Wednesday 30 April 2008

On the Apocalypse, Zombies and various other things

Hulloh from me

Well, it's been a pretty busy week with plenty of manuscripts to read through and books to put through their final stages but all is ticking over nicely. I have approved the final proofs for The Afterblight Chronicles: Dawn Over Doomsday by Jaspre Bark and this is now rolling through the press, so we should be seeing the book in shops in a couple of weeks. Look out for it.
Al Ewing's I, Zombie is pretty much in its final stages also and I will be getting out advance PDFs for reviewers very shortly.
In other news I have Paul Kane's Afterblight novel, Arrowhead to read through and will soon be receiving the manuscripts for Mike Wild's Kerberos novel, The Clockwork King of Orl and Rebecca Levene's Tomes of The Dead novel, Anno Mortis. So plenty to look forward to.
So, thats' the books.

I continue to be most impressed with the new season of Doctor Who on the telly-box. Catherine Tate is for better than I thought she'd be and new Who seems to have come to maturity. It was great to see the Sontarans back, a whole race driven by wee man syndrome!
Other than that, we're also very much enjoying Dexter in the Oliver household. Easily the best crime series of recent years. The characters are brilliantly drawn and the plot is twisty and windy in a very satisfying way. We're three quarters of the way through season one so far and loving it.
Movie-wise I saw The Wild Bunch for the first time the other day. Yes it's taken me that long to get round to it. Fantastic western. You can't go wrong with a cast that includes Ernest Borgnine and Warren Oates. We also recently watched Control, the Ian Curtis biopic. As you'd expect, not exactly a laugh a minute but still very powerful. Finally caught up with Cronenberg's latest too, Eastern Promises. A really strong crime movie. I had worried that Vigo would be awful at a Russian accent but he was spot on. Cronenberg has to be one of my favourite directors of all time. His style and thematic concerns evolve with his movies. He's not the same director now, as the man who made Shivers all those years ago, and that's a good thing. Not that Shivers isn't a very fine movie but if he was making body horror all the time he wouldn't be the great director that he is. For the record my favourite Cronenberg movie is Dead Ringers
I can also thoroughly recommend The Orphanage, a powerful ghost story from a first time Spanish director. It's very stylish, cleverly written and powerful. It has some proper shit-your pants scares in it too. The seance scene (starring Charlie Chaplin's daughter) is particularly chilling. As ever Europe and Asia seem to be leading the way in horror movies. 

And talking of horror, in my spare time I've been reading the rather excellent Ramsey Campbell novel The Overnight. I've always been a huge fan of Ramsey's work. He was one of the first authors who made me realise that horror fiction was just as valid a branch of literature as any other. He opened the way for me to discover such authors as Robert Aickman, Fritz Leiber, Ray Bradbury, Thomas Tessier, Thomas Ligotti and many other fine writers of the macabre. When it comes to supernatural fiction, Campbell is unparalleled. The Overnight is one of his more recent works and proves that he doesn't mellow with age. Ramsey's novels are as powerful and unsettling as they've ever been. If you get the chance also check out The Grin of The Dark, which has just been released by Virgin Books in paperback. 

Anyway, this has been a vast and rambling post. I must get on and do some editing.

Until next time


Thursday 10 April 2008

Greeting from the Shiny New Place


Well, sorry for all the 'radio-silence' recently. Life has been pretty hectic of late what with our big office move half-way across Oxford. Yes, we are now in a shiny and new purpose-built office. It is most swanky.
The other week Keith (our marketing bod) and I attended Eastercon at the Radison Edwardian Hotel at Heathrow. Here are some authors signing books:

This be Jonathan Green, author of Pax Britannia: Unnatural History and Pax Britannia: Leviathan Rising showing off his latest book. Jon has promised me lots of good things from the next Pax Britannia volume and you may even get wind of some of his nefarious plans over at his blog.

And this dashing young fellow is Scott Andrews, author of The Afterblight Chronicles: School's Out. Scott is currently working on Operation Motherland, the follow-up to his stonkingly good Afterblight novel. You can catch up with Scott on his blog too.
Much fun was had at Eastercon and China Mieville (author of Perdido Street Station) brought me a pint. We also geeked-out with comedian Mitch Ben over 2000 AD in the bar, witnessed the rise of Tivian Stark (vampire hunter extraordinaire), discussed all things SF with SMS, bemoaned THAC0 with the editor of SFX, David Bradley, took a directionless and long walk in search of a curry and I personally apologised to Paul Cornell for mistaking him for Steven Moffatt the first time we met at a Comic Convention several years ago. You may hear the terrible details of that truly spectacular hole-digging at a convention sometime.

Anyway, stuff and things! You shall be delighted to know that Dreams of Inan: The Worm That Wasn't by Mike Maddox is now finally available. Much apologies for the lateness of this, I hope you'll agree that it has been worth the wait. In the meantime check out the super sexy cover by Mark Harrison below. I tried to paste the image immediately after this text but the Gods of the net defied me!

In other news, I have been adding the finishing editorial flourished to Jaspre Bark's novel The Afterblight Chronicles: Dawn Over Doomsday which shall be hitting shops in but a few weeks. We are also preparing for the London Book Fair next week, where I shall be meeting lots of industry types and planning for Abaddon's future. Many exciting things happening.

This week I have mostly been reading Iron Council by China Mieville and Kingdom of The Wicked by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli.
We've also been enjoying our new sofa and a healthily stocked wine rack.