Friday, August 30, 2013


It's All Greek to Me

A New Universal History of Infamy has so far appeared in four different languages. And yesterday I finally got hold of some copies of the Greek edition that was published back in 2007. Can't read a word of it and I'm not even sure what the contents are, but I know they aren't quite the same as the English, Spanish and Portuguese versions of the same volume. I think this edition contains stories that haven't yet been published in English (such as 'The Hemisemidemiurge').

It's a lovely looking book and now I just need to find some Greek readers in order to give my copies away to the right people... The reason I've had to wait so long to receive my copies is because they were sent to my agent instead of me. I think he must have used them to prop up a wobbly table or something.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


The Ironic Fantastic #2

The second of the Ironic Fantastic ebook anthologies is now available for free download. That's right, it's absolutely FREE! This issue contains a never-before-published long story from David Gerrold, the man who wrote the 'Trouble With Tribbles' episode for the original STAR TREK. That was always my favourite episode when I was young. Gerrold also wrote a pretty darn amazing time-paradox novel called The Man Who Folded Himself (which I seem to remember in one long ago competition was lampooned as The Man Who Fondled Himself, which bizarrely is accurate as well as being a spoof).

The second issue can be downloaded from Smashwords by clicking on this link. The first issue can also be obtained for free from the same place. If you are an author who sent material for this issue ages ago and I accepted it, but you now find that your story is not included, don't worry. This is a result of the fact I am utterly disorganised. Your story will appear in issue #3 or #4 or #5 instead. Because the Ironic Fantastic is going to be a theoretically limitless series of anthologies. I won't be editing them, though!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Platinum Ass Update

When I was young my name was rather unusual but these days every man in Wales seems to be called "Rhys". I sometimes wish I had kept the pen-name I invented for myself when I began writing. Actually I had several pseudonyms, the first being the rather abstruse "Theophrastus Rhaeticus" when I was 15, followed by "Zadig Dikdorff" (inspired by Voltaire); and then "Henry Jovial", which is the pseudonym I now wish I had stuck with. Henry is my middle name anyway: and the surname Jovial (hearty, gleeful) is a nod to the satirist Juvenal. I collected Classical authors back then. I still occasionally read them.
One of the finest works of Classical literature, in my view, is The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius, a novel the equal in imagination and ingenuity to any fantastical fiction that has ever followed, a book that should be mounted on a pedestal in some hypothetical Temple of Literature. In homage to Apuleius I created a blog called The Platinum Ass where I could post some of my stories online for free reading. My notion is to eventually post 100 tales there. I will post only fairly short works and they will be selected pretty much at random from my back catalogue. I have just added the 14th. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Beaches' Brew

I'm not very good at multi-tasking and when I have lots of projects to work on at the same time my brain normally implodes and I end up doing nothing instead. The only answer is to put blinkers on and concentrate on no more than ten projects at a time, and that's what I have been doing. Anyway here is a partial list of what I have been up to. There's a lot more (for instance a possible Tintin novel)...

I have finished proofreading my book of absurdist tales, The Just Not So Stories, and have also finished proofreading my book of tribute stories, The Senile Pagodas, and I'm about to start writing a glossary for The Young Dictator (to explain the meaning of such terms as 'democracy' to younger readers), and I've been sending stories to publishers for two new collections, Modern Milesian Tales and Bone Idle in the Charnel-House, and writing stories for my proposed collection of fairy tales, My Big Glib Book of Flippant Fairy Tales (incorporating paradoxical parables and facetitious fables), and expanding my collection of flash fictions, Flash in the Pantheon, and preparing my massive ebook, The Million Word Storybook, the longest single author ebook collection in history, and accepting commissions for short stories and novellas. You get the picture.

I keep sane by walking dogs in the sea and going to beach parties...

Monday, August 05, 2013


Rustblind & Silverbright

I have a soft spot for Eibonvale Press, run by the quirky and enigmatic David Rix. When they were formed about six years ago they were just a promising new publisher on the scene with reasonably designed books. Since that time, Rix has learned a heck of a lot and all of it is good. His designs are now exceptional and getting better with each new title. And Rix himself is proving himself to be a writer and an individual worth keeping an eye on. There's something different about him (I would say something 'unique' but everyone is unique). I have had the pleasure of meeting him twice and I am convinced he has arrived from some other decade in a time machine, but whether that decade exists in the future or past is hard to determine. Or rather: he is probably from the future and did careful research on how he thought the 1930s were going to be but ended up in the early 21st Century by mistake...

Eibonvale's latest volume Rustblind and Silverbright is an anthology of 'slipstream railway stories' and is the best production yet from this fascinating publishing house. My own contribution to the book is a story entitled 'The Path of Garden Forks' that I wrote back in 2009. At the time I doubted it would ever see print, it was simply too offbeat. But that's the beauty of independent publishers like Eibonvale: nothing is necessarily out of bounds. I think that I have written my best work in the past five years and that this story is in the premier division of what I can do. That's just my opinion, of course. And yes, the title is a warped reference to the famous Borges story.

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