Sunday, July 29, 2012


Crystal Cosmos Ebook

My SF novella The Crystal Cosmos has just been turned into an ebook and released by PS Publishing. This novella was originally issued as a hardback in 2007 with a lovely introduction by the wonderful Michael Bishop.

The print version contained some typos, so I was pleased to be able to correct those mistakes for the electronic edition. Here it is! It's a cosmological and ontological romp featuring the discovery of a Ptolemaic/Keplerian solar-system made from diamond.

Think Ian Watson, Barrington Bayley and Stanislaw Lem in an interstellar trireme rowing for their lives between the Scylla of absurdity and the Charybdis of philosophy. At least, that's the effect I was trying to create!

This ebook costs the astronomical sum of £1.99 and can be purchased direct from PS Publishing by clicking on this link.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Lamblake on the Big Screen

The horror writer Ramsey Campbell has gamely offered to review the Lamblake Heinz ebook. Why he wants to review this spoof collection instead of my wholly serious horror volume from last year, The Brothel Creeper, is slightly baffling to me, but that's the way the world works. Possibly he believes that 'Lamblake Heinz' is a parody of himself and wants to check out his style; or it could just be that he has a playful sense of humour. Lamblake Heinz has very little to do with Ramsey Campbell, of course, apart from the mutations of his personal name and the title of his ebook.

That was a short film made by Gonzalo Canedo, the brilliant artist who created the cover of Lamblake's ebook. Who would have imagined that Mr Heinz would ever make it to the silver screen?

Lamblake's ebook is still available from Smashwords. More details can be found there. Or try a free story as a sample first by clicking here. It's all for Animal Aid, folks! Enough money has now been raised to enable the bandaging of an aardvark's nose, if necessary! Keep up the good work...

Monday, July 16, 2012


My Twenty-Second Book

My new book has just been published by Wildside Press in the USA. It's a collection of linked stories called The Truth Spinner and I think it's the best book I have had published so far. I mean that in terms of invention, humour and structure I don't think I'm capable of doing better than this, for whatever that's worth.

Of all my characters, Castor Jenkins, the hero of this book, is perhaps the most voluble. The stories he relates are in the 'club' tradition, not dissimilar to those of Dunsany's Joseph Jorkens, but it's not simply a case of faking outrageous exploits. He's trickier than that. He might lie about trivial things but be completely serious about the most incredible events...

The origin of this new collection was in something the editor Stephen Theaker said while reviewing The Postmodern Mariner, a previous collection of mine, where Castor first appeared... "A complete collection of Castor Jenkins stories would have been even better, but as it stands the novella feels like an unnecessary adjunct to the Jenkins stories. Certainly, the unique and very admirable Castor Jenkins stories deserve to be in a book with his name on the cover."

This seemed like good advice, and because The Postmodern Mariner turned out to be a failure in commercial terms, I didn't hesitate in planning new adventures for Mr Jenkins, enough to make a book that would give him a second chance at getting his strange messages out to the world. The Truth Spinner contains eighteen stories in total, grouped into three sections, and it can be purchased from Amazon as a paperback or as an ebook.

If you would like to hear an audio version of the first story in this collection, please click on this link. It appeared on Podcastle a few years ago.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


First Book of Classical Horror Stories

Since I returned from Spain four years ago I have sold exactly 100 stories to anthologies. I don't expect all these books to be published, that's not how the publishing world works. Some (or many) of the projects will be cancelled; but the first few of those anthologies are starting to appear now. Yesterday I received in the mail a copy of The First Book of Classical Horror Stories, edited by the magnificent fellow known as D.F. Lewis. I haven't had a chance to read much of it yet. My own contribution is a piece of flash fiction that I wrote back in 1995 but which hasn't appeared until now. I opened the book at random and read a story called 'The Holes' by Tony Lovell. I'm familiar with Tony's superb work as an artist, so it came as a pleasant surprise to discover what a talented writer he is. And a writer with a style quite different from the norm! He has a very rhythmic and slightly modernist ability with language. I love these so-called 'shrinking violets' who don't indulge in aggressive networking or self-promotion but who just quietly get on with the job of being talented. Refreshing.

D.F. Lewis is one of the finest editors working in the independent publishing world at the moment and he picked a great theme for this anthology. He has vision, ideas and the gumption to carry his projects through to the end. He pays well and always punctually. But at the end of the day he will be primarily remembered as a writer. At this particular moment in time his work isn't fashionable. The same is true for any writer who likes language for its own sake, who prefers richness to sparsity, who isn't a devotee of the 'synthetic emo' (the style that is currently fashionable). One of the greatest contemporary fantasy writers, A.A. Attanasio, whom to my great delight I have recently made the acquaintance of, is similarly unappreciated at the moment. But fashions go in cycles and their kind of writing will come back sooner or later. Wheels.

Friday, July 06, 2012


Scrambled Legs

I have lots of writing news, both good and bad, so much of it that I'm in a brain overload flap thinking about it. I need to go away and make an ordered list of what is happening; until then I'll talk about something else entirely, namely outdoor pursuits. Despite the abysmal Welsh weather (even worse this year than previous years, which were bad enough) I have been getting out and about as much as feasible.

There have been fossil hunts, explorations of cairns and caves, running, cycling and the usual summer activities; but I have also decided to reignite my interest in rock climbing (well, scrambling actually). Just simple stuff, of course. I'm not yet fit enough to do more than crawl over boulders and my power to weight ratio is rubbish. Still, it was great fun, and I wonder why it has taken me so long to get back into it? I'm stiff today, though. My legs won't bend.

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