Saturday, December 29, 2007
Slightly Incompetent Annual Review
My novella The Crystal Cosmos has just been released by PS Publishing, which means I had no fewer than 5 books published during 2007. It was originally supposed to be 8 books, but I’m not complaining! The others will hopefully follow next year. I wrote exactly 40 short stories, my second highest total for any year, although many were very short. So my ultimate total now stands at 440 stories, 44% of my projected life’s work in the field of fiction... I didn’t do my bicycle tour: I regret that. Maybe I’ll do it next year. Big hugs to the people who were a big part of my life in the first part of 2007: Stuart, Monica, Adele, Hannah... Other hugs also to Filiz, Isabel, Huw, Manuela, Sarita, Safaa, etc...
What have a I got planned for 2008? If I can raise the required money I hope the begin the year with a trip to Africa with Rosa, probably to Senegal and Gambia. More writing, of course! But other work too, satisfying and useful work, work done not just for money but because it makes some sort of valid contribution to the world... Anyway, we can but see. Happy New Year to all!
Monday, December 24, 2007
I don’t like turkey (or any form of meat) and I don’t like sprouts. I don’t like flashing coloured lights. I don’t like buying presents. I don’t even like receiving presents. Bah humbug! I like humbugs, but not very much. My favourite ghost in A Christmas Carol was the future ghost. He cut the mustard big time. I like mustard. Yes. I also like chocolate con churros. Time I had some!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I also met up with Fabio, an Italian student I first met in Lisbon during my Sereia readings, an extremely interesting and erudite man. We sat in one of Madrid’s many Irish pubs and discussed literature like old time intellectuals: he interviewed me with a set of astute and thought provoking questions. My literary life has been quite busy recently. I have sold many stories to many anthologies, including one to Mike Ashley for the forthcoming Mammoth Book of Extreme Fantasy. ‘The Old House Under the Snow Where Nobody Goes Except You and Me Tonight’ (which originally appeared in Serbian courtesy of Zoran Zivkovic and then in English as the cover story for Postscripts #2) is the second longest of all my story titles. It will also appear in French very soon, in Ficcion, the French equivalent of F&SF.
As for other writing news, I have just put together a new book for Pendragon... Mirrors in the Deluge follows a similar pattern to my earlier Molehills of Madness, being a selection of horror oriented tales from 1990 to the present, but right now it’s only a provisional collection, as the book isn’t scheduled for publication until 2009 or 2010 and I might modify its contents before then.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
On Friday we visited Tui, a beautiful old city, and the following day took a trip to the coast, to clamber over the hilltop site of the ancient Celtic city of La Garda. The view from the summit was superb, high above the mouth of the mighty Minho, with the coves of Galicia stretching away to the north and the beaches of Portugal gleaming away to the south. To be near the sea again was a relief! The round houses of the ancient city are fascinating, crowded together very tightly, and we managed to cross from one side of the city to the other just by walking on the ruined walls and jumping across the extremely narrow ‘streets’. Galicia is a region full of brujas and brujos but we didn’t meet any of those. At least I don’t think so...
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
Winter in Spain is not much more pleasant than winter in the UK. It’s almost as cold here, nearly as damp, and the short days and long windy nights instil the same mild sadness in my soul as they do back in Wales. This is why Africa is such a tempting proposition next month... and/or I might spend a few days walking in the Almerian desert. Deserts are spiffing! Time will tell. In the meanwhile I write and write – five new stories in one week, all short but (hopefully) pithy. I also read and read, finally tackling Fritz Leiber’s ‘Fafhrd and Gray Mouser’ stories, all of them, in order.
A nice review of Sereia appeared in the Portuguese newspaper, Diário de Notícias, recently, here. And a new review of the Spanish Infamia here. My Turkish friend Filiz is coming to visit me in a week or so, and an interesting Italian student I met in Lisbon is coming to Madrid at the same time. Seems a good idea to arrange a special gathering with as many people as possible. Three years ago I met one of Mike Moorcock’s friends in Madrid, a fellow by the monicker of ‘Lapiz’ and I’m wondering if he’s still here. There are plenty of other people to invite: Luis Prado, German Frank, Bohemian Bea, Isabel, Pulpo Steve, Carmen, etc. Anybody else free in Madrid, let me know!
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