question.

I have a soft spot for child charities (from the national to the very local) and was wondering if I could use the fact that "What Gets Left Behind", my Spectral Press chapbook is now sold out to their benefit.

If I were to offer a signed, personalised copy (with, perhaps, other items - maybe from me, maybe from others), would people bid on it if everything went to charity? Just curious...

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Great news for "What Gets Left Behind"

My Spectral Press chapbook, "What Gets Left Behind", is due to be published in September 2012 (just in time for FantasyCon!). This evening, I got an email from Simon Marshall-Jones, the man behind Spectral Press, to let me know that the chapbook is now officially sold out.

Woo hoo - sold out, four months before publication! I am seriously chuffed.

So, if you haven't already snagged yourself a copy, you won't discover who The Rainy Day Abductor is or just what Mike & Geoff discover in the old warehouse. And if you have - thank you!