Friday 24 December 2010

Final Vlog of the Year!

Hi all,

Merry Christmas!

That is all.


Thursday 23 December 2010

A Very Zombie Holiday

Hey yo,

A bunch of whacky kids called Team Unicorn has created this helpful instructional video for how to deal with a Zombie Apocalypse during the holiday season:

The things you find on YouTube, huh?


Tuesday 21 December 2010

...and a Pax Britannia freebie!

Hey all,

Well, with the internet being so nice to Jon Green this month, he decided to be nice back to the internet. You should be grateful; you wouldn't want him to change his mind and show the internet the back of his hand...


You may remember our little featurette, A Very Abaddon Christmas, which we ran last December, in which various of our authors wrote little snippets for the blog. Well, I was going to do it again this year, but the December deadlines have just been quite a headache this year (just got the last proofs off to the printer this morning), so we just didn't have the time. So, I thought, what the hey? You don't miss what you didn't know you could have had.

Except for Jon, it seems. Who loves you so much he put together a free story for you guys without my asking. Because that's the kind of guy he is. Just keeps on givin'.

(It's actually a snippet of one of his bonus stories, the novella Favoured Son, which should be appearing in the back of Anno Frankenstein. Just to give you a taster of what's coming.)

Therefore, and with no further ado, I present to you:




By Jonathan Green

Cratchit knew that he had gone too far when he looked down and saw the whore’s blood staining his palms Whitechapel Red, but by then it was too late to do anything about it. It had been her own bloody stupid fault – she shouldn’t have kept screaming like that. What else had she thought would happen if she carried on like that, the silly little tart? And she wasn’t screaming now, was she?

Cratchit looked at the body cooling on the cobbles at his feet. The girl’s legs looked all wrong at that angle, hobnail boots lying in the blood-pink snow as if she had been frozen in the act of running, whilst lying on the ground.

He felt hot, despite the biting cold.

Suddenly remembering himself, blushing as he became coldly aware of his current condition in the adrenalin come down that always followed the act, he hastily tucked himself in and buttoned up his fly. There was blood on his clothes now too. So much blood. But then what had the tease expected, carrying on like that, prancing around the place with her basket of lavender and her innocent cherubic face. Ironic then that she had told him her name was Holly.

The basket lay tumbled nearby, the dried purple blooms sticky with blood.

Hearing a distant shout – muffled by the falling snow – he started, head up, taut as a ratting terrier on the trail of fresh meat.

But nothing came of it. He was still alone in the street; alone, except for the flower-seller’s cooling corpse.

Still it wouldn’t do for anyone else to find him here, like this, even if the little tart had been asking for it, with her rosy cheeks and pouting rosy lips. She had deserved all she had got.
Backing away from the body, he finally managed to tear his eyes from the blood staining the fresh snowfall, turned tail and ran.

The falling snow muffled his pounding footfalls as he fled the scene, making for the river. As he passed through the pool of dirty yellow light cast by a forlorn streetlamp, he glanced down and caught sight of his blood-stained clothes again. The girl’s blood was still on his hands too, glistening blackly in the flickering gas-light.

Thankfully no-one else was out on the streets to see. Even the carol-singers had given up and gone home for the night. The greedy little tart should have done the same, if she’d known what was good for her, rather than trying to get rid of the rest of the basket of posies, to save herself from her father’s belt, no doubt. She’d probably deserved that too.

Somewhere across town a church clock chimed the hour.

She had been lucky really. He’d done her a favour. One of her tender years, staying out after curfew like that? She could have run into much worse than him.

It was then that he caught the shrill peeping of a Peeler’s whistle.

Ducking into an alleyway – that swallowed him up like a crumbling stone oesophagus – he stopped, doubled up with his hands on his knees, as he gasped for breath. He stared at the fractal patterns the settling flakes made on the mud-ingrained cobbles but all he could see were the girl’s sky blue eyes staring back at him, almost popping out of her head with panic, fearful tears running into her hair as he clamped a callused hand over her mouth to silence her screams.

But at least there had been no one else there to witness him giving her what for. It would remain his little secret.

The twenty-fifth of December might still be some days away, but Christmas had come early for Cratchit. He’d had his present early this year.

A gust of wind sent the gently falling flakes whirling as something swept past overhead.

Cratchit raised his head, alert to every possible danger. He could hear nothing, nothing but the soft flutter of the snow coming to ground. He took a cautious step further along the alleyway, the crunch of settling snow under his boots sounding uncomfortably loud in the muffled stillness of the night.

Feeling the prickle of another’s eyes upon him between his shoulder blades he spun round. He glimpsed a flicker of movement, the absence of something having been there a split second before; a black void in the disturbed snow’s fall.

But whatever it was had left its mark; two hoof-prints in the snow.

Cratchit’s black heart was thumping in his chest now, a fresh rush of adrenalin coursing through his weary body.

There was the whoosh of movement. Cratchit snapped his head back, looking up at the crumbling walls of the crowding tenements above him.

Again there was nothing there, nothing other than for the same bat-shaped shadow in the swirling snow.

Suddenly losing all control of both mind and body, as panic took hold, he took off, skidding and sliding over the slush-slick cobbles, his breath coming in ragged, whimpering gasps.

Desperate feet suddenly slipping from under him – one going one way and one the other – in one heart-stopping moment he found himself sprawling in the snow and the muck clogging the rat-run. The fall knocked the air out of his lungs.

With a reverberating thud, something landed on the cobbles in front of him.
Eyes wide with fear, he was nonetheless unable to fight the almost hypnotic urge to see what it was that he knew was hunting him.

And it was then that Cratchit came face to face with the Devil himself.

Its hide was black and leathery, its hands cruel claws, its eyes glowing red coals of malevolence in the darkness. It strode towards him, folding its great black wings behind it, sulphurous smoke snorting from flaring nostrils.

The fiend bent down and, grabbing Cratchit by his jacket, hauled him effortlessly off the ground.
Unable to tear his gaze away, unable even to blink, Cratchit met the Devil’s bloody stare. Hanging in the monster’s powerful grip, the toe-caps of his boots barely brushed the drifts of disturbed snow. The Devil’s brimstone breath caught in the back of his throat, making him cough and his eyes run with tears.

“Wh-Wh-Wh…” Cratchit stammered, his tongue suddenly sluggish within his mouth, unable to even form even the simplest words.

“Who am I?” the fiend growled, its voice a disharmonic, electro-static rumble. “They call me Jack.”

“J-Jack?” Cratchit whimpered. “N-Not Old Nick?” he spluttered. “You’re not the Devil then?”

“No,” the creature snarled. “But you’re going to wish I was. I’m something much worse.”
Cratchit pissed himself at that.

“Wh-Wh-What do you want with me?” he snivelled, the tears streaming down his face now born of fear.

“Vengeance,” the night-gaunt barked. “Retribution. Satisfaction.”

At that the burly thug broke down completely.

“I’m sorry,” he sobbed, the words suddenly pouring out of him like a confession. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to… I mean, I… I didn’t…”

“Too late,” the monster growled.

There was a sudden demonic roar as hellfire erupted all around them.

In the next moment, Cratchit felt the rush of motion as the demon unfurled its dragon wings and carried them both skyward. They left the dark streets and the twinkling lights of the city far below them, hurtling through the blizzard, snowflakes evaporating in the wake of the fiend’s fiery passage. Cratchit clung onto the beast, his eyes closed, mouth open wide in a silent scream.

And then suddenly their careering ascent came to an abrupt stop, so suddenly, in fact, that Cratchit opened his eyes again in shock, meeting the hellish bat-creature’s inferno stare.

Before he could shape a question, the thing that called itself Jack, spoke again.

“This is where you get off.”

Twisting within the creature’s tight grasp, he tried to look down, fear of what was about to befall him overcoming any fear of heights he might have.

Surely the fiend wasn’t really about to drop him. This was just a test, to scare him into repenting of his evil ways. Wasn’t it?

“We’re about a thousand feet up. I reckon it should take you about ten seconds to reach the ground again,” the monster declared, something like a disharmonic laugh twisting its words. The demon was clearly relishing tormenting its prisoner. “Plenty of time for you to think on what you’ve done and ask for absolution from your Maker before impact.”

Surely this was all just some kind of sick joke. Surely…

“Oh, and Happy Christmas.”

With that, the fiend let go.

His final scream was ripped from his lungs by the rushing air. And then the time for prayers was past.

From the heart of the whirling snowstorm, the devil known as Spring-Heeled Jack watched with blazing eyes, savouring the moment of retribution. And then he, too, was gone.

Pax Britannia Reviews...

Hey all,

Well, Jon Green's been getting a bit of love from the internet, it seems. Here are two very decent reviews of his books from webland...

Graeme Flory, over at Graeme's Fantasy Book Review, is always a big fan of Abaddon's Steampunk Laureate, in this case awarding Blood Royal an awesome 9-and-a-half out of 10:

"What you get as a result is a plot that moves at a frantic pace whilst making complete and utter sense... Blood Royal has it all going on and at such a speed that you are almost physically compelled to keep reading."

Pablocheesecake, over at The Eloquent Page - another reliable Ulysses-fan - was similarly effusive about Dark Side:

Dark Side joins the existing novels as a worthy addition. Green has crafted yet another action packed rip-snorter. Each new release fleshes out the Ulysees Quicksilver universe and is a guaranteed must read. Long may the adventures of Ulysees Quicksilver continue.

So that's good.



Friday 26 November 2010

Vlog Post: Mo Quicker

Wotcher chaps,

Quickie before I head off for the weekend. Check out the Mo!



Thursday 25 November 2010

Paul Kane's Signing Tour! (ish)

Wotcher all,

Quick post to announce that our very own Paul Kane, author of the Hooded Man trilogy (The Afterblight Chronicles: Arrowhead, The Afterblight Chronicles: Broken Arrow and The Afterblight Chronicles: Arrowland) will be doing a lightning-quick signing tour around the Midlands and the North in December.

He'll be at Travelling Man in Leeds on Thursday 9th December from noon until 2pm:

Travelling Man
32 Central Road

And will gladly sign and dedicate books and meet with fans during that time.

He'll also be at Waterstones in Nottingham on Friday 10th December from 6.30pm with Gary McMahon (of Tomes of the Dead: Hungry Hearts) and Joseph d'Lacey for an evening of horror discussion and more signings:

1-5 Bridlesmith Gate

Tickets cost £3 and are available in store, but the cost of the ticket counts towards a book you buy on the night, and the first twenty people to book get free books! Check out Horror Reanimated's blog post on the event, or the store's website for contact details if you have any questions.

He'll then be shooting around the Waterstones branches in Derby, Burton and Sheffield, and the Sheffield Space Centre in Sheffield, to sign stock on Monday 13th December. These aren't strictly signing-sessions - the idea is to put his signature on a load of copies for the stores to sell - but if you happen to pop alog to the store while he's around, he'll no doubt write a dedication and maybe have a quick chat with you. It's worth a shot...



UPDATE: I've just added Friday 10th above, which I didn't know about when I wrote this post but which the wonderful Marie O'Regan has just brought to my attention (Sorry, Paul).

Check out yet one more opportunity to meet Paul!

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Pye Parr Art Post

Hello again!

(Three times in half an hour! I suppose I should spread these out more, but you know how it gets when you got a bunch of blog material backed up and you take the opportunity to clear the decks...)

Mr. Simon Parr (or "Pye" to most) is one of our two talented designers, and occasionally the cover artist. He's responsible for, among other things, the No Man's World covers and the coming Malory's Knights of Albion covers.

Anyway, Pye is kind enough from time to time to throw up work-in-progress covers and tell a little bit of the story behind what he's working on, and has recently done so in a post about some of the covers he's put together for the coming catalogue.

These look fantastic. Thanks, Pye!


Ass-Kicking Review: Black Hand Gang

Hello everyone!

Okay, as much as possible I try to lump reviews together into reviewspam posts, this one deserves its own special post.

Author Keith Harvey in Dallas, on his blog Red Rook Review, has written a thoughtful, glowing review of Pat Kelleher's No Man's Word: Black Hand Gang, in quite detailed lit-crit terminology. It was a delight to read.

To pick up on a couple of quotes:

As I read I determined quickly that the prose is tight and well-honed, and that this guy Kelleher, who I have never heard of, has the chops. I surmise this isn't his first time out.

First, it is well-crafted, as I said; Kelleher structures each chapter to create suspense and take us onto the next, and the research spot-on. I believed the early chapters in no man's land implicitly, just as I did later when the
situs morphs onto a new world and the heroes find themselves in a hostile environment. This bump, this movement from the known world of France during World War I to the secondary world, makes the novel ultimately a portal novel in the grand tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Norman, David Lindsay, and even C. S. Lewis.

Good stuff, eh?



Graeme's Fantasy Book Winners

Wotcher all,

You probably all read our post last Monday about Graeme Flory (of Graeme's Fantasy Book Review) fantastic giveaways of our two omnibus editions (see, that's how you escape the plural debate), The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus and The Best of Tomes of the Dead.

If not, read it now.


Apparently, just shy of three hundred people emailed him with requests, which is a fantastic turn-out, and he announced the winners yesterday.

Check it out.

So congratulations to Carmen, Angie, Susan and Anna. I hope you enjoy the books (and get all your friends to buy them).



Friday 12 November 2010

Vlog Post Six: David Has Gone Beardless

Hello, one and all,

So the sixth bi-weekly vlog is now ready. Apologies for it being a little later than usual.



Monday 8 November 2010

Happy Monday!

We recommend you check out Graeme's Fantasy Book Review today. As well as the great reviews he writes every week, he's currently got an Abaddon-themed giveaway going on! You could win a copy of our first Pax Britannia omnibus, or maybe a copy of our first Tomes of the Dead omnibus! The competition is open until the 14th November.

These omnibuses/omnibi* are now out in all the shops - such weighty tomes - each comprising three Abaddon books, make a great Xmas present for anyone who loves their zombies and/or their steampunk fiction, so get buying!

Also, don't forget to check out our interview last week with an author who's written for both of those series, plus plenty of 2000 AD comics, the illustrious Mr. Al Ewing...


*Let the comments war begin...

Thursday 4 November 2010

Whee! Al Ewing Interview!


Well, we're pretty excited here at Abaddon Towers today. It's taken a lot of pleading, a certain amount of cajoling, a libation of raw meat, and your reporter... entering into certain offices he would rather not discuss openly, but we have finally persuaded notorious manimal Al Ewing - beloved 2000 AD comics writer, jobbing DJ, humorous Youtube movie maker, renowned star of karaoke and four-times critically-acclaimed Abaddon author - to emerge from his isolated fortress in Yorkshire to answer several questions. Rejoice!

Al graciously agreeing to an interview.

Hi, Al. Thanks for making time out of your busy schedule.

AE: Thanks, Dave, and sorry my schedule’s been busier than intended - I should have done this for you weeks ago.

Abaddon: It’s all good. You are, after all, a national treasure. Comics, novels, karaoke, short animated movies on Youtube. Is there no end to your talents? Do you sculpt? Dance the Rumba?

AE: I’m occasionally a panel guest on the Freaky Trigger show, Lollards Of Pop, on Resonance FM, as well as on its occasional ancillary shows. I’ll likely be a guest on the current season, so London listeners and visitors to might want to keep an ear out for that. Plus I’ll be doing some DJ-ing at this year’s Thought Bubble in Leeds, along with Phonogram creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie and a bunch of other folks.

Not to be confused with the fourteenth-century
followers of John Wycliffe.

Abaddon: You DJ-ed at Thought Bubble last year, didn’t you? Ever gone (or considered going) pro with the DJing? Or is it strictly cons and socially?

Taking a well-earned break from DJing to dance
to Take That at Thought Bubble 2009.

AE: All cons all the time at the moment - I occasionally DJ friends’ weddings, but there aren’t any on the immediate horizon, and since Poptimism breathed its last earlier in the year (hopefully to withdraw into a healing cocoon and evolve into something new and fresh) I’ve been lacking an opportunity to pretend to take requests for Disco 2000 into consideration with my lying face while cuing up yet another Robyn track.


Abaddon: So. Books. After six years’ writing credits for 2000 AD, you wrote your first novel for Abaddon, El Sombra. Talk me through that. Had fiction writing previously been a major ambition?

Cover One: Shirtless Zorro vs. Nazi steambot.

AE: In a way – I’d tried to do a couple for Black Flame, including a great idea for how to handle Chopper that I touched on in the 20th Anniversary Judge Dredd Megazine story I wrote recently, and one that eventually became my first entirely-written-by-me Dredd story. But I always figured writing novels would be boring, so I never gave them much thought. Two things changed - Sue Fletcher, an old friend from University, wrote a brilliant and critically-acclaimed novel called Eve Green that made me realise how much fun writing a novel would be, and secondly it became very clear to me very quickly that I can’t write novels at all to save my life. So what I do is write comics without any pictures in them, and pretend they’re novels, and don’t tell anyone the truth. And that seems to make all the difference.

Abaddon: But you’ve told us now. I guess you’ll have to kill me! Heh, heh.

...Ahem. So, er... what led you to put forward an idea for the Pax Britannia world, rather than any of the others? Did you start with Zorro and Nazis, and then work it into a steampunk world, or start with steampunk and populate it with Zorro and Nazis?

AE: The former. Originally, it was going to be a fantasy setting, with winged creatures preying on normal humans inside a giant Eyrie, and then I took a look at the bible for the fantasy world and realised that wouldn’t fly (Ba-dum tissch). Anyway, it kind of fitted better into the steampunk world – I’m not really a fan of steampunk as such, but out of the four possibilities, the four universes, that Jon Oliver was offering at the time, it seemed like the one where I could most easily explore that kind of pulp-action sensibility.

Abaddon: Then we had I, Zombie. In the foreword to the omnibus edition, you mention that John Doe first took shape in an unwritten comics epic called Bountyman that you outlined in your angst-ridden teenage years. Did Zombo spring from the same roots? Are talking zombies your “thing”?

Cover Two: Zombie gumshoe.
...Weird insect-guy thing.

AE: Zombo sprang from Henry – you’ll have to pick up the first TPB*, Can I Eat You Please, for an in-depth chat between me and Henry on the subject of his creation, but when you do you’ll see that Henry was the God figure who created the garden of Zombo and I’m the Satan who corrupted it and brought it around to my way of thinking.

Al corrupted this.

I prefer talking zombies to non-talking zombies, but zombies generally aren’t really my deal – both I, Zombie and Zombo take the idea of zombies and turn them around into something else that the average zombie punter might not recognise so easily. Again, it’s using the genre on offer to talk about the ideas I want to talk about.

Abaddon: I think most of the authors on Tomes have subverted the genre. Forty years after Romero, you sort of have to. To be honest, I’m always surprised at how much very traditional zombie fiction (both prose and film) is out there.

So, third book and third protagonist: Death Got No Mercy’s Cade. Forgive me, but you’re just about the mildest, most contemplative man-mountain I have ever had the pleasure to meet. What made you decide to write about a force of unstoppable human carnage, and how do you feel you relate to him?

Cover Three: A Man! Punching! A Bear!

I really wanted to write something incredibly violent, to be honest – I wanted to write the most violent thing I could imagine, and just have a load of fun with that. I don’t think it’s necessary for an author to relate completely to their character – you can see shades of my politics in Cade, but I certainly wouldn’t agree with how he handles most of his problems. It’s probably the least sympathetic protagonist I’ve written – he’s more of a spectacle than a character, really.

Abaddon: That helps. But why exactly did Scooby Doo have to die?

AE: He’s solving the Ultimate Mystery now.

Abaddon: Right. Er... And now you return to the scone of your first crime with Gods of Manhattan, the steampunk-superhero pastiche follow-up to El Sombra. Tell us a bit about it.

Cover Four: Super heroes and totty.

AE: It’s going back to El Sombra’s pulp roots. I basically got a little bored with the character – everything to say about him had been said in the first book, unless I wanted to cure him, which I didn’t. So I made him part of an ensemble cast.

In the third book – working title: Pax Omega – which I’m plotting as we speak, that ensemble cast is going to widen even further and I’m going to basically go to war with those nasty steam Nazis once and for all, so get ready for the final battle between man and mecha-fuehrer. There are possibilities beyond that - is it still steampunk in the year 1,000,000? How about the year 1,000,000,000? (Remember when a billion was a million million? I feel the humble billion has been devalued over the years, not to mention the trillion.) These are thoughts that have occurred to me. I’ll either take care of them in this book, if me and editor Jon Oliver can work out a way to make it sing, or I’ll chat with Jon Green about it in depth for an upcoming fourth volume. I’m still in plotting mode at the moment.

Today, the plight of the poor billion
is more relevant than ever...

But back to the second book, on shelves now! It’s all the wonderful energy of New York wrapped up into a high adventure package, with superheroes, pulp-noir detectives, dazzling ingenues, breakdancing, polygamy, BMX detectives, just a taste of pulp-cover naughtiness and what happens when Ebony White grows up… my own little attempt to grow a Wold Newton universe in Jon Green’s backyard. Buy it!

Abaddon: Excellent plug, and neatly worked in. So... Ah, yes. Noted reviewer Smashy McFace recently quashed (largely imagined) rumours about you by insisting that you have proven yourself a “real human man.”** Care to comment?

AE: Smashy is secretly one of my oldest friends and he’s well known for that sort of talk. He’s quite wrong, as the fleshy ones will soon discover - to their regret. Lock your doors.

Abaddon: Thank you. And I’ve just realised I have something I have to do, so we must wrap up. Any final comments?

AE: Thanks to anyone who’s written a glowing review, or even a semi-tolerant one. Like all writers, I pretend not to read my reviews while secretly craving the smallest scrap of appreciation and being crushed by the tiniest criticism. So please, don’t crush me! Love me! Love me, I beg of you!

At this point, Mr. Ewing had to be physically restrained and sedated, signalling an end to the interview. Out thanks go to him for very kindly providing these words.

Gods of Manhattan is out now in the US, and will hit the shelves in the UK in January. It will also be exclusively available at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds on the 18th - 21st November, at the Travelling Man stand (if you track Al down while you're there, you can get him to autograph it right after you buy it!).



*For “Trade Paperback.” Al is part of the “Comics World,” and they have all kinds of cool acronyms and slang. I guess it’s hip, or something.
**No, seriously. Search for him now.

Tuesday 2 November 2010



Quick spot of reviewspam for you...

The Falcata Times has weighed in to the spate of brilliant reviews of Scott Andrews' The Afterblight Chronicles: Children's Crusade with this glowing review:

Great characters, and some intriguing plots... Scott’s writing fits this set up to a tee, it’s got great characterisation, it has some serious pace and above all else the way in which the story’s lead character interacts with the reader makes them someone that you really care about. Great stuff.

And in the meantime, Jared over at Pornokitsch just loved Pax Britannia: Gods of Manhattan:

Ewing has written, in just shy of 250 pages, one of the best superhero pastiches I've ever read. From his dry take on the old pulp heroes stories to his disturbingly sinister version of Marvel's flagship hero, this is not something I ever expected to find outside of an Alan Moore graphic novel. He's used prose to describe comics (already something tricky), done so with a great deal of rewarding satire, and, most importantly, written a bloody enjoyable book. Gods of Manhattan is a terrific, inescapable book - in which absolutely anything can happen and, quite often, does.



Pax Britannia Competition Winner!


You probably remember me starting the month of October with a massive post about Pax Britannia: covers, new commissions, and, of course, Jon Green's Lego-inspired competition...

If you don't remember, feel free to refresh yourself now. I'm cool with waiting for a bit. It's not like I have anything better to do.

Anyway, once you've done, you can jump over to Jon Green's Pax Britannia blog, where he has announced the winner!

Yes, that's right, Adam Sparshott, and/or Sparshott and Son - I'll admit I'm confused as to whether the Adam in question is Sparshott or Son - has created an awesome airship for Ulysses to fight on (I'm guessing Ulysses has the two pistols and the smarmy grin, rather than the katana and the top hat), complete with two massive balloons for carrying it through the skies of Londinium Maximum. It's frikkin sweet. Sparshott will be making an appearance in the upcoming Anno Frankenstein (Mark Harrison's cover art pictured, right).

And here to show you the kick-ass airship in question, is Sparshott himself. Or Son:

He loves it.



Monday 1 November 2010

Malory's Knights of Albion makes the news!

So this is seriously cool.

As I'm sure you're already aware, the new Abaddon series of Arthurian fiction, Malory's Knights of Albion, is actually modernised and updated from a previously-unknown manuscript written by Thomas Malory himself!

Anyway, the story's made it to a major news website.

I'm talking major.

Read the story here.

Sunday 31 October 2010

Final World Fantasy Con Report

My final report from World Fantasy Con can be found here.

Saturday 30 October 2010

World Fantasy Con Report 1

Good morning, or afternoon depending on your time zone.

Well, it was a good Friday and many authors were met and chatted with. But the day started with a rather excellent panel on the fairy tale, which featured Gabe Dybing, Delia Sherman, Leah Bobet, James Dorr and Terri-Lynne DeFino. Much discussed was the difference between traditional fairy tales and 'new' or invented fairy tales of the modern age; how they differed in structure, theme and characterisation. I managed to get a question in about Robert Holdstock, C.S. Lewis and The Box of Delights and World Wars meeting the realm of fairy and myth. Well, it was more an observation than a question, but my brain still wasn't firing on all cylinders by then.

Then it was off to lunch with Jetse de Vries (editor of Shine) and Jim from Baen. Following that was an afternoon of meeting and chatting with various authors and editors, going out to dinner with Ellen Datlow and crew and, after that, signing copies of The End of The Line and The Call of Kerberos.

All in all a most excellent day. Today I'm on a panel on sword and sorcery and have various meetings lined up.

More news tomorrow.

Friday 29 October 2010

New Vlog Post: Pumpkin Night!

Wotcher all,

As promised, it's pumpkins today.

Slightly longer than usual - I think it weighs in at about six minutes - partly because of the time I spend travelling through time to show you my pumpkins.

Through. Time.

That's what I go through for you.



Greetings from Columbus, Ohio

Honestly, what time do you people call this? Well, it's quarter to midday where you UK folk are, but it's quarter to seven am here. Been up since 5am on account of the jetlag.

Anyway, this is me live blogging from World Fantasy Con at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus. Got here around 8pm last night and managed to last until 10pm until my brain turned to goo. On the way in, at Newark airport, saw Brian Lumley (he of Necroscope fame) and we chatted for a while, while awaiting our connecting flight. The flight to Columbus was a twin prop, so it felt all very Indiana Jones. Propellers and everything! Well cool. At the other end, Farah Mendlesohn, Brett Cox and Suzie McKee Charnas and I piled into a cab.

Got to the hotel, checked in and then had a look-see to see who was around. Almost immediately saw Tim Akers (Dead of Veridon) and we chatted for a good while about books, life in general and roleplaying games. (Turns out Tim and I are massive gaming geeks). Then a quick chat with the good folk from the Jabberwocky Literary Agency (Eddie and Jessie) and it was time for bed. Well it was still well early, but to me it was insane o'clock. Bumped into John Berlyne in reception and managed a bleary goodnight before I retreated to my room. So, that's how it's been so far. Today I will take in some panels, talks and readings and try to network. Oh yes, I'm a media type now. Right, to breakfast!

By the way, I did bring my camera but forgot the connection to the laptop. So I will take pictures but they'll be posted later.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Three For Two On Tomes Of The Dead!


Waterstones have just confirmed that they're holding a Zombie-themed Three-For-Two deal for Hallowe'en, and all Tomes of the Dead titles currently in stock are in it!

Get yourself down to Waterstones and check 'em out. If you got any big gaps in your Tomes library you want to fill, now's the time.

You know it makes sense.

Must... get... to... store...

Wednesday 27 October 2010

A book what I is writing


As some folk know, early this year my first novel was released to the world: Twilight of Kerberos: The Call of Kerberos. Some of you will hopefully be thrilled that I'm currently working on the sequel, Twilight of Kerberos: The Wrath of Kerberos, which will see publication in January 2012. I'm half way through it and beavering away in my spare time to get in done. Anyway, here is the cover and the blurb:

Silus Morlader and the crew of the Llothriall find themselves beached in the middle of a desert after a magical storm envelops their ship. Stranded with dwindling supplies, and half their crew missing, Silus leads his companions across the harsh landscape in search of civilisation. What they find will change their view of the world forever. A new race reveals to Silus that his god, Kerberos, is not all he appears to be; that everything they understand about life on Twilight may be wrong.

When the truth is finally told, Silus and his companions must fight their way across a dying world, facing Final Faith fanatics, orcs and dragons. They must find a way to return home and deliver a very important message to Katherine Makennon, head of the Final Faith, before war tears Twilight apart.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Pumpkin Update

Wotcher all,

The Zombkin has a name now: Eddie the Zombkin. He looks like an Eddie, don't you think?

Anyway, he's now joined by his steampunk counterpart: Raffles, Gentleman Pumpkin. Raffles wears a monocle and moustache, has gears in the side of the head, and is frightfully pleased to meet you.

And you know, if Jon Green or Al Ewing are watching, and think that Ulysses Quicksilver or El Sombra need a new, orange sidekick, well... I'm just sayin'. You know. If.

Eddie and Raffles will make an appearance in this friday's vlog.



Monday 25 October 2010

Zombie Pumpkin!

Hey all,

Check this bad boy out.

Pith. I mean, brains.

So this was my attempt at a zombie pumpkin, or zombkin. Not quite perfect, but I think it worked pretty well.

He's got horrible, uneven teeth, one eye trailing down his face, and (just out of sight on the top right), his skull's been cracked open by the zombie that originally bit him, exposing his orange brains.

Still yet to do the steampumpkin. Once I've done that, I'll do some kind of video for the vlog.



Convention Bound

So, this week I'm off to Columbus, Ohio for the World Fantasy Convention. Friday evening I'll be signing copies of The Call of Kerberos and The End of The Line and I'm on a panel on Sword & Sorcery at 12pm on the Saturday. If you're there this weekend come and say hi. I'm the portly jet-lagged Brit looking a bit confused.


Friday 22 October 2010

No Vlog Today!

Hi all,

Just to let you know I am cutting my vlogs down to biweekly, effective today. There will be no vlog today, but you will receive a vlog as usual next Friday for Hallowe'en.

If you need a fix, check out the post before this one, where I post a kick-ass video Weston Ochse made of his time with the Tuczon Zombies at Barnes and Noble last week.



Zombie Book Signing: The Video

Weston made a video of the OEOSBSTZC.

It's... er... kind of a music video? I guess?

Look, watch it. You decide what it is.

Weston, you're a hard-working, enthusiastic, strongly motivated and deeply unusual young man.

Many thanks,


Reviewy Review

Hey all,

So we should totally have waited, and put these both up at the same time.

It seems Kerl at Un:Bound has been kind enough to review Children's Crusade as well.

The book has a lot of action, and a solid plot as it reveals what’s happened and the events behind it. I’ll definitely be getting the other books to get the full details!

What grabs you though is that at St Mark’s the main actors are children. So the book deals with children from 13 upwards with guns and knives, taught to fight for their lives and resources under Jane's leadership, as well as the other teachers of the school. Think Hit-Girl on a large scale and you start to get the idea.

So she definitely seemed to enjoy it.



Thursday 21 October 2010

Children's Crusade

Graeme's Fantasy Book Review has posted a review of Scott Andrews' Children's Crusade, here.

And Don't forget to nominate ideas for the Abaddon Halloween pumpkin!!


Wednesday 20 October 2010

Requests Wanted: Pumpkin Carving!

Wotcher all,

I have been considering getting my themed pumpkin carving on this Hallowe'en, and idly considered doing something for Abaddon or Solaris for one or more pumpkins.

Just to get you in the mood, here are some themed pumpkins you can find in the internetland:

So I mentioned this on Twitter. And then Jared at Pornokitsch asked,

"A Pax Britannia steampumpkin? Or perhaps an Infernal Gourd?"

Which was an intriguing idea.

So over to you, internet people. I will carve the most popular Abaddon-themed pumpkin concept - to the best of my limited ability - proposed in the comments field below or addressed to the Abaddon Twitter account by, let's say this weekend. I will then take a picture and post it here.

If no-one's particularly fussed, I'll choose my own damn theme and post it anyway.



Weston Apologises for Scaring a Reader

While we're talkin' Weston and Empire of Salt, did you know he scared a reader so bad he had to apologise to her?

Nor did I, until just now.

Read Weston's apology to Nadine.

Nadine, who could not read past Chapter Four. Bless.

She actually replies in the comments box as well, which is sweet of her.



The Zombie Crawl...

Hi all,

Well, it seems the OEOSBSTZC* was a resounding success. Weston signed some copies of his book, Empire of Salt (pictured right). Tucson residents shopping at Barnes & Noble were startled. There was groaning and a certain amount of drool.

All of which is pretty much de rigueur for a fantasy or horror book signing, but on this occasion there were also some people dressed as zombies.

Because, of course, the good people of the Tucson Zombies were kind enough to support Weston's book-signing by dressing up, shuffling around and drawing attention to themselves. Seems their actually-official annual walk is this Saturday, so this was a chance to drag out their kit, dust it off and get an early start.

Anyway, Weston was good enough to get a picture taken (which the zombies were good enough to pose for), and send it to us:

(That's Weston in the red and black shirt.)


Although slightly perturbed to see a child in a Clone Wars T-Shirt. Damn you, Lucas, is no innocence to be spared?

Anyway, do get out in Tucson this Saturday (if you live in or near Tucson, naturally) to support the Zombies, who are collecting food and raising funds for the community Food Bank.

And check out Empire of Salt, if you haven't yet.



*The Official Empire of Salt Book Signing Tucson Zombie Crawl, of course. Do keep up.

Friday 15 October 2010

Your Regularly Scheduled Vlog Post

Hi all,

This is your regularly-scheduled fourth weekly vlog post.

It's entitled, for reasons that will become abundantly clear, Working From Home:



Thursday 14 October 2010

BONUS Vlog Post!

Hey all,

So if you've been reading the Twitter feed over at our sister imprint Solaris Books, you'll know they just hit 700 followers.

Now, it's traditional on Twitter to make a fuss about reaching 100-follower milestones, and we've done so in the past by giving away free books to our 500th and 600th follower.

This seemed arbitrary and unfair, however (although this does not preclude us doing it again in future), so we have decided to instead create a bonus vlog for all to enjoy.

See you for tomorrow's regularly scheduled vlog.



Reviewspam and Chips

Wotcher all,

Two review quickies and a reviewesque.

Graeme Flory over at Graeme's Fantasy Book Review has offered some words about Paul Finch's Tomes of the Dead: Stronghold.

It was a book that I had a lot of fun reading. Another chilling entry in the library that holds the Tomes of the Dead...

Kerl at Un:Bound has delivered this lovely review about Jon Oliver's Twilight of Kerberos: The Call of Kerberos.

The stunning setting provides a backdrop for action that leaps from a harbour raid by marauders from below the sea to a duel and boarding action between living submersibles with star-ship grade weapons. There is also a monster in the book that’s creepy-weird enough to unsettle me, and I’ve read a lot of odd stuff in my time!

Thirdly, for Al Ewing's Gods of Manhattan, reviews haven't really started coming in yet, but we stumbled on this awesome commentary out there in internetland, from a guy who described the book as "kind of like shooting pure pulpy joy into my brain":

I finished Gods of Manhattan and was very impressed. It did something with the superhero/modern pulp hero novel I've been waiting for and have only gotten with a couple of books- it played it mostly straight. Sure, there were twists and some modern themes but there was no "Oh, this all takes place while the heroes are in therapy" or some other silly "well, supers/comics/pulps are boring unless you 'fix' them with quirky stuff" and it wasn't jokey and such. It was a story about a bunch of heroes and a bunch of villains.

Cool, huh?



Friday 8 October 2010

New Vlog Post: The Subtitles Machine

Hey all,

So here's the third weekly vlog (in three weeks!).

This time, my subtitles machine decided it would do a better job of vlogging than I would, so I told it to go ahead.

Honestly, the way technology turns on you these days...


Monday 4 October 2010

That Crawl Again...

Wotcher all,

Weston's put the Official Empire of Salt Book Signing Tucson Zombie Crawl (hereinafter referred to as the OEOSBSTZC) up on So you can sign up to the Crawl, keep track of any updates or developments on the event.

It's also on



Empire of Salt: Signing and Zombie Crawl!

Hi all,

Tireless author and tourer Weston Ochse, author of the redneck-zombie epic Tomes of the Dead: Empire of Salt (the only Abaddon book so far to include an AK-47-toting Elvis impersonator), has secured a signing date at 1pm on Saturday 16th October at a Barnes & Noble in Tucson, Arizona, where he will be meeting fans and signing copies of Empire.

But as if a Barnes & Noble signing date isn't awesome enough, he's managed to arrange to mark the occasion with a Zombie Crawl through Tucson to mark the occasion.

So if you're based near Tucson and want to get your copy signed, or just want to get involved in the zombie crawl (and who would blame you?) then stick your head in the B&N at:

Barnes & Noble
5130 East Broadway
Tucson, AZ 85711

This event, and all of Weston's unceasing efforts to promote this awesome book, can be found on his page.



You've heard ours... how about Greenie's?

Hey all,

You've seen my vlogs, and you've read Jon's report on the convention, but did you know Jon Green of Pax Britannia fame was there as well?

Of course you did.

Well, here's his own FantasyCon 2010 convention report, "24 Hours in Nottingham, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Metal."



Reviewspam for Tea

Hey doods,

Two quickies, both for Mike Wild's Twilight of Kerberos: Engines of the Apocalypse.

Jonathan Howard at the San Francisco Book Review has offered up a very warm review of the new Kali Hooper book:

"Unashamedly pulp, reminding me of the works of such greats in the genre as Michael Moorcock and Edgar Rice Burroughs... If you like pulp fiction, especially if it’s a little darker than the norm, Engines of the Apocalypse isn’t a bad choice."

And Pornokitsch's Jared Shurin has also delivered a review of the archaeological adventure:

"Kali Hooper's like Lara Croft, except, you know, if Lara Croft was actually who she was supposed to be, and not just digital masturbation fuel... I, for one, can't wait to see where the series is going."

That is all.