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.

In the Broken Birdcage...

As you may know, I wear the publisher’s / editor-in-chief’s hat for The Alchemy Press. And if you didn’t know before, you do now.

The Alchemy Press began in the late 1990s, was active for a few years, and then went into hibernation. We started publishing again in 2011 with Rumours of the Marvellous by Peter Atkins. 2013 saw two anthologies and a novel. Our first item for 2013 is a brand new novella, initially only available as an ebook. Once we’ve published a number of these we’ll collate them into a print anthology.

In the Broken Birdcage of Kathleen Fair by Cate Gardner

When the mirror released Kathleen into the unknown, for the briefest of moments she giggled and realised that she’d never laughed before. She had been a blank canvas, sitting and waiting in a room and occasionally bouncing from wall to wall desperate for freedom - and now she was out. White walls no longer surrounded her. In this new place, a thousand mirrors spun reflecting worlds.

Available in Kindle format via Amazon. Only £1.35

For the ePub version contact The Alchemy Press

alchemypress [at] gmail.com

16 May 2013

Altered Images - 7

Here's another Photoshop-enhanced photo. The dragon was made by Sue Burns out of bits of copper and other scraps. Very fine piece, it was.

If people are interested in acquiring hi-res versions of these pictures please get in touch.

07 May 2013

Playlist for 2013 -- part 4

Here are my selected tracks for April:

91        Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
92        Donovan - Universal Soldier
93        Tindersticks - Drunk Tank
94        Radiohead - Creep
95        Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction
96        Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen in Love

97        Luxuria - Redneck
98        Love Sculpture - Sabre Dance
99        Camper Van Beethoven - Take the Skinheads Bowling
100      Decemberists - The Mariner's Revenge
101      Undertones - Teenage Kicks
102      VCs - Residual Energy of the Broken Hearted
103      Locomotive - Mr Armageddon
104      Ten Benson - The Claw

105      Specials - Gangsters
106      Members - Flying Again
107      Robert Wyatt - Ship Building
108      Drugstore - The Funereal
109      Hawkwind - Silver Machine
110      Free - Mr Big
111      Family - Weaver's Answer
112      Comsat Angels - Total War
113      Richie Havens - Here Comes the Sun
114      Leyton Buzzards - Saturday Night under the Plastic Palm Trees
115      Hazel O'Connor - Will You?
116      Procol Harum - A Salty Dog

117      Simon Dupree & the Big Sound - Kites
118      T Rex - Elemental Child
119      Echo & The Bunnymen - All My Colours (Zimbo)
120      Cure - Primary