06 July 2013

Playlist for 2013 - part six

June's tracks:

152      Kinks - Lola
153      Oasis - Champagne Supernova
154      Thunderclap Newman - Something in the Air
155      Boo Radleys - Lazarus
156      Moby - Extreme Ways
157      Good, the Bad & the Queen - Good, the Bad & the Queen

158      Clash - Jimmy Jazz
159      Iggy Pop - Lust for Life
160      Bonzo Dog Band - Can Blue Men Sing the Whites
161      Julian Cope - Safesurfer
162      Big Star - Thirteen
163      Traffic - Pearly Queen
164      Chicago - I'm a Man
165      Otway & Barrett - Louisa on a Horse
166      Mothers of Invention - Flower Punk
167      Alt-J - Breezeblocks
168      Skids - Into the Valley
169      Boomtown Rats - Rat Trap
170      Slits - Heard It Through the Grapevine
171      Tripping Daisy - Piranha
172      Veruca Salt - 25
173      Ian Hunter - Bastard

174      Lulu - Shout
175      Electric Prunes - I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night
176      Michael Moorcock - A Song for Marlene
177      Fats Domino - Blueberry Hill
178      Vanilla Fudge - You Keep Me Hanging On
179      Flaming Lips - Waiting for a Superman
180      Bow Wow Wow - Go Wild in the Country
181      Art - What's That Sound?

29 June 2013

Altered Images - 8

One of those updated Daleks that look more like the new Mini, if you ask me.

Photography update

On the photography front, I have a spread of photos in the 2013 World Fantasy Convention Souvenir Book, images taken at a previous WFC. And I shall be exhibiting some photographs in the art show, too.

28 June 2013

Activity at the Alchemy Press

It’s about time I added another post to this blog. Trouble is, even though I am officially retired I seem to be busier than ever. That’s a good thing though, isn’t it? After all, it should help keep the mental processes ticking over nicely. Anyway, I should mention some of the Alchemy Press stuff I’ve been up to of late. In no particular order...

This autumn (or fall, if you prefer) The Alchemy Press is launching three anthologies at The World Fantasy Convention, held in Brighton over the Halloween weekend. These are:

Astrologica: Storiesof the Zodiac edited by Allen Ashley

The Alchemy Press Bookof Pulp Heroes 2 edited by Mike Chinn (a follow up to last year’s volume)

The Alchemy Press Bookof Urban Mythic edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber (a ‘sort of’ follow up to 2012’s Ancient Wonders)

The editors have now selected their stories – for details check out the links.

The Alchemy Press has published another e-novella: “In the Broken Birdcage of Kathleen Fair” by Cate Gardner. As soon as I read this novella I knew we had to publish it. If, like me, you prefer your fiction to touch on the weird, the strange, this should be right up your street. Available for the Kindle and other e-readers.

And we’ve announced a new anthology to be published in July 2014: Kneeling in the Silver Light – Stories of the Great War. This book will commemorate the outbreak of the First World War; editor Dean M. Drinkle will open the submission window later this year.

There are a few more items in the pipeline. I don’t believe in jinxes and the like but ... well, I rather not say too much right now.

01 June 2013

Playlist for 2013 -- Part 5

May's tracks:

121      Cat Power – Salty Dog
122      Who – My Generation
123      Loudon Wainwright III – Glad to See You've Got Religion
124      Forest – A Glade Somewhere

125      Walkabouts – The Light Will Stay On
126      Pixies – Monkey Gone to Heaven
127      Kirsty MacColl – There's a Guy Works Down the Fishshop...
128      Vapours – Turning Japenese
129      Pink Floyd – Astonony Domine
130      Thin Lizzy – Roisin Dubh (Black Rose)
131      Fisher Z – Pretty Paracetamol
132      Motorhead – Ace of Spades (acoustic)
133      Girls – Vomit

134      Creedence Clearwater Revival – Ramble Tamble
135      Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever
136      SAHB – Gambling Bar Room Blues
137      Cream – White Room
138      Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi
139      Supergrass – Caught by the Fuzz
140      Kaiser Chiefs – I Predict a Riot
141      Doors – People Are Strange
142      Sparks – Amateur Hour
143      Joy Division – Transmission
144      dEUS – For the Roses
145      Fall – How I Wrote Elastic Man

146      Dr Feelgood – Roxette
147      Faces – That's All You Need
148      Loving Spoonful – Younger Generation
149      Arlo Guthrie – Alice's Restaurant
150      Seeds – Can't Seem to Make You Mine
151      Ralph McTell – Streets of London

30 May 2013

The World Fantasy Awards

It feels only like yesterday – okay, a few months ago – when I was one of the judges for the World Fantasy Award. In fact, it was in 2008, five years ago. When I agreed to do this I expected to receive a pile of books to read ... but what a pile! In the end, I reckon we (the judges) did a good job. The awards were presented at the World Fantasy Convention held, that year, in Calgary. Alas, I was unable to attend. My fellow judges were Robert Hoge, Dennis L. McKiernan, Mark Morris, and Steve Pasechnick

Here are the winners:

Life Achievement: Leo & Diane Dillon and Patricia McKillip

Novel: Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay (Viking Canada/Penguin Roc)

Novella: Illyria by Elizabeth Hand (PS Publishing)

Short Story: "Singing of Mount Abora" by Theodora Goss (Logorrhea, Bantam Spectra)

Anthology: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural edited by Ellen Datlow (Tor)

Collection: Tiny Deaths by Robert Shearman (Comma Press)

Artist: Edward Miller

Special Award – Professional: Peter Crowther for PS Publishing

Special Award – Non-professional: Midori Snyder and Terri Windling for Endicott Studios Website

The runners-up can be found on the WFA website.

29 May 2013

Blue Horses

Lizzie Prendergast of the Blue Horses
Photo taken at The Robin 2 in Bilston, in the West Midlands

27 May 2013

Small presses

I run the small press The Alchemy Press. It’s a small “small press”: we only publish a few titles per year. This is because of time constraints and, importantly, trying to keep the costs to a manageable level. Last year we published two anthologies, The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders and The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes. This year we will be publishing three anthologies:

Astrologica: Storiesof the Zodiac edited by Allen Ashley
The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic edited by Jan Edwards & Jenny Barber

The line up for these three books is amazing ... and doubly so, because we – The Alchemy Press – only pay a nominal fee. But we do pay something. We also supply a copy of the book (print and ebook editions) to all contributors.

It surprises me when I see other small presses that take stories without offering payment and, worse, without offering contributors’ copies. The small press I've seen – I won’t mention its name here – looks to be, in fact, much bigger than The Alchemy Press. (Apparently there are no royalties, either).

I just checked on Amazon. One of their paperback books will cost you and me and the contributors over £10 to buy. I have to ask: Who gets to keep all the profit? No wonder they are bigger if they have hardly any expenses.

I accept that there are many markets for short stories that do not offer payment in terms of £ or $, but at the very least they provide contributors’ copies. By not offering money or copies I feel that they let down the small presses that attempt to do it properly.