Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Young Tales of the Old Cosmos
My latest ebook is now available from Smashwords for the un-astronomical sum of $0.99. That's just ninety-nine terrestrial cents for a celestial novelette! Or if you happen to British like me, it's 66 pence in total! Click on this link for the opportunity to buy it, if that's what you'd like to do...
The idea for this novelette came to me two years ago after I read something Umberto Eco said in his essay 'How I Write' (from his collection On Literature). He remarked that when he was very young he began a series of stories called 'Ancient Stories of the Young Universe' in which the planets of our solar system were sentient beings. Venus falls in love with the sun, for example, and throws herself into his fiery arms with fatal consequences. It seems a shame to me that Eco never finished or published those stories and so I decided to take up the conceit and run with it (not that I'm comparing myself to Eco!!!). And so:
Planets, moons, stars and galaxies have feelings too! When Pluto is officially demoted from a true planet to a dwarf planet; when the poor moon is infested with clowns; when Betelgeux falls in love with other red giants; when the Milky Way wants to make friends... that's the time they most need our sympathy and support.
The superb cover was created by an artist named Gonzalo Canedo. Any publishers out there looking for new artists? Look no further...
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Transmigrating the Bishop
Several years ago the genius writer Michael Bishop postmodernly, jestingly and excellently wrote my 612th story for me, to save me the trouble. The result was a piece that formed the introduction to my novella The Crystal Cosmos and was entitled 'The Orchid Forest: a Metafactual Narrative Introduction to THE CRYSTAL COSMOS by Rhys Hughes, by Miguel Obispo'. The number 612 was plucked at random, of course. Back then it seemed that I would never actually reach that number myself, or anywhere near it...
But now I have. I've just finished my 612th story. I didn't really want to skip from 611 to 613, so I made sure that the 612th is about Michael Bishop, the same way his story is about me. In his tale explorers set off in search of me; so in my tale explorers set off in search of him. His story was 4467 words long; as a mark of respect I made my story 4466 words long, one less. Some people think that symmetries of this kind aren't important. Maybe not, but I enjoy them anyway. My story is called 'Transmigrating the Bishop' and now I just need to find a place to send it. Incidentally, I recommend every single one of Mr Bishop's books; No Enemy But Time is merely a very good place to start.
Until I find a proper print outlet for my story I thought it might be nice to put it online. Click on this link to read it...
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
It seems that Sangria in the Sangraal now exists as a real book (rather than just a dream or hope) and is ready to ship! I haven't received my own copies yet, but I should have them soon. As this is still the season for special offers, the publisher is prepared to include one of the other 'Passport Levant' volumes for free with every copy of Sangria bought in the next two weeks, an offer that depends on the availability of the selected title, of course. You might want to take a look at the Ex Occidente catalogue to check what 'Passport Levant' books are still in print. If you have already ordered my book and think it's unfair that other people are getting a bonus volume, email me and we'll sort something out.
Other book news: I have just signed a contract which means that Castor Jenkins is coming back next year! The Truth Spinner: the complete adventures of Castor Jenkins will cover the rascal's entire career, 18 stories in total. After the relative failure of The Postmodern Mariner (where he first appeared) I'm glad this teller of very tall tales is going to be given a second and better chance... Oh yes, and I hopefully have some exciting news about The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange too. I'll report here when the details are finalised.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Adele has updated her shop. Take a look here if you like sparkly jewellery things and/or miniature paintings you can wear... As it seems to be the season for special offers, here's another one: if you buy two or more pendants you get a free copy of my book Link Arms With Toads! I only have three spare copies, so this is obviously a very limited offer.
I think that my newest book, Sangria in the Sangraal, has just rolled off the printing press (do books actually roll? Scrolls might roll, but books are rectangular parallelepipeds, surely?)... Not sure how long copies will take to appear in the hands of readers... Another week or more probably... I'll make a proper announcement here when I know for sure.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
It's a Shoe-Fire Thing!
The limited hardback copies of The Brothel Creeper sold quite well. The publisher reported himself pleased; but then sales ground to a halt just before the print run was completely sold out. So the cunning devil has proposed an offer to help shift them. Anyone who buys one of the few remaining hardbacks will get a paperback copy free. This offer is mainly directed at those bibliophiles who prefer to keep limited edition books pristine.
Alternatively you might be the kind of reader who does odd things with books. This photo is a demonstration of how a Brothel Creeper hardback might be utilised as a brothel creeper shoe. Just for the record, the book used in this demonstration is signed copy #30 and will be sold separately as a "royale with cheese". If you are interested in obtaining one of the other remaining copies, please buy from the publisher directly at this location and mention that you are claiming the special offer.
If you already bought the hardback and feel put out by this offer, I can compensate you by giving you two free ebooks (The Tellmenow Isitsöornot and Flash in the Pantheon). But if you already bought those ebooks or don't like ebooks I'll give you a free copy of my first print book next year. How about that?
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Book Cover Needed
Any artists out there who would like to try to create a cover for my next ebook? I can't offer much payment, I'm afraid, just a small percentage of the meagre profits. Best to think of it as a minor amusement rather than a major step forward in your artistic career. But who knows? It might get seen by the right people... The ebook in question is called Young Tales of the Old Cosmos and is a comedy featuring anthropomorphised celestial bodies, so the cover should feature either planets, moons, stars or galaxies (or a mixture) with faces and expressions. Email me if you are interested. Thanks!
Update (9th November): I've had a couple of positive responses, one from Tony Lovell who already did the cover for Flash in the Pantheon; but I want to give some other artist a chance, so I turned him down (despite his excellence). I am currently waiting to see what a fellow named Gonzalo Canedo can come up with...
New update (10th November): Somebody by the name of Kendal Obermeyer sent me a sketch of planets with whimsical expressions that is very promising. I'll wait to see if Gonzalo produces something equally suitable; if he does I may have to use both covers on two different ebooks, the second perhaps a sequel to the first!
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Flash in the Pantheon
Here's the second ebook from Gloomy Seahorse Press. It's a collection of exactly 101 flash fictions called Flash in the Pantheon and it's available for the Kindle or other ebook reading device for the grand sum of $1.99 (that's about £1.24 or just over 1 pence per story). If you're interested, you can buy it here.
What is a flash fiction? When I was younger flash fictions tended to be called 'short shorts' and the undisputed master of the form was Fredric Brown. The ideal flash fiction should certainly be less than 1000 words long; better if it's less than 500 words. Other masters of this miniature genre include Franz Kafka, Daniil Kharms and Jorge Luis Borges, of course! There are some free samples by various writers on the Gloomy Seahorse blog (I need to update this site more often!)
The fine cover was done by Tony Lovell, a newcomer in the field of book design, who I believe might go on to achieve great things.
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