Monday, 22 October 2012

Twilight: The Twilight

(See what I did there? 'Cause, like, it's Twilight of Kerberos, the series, and it's the end of the big overarching story, so it's like the Twilight of Twilight. Awww, yeah. That's comedy gold right there. Put that right in the bank.)


So we're tremendously excited about the coming of The Children of the Pantheon, the eleventh and final instalment in the main Twilight of Kerberos arc.

As promised, the four destined heroes of the Twilight world - Mike Wild's high-jumping tomb raider Kali Hooper, Jon Oliver's water-breathing fisherman Silus Morlader, Matthew Sprange's spell-slinging master thief Lucius Kane and David McIntee's divinely-protected holy knight Gabriella DeZantez - will be brought together at last, in a quest that will tie together ancient past and turmoiled present, the terrible powers of the dragons, the lost secrets of the Old Races, and the destiny of empires, churches and the world itself, as they seek nothing less than to save the life of the god/planet Kerberos from the depradations of its terrifying enemy!

Say that three times fast.

Written by Mike Wild, The Children of the Pantheon is a headlong dash, a genuinely heart-stopping race against (and through) time, and (we hope) a worthy ending to a story we've thoroughly enjoyed bringing out to you.

And it's available exclusively in ebook format! So if you've been hemming and hawing about buying that nifty new ereader, then now is the time, my friend.

The Children of the Pantheon is out now, on all good ebook outlets.

Twilight of Kerberos
The Final Adventure

The Children of the Pantheon
Mike Wild

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Alleyman Launch

So we descended on the extraordinary Fab Cafe in Manchester last Thursday 11th October to launch Pat Kelleher's spectacular close to the No Man's World trilogy, The Alleyman (Pye Parr's atmospheric art supplied to the right)...

It was pretty much an amazing night. The venue was awesome; if you have the opportunity to go for a drink there, or to one of the other Fab Cafes (I believe there are three?), do go for it. A very strange, very fun sort of environment. It's apparently a "TV and movie themed bar," but mostly I caught an "alien invasion B-movie" vibe. They did sell Space Raider crisps behind the bar, though, which was a nice touch.

There was an enthusiastic crowd, all clamouring to buy Pat's book, get it signed and hear him read (or in some cases, possibly, they'd come in to get a drink and then felt too embarrassed to leave; but it's all grist to the mill).

Pat had sorted out some awesome WWI-era recruitment posters (you know, the whole "Lord Kitchener wants you" shenanigans, and variations of the theme of "women will find you more attractive/signing up reflects well on your masculine worth and moral value"), and we stuck them up around the place (including the ladies' loos, natch) along with bunting and Union Flags. Pat had even labelled some lovely cream envelopes with the standard "Will you shirk your duty? Buy The Alleyman today!" each duly filled with a white feather, to hand out to people. Sadly your reporter failed to photograph either posters or feathers...

All of which was beautifully rounded out by this guy:

His name is David Eliot Cooper, and he's the a "historical interpreter," and the creative director at Histrionics, who provide walking, talking, moving history for all your entertainment or educational purposes. He played the recruiting private - check out his authentic uniform including puttees - and shouted us all into order before delivering a real recruitment speech written by Rudyard during the war. Set the mood very well.

And then we had Pat's reading, giving us a glimpse of the eerie alien/Tommy shenanigans coming up in the third book. 

And then came the selling and signing:

And then, naturally, the singalong, with traditional WWI marching songs. Yes, you heard that right.

Everyone belted along nicely. A few people needed jollying along, but with Private David Cooper to hand, there really was no saying no. It would have been something like the terrifying combination of kicking a puppy and standing up to your gym teacher:

Good time had by all, and only enhanced by the opportunity to catch up on some old friends of mine living in Manchester who obligingly came along to support the event, and by wandering along to a live gig at a band around the corner. Which was nice.



Thursday, 18 October 2012

FantasyCon... the poem!

One thing I totally forgot to mention in my blog post about That There FantasyCon...

During Jon's panel on "Blurring Genres" (pictured right), a member of the audience wrote an actual poem about the panel! Right then and there! He quietly slipped to the front, passed the poem to Jon to read and returned to his seat, and read out it duly was. The poem ran as follows:

"Blurring Genres"

The monkey tennis failed to ignite,
And Octopus TV did not feel right,
Vampire Romance is a bloated mess,
Though I read Harry Potter I must confess,
The stone age 'tec could work quite well,
But on stone punk stories we won't dwell,
Romantic Zombies and ghostly M.P.s
Frankenstein's Monster doing strip tease,
You can blend your genres, mix your themes,
It's only agents who will crush your dreams.

I would love to give you the FantasyCon laureate's name, but sadly his signature is tricky to make out. If anyone has any idea who this earnest chap was, we'll gladly credit him, because frankly, this was awesome.



Friday, 5 October 2012

That There FantasyCon


So, we did go to that there FantasyCon everyone's talking about, and we had a blast.

I think. Truth be told, we had quite a bit to drink on Friday and sort of lost track. We... we may have a problem.

So we got to the beautiful, slightly-run-down-but-all-the-more-interesting-for-it Royal Albion about fifteen minutes before Jon's first panel, on the blurring of genre:

L-R: Paul Finch, Benedict Jacks, Jon (clearly), Lynda Rucker, Jon Green

Same panel, artier new angle-shot! Jon Green's early pint more prominently displayed.

There were genres, they blurred them. Aw, yeah.

It was an interesting panel, tackling the idea of genres as marketing constructs or as demanded by the readership, blurring as innovation (and how a lot of our most hoary genre tropes started out with people breaking the tropes of their day), about whether current writers - including our panelists - see themselves as part of a given genre or constrained by them, or the genre stretches and fits to their writing, that sort of thing. Heavy fare, given we hadn't had lunch yet...

Then we unloaded the car, checked in and set about meeting up with friends old and new - I was deeply gratified how many of both there were, actually; met some wonderful people over the weekend - and getting our serious drink on. We headed down to the front for some utterly amazing tapas with the fabulous Glen Mehn, Amanda Hemingway and Rob Spalding (we tried to coordinate some sort of mutual dinner with a crowd from Quercus, but it turns out that "the tapas place down near the front" is a spectacularly unhelpful description in Brighton). On the way back, I tried for the obligatory nighttime arty photo:

Jon, Glen and Amanda. Really, this was going to be a lovely shot: huge full moon framed by clouds, beautiful regency hotel, the Wheel, just lovely. Alas, street lights kind of made it all look a bit crap. Also, I was drunk.

Saturday was a bit of a rush, as we went to the excellent morning "Ask the Editors" panel (we were slightly tempted to heckle, but we were good), then Jon's reading, then more networking, then sorting out the big Giveaway, then sorting out the Magic launch, then more readings, then more networking, then more dinner, then...

It was a brilliant day, actually. The Giveaway was a huge hit, with the queues heading out into the reception area and everyone really excited about picking up our books and meeting the authors. The Magic launch was one of the best attended of the weekend, near as I can tell, with more signings and lots of copies sold and lots of chatter, and the readings I went to were all amazing (sadly no photos of either the Giveaway or the launch, as I was busy doing things in both).

We were just about sober and recovered (for a given value) in time for the disco, where Jon and I both cut some serious rugs and got to enjoy the sight of Gary McMahon properly losing his shit to Footloose and the inimitable Gardner Goldsmith in danger of losing everybody else's shit to Firestarter and Kung Fu Fighting. Brilliant work on Rio Youers' and Sarah Pinborough's part, there (sadly no photos of the disco as I was busy dancing; also, I have some reservations as to whether said photos would be considered suitable for public consumption...).

Too little sleep and the second slightly disappointing fried breakfast in a row later, we were back in the bar for some more meeting and catch up and talking nonsense, and then it was time for the banquet and awards ceremonies. Every winner was worthy and wholly deserved, and we're immensely pleased and proud for our friends who won awards (we didn't win ours, sadly).

All in all, it was a blast of a weekend, and there was an amazing energy and enthusiasm to the whole thing; if anything, the controversies surrounding last year's con were the best thing that could have happened, as so many people seemed so determined to rediscover the enthusiasm that informs the con and put on the best show possible. We saw and met more people than we deserve to know, and spent less time with anyone than we'd have liked, and are desperately looking forward to next year's World Fantasy Con.

Oh, and all the readers had to sign and wear this hat, which was cool.

Good times.