14 December 2012

New homes...

All my duplicate copies of BFS publications have now found new homes. Happy reading, folks.

28 November 2012

Good homes wanted


It’s “sort-out” time at Oldhaven House – that’s where I rest my weary head at night. I’m reluctant to call it “chuck out” time because I’m loath to throw away these items. But it’s okay, I’m not discarding my collections – just duplicates. So then, here’s the deal: if anyone wants the following items (or just one of the following) for free (excluding p&p) please email me at peter [at] coleborn [.] co [.] uk. All you’ll have to provide is your address and the requisite postage via PayPal (minimum of £1.00). Despite my assertion above, if no one wants these publications then (sorry to say) it’s the recycling bin. There are multiple copies of some of the following.

A Dick and Jane Primer for Adults edited by Lavie Tidhar (2008)
A Celebration edited by Paul Kane & Marie O’Regan (BFS Book 2006)+
Annabelle Says by Simon Clark & Stephen Laws (signed, BFS Booklet 1995)
Best of Prism (1997)
BFS Journal (Winter 2010)+
BFS Journal (Winter 2011/2012)*+
BFS Journal (Autumn 2012)*+
BFS Newsletter (July/August 1995)
Clive Barker: Mythmaker for the Millennium by Suzanne Barbieri (BFS Booklet 1994)
Dark Horizons 37 (1998)*
Dark Horizons 38 (1999)*
Dark Horizons 50 (2007)*
Dark Horizons 51 (2007)*
Dark Horizons 52 (2008)*
FantasyCon Reporter (FantasyCon PR, 1996)*
FantasyCon Reporter (FantasyCon PR2, 1996)
FantasyCon XVII Souvenir Book (1992)
FantasyCon XXII Souvenir Book (1998)
FantasyCon Souvenir Book (2000)
FantasyCon Souvenir Book (2009)
FantasyCon XXIX Souvenir Book (2005)
FantasyCon Souvenir Book (2006)
FantasyCon Souvenir Book (2007)*
FantasyCon Souvenir Book (2008)
FantasyCon Souvenir Book (2009)*
FantasyCon: The Green Man Banquet – original poem by Robert Holdstock (2009)*
FantasyCon Souvenir Book (2010)
F20 issue 1 (2000)
Holt! Who Goes There? by Tom Holt (BFS Booklet 1998)
Long Memories by Peter Cannon (BFS Booklet 1997)*
Miscellany Macabre by Ken Cowley (BLS Booklet 1999)
New Horizons 1 (2008)
New Horizons 2 (2008)
New Horizons 3 (2008)
Outsiders by John Oram (BFS Booklet 1996)
Prism volume 25 number 2 (2001)
Prism (summer 2009)
Prism (March 2010)
Prism (June 2010)
Shocks by Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes (signed; BFS Booklet 1997)
Silver Rhapsody (BFS Booklet 1996)*
Spiral Garden by Louise Cooper (BFS Booklet 2000)*+
Stirring Within by Russell Flinn (BFS Booklet 1990)
Through the Walls by Ramsey Campbell (signed; BFS Booklet 1981)

At least two of the above have been listed by dealers at around £15 each – so here’s a chance to grab a collector’s item. Titles marked + are quite hefty; and I’m involved, in one way or another, with those marked *

I also have a number of Interzone and Locus magazines that are surplus to requirements (same deal – just provide the postage fee):

Interzone issues 227, 228, 229, 230, 231,233, 234,235, 236

Locus issues 550, 562, 567, 569, 574, 604, 606, 607


16 November 2012

There is fantasy and there is bollocks


As you may have gathered, I read fantasy, stories about things that – in the main – just aren’t real. However, even my imagination has its limits. I received the following email today. Originally it was all in upper case characters, which I hate; so I have changed it to sentence case. Otherwise I've altered nothing. Here goes:


“Federal Bureau of Investigation
Intelligence Field Unit
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington , D.C.

Urgent attention: beneficiary

I am Special Agent John Edward from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Intelligence Unit, we have just intercepted and confiscated two (2) trunk boxes at JFK Airport in New York, and are on the verge of moving it to our bureau headquarter.

We have scanned the said boxes, and have found it to contain a total sum of $4.1 million and also backup documents which bears your name as the receiver of the money contained in the boxes, investigations carried out on the diplomat which accompanied the boxes into the United States has it that he was to deliver this funds to your residence as payment which was due you from unpaid contract, inheritance, lotto, loan, e.t.c

We cross-checked all legal documentation in the boxes, and were about to release the consignment to the diplomat,when we found out that the boxes is lacking two very important documentation which as a result, the boxes has been confiscated and reminded under our security vault

According to section 229 subsection 31 of the 1991 constitution in tax payment, your consignment lacks proof of ownership certificate and legal delivery permit clearance certificate from the joint team of the IRS and Homeland Security, and there for, you must contact us for direction on how to procure the two certificate, so that you can be relieved of the charges of evading tax which is a punishable offense under section 12 subsection 441 of constitution on tax evasion.

You are therefore required to get back to me on this email {agent.john_e0001@superposta.com} within 72hours, so that I will guide you on how to get the needed document. Failure to comply with our directive may lead you into problem, you will be arrested, interrogated and prosecuted in the court of law for money laundering.

We may also get the financial action task force on money laundering (FATF) involved if you do not follow our instructions. You are also advised not to get in contact with any bank in Africa, Europe or any other institution, as your fund are here now in the United States of America and can be delivered to any country of your choice once you secure those required documents.

Yours in service

Agent John Edward
Regional Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation


If you wish to pretend you are me (or in fact anyone since the email was apparently sent to many addressees) and contact John Edward, please go ahead. You never know, this might not be a fantasy.

Here is another email that came my way today. Do I have mug tattooed on my forehead? It amazes me that these people send out all-but illiterate emails and expect a response. But then, I guess they do receive replies otherwise they wouldn’t bother. I have not altered anything:


“Hello,

UTL, premium quality materials commerce company, is currently searching for administrative support/sales support employees in the UK.As for the work you.ll have to manage certain daily or weekly tasks and projects pertaining to the sales support in the USOptional Working Conditions: UTL offers unique working conditions and significant bonuses for seekers who had/have experience of running their own business.Your duties will include:- Provide assistance to the Sales Dept.- Process data and manage reports- Manage correspondence,
process purchase orders etc.    Working Schedule: Full-time8 hours a day or
Part-time3 hours per day working hours available. Your timetable is up to you.
    Remuneration: For both part-time and full-time positions we provide fixed salary $450/week . part-time and $850/week full-time + you earn 5% commission
successful contract    Location: This is a work at home/virtual office
position. All correspondence is managed online.    We require: To get started
you must have a PC or Laptop with pre-installed Microsoft Office software and Internet Connection. In case if you have a previous working experience in similar to managing/customer support field then it will be your advantage over
other applicants.     Further Hiring Process: If this job seem to be
interesting for you, please send us your actual CV. In case if your resume will be approved we.ll contact you within 2 days and offer to go through a paid trial period. . By the end of the training period, the supervisor can recommend further employment, extension of trial period, or termination. In case if you have any questions about the job, please do not hesitate to ask:
christofer.ticks@gmx.com

Thank you,UTL Team




11 October 2012

New novella line

Last Saturday we decided to start a new novella line, Alchemy Novellas. So today, I've been writing and tweaking guidelines. Here they are, in brief:

The Alchemy Press intends to start a new line, Alchemy Novellas. In the first instance, we will publish four novellas a year as eBooks. Then the novellas will be collected together and published as a print book – so readers have the best of both worlds.

Our proposed publication schedule for the eBooks is February, May, August and November.

We are looking for original, unpublished novellas that touch on almost all areas of Fantasy & Horror. There will be a payment for both eBook and print publication. If you are interested and want to learn more please send a query email to alchemypress [@] gmail.com.

Keep an eye on the Alchemy Press blog and Facebook sites for status updates.


03 October 2012

New Alchemy Press anthologies

My Alchemy Press has announced three new anthologies, to be published in 2013. The submission guidelines can be found by visiting the books' individual pages:

The Alchemy Press Book of Astrologica

The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes volume 2

The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic

These are open markets, albeit with nominal payment. But if you want your best work showcased in fine-looking books, send us your best stories.


Frank...



This guy was hanging around on Brighton Pier. I have serious doubts over his intentions.

25 September 2012

FantasyCon

I'm rather looking forward to this year's FantasyCon -- only a few days away. It's still an odd feeling, attending the event as a punter rather than an organiser, but all told, I rather not have to worry about hotel bookings and programming any more. So I'll just go and enjoy myself. If the weather is fine I'll take the opportunity to trek along the beach, inhaling good clean seaside air. I'll also take my camera, so be warned!

But most importantly, The Alchemy Press is launching two anthologies this weekend (Saturday, 10.00 a.m. in The Rouge Bar): The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders and The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes.

And we'll have news of future projects...


13 September 2012

Book fair...


Some of the visitors that, er, visited The Alchemy Press table at last Sunday's Book Fair in Birmingham. There's another photo here. The big tin of chocolates was another attraction -- obviously.

10 September 2012

Book Fair

Jan and I had a great day, yesterday, at the Birmingham Independent Press Book Fair. The footfall in the hall was very large, and we had a chance to catch up with some of our Brummie friends. And ... we were able to preview The Alchemy Press's latest publications: Pulp Heroes, edited by Mike Chinn, and Ancient Wonders, edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber.


Out of print!

Two Alchemy Press books are now out of print (although I think some dealers still have copies): The Paladin Mandates by Mike Chinn and Shadows of Light and Dark by Jo Fletcher. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy of either, or both. If you don't have a copy of The Paladin Mandates, a Kindle version is available (which includes an extra story) -- follow the links from the Alchemy Press website.


04 September 2012

Advance copies...



Today, advance copies of The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders and The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes arrived. Yippee, just in time for Sunday's Book Fair in Birmingham. And of course, more copies will be here in time for the official launch at FantasyCon later this month. Learn more on these books here and here.



24 August 2012

Designing, designing, designing...



So just what have I been up to of late? Book designing, that's what. The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders has now been submitted to the printers. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the cover: I had to re-adjust the CMYK profile because, essentially, the black was too back! But I did all the alterations and the PDFs are now in the printer's hands...

And The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes is almost ready for the printers, too. Editor Mike Chinn is giving the PDF a final once-over, to ensure I've not mucked up anything.

In addition, I am formatting the many articles for Mike Barrett's Doors to Elsewhere -- essays on writers such as Lord Dunsany, Ernest Bramah, Greye La Spina, Fritz Leiber and many others. I'm very much enjoying reading these essays.

The Alchemy Press will be launching the first two books at FantasyCon 2012. I've just created the above ad for the programme booklet. If you're attending the convention come along and say hello.

16 August 2012

Independent Press Book Fair


On Sunday 9th September, Writing West Midlands is holding an Independent Publishers’ Book Fair in Birmingham as part of ArtsFest 2012. They say:

 “Browse, buy and discover new books, many of which are not available on the high street. This day-long event will feature independent publishers from the West Midlands and beyond, offering you the chance to buy books directly from the publishers, who will be on hand to answer questions and introduce you to new writing. From poetry pamphlets to prose fiction, graphic novels to science fiction and fantasy, a wide range of forms and genres will be represented. The fair is free and all are welcome!”

The venue is Rooms 3 & 4, Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB, from 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.

My imprint, The Alchemy Press, will be there with a range of titles, including Rumours of the Marvellous, Where the Bodies are Buried, Beneath the Ground, Sex, Lies & Family Ties and Swords Against the Millennium. We also hope to have pre-view copies of The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes and The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders. More details of these can be found on the Alchemy Press website. Please drop by and say hello.


14 August 2012

Chaz Brenchley



I'm delighted that the fantastic Chaz Brenchley has chosen one of my portraits of him for his updated website.


16 July 2012

Chatting with the Chatterer



One meets the most interesting people at literary events -- in this case Edge-Lit, held last weekend in Derby. For example, Jan and I had just arrived in desperate need for refreshments. So it was a mug of coffee each, and a chat with Nicholas Vince. In case you don't know him, here he is in another guise, Kinski (from the Nightbreed movie):



But he is perhaps best known as the Chatterer Cenobite in the Hellraiser movies. Who'd have thought that this charming gentlemen could tear your soul (and flesh) apart?


10 July 2012

Verisimilitude

Last night I watched an episode from NCIS Los Angeles. In it, some wronged-American terrorist had stolen a drone aircraft armed with a missile and he intended to wreak much havoc in LA. The NCIS agents had little time in which to save the city. Someone suggested that they scramble USAF jets to shoot it down -- but the 20 minutes needed to achieve that would take too long. So the agents then had to determine the target -- a school -- and drive over and evacuate the buildings, all  before the drone fired its missile. And they did all that in less than 20 minutes? Come on, when writing such scenarios be realistic. Stories require verisimilitude in order to suspend disbelief.


30 June 2012

FantasyCon 2007



I thought it was about time to mention another of my editing stints.

In 2007 I was asked by that year’s FantasyCon committee if I would like to produce (i.e., edit and design) their Souvenir Programme Book. Naturally, I said yes; I was easily persuaded (and in turn I persuaded Jan Edwards to sit in the assistant's chair). So I diligently set about acquiring material by and about the Guests of Honour (Terry Brooks, Michael Marshall Smith and Stephen Jones) and the Master of Ceremonies Peter Crowther.

The FantasyCon 2007 committee were (alphabetically) Jenny Barber, Vicki Cook, Pat Barber, Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan. The convention was held 21-23 September in the Britannia Hotel, Nottingham -- a great city-centre venue. It was interesting, visiting that city, seeing how much things had changed, how much hadn't: I worked in Nottingham from 1975 to 1980.

Front cover painting (Beowulf) by Edward Miller
Terry Brooks: The Magic Works by Mark Yon
To Know Magic by Shawn Speakman
Facing Down the Monster by Terry Brooks
You, Too, Can’t be Michael Marshall Smith by Paul McAuley
At Home With the Smiths by Paula Grainger
Last Glance Back by Michael Marshall Smith
Stephen Jones: Loving the Idiots by Neil Gaiman
The Creative Spirit by Christopher Fowler
The Karloff Quartet by Stephen Jones
Lust for Life by Paul di Fillipo
Narrow, and Other Houses by Stephen Gallagher
Dream a Little Dream for Me by Peter Crowther
The Timeless Genius of Leonardo by Mike Carey
The Horror Writers’ Association by David Riley
Marvin’s Summer Nights by Stephen Jones
Bridge of Dreams by Chaz Brenchley
The Write Fantastic by Sarah Ash
Reasons to Join In by Marie O’Regan
Wake Up in Moloch by Joel Lane

Interior artwork/photos by: Randy Broecker, Judine Brooks, Mike Chinn, Peter Coleborn, Bob Covington, Steve Double, Les Edwards, Chris Fowler, Allen Koszowski, Uli Meyer, John Picacio, Anne Sudworth, Dan Skinner and Mandy Slater.

I was pleased to use Paula Grainger’s piece on her husband, Michael Marshall Smith – her first ever publication. I was a bit concerned about using Neil Gaiman’s article on Stephen Jones, which although rather humorous, could be taken as slight criticism of the GoH. Fortunately Steve loved the piece – he even reprinted it on his own website.

I was very happy with this publication and was pleased to have been invited to produce it.



28 June 2012

Sex, Lies & Family Ties now available

I am pleased to report that Sex, Lies and Family Ties, by Sarah J Graham (published by my Alchemy Press) is now available to buy as an eBook via Smashwords.

18 June 2012

Too many things to do...


I seem to have far too many things to do, to keep on top of -- which means I end up doing a bit of this, a bit of that and not finishing projects quickly enough. At least, though, it keeps my brain active, which can't be a bad thing.

Anyway, this brings me to another ongoing project: Sex, Lies and Family Ties by Sarah J Graham. This is a coming of age novel, set at the end of the 1960s. It's very moving -- and excellently written. I'm not sure exactly when it's due out from my Alchemy Press: soon, I hope. The cover artwork is by the wonderful Steve Upham of Screaming Dreams fame.

08 June 2012

Alchemy Press: new covers


I have now designed the front covers for the two forthcoming anthologies from The Alchemy Press: Ancient Wonders, edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber, and Pulp Heroes, edited by Mike Chinn. The artists are Dominic Harman and Bob Covington respectively.

02 June 2012

Sarah & Joe and Adrian


Here's another of my Photoshopped photographs: Sarah Pinborough and Joe Abercrombie. They seem to be after the same cigarette-device-thingy. Or, more likely, acting up for yours truly as he wielded the camera. It was taken at FantasyCon 2011.


And this is Adrian Tchaikovsky -- taken at the same FantasyCon. Before I converted the image to B&W you could just see the lights of Brighton's pier in the background.




31 May 2012

David's daughters


Sue and David asked if I would take photos at their recent wedding -- and I agreed, of course. The marriage took place last Saturday in a very hot and very sunny Dorset. I'm partway through tweaking the images in Photoshop before I send them to the Burns household. But you know how it is; once in Photoshop it is difficult not to play around. Here is one such image, of David's two daughters.


29 May 2012

Karl Edward Wagner


Since I'm now the owner of Centipede Press' two volume The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, edited by Stephen Jones, I thought I might share this photo of the great, late, and very much missed Karl. Jones' essay is a moving account of their relationship and, although I didn't know Karl as well as Steve, it brought a tear to my eyes. This photo was taken in 1988 at FantasyCon.

I remember the years when Karl along with Charles L Grant and Dennis Etchison attended FantasyCon on a regular basis as halcyon days. Of these three fine writers only Dennis is still with us.

This photo, which was shot on b&w film (probably HP5), was directly scanned into my computer from the print. I seem to have lost the negative.



Name calling...

In case you don't know, I publish the Alchemy Press imprint; we have two anthologies in the pipeline, still open to submissions. Check out here and here for details. And those who've been paying attention will know that the editor of Pulp Heroes, Mike Chinn, has catastrophic email problems: he has no email at all (oh, the joys of upgrading to a better, faster package!). So I've been receiving subs on Mike's behalf. 

If you read the submissions page for Pulp Heroes you will see that Mike's name is mentioned in the guidelines. So why on Earth would writers address him as "Dear Sir or Madam" or "To Whom it May Concern"? "Dear Editor" is acceptable, but -- come on! -- if the name is there, use it.

 

15 May 2012

Acting like a professional

There should be professionalism even in the non-professional field of small press publishing. And I’m not just talking about money.

Over the past year I have come across at least four publishers that did not give a contributor’s copy to the writers included in their anthologies. In one case, the publisher didn’t even supply the eBook version. No, I’m not going to name names – that way just leads to an endless tirade of abuse, and life is too short for that.

What this meant is that the author of the story, if he or she wanted a copy of the book the story was in (and who wouldn’t?) had to pay to be published. Sort of vanity publishing. Yes, sometimes the writer got paid a tiny sum – a friend received $5 for a story. Buying the book and paying for postage far exceeded that five dollars.

I know there are the submission guidelines and that we should read them carefully. But some of them seem to go on a bit and then I skip-read the final part, and so it was my fault that I didn’t get a free copy of the book (there was no payment, but I knew about that). In this case I put up my hands: mea culpa.

I run a small press outfit, The AlchemyPress, which has published a couple of anthologies – and has two more on the way. For the first two there was no payment – I wasn’t rich enough for that – but all contributors received copies. I will be paying a nominal sum for stories in the next two anthologies plus a contributor’s copy. It’s acting like a professional.

Looking good

When I began editing and producing small press magazines (for the British Fantasy Society) I had to type up the text using an electric typewriter. I’m not sure that personal computers existed back then. The typed text had to be cut and pasted onto plain paper using real scissors and glue, rulers to ensure straight edges, and Letraset for headings and titles. It took a lot of time, especially if one worked hard to produce something that looked neat and pleasing on the eye.

Now, with computers, word processors and design packages, it is so much easier to do a proper job – a professional-looking job. Just look at Rumours of the Marvellous by Peter Atkins (published by The Alchemy Press). I designed this book using inexpensive software. It wasn’t difficult to produce a volume that looked good, that’s a delight to own. (The hard bit was ensuring that the signature sheets were all signed and returned to me on time for printing to a deadline – but that was a rod I made for my own back.)

And the contributors got a free copy of the book – just saying.

I recently bought a small press book via Amazon because – well, just because. It was bought based on the contents. Okay, one can argue that it’s the words that matter, not the packaging. If that’s true, then I’d just buy Kindle books. But I, for one, like real books, books printed on paper. I like to flick the pages, read stories at random. Anyway, getting back to the book I ordered via Amazon…

There were no page numbers. The contents page was, therefore, useless. The author bios were printed at the back, using differing paragraph layouts (both single and 1.5 spaces). The margins were huge. It looked as if the designer simply cut and paste (electronically speaking) from the original manuscripts. It appalled me. As I said, it is so easy to make things look good nowadays – so why not take a little pride in the work and do just that? (I’d even do the work for you – see here.)

And finally

On Facebook recently there was mention of a certain editor who over-edited, with links to a couple of blogs that went into the story in greater detail. And that story is horrifying. Apparently a writer received her contributor’s copy (at least she got one) containing her story – but a story heavily edited. No, not edited: altered. The editor excused this by saying that she signed the contract allowing for editorial changes. Maybe she did. But there is editing and there is abuse, and it looks as if this editor abused the writer’s works. He said the story was improved by the alteration. I don’t know; I’ve not read either version.

The thing is, if the editor requires substantial changes it must be done with the writer (I’m not talking about grammar – I’m talking about changing the story). It’s called acting like a professional. Going back to when I started in this game, I didn’t use contracts. We exchanged letters and phone calls and maybe spoke face to face. I didn’t need contracts to be professional in my dealings. Perhaps I’m just old fashioned.

08 May 2012

Being nominated...

Attentive visitors to this blog will know that I publish books under The Alchemy Press imprint. After a hiatus of about a decade the Press started to published books again, and last year saw the publication of Rumours of the Marvellous by Peter Atkins (co-published with Airgedlamh). This was -- still is, in fact -- a signed limited edition of 250 copies; signed by the author plus Glen Hirshberg (for the introduction) and Les Edwards (for the cover art).

My first book in ten or so years! And even better news: the book has been short-listed for the British Fantasy Awards (Best Collection). Admittedly it is up against stiff competition from Reggie Oliver, Robert Shearman and Liz Williams. Even if Rumours doesn't win, it is great to be nominated. The winners of all the various categories will be announced this September at FantasyCon 2012.

In addition, as already mentioned, Stephen Jones has selected "Dancing Like We're Dumb" from Rumours for his Mammoth Book of Best New Horror.

Both Peter Atkins and I are delighted with the double.

05 May 2012

Sketching away


I like to draw and paint although I never seem to have time for either (pause while I wipe away the tears). I recently bought some charcoal sticks and spent a mucky hour sketching away (charcoal dust everywhere!). The above is the only one passable.

Great news for The Alchemy Press


I have already mentioned this on The Alchemy Press website but I want to sing the news on here, too. The Peter Atkins story "Dancing Like We're Dumb" from Rumours of the Marvellous (published by The Alchemy Press in 2011) has been selected for the upcoming Year's Best Horror volume 23, edited by Stephen Jones. This is fantastic news for Pete and The Press. 

Read more on the Peter Atkins blog.

27 April 2012

Fantasy Tales


I was sorting out boxes of old magazines and fanzines recently and came across some issues of Fantasy Tales. This A5-sized magazine was edited and produced by Stephen Jones and David Sutton, as a tribute or homage to Weird Tales and similar pulps. It began in the 1970s and ran for several years before the title was published as a paperback book by Robinson. I loved Fantasy Tales, especially the self-published copies – and bought and still have every issue.

Hey, I’ve appeared in its pages! My fiction output is quite small – an un-prolific writer, me. My story, “The Exhumation” was included in the summer 1978 issue (volume 2, number 3). On re-reading the story, I cringe a bit…

Also in this issue: Patrick Connolly, Marion Pitman, John Wysocki, Pat McIntosh, Andrew Darlington, Brian Lumley, Denys Val Baker, and artwork by Stephen Fabian (the front cover), Sylvia Starshine, Russell Nicholson, Alan Hunter, David Lloyd, Jim Pitts and Simon Horsfall (who illustrated my tale).

Ah, such memories…

25 April 2012

Being professional


Yup, this is going to sound like a whinge. Maybe it is. But I believe that my points are valid and warrant saying. I could simply ignore the issue but in this case my sense of fair play won’t let me.

On and off, for a number of years I edited the news content for the British Fantasy Society, both online and in the Newsletter (in the pre-Prism, pre-Journal days). Amongst all the information about mainstream books that I covered, I did my utmost to champion the UK small/independent press. Most publishers sent me press releases to ensure coverage of their titles; frequently I heard a snippet of news, which meant Googling for further details. I did it because I believed in giving fantasy and horror publications as much publicity as possible.

I am also a publisher of small press items – check out my Alchemy Press website for details. In 2011, after an interregnum of many years, I resurrected the press, launching a signed, limited edition of Peter Atkins short stories, Rumours of the Marvellous. So far this year I have three projects on the go.

Rumours was an expensive book to produce and hence its relatively high cover price. Nevertheless, I sent off review copies to several fantasy/horror-related websites and magazines. I sincerely thank all those who mentioned the book and especially those who also reviewed it. I am less than impressed by the total lack of acknowledgment I’ve received from some others.

I appreciate that the book may not be reviewed. As much as I would wish for a review, I never expected one. And after all, when I was book reviews editor for the BFS, many publications were never reviewed – it’s impossible to do so for every title received. My point is this: I think that for websites and magazines that purport to promote the genre, it is professional to at least mention a new book when received, and thereby support colleagues who are in this game.

© Peter Coleborn

23 April 2012

The standard manuscript format


I may not send off many submissions to magazines and anthologies -- I am not a fast writer -- but I always ensure that the manuscript is correctly formatted. As editor/publisher I have received lots of submissions. I remain amazed at how many do not meet simple formatting rules. These are there to make it easier for the editor to read the submission. And if the editor is able to read it without developing a headache, the writer already stands a better chance of receiving a fair reading.

To this end I have written some basic "rules", posted on The Alchemy Press site. I think these are very reasonable. I have seen some guidelines that are incredibly specific, as if the editor is getting the writer to do the layouts so that she/he -- the editor -- only has to collate the manuscripts together. This is taking it too far, if you ask me (not to mention resulting in some lazy-looking publications).

In the tradition of...


First off, let me warn you that this isn’t a review. It’s a vaguely-focussed semi-rant on “fat” fantasy books and as such it may come across as being unfair and biased. Please don’t take it to heart – this is me getting things off my chest, and I’ll be fine tomorrow.

I have in front of me a copy of The Shadowmage Trilogy by Matthew Sprange (Abaddon Books £10.99), an omnibus edition of three novels (Shadowmage, Night’s Haunting and Legacy’s Price; originally published in 2008, 2009 and 2012). It forms part of the Twilight of Kerberus series, apparently a shared-world sequence of at least seven novels. Other writers include Mike Wild, David McIntee and Jonathan Oliver (also the overall editor).

In his editorial to this volume, Oliver states that the Twilight of Kerberus series was conceived as a celebration of the stories by Fritz Leiber, Robert E Howard and Clark Ashton Smith rather than of Lord of the Rings or George R R Martin’s magnum opus. Oh, how I applaud that. No disrespect to Tolkein or Martin or other such scribes; I’ve nothing against their books other than that they seem to me to be too – well – long. Leiber and Howard and Smith (and others of the same ilk such as Jack Vance, C L Moore, etc) wrote, to quote Oliver, “punchy fantasy adventures”, mostly of the short story form.

And that’s why I hesitate to read The Shadowmage Trilogy. This book collects the three novels listed above to create a single story arc of 600 pages (admittedly, some modern fantasy novels attain that number of pages per volume, so let’s be thankful this book doesn’t contain 1800 pages!). My point is this: I wish writers would emulate not just the characters and settings of the masters of such yarns, but also their succinctness of storytelling. I don’t want or need much in the way of world building. I require just hints of the unknown realms in which the characters inhabit. My imagination supplies the rest.

OK, I am being unfair, I know. The trilogy may be exceptional, the writing of a high quality. That’s why I’m not passing judgment on Matthew Sprange’s series. Mine is a personal comment on the way fantasy novels seem to expand, to become fatter than necessary (to my mind) – and poor Mr Sprange just happens to be the author of the book to hand. I hope he forgives me.

And finally, a quick comment on the book’s production: please use a larger font. I’m not sure what the point size is in The Shadowmage Trilogy, but it strains my eyes.


© Peter Coleborn

13 April 2012

This is real life?

So there I was, doing some exercises this morning, an attempt to remain svelte and, more importantly, help the healing process as my bones continue to knit together after last year’s fracture. Being bored, I switched on the TV – and watched some of Judge Judy as I followed my routine. Ever seen this programme? It’s the sort of show that makes you wonder just how did we human beings managed to conquer the world. Seriously.

For example (and I’m using false names to protect the numbskulls): Mary was suing her daughter Hayley. After crashing her car, Hayley persuaded her mother to help with the hire purchase agreement because she, Hayley, had a poorer credit rating. Mary agreed. Hayley got her new car and made the monthly payments for a few months. Then Hayley joined the military and stopped making the payments. She told Judge Judy that this was because Mary agreed to pay the rest as a reward for Hayley’s new job. Really?

Meanwhile, Hayley’s boyfriend ended up doing time because he defaulted on payments to the mother of his son (with another woman – not Hayley). On his release from gaol he lived with Mary, who was also looking after Hayley’s child why she is in the military (care for which, Judge Judy was told, mother received no financial help). And the boyfriend remained unemployed during all this. Getting the picture?

Meanwhile, Hayley was dishonourably discharged for going AWOL, and ended up jobless. And then she went to prison for stealing government property. Phew!

At this stage no one was, in fact, making payments on the car and so it was repossessed. But Mary faced a claim from the credit company for missed payments and was threatened with legal action. Hayley, by then out of prison but still jobless, couldn’t pay. Her boyfriend, also unemployed, couldn’t pay. In the meantime, Mary supported Hayley and her boyfriend and took care of daughter’s child, all from her own resources. Enough!

Enough was enough. Mary had to clear her name and safeguard her credit rating and so sued Hayley for more than $5,000. How do you think Judy judged the case?

She found for the plaintiff – Mary – and awarded her the maximum amount she was allowed to in her court, $5,000. Outside the courtroom and speaking to the camera, Mary was pleased with the outcome although she remained out of pocket. Hayley wasn’t too impressed at being sued by her mother. Not a happy family!

Okay… I think I’d be hard stretched to invent this scenario for a story or an episode of Eastenders. But judging by Judge Judy, these incidents are real, involve real people – and these people are prepared to be on TV for their 15 minutes worth of fame. (If I have misremembered some of the details, I grovel…)

© Peter Coleborn

11 April 2012

Alchemy Press Editorial Services

The Alchemy Press' new Editorial Service is aimed for writers of fiction – both new and established writers – who require help with their manuscripts, be it a general edit for sense, pace, etc; or for the final line edit/proofread and layout before it is submitted to an editor for possible publication. We cater for writers of fantasy, horror, science fiction, supernatural, noir crime, etc, from the age of twelve years and up.

We also offer a book designing service. People familiar with Alchemy Press titles will know how important it is to produce attractive publications, books that will not look out of place on the bookshelf. Click here for further details.

10 April 2012

Julian

“The Dealers’ Room at Eastercon 2012 was a dangerous place, financially speaking. I bought a load of books, including a number of older PS Publishing titles, such as Julian by Robert Charles Wilson. I missed this book when it was published back in 2006; I am very happy to have rectified that omission.” Read the rest of my thoughts on this novella on the Shiny Shorts blog. And now, I have a bigger pile of unread books to tackle. At least it's healthier than smoking cigarettes...

Olde Horrors

I’d almost forgotten about this: back in the 1980s I decided that the BFS should produce an art portfolio and who else to highlight but Jim Pitts. Jim was a mainstay of the BFS, both as a fine artist and as editor of some of its earlier publications. So I asked Jim and he obliged with six A4 B&W plates illustrating classic horror tropes: Frankenstein’s Monster, Mr Hyde, Nosferatu, the lycanthrope , the resurrectionists, and the Jamesian ghost. The plates were presented in a blue card folder (with three further illustrations including Jack the Ripper) with an introduction by Stephen Jones, titled “The Pitt and the Pendulum”. Olde Horrors, produced by me, was published by the British Fantasy Society in 1989 in a limited edition of 500 copies.

It’s a pity that the society didn’t produce further such art portfolios, championing the best of UK illustrators. Anyway, I gather that they are quite rare, now. You can obtain a copy of this fine publication here for £12.00 – but I have seen it for over £20 on Amazon.

01 April 2012

The Spiral Garden

Way back in the late 1990s Jan Edwards and I discovered that Louise Cooper was a relatively close neighbour of ours – she lived in Bromsgrove, we in Birmingham. We struck up a great friendship with her and her partner, the artist Cas Sandall, but after they moved to a little fishing village on the north coast of Cornwall we only managed to visit once before she sadly died in 2009. In case you are not aware, Louise is the author of books such as The Book of Paradox, The Timemaster Trilogy and the Indigo Saga.

In 2000, Jan put together a book of Louise’s short stories, The Spiral Garden, which included five stories, one original to this collection – “St Gumper’s Feast”. The other tales were: “Cry”, “The Spiral Garden”, “His True and Only Wife” and “The Birthday Battle”. Cas provided the artwork, and Diana Wynne Jones wrote the introduction.

The Spiral Garden was published by the British Fantasy Society in two editions: a regular paperback and a signed hard cover. My involvement was limited. Jan did most of the production work; I acted as advisor and assistant. Regardless of my input, this was a tremendous project and I’m pleased to have been involved.

31 March 2012

Alchemy Press books

So then, that's two new Alchemy Press anthologies lined up for 2012. There will be a third Alchemy Press book, but this will be a collection of essays -- details to follow. Why this sudden surge in activity? Because if the world does end sometime this year, I hope that whoever, or whatever, follows in the new universe will want something alchemical to read. And if the world doesn't end -- well then, there will be three more good books out there for all you eager readers.

Ancient Wonders

The Alchemy Press is now seeking submissions for its second anthology of the year: The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders will be edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber. More details can be found here.

30 March 2012

Con-fuelled...

A pair of local yokels decided to save money -- and maybe make a fast buck out of the possible petrol shortage. So that evening they hijacked a tanker that had pulled over into a layby. The hapless driver was left bound and gagged in the hedgerow. Later that same evening the two criminal masterminds decanted the liquid into their cars -- which then failed to start. One of them then looked at the drops trickling out of the tanker's taps and said, "Is petrol supposed to be white?"
(c) Peter Coleborn

27 March 2012

The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes

I mentioned an hour or so ago that I'm aiming to announce some new Alchemy Press books for 2012. I'm pleased to say that the submission guidelines for the first, The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes, to be edited by Mike Chinn, are now available. Click here to read them.

New Alchemy Press books

I am currently negotiating with several good folk, with the aim of publishing a number of Alchemy Press books this years, including a couple of anthologies. Keep watching...

The Old Manor - short story




My short story “The Old Manor” appears in Ghostly Reflections, edited by Christopher Nadeau (Infinity Publishing, 2012). This slim book purports to be “an anthology of ‘true’ ghost stories”. So, naturally, it is the ideal home for my tale of ghosts and a haunted manor house.


26 March 2012

Long Memories...

Back in 1997 the BFS was offered the opportunity to publish a memoir of the last days of Frank Belknap Long, written by Peter Cannon. Of course, the society snapped up the chance and thus Long Memories: Recollections of Frank Belknap Long appeared later in that year.

This was a slim volume – 68 pages – of possibly too-small print face. But it was a neat-looking chapbook, and did service to Cannon’s moving account. BFS President Ramsey Campbell, who also knew Long personally, supplied the Afterword. If you get the chance, obtain and read this publication; there may even be copies remaining in stock at the BFS – contact the stockholder via the BFS website.

Oh yes, muggings here did all the production work, with assistance for the cover (I didn’t have a decent DTP package back then – it was 15 years ago!).

18 March 2012

Mythosday?

Unable to concentrate on writing or editing yesterday, I opened Photoshop and played around with a couple of images. Here's the result:


I then couldn't decide which of the several books currently on the go I should read. So I picked a book off the shelf (not quite at random): a collection of stories by Frank Belknap Long. Here are my thoughts on the title story, "The Hounds of Tindalos". Obviously yesterday was a Mythos sort of day.

More zombie stories...

I am delighted to report that Jan Edwards -- my better half by far -- has a new story in Alt-Zombie, edited by Peter Mark May. It will be published by Hersham Horror Books in June. Jan's story is called "Midnight Twilight", and is an intriguing take on the undead.

09 March 2012

The Paladin Mandates - revised edition

Hooray! I've finally managed to upload to Amazon the second Alchemy Press eBook. I say "finally" because every time I thought I'd accomplished the task, I noticed something else that required a tweak. Anyway...

Now available from The Alchemy PressThe Paladin Mandates by Mike Chinn. This is a revised edition of a book originally published in 1998. As an added bonus, this new edition features a brand new Damian Paladin story, "There'll be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight".

Mixing generous dollops of The Scorpion, The Shadow and Dominic Fortune, with a fascination for old airplanes, a taste for '30s detective fiction ... enter Damian Paladin, ghost hunter, supernatural sleuth. 

You can buy from Amazon in the UK and USA.

07 March 2012

The Sensible Folly

Paul Cornell twisted my arm at the BFS Open Night last week. He walked away with £2.50, leaving me with an odd-shaped chapbook, The Sensible Folly. Faringdon is not far from Oxford and boasts the folly of which Cornell writes about in this publication. The folly is open to visitors – details here – but Paul may not be on hand to personally sign the chapbook.

Follies are not supposed to have any sensible purpose. But if they encourage people to walk up steep hills – for they inevitably are up on hill tops – they have accomplished something positive. And when my broken ankle bones are truly healed, I aim to embark on more countryside treks again.

29 February 2012

Mow Cop "Castle"



Jan and I almost bought a house in Mow Cop when we first moved to north Staffordshire. This is what we would have seen every morning when we looked out of the bedroom window. Oh, it's such a folly.

Zoopharmacognosy

Do you know what zoopharmacognosy means? I didn’t, until recently. My friend Sarah Kinson told me: “Zoopharmacognosy is a behavioural science based on the observational research of animals self medicating in the wild. The term refers to the process by which animals self-medicate as they naturally forage plants for their essential oils, clay, algae and other natural remedies in the wild. It is this innate ability that allows them to be in control of their own health and prevent disease.”

So now you know, too. Sarah has trained with Caroline Ingraham and now has the letters IAZ and MICHT after her name.

I recently helped Sarah set up her blog site – it’s here – where you can read about her exploits on Jersey, in the zoo, treating a pair of Andean bears. And you can read all about these majestic animals here. As seems to be typical in this day and age, Andean bears are yet another endangered species.

24 February 2012

New book news...

Over on the Piper blog, I've posted some information about two anthologies due this year, two books that I'm looking forward to.

22 February 2012

Dark Horizons 52

In spring 2008 the 52nd issue of Dark Horizons appeared, again edited by Jan Edwards and me. We began the issue with a reprint of the traditional poem, “Twa Corbies”. Here’s the first stanza:

As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies makin a mane;
The tane unto t’other say,
‘Whar sall we gang and dine the-day?’

The magazine’s front cover was specially commissioned to illustrate this poem, of war and death throughout the ages. Dan Skinner (aka Cerberus), the artist, did a fine job representing this theme.

Besides the “Twa Corbies”, Dark Horizons contained:

The Gentleman Assassin – Richard Hudson +
A Dinner Party – Marion Pitman (v)
Star-Changer – Rebecca Lusher
Roots of the Writer: Charles de Lint – Jan Edwards *
Road to my Soul – Laura Willis (v)
Behind the Curtain – Joel Lane
Withered – Meaghan Hope
Flies – Jim Steel
Pain in Every Measure – Jo Fletcher (v)
The Bequest – David Riley
Walt Whitman did it for Me, and Continues to do It – Robert Holdstock (v)
Keep Off the Grass – Sally Quilford

(v) = verse, * = non-fiction, and + was subtitled “Being a Gothick Phantasy”.

Internal artwork and photos came from Chris Bell (“More Tea?”), MaryAnn Harris and Peter Coleborn.

DH52 was to be our last issue as editors, despite our original intention to be in post for a long run. This is because I found myself chairing the 2009 FantasyCon, and I decided that I couldn’t both edit DH and run a convention without adversely affecting either activity. Nevertheless, I popped back into the DH seat after it, New Horizons and Prism had been merged into the BFS Journal. More on this in a later post.

I mustn't forget to thank Joel Lane for selecting and editing the poems for my three issues of DH.

Meanwhile, the 2008 FantasyCon was held on 19-21 September, once again in the Britannia Hotel in Nottingham. The Guests of Honour were James Barclay, Christopher Golden and Dave McKean, with Christopher Fowler in the role of Master of Ceremonies.

19 February 2012

Dark Horizons 51

Issue 51 of Dark Horizons (again co-edited with Jan Edwards) appeared towards the end of 2007. The cover was a photograph taken and altered by a member of a local photographic society. Don Barker had created several fabulous Photoshopped images that were – it seemed to me – not fully embraced by many of the typically more conservative society members. Pity.

Anyway, contents wise, DH51 included a brief piece by H P Lovecraft! This was the vignette’s first UK publication.

And between DH’s covers:

What the Moon Brings - H P Lovecraft (introduced by Stephen Jones)
By Right of the Stars - Anne Gay
Roots of the Editor: Ellen Datlow - Jan Edwards *
In His Charge - Nicki Robson
Decayed Gentility - Marion Pitman (v)
The Invisible Prince - David Sutton*
The Perils of Pentavir - Allen Ashley
The Dullitch Assassins - David Lee Stone
Father’s Day - David Turnball
That was My Veil - Ian Hunter (v)
The Children of Monte Rosa - Reggie Oliver

(v) = verse,  * = non-fiction

David Sutton’s article was on the Irish fantasist J Sheridan Le Fanu. In the notes, Sutton said he began writing the piece in the 1970s for a book project that didn’t see completion.

Additional artwork and photos were by Bob Covington, Reggie Oliver, Glenn James, Peter Coleborn and Jan Edwards.

18 February 2012

Dark Horizons 50

After being away from BFS activities for some years, I was asked to once again edit Dark Horizon. So in spring 2007 issue 50 appeared, edited by Jan Edwards and yours truly. Of course, this being issue 50 we had to celebrate and so asked three past editors to help mark the moment: David Sutton, Debbie Bennett and Mike Chinn.

I note from the editorial that DH50 was a few months late, and this was blamed on my daughter’s broken ankle – she snapped the bones on the first day of a short “break” in Amsterdam. Jan and I had to drive up to Liverpool to collect her from the airport. It was a night of bad – seriously bad – storms. It took us three or four hours to drive 50 miles up the M6!

And to complete the circle: as I type this blog post I am recovering from a broken ankle. Like my daughter, I have a plate holding bones together. But I broke my bones in the less romantic city of Stoke-on-Trent.

Dark Horizons 50 included:

The Bookshop – Murray Ewing
The Roots of the Artist: Anne Sudworth – Jan Edwards *
Death’s Angel’s Shadow – Karl Edward Wagner (v)
In Lonely Places: The Essential Horror Fiction of Karl Edward Wagner – John Howard *
Midnight Sun – Kark Edward Wagner (v)
All Beauty Must Die – Mike Chinn
My Heart Laid Bare: The Work and Art of Joyce Carol Oates – Robert Parkinson *
Apoca ca lypse – Joy ce Car ol O a te s
Fantasycon GoH Speech – Juliet McKenna *
The Ice Game – Sue Anderson
Where the Dead Go – Ian Hunter (v)
Black Angel: John Connolly Interview – Marie O’Regan *
The Woman with the Hair – Ian Hunter
The Phoenix of Fantasy – David Lee Stone *
Murdoch Celeste – Allen Ashley

(v) = verse, * = non-fiction

The colour cover painting was by Anne Sudworth. Internal artwork was by Bob Covington, Stephen Jones and Peter Coleborn.

That year’s FantasyCon was held in Nottingham, over the weekend 21-23 September. The Guests of Honour were Terry Brooks, Michael Marshall Smith and Stephen Jones. Peter Crowther was the Master of Ceremonies. The FantasyCon 2007 Programme Book was edited by … Peter Coleborn (I’ll post details later).

Birthday by Mark Morris

In 1992 the British Fantasy Society decided, all of a sudden, to produce a one-off special for that year’s British Fantasy Convention (FantasyCon XVII). Birthday by Mark Morris was a slim booklet (16 pages plus cover). It was included as part of the BFS Booklet Series, number 18, and sold for £1.50 or $3.00. The cover artwork was by Jim Pitts.

Mark signed my copy thus: “… many thanks for getting this publication out in record time!” Maybe I was finding small press production much easier because I don’t recall being under any kind of pressure, despite the short notice. 

New book reviews

I've recently posted a couple of new book reviews (of All These Little Worlds and The Troupe) on the Piper at the Gates of Fantasy blog. And some of my older reviews are being reprinted on Shiny Shorts.

22 January 2012

Twittering...

I have created a Twitter account. It's @alchemy_press -- if you feel inclined to follow it. So far, I've posted random words, but that does seem to constitute the Twitter-verse.

Shiny Shorts

My good friend Jenny Barber has created a new website / blog: Shiny Shorts. Here's why:


"Shiny Shorts was born out of a passion for a fiction form that perhaps doesn't get talked about as much as it should. Whether it's flash, short stories, novellas; podcasts, print or online magazines; anthologies or collections; horror, SF, fantasy or crime - if it's story we're there, so drop by and share the love."

Now it's time to visit Shiny Shorts.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

I may have read an Agatha Christie novel once before but it was a long time ago – it would’ve been in 1973, on a beach in Tunisia (honeymoon, if you must know). The book was was quickly read, quickly forgotten, and then discarded. This week I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – so I can now confidently state that I am no longer an Agatha Christie virgin.

Of course I have watched TV and film adaptations of her Poirott (David Suchet is good in this role) and Miss Marples stories. I enjoy them to an extent, especially when I play the game: trying to work out who did the dastardly deed. But after a few episodes, they are all too familiar, all too similar.

It's important to remember that this novel first appeared in 1926, part of the country house tradition of crime stories. Nevertheless, reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd I felt exactly the same. I found everything was too predictable even if the clues leading to the dénouement were tenuous. But in book form, it took longer than an hour or two, as in the TV versions, to reach the final answer. I read the first half of the book very rapidly; and then a sense of ennui crept in and I had to find excuses to sit and finish the novel. I got to a state when I just didn’t care who did it.

In case you don’t know, Roger Ackroyd was discovered murdered with a dagger thrust into his neck. The suspects included his wife, daughter, secretary, butler, the colonel, the house keeper, step son, etc, etc. All have alibis of course – a couple somewhat slight – and all have motives or at least appear downright suspicious. And naturally all suspects have secrets they try so hard to retain. There is, of course, the not-too-bright police inspector (but not Inspector Japp!).

Typically, the only person able to solve the crime is the little Belgium detective (as he’s so often described). I didn’t deduce – or guess – who was the villain. The story ends with a twist and thus in retrospect the culprit was blooming obvious. I am informed that the Agatha Christie novels are mostly all the same. If so, I can’t see me reading further AC novels.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd has been re-released recently as the first volume in a new part-works series. The next book is The Murder on the Orient Express. Oh, all right, I may read that – after all, it is one of her most famous titles.

20 January 2012

The Hammer Out Book of Ghosts

I am delighted to report that Jan Edwards -- my better half -- has a story in The Hammer Out Book of Ghosts, edited by Dexter O'Neill. The book is published in aid of the Hammer Out charity -- fighting against brain tumours. A link to the Hammer Out webpage can be found on the Piper at the Gates of Fantasy blog. Jan's story, "Orbyting", is an amusing take on those silly ghost hunting programmes that we sometimes see on television.

Ken Coleborn, RIP


Ken Coleborn, my father, died recently -- earlier this week, in fact. I was reminded of a very old photo he sent me a couple of years ago of his father Arthur (my grandfather). The photo was in a poor state and he (Dad) hoped I could PhotoShop it (or tweak it) to remove the creases and stains. Above right is the original, left the corrected image (meant to be sepia toned). Father was very pleased with the result.

I never knew my Grandfather -- he died before I was born. My Grandmother had remarried by the time I entered this world, to a man called Charlie Thoumine. It took me a long time before I figured out why my father's parents were not called Coleborn. Charlie Thoumine originally came from Guernsey or Jersey, one of the Channel Islands.

11 January 2012

Scream Quietly...




My contributor’s copy of Scream Quietly: The Best of Charles L Grant (edited by Stephen Jones and published by PS) arrived today. It’s nice to see so many of my photos included – but sad to be reminded of Charlie’s passing. Here’s a picture I took of him at FantasyCon XI. More details here.

Photo © Peter Coleborn

10 January 2012

Artwork...



Here's an illustration I did in 2009 for a story in New Horizons, edited by Andrew Hook. It's based on some of my photos ... but zapped through Photoshop. Illustration (c) Peter Coleborn

06 January 2012