Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Zombonauts Lives ... FTA Anthologies, Less So

I discovered a couple of days ago that the Zombonauts anthology from Library of the Dead Press, which includes a reprint of my Fear of a Blue Goo Planet (podcast what seems an eon ago by Chaos Theory: Tales Askew) is now out to buy from Amazon.com. This unquestionably good bit of news was slightly spoiled by the fact that I found out not by my contributor copy turning up, or my payment for that matter, but because I happened to search for it in a moment of boredom. In fact it's been out since the back end of October, although apparently those early copies were plagued with a few (possibly undead-related) problems, hence the delay in contributor copies, etc. And hey, it's a neat-looking book. I realise this fact doesn't really come over from the miniaturised version here, so have a look on Amazon and appreciate it in all its gory glory. And check out the equally neat back cover while you're there. And, y'know, consider buying a copy.

I won't do any more plugging until I've actually seen it myself. But come on ... Zombies. In space. You know it makes sense.

A somewhat less cheering bit of news arrived the day after, when Kate Sanger e-mailed to let me know that the final two From the Asylum anthologies will not be seeing the light of day. Apparently spiralling costs got the better of the projects, and they will never be more than TOCs and a pair of awesome covers. This is particularly sucky news for me because I was in both of them. Still, you win some, you lose some, and what comes around gathers no moss, or some such philosphicalness.

No, it's still really sucky news.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Friendly out in Theakers # 31

A few snippets of news as the year grinds to a close. First up, the new issue of the ever-wondrous Theaker's Quarterly Fiction is available for free download or purchase from Lulu. Not only does it contain my story Friendly - a wildly batshit tale of interplanetary relations and disturbing alien sportsmanship - but one can also find a tale by Alison J. Littlewood, going by the name of Day of the Bromeliads. I was introduced to Alison through the oft-mentioned-here Mr Rafe McGregor, and have since had the pleasure of catching up on a lot of her previous work - which is uniformerly great and well worth tracking down, perhaps via her website. I can't say much else about the issue, since I'm waiting for my dead tree copies to arrive from Lulu, but the cover is tremendous and TQF is never ever less than entertaining.

Not really news as such, but I finished my copy of The Death Panel, as published by Comet Press and containing my Rindelstein's Monsters, and by heck it's a good collection. Of thirteen stories, five knocked my socks off, and of the rest only one failed to float my boat, (not my own, I hasten to add). In fact, hey, I'm just going to come out and say it: David James Keaton's Nine Cops Killed for a Goldfish Cracker is the best short story I've read in ages, Keaton's the next damn Charlie Huston, and - if you have the faintest liking for hard-boiled crime or horror - you'll be screwing yourself if you don't pick this one up.

Now, since I'd like to actually get in a little writing while I'm here, the other news'll have to wait a day or two...

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Death Panel Open For Business

That other bit of news referred to in the last post is that The Death Panel - containing my Rindelstein's Monsters - is now out to buy from the publisher, Comet Press, and all good internet book retailers. Or at least Amazon and Barnes and Noble, (I haven't researched this very thoroughly!).

Truth be told, it's been out since the back end of last month, but I don't like to plug things unless I can hold them in my hands and behold their glory with mine own eyes. Perhaps the wait was unnecessary in this case, because right from the off I had a feeling that The Death Panel was going to be awesome. And lo and behold, it really is. It's a beautifully put together little tome, and you'd be hard pressed to guess it's come from a small press with only two previous titles behind them.

I can't honestly claim to have read the whole thing cover to cover since it arrived on my doorstep yesterday, but I've done some serious flicking, and I can say with confidence that Rindelstein's Monsters - my possibly bestest ever story - is in damn fine company.

And that 'Murder, Mayhem and Madness' tagline? That isn't just for show.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Second Try for The Burning Room

A couple of bits of news this week, I'll get to the other one over the weekend. First up, I'm immensely pleased to announce that new professional-rate market Bull Spec have picked up my ghost story The Burning Room, which has been languishing ever since short-lived magazine The Willows accepted it and then promptly expired.

Harking back to my last post, the version that finally got okayed is some 500 words longer than the one that would have appeared back then. Editor Sam Montgomery-Blinn felt that the end was lacking a certain something and asked for a couple more lines, and me being me, I got a little carried away. It's easily done when there's the promise of being paid by the word, and it's a lucky coincidence that the new ending is a huge improvement.

I guess it's always a gamble staking work on a new publisher, but I've been hugely impressed by the passion and enthusiasm Sam's shown, both in regards to my own tale and on the Bull Spec blog. So while it would be kind of appropriate that The Burning Room should be cursed to never see the light of day, I'm hoping it's going to have a bit more luck this second time out.

Lastly, here's yet another glowing review of The Living Dead that picks out Stockholm Syndrome for special comment. Cheers to The Cimmerian for the thumbs up.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Easier to Pretend in Escape Velocity

Was there ever a time when I resented editors suggesting rewrites? Yeah, I guess there was, and it probably wasn't even that long ago. Still, it's hard to remember the mindset, though I know it's pretty common amongst learning writers. "Who's this editor to tell me what my story should be like," and "what's the point of making changes when I got it right the first time?", and "yeah, that paragraph's a bit weirdly phrased but it's exactly how I meant it to be."

All of which, if we're honest, adds up to "It was enough work writing the bloody thing, you can't seriously expect me to rewrite it?"

A little older, possibly a touch wiser, and I can see that that's not how the world - let alone the publishing industry - works. I want my stories to be as good as possible, right? And editors, unless they're basically psychotic, want my story to work as well as it can before they're going to consider publishing it. It all seems pretty much like common sense.

But I think the reason for that is that the more I've written, the more my perception of what a story is has changed. Once upon a time, I believed that once I wrote THE END that was basically the thing done. These days, I would be hesitant to use the word 'finished' to describe anything I write. As long as I can make it a little bit better, it's still a work in progress. For that reason, both of the reprints I recently had picked up for anthologies (Fear of a Blue Goo Planet in Zombonauts, The Other Ten Thousand in Kings of the Realm) are subtly different from the originals. I saw that there was room for tweakage, and so I tweaked. If they ever get reprinted again, I'll probably tweak some more.

Explanation for ramble? My It's Easier to Pretend in the Dark has been picked up by science-fiction magazine Escape Velocity. I sent it in to co-editor Geoff Nelder knowing in my heart of hearts that it wasn't quite as good as it could be but not knowing how to fix it, and Geoff, bless him, asked for some changes and in so doing pointed me towards some other things that needed sorting out. As such, the version that's been accepted is a hell of a lot better than the one I first sent out. That's got to be a good thing, right?

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Feeler Headlines Final Ballista

Some bittersweet release news, as November sees my story Feeler kicking off the seventh and final issue of British small press magazine Ballista. Ballista has garnered respect in its brief lifespan, and its a hell of a shame to see the - let's face it, not exactly bloated - UK small press get smaller by one.

Still, looking on the bright side, it's a nice issue to say 'goodbye' to. For a start, there's that gorgeous cover by Paul Neads, and an editorial from Andrew Myers that turns into a clever little horror story in its own right. After that comes my contribution, Feeler, a short tale of an empathic grief counsellor and the one thing that keeps her sane.

As a brief diversion from my usual fence-sitting, here are my three personal favourite stories, in no particular order (except, come to think of it, the order they appear in the magazine):

Crunch by Neil Beynon
Flood by Terence Kuch
Will by Mario Milosevic

Hmm, I can't help noticing that all of those - like Feeler - had one-word titles. Sorry, everyone else, your titles were just too damn long for this fruit fly-like attention span!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

October Wrap Up

Just a quick post to report a few belated odds and sods of October news:

Well, the month was a bit of a triumph, all told, with a couple of very strong sales and three acceptances for non-paying but fun venues. Of the latter, and not to denigrate the other two, I'm currently most excited about the picking up of my comic strip for Mangaquake, since I've just finished the new edit. It's now called Endangered Weapon B, after its grizzly-bear-in-robot-armour hero Banjo, and it comes in at ten pages, twice as long as Fleshworld (as printed in Futurequake #10) or my forthcoming strip in Something Wicked. It's been fun to decompress the story, and I think that this is the definite high point of (my admittedly limited!) comics work so far. In short, I'm chuffed with it, and can't wait to see what an artist makes of those ten pages of utter dementedness.

I'd hoped to have a couple of things out this month, but neither has materialised; on the plus side, the anthology from Comet Press that's to feature my Rindelstein's Monsters now has a fantastic cover, a neat webpage all of its own, a release date at the back end of November, and perhaps most importantly, a name - The Death Panel. I've seen a copy of the galley, and I can say with only a hint of bias that this one is going to be awesome.

Last up, I found yet another review of The Living Dead, which is both staggeringly thorough and singles out Stockholm Syndrome for credit - in the shape of a 4 out of 5 rating. At least, I hope it's out of five, and not say, seventy-three. Either way, cheers to reviewer Gregory Tidwell.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Mangaquake Do Their Bit For Endangered Species

Just when I was thinking that the good news had dried up for the month, Richmond Clements - editor of Futurequake Press's Mangaquake - got in touch to say that, yes, he'd like to use my script Endangered Weapon P. It's the touching tale of a an insane professor, his kidnapped prospective wife, Nazi dolphins and the titular endangered weapon, who will have to remain a suprise for the moment because I've inadvertently found myself stepping on the black-and-white fuzzy toes of an established property. Richmond has suggested a quick species change for my protagonist, lest we both get sued, and I'm happy to consent. He's also asked that I decompress it a bit and give the story more room to breath. More pages of demented, Nazi-dolphin bashing madness? Yeah, I think I can stretch to that.

While I'm here, a link that I meant to post over the weekend: Mr Howell's title, Why science fiction authors just can't win, says it all - and it needs saying. Genre literature has never been more significiant or influential, sci-fi has never been more prevalent in film and television, and yet a writer like Margaret Atwood can still raise her nose at the very notion of her work being science-fiction and ninety-nine percent of the mainstream literary establish will rush to clap her on the back. Come on, people! To the barricades!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Dancing in the Winter Rooms with Electric Velocipede

As demented as it sounds, that title is a completely fair and accurate summary of my most recent bit of news, which hails from Saturday morning: my story Dancing in the Winter Rooms has been picked up by Hugo award-winning and World Fantasy Award-nominated magazine Electric Velocipede.

On a slight side note, I remember reading one of those 'how to write good' books - I think it was Lisa Tuttle's Writing Fantasy and Science-Fiction - and being utterly horrified by the author's comment that their usual approach was to write a story, and then scrap it entirely and write it all over again. What an unbelievable amount of work! And what would be the point, anyway? Just get it right the first time!

Perhaps needless to say, I haven't adopted the technique. But I did eventually realise that sometimes it really is the only way forward, and it's a method I've since used twice. The recently-accepted-by-Andromeda Spaceways The Painted City was one occasion, and Dancing in the Winter Rooms the other. It began as a weird, almost documentary-like non-story, which broke just about every rule worth breaking - it had no protagonist (or indeed characters of any sort), no real plot, no definite beginning, middle or end.

It took me a while to realise that, of course, but once I did it came down to a choice between binning it and starting again from scratch. In the end I kept almost nothing beyond the core concept: of a millennium ship divided into four regions, each corresponding to an Earth season, and of the nomadic human tribe that wanders endlessly through its corridors.

I'm very pleased with the final result, which does have a story, a protagonist, characters, a beginning, a middle and an end. And I'm even more pleased that it's going to be appearing within the winner of the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine.

Stockholm Syndrome Pays its Way and Then Some

On Wednesday I received my first royalty payment for The Living Dead anthology, published last year by Night Shade Books - which coincidentally was my first royalty payment full stop. I can't go into exact details, for a number of reasons, but suffice to say it was rather more than I was expecting. I've since had a brief e-chat with editor John Joseph Adams, who let me in on the exact sales figures. Again, I should probably keep them under my hat, and will say simply that The Living Dead has sold amazingly well, and continues to do so.

I'd like to lay all the credit for this at the door of my entry, Stockholm Syndrome - which if you're too cheap to buy the book you can read here or listen to in podcast here - but I guess that some of it has to go to that Stephen King bloke, and all the other great authors assembled therein. But mainly I think the blame for its absurd success lies with Mr Adams, for putting together such an inspired collection and then backing it to the hilt. Congratulations to him, to all the other authors, and to Night Shade, who I suspect will be rather pleased with its performance. Here's hoping it continues to find, entertain and gross out new readers well into the next decade.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Flight Booked With Andromeda Spaceways for The Painted Planet

Man, I'm worn out with coming up with crap names for these blog posts! I think we're up to about Wednesday, by the way, but the news keeps coming in and I can only post so fast.

Note to universe: that wasn't me complaining.

The gloriously titled Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, who published my almost as gloriously titled My Friend Fishfinger by Daisy Age 7 back in August 2007 - and indeed, provided me with both my first print and semi-pro sales - have clasped another one of my stories to their bosom. This one's called The Painted City, and if it's not quite as demented as My Friend Fishfinger was, it's a close thing. It's another one of my longer tales, that I've been struggling to find a good home for, and I'm immensely glad to see it headed ASIM's way. Also, unlike a few of my recent sales, it should actually be out pretty soon, which means December this year. Unless we all plunge into a black hole or something...

Friday, 9 October 2009

Doppelganger Honoured

Still on Monday news! Hey, we should reach the middle of the week by tomorrow...

Sandra Kasturi, poetry editor of Chiaroscuro e-zine, wrote to let me know that my poem Doppelganger, as featured in the July 2008 issue, received an honourable mention for Ellen Datlow's much-respected and practically genre-defining year's best anthology series.

The full list, along with the final acceptances, can be found here.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Other, Other Ten Thousand

Next bit of early October news (we're up to the start of the week now!):

The Other Ten Thousand, a flash fantasy piece originally published in issue 9 of OG's Speculative Fiction, has been picked up by Christopher Jacobsmeyer for his next Lame Goat Press anthology, to be known as Kings of the Realm: A Dragon Anthology.

The title says about as much about it as I could hope to, so I'll just add that it won't be out any time soon - in fact, it hasn't even closed to submissions yet, so if you have any tales of giant reptiles doing interesting things then you might want to consider sending Mr Jacobsmeyer's way. The projected publication date is the first half of next year, and as ever I'll post further news as it comes in.

Variant Frequencies Accept My Survivor Guilt

Lots already happening this month, so much so that I'm going to split it up into a few posts, as and when I have time:

First up, multiple Parsec Award-winning podcasters Variant Frequencies have accepted my post-apocalyptic sci-fi tale Survivor Guilt for adaptation some time next year. Survivor Guilt is another one of my very early stories - so old that the original draft drew heavily on the first Fallout game! - that's been floating around for a long time looking for a comfy doorway to curl up in. That said, the reason I've kept at it is that there were some strong elements worth preserving, and I'd like to think that the trimming of about 3000 words, a change of tense and title and about thirty redrafts have left it tight and polished. I'm very fond of it, it's ideally suited for the podcast medium, and I'm hoping that the kerzillion hours of work I've put into it combined with the efforts of the talented folks at Variant Frequencies will produce something rather special.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

No Rest For Ricasso

I said much earlier in the year that 2009 might prove to be a good year for anthologies, and - though the acceptance I mysteriously alluded to back then disappeared into the ether - it's looking like the prediction was on the money. Editor Robert J Santa has picked up my very long short story No Rest For The Wicked for Ricasso's Press's upcoming heroic fantasy anthology Through Blood and Iron, making four antho sales this year, along with the two from last year yet to come out. That's a good three or four inches of shelf space!

No Rest For The Wicked had as troubled a birth as anything I've written, and has the dubious honour of being my first "fixer upper". It all started with a short story called Gambit, which was almost-but-not-quite me trying to write straight heroic fantasy. It was a decent little tale, but it didn't really wrap up, and - partly for that reason, partly because I'd had fun writing it and partly because I thought its heroes deserved a longer run - I decided to write a sequel. That became How to Get Ahead in Sorcery, and ended up being about three times longer than the story it span off from.

Gambit clocked up a few rejections, which I'd like to think were because of its sense of incompleteness rather than because it completely sucked. I realised, after a while, that I'd left myself with two stories that were pretty much unsaleable on their own, since How to Get Ahead... relied heavily on information in its predecessor. I decided that, rather than resign them both to the "dead" folder, I'd have a go at turning them into what they should have been in the first place, a single story - and so No Rest For The Wicked was spawned. At the time it seemed like an exercise in futility, since stories of almost 10'000 words are a phenomenally hard sell. Thankfully Mr Santa proved me wrong - and paid me the magnificent compliment of a Fritz Leiber comparison in the process.

I mention this in the vague hope that someone may find it interesting, but also because when Through Blood and Iron appears it will probably explain a lot, not least the odd section title headings. No Rest also links into a number of my other published fantasy stories, a fact that I'll probably explore a bit more once it's out for people to read. Which, fingers crossed, shouldn't be too far in the future...

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Film Ramble: The Jacket

If Kurt Vonnegut had ever written a mainstream Hollywood movie then it might have turned out something like The Jacket. Slaughterhouse Five is one obvious jumping off point for a plot that sees Adrien Brody's damaged Gulf War vet end up in an asylum after being wrongly accused of murder, and then coming unstuck in time thanks to some deeply unorthodox treatment. Another is Jacob's Ladder, and yet another is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The fact that The Jacket can stand up to all of those comparisons without embarrassment, and without seeming derivative, is a fair mark of how good it is.

It's pretty obvious that Warner Bros. had no idea at all what to do with it from the tag line, "TERROR HAS A NEW NAME" - although I guess they showed restraint in leaving off the exclamation mark. The Jacket never stood much chance of being appreciated for what it really is - not a horror movie (although if you're claustrophobic you'll probably pee your pants) but a smart mishmash of genres: horror yes, but also science-fiction, social commentary, crime, and romance. It spins around a small handful of beautiful, primal concepts, and a handful of great performances - Brody is downright excellent, a completely charming cypher, and Keira Knightley turns in probably the only genuinely good acting of her career. It's clever, strange, touching and downright unnerving, and it should have reached a whole lot more people than it did.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Rindelstein Committed

Rafe McGregor, friend and persistently excellent crime writer, says that Rindelstein's Monsters is my best story. He should probably know, having read just about everything I've written (a staggering task for anybody), assisted in more than a few rewrites, and generally helped to keep this show on the road for the last three years or so.

I would certainly place it in my top five, and I have to admit I'm very proud of it. I've always been determined that, however everything else fell out, Rindelstein's would make it to a good home - one where it's oddities (and it has a lot!) would be appreciated as well as its virtues.

Well, finger's crossed, Comet Press is that home. Rindelstein's Monsters, my possibly-best-yet story, will be appearing in their forthcoming horror /crime anthology, which - judging by their output and reception so far - should be nothing short of awesome. If you're going to buy one anthology with a David Tallerman story in this year, make it this one. Or failing that, one of the others. Or donate the money to a kitten sanctuary. Or buy yourself a new T-shirt, maybe one with a funny slogan or something. Hey, it's your life.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Feeler Strikes Again

It's funny how things work out. Even when sometimes it doesn't look like they're going to be the least bit funny.

Regular readers will know that my story Feeler was recently accepted by Tyree Campbell for a new Sam's Dot publication going by the charming Shelter of Daylight. This was of course good news, if for no other reason than that I'd had a hard time placing Feeler, and it was a story I felt sure of and believed in too much to see it languishing on my harddrive forever.

Before Sam's Dot, Feeler had been with Ballista, who recently announced that they would be closing shop with their seventh issue. Perhaps understandably, I took this as a rejection - those of you who write will no doubt understand my logic. It's a sad fact of the industry that magazines, even very good magazines, fold on a fairly regular basis, and it's rare to ever get a reply back once that's happened.

Long story slightly less long, Ballista just got back to me saying that they would like Feeler for their final issue. My first reaction was to feel pretty gutted, since acceptances are a rare breed at the best of times and it's no fun having to tell an editor you've sold a story out from under them. In desperation I threw myself at the mercy of Mr Campbell, and he very kindly agreed to let Ballista have the first shot, so to speak.

So I'm immensely pleased to announce that Feeler has found not one but two good homes. Expect Ballista along in the near future, and Shelter of Daylight in April of next year.

Monday, 31 August 2009

End of August News: Part 2.5

I've a few hours of August left, and one last snippet of news to close the month off:

I mentioned that the two From the Aslum anthologies I'm in were going to press. Well, now the cover art is up for all to see - and it's awesome. Not only that, we have a full list of contents, and the one for the Year 4 Anthology is downright astonishing. There are about a hundred stories and poems in there! This is going to be one weighty book. I mean, even if you don't want to read it I'd recommend buying a couple of copies for home defence - perch them on your doors when you go to sleep, burglars won't know what him them. Realistically, though, I'd hope that people will want to read it, because - assuming it costs less than $900 - it's set to be astonishing value and chock full of excitingness.

I've said a couple of times that I enjoyed From the Asylum, and that it's a hell of a shame it won't be around anymore. That title lists says why better than I ever could. Where else could you go for tales and poems with names like "
Why Monsters Don't do Group Therapy", "Down Metempsychosis Highway", or "How to Determine If There's a God on the Return Flight to Philadelphia"? Or for that matter, "King Gob's Warcry"?

Almost forgot: here's the link.

Here's hoping I have as much to ramble about next month...

Sunday, 30 August 2009

End of August News: Part 2

Being, as the name suggests, a contination of yesterday's rambling:

I had a novel experience at the back end of last week, in that I submitted a story for one magazine and had it accepted for a totally different one. I sent in my Feeler - a cheery tale of an empathic counsellor struggling under the weight of other people's pain, and her quest to hang on to a little sanity - to Tyree Campbell at Aoife's Kiss, which featured my The Burden of Kings not so long ago. Mr Campbell decided to accept it, but for Sam's Dot Publishing's new imprint Shelter of Daylight. Expect to see it in April of next year.

Finally, I just received the artwork for my comic strip The Unleashing of the Ineffectual, forthcoming from Futurequake Press, from artist Duncan Kay. Duncan's been teasing me with character sketches and suchlike for months, one of which was so damn neat that it's currently sitting framed on top of my bookcase, and the final product doesn't disappointment. No idea yet when it will actually see the light of day, but I'll post when I know more.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

End of August News: Part 1

So much news this week that it requires - okay, can justify - being split into two posts. Here goes for part one!

The Things Aren't What They Seem anthology from From the Asylum Books is going to press, which presumably means it will be out very soon. I'm buzzed about this one mainly because - if From the Asylum was anything to go by - editor Kate Sanger has a keen eye for strong, unusual stories, and it should be a genuinely interesting collection.

I found another review of Murky Depths #8, this one from SFRevu, and it has this to say about Peachy:

"The fiction in the issue begins with "Peachy" by David Tallerman. In this one pager, Peachy is the cat of our unnamed narrator and the cat seems in a strange mood. Why that's the case becomes clear at the end of this perfect little story."

I like that, "...perfect little story." Follow the link above for the rest of the review.

Finally: my tale Caretaker in the Garden of Dreams was picked up a while ago by Necrotic Tissue, which was neat in and of itself. But I found out a couple of day ago that it will be the editor's choice for the Jan 2010 issue - which means I get to wear a special, extra-shiny 'editor's choice' hat and, perhaps even more importantly, I get five times as many pennies. Writers being a primarily coin-operated form of entertainment, this is good news indeed.

More back-end-of-August news tomorrow!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Film Ramble: Hardware

Last night I watched Richard Stanley's Hardware for the first time in about fifteen years. I stuck on my Lovefilm list because I remembered it as being pretty good and thought it might be worth another watch.

It really was. I'll go further: it was downright excellent. More than that, I think it's the only film I can remember to really nail the spirit of cyberpunk. Sure Strange Days wasn't too wide of the mark, and the first Matrix film hit a lot of the bases, but Hardware's got it all: grungy screwed up heroes, sex, death, drugs, horrible violence, pervasive technology, rust, rot, all the post-apocalyptic chic you could hope for.

There are probably about a million killer-robot B-movies out there, but Hardware strives for much more, and succeeds enough to count as a success. It's a dark, bad trip of a movie, scary and nasty and weird. It even has Iggy Pop!

You have to wonder what Stanley would have come up with if tantrumming celebrity actors hadn't wrecked his career. He has projects forthcoming on IMDB, so maybe there's hope yet...

Friendly with Theaker's

Just a quick note to say that the marvellous Mr Theaker has accepted another one of my stories for his Quarterly Fiction, this one a blackly comic little sci-fi number called "Friendly". It's good to know there's still a market for stories about weird-ass slobbery aliens playing obscure futuristic sports out there...

It's provisionally set for the October 2009 issue, which is actually pretty soon, what with summer finishing before it started and all.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Wunderkind, Bards and Sages

My story Wunderkind has been picked up by newish print magazine Bards and Sages Quarterly.

Wunderkind is a flash tale that spins off a simple premise: that superheroes are downright scary. It's a simple, indisputable fact that's been washed over to a bewildering degree. I speak as a massive comics nerds here: If I met Superman I'd be the guy running like hell in the other direction. And all the time I'd know he could turn me to dust by blinking.

This is something I'd like to go into more one day, I think there's a novel at least waiting in the wings if I ever find the time - but in the meantime, come April of next year, there's the nasty little first step that is Wunderkind.

Film Ramble: The Last Man on Earth

You spend years waiting for a good film adaptation of Richard Matheson's seminal horror / sci-fi novel I am Legend, and all you get is Will Smith talking to mannequins and rattling on about Shrek.

Then you wait a bit longer and finally get round to watching The Last Man on Earth, despite the fact that of the three adaptations (the third being Charlton Heston-starrer The Omega Man), it's the one everyone seems to sneer at.

And lo and behold, it's fantastic.

Which begs the question: why is it not a recognised classic? It's remarkably faithful to Matheson's book (he even had a hand in the script, under a pseudonym), capturing not just the tone, the sense of desolation, the interminable horror of Neville's (here Morgan's) plight, but also the internal struggles, subtext, all the things that adaptations normally fall flat on. The ending is somewhat changed, but unlike the Will Smith vehicle it holds true to the themes of the novel, and retains its resonance.

Vincent Price - who at first seems miscast due to his innate creepiness - gives a startling performance that only improves as the film goes on and we realise he's not quite the hero he's believed himself. A much underrated actor, he was never better than here, or had more opportunity to show what he could do.

It's genuinely dark (quite staggeringly so in places) and preempts much of what Romero would achieve four years later in Night of the Living Dead - even down to the noirish documentary style. The flashback sequence is particularly bleak, and haunting in its images of a society crumbling in the face of the inevitable.

Point is, if like me you're a fan of I am Legend, (and if you have the faintest interest in horror or sci-fi you should be, Gollancz didn't make it number two in their Sci-fi Masterworks series for nothing!), then do yourself a favour - watch the first and best film adaptation and see how it should have been done.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Here be Limelight

As mentioned a couple of posts ago, I'm now a famous celebrity type, and it only seems fair to share a few photos of my exciting new status. This way, when the inevatable tabloid furore begins, at least the world will know there was once a time when I wasn't being kicked out of nightclubs at 4AM for trying to snort cocaine off Mary Winehouse's bosoms. All photos are of course from the Parallel Dimensions event to promote Hadley Rille Books, and all are courtesy of event organiser Adele Cosgrove-Bray.

First up, here's me reading. Note the intense concentration and the way I'm completely ignoring the audience:

Next up, this is from the Q & A session. I'm the one in the middle trying to look thoughtful while actually just picking at a loose thread on my knee:

And finally, so as not to give the impression I was the only one there - that was David Clements on the left of me, and Hazel Dixon on my right. And here we have Adrienne Odasso, Rob Haines and David Clements once again. Astute readers might be able to guess from the relative positions of mine and Rob's hands what the last question asked was. Ladies, please bear in mind that I've always been excessively modest!

Finally, here's a link to lots more pictures, which aren't me-centric enough to warrant posting here.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Film Ramble: Moon

Moon is a very good, in places great, movie. Duncan Jones directs with that clinical, distanced style that benefited so many great seventies movies, Sam Rockwell gives a fine performance, indeed numerous fine performances, the special effects are impressive for a low budget movie and it's hard to fault anything with a score by the mighty Clint Mansell.

But as science-fiction, it's rubbish.

I mention this because a lot of people seem to be hailing it as a sci-fi masterpiece, and that kind of worries me. I mention it also because this is a subject that - as discussed a few posts ago - has been on my mind a lot lately. I get that Moon is a homage to classics like Silent Running, and I love them too, but the one thing you absolutely don't want to reference in a film that's supposed to be set in the future is the technology. We're told in the opening scene that mankind has limitless energy at its disposal. That would suggest at least a slight step up the technology curve. So why do the computer systems look like they're running on a Commodore 64? Why haven't robotics advanced one iota? Are we meant to believe that people are still watching old TV shows and listening to talk radio? Why does it still take three days to travel between Earth and the Moon?

I'm not suggesting that every science fiction film needs to stand up to rigorous scrutiny. I realise there was budgetary restraints, and - just to reiterate - I liked Moon a fair bit. Still, I do think it's lousy science-fiction. It progresses a couple of aspects of our current situation and assumes that everything else will stay the same or, bizarrely, retrograde. It doesn't think through its own logic. On a side note, the IMDB entry has an amusing anecdote about Jones showing the movie to some guys from NASA, who spotted a rather more techie hole in his thinking.

Oh well. I hope this won't put anyone off seeing Moon, because it's a neat film, and an absolute coup for the British film industry. Here's hoping its the beginning of brighter times.

Just don't call it sci-fi!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Zombies ... in ... Space!!!

Some good news ... The Library of the Dead have picked up my Fear of a Blue Goo Planet - podcast what seems like a lifetime ago by Chaos Theory: Tales Askew - for publication in their forthcoming Zombonauts anthology. For those of you how aren't too good at working at neologisms, that means zombies in space, astronauts getting their faces chewed off, perhaps a few aliens being battered with their own severed limbs. What sane person could resist such a premise? And how often do you get to deal with an editor called Doctor Pus? I'm really looking forward to this one!

On a side note, it looks as though the two From the Asylum anthologies I'm in - the Best of Year and Things Aren't What They Seem - appear to be going ahead just fine. I'd been worried since the magazine folded earlier this year that they'd never see the light of day, so it's great to find that editor Katherine Sanger is still pushing ahead. FTA was a sad loss to the online small press, and it deserves a blaze of glory before it goes.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Fear and Loathing in West Kirby

Just a quick note to say that I survived the brush with fame that was the Hadley Rille event in West Kirby - and although I'm now officially a celebrity I swear I haven't become even remotely big headed.

Truth be told, we had the relative bad luck to clash with the only nice weather of the week and - given that the beach was all of five minutes away - it's perhaps no surprise that the authors nearly outnumbered the audience. From my point of view that wasn't entirely a bad thing, since I'm crap at reading loudly and mainly went to say 'hi' to a few like minded folks anyway. On that note, a big thank you to fellow attendees Adrienne Odasso, Rob Haines and David Clements (listed, of course, in the order they arrived in the pub beforehand) for their company, further thanks to Adele Cosgrove-Bray for organising the whole thing, and a belated hello to late arrival Hazel Dixon, who I never actually got to speak to.

The two things I took away from the event were the general high quality of the readings, both in terms of material and presentation, and the fact that Hadley Rille are putting out some really nice books. I also learned a little about the Herschel and Planck space research missions, thanks to David Clements, who came armed with brochures regarding his day job - which is about nine million times more interesting-sounding than mine. All in all, a good day, and I look forward to next year's.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Film Ramble: Outpost

Having accidentally set myself a precedent, it's going to be hard not to bang on about movies here. I'm a huge film geek, to the point where I rent parts of my brain out to the IMDB on weekends. Still, this is supposed to be a blog for my writing, and a blog for my writing it shall be.

Only, I don't have much news at the minute, and I just saw an excellent film.

So I'll try and keep myself to plugging genre films that are distinguished by good writing or plots that are above the dismally low Hollywood average. Frankly, it angers me how genre film and television are so incapable of doing more than recycling ideas and concepts that were old in the respective literature three decades ago. To my knowledge there are no films or shows that are contradicting that, that are pushing sci-fi, fantasy and horror into fun new places. In the absense of innovation, I guess we can still aplaud good execution.

That said, Steve Barker's Outpost is the best low budget horror / sci-fi hybrid I've seen this year - which sounds like a hugely qualified statement, but I've seen a few. It has a fun and fairly original concept, which it executes pitch-perfectly. Anyone who liked the very good and fairly similar Korean war / horror hybrid R-Point will certainly dig it. It's creepy and clever and, while it doesn't set out to achieve anything hugely exceptional, it does what it does well, on the kind of budget lesser directors would be pushed to make a washing powder advert for.

But what really grabbed me from a writing standpoint was the dialogue, and the way it paints an ensemble of excellent, complex characters with a few broad strokes. Military contractors (or soldiers of fortune as they were called back in the day) are particularly interesting figures these days, and I keep thinking I'd like to tell a story around them. When I do, I'll be pleased if I pull it off half as well as Outpost.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Hadley Rille Event, July 11th

Here's a bit of news that I've been sitting on for a while, until I was sure (or at least mostly sure) that I'd be able to make it.

On the 11th of next month I should, fingers crossed, be joining a half dozen other writers, as part of an event to publicise Hadley Rille Books - who published my Allotment in the Barren Worlds anthology last year. If you live anywhere near West Kirby, please come along and support us, ask questions, jeer, heckle, throw buns and generally hang out.

To the left is the official flyer. Feel free to earn my eternal gratitude by sticking it somewhere people will see it, like the CIA website, or on Big Ben.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Film Ramble: City of Ember

I generally try and devote this blog to the subject of writing, and I definitely try and stay away from the subject of movies, because once I start I'll never shut up. I'm only breaking that rule slightly here, because amongst its many virtues, it's the writing aspect that makes me want to sing the praises of City of Ember.

On the face of it sci-fi and fantasy have never had more of a presence in film and on TV than over the last few years, and that trend continues this year, with most of the big summer blockbusters leaning towards one genre or the other. But each year it gets more and more obvious - especially in the case of science-fiction - that those genre elements are not much more than a veneer. Star Trek got me thinking about this, because although it was a good movie it had a dumb, dumb story, and most of the predictive elements from the original series had been stripped away in favour of the usual generic Hollywood conventions. But it was really hammered home by Teminator: Salvation, which - amongst its countless flaws - boasts a plot so bewilderingly stupid and hole-ridden that it's hard to remember what neat and imaginative ideas the franchise began with.

Anyway, if I hadn't been thinking about all this then I might not have appreciated City of Ember so much, because - although it's well made in every aspect - what really set it aside for me is that actually adds a little to the genre, rather than detracting from it by throwing up the same old concepts. Based on Jeanne Duprau's book, it's a clever twist on the old Millennium Ship concept, which it takes the time to develop in some interesting and novel ways. It's a smart, thoughtful piece of science-fiction film making, and it seems to have lost out because genre audiences overlooked it as a kid's film and reviewers failed to understand it.

So this is me doing what little I can to redress the balance. If like me you've been hankering for a well-written sci-fi movie then give City of Ember a chance.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction # 29

As of the start of last week, Theaker's Quarterly Fiction # 29 is now out to buy in print from Lulu, or to download for that best of all prices, absolutely nothing.

Somewhere towards the middle is my short fantasy story Imaginary Prisons. One of my great bugbears with fantasy (and increasingly, with bad sci-fi too) is the use of destiny and prophecy to paper over the cracks of otherwise horribly implausible stories. Imaginary Prisons is me poking a bit of fun at that whole idea, and asking some of the questions that have always bothered me about it. Like, okay, things are pretty straightforward if you've only got one prophecy to follow - but what happens if there are two, and they don't match up? Or three? Or maybe half a dozen? And what if the dark lord decides to come up with a prophecy of his own, where the hero gets it in the neck before he even sets a foot out the door?

Anyway, this is a nice publication for me for a couple of other reasons. This is my second time working with editor Stephen Theaker, who accepted my story The Tyranny of Thangrind the Cruel for the British Fantasy Society's magazine Dark Horizons last year. It's also my first appearance alongside John Hall, who I've been fortunate enough to meet on a couple of occasions, and my second time beside friend and crime novelist extraordinaire Rafe McGregor.
In short, it's sort of the magazine equivalent of a night in the pub with my mates!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

June Reviews

I linked a couple of weeks back to a review of Space and Time # 107 that was less than complimentary about my story In the Service of the Guns. Thankfully, a recent trawl revealed a few more generous comments on my stories.

Taking In the Service first, this review from SFRevu is considerably kinder to it than the last, and very positive about the issue as a whole.

Next up, SFCrowsnest features a thorough review of Murky Depths # 8, and has the following to say about my Peachy:

"A cat named 'Peachy' goes strangely still and quiet in David Tallerman's tale of how ordinary life can be interrupted by unimaginable disaster. The very ordinariness of everyday life allows the finale to stand out pointedly. Short but thoughtful."

Lastly, here's another reviewer picking out Stockholm Syndrome as a favourite from the Living Dead anthology.

Resistance to Mythica

After a quiet few months, the news is coming in so fast that I'm going to have to split it into multiple posts. Not that I'm complaining, mind!

First things first - and following hot on the heels of last month's sale to Necrotic Tissue - Mythica Publishing have accepted my story Passive Resistance for their forthcoming Another Time, Another Place anthology, to be edited by award-winning author Brian L Porter. The details are towards the bottom of the page, so scroll down to see the awesome cover art - or watch the promotional video for a sneak peek.

Another Time, Another Place will be a collection of futuristic thrillers, including seven authors besides myself. Passive Resistance is a near-future manhunt tale, and an attempt to do something interesting with cyberpunk; namely, to avoid the hypercompetent protagonists of classics like Neuromancer and to replace them with a middle-aged technophobe. It's a fun story, and Mythica are an immensely promising publisher, so hopefully this should be a good'un.

In addition, I was approached this morning about reprints rights for one of my more well-received tales. I won't say any more until I get definite confirmation, but if it comes off then this could be a great year for anthology sales.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Necrotic Tissue

Perhaps the universe rewards people who ackowledge their bad reviews as well as their good ones, because soon after the last post went up I received an e-mail from once-web, now-print magazine Necrotic Tissue, accepting my story Caretaker in the Garden of the Dreams.

Caretaker is a surrealistic slice of dark fantasy, one of the few times I've managed to turn one of those demented ideas that sometimes hit you when you're trying to get off to sleep into something like a workable piece of fiction; for anyone who's read Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, a member of my last writer's group summed it up perfectly as "Merv Pumpkinhead in hell".

Not only were Necrotic Tissue good enough to accept it and proffer cash money for it, I'm promised my very own Necrotic Tissue T-shirt. Just the thing for if I ever get invited for dinner by The Queen!

In the Service of Equity

I don't normally draw attention to negative reviews of my work, as I imagine most writers don't. Still, it's been a while since I've posted (due entirely to lack of news this month, either good or bad) so here's a link to a detailed commentary on Space and Time # 107 by author and editor Robert J. Santa.

Needless to say I don't agree with his comments on In the Service of the Guns, but he does justly praise some other stories in the issue - Bits and Pieces, Catted and Chocolate Kittens From Mars are all marvellous, though I wasn't quite so impressed by Ebb - and it's the only review I've found so far.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Film Ramble: The Whole Wide World

I recently finished reading Robert E. Howard's tales of Conan the Cimmerian, as part of the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series, which I'm steadily working my way through. I can't say I got to the end wanting more, or believing that Howard was a master writer, but they did convince me that he was a skilled and occasionally brilliant tale-teller who - had he lived longer - would have been truly great.

They also left me interested in Howard himself, a man of obvious flaws and much raw talent who died a terrible, premature and self-imposed death. He was an archetypal writer in many ways, a fiercely driven recluse who wrote with such speed and ferocity that he succeeded in making a living from short fiction whilst selling exclusively to the poor-paying pulp markets of the time.

The point of all this is that I just watched The Whole Wide World, a 1996 film adaptation of Novalyne Price Ellis's Howard biography One Who Walked Alone, starring Vincent D'Onofrio and Renée Zellweger, and was absolutely blown away by it. It's remarkably faithful to the facts of Howard's life, (as I understand them, anyway), but also a charming and thoughtful film in its own right. It gives a real insight into the pulp period too - Lovecraft gets mentioned a couple of times, and at least one copy of Weird Tales makes an appearance. Anyone with the faintest interest in Howard or the pulp hay day should take a look, I can't imagine them regretting it.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Murky Depths # 8

Issue # 8 of the UK's premier small-press horror magazine Murky Depths is out. It contains my story Peachy, a flash tale about a man and his cat caught up amidst wider horrors. As I mentioned when I first made the sale, this is the earliest of my stories to be accepted, the original draft dating from my pre-university days, when the idea of it ever seeing print would have probably seemed less plausible than the events it describes.

Anyway, I'm only going off the blurb on the website here, so I'll say no more until my contributor copy arrives.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Architect of Murder

I recently finished Rafe McGregor's first novel The Architect of Murder, and while the idea of reviewing something written by a friend and which I even had a small hand in editing is clearly ridiculous, I'm going to have a go anyway. I tried hard to read and enjoy it purely on its own merits, and as it turned out that was easy to do.

Because I'm lazy, here's the plot summary from the sleeve:

Major Alec Marshall VC, newly back in London, is enlisted to make inquiries into the will of the late Cecil John Rhodes, the wealthiest man in the British Empire. That same night one of the witnesses to the will, Eric Lowenstein, is found beaten to death in a seedy boarding house, where he was lodging under a false name. As London prepares for King Edward VII's coronation, Marshall discovers that Lowenstein harboured a deadly secret concerning not only the vast fortune Rhodes amassed, but the very future of the Empire. Marshall's investigation takes him into the dark heart of a flawed genius, and sets him on a personal journey that will change his life forever.

What's most striking about Architect, as first novels go, is its ambition. What starts as a straighforward-seeming murder mystery spirals off into a political thriller that takes in a huge cast of characters and grand and complex events, many of each culled from the history of the time. That complexity is there on just about every level. My absolute favourite thing about Architect is the way Rafe handles Marshall's post-war trauma; it's a sub-current so subtle it's easy to miss, and yet once you notice it, it colours every moment. Indeed, Marshall is a delightful character full-stop, all surface calm and damaged interior, a fish out of water grown sick of war but still more than capable of bloodshed.

Its complexity is both Architect's great triumph and - on occasions - it's one real weakness. There's a point around the half way mark where I suspect most readers will get a little lost amidst a barrage of character names, conspiracies and misdirection. For about a chapter it looks as if it all might spin out of control. Instead, Rafe shifts gears, and what was threatening to become a worthy tale of Victorian realpolitik turns into a cracking thriller, complete with a couple of tremendous action sequences. Perhaps the change of direction will befuddle some, but me, I loved it, and found it both natural and in keeping with its pent-up hero.

Although John Buchan is perhaps the obvious point of reference, Architect - with its genteel surface, abrupt and shocking violence, and conflicted gentleman hero - reminded me most of the work of Geoffrey Rogue Male Household. Coming from me, a huge Household fan, that's a heck of a compliment, but one that's well deserved. Architect exceeded all my expections, and I can't imagine anyone not taking something away from it.

The same can't be said for Rafe's recently podcast short story Blue Mail, here at CrimeWAV; it's a personal favourite - brutal, nasty and black as all hell - but I guess there are people who might not consider those things virtues. If you're over 18 and not afraid to hear about very bad people doing very bad things to each other then go give it a listen, you won't regret it.

One website, slightly less awful...

As noted a couple of posts ago, I've never been entirely happy with my website ... so it's with a glad heart that I announce the unveiling of version 2, which, as the title suggests, is substantially less of a mess than version 1 was. I've gone for a cleaner, less cluttered design, and I'm pretty happy with the results.

Of course, in a couple of days I'll probably hate it again.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Living Dead review

I've been totally remiss in not posting Living Dead reviews here - there have been absolutely loads, and more than one have picked out Stockholm Syndrome for (generally positive) mention.

This review, however, is more thorough than most - and also names SS as a favourite. Largely on the back of the amount of gore, in fairness, but that's as good a reason as any to dig a zombie story, right?

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Five Star Goodness

I just came back from a weekend in suprisingly sunny Cambridge to much news, both good and bad.

Let's get the bad out of the way first ... it came in the form of a couple of rejections (one, interestingly, accusing me of plagiarism) and the news that The Willows magazine is now officially defunct. I guess that in epitaph I can admit I had mixed feelings about The Willows; still, it was a unique home for Weird Tale pastiche, it published more of my work than any other market, and on the whole I was pretty fond of it. Perhaps more to the point, from a selfish angle, my turn-of-last-century ghost story The Burning Room is now without a home. One of my deep dreads since I started writing to publish was that a market would accept my work and then die a death; now it's happened.

Hey ho.

(If anyone wants to pay me money for a cracking little ghost story then, hey, leave a comment.)

Right! Good news!

Rafe McGregor saw fit to answer my answer my recent challenge to write a twitter [140 character] story; not only that, but I've read the results, and they're marvelous; not only that, but twitterzine Nanoism have accepted it for imminent publication.

Buoyed by this success, I'm extending my challenge to the entire population of the Earth - or at least those that stumble on this blog. I have an ulterior motive here, I have to admit; my groovy map thingie tells me people are passing by, but no-one's commenting. I know that by its very nature this blog is about writing in a vacuum*, but come on! So, to anyone who reads this, comment with a story of less than 140 characters - if you dare! Or, better still, write it and get it published. Brevity is the soul of wit, right? So, hey, maybe it's the soul of great fiction too.

Lastly and bestly ... a while back Jake Freivald published my story Strive to be Happy in his reliably wonderful webzine Flash Fiction Online. Before, during and since, Jake's been immensely supportive of what's unarguably a difficult little story, but this is something else.  It's a touch baffling and immensely touching to see something I wrote get praised to such a degree.  Thanks, not for the first time, to Jake, and to David Erlewine for such a thoughtful review.

Really lastly, I stumbled across this quote from Robert Holdstock, of Mythago Wood fame, in the British Fantasy Society's magazine Dark Horizons, a response to the question of whether the short fiction market is shrinking, and was touched by the sheer damn truth of it:

"Writers are not in free fall. They float above the clouds and hope, as always, to be a part of the rain where the rain is welcomed."

* Okay, technically speaking the moon has an atmosphere, albeit a pretty thin one. But none of us are going to be taking the wife and kids for a picnic there any time soon, so I'll let that one stand.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Space and Time in hand

My contributor copies of Space and Time # 107 arrived this morning, and my but it's a beautifully put-together magazine. One of my biggest gripes with the genre publishing industry is that art has become a poor second to story; many editors have given up on it altogether, and many of those that haven't pay it far less than the attention it deserves. Not so S & T. I've already commented on Steven Gilberts's gorgeously lurid cover; thankfully the interior art more than keeps up. My thanks and huge respect go out to Martin Hanford, whose superb illustration accompanies my In the Service of the Guns.

I'm sure I've said this before, but getting a story illustrated is just about my favourite part of being a writer. To see something you've imagined through someone else's eyes, in a different medium no less, is a weird and wonderful experience. Before I settled on writing I wanted to be an artist (and still have vague plans of taking up drawing again) and I have huge respect for anyone who can draw well. I've learned to appreciate that there's far more involved than mere technical skill - a good genre illustrator needs just as much story-telling ability as the writers he illustrates.

So thanks again to Martin, and to the Space and Time crew for putting together something I'll be proud to wave in the faces of frightened strangers.

Friday, 10 April 2009


First up, my first published twitter tale is the inaugural story at twitterzine nanoism.

I'm developing a strange fondness for supershort fiction that I can't quite explain. I was recently reminded of Hemingway's wonderful six-worder:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

If you like that there's more here - including miniature masterpieces from writers like Alan Moore, Bruce Sterling, Stephen Baxter and Neil Gaiman - at Wired. I have a sneaking suspicion that anyone could write well given enough time and enough words. Whatever the merits of my own word-limited efforts, I think it's good practise sometimes to put these (perhaps slightly absurd) constraints on yourself. I recently hacked a nearly 2000-word story down to under 1000 and found it a sobering but rewarding experience.

I have challenged Rafe McGregor to write a twitter story. He hasn't responded yet. Perhaps a more public challenge will draw him out...?

Finally, I've put a little time into sorting this blog out, and hopefully all the links are now working. It's still looking a little sparse, what with lack of visitors and such, but hopefully time will smooth out those rough edges. Either way, this post has taken me all of about five minutes, compared with the hour or so it would have the old way, so I think the experiment has been validated.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

From Frustrating Website to Frustrating Blog...

Today is the dawn of a new era - and like all dawns of new eras, it's been aggravating, distressing and generally disastrous.

On the advice of my pal Rafe McGregor, I've transferred the "news" part of my website here to Blogger. That's why all the previous posts have a timestamp of 12:00. I don't have a compulsion to post at noon or anything, it just seemed easier than trying to remember what time I added news articles a year and a half ago. Anyway, the whole decision was motivated partly by the fact that I've never been very happy with my website and because it's always been an absolute nightmare to post information there.

Thus, I've spent three hours today transferring information from website to blog. It's been mostly successful, except that for some reason Blogger has decided to randomly remove the hyperlinks I spent so long putting in. Rest assured, I'll fix this and all the other faults I've no doubt introduced into my carefully ordered web presence over the next month, and I'm sure in the long term it will all be for the best. Certainly I hope to comment a lot more, and perhaps do more than just pimp my sales and publications (although that will still be the main purpose!).