Monday 26 August 2019

Thought for the Day

"I don't play monsters, I play men besieged by fate and out for revenge."
~ Vincent Price

Saturday 24 August 2019

Short Story Saturday: Scarlet Traces

When I returned from MantiCon, last weekend, I was delighted to find the hardback of the Scarlet Traces anthology waiting for me. Edited by Ian Edginton, contributing authors were simply given the brief of writing a story set somewhere within the timeline of the Scarlet Traces comics written by Ian, and illustrated by D'Israeli (a.k.a. Matt Brooker).

I first discovered Scarlet Traces when it appeared in the Judge Dredd Megazine, the series having originally been conceived as a partially animated serial, intended for the now-defunct website Cool Beans World.

The premise, for anyone who doesn't know, is that after the Martians' failed invasion of Earth, in H G Wells' The War of the Worlds, the British Empire retro-engineers the aliens' technology and uses it to expand even further. But the Martin menace is not done, and something is draining young women of blood whose bodies are being washed up on the banks of the Thames near Whitechapel...

There are now numerous graphic novels continuing the saga, and I had the original one signed years ago by D'Israeli. I took as the launching off point of my story something that is mentioned in passing in one panel in Book 2, The Great Game. Fans of the Pax Britannia series may find the writing style feels a little familiar and it features two of my ongoing interests, Ancient Egypt and Mars.

Scarlet Traces: A War of the Worlds Anthology is published by Abaddon Books on 5th September, and is the third anthology I have been published in this year.

Friday 23 August 2019

Monday 19 August 2019

Thought for the Day

"There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."
~ Aristotle

Thursday 15 August 2019

MantiCon 2019

This weekend I will be in Germany, at a castle near Heppenheim, for MantiCon 2019. Mantikore-Verlag are celebrating the 10th anniversary of this intimate gamebook convention, and I am one of the guests attending, along with the likes of Russ Nicholson, Gary Chalk, Ben Dever and Vinzent Lazzari.

On Friday afternoon, from 5-6pm, I will giving a talk about my word, with the very capable German gamebook author Jens Schumacher moderating and translating for the non-English speakers. I also expect to sign one or two copies of Alice im Düsterland over the course of the weekend.

So if you happen to be attending MantiCon yourself, do come over and say "Hallo!"

Monday 12 August 2019

Beowulf Beastslayer cover reveal

I am delighted to be able to share with you the finished cover for Beowulf Beastslayer, featuring Russ Nicholson's astonishing artwork.

I am particularly thrilled about the cover quote written by one of my TV heroes, Dr Janina Ramirez, who has her own book about Beowulf coming out in September.

The second cover quote is by another academic, who also happens to be one of the backers of the original Kickstarter, Prof. Dr. Oliver M. Traxel.

Beowulf Beastslayer is published this October by Snowbooks.

Thought for the Day

"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world."
~ Robin Williams

Saturday 10 August 2019

Short Story Saturday: Wonderland

I was delighted to receive my contributor copies of Wonderland today, an anthology of short stories inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

When editors Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane invited me to contribute something to the anthology they told me that they were looking for stories set within the Wonderland universe, so, of course, I pitched them a story set in a quasi-medieval universe, inspired by the poem Jabberwocky. Fortunately they loved it, as did Titan, and so The Hunting of the Jabberwock seventh story of nineteen in the book.

Wonderland, the anthology, with another Alice-inspired book in the background.

The funny thing is, the pitch was a re-working of a synopsis I first sent to the Black Library that was rejected 19 years ago. It was originally supposed to feature the Kislevite mercenary Torben Badenov and his band*, which just goes to show that a good idea is never wasted.

The Hunting of the Jabberwock is a much better story with the Warhammer elements removed, and I am very pleased with how it's turned out. It is also in good company, as the anthology includes brand new stories by the likes of M. R. Carey, Alison Littlewood, James Lovegrove, George Mann, Lilith Saintcrow, Cavan Scott, Robert Shearman, and Rio Youers.

Wonderland is published by Titan Books on 17th September, and I believe there will be a mass signing at this year's FantasyCon in Glasgow, although I won't be there.

Are you ready to go back down the rabbit-hole... again?

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!"

* Does anyone remember the Jabberwock featured in the original WFRP bestiary?

Wednesday 7 August 2019

Warhammer Wednesday: The Return of Crusade for Armageddon?

For the last two years, the Black Library Celebration has included the re-release of much-requested books, and 2020 will continue this grand tradition. The choice of which books receive this accolade is down to a reader vote. And unbelievably, this year, one of the contenders is my very own Crusade for Armageddon, originally published in 20003.

Of course, the book's not going to win, not when it's up against the likes of Graham McNeill's Nightbringer, Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Helsreach, and James Swallow's Faith & Fire, and it won't help that many newer Black Library readers won't even have heard of me before. But it's nice to be on the shortlist of six Warhammer 40K novels.

If you do fancy throwing a vote my way, you can do so here.

Monday 5 August 2019

Thought for the Day

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."

~ Eleanor Roosevelt, American political figure, diplomat and activist