Monthly Archives: January 2010

Great News!

Well I’ve been wittering on about the virtues of a certain ‘new’ writer since I started at Morrigan Books and Carole Johnstone announced yesterday that she is to feature in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year 2 with her tale Dead Loss from the cracking magazine Black Static.

I was first made aware of Carole when she sent a superb story, Scent, to In Bad Dreams volume two, which I snapped up immediately. She has then gone on to publish the short stories Sanctuary (Voices), The Discomfort of Words (Grants Pass), The Blind Man (Dead Souls) and The Harrowing (In the Footsteps of Gilgamesh – coming 2011), as well as the novella Frenzy from Eternal Press.

If you haven’t read her yet then make sure you do at the earliest opportunity!

Well deserved and so pleased for Carole!

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New Year = resolution time

OK, I maybe should have added these a few days ago (15 mayhaps?) but as long as I’m actually working on them, then that’s the main thing.

Never was a big one for resolutions in the past but now see them as a way to see whether I think my life is plodding along as I want it to or whether I should think about things.

Basically when thinking about the resolutions, I try to avoid life-resolutions, which means those about things I have as a constant, like: eat healthier, be the best dad and husband I can, work hard with Morrigan Books, etc., unless I have real issues with any of these that I need to address.

But enough of all that and onto the resolutions I have set myself for 2010 (the wife asked me for ten this year, the loon!):

  • Work on more music compilations – this is something I used to do a lot, an awful lot and something that I really miss when I’m not doing them. I used to spend hours in front of the stereo, choosing songs, putting them on tapes, and sending them off. Now it’s all so much easier with the computer and I do so few…go figure! I’ve actually already done one to hand out in March, when I visit blighty and I’m hoping to get some more done too!
  • Write more non-fiction pieces – this is a big one for those who have been reading about my aim to write more fiction over the last few years and there was lots of thinking behind this over the holiday. I feel that I’ve been punishing myself for not writing more fiction, when in truth I’m feeling much more positive towards my non-fiction pieces: reviews (music, literature, film), articles and episodic commentaries. Expect to see much more of that this year (and yes, less fiction writing, if that is indeed possible)!
  • Keep on top with the 40th Birthday bash plans – this one has not started well, as I’m a little behind with preliminary invitations but I need to focus, focus, focus.
  • Read more – I did read quite a bit last year but nowhere near what I have done in previous years. That one needs changing and changing quick sharp.
  • More contact with friends – I sort of disappeared a bit last year, what with a stressful year at Morrigan Books and Audrey’s first year but this year I want to make more time for friends, be it online chats, Skype calls or evenings with friends. I think this one has started off well, a few big chats both online and friends over and I need to keep up with this.
  • Get the board games evenings up and running – this is one that I had a couple of years ago that went really well. Then when I don’t seem to have it as a resolution it disappears… Will be looking at getting the oft-talked about once a month gaming night over here, with preliminary chats for a Star Wars Risk night already underway!
  • Learn to typset – I know I can, I just need a bit of time set aside and a whole lot of patience.

Sorry Etina, only seven this time around…


Time to vote – The Preditors and Editors Poll awaits!

I’ve been sitting back and watching goings on before getting ready for my own involvement in the awards, then realised there are only three days left…

If you think we did good work over at Morrigan Books last year, then this is your chance to vote for us, so that others can also see how well we are doing and cast a glance our way in 2010. We’ve already been nominated for a few things this time but if there is something you think of (short story, editor, etc.) that hasn’t been nominated then you can also do that.

The main voting page can be found below:

Preditors and Editors voting page

but I’ve given you a link to a few of the categories, with comments about who/what I think should win or who/what I’ve voted for.

Best Horror Novel

I’ve not read enough here to have a qualified opinion but The Harrowing, Alexander Sokoloff is being talked about in all the right circles. I’m also aware Jeremy Shipp has a rather fine voice and would expect Cursed to be worth a buy.

Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Novel

I actually think this should be two sections but anyway…not read one on the list and struggle to think of any that were released last year that grabbed – I didn’t read many new novels though.

Best Horror Short Story

We have a few in this section, most coming from Dead Souls (my own little solo editing anthology). Tatsu by Reece Notley is riding high, as is Licwiglunga by T. A. Moore. Also in the list (from the same book) are A Shade of Yellow, Gary McMahon, Wayang Kulit, L. J. Hayward and The Blind Man, Carole Johnstone.

I’m only allowed to vote for one and so went for The Blind Man, as Carole Johnstone is always brilliant but this is easily one of the best things she’s ever done, and is probably my favourite of all those in the anthology. I read a lot of horror short stories last year and believe Carole’s stands very high among them all.

Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Story

There’s some bloody cracking stories in this list, and I notice a few from Grants Pass, our science fiction/horror anthology. I’m actually going to nominate KV Taylor’s Boudha, which isn’t in the list and was my favourite from that book (well that or Carole Johnstone’s…)

Best Anthology

You may well notice a bit of bias here but I direct your attention to Dead Souls, the anthology I edited for Morrigan Books. If that didn’t grab you, you could vote for Grants Pass, another worthy anthology, also (strangely) published by Morrigan Books…

Best Book Art

Both Dead Souls and Grants Pass are in there, both done by the wonderful Reece Notley. I shall be voting Dead Souls cause I love me that spider!

Best Zine Art

I see that Reece Notley has been nominated for Three Crow Press, yet I see no mention of Drops of Crimson, which I think will get my vote.

Best Author

I can’t decide here between Carole Johnstone or Gary McMahon, as they’ve both done cracking stuff over the last year or so. I think I might vote Carole and get the wife to vote Gary, that seems fair eh? 😉

Best Poet

I’ve gone for Ian Hunter here, who is nice enough to put some of his stuff on his site. He reminds me I need to get some poetry done this year!

Best Artist

Reece Notley isn’t nominated, which makes no sense to me, and so I’ll be nominating her and then voting for her.

Best Book Editor

I’m in there, as is Amanda Pillar and Alisa Krasnostein. Can’t decide between Alisa or Amanda and so have let the wife vote for Alisa, seeing as she’s read some Twelth Planet stuff and I voted for my personal fave, Amanda Pillar.

No Jennifer Brozek though, which is strange.

Best Zine Editor

Here we have Jennifer Brozek, Jenn Moffatt, Reece Notley and Lea Schizas, making it a very tough one. Think I’ll have to go for Reece Notley here.

Best Ebook Publisher

We’ve been nominated here, which is crazy, as we don’t do ebooks, yet. I voted for Samhain Publishing.

Best Review Site

I nominated Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews for this and then got the wife to vote for ASif! (Australian Specific in focus). Covering all the bases you know…

Best Fiction Zine

I’m thinking Shroud, Necrotic Tissue and Three Crow Press here. No prizes for guessing where my vote has to go.

Best Poetry Zine

Goblin Fruit, without a shadow of a doubt!

Best Writers Workshop

My vote goes with The Muse Online Writers’ Conference. I was lucky enough to take part last year and it was excellent!

And here is where you can see the current standings and just where everyone is at the mo.

Current Standings

Looking forward to seeing where we end up in all our categories!