26 November 2003

Nanowrimo word count: 29,004. Just 4 days left to do the last 20,996. Oh boy.

24 November 2003


The only way to describe the weekend (and a bit) that's just been, is to swallow a thesaurus and regurgitate the entries connected to fantastic, fabulous & phenomenal. Yes, ladies & gentles, it was just that good.

Juliet McKenna turned up on Saturday for a couple of panels and was fab to listen to. She sat on the Myth panel in the morning, with Chaz Brenchley, Katherine Roberts & Catherine Fisher; and boy was it a lively one. It started out with the trouble of overmilking Arthurian myth and moved on to cover most of the other world mythology bases, then sliding back home to Britain & oral traditons.

Her afternoon panel was one about character building, joined by Chaz (what a sweetie) Brenchley, Mark Morris and Katherine Roberts. That was a fun one, and was also great for getting an incite into the authors in question.

There were interviews with guest of honours Catherine Fisher & Christopher Fowler, a brilliant late night ghost story with audience participation from the inimitable Tina Rath, and an entertaining vampire presentation from Gail Nina Anderson.

Saturday also gave us the skinny on what publishers, booksellers &, bizarrely, the library service look for when they're buying titles. Ariel, Jo Fletcher, Stephen Jones & some chap from Stafford library were all on that one and it didn't take long to see how passionate they were about the genre. Jo Fletcher in particular is very keen in pushing new fantasy authors.

(more later when I wake up a bit)

19 November 2003

Fantasycon fantasycon fantasycon yay!

And I shouldn't really be blogging as I've still got to put together the BFS Publications statement of accounts for the agm thingy, and cyberstore junk has to be done, and author royalties, and Issue 4, and email queries, and a million other things before we leave for Stafford tomorrow; but instead I've gone into major work avoidance. I mean, Sat & Sun I reread the entire Anita Blake series, Mon & yesterday I went through the first 4 books in the Dark Tower series... even got distracted by Evil Twin's Playstation! It has to stop...

Of course, seeing as how it's my birthday next Thurs, I've got the annual parental funded book shopping spree to look forward to at this year's Fcon dealer room.
What's so funny is the mother person keeps saying things like 'now if you don't see anything you want you don't have to buy anything..' Strange woman. You can't put me a room full on books without me wanting at least a hundred or so things, and I've gone back to liking horror flavoured books so that increases my want list.
And once the books are in my possession I'm going to be absolutely useless for anything. (ahem, no change there then.)

So Fantasycon then - Starts officially on Friday at 4pm, but I'll be around all day Friday setting up (hence getting there on Thursday for a bit of pre-con chill), then once it kicks off, I'll be behind the registration & BFS books table til they close.
Saturday I'm taking the day off and doing wall to wall panels! Then Sunday is juggling shifts on the BFS table with the offical BFS junk eg. agm & awards thingy. (As usual, I'm not going near the banquet as posh food and me don't get on.)

It's yet to be seen how smooth the trip will be given that it's mum, me & evil twin going. I predict razor tongues at dawn. Evil Twin intends to spend as much time near the bar as possible drinking whoever under the table (it's her special mutant power), mum will most likely be totally getting the wrong end of just about every stick going.

And don't even talk to me about the nanowrimo thing. This year is going to be a total ditto of last year. I hit 14637 words by the end of the first week and then... meh. It'll be a last minute rush next week, I can just see it now. What I've got so far is kind of fun. A little on the schizo side, but definitely fun. Slightly AU contemporary fantasy that's gone way weirder than I thought it would. Oy.

31 October 2003

And speaking of new mags.... Gary Fry's got one called Fusing Horizons just about to show its face.
Actually, the Roadworks/Midnight Street website is here.

30 October 2003

Le mag

So after checking over the contents for the next few issues, I've got to admit we're pretty chocka. Upshot - we're now closed to fiction submissions until June 2004.
Faction & cartoons etc. we're still after so if you've got a good genre related piece, send 'em this way.

Oy vey. I've been writing rejection letters all day today (and pity the poor sods that have to translate my scrawl...) and I can now definitely say that rejection letters are not one of my favourite things. Still, has to be done. And once I'm done on hand writing all the postal replies (not trusting the machine to do anything without blowing up), I've got about a half dozen emailed replies to sneak out then I can confidentally say I'm on top of things. (Not that you've heard this before or anything...)

Other mags
So Roadworks is closing and getting replaced by one called Midnight Street. Press release can be found in the market guidelines section of the TTAPRESS message boards
There's a (new-ish) mag called Jupiter SF out.
And PS Publishing are said to be launching a new mag by name of Postscripts sometime next year.

Lovely stuff!

23 October 2003

So despite swearing up, down and all 'round the town that I definitely, under no circumstances and shoot me if I lie, would not volunteer for anything over and above the basic setting up stuff of Fcon this year, I did. Idiot.
The perils of being a committee bod I s'pose.
I'm doing the BFS table again and this year.... this year darlings will sooo not be like the last few. I want to get out and actually experience the event instead of being chained behind the table because no bugger will volunteer to stand a shift when there's something on I want to see. (Usually everyone wants to volunteer when there's nothing I want to be getting away for - total bloody sods law, I'm tellin ya.)
You just wait - when you see a madwoman running through the crowds, giggling in a scary hysterical manner, then it's most likely me making a break for it. Don't tell the handlers which way I went, hey?

Le mag
So you know those last few people I had left to reply to way back last week? Well I still haven't done it yet. Will be doing it today.
Just updated the Slush with the latest subbies (and wouldn't you know the second I set it up it all goes quiet!).
Note for anyone submitting fiction - I'm putting a 3000 word upper word-limit on things until about middle of next year as all of next years mags are already looking pretty packed... so I can squeeze shorter ones in, but longer ones will have to wait 'til the 2005 issues. (Yes, I'm thinking that far ahead!)
Will change the website accordingly just as soon as I can.

Other junk
Nanowrimo - a fun obsession that's threatening to make itself known again come November 1st.
So this year makes it the 3rd year running that I'm going to join the crazies in a race to write 50,000 words of fiction in one month.
I always see it as a wake up kick more than anything else as the Jul-Sept time is consistently the time when I get behind in all work (even without computer nasties bothering me), then October I typically spend trying to get back on top of things, so November is usually my 'gosh, I've actually got time do something fun' month. (Oh the joys of a predictable life!)

Anyways, rediscovering the point.... this year I have a cunning plan.... y'see the first year I nanowrimoed, I went for a strict 2k words a day (allowing for the odd day off) to get me up to total, but didn't much care about the plot of the thing. Result - my inner leatherclad disciplinarian (take a moment to savour the image!) got me there with a week to spare but the story was total tripe. (Although it did tie up a few loose ends from earlier teenage efforts so it was good for something.)

2nd year around I plotted and back historied and outlined like there was no tomorrow. We're talking 3 months of anally minute details (cos I love doing that almost as much as the actual writing of the thing.) Come November I got a week in, got bored out of my mind with it then realised that suddenly I had 8 days to write 30K if I wanted to get the thing finished in time. (Which I did cos I have these obscure competitive tendacies that only surface for certain things. Like this.) The actual story turned out mild tripe, with a few good bits but generally fragmented.

This year I reckon it'll be a combo of the two. A little fore-planning (and hey, I've got a week left before it starts up so I should be able to come up with something) and an attempt at getting back to the 2K a day thing.
Naturally complicated by November being the birthday month - half a dozen cousins, a couple of friends, Evil Twin, and then not forgetting mine on the 27th (send gifts in the form of books to the usual address...)
Plus there'll be H&N#4 to send out, and I'm doing a Thurs-Sun trip to Fantasycon around the 20th. (Which I'll duly blog up when I get back.)
So now I can bore y'all with the updates on this year's Nanowrimo attempt. Won't that be fun!

16 October 2003

Le mag
I've set up a new feature thingy for all you lovely people submitting things to le mag - just so's you can track your submissions better... y'know, see if I've actually received it and when a reply was sent... that kind of junk.
Well, I say feature, I mean a slushpile dedicated blog thing really. It's called Raspberry Slush and should help stop the mess of the last few months happening. Effective for submissions received from today onwards.

Talking of submissions lag time, just discovered I've got a listing on the Black Hole site. Whoops.

12 October 2003

Alrighty. Nearly there. All outstanding submissions have been read by yours truly, most have had replies emailed to them this afternoon; there's just a few more emails to do, a few going postal, then we're free & clear. Woohoo!
(and cheers to Richard Kellum for the nice words on the TTA boards)

Course then I found out that my ISP is having email server problems so I can't actually get to any emails that I've been sent. But hey, small things.

08 October 2003

Oh yeah, and just in case the website goes woggly in the next couple of days... (domain name renewal time...and with my current luck I'm taking no chances...) if the bradanpress.co.uk addy is erroring, bradanpress.netfirms.com (without the www) will work just as well. Sheesh. Machines.
Hell is a Microsoft computer...

Oy vey. Okey doke - situation update - email still fragged..can receive... just about, but attempting to send gets me a 'not enough memory' message (bastards.) so here's hoping some of you drop by here occasionally...

Outstanding orders I waded through this afternoon and are going out in tomorrow's post (and that was before I saw the concerned messages on the TTAPress boards (which I'd love to link to but damn thing won't let me at the mo..) it's at ttapress.com IIRC. Hit their message board link, slide down to Market News ( I think) and there she be.

Andrew honey, slow is being way to kind! Your BFS/Elastic things are on the list for sorting tomorrow morning. (And the fliers may actually appear sometime this month...shock. horror. fainting now!)

Issue 4 still in mid production (cos I get 1 page in on the design then it crashes & I have to reboot & blah blah agh.)

Kegboy - 1) it's on its way, 2) give me a couple more days (deja vu!) to pick them & btw I love the new cartoons on the site. (Having trouble logging into various msgeboards including the 'lith at the mo too so can't get to the PM.)

Submissions queries (including the hideously overdue ones) - I'm borrowing someone elses machine to email responses out to everyone who's waiting so it'll be on a funny email addy and if you haven't heard anything, either postal or email, by Sunday evening, re-email me the query to the usual email addy (bear with me) and copy it to isisdirect (at) aol.com. I've had some corrupted emails come through so yours may have got inadvertably chewed.

Thanks to the various people who have sniffed out possible solutions - (Dave, Tony & Simon esp.)

Lend me just a little more patience folks, the end of this freaking fiasco is in sight.

26 September 2003

Scragged the week off from the inventory work (and, naturally, came down with a bug for half of it in protest) but ne'er mind, the amount of catch up I managed to get done is shocking.

Numbers then...

48 - the number of submissions replied to and mailed out as of this morning (some going as far back as April...yeah, I know, moron. shoot. the.)

29 - the number of submissions awaiting reading

280 - the number of envelopes I need to stuff with BFS Prism, Dark Horizons, & various fliers and haul to the depot sometime this weekend (btw, I'm in the Dark Horizons < grinning like a maniac > )

193 - the amount of emails waiting to be replied to because of...

4 - the amount of viruses that keep fucking up my email system despite..

9 - the amount of patches, fixes and what have yous that I've downloaded to stop the bastards and STILL they get in. Talking of irritations..

57 - spam-mail in 8 hours - the current record. Having to go web-mail to delete the gits before downloading is working on my last nerve. They're getting weirder and weirder too.
(which means anyone emailing proper stuff please put a clear, semi descriptive subject line or it might get accidentally deleted in a fit of arrrgh.)

On a nicer note..

18 - the amount of homeward bound drunks me & Evil Twin freaked out by whistling, humming & yelling over the fence the other night. Sweet sweet revenge.

3 - the amount of 'genius' business ideas the mother (aka Mrs Delboy) has tried to rope me into this week. For her, a slow week. (This is the woman who leaps on every single hobby or vague interest, about 5 seconds in, with the words 'ah, but can we make money from it?')

6,456,989 - the amount of times, in respect to the above, Mrs Delboy has been told quite sternly NO.

28 August 2003

20 quid? Bugger that. You can download Red Hat Linux for free from redhat.com. Gobsmacked. (can you tell I'm new to the whole freeware thing!)

Haven't tried it yet as I've edged into my 'must read books about it before jumping' stage, but I do believe it's rather imminent!
Holy fuck. Just checked Amazon and you can get the latest Linux thingy for 20 quid. That's the OS with graphical interface, plus word & excel friendly programs, web browser, email program and various other useful bits. All in one package. And just 20 quid. (as opposed to the squillions of pounds it's cost me to build up my little MS family of working programs.
Sheesh. It's even cheaper than some of the Linux books they've got for sale.

I am *so* there.
Oh joy. The svchost error is back again.

Linux. It's just gotta be done. This MS ridiculousness is driving me bug crazy.

(Cynical me: ah, so the virus-mongers job is done, then.)
Ok, so first it worked.
Then I got messages telling me that Welchia & Blaster were tag teaming it against my poor baby.
Now everything's working again.

Still can't get MS system patches to work, though.

27 August 2003

Well that worked then. Finally the bug is well and truly busted - and guess which idiot had forgotten to update her virus definitions. No prizes so no postcards :->

Apparently it was the Welchie worm wot done it. One fixer patch later and it's business as usual. Although the email & web programs were a little... delicate... when I first woke them up this morning. Mumbled a few obscenties at me then rolled over for another half an hours sleep. Lazy buggers.

Le mag
Issue 4 is in mid production. Just got to chase up one of my feature guys, and get some art back. Oh, and tell Allen Ashley that I have to have him! (Honestly, it comes as such a shock when someone's not on email. Means I have to actually put pen to parchment. Sheesh!)

Been catching up on the slushpile at the weekend (..weird worm creatures good for something then..) - loads of great stories and now I've to fight my way through a huge pile of notifications (which I had to put off cos, y'know, the email being wrecked thing). I'm being a lot harder than I have been previously as we're running tight on space for the next couple of issues. Something of a conundrum there - there's some seriously fab stories come in and I just have to publish them. So I figure the next couple of issues will be black/white covers but thick. Well not that thick, just thicker than your average H&N!

Best bit of the job that, getting a continual supply of new stories to read.

21 August 2003

Aaaaggggghhhh. Bloody microsoft bastards.
So this svchost error thingy, after copious net research, is either down to the Blaster worm bitch that's going around or it's a MS os quirk.
Fine. Salvageable you'd have thought.
Scoured the tech help boards and apparently installing the latest service pack and downloading a patch by name of windows2000-KB823980-x86-ENU.exe should do the trick.

But can I get anything off the MS site? Can I buggery. So given that patches are proving nigh on impossible to get hold of, I went the virus busting route and no, no virus here ma'm.
So if I don't go online for anything, I can scrape by for a few hours, hoping like hell I can get some work done before the error box pops up. Soon as I engage the joys of IE, however, I get maybe 10 mins of normal working than bam. One teeny dialog box later and suddenly I can't copy, paste, drag or drop, reply to emails, or even look at drop down menu thingys on websites. Freaky. Then I have to reboot before I can get anything done again.

I tell ya, that Linux thing I keep hearing about is looking ever so tempting right now.

18 August 2003

Gah. Bloody typical. Just as I finish paying for my lovely little laptop, it all goes buggy on me. Something to with an svchost error. It's driving me totally mental.

Le mag
Got a couple of nice reviews of issue 2 (from the BFS & The Fix) - will try and get them on the main website in a bit. & Issue 3 seems to be going down well (which is v. nice!)

04 August 2003

...and it all went very quiet..... :->

Mag stuff
And finally I managed to get the mag mailed out. Subscriber copies went out Saturday, contributor copies went out this morning. (Should have been the other way around but you have never seen a more dis-organised person in your life. Unless you're looking at little sis who's even worse...)

No prizes for spotting the bloopers of the issue...idiot-girl does it again! This time the contents page went weird on me so apologies to Joel Lane for not listing him or his story 'Premium Rate'; and apologies to Steve Dean whose story 'Orcs & Holes' I listed on the contents page as by Stuart Young. Go figure.

BFS stuff

Yeah baby! Got a volunteer to take over the stockholder stuff. Tony Mileman step on up and have a drink on me!

05 July 2003

Le mag
Oh yes oh yes oh yes oh yes! Issue 3 is back from the printers and great heavens but it looks gorgeous.
(Although they seem to have added an extra page and printed an extra back page....) but never mind that. It's totally wow!
I'll get everyones copies mailed out next week.

Meanwhile, I've a huge stack of submissions to get through and I'm hoping to get caught up on them soonish. (promises, promises)

Someone please volunteer to take on the Stockholder job. Please! (I don't sound desperate do I?) All you gotta do is store 3 or 4 boxes of books and do a little order related admin. Dead dead easy. In return you get free BFS membership plus other odd perks and the committee peeps really are a lovely bunch.
I've been trying to chuck it in for months but so far no one's been biting and I'm seriously running out of time do the normal stockholder stuff, plus handle the BFS cyberstore, BFS mailings, mag stuff, run the 2 other businesses I do for actual money cash and get in some fun time. :->

23 June 2003

Mag....nearly there.... honestly!
Okey doke, so got the first proof back, tried to fix the bugs but failed - luckily my lovely printer chap (big round of applause for Andy Cox at TTAPress) managed to work his magic and sent over a corrected proof which has now been approved and.... well now it's off to print. Finally! (And thanks for all the patience!) :->

Meanwhile, I've started putting together Issue 4 so expect to see it a couple of months after I get Ish 3 back from the printers. Phew.

That Potter chap.
So got my copy Saturday, spent all afternoon reading it (cos it was a hell of a busy week and I needed the downtime.) Bloody huge book. Seriously overhyped though - the big character death.... not that big. Really. And don't get me started on the whole Dumbledore 'something I should have told you' teaser that's been smacked around for months. Puh-lease. You could have got most of it in 'Philosphers..' without too much brain strain.
Apart from that, some good bits, some nice edge of the seat bits, and an interesting new character to pay attention to in the next couple of books.

Oooh, happy dance time
The other day I heard that I'm having a story (called 'Aftermath') published in the BFS' 'zine Dark Horizons (hurrah!) - the Autumn/Winter one I think. I'm well chuffed! Join me for a moment or two of jumping up and down on the furniture....

09 June 2003

Latest mag news
Dah-links! Just heard from my chappie that does the printing and we've still a little while to go til I get it back. I'm waiting on a proof, then once it's been approved he's promised a rapido turnaround.
More news when I have it....!

01 June 2003

Dum de dum de dum. Still waiting to get the mag back from the printers. Thought I might see it last week, but, alas, no such luck.

Ag. Tell you what, though. Last couple of weeks have been total zombiefication time. I keep thinking every day's the 16th, I swear. So everything's stacked up horrendously. Hasn't helped that the email's been playing silly buggers.

TV time
Ooh, American Gothic's being shown on Sky one/mix at the mo. Fan-tastic. That southern accent is terribly addictive.

11 May 2003

Oh, did some digging into the K J Parker pseudonym thing and although I've nothing definite, speculation runs that he/she is connected to Tom Holt (either wife, close friend, or mother!) - I think I'll stick with Ariel's assertion of it being the man himself though. I happened across an Orbit interview of KJ Parker yesterday, and some of the answers had a certain Holt wit about them.
Pout...sniffle...I used to have a great view from my window. We've got huuuuge trees around all the boundaries of our garden, nicely blocking off the view of anyone who happens to look up from the little lane that runs past the back of our house.
And our particular part of the 'burbs has enough trees left over from when it was open country/farmland, that you can't see any other red brick monstrosities (despite being able to hear the M4 which is just a mere spit away...) ...I digress... anyway, this morning all the lovely trees on our side of the fence have had major portions lopped off by Daddy dear in one of his feverish gardening fits. (as opposed to his usual pottering gardening m.o.) Grrr argh. It's all roughly sawn trunk ends and half-nekkid tree creatures now.

Still...at least it's better than when we lived near Heathrow. We lived so close to the airport that every night when planes flew over the house (very low over the house...) their headlights shone in through the window and tracked up the wall...

10 May 2003

In happier news....! Finally got around to posting something on the Dead Cities boards without the violins of neurotica interrupting things. :->
And after indulging in a top 5 books post on the BFS boards I've started reading Steve Cockayne's Wanderers and Islanders again. (Actually that should be re-reading..) I picked it up as a freebie at last year's BFS I-can't-believe-it's-not-fantasycon thing in London.
Other books I've got lined up in the reading pile are Mark Chadbourn's Devil in Green & K J Parker's Memory. (Thanks Ariel for reviewing it on Alien - I'd forgotton that it was due out.)
D'ya know, apparently K J Parker is a pseudonym for one of the other Orbit authors..... Ariel reckons it's Tom Holt in disguise. Love to know the truth of it but I reckon Ariel's got something there...
Spam bastards
Grrr, argh. Bloody spam-heads. Right up until the early part of last year, I didn't get any spam email at all. Not a single one. Knew it was too good to be true. Now? Now half my inbox is f'king spam. It's the website that's done it mostly I think (especially noticeable when I get the same f'king porno message to both the addy's on the contact page & one of the addy's is fresh enough that it hasn't been used anywhere else.)
And then this morning I get some smart arse bastard sending me 5 emails about how to get off email lists. Oh just piss off and leave me alone you morons.

So I went searching for a way to stop the wankers from doing it (I'm getting so bored with adding terms and servers to the mail blocking list) and found Junkbuster who have some interesting tips to help make things difficult for people harvesting emails.
Some of it's worth a go, I think.
D'ya know what's really irritating? When you go to buy a book that was supposed to have been out a month ago and find out it's not due out for another three. Vertigo do this to me a lot - every month they put up their publication dates for various TPBs and when I hop over to Amazon to take a look-see, they've either never heard of them or have them listed as not coming out for months. Grr, argh!

Talking of graphic novels - just finished reading the first two Promethea trades (on Mark Chadbourn's [mind control]read his Age of Misrule books right now[/mind control] recommendation) - ooh that's good stuff. The second trade is more info heavy than the first and there's a nice mix of various (I want to say kabbalistic, but I'm not entirely crystal on what it means, so..) cross-associative disciplines. (ie. elementalism/tarot major arcana/symbolism etc.) Need to re read them a few more times and cross read with some other stuff to buff up that side of my brain again. (Sheesh it's been ages since I last got around to reading anything of that particular ouevre - practicing and making it up as I go along, fine, but the reading side has been shelved of late due to too many businesses on the go. I take after me dear ole mam on that one :-> )

But business on all sides is quiet - which is how I found the time to take in a bargain matinee of X2! Woohoo!
Talk about hefty sfx. Great action sequences. There were cracking scenes, and a few not-so-cracking scenes. And the foreshadowing.... damn, but X3 better be made or there's some portions of X2 that'll be wasted. (Pop over to the BFS boards for the sort-of review and discussions on it!)

29 April 2003

Hah! Meeting over. Usual level on gossip and thrashing out of things I'm sure were covered a couple of months ago.
And they booked a works do. At Reading dog track. Oh joy. (Points for not choosing the usual places in Windsor, though.)

Reading Dogs is not a new thing for me which is why I'm easily containing my excitement here! Y'see, background info dump time - me old grandad was a rabid gambler. Anything, anytime. And Reading dogs was one of his haunts so we used to be down there just about every month. Trust me, you can have too much of that particular venue.
One thing in particular I do remember about it was when my aunt (grandad's sis) used to come down from London (she's a pure Cockney sparra, that one), she used to stalk gamblers and eavesdrop on what bets they were making and what tips they were discussing with their mates, then when she'd got what she figured was a hot tip, she'd be off like the clappers, elbowing her way to the nearest tote to make her bet.

Take a moment to picture it - this short, pudgy old lady with a hook nose, Mallorcan tan and purple velour track suit thingy, charging around the dog track on her top secret mission of gamblers espionage. And about half time she'd shuttle back to where the rest of us were freezing our asses off and put on her conspirators voice (which was at least 20 decibels louder than her normal voice) and start gesturing wildly at wherever the tip came from. Subtle spy work, y'understand!
And she was married to an East-end gangster too! (But that's another story for another time!)
Just a posted a couple of short reviews on the BFS boards, of Wonderland by Mark Chadbourn & Cape Wrath by Paul Finch (both from Telos Publishing, coincidentally)
Loved both books, in case you wanted the short version!

Ag. I'm lousy at writing reviews, I usually end up sounding like a brainless gushing moron. Never mind, it's done and I figure the the point of those ones was to share the joy and kick off a convo or two. So don't leave me lonely over there...

Colour fun
So tonight I've got to troll off to the monthly work meeting. Blech. Complaints....snooze......this months trippy new procedures... yawn.....same old same old. So I decided today would be the perfect time to test out all the different hair colour dyes I've got stashed. Give me some entertainment when I hit the meeting later. :-> (What...? They're easily freaked out...!)
Today's colours are purple, dark green and flame red stripes. The results: the green looks fab, the purple blends in with my natural hair colour so it's not that noticeable, and the flame red? Don't get me started. It's practically invisible and more like a honey blond colour then red. Sheesh.

27 April 2003

Well, the you-know-what's at the printers, the inventory stuff is so quiet I can almost see the rigor mortis, so what's a girl to do.

Well, mostly I've been running rampant on the BFS message boards (again!) Plus I'm in the middle of doing a few reviews to post in the reviews section. It's an open section so anyone can do it, the idea is that people then comment/argue etc. on the whatever's been reviewed. So hop over and do that, right!
Heh. Reviews. I swore I'd never do those again. Somebody check my head.....

Then, of course, comes the random surfing.
This week - pagan humour. First up we got a nifty piece about the Pagan Olympics, then there's the Top Ten Ways to annoy a Pagan (and freakily I've had about 7 out of the 10 spouted at me at various times..).. finally, there's Wombat Wicca - the wicked alternative to the Gardnerian book of shadows. Heh! Worth a smile any time!

And I stumbled across a few more blogs too. There's Chaz Brenchley - who's a lovely guy. (He was especially nice when I had to interview him at the last minute during an Fcon, and made a right bollocks up of it. Not one of nature's interviewers, me.)
Then there's James Barclay, author of the fantastic Raven Chronicles. Which I didn't like the couple of times I tried to read the 1st book - then a few months back it clicked and, cwor. Nice one.
Lastly on the blog front there's Warren Ellis lord of Transmet! That one takes a little while to load but it's funky stuff.

18 April 2003

Aah, messageboards. I love 'em, but I'm such an incessant lurker that I never get around to posting anything. It's a self-confidence thing, I think.
On the ones I want to post on, everyone else sounds incredibly intelligent with well thought out points and the wisdom of experience etc. etc.
And then I go to do a reply and realise that it's off-topic/several posts too late/just plain stooopid. So I delete it and continue my campaign of lurking.

Until this week. The BFS have a new set of boards so, naturally I went over to play. Cos if there's one thing I do know how to talk about, it's BFS stuff. (And apparently I'm a moderator there, too) They're still sorting out things like further sub-forums but it's fun to splash about in.

And then there are the TTA boards. They're very smart people over there :-> and I do keep meaning to post in various topics - like for eg., the women writers in mags (a topic I'm in at least some small position to comment on..!)... hey, I may even make it to one of their Friday night chats soon! Just as soon as I find my backbone! (If I do make it, I'll be the one hiding in the corner throwing in 1 word comments every so often...)

There's also the boards at SFFworld to play on. I've been stalking one of Issue 2's author chappies there! :-> But seriously, their writing forum's rather interesting (and the occasional H&N plug there is nice too!). I found those ones through a referral from the hit count people ages back and I've never gotten around to posting anything 'til the other day.

And, of course, never forgetting my favourite boards of all time (at least until the BFS ones get going some more!) - Barbelith Underground - where you can find talk on comics, magick, activism, philosophy and a bundle of other lovelies. (Coincidentally, that's where I found my Danger:Mages... cartoon guy.)

16 April 2003

The lovely H&N
Just proofing Issue Three so it'll go to print in the next couple of days. One of the things I'm particularly chuffed about is the last minute inclusion of some absolutely fantastic cartoons going by the name Danger! Mages in Training. (Just finalising the deal, so techinically, I'm being a bit previous, but damn they're good - I know this because when I printed a couple out and showed them to silent assistant-editor/evil twin sis she took one look and went into seismics. A sure sign of excellence!)

09 April 2003

The Dead Zone
In other news Big Engine's fantasy mag '3SF' has ceased to be, due to the publishers insolvency. Bugger. Another Brit mag gone. He's looking for peeps to possibly take over both the book imprint and the mag publication so if you've the urge, go to their site and get in contact with Ben Jeapes.
E-zine fun
The build up has been going on since the latter parts of last year, and come the launch date I hopped over to visit the already legendary S1ngularity to check it out and what did I get? Nowt but an enigmatic black screen.
So last week I finally remembered to go back and check it out again and woohoo! Access all areas! Was it worth the wait? You're damn right it was. It's bloody fantastic. Totally cracking articles & fiction and slick design... (jealous, much!). Go check it out immediately... if not before.

01 April 2003

In vaguely related news, the keen eyed might notice that the main website's been updated with a bunch of stuff, including previews of the next 3 issues (after the one that's imminent, that is) I'm still looking for more UK submissions, and I want even more genre-centric faction for each of the issues. And more art'd be nice too :->
Le mag...

Sorry, did I say beginning of April? I meant the end. Oy vey. That's my final offer.

05 March 2003

Le mag...

I've not yet caught up on my emails but in answer to general questions - no we don't take poetry, nor do we take non-genre stuff. Read the guidelines - I'm fairly flexible on word count and I'm always willing to have a look at more traditional styled fantasy - but nothing mushy or ridiculously language-d, I've a soft spot for adventure-fantasy tales though. Plenty of action!
Any outstanding mag orders were sent out this morning, next batch of submission answers will be happening tomorrow morning and yes, I know, I need to update the website since Issue 3's down as appearing last month.

Talking of Ish 3 - due out end of March/1st week April. It's got a gorgeous looking cover illo which I'm hoping to be able to do in colour, but budget may dictate b/w. I'm really aiming for the colour cover though. (And I'm having a crack at getting a modest arts grant so that I can do the next few issues with colour covers and get some better promo stuff out there.)
Funky web stuff

Came across this in my wanderings the other day. The very secret diaries of the Fellowship of the Ring. Great stuff!

That'll be the day job then...

So when I'm not mucking around with the BFS, sweating over the mag or skiving off surfing reading and watching too much satellite telly, I have to do my share in the family biz, which is a bunch of related services to do with renting out properties. We're like 3rd party contractors who come up with inventories for properties, then have all the fun of going around with the tenants, both when they move in and when they move out, to note down every single tiny chip, scuff and crumb. (We also do mid-tenancy inspections, and a bit of property management for private landlord types but that's by the by.)

I mention this because I've just spent all morning in Sonning doing an inventory of an old country hotel that Uri Gellar (me=brazen name-dropping hussy!) wants to buy, and I'm completely shattered! (No, none of the cutlery was bent, but apparently he bent a spoon for the lady that's selling the place.)
Oh and the next door neighbour's cat, Merlin, followed me around for most of the morning, yowling strange, incomprehensible things. I kid you not. :->

15 February 2003

Gagh! 2 weeks since the last post. I've been snowed under both literally and figuratively. Not as snowed under as Gabe Chouinard though. A 712 email backlog sounds mighty impressive! I'm only on about 270 myself which is why I've decided to give up being stockholder for the British Fantasy Society - too many things, so little time. (So if anyone wants the job, check out the BFS sits vac page on their website - it's a voluntary position but you get a couple of BFS related perks out of it.) Or email me directly to find out whats involved. Oh and you need to be UK based to do it.

30 January 2003

And in mag news....
Just got an encouraging review of issue 1 in the latest BSFA mag. I'll put my hands up to the bad typo's & spelling cock ups (in particular, apologies to Tony Richards for continually mis-spelling the title of his story - it should have been 'The Lightning Dogs' NOT 'The Lightening Dogs' - I'll fire my proofreader now shall I?)

Everybody go aaaaaaah. Li'l sis is moving out this week to a funky little 1 bed semi just up the road.
Truth is, I'm probably way more excited about it than she is, if only cos I get to have all the fun buying stuff for her new place while she's at work. :->

21 January 2003

And back to the lovely H&N...
Contributor & review copies of Issue 2 are going out today (which is nice!) And for all those outstanding submission people I've not contacted, next couple of days, I promise. I've got the fiction contents of issues 4 & 5 locked down, with Issue 6 almost full. When I've notified all the relative people re. what issue and when, there'll be an update on the website (and a handy clickable to let you pre-order the relevent issues!)

I'm still after faction pieces for all forthcoming issues. And not just genre pieces, either. I'd like to see some earth mysteries/folklore/urban magic type pieces Full gl.s re. format & style etc. are at www.bradanpress.co.uk - just hit the 'Submit!' link and you're there.
UK mag news...

The other day I heard a rumour that Legend, run by Trevor 'Roadworks' Denyer was finishing. Today I got confirmation that it's definitely going. Damn, bugger & blast. That & Kimota were my two favourite fantasy mags and now they're both gone.

On the plus side, there's the relatively new mag 3SF being published by Big Engine. I've haven't got my hands on a copy yet, but it sounds impressive. Full colour cover, tons of features, great looking artwork.....

(Course if you really want a good fantasy mag, you've to turn no further than the fabulous Here & Now! Buy it. Love it. Subscribe for more! You know it makes sense.)

13 January 2003

Bloggers bloggers everywhere.....

Just trawling through some of my favourite sites this morning and discovered that Ariel of the Alien Online has a blog. (Ok, so he's had it a while, I just hadn't noticed it before.....)

And ever so handily, the Alien Online has a link to the brand spanking new blog of Mark Chadbourn, one of my fave authors. His Age of Misrule trilogy is totally top banana! Great big whalloping books stuffed full of urban fantasy at it's best, with tons of Brit folklore mixed into the nail-biting narrative. (Sorry, do I sound like blurb there?)

Then there's Neil Gaiman, the lord and master of the Sandman, and also the one responsible for getting me into graphic novels/comics in the first place. Although I think I first discovered him via Good Omens when I was in a serious Pratchett phase. His American Gods was great, and I loved Neverwhere (and I'd really like to see some more stories from the Neverwhere universe.)

11 January 2003

She had a whisky drink, she had a lager drink......
Helen and her bezzie mate went out to play last night.
Now my favourite and only sister is an expert at the art of alcohol consumption.
At school, she passed her end of year exams under the influence of what her and the gang had smuggled in.
She can drink anyone under the table and has been known to mix a good dozen varieties of alckie in one night .
Champagne with a Russian cola chaser, tia maria coffee interspersed with several red wines.
Half a bottle of voddy, and any number of odd neon coloured drinks.
She's been there, drunk that, and is still able to walk, communicate and wake up bright and early the next morning with no ill effects apparent.

And being a consummate professional, she knows what she can take and knows when to stop.

Her friend, on the other hand, got completely wasted and has spent the whole morning throwing up. Every 30 mins. Regular as wotsit.
Hah! I finally got the The Invisible Kingdom this morning and naturally it's already been gobbled up. Talk about your head fuck. Coincidentally some of the points raised regarding common identity/fic-suits/nature of time, space & the universe! were things I'd been getting my head around earlier in the week.
I love it when that happens. Not just a cracking story but a cool philosophical text to boot.
The art was a bit shite in a few pages towards the end though. Can't work out whether it was intentional or just an unfortunate byproduct of the artists jam that happened when they were doing the series way back.
I'm sure I read somewhere - probably on BARBELiTH - that some of the panels were redrawn from the graph nov. version.

09 January 2003

Oh hell. I've succumbed to the blogging monster!
So what news to start off with? Well I guess the main news is that Issue 2 of my lovely lovely mag is out today. Check out www.bradanpress.co.uk for all the deep & dirty details!
Issue 3 is hopefully due out around mid to late Feb, though at current there are minor deviations in the schedule.
By issue 4 we should be back on track with a nice regular publication schedule (and now watch as gremlins pile up to prove me wrong).
I'd love to see some more submissions from the UK as currently we're getting tons of US authors sending stuff and not so many home country authors.
I'd also love to see some more article submissions - opinion pieces, regulars or one offs - guidelines are on the website.

What else?
In non mag news, I'm anxiously waiting to get my greasy mitts on the latest Invisibles graphic novel. It's been on order since the end of December and I've already gone through my graphic novel collection twice in anticipation. I only discovered the Invisibles last summer and it was an immediate addiction. Damn but that's bloody good stuff.
Heh! Guess the wait is punishment for being slow on sending out all those BFS orders I've been sitting on.