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You too can cook like a grown-up!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

My friend Naomi has launched her cookery courses.

This is the woman who, over a lazy weekend in 2006, made me confident in the kitchen. I learnt store cupboard management, what feels like fifty ways with a can of tomatoes and even made salad. I can honestly say it’s turned me from someone who could boil pasta and stir in a sauce into someone who can make lots of things from scratch. Or tweak recipes to suit what’s in the fridge. I’ve had less than 10 ready-meals since 2006, saving my purse and my waistline.

If you’re in North West England, I recommend it highly.

Alan Moore knows the score…

Monday, 17 August 2009

Looking to plug a gap in your run of From Hell, the seminal Jack the Ripper comic by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell?

I’ve volumes 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10 for sale, all up on my ebay account. These are US imports from 1994-6. Volumes 6, 7 and 10 are first print runs, volume 4 is a second print run and volume 2 doesn’t even have print run information in it.

We dig TV, we dig remote control
we dig the furry freak brothers and the twilight zone
we dig Marvel and DC, we dig Run DMC
we dig Renegade Soundwave and AC/DC!

Bruce Wayne, Auf Wiedersehn,
Dirty Harry, “Make my day,”
Terminator, Hit the North,
Alan Moore knows the score

I never could work out if it was “riffs, yeah! can u dig it?” or “rich girl, can you dig it?”. I know now, obviously.

We dig Optimus Prime and not Galvetron,
We dig “The Leader of the Pack” and the “Do-Ron-Ron“,
Spinderella and Bruce Lee, “The Bad and the Ugly“,
V for Vendetta” and “Into the Groovy“.

Thinking now about the way Pop Will Eat Itself catalogued all the things we dug in 1989, it was really a Greebo version of The Kink’s Village Green Preservation Society:

We are the village green preservation society
God save donald duck, vaudeville and variety
We are the desperate dan appreciation society
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties


Step aboard the magic bus…

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Confirmation today from the publisher that copies of Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus start shipping by the end of this very week.

For anyone who has missed previous posts about it, it contains my story Sovereign. I honestly think it’s the sort of story that, when I first started writing, I imagined would flow freely and easily. After two decades of discovering how naïve that was, I did at last write the sort of story I wanted to write. The whole experience was a lot harder – and a lot colder – than I expected but is logged in all its pettiness here. Could it be better? Of course. Every writer looks at a piece once it’s been frozen in print and comes up with a hundred tiny tweaks that they would have made if only they’d seen them earlier.

You can order the collection via the publisher’s website, and it contains many other fabulous stories such as Iris Wildthyme y Señor Cientocinco contra Los Monstruos del Fiesta. ¡Ay, Carmela! Hopefully at some point over the summer I’ll detail the references in Sovereign – every name has a meaning in it.

A cut in Transmission

Monday, 4 May 2009

Buy early! Buy often!

Doctor Who: Short Trips: Transmissions is available half-price at the Big Finish website, as are their other Short Trips collections.   Transmissions includes my short story Gudok.

My favourite story, Gudok, is a throughly gripping thriller set in Tsarist Russia and following the dangerous trans-Siberian train journey of Tegan and Turlough as they seek to deliver a vital message. [...]

Anthologies by their nature are hit and miss, and Transmissions has more of the former.

(Doctor Who Magazine No.400, October 2008)

This is very nearly perfect. Mags Halliday’s is the pre-eminent Doctor Who historical writer and [...] ‘Gudok’ succeeds on every level in conjuring up the Trans-Siberian railway in the early twentieth century. Little touches [...] litter and colour the text, and Halliday really nails the interation between Tegan and Turlough.”

(review at Half a Dozen Streets… – disclaimer: this reviewer edited my latest short story so may have been buttering me up)

The offer makes buying Transmissions and one other Short Trips book effectively a two-for-one deal, and is rather a bargain anyway at £7.50 a book (+ P&P).

Alternatively, you could bulk out your order with Bernice Summerfield and the Vampire Curse which includes my novella The Badblood Diaries.

Mags L. Halliday has crafted an engaging and intriguing tale. It’s engaging because of its structure as a daily series of written accounts of the professor’s participation in an archaeological expedition to the colony world of Badblood, which has only recently reopened diplomatic relations with Earth. It’s intriguing because of the colonists’ (and of course Halliday’s) unique and ingenious method of keeping “the cursed” at bay: Badblood’s cities are giant vehicles that crawl across the planet’s surface, remaining constantly in sunlight. The author convincingly explores the technological and cultural effects of this mode of existence – and the horror that ensues when the system go wrong.

(Sci-fi online review)

Get ‘em while they’re hot! And, indeed, in print.

Bridget Jones meets kung-fu energy vampires. *In space.*

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Benny and the Torch My author copies of Bernice Summerfield and the Vampire Curse arrived a couple of days ago and are currently skulking on my sofa.

I did actually pitch it as “Bridget Jones meets kung-fu enegy vampires. In space.” Just like I’ve recently pitched something else as “[name] visits an artist’s commune and is menaced by a six-foot high Owlman”. I sometimes suspect I should stop myself casually pitching over beer and/or email since whilst it results in commissions, it also results in me having to live up to the one line pitch. Clearly, I ought to be working in an ideas factory somewhere.

In the end, Benny became a twenty-something leading her first expedition and it moved closer towards a Buffy adventure (the first synopsis was actually called ‘Benny the Vampire Slayer’). I really have no clue whether it worked or not, not least as partway through writing the reviews for Gudok started coming in and made much of the fact I write decent historical fiction. So my idea to write spoof teen fiction set in the future suddenly looked rather foolhardy.

I also have no idea if I’ve mastered the novella format, or even apprenticed it. Interesting, of the three authors in the collection, Kel and I wrote short novellas whilst Phil wrote a long one. I do suspect I approached it as a long short story and Phil came to his as a short novel. It all evened out in the end (and you can read Phil’s notes here).

Grrr! Argh!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Benny and the Torch More picspam, as the cover of Bernice Summerfield and the Vampire Curse has been released. That’s Adrian Salmon art based on my novella: woo!

I know.

It’s exactly the kind of slow news day it’s worth pushing out news on a collection of novellas featuring a C25th archaeologist and her encounters with vampires on, right?

(This is not a criticism of Big Finish, btw. It’s not as if a book cover makes the front page of the papers anyway. Not even the TLS.)

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