30 July 2004

BFS Calendar 2005 

Hot off the press - the British Fantasy Society is proud to announce its first Special Publication of 2004 – a Fantasy Calendar based on the legend of Gawain and the Green Knight

The calendar will be officially launched at Fantasycon in September but is available for pre-ordering as from today.
All members will receive one copy free as part of their membership, any extra copies should be ordered from the BFS Cyberstore  It willl be a limited run doo-hickey so if you're not a member, or just want a few extra copies, get your orders in early!

What's it all about then?
The calendar breaks the story of Gawaine and the Green Knight into 12 parts, with a different author & artist for each part.

Who's involved?
Les Edwards is the cover artist
Clive Barker does the introduction
Our pack of willing authors are:
Neil Gaiman
China Mieville
James Barclay
Juliet E McKenna
Cherith Baldry
Graham Joyce
Jon Courtenay-Grimwood
Mark Chadbourn
Kim Newman
Chaz Brenchley
Katherine Roberts
Steve Lockley

And our fabulous artists are:
Lara Bandilla
Sara Zama
Bob Covington
David Bezzina
Alfred Klosterman
Russell Dickerson
Steve Lines
Michelle Blessemaille
Kathy Hardy
Ian Simmons
Chris Leaper
Tina Roberts

And the price for all this is just a mere £7.99  
Oh and it's edited by Paul Kane & Marie O'Regan

H & N News

In other news.... Evil Twin Hell is shifting down to Bournemouth to be with her Collective so I've now got sole editorship of the mag.  Oh the power!  :->
While Issue 4 is at the printers, I'm starting to put Issue 5 together so (crossing fingers... again) while it will be a smidge later than expected, due to the later Ish 4; it won't be too much later. 
Realistically I'll try and get Ish 5 to the printers in September, ready for early October publish; then I want to squeeze Issue 6 out for the end of December. 
Then Ish 7 should still be March, and Ish 8 June 05.  

That way, fiction submissions will re-open for business somewhere between #7 & #8.

So have I spoken ;->

25 July 2004

BFS books for sale!

So, sorting through the pile of BFS books I have, I've now got the following titles for sale at lovely special deal prices:
(Hoping that the links will work!)

Spiral Garden - the gorgeous signed, numbered, limited hardback edition of Louise Cooper's short stories.
Ebay auction: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7912901728 
Amazon:   http://s1.amazon.co.uk/exec/varzea/ts/exchange-glance/Y06Y6750641Y8127090 

And the paperback edition
Amazon: http://s1.amazon.co.uk/exec/varzea/ts/exchange-glance/Y04Y0622923Y6345496

Then there's Shocks - an A5 booklet of short stories by R. Chetwynd Hayes.
Amazon: http://s1.amazon.co.uk/exec/varzea/ts/exchange-glance/Y05Y6110014Y9939919

And Long Memories: recollections of Frank Bellknap Long
Amazon: http://s1.amazon.co.uk/exec/varzea/ts/exchange-glance/Y07Y0545394Y8490819

And, of course, the F20s - Both signed, numbered, limited edition paperback books.
Issue One has stories by Derek M. Fox, Steve Savile, Paul Finch, Tim Lebbon, Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis
Amazon: http://s1.amazon.co.uk/exec/varzea/ts/exchange-glance/Y07Y4773522Y6396375

Issue Two has stories by Juliet McKenna, Freda Warrington, Storm Constantine, Louise Cooper, Jane Welch, Justina Robson & Suzanne J Barbieri
Amazon: http://s1.amazon.co.uk/exec/varzea/ts/exchange-glance/Y06Y4873727Y6123859

So there you go!
I'm hoping to get some sort of mass-book pack thingy up on ebay sometime today so will add that in a bit.


24 July 2004

Damn machines
So, the computers are still giving me hell.
The main PC went away again, and I got to pay 70 quid for the priviliege of having someone else reinstall the original system.  What was wrong with it?  No one seemed to know but reinstalling seemed to fix it.
Could have done that for free at home though, mumble grumble.

The poor virus-ridden laptop, on the other hand, attracted one of those bugs that's disables the anti-virus program (which is just insulting, if you ask me) so being smart, I reinstalled the whole system, reinstalled the programs, got my files back on, then diligently got anti-virus updates daily to stop it from happening again.... so of course something really nasty got in and really fucked everything up.
Bloody internet.  I spend half an hour doing some 'ahem' research, then I get an unknown virus report, then the antivirus program stops working, then when I try to drag the last couple of weeks worth of files onto a disk in a desperate file save I can't touch anything as the whole thing is well and truly destroyed.
Oh joy.

Which, naturally, pissed me off enough to finally give Linux a go.
Wiped the hard drives, then spent 3 hours installing Red Hat 9. 
So far it's more a testement to my own lack of savvy than anything else.  The word & spreadsheet programs are fine (if a bit slow), there are a nice lot of desktop games included (yay!  more excuses not to work) but can I get online?  Can I bog roll.  Mozilla seems to be under the misapprehension that I'm connected to something, when in fact there's not even a bloody modem cable plugged in.  And despite scouring the books and searching the menus, and attempting to tell the thing that, yes, actually I do have a working modem, and here it is, and it's plugged in now so please use it to dial up my ISP, cheers; it still refuses to cooperate.
and is it me or is all this 'mount floppy' malarkey just a tad disturbing... :->
So H&N just went to the printers on Friday.  (I know, just a little bit later than expected!)  I forgot what time of year we're in (ie. family biz explosion time - blue assed flies or what.)
Must remember to update the website again.

Oh we're having a fun time on the BFS committee at the mo! 
There's a fiction/art showcasey 2005 calandar thing that's in the midst of production, with a some nicely sized names involved.  All being well, it should be launched at Fcon in September.
And we're just narrowing down the stories from June's short story comp, ready to to send the shortlist to our final judge.
And Prism & DH are having a shift around in editors, content & frequency which should be officially announced in September.

Renting in Reading
My god the property market has changed up here.  I remember when you could get a decent 2 bed furnished flat for something like £550 a month; now, with all the spanking new developments that keep popping up, you're looking at £1000 a month.  Grief.  You might as well buy one and get a mortgage.  Of course these are all 'riverside' developments, bang smack in the town centre.  River in most cases being a grotty overpolluted canal thing (I think it's an offshoot of the Kennet, but it could be a spit of the Thames)

And it's not as if the local Lettings Agents are any better for the higher fees.  Truth is, services are, for the most part, getting worse.  They don't communicate with you at all (regardless of whether you're the landlord or the tenant) and usually they rush new tenancies through so fast they haven't sent in cleaners or maintenance chappies to fix the mess from the last tenants. 

Not naming names as we deal quite heavily with about 7 of the main agents in town and mum'd kill me!

Babylon 5: Crusade
Yes, you too can see Sheriff Buck as a space captain (which is better than seeing Hercules as a space captain!)
Starting from the 28th July, the Scifi channel are now showing the 13 eppys of B5: Crusade on Wednesday nights at 9pm. 
(Which, since I missed it when they allegedly showed it on C4 years and years ago, is nice.)

Naturally I will be recording each episode (minus ads) to add to my to collection of obscure scifi series that no one else admits to watching.  (Mutant X, Andromeda, Highlander: Raven, Seaquest... step on up!)

And just when is American Gothic going to come out on DVD, ey?  I'm missing the 1st episode (which, happens with every series I record, bizarrely.)