26 November 2009

BFS & Fantasycon Needs You!

First the good news: the prelim details for Fantasycon '10 have been released...
It'll be on 17th–19th September 2010. (Probably at the Britannia in Nottingham, but it doesn't say anything about location in the announcement...)

Early bird bookings are available until 31st December at the vastly reduced rate of £35 for the entire weekend. From then until 31st March the price is £45, and on 1st April it rises to £55. From 1st July the price will be £65. Non-members pay £10 more in each case.

Tickets for Saturday only will be available for £35.

Now for the bad: both the BFS and Fantasycon are grievously short of volunteers to do... stuff... especially Fantasycon organising stuff. Apparently the lack of interest from new blood getting involved is reaching crisis proportions (and the printer mishaps with the last piece of the latest membership mailing isn't helping much...)

So if you want to help out, don't be scared and check out the the Fcon news page for the emails to contact...

Nano Day 26

Wheeeeee! Technological crisis averted. Typical, ain't it, that just when you want perfect performance from your writing machine, it keels over and dies. And then so does its predecessor. Luckily, this time, the back up discs were actually working....

So, here we are at Nano day 26, and my current wordcount is now a sniffle over 132k! Woohoo! This means that I've beaten my wordcount from last year and, with luck, may just exceed the wordcount from the year before (which was 155k.).

Alas, England: Elsewhere is rapidly falling down the Word War scoreboard. We're at no. 7 currently, with absolutely no chance of ever approaching those lofty scores that Oxford and Birmingham are pulling...

So, the werewolf thing is well and truly done, the not!TombRaider one is done, if a little on the short side, and I'm now switching between the pirate-mermaids and the urban fantasy short story collection thingy. Which is fun. :-)

Though it must be admitted that the words are increasingly harder and harder to find. Just have to keep looking at my spreadsheets from the last couple of years to remind myself that, yes, this is actually a normal thing...

05 November 2009

Nano Day 5

Alas, my lovelies, did not quite manage to hit the 40k target last night. Gave it up at 38,001 on account of no conceiveable brain cells left.

On the plus side, I did manage to write 8,000 words in 5 hours. Which was nice. :-) (I make no comment on the actual *quality* of said words...)

So what's new from Nanowrimo-land? The regional word wars have started up and Team England: Elsewhere are running second on the leader board. (out of 15 regions competing.) We're being soundly beaten by the mad gits in Oxford, who have one insane chap who reached 50k last night. This is the same chap who regularly pulls in epic level wordage - he was at 18k on the first day. Yipes. We've plotted to kidnap him from the Oxford team but they've hidden him in a secret location...

The Inter-Family Word War is new thing for this year. For some quite bizarre reason both mum and li'l sis have decided to have a crack at Nano. Surprising mainly as our Hell's doesn't write, and has had no previous desire to. She's at 9,057 words so far. Nice one that Evil Twin! :-) Mum's progress is also nicely surprising and is making her very pleased with herself given that she's got two manic businesses to run at the same time and is always complaining she doesn't have enough time to think about writing, let alone do it.
She's at around 27k at the moment, but keeps forgetting to officially update her count on the site....

What's particularly fun about mum playing this year is that she's by nature a very fast typist so we were in direct competition Sunday on the word front. She was keeping about 1000 or so words ahead of me all day until bedtime, when I snuck in an extra 100. I'm getting the advantage at the moment as I don't have as much day-job work to do as she does, so currently I'm in the lead, but things will probably get very interesting when the weekend hits. (Or they will once the associated day-job paperwork has been cleared up...)

Then there's the funky BFS peeps... (waves at funky BFS peeps!)
We've got Adrian F. rocking the house with 19,484
Stephen Theaker's at 9,085
Selina of Girlycomic fame is at 5,611
Ben McG was floating around the 2k mark last we checked.

And that's before we hit the Authonomy crew!
(Waves at Patty Jansen, who''s at 37,027!)

Me, my goal for the day is to attempt to reach 50k. Possibly I should have got up earlier this morning... :-) Ah well, what you gonna do? Vamps to kill, wolves to unmask as traitors to the cause, ghost callers to take down...

04 November 2009

Nano Day 4

Knackered. But happy. This shall be my mantra for the next three weeks. That and Must. Write. Faster.
So before today's wordage get started, here's the state of play in Nano-Land.

Current words: 30,423
Body count: up in the 40s somewhere. (There was a break out at a blood farm, carnage ensued!)

So, now our kick ass chick has discovered she's being haunted by a vague ghosty presence, had a couple of failed attempts at finding the mobster's son, managed to finally kill crazed werewolf, been kidnapped (wolfnapped?) by blood harvesters and helped stage the amazing break out and mass destruction of the blood farm. She's also picked up another possible lead re. mobster's son and moved into wolf town after getting evicted on grounds of werewolf.

Today's action: spying on a sorcery retreat/commune thingy, extracting mobster's son whilst avoiding the mage wars that are about to spring up, more ghostly pesterings and then there's the vamps bringing charges for her killing their head enforcer. Which is going to get very very messy. :-) (More body count!)

Aiming to hit 40k by end of play tonight, but we'll see how that goes!

Now I've just got to squeeze in the work on two OU courses... honestly, non Nano stuff in November should be illegal...

02 November 2009

Gemmell Award News

We interrupt your Nano broadcast with some awesome news from those funky people at the David Gemmell Awards...


New Award Categories

"When we established The David Gemmell Legend Award For Fantasy it was with the intention of subsequently introducing further award categories to cover other aspects of the fantasy genre. We are now pleased to announce two new, additional awards, to be presented at next year’s ceremony. They are -

The David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Newcomer
The David Gemmell Ravenheart Award for Best Fantasy Cover Art

"The Morningstar Award will give recognition to emerging talent in the field of fantasy fiction. As David Gemmell always took a keen interest in new writers, and helped many onto the path to publication, we regard this as an appropriate category to add, and one we feel sure David would have approved.

"The Ravenheart Award will honour the best fantasy book cover art. The importance of fantasy cover art deserves admiration, as do the artists who produce it, yet there is no major UK award acknowledging this. The Ravenheart Award will fulfil that role.

"Like the Legend Award, the winners of these new awards, for best debut author and best cover/artist, will be decided by popular vote. The first Legend Award, for best fantasy novel of the year, presented at a ceremony in London in June of this year, garnered an incredible 11,000 votes from around the world. We are confident that the Morningstar and Ravenheart awards, which are being created with the full approval of the Gemmell family, will be greeted with no less enthusiasm.

"Details of the process whereby these new awards will be administered can be found on our website.

"Our aim is to establish, over time, a set of awards covering all aspects of the fantasy genre. Launching this pair of new awards takes us a step nearer to that objective.

"The 2010 David Gemmell Awards ceremony will again be held at The Magic Circle headquarters in London, on Friday 18th June."

01 November 2009

Nano Day 1

So can I just say, word count for the end of Nano Day 1 is... (drumroll...) 11,110 ::faints:: This makes it an all new Nano first day record. Woohoo!
Body count so far: 3. And they totally deserved it too.

So far, kick ass chick has been attacked by ghosts, had her beloved bike nicked, been attacked by a crazed werewolf, then attacked by some idiot muggers just as she was going through her first change, had to juggle with the bureaucratic aftermath of being a new werewolf who needs to get registered and also avoid getting done on a murder charge. (It was totally self defence, I swear!) And that's before having to deal with the ex husband and a couple of highly arrogant pack enforcers...

Tomorrow there will be adventures in witch country, the hunting of both the crazed werewolf and the missing mobster's son and possibly some sneaky ghosts mucking things up...

And I'm soooo done for the day! :-)

27 October 2009

Nano Jitters

As it's five days until Nanowrimo 2009 officially starts, it's about a time I did a post about it! Excited? Not 'alf. I've only been planning for it all year...

This year I want to take things to new extremes of insanity - we came so close to the number one slot in the regional word wars last year... so very frustratingly close, only to be knocked off the top in the last couple of days. Bugger.
(And if you're a Nano bod who happens to claim England: Elsewhere as their home, word war sign ups have started in the forum... get in there and kick ass...)

Anyhoo, what lovely projects is yer 'umble blogger chick going to attempt this year? Ah ha, sez I, many and various, as my first drafts tend to only just skim the 50K and there's many words need doing... As yet I have no idea what one's getting done first, so, in no particular order, there's:

Being the prequel to last year's Nano project 'Taurus'. (For those of you who remember last year's blatherings, Taurus was the Minotaur thing with the ridiculously high bodycount... which is currently being edited & rewritten to within an inch of its life in the hopes of getting enough decent wordage together for an Authonomy upload...)
But back to Aquarius - starring kick ass not!tomb-raider chick Abigail Jones, whose search for the ruins of Lyonesse take her into multiple worlds. Hijinx ensue! :-)

Then there's Blackthorn:
This one's another Nano prequel - charting the rise of Alice Blackthorn from respectable(ish) trader to planetary rebel to queen of the Salia system pirates.

A recent addition to the line up is Ghost Wolf:
An urban fantasy with werewolves. (Definitely was not expecting I'd write that, but the more I plan it out, the more fun it looks!)
So here we have Lena Morrigan, ex-mob hit-woman turned magic-supplies courier whose recent attack by a werewolf is just the start of what's turning into a really bad week. Do I need to mention at this point that assorted supernatural hijinx will ensue? :-)

Then there's Wicked Sisters:
The Little Mermaid gets a curse intervention and dumps the idiot prince, then chooses to make the most of her new human life by turning pirate, much to the chagrin of her nearest and dearest.

For a little breathing time there'll be Durrington Tales:
Being a collection of short stories of the urban fantasy/contemporary mythic fantasy type, set in the town of Durrington. With urban mages, old gods and other wild spirits wandering around causing chaos. A bit Charles De Lint meets Hellblazer in tone. I hope!

And if I'm feeling particularly brave there'll be a more traditional secondary world fantasy called Tides of Marigan:
In which the acolyte of an exiled goddess must find a way to free her people from invaders while trying to survive the fall out of making questionable allies.

Plus there's a few smaller projects, but we'll cover them as and when (and if) they get done!

Ultimately, the aim is to get somewhere between 5000 - 10,000 words a day done to keep the word war numbers up. (And then my fingers will drop off and my brain will dribble out of my ears in a picturesque pile of goo...) :-)

01 October 2009

Support Our 'Zines Day!

And welcome to Support Our 'Zines Day! And what is it, you may be wondering? Very simple. SOZ Day is the day when you shout your love for your favourite 'zines across the internet and if you're in a flush mood, donate a little to keep them putting out the stuff you love... See here for the whys and wotnots...

So here's mine:
Clarkesworld Magazine
Fantasy Magazine
Strange Horizons
Hub Magazine
Murky Depths
The Lorelei Signal
Weird Tales
Heroic Fantasy Quarterly
Expanded Horizons
Theaker's Quarterly Fiction

30 September 2009

View from the Reg. Desk

Ooh, 10 days later... :-)

‘twas the night before Fcon, and after spending some quality time parked on the M-whatever-it-was due to an accident on the opposite carriageway, we managed to get a few minutes admiring the unchanging décor of the Britannia before moseying down to be sociable.

Ah the joys of Nottingham on a Thursday night! So there we were, the fabulous Gail Z Martin, the equally fabulous Jan & Pete Coleborn-Edwards, the rather awesome Debbie & Clare Bennett, dearest mama and yours truly. And the question of the night was: where, oh where, could a group that includes some of the pickiest eaters in the country get some decent food…

That’ll be the Big Wok on Parliament Street then, host of our anti-banquet foray from last year. All you can eat Chinese buffet plus sushi bar and, ladies and gentlemen please contain yourselves, a chocolate fountain! What’s not to love?
The charming young gentlemen that bear the titles of John Aitken and George Budge were also seen in that legendary establishment so it must have been good!

Have sympathy for poor Sir Coleborn-Edwards, as after enjoying such delightful repast, he had to drive all the way back to sunny Stoke to pick up many and various (and oft mysterious) items and was not seen again until Friday. Meanwhile, the rest of us engaged in that oldest of Fcon traditions and sprawled in the bar, gossiping and drinking until the faintest of hearts left for bed. Young Paul of the Clan McCampbell joined us for a spell and outlasted the best of us in our bar-sprawlerie.

So onward to Friday, the day that looms strongest in the hearts and minds of all Fcon organisers… will our many boxes still be there, are we going to find someone encamped in our function rooms (‘ware the ides of Walsall, for they were double booked and snippy about our quite reasonable setting up noises, the blaggards...)
Will anyone turn up?

Yes, no, and oh yes! And it was quite the calmest set up I’ve experienced yet.
The Dealers Room developed Tardis-like dimensions and managed to include far more tables than previously anticipated, the mountains of Goodie Bags didn’t avalanche and endanger the lives of small children and stuffed toys, and we were so laid back we were almost horizontal.

Apart from the slightly manic attempts at stopping Les Edwards and Peter Crowther noticing that their surprise party was in the program… :-> Apparently they were still surprised!

Alas, the life of a Registration Babe does not allow for such frivolities as actually seeing the panels and other Fcon amusements, so, dear readers, please sally forth about the internet and see what the unchained people had to say…
(see bottom of post for a few links!)

Done? Excellent.
So what other small snippets can be told? The Banquet! Ah ha! Edible. :-> Now despite the annual complaints, personally I didn’t find it that bad. (But then, my expectations go as far as – can I eat it? If yes, then success.) So the starter was lovely, the main was ok, the pudding would have been nice if they hadn’t been serving the same thing in the restaurant at lunch… Could have quite happily done without the main altogether, but that’s just me.

But let me tell you about our banquet entertainment. On our table we were sat with the fabulous John Lenahan, magician, comedian, voice-actor, and now writer. (yes, we bought his book!) Both Evil Twin Hells and myself managed to avoid deluging the poor man with Red Dwarf quotes (tempting as it was. Was he a waffle man? We will never know!) And the man has so many stories it would have been very easy to listen to him all night!

Praise be to Evil Overlord Pete, after the banquet there was no raffle! (And the entire Fcon population fainted in shock.) But, dear readers, you have no idea how close to peril you were, how discussions raged in the shadows about this fell ritual that plagues us…

So what did we have to amuse and entertain us instead? I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, the Fcon version. (No, I had no idea what it was either!)
But it was marvellously done with Sir Guy of Adams the erudite grandmaster trying to whip some control over teams of Sarah Pinborough & Julian Simpson and Jasper Fforde & (oh bugger, can’t remember who the other chap was. Was it Graham Joyce? Tim Lebbon? Mark Morris? Help!) Sarah Pinborough was definitely the highlight of that!
Oh, sorry, there was also the awards. Of which much has been written, both good and bad. Congratulations to everyone that won.
And after that, I believe that Talkie the Toaster (er, sorry, John Lenahan…) entertained with a stint on stage, thereafter followed by some chap name of Ramsey Campbell…

So to Sunday and the AGM. It overran. :-> But honestly, Sir Guy, only an hour allotted for the AGM? Pure craziness! :->

But with Sunday came the opportunity to escape the bondage of the Registration Desk and see the Art Show. Gosh. Never seen an art show before. Coo. That was excellent. Particularly liked the work of Vincent Chong, Anne Sudworth, Steve Upham, Andy Cooper and David Hardy.

Alas, no Fcon will let you escape its tender clutches without an assortment of books both freely given and bargain-bought. Mine for this year were: Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters, Robert Holdstock’s Avilion, Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands & Teeth, Katherine Howe’s The Lost Book of Salem, John Lenahan’s Shadowmagic, Stephen Lawhead’s Tuck, Juliet Marillier’s Heir to Sevenwaters, Kaaron Warren’s Slights, Vicki Pettersson’s The Scent of Shadows, a couple of Penguin Classics in the form of Fantastic Tales and 1984. (Can not believe I didn’t already own a copy of 1984!), a samplet from Allyson Bird entitled For You Faustine, the Mammoth Book of Wolf Men, and last, but definitely not least, some Newcon Press titles – being the Myth-Understandings anthology, The Gift of Joy by that there Ian Whates, and And God Created Zombies by the funky Andrew Hook.

And apparently I took 115 photos. If you’re on Facebook, hop on over and check out the ones that didn’t come out blurry or consist of the backs of people’s heads!

Other than that, one of the most relaxing Fcons I’ve had, so in that wave of bliss I’ll leave it at that and see you all next year!

Linkety Links!
Tim Lebbon, Gail Z. Martin,Angry Robot, Juliet McKenna, Adrian F. one & two, Cheryl Morgan - Settling In, Morning in Nottingham, Testing the Technology, Wimped Out, Snoozy Sunday and Final Report.

Mark Morris, Kari Sperring, Chris Fowler, Mark Deniz, Mark Charan Newton, Andy Remic

23 September 2009

The BFS Balance

(This is a long one, you have been warned…)

Another thing that happened over Fantasycon weekend was the explosion in the blogosphere over the all male content of the BFS’ newly launched In Conversation book. The book: In Conversation: A Writer's Perspective, Volume 1: Horror, edited by James Cooper is intended to be the first in a series of interview collections, with the two following volumes covering fantasy and SF.

Things were first picked up by Maura McHugh, with debate springing up on the blogs of Cheryl Morgan, Christopher Fowler and Publishers Weekly.
Then yesterday the Guardian picked up on it with an article by Alison Flood.

Commissioning Editor and BFS Chairman Guy Adams has issued a public apology and from his reactions when the issue was mentioned for the first time during the BFS AGM on Sunday, he is genuinely horrified that he didn’t notice the lack of women in the book. In Guy we trust. :->

Debate has wandered to the BFS Forums and a thread on the BFS’ Facebook page with responses switching between those that think the gender of the writers is unimportant and those that think otherwise. (Also, the phrase ‘feminist claptrap’ got used, but we won’t touch that one.)

For what it’s worth, this is my take:

When a fiction anthology is widely open to submissions, then of course, you take your chance on what stories the editor likes. Editors are quite capable of picking good stories that fall outside their normal reading comfort zone and no-one in their right mind is going to refuse a good story because of who’s written it (or who hasn’t).

When a fiction anthology is filled by commissioned pieces, then to fill it with all male authors seems somewhat archaic. (Unless that's the particular point of the anthology!) If the editor’s tastes don’t naturally run to stories that happen to be written by women (or anyone who isn’t the standard white male), then the editor needs to expand their reading or talk quietly to someone who can clue them in to what else is being written that might fit the theme of the book.

But when it’s a collection of commissioned interviews purporting to give voice to the sixteen most accomplished horror writers around, then to not have a single woman in it is just ridiculous. And this goes double when it’s being published by an organisation that, by its own constitution, is there to promote excellence in the genre.

I love the BFS. I’ve grown up with it – signing up for the first time as a fresh faced wannabe writer at sixteen and then getting quickly pulled onto various committees for things as folks jumped on my enthusiasm for helping out with odd bits. The BFS has always been filled with many wonderful people and meeting them every year at Fantasycon is one of my favourite things.

What frustrates me is two things. One of them is the apparent dominance of the male authors when I know there are plenty of female authors in the BFS. They don’t seem to get talked about as much as the chaps, but it’s from seeing them at Fantasycon that I discovered their work. Authors like Juliet E. McKenna, Sarah Pinborough, Freda Warrington, Justina Robson, Storm Constantine, Pauline Morgan (and her alter-ego Pauline Dungate), Raven Dane, Sam Stone, artists like Anne Sudworth. Editor Selina Lock produces the excellent Girly Comic amongst other Factor Fiction titles with her partner Jay Eales.

I know there must be more, but the men’s names come to mind quicker than their female counterparts. Authors, artists, editors, both small and big press. I could list twice as many of the chaps twice as quick. I’ve seen them on the awards lists every year, and they’re always getting news items and interviews and the like inside the pages of the assorted BFS publications.

(Incidentally, the other niggle is the apparent dominance of horror over fantasy, but that latter is a debate we’ve been having for years and is never one that gets resolved.)

So gender balance and the BFS - you’ve only got to look at the awards list this year. When the long list came out it was excellent, filled with a good mix of everything by everyone. I was proud to be a member of a society that produced that kind of a list. When it got voted down to the shortlist… it was mostly horror and mostly men authors. Good authors and publications, true, but nowhere near as diverse a list as I’d’ve liked.

I do think it’s particularly brilliant that out of the four women that made it to the shortlist, two of them scooped the awards in their categories… Go Sarah Pinborough and Allyson Bird!

Without seeing the current BFS membership list, it’s difficult to tell if this is indicative of the membership as a whole being predominantly male (which does make the brash assumption that the menfolks only like the work the other chaps are writing. Which I’m certain is not the case.) Or if it’s just indicative of the people that bothered to vote.
(And what’s quite interesting is that of the two juried awards, both were won by men too… and I know there was at least one woman on each list that went before the jurors…)

So Fantasycon then? How was the gender split there this year? Out of the prebooked attendees (including guests) we had 89 female vs. 167 male. On-the-day walk-ins were also predominantly male.
Panellists? Excluding the on-the-day reading sign ups & launch-ees, 50 men vs. 12 women.
Film show? Difficult to tell from the list in the schedule, but 11 films and only one listed as written & directed by a woman (with a couple of films uncredited).

Story competition – now that one was better, from the 5 finalists, 4 that made it were women. (For completeness, the first round reading panel was 4 women to 1 man, the celebrity final judges 1 woman to 2 men…make of that what you will!)

And the really frustrating thing is, none of the mis-balance is deliberate. The committees of both the BFS and Fantasycon work their asses off to keep things balanced so everything gets covered and everyone gets a voice. There are always women on both the committees, some years they’ve been in the majority, and not a one of them have ever been shy about voicing their opinion about things.

Women have edited the publications, they’ve organised the conventions, they’ve written reviews and interviews and poetry and fiction, they’ve provided cover art and internal illustrations. And yet women are still outnumbered by the men in pretty much every aspect of the BFS.

I want this to change. I’ve wanted this to change since I first joined and that was way too many years ago, and the only way things are going to change is if people keep shouting about the female professionals in our midst. Keep submitting to the BFS publications and keep their names on the radar, make it so that there’s a bigger range of names at the front of people’s minds when it comes to choosing guests and panellists for Fantasycon, when it comes to possible contributors to commissioned publications, and especially when it comes to voting on the shortlists of the awards.

I mean, seriously, the last time a woman won the Best Novel Award was Tanith Lee in 1980!!! 1980, people! And that was the only time it happened too. Come on. We can do better than that.

21 September 2009

Educational Goodness

Will post about Fantasycon once I get my brain back in gear.... but if you're on Facebook, I added a load of photos there - mostly of the awards banquet, but a few set up ones too...

Anyhoo, whilst I was nicely distracted by Fcon, the OU results came in. So I'm well chuffed to say I passed the Archaeology: Science of Investigation module. It was only a shorty 10 pointer thingy, but still nice to get the pass! :-)

Next on the OU list are another couple of short 10 -pointers - Perspectives on Leonardo Da Vinci and Life in the Oceans... fun things to keep me going until the big one starts in February. Namely, Arts: Past and Present.

This one's a proper sized module :-) and also apparently something of a foundation course for OU study as most of the courses I was looking at doing all say somewhere in their blurb that it's recommended to do the Arts one first. At least, if you've never studied with the OU before, which I haven't. (And given the distinct lack of prior education elsewhere, I figured it was probably not the time to blag it and leap straight to the World Archaeology module, which is a level 2 course...)

And the Arts course is quite the fascinating beast... it covers history, art history, philosophy, classical studies, history of science, religious studies, music and English. Plus there's nifty looking stuff on the reading list... Marlowe's Doctor Faustus (which I've never read, so this makes the perfect opportunity), an anthology of multi-cultural short fiction (which I've read and there's some good stuff in it!), a poetry collection (which has me mildly worried) and The Burial at Thebes - the Seamus Heaney translation of Sophocles' Antigone. (Which definitely has me worried!) And there's also the quite cool looking film Bhaji on the Beach to watch for the course too! (Hell, I just love the name of the film!)

And that's without whatever the OU sends out for the course... It looks quite hefty from the course description as the first part of the course is titled Reputations and is going to include case studies of Cleopatra, Josef Stalin, Michael Faraday and the Dalai Lama, as well as examining the artistic reputations of Christopher Marlowe and Paul Cézanne. Which is nice. :-) Apparently this part of the course is designed to develop close listening skills (for the music section) and basic competency in visual anaylsis and crticial reading. All of which I definitely would like to get the hang of, so it promises to be a good course...

(This has not been an advertisement for the Open University!) :-)

07 September 2009

In the Fcon Dealer Room...

Sell your pets, pawn your children, because this year the Fantasycon Dealers Room is stuffed with goodies from:

TTA Press -
On this years' British Fantasy Award shortlist not only are TTA Press are up for Best Small Press but their authors and contributors like Paul Meloy, who is up for Best Collection - "Islington Crocodiles" - and Best Short Fiction - "All Mouth" and "The Vague" - along with Joel Lane - up for "Winter Journey" plus Nick Lowe's regular Interzone column, "Mutant Popcorn" is up for Best Non-Fiction.
Obviously, after that list, Interzone and Black Static are up for Best Magazine. Such difficult choices but by then Interzone will have reached its 224th issue and Black Static will be coming up to number 13. They can't all win but you can, in the Fantasycon dealers' room where all these books and magazines will be on sale on the TTA table and Paul Meloy will join us. But if you can't wait follow those links.

Screaming Dreams –
Screaming Dreams is a small press based in South Wales, dedicated to all things fantasy, sci-fi and horror. Along with producing the free Estronomicon eZine and free eBooks on its website, SD also publishes a range of paperback books including short story collections, novellas and novels. Visit the website for more info at : www.screamingdreams.com
Also available on the Screaming Dreams table: assorted other books from Atomic Fez, Black Books and Pendragon Press!

Telos Publishing –
Purveyors of high quality collectible books for all fans of cult TV and film, and of genre fiction, you can find Telos at Fantasycon for one day only! If you miss them, check them out here: http://www.telos.co.uk

Gray Friar Press –
Gray Friar Press will have a whole range of superb horror titles on offer at FCon '09. The back catalogue can speak for itself, but fresh faced and bloodied this year are Pictures of the Dark, 23 powerful horror stories in Simon Bestwick's first out-and-out horror collection; Groaning Shadows, four superb novellas from Paul Finch; Mindful of Phantoms, a collection of 18 ghostly tales from Gary Fry; and The Castle of Los Angeles, a first novel from Bram Stoker-award winning Lisa Morton. Check out everything here: http://www.grayfriarpress.com/index.html

Elaine Hillson -
Elaine Hillson is an artist and jeweller working in a variety of metals and fibres. Her work incorporates chainmaille, wires, reclaimed antiques and felted wares. Metals used include sterling silver, copper, aluminium and brass, with her larger silver pieces fully hallmarked. Elaine's wire and chainmaille sculptures are unique flights of fantasy inspired by literature and the natural landscape around her home in the Welsh mountains. Find her at http://elainejhillson.artfire.com/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/elainechainmaille/

Houthe of Igor –
Purveyors of finely stitched beathties… http://www.houtheofigor.co.uk

NewCon Press –
NewCon Press is known for their high quality anthologies containing work from some of the most notable Science Fiction and Fantasy authors working today. As a special treat for Fantasycon attendees they will be launching their new title: And God Created Zombies by Andrew Hook (with introduction by Sarah Pinborough).

Dark Smile Productions –
Dark Smile Productions bring fresh talent and ideas to the realm of audio drama. They not only develop new work but also new artists, working with professionals and complete novices alike. Check out their work here: http://www.darksmile.co.uk

Morrigan Books –

Morrigan Books is dedicated to furthering the work of writers and editors working within the field of dark fiction. Morrigan Books will be launching their Dead Souls anthology with stories from Ramsey Campbell, Gary McMahon, Paul Finch, and many others.

Talking Dead / PS Publishing –
Talking Dead return with a vast selection of secondhand paperbacks, pulps and magazines and will also be selling choice goodies from PS Publishing! http://store.pspublishing.co.uk

Abaddon Books –
Dedicated to publishing the best in high-action Science-Fiction, Horror and Fantasy, Abaddon will be launching their latest title at Fantasycon.

Geoff Nelder with BeWrite Books / AB of Seattle -
Geoff Nelder is manning a showcase for three speculative fiction publishers. He is the British branch of Adventure Books of Seattle and will be selling Escape Velocity magazines of science fact & fiction and some scifi titles. For Double Dragon Publishing Geoff is toting his own Exit, Pursued by a Bee science fiction mystery. Geoff is the new administrator / publisher of long-established BeWrite Books. He is to start a speculative fiction imprint as a focus for the fantasy and scifi BeWrite now publish eg by John Grant.

Waterstones –
For one afternoon only, Waterstones Nottingham branch will be offering up a selection of titles from both Fantasycon’s finest authors and those who couldn’t make it! Catch them on Saturday between 4.30-6.30.

Raven Dane –
Raven Dane is the author of the Legacy of the Dark Kind series of Dark Fantasy novels. Described many times as 'beautifully written', 'original' and 'refreshingly different' with a fast growing and enthusiastic international fan base, her series is published by D A Diamonds. Read more about the books here: http://www.bloodtears.co.uk

Jon Webb –
For Saturday only, Jon Webb will be selling his debut novel – a single book fantasy thriller called Geas. Available online from http://www.librosinternational.com

05 September 2009

Fcon minus 13 days and counting

Yep, it's that time again, when everyone (yes, everyone! Even you, gallant reader!) wakes up and realises just how close Fantasycon is... (ye gods I love September!) :->

Am I panicking? Am I 'eck as like. This year my pre-con duties are fairly simple. Namely, 1) organise the Dealers Room and 2) Banquet decoration. (eep! Decoration sooo not my forte... There will be no squidgy eyeballs this year, oh no. And definitely no body parts to be thrown at the ceiling...)
After that, you'll find me lurking around Registration. Or possibly finding new and exciting ways to get up to the 10th floor where there's a bunch of stuff going on.

The program seems to be shaping up nicely, including a fab panel on Sunday entitled 'Pulp Adventure and Dodgy Archaeology'. Alas, it's on at the same time as the BFS AGM so what's a girl to do?

The Big Boss will throttle me if I dare divulge any more before he's got final confirmation on everything but I can reveal a stonking Steve Jones double launch/signing in the Main Bar. Yep, not only can you get the brand new Best New Horror signed by all attending authors, there's a Mammoth Book of Wolf Men coming out too!
And if that wasn't enough, Immanion Press and many others will be launching and signing many and various!

For more things Fantasycon, check out the website here!

10 July 2009


So I've been avoiding Facebook on account of, y'know, already being on twitter, myspace, LJ, blogger and many and multiple forums... Except apparently everyone in the known universe is now on facebook... including my mum! How did I not know this!

So as of this morning, am on Facebook... and it is pure evil! They have chat windows! Chat windows!! Caught up with m'good friend Jan within 5 minutes of logging in and there went an hour! :-> Oh my working life is utterly doomed...

09 July 2009

Fantasycon latest

And since it's been a while since I've mentioned Fcon... this just in! Our esteemed Fcon Chair, Mr C., would just like to say...

"Details of the FantasyCon 2009 programme are still being discussed. The convention starts on Friday 18 September at around 5.00 pm with registration (although this may start earlier if all the delegates' bags, etc, are done and dusted in good time). We aim to have a quiz, a panel discussion, book launch and then another panel.

"Saturday will include panels and GOH interviews, plus some book launches and parties. And of course the banquet, which once again is on Saturday evening (giving people the chance to dress up, should they wish); the presentation of the British Fantasy Awards ceremony then follows. We are in two minds about the raffle -- still to be decided.

"The AGM takes place on Sunday morning. We aim to run programme events concurrent to the AGM.

"We have lined up a fascinating film programme, the art show returns, and of course there is the dealers' room.

"Lastly, we should have a couple of mini-plays especially for you -- still being confirmed.

"If you have any queries or suggestions, if you feel that you want to participate (maybe do a reading) do get in touch: fcon@britishfantasysociety.org

"Please note that the rooms in the conference hotel are fast filling. To ensure a room in the Britannia, book a.s.a.p. See the website for details: www.fantasycon.org.uk "

And as lovely as it would be to tease you about the potential and extremely funky replacement for the raffle, our Pete would likely rip my spine out and throttle me with it if I dared! :->

Race for Life

If you're in the mood to throw some sheckels to a good cause, m'cousin Stace and cousin-in-law Maria will be doing a Race for Life thingy in aid of Cancer Research UK on the 26th July.

And just to make it easy, you can sponsor them online! Their sponsorship page on the CRuk site is here so go spread a little love their way!

23 June 2009

DGLA Photo

Oh yes, there is evidence of sartorial terrors...

Left to right: me, Jan Edwards, that mother person. (Photo (c) Pete Coleborn)
Yes, that's me in a dress. And yes, I'm still in shock. :->

But let's not forget:

And this would be ace photographer Peter Coleborn! Photo taken by Jen.

More DGLA Reportage

DGLA gossip is picking up across t'internet.

Check out Torque Control, where you'll find a selection of links to other posts as well as some interesting comments. Particularly fascinating is Mark Charan Newton's blog and the mass of comments it's attracted...

Joe Abercrombie posts about his near miss and shows you how dangerous he looks when packing weapons... this is why we're all voting for him next year...

The Science Fiction Awards Watch site looks at the numbers while Speculative Horizons muses on public perception.

Also, check out the DGLA thread on SFF World, which includes contributions from the fabulous James Barclay!

22 June 2009

DGLA Reportage

If you fancy seeing a few photos of the truly fabulous event, official photographer Peter Coleborn has loaded about 40 onto his flickr site... watch out for all those people wielding weapons!

And Liz De Jager, who was one of the tremendous stewards, has words and pictures on her blog.

And not only that... the fantastic Juliet McKenna has written a superb report on her LJ blog too!

20 June 2009

DGLA Ceremony

Phew, what a night! Where to begin? There was Anne Nicholls with a moving tribute to David Gemmell, there was the awesome double act of Stan Nicholls and Debbie Miller doing many and various, and then there was the fabulous James Barclay. What a guy! Auctioneer supreme, he won himself whole legions of fans with his rendition of A Call to Arms. Give the guy an Oscar, for he is a god!

As for the awards... with just over 10,000 people voting on the short & long lists combined, from 74 different countries, the winner of the David Gemmell Legend Award was: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski. A Polish author who's well known in his own country, this was his first English work (I think!). The award was a large engraved battle axe thingy and was accepted on his behalf by the fabulous Jo Fletcher, Goddess of Gollancz.
Each of the nominees also nicked off home with their own mini-Snaga.

And then there was the auction, with some high quality luxury prizes. The charity was Medecins Sans Frontieres, and over £1000 was raised. Half of which came from getting £500 for a signed first edition of Legend. Blimey. Personally, I'm utterly gutted that some rich git had done an internet bid on a cameo in a Stan Nicholls Orc book because that meant the starting price was totally out of my league. Bugger. The boys of Bragelonne (and also sponsors of the event) seemed to be quite enthusiastic bidders too.

And there were a nice bunch of people in attendance, too. Juliet McKenna is always great to talk to (and I never seem to get to talk long to her, alas) and Robert Holdstock... what is not to love about talking to Robert Holdstock, what a fab gentlemen!

And I even got to play photographer's assistant as m'good friend Pete Coleborn was official court photographer for the event! The photos will go up on the DGLA website shortly, I think...

All in all, a great night. Definitely one that folks should try and get to next year. And don't forget to pop along to their website and show your support!

08 June 2009

British Fantasy Awards Shortlist

So, the BFS have just released the final shortlist for the BF Awards... this year, for the first time, members of the BFS and Fantasycon get to vote on the final stage shortlist to get to the winners, with the awards to be given out at Fantasycon on the night of Saturday 19th September...

There's a hell of a lot of categories this year, so you're best off checking the link above to see who's up for what... now, it may be me, but it does seem rather heavily slanted to the horror side... Shame, cos the long list had plenty of great fantasy stuff on it...

Also, congrats to Sarah Pinborough and Allyson Bird for making it as the only women on a male dominated list... Oh, there's also Selina Lock and Tori Amos in the comic category, so that's cool! :->

And, seriously, how did Lost not make the TV short list? That's just shocking!

06 June 2009

June Catch Up

Ah, so May was the zombie month for this year was it? Last year August was the no brainer where nothing useful got done.

Ne'er mind chickadees, here's June, so it's time for fun... :->

First up, a recommended read... just got done reading Elizabeth Moon's trilogy compilation thingy The Serrano Legacy - that was great fun. Especially liked the Aunt-Power! in the third one, Winning Colours. And am loving the space piracy/privateering. (Well, who doesn't love space piracy! Now all we need is some space ninjas...)

Next up, am midway through an OU short course - Archaeology: The Science of Investigation. Proving to be quite fascinating, and a bit challenging with some of the science bits. Also there's some giggle-worthy names on some of the case study sites so my inner 12 year old has plenty to snicker at... (Wetwang! Krapina!) :->

The DGLA swanky do is coming up in a couple of weeks and, thankfully, they've downgraded the compulsory Black Tie edict to optional. Which is good because posh frock and me...ain't ever happening. Think I've managed to find a suitable moderately quirky outfit... now just have to work on that whole lack of social graces thing... :-> Luckily Alchemy mates Jan & Pete are going too so I've got someone to talk to. :->

On the Alchemy front, check out the Alchemy blog for my peeps' news... Mike Chinn has sold a couple of stories, Jan's sold a story and an article, and Debs is up to five novels on Authonomy! Crikey. Busy bunch.

And li'l sis has jumped onto the web, suddenly being all twitter and myspace and facebook and bloggy. What's actually quite disconcerting is seeing her age written down in black and white. She's not that old. She can't be that old. How did she get to be that old? She's only supposed to be wee. :-O

Of course, it's all her fault that I discovered Twitter. (Oh look, there it was. Quick, plant a flag...) So if you tweet, I'm on as jenqoe.

13 April 2009

DGLA Shortlist

So last night at Eastercon the shortlist for the David Gemmell Legend Award was announced and it has very quickly jumped webwise... so the lucky five are:

Joe Abercrombie – Last Argument of Kings
Juliet Marillier – Heir to Sevenwaters
Brandon Sanderson - The Hero of Ages
Andrzej Sapowski - Blood of Elves
Brent Weeks - The Way of Shadows

Voting for the shortlist isn't quite open yet, but the DGLA will be setting up some funky sections on their website in order to encourage fan madness and have everyone champion their, er, champions!

So pop over there and give 'em your support. And while you're there, remember... Joe Applecrumble for teh win!! :->

08 April 2009

Lovely Books

Had another book binge, brain full of awesomeness, so here's some short and sweet reviews... (definitely want to do fuller reviews, but for those, later...)

First, and definitely foremost, would be Dragon in Chains by the ever lovely Daniel Fox. The cover is gorgeous, and despite stopping every so often to try and remember how young the protags were supposed to be, this is a story that totally swallows you up. So much so, that I was immediately champing for the next one not one minute after finishing it.

And the jade. Of course. How could it not have that effect. It all makes perfect sense.

And the dragon. Ah yes, the dragon. A presence that stays on the edge of things, yet is also central to it all. Existing in different forms until her inevitable crowning moment right at the end. And when's the next one out? Hurry hurry hurry...
Definitely going to need to read this one again.

Hunter’s MoonDavid Devereux

Now this is a tricky one. Am as yet undecided on it.
Jack is a bastard. We know this because it says so. Jack is also a mission impossible style magician who gets sent in to fix magic based problems on behalf of a top secret doesn’t really exist branch of the government. So far, so James Bond with magic.

The problem comes with the levels of misogyny in it, which makes for uncomfortable reading at times. But this is complicated by the fact that Jack is, unreservedly, a bastard, and the story is told through his eyes and mind. So where you get a section which leaves you with an ‘I can’t believe I just read that,’ there’s a follow up of, ‘but it does make sense in the context of the story,’ which then gets quickly followed by, 'OMGWTFBBQ!' So on that front, while the viewpoint character is most definitely not the most pleasant of chaps to be seeing the story from, the tone remains completely consistent with Jack being a bastard.

And then there’s the bad guys. Gals. Primarily a coven of witches who are specialising in sex magic, who are also working with a group comprised of non magic terrorists, but that’s not too important. It’s all about the crazy sex magic hijinx.
Perhaps another reason why it’s uncomfortable reading. But they’re the villains who have evil plots so we’re not supposed to like them.
Except the other female characters, what few there are, don’t come off too well either. Mind you, neither do most of the men, there’s just more of them… :->
This one's going to need a re-read too, I think, just to pin things down.

Kari SperringLiving with Ghosts

Wow. Wow wow wow. Utterly utterly awesome. It's beautiful and gloriously written. I can't even begin to go into how much this one blew me away. (I'll save that for a fuller review later). Until then, buy a copy and read it, cos, just, wow!

Mike Carey - Thicker Than Water

Ok, how did I miss this series? Why did I miss this series? What a fool! This rocks! It's a fun thrill ridden urban magic thingy and despite it being book four, not having read the previous three is sooo not a disadvantage. There are some inevitable comparisons with John Constantine, but, actually, I think I prefer Felix Castor as a protag.

Kristin Cashore - Graceling

Ooh, this was cool. And the story wrapped up neatly in the one book too. So we've got a kick ass heroine who's plenty screwed up, we've got power mad kings, we've got a whole array of nifty background characters interacting in awesome ways, and peeps squeezing the most of their special abilities. And the promise of said kick ass heroine being proactive about other things in the black space after the book has ended. Yep yep, definitely like it! Apparently there's a prequel coming out later this year, so that should be fun!

24 March 2009

Turn Coat - Jim Butcher

Ah, lovely. Now that the holiday cover thing is done and gone, back to fun things.

And top of the list of fun things would be Turn Coat by Jim Butcher. The latest Harry Dresden... hurrah! (What, you need more? :-> )
So in this one, our boy Harry, helper of the helpless, receives a rather curious visitor on his doorstop. Namely old nemesis Morgan - who's badly injured, wanted for murder, on the run from the White Council and needs help. Well, gosh. This would be the same Morgan who's been looking for an excuse to kill Harry since book one, so as you can tell, hijinx are about ensue...

We get more of the Gatekeeper's mysteeeeeerious hints about Harry's Destiny. There's also more about the strange island in the lake that doesn't officially exist, and, happily, Murphy's still kicking ass and being let in on everything she can be let in on. The Weres and Sex Vamps get to play in this book, but with the exception of Toot and the pizza guard, the faery are absent.

And then there's the wizard politics. Still nothing solid on the Black Council, but a traitor is definitely unmasked and dealt with. (Totally called it from the first time that particular person walked on in the book! Hah! ::Smug mode disengaged::)

The only dodgy bit is the characterisation of Molly, Harry's young apprentice. There's something not quite right there... possibly something to do with her generally being a lech object to any man that comes in range... including Morgan... eew. Also there's one too many emotional-outburst-based magical whoopsies from her. Granted she's young and new to it, but surely someone aware how fast the Council would kill her for the forbidden stuff would put in the effort to resist doing them. Especially in front of the rabid excutioner who'll be the one dishing the punishment.

Although it was funny reading the scenes that waited for Harry everytime he returned home... :->

A lot of other things in Harry's life get shaken up in this one too, which promises fascinating things for the next few books. (All of which are needed right now, please!)

So all in all, fantastic fun. Loved it.

10 March 2009

Fantasycon Online

Now that the Web gremlins have settled down, there's a funky new website for Fantasycon here, plus Fcon is on Myspace and Facebook too! Go see!

20 February 2009

Fantasycon GoH: The Third!

And the third and final guest for Fcon this September is.... Gail Z. Martin!

Young Mr Coleborn quoth "We are delighted to announce that Gail Z Martin is confirmed as our third Guest of Honour. Gail is the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series: The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven and Dark Lady’s Chosen (coming in 2010). She discovered her passion for science fiction, fantasy and ghost stories in elementary school. The very first story she ever wrote — at age five — was about a vampire. Her favorite TV shows as a pre-schooler were Dark Shadows and Lost in Space. At age 14, she decided to become a writer, and launched a fanzine when she was in college. Gail enjoys attending science fiction/fantasy conventions, Renaissance fairs and living history sites. She is married and has three children, a Himalayan cat and a golden retriever. And now, visit her website to find out more; and then nip over to YouTube for information on her forthcoming book."

16 February 2009

Fantasycon GoH: The Second!

And yet more news hot off the wossname... but a mere hour ago, young Mr Coleborn reported "We are delighted to announce that our second Guest of Honour is Brian Clemens. Born in Surrey in 1931, he is best known as the creative force behind The Avengers, for many of us epitomised by the image of Diana Rigg starring as Mrs Emma Peel. After service in the Army he worked in an advertising agency, during which he wrote a script which attracted the attention of the BBC. And from small beginnings... He later wrote the pilot episode of The Avengers, first shown in 1961. Besides writing for this, he scripted TV shows such as Adam Adamant Lives, The Persuaders, The Professionals and Thriller. A more detailed biography can be found here."

So Brian Clemens joins the fabled likes of Jasper Fforde and Ian Watson at Fantasycon over the weekend of 18th - 20th September 2009 at the ever interesting Britannia Hotel in Nottingham...

And while we're waiting for website problems to be sorted, booking and contact info can be found here. (I hope!)

05 February 2009

Fantasycon GoH: the First!

News hot off the wossname. We have just had it confirmed that the one and only JASPER FFORDE is our first official Guest of Honour at Fantasycon this year! Woot!

Blurb direct from the BFS temp website, courtesy of Chair-bod Guy Adams: "Since his first novel -- The Eyre Affair -- was published in 2001 Fforde has consistently blurred genres, producing a wonderful series of reality-bending, funny, complex, literate and very very silly books. His Tuesday Next series follows the adventures of the eponymous heroine and LiteraryDetective as she solves crimes against fiction in an alternative Republic of England. The Nursery Crime series, starring DCI Jack Spratt, have addressed both the murder of Humpty Dumpty (The Big Over Easy, 2005) and porridge-smuggling by bears (The Fourth Bear, 2006). A new series begins this August with his latest novel Shades of Grey."

So just to remind any interested peeps, the Fantasycon essentials are now: Fcon 2009, 18th - 20th September at the Britannia Hotel, St James Street, Nottingham with GoH Jasper FForde and MC Ian Watson. Hurrah!

Now we just need to get the server problems sorted so we can have an actual working website to shout about it properly...

01 February 2009


So idly googling random things, as one is wont to do of a Sunday morning, I ran across this quite jaw dropping article on Cinemablend which opines that apparently women don't want to see movies with female superheroes in... who knew?!

From what I can tell, the above eyeroller came about as a response to the saner view of Thera Pitts on Rope of Silicon who quite rightly reckons that, yes, actually there needs to be more Superheroines in the comic book movie genre. And not just eye candy in skimpy costumes with a puerile excuse for something vaguely plotlike either.. ::coughs-catwoman-coughs::

28 January 2009


Despite cruel and terrible threats that Amazon UK wouldn't be stocking it, turns out that they managed to get a few copies of Dragon in Chains by Daniel Fox, and lo! I did order it. And it arrived! And I have it looking all pretty and readable right in front me. Hurrah!

And the ever fabulous Juliet McKenna has posted some upcoming gigs here. Which, by strange coincidence, means that the Write Fantastic gig list has been updated with the jollies for the first half of the year.

Lovely things indeed!

25 January 2009

Alt-Nano Update

And the alt-nano thing is going just a wee bit slow at the mo... slow, but I'm actually happy with how it's going, even if the words are crawling... Protag. A is wandering her way through the underworld, meeting challenges with varying degrees of success, Protag. B is currently trying to distract the bad guys from wondering just what in blazes Protag. A is doing for so long in Mysterious Building wot they can't get into. And then there's Protag. C, my female Bond-ish spy. A troublesome creature so far, who's yielded several pages of blather with only a few useful bits and one lovely line that suddenly gave her a firm shape.

Onwards we go...

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14,590 / 50,000

14 January 2009

Temp BFS site

And I completely forgot to mention - the British Fantasy Society has a temporary website up until the server change-over problems are resolved. You can find a much scaled down version of things at http://s256537080.websitehome.co.uk - it's pretty much the forum and news at the moment, but there is a rather cool facility to let you pick one of about five themes for the site, which I'm liking. :->

13 January 2009

Fun and Frolics

Authors in the Wild!
If you're around London on Thursday 22nd January, 5pm - 7pm, Forbidden Planet in Shaftesbury Avenue will be holding a mass signing where nine lovely authors will be roaming freely doing the chatting and signing thing.
The peeps in question are: Joe Abercrombie, Alex Bell, Mark Chadbourn, David Devereux, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Tom Lloyd, Suzanne McLeod, Steven Savile and
James Swallow

Write Fantastic!
And if you happen to be in Oxford on Saturday 4th April, The Write Fantastic will be doing a reading & writing f&sf panel at Borders of Oxford as part as the Oxfringe Festival. It starts at 7pm and all are welcome to join in on the Q & A.

Not only that...if you're a Juliet E. McKenna fan, Monday 6th April will find the ever fab J.E.M. doing an illustrated talk at the Corner Club in Oxford covering Oxford and its influences on authors such as Tolkien, CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll and others.

Yes, it's still going to happen! The web difficulties are almost sorted so the spanking new page should be going up soon. Apparently there's going to be an easy to click on paypal thingybob for membership purchasing purposes so it'll be even easier for you to spend your money!
Until then, don't forget: Fantasycon 2009 is 18th - 20th September at the Britannia Hotel, Nottingham and we have the ever lovely Ian Watson as MC.

And finally... the David Gemmell Legend Award has topped 2000 votes so far! Woot!

06 January 2009

2009 Books

Inspired by a forum post at the lovely Wonderlands... here's some of the books I'm looking forward to this year.

The Mystery of Grace - Charles De Lint (It's Charles De Lint. Big Love!)
Irons in the Fire - Juliet E. McKenna (It's Juliet E. Mckenna! Ditto!)
Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs (So far the series has been fun with the icky romance stuff at bare minimum and very subtly handled.)
Dragon in Chains - Daniel Fox (It's the super-sekrit identity of a lovely author chap, also Chains is said to be rather fab according to the early reviews and those lucky peeps that got their hands on an arc.)

Graceling - Kristin Cashore (A new Gollancz author - looks good.)
Red Gloves - Beth Vaughan (Also a new Gollancz author, and also looks good.)
The Ace of Skulls - Chris Wooding (Just because it looks like fun!)
Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie (Because Joe Abercrombie is a god!)
Jasmyn - Alex Bell (Another Gollancz new author, and it looks interesting.)
Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch (A ha! At last, Mr Lynch, you have delivered!)

Orcs: Bad Blood Two - Stan Nicholls (Stan Nicholls! Orcs!! How can you want more?!)
The Spy who Haunted Me - Simon R. Green (Because Simon Green is the dude! Also am loving this series.)
The Prodigal Mage - Karen Miller (Because am a new fan)
Witches Incorporated - K.E. Mills (Ditto the above)
In Ashes Lie by Marie Brennan (Because Midnight Comes was aces!)
Destroyer of Worlds - Mark Chadbourn (Yay! Mark Chadbourn! A scarily intelligent chap who does mythic/urban fantasy fantastically and it's a fab series.)
Living with Ghosts - Kari Sperring (Because I heard Kari on a couple of a panels at Eastercon '08, and she was great! Also, it looks fascinating!)

05 January 2009


As we've got a shiny new year to play with, I've decided January is going to be the month of Nano: the revenge! Otherwise known as, let's do one of those Nano projects that didn't get done in November...

So this month's project is going by the temporary title of Shattered and is a heroic fantasy set in an alternate Britain. There will be wild battles and trips to the underworld and goddesses up to all sorts of hijinx and if my stumbling attempts at web-fu are working, below should be a progress meter courtesy of Zokutou...

3,195 / 50,000