Friday, 23 October 2009 Shock and Awe

I’m just about over the shock of being included in the Hint Fiction anthology, but what I haven’t got over is the calibre of the authors I’ll be published alongside. The full list is available here, but to say I’m awestruck wouldn’t even come close.

There are so many heavy-hitters in here, but a few personal highlights include: Gary A. Braunbeck, Jonathan Carroll, Jack Ketchum, J.A. Konrath, Joe R. Lansdale, Nick Mamatas, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Straub and F. Paul Wilson. All those and some weird little fellow called Bonehill… it still hasn’t quite sunk in.

There’s been some sort of mistake, surely? I’ve snuck in by the back door while no-one was looking, but for now I’ll keep quiet and hope that no-one rumbles me.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009 Hint, Hint

I was so close to not making the submission deadline for the Hint Fiction anthology, and so close to thinking my story didn’t stand a chance that I almost didn’t send it in. Almost.

Then I had problems with my e-mail program which refused to send any messages and again I came close to knocking it on the head. After all, what kind of chance did I really have?

Still, I’m stubborn (we need to be, right?) and I finally managed to get my submission in at 23:58 on the day of the deadline.

And I’m so glad that I did.

Get the hint?

Thursday, 8 October 2009 The Great Pan

Warning: this could easily turn into another teary-eyed, nostalgia-tinged post, but I’ll try my best not to let it get out of hand, so I’ll keep it short.

One thing guaranteed to keep me happy and quiet for hours back in my formative years was being nose deep in one of the Pan Book of Horror Stories. These were yearly anthologies that ran from 1959 to 1989 mixing classic reprints and new tales from the likes of Bram Stoker, HG Wells, WW Jacobs, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Joan Aiken, R. Chetwynd Hayes, Ian McEwan, Stephen King and… well the list goes on.

They were the kind of books you moved on from after reading The Bumper Book of Bothersome Ghosts for Bored Boys. The covers were always lurid and pulpy and most definitely a part of the appeal.

All in all they were a great tradition and are sadly missed.

But now, they’re back.

Happy days.

Friday, 2 October 2009 Durbrain

A lot has been said of the Richard Ridyard fiasco in the past few days, and said a lot more eloquently than I ever could, so I’m not going to get bogged down in the subject. The guy is quite clearly a major durbrain as my eight year old would say.

The sad thing about this whole episode is that it was inevitable and, most likely, will happen (and is happening right now) time and time again.

Assuming his bio is to be believed, he’s a law student from The Wirral in sunny old England. Now, I happen to work in a University in sunny old England and there are times that our law students have a certain reputation.

It’s a reputation for ‘in the field experimentation’ and it wouldn’t surprise me one little bit if that’s what Mr Ridyard was up to when he thought it would be a good idea to plagiarise the work of other writers.

Is there anyone out who is really dumb enough to submit a blatant King rip-off to a publication such as Shock Totem? (Thinking about it, there probably is and that’s scary in itself).

I’m pretty sure the guy wanted to be rumbled, especially as he’d already duped a lot of unsuspecting online zines into publishing ‘his work’.

I’m also pretty sure that the series of events is making its way into in an essay or dissertation regarding the dangers of online copyright issues.

Does that forgive him? Hell no.

Does that mean he deserves any more of our attention? Hell no, other than to say he’s still a major durbrain.