Wednesday 22 December 2010

Angry Robot - Open Submission Period

Major horror/fantasy/SF publisher, Angry Robot, have announced they will be having an open submission period for non-agented writers during the month of March next year. Click on the link I've provided for details.

Wordsworth Books - New Blog

The excellent Wordsworth Books have now created their own blog.

Wordsworth Books aren't only fantastic because of the vintage ghost or horror novels and collections they have published at really affordable prices over the past few years, but all the other marvellous books they have published too, from well known classics to ichonistic detective novels, like those of Bulldog Drummond.

And all from a tight, very small group of full-time employees.

Go over there and take a look. Of all the British publishers at the moment they are one that we should all support.

Just to whet your appetite this is a link to their Mystery and Supernatural catalogue.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Vault of Evil's Advent Calendar 2010

The Vault of Evil's 2010 Advent Calendar has had some amazing entries so far and is well worth looking at as a respite from more traditional and more boring ones.

Every day the site's host, demonik, has uploaded pdf of various horror stories, some old (and obscure) and some much, much newer from Vault regulars like Mark Samuels, John L. Probert, Thana Niveau, Craig Herbertson and the notorious Richard Staines, plus today's pointedly anonymous entry.

Treat yourself and take a look. If you like horror you won't be disappointed.

Saturday 18 December 2010

Animated Accrington

This is a film about some of the artistic activities that have been taking place in the Accrington area this year, including my daughter, Cassandra's involvement organising the Flash Mob.

Friday 17 December 2010

Goblin Mire - lost amongst erotica!

This dark fantasy novel was originally published as an e-book by Renaisaance E-Books several years ago. So far it's earned me nothing at all. A bit of a wasted exercise. Okay, quite a bit of a wasted exercise, in fact.

I was just checking up on the site, and it seems to have changed a lot since I last looked at it. It now goes by the name SizzlerEditions,com and appears to specialise in erotica!  Must be where the money is. And explain why my poor novel about goblins and elves isn't striking a cord with its readership.

Dexter - Series 5

I've now watched the final episode of the fifth series of Dexter - and what a brilliant finale it was!

I can't believe how the writers and everyone else involved with this series has managed to maintain such a high standard. Series four was great enough, with the Trinity Killer and John Lithgo, and had a final episode that left more than just me in stunned silence. I knew nothing could ever quite equal this, but the final episode of the fifth series certainly had enough twists and turns and never let the viewer down in any way with high tension, drama, poignancy, sadness and, oddly enough, a feel good factor too - not something you would necessarily expect from a series about a serial killer!

It is still one of the best series ever on TV and head and shoulders above anything British TV has produced for a long time, in my opinion at least.

How to and how not to self promote

A useful link was provided on Shocklines to a piece about how writers (and others) should use the internet to self promote without becoming a downright nuisance. Some people do annoy me when all they almost ever do on various websites like shocklines or the BFS forum or elsewhere is talk about their own books and virtually never have anything to say about anything else. They should definitely take note of what Jerrod Balzer has to say about the subject.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Riley Books

I have just made some long overdue alterations to our bookshop website, which was looking decidedly untidy. Hope it looks a lot better now.

Riley Books

BFS Journal - Prism

The BFS Journal is the title for the new hardback quarterly publication from the BFS which will include Dark Horizons, New Horizons and Prism. It was hoped that the first issue would be out for Christmas but unfortunately it won't be ready now from the printers till early in the New Year. As a result I am posting out to all new members who should have received this a copy of the September issue of Prism as a form of apology, together with a letter explaining what has happened.

I think members will like the new publication. It will certainly look impressive and is substantial in size. I just hope that it works out financially compatible with the society's income. I don't know what the printing costs are yet, nor how much it will cost to post, but these are the vital figures. Time will tell.

In the meantime a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to make sure that a schedule is worked out, together with coordinated formatting work on what we, the editors of the three publications that make up the new Journal, send in, to make sure things flow smoothly and future issues come out like clockwork. An ambitious plan, but one which we can succeed with if we all pull together.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

FantasyCon 2011 - Brighton

We're still deciding whether to book for next year's FantasyCon or not. It's in the same venue as this year's World Horror Convention, which was okay, but it's about as far as we'd like to travel for a convention in this country. And the hotel, though it looks majestic enough in photographs, is a bit rundown. How having a FantasyCon so far south will affect membership, I don't know. I have heard that some people won't be going because of the distance involved and the time it would take them to get there. That doesn't bother us too much. We'll drive there as usual. And, after having travelled across Europe regularly to stay at our place in Bulgaria, driving to Brighton is no great deal. That's not even as far as Dover for the ferry!

In the end, I think we'll probably be going.  Though we'll have to make sure we book before the end of the year, when the rates go up.

John Ajvide Lindqvist is one of the Guests of Honour. Author of Let the Right One In, I would be interested to see him there. I haven't read the book yet, though I bought a copy recently, but the original film adaptation was brilliant and I'm looking foward to seeing the English language version, Let Me In, as soon as it's out on DVD. (I missed it at the cinema)

A link to the FantasyCon 2011 is here.

Mind you, if we do go and if there's another fish and chip banquet on the pier - no way, this time. That was one of the worst fish and chip meals I've ever had. And the costliest.

Thursday 9 December 2010

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

I went to an audition for this play by Bertolt Brecht on Monday night with the Oswaldtwistle Players at the Civic Theatre across the road in Oswaldtwistle. I was phoned tonight by the play's director, Chris Knight, who told me that I've got the part of Sheet, a shipyard owner - plus a number of small parts later in the play after my main character is bumped off. Rehearsals start in January.

This will be the second time I've had a part in an Ossy Players production. I had one several years ago in MacBeth Did It, when I played a millionaire drunk who ends up with the witches' couldron on his head, wandering about the stage (and sometimes nearly falling off it).

The play will run from April 6th to the 9th next year.

Monday 6 December 2010

BFS Open Night - Manchester

I braved the ice and fog to drive to the BFS Open Night at the Lass O'Gowrie in Manchester last night - and I'm glad I did. It was an enjoyable, very informal gathering, and I had some really interesting conversations, especially with Peter Coleborn, Paul Finch, and Simon Bestwick. Bought a copy of Paul's new novelette Sparrowhawk - a Christmas ghost story. Paul told of some oif his experiences in the police years ago, including some grisly autopsy stories! Simon was his usual hilarious self.

David Howe has posted photographs that he and Sam Stone took on the BFS Forum. For those who have registered for the site this is a link to them.

David did a great job at arranging this and I'm glad it was such a great suceess, especially considering the weather.

Saturday 4 December 2010

Alice - The Musical

Last night's performance was the best yet, with an enthusiastic audience and some brilliant performances from the young cast.

There are some new photos here.

Friday 3 December 2010

BFS Open Night - Manchester, Sunday 5th December

The BFS will be holding its first open night in the North West this Sunday at the Lass O'Gowrie, 36 Charles Street, M1 7DB. Situated between Princess Street and Oxford Road, and not too far from the Oxford Road Rail Station and a bit further to the Piccadilly Station.

I'm looking forward to this. So far I understand there'll be David Howe, newly elected BFS chairman, plus writers Paul Finch and Simon Bestwick.The Open Night starts at 6 p.m.

There are some details about it on the BFS site: link

Thursday 2 December 2010

Prism - December 2010

Was emailed a pdf of the new BFS Journal, which is now a hardbound book incorporating Dark Horizons, New Horizons and Prism.

This is a copy of the outside covers:

It will be interesting to see how this goes down with members, though I expect most will be happy enough with the changes. Having got used to doing the layout myself for Prism for the past three issues I do miss not having that kind of control anymore. There are numerous things I would have done differently, from the size and positioning of various photos, to the use of single and double columns and the choice of font for the headings. Personally, I would prefer it if the three periodicals included in the journal were layed out by their own editors, as in the past, which would give each section its own distinctive identity.

Alice - The Musical - Opening Night

Last night, despite the ice and snow, was opening night for Alice - The Musical and, thankfully, it went well. All the cast turned up and, though the previous night's dress rehearsal had its occasional problems, opening night went as smooth as it could have been, with an appreciative audience.

Then back home to catch up on the latest Dexter and The Walking Dead!