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.


Friday, 1 October 2010

New Vlog Post: Learn With Dave...

Wotcher all.

Second Vlog done! Woot!

Now with a new educational function!



Pax Britannia Goodness: Covers, Releases, Blogs, and Competition!

Wotcher all,

Well, it's a pretty busy time over in the parallel universe where Victoria is still Queen of England.

Let's see...

We've had The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus back from the printers (shown here with Pye Parr's gloriously grim Londinium Maximum skyline and the new Victorianesque layout), and it is beautiful. So much so that we've decided to use the same layout and design for all our future Pax Britannia books. That should be hitting the shelves in the next month or so, just in time to buy as stocking-fillers for the steampunkophile in your life.

Er, the other steampunkophile in your life. Obviously you're a steampunkophile. You wouldn't lie to us, would you?

(Pye has actually written a blog about creating the cover for this, and another one about putting the final touches to the artwork on the cover. Pop over to his blog and take a look.)

We've also just had Gods of Manhattan back from the press. Unfortunately too late to incorporate the sexy new formatting, although it does have Mark Harrison's awesome montage cover art.

(Fun fact: Al saw this art, concluded there were more hot women in the cover art than there actually were in his book, and immediately set out to add more hot women to the book. The final book has, I believe, two more hot woman in it than it initially did, wholly due to Mark's cover art and Al's OCD/whimsy. Thanks, Mark!)

Gods of Manhattan sees the Saint of Ghosts travelling to New York in the United Socialist States of America, where he encounters the impossibly heroic Doc Thunder and the dark and bloodthirsty Blood Spider, and helps uncover sinister plots and secret pasts and more evil Nazi goings-on.

We've just sent the next Ulysses Quicksilver adventure, Dark Side, off to press, with the new format cover.

Also very sexy. Particularly love Mark Harrison's dark homage to the famous "man in the moon" image from Georges Méliès' 1902 film Le Voyage dans la Lune (Okay, I had to look that up on Wikipedia; but didn't I look all informed and educated for just a second, there?), only slightly late, so you should be seeing that early next year.

This book sees Ulysses travelling to the Moon in search of his brother Barty, who's apparently (and fairly characteristically) fleeing gambling debts. Once he gets there, our intrepid dandy-adventurer encounters murders, conspiracies, secret bases, and all the usual shenanigans that he seems to find wherever he goes. It's as silly and fun as usual, but a bit... darker than the earlier books. Ulysses goes through the wringer a bit. You'll see.

(Also see a cameo by competition-winning Jared Shurin of Pornokitsch. He's well excited about this.)

...which brings me neatly to the next Pax Britannia competition! Jonathan Green loves Lego. Hell, who doesn't? He also loves steampunk. And we all love steampunk, or we wouldn't be reading/writing this blog post. And he's seen some steampunk lego that people have put together, and that's got him well-chuffed.

So he's offering another walk-on part in his coming Pax Britannia novel, Anno Frankenstein (Mark Harrison's cover shown right, although this will get redone with the new layout and text before it goes to press). Just send in a picture of your own Pax Britannia-inspired lego, and the one he likes best gets to be in his next book.

Check out his blog post about it.

Phew! That's a lot of stuff about Pax B. Might need a cup of tea and a sit down.