Saturday, January 27, 2007


Dreams, Flames and Drummers

There's a fellow by the name of Steve Upham who has started up a new small press venture called Screaming Dreams. I first learned of the existence of Mr Upham via Bob Lock, whose first novel The Flames of Herakleitos is scheduled to be published later this year. Mr Lock's novel is about spontaneous human combustion, a phenomenon that scared the cotton socks off me when I was younger (cotton being readily inflammable)...

Steve Upham has a lot of original projects in the pipeline, including a much needed anthology of modern Welsh Fantasy. This is something that particularly interests me -- there are only three countries in the whole of Europe that don't already have an anthology of modern fantasy and Wales is one of them (the other two are the Vatican City and San Marino)... I intend to assist Mr Upham in the realisation of this project as much as possible, and I look forward to seeing how the end result is regarded by the Welsh literary establishment. I suspect they will be nonplussed. As Jones from Dad's Army might have said, "They don't like it, Upham!"

Steve Upham has also expressed an interest in publishing one of my own books, my latest project in fact, The Postmodern Mariner. I have been working like some kind of demented steampunk engine on this work and progress has been rapid and delightful. In fact it is nearly done... The format has changed somewhat and it now consists of three parts rather than two. The contents listing is as follows:


Part One:
Castor Jenkins, the Münchhausen of Porthcawl
(1) Castor on Troubled Waters
(2) Canis Raver
(3) The Plucked Plant
(4) When Wales Played Asgård
(5) Interstellar Domestic
(6) The Cream-Jest of Unset Custard
(7) The Day the Town of Porthcawl was Accidentally Twinned with the Capital of the Cheese and Biscuits Empire

Part Two:
Catherine Piper at the Fates of Ooze
(8) The Lip Service

Part Three:
The Postmodern Mariner in Person
(9) Rommel Cobra’s Swimming Carnival

As can be seen, this book contains the longest title I've ever used for a story. My previous personal record was held by 'The Old House Under the Snow Where Nobody Goes Except You and Me Tonight' followed by 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife's Hat for the Mad Hatter's Wife' and 'Oh, Whistle While You Work, and I'll Come to You, My Dwarf ' and then 'The Taming of the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shrew' and 'Sailing to the Island of Tools on the Ship of Fools'... I like implausibly long titles, but I try to use them sparingly. Conversely, my shortest titles are 'Lucy', 'Loop' and 'Envy'.

I need to decide who to dedicate this book to. I tend to dedicate new books to girlfriends who then leave me before the book is published. Bad juju! Maybe I'll dedicate it to friends instead -- Huw and Manuela for instance. Huw has a cameo role in it, as he often does in my books, poor fellow!

Yes please dedicate it to famille Rees Ruault, also i am honoured and fatigued to be in some of your stories! may you long reign..... i think,
Good sir!

Now that I think about it, I may already have dedicated a different book to you and Manuela ('The Crystal Cosmos')... If that's the case I'll have to dedicate this new one to someone else.

Are you playing on Saturday?
Yes we are Rag Foundation unplugged and unrehearsed!!! should be a laff, come along oh fine strapping lad!
If I can afford it, I will...

Apparently I'm too poor to even buy a bacalhau for a friend... I don't believe that's true, but it's what I've been told!

I'm only 'strapping' when I 'buckle'... :-)
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