Thursday, 24 September 2009 Out of Reach

One of my favourite contemporary genre writers, Tim Lebbon, won the best novella gong at the British Fantasy Awards over the weekend for The Reach of Children.

Deservedly so too. It’s a tale of love and loss that transcends genre and proves that while ‘horror’ writing is much maligned, there is some truly great work in this field that shouldn’t be ignored or frowned upon by more ‘literary’ circles. At its best, it can touch us in ways no other fiction can and The Reach of Children is a fine example of this.

The sad thing is that the novella was only published in a signed and limited edition of 250 copies by the now defunct Humdrumming Press. Worse still, Humdrumming only printed just over half of those proposed 250 copies before going out of business.

I was lucky enough to get hold of one of those copies, but hopefully it will be available for a wider audience sometime soon. When it is, read it. Simple as that.

Something else that’s worth mentioning here is that Lebbon started out in the small press in the mid 90’s, publishing stories online and in print for little or no recompense.

There’s hope for us all.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009 Where People Disappear

There were many things I loved about being a kid in the 70’s. Star Wars; holiday camp cabaret; toys that always looked so much better on the advert; Evel Knievel; lurid orange and brown wallpaper in the kitchen; Barry Manilow… no, really and please don’t mock; I’m fragile and insecure. The list could go well on forever and one blog post it probably will - you’ve been warned.

But some of my fondest memories are of exploring all the books and magazines about the unexplained mysteries of the world. There always seemed to be an abundance of them back then, along with countless TV programmes and films. I’d lap it all up and still be hungry for more.

For me, the Bermuda Triangle was right at the top of that list. I can still remember the sense of awe and wonder I felt reading those accounts of missing aircraft and ships and wondering what really happened to them. The sheer possibilities of the unknown fascinated me.

It was a raw, physical feeling in the gut and in the heart that, as an adult, it’s hard to replicate. Especially when those unknown possibilities are ‘solved’ and turn out to be mundane and, frankly, uninspiring. Check out the news article here for details.

Another piece of my childhood stands in ruins. Still, I’ll always have Barry.

Monday, 7 September 2009 To Each and Every One of You

There’s a tide of love sweeping through the Net just recently and it would be remiss of me not to add my own sprinkling.

So, I just wanted to say a big, big thank you to everyone who took the time to read They Make Great Pets the other day. You’ve certainly proven yourselves to be a bunch of slightly disturbed individuals… that’s a compliment by the way.

And, of course, a big thanks to everyone who just drops by here for the hell of it.

Keen-eyed readers will have noticed that I don’t always take myself too seriously in this blog, but I mean this most sincerely: I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate the fact that some great, great writers took a little time out of their day to read my sordid tale.

Now, before I go and get all teary and emotional, please rest assured that some fantastic, imaginary gifts are well on their way to you and should be safely nestled wherever it is you want them safely nestled very, very soon.

Unfortunately though, Becca, I couldn’t quite manage world peace wrapped in a big red bow. I tried, I really did, but the negotiators were insistent that it be a big yellow bow… and… well, that was a deal breaker for me to be honest. Sorry.

The good news is, I easily managed the next thing on your list and it’ll be with you before you know it.

Trust me; I’m a writer, I never make things up.

Friday, 4 September 2009 Pet Hates

My cute-as-a-fluffy-little-bunny-in-spring story, They Make Great Pets, is online over at Flashes in the Dark.

When I wrote this story, I thought it was maybe a little ridiculous, but recent events in the news have shown that there’s nothing as far-fetched as the real, banal, mundane evil that we don’t know about today, but will make the headlines tomorrow.

Check it out here.

I’ll send everyone kind enough to drop a comment over at FITD a fantastic, albeit imaginary, prize of their choosing.

Now, that’s an offer you can’t refuse.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009 Change of Decor

I think it’s fair to say that the Boneyard is a dank and miserable place; sad and lonely even. Few linger longer than they need to; those that do receive scant reward for their efforts. The sporadic, inane ramblings of a senseless loon are all that greet visitors here.

But light can be found in even the darkest of places; blogger extraordinaire and all round Aussie gent BT has found that chink of light and graced it with a rather fetching One Lovely Blog award. Cheers, BT.

Here it is, in all its pink and luscious loveliness.

Brightens the old place up a little, don’t you think? Wonder if it will have a similar effect on my writing?

Of course, awards must be passed on and I can think of no-one more deserving of the One Lovely Blog award than the very lovely Rebecca Nazar.

Rebecca, over to you.