Obscenity arrest over Manga comics

You thought the Bill Henson “scandal” over here was a bit of an overkill? Sure, I find his images morally questionable, being that they are actual photographs of naked children, but this poor bastard is facing five years for reading a Manga comic: Christopher Handley and the obscenity trial – via Neil Gaiman’s blog.

And on a completely unrelated note, but a very interesting one, slashdot is reporting that robot soliders would be better than human ones. Not the obvious, being better at fighting and surviving, but actually more ethical. It’s a pretty solid argument when you think about it. Plus, if both sides were using robots, it could look pretty funny, given that robots currently look like this:

When they should really look more like this:

Also from slashdot recently we have other scientific news that reminds us that science fiction isn’t all about the future any more, in the form of nanotech fabric that can’t get wet and the ethical question of whether or not we should clone neanderthals, simply because we can. I’m reminded of that great line in the first Jurassic Park movie where Jeff Goldblum’s character observes, “Everybody was so busy wondering if they could, they didn’t stop to think whether or not they should.” I paraphrase as I can’t be bother checking the exact quote.

Anyway, I’d say there are plenty of neanderthals still around, like the arsehole that stole the number plate and rego off my bike at the weekend. Come on, scientists, bring back something cool like a sabre toothed tiger.


RealmShift and MageSign in Australia still delayed

I’m sorry folks. It seems that there are a number of things conspiring against me here in getting RealmShift and MageSign into the country. Given the atrocious state of the Aussie dollar at the moment, coupled with crippling shipping rates, I can’t get copies here at a reasonable cost just yet. That may change as the economy changes but, for now, I’m looking at getting a short run printed domestically. This is also proving to be difficult. Again, the tyranny of living where we do makes things like this a problem.

If anyone knows of a good printer that will do short print runs of paperbacks, please let me know!

In the meantime, you can click on the names above and go to the book pages to order from your local Amazon. I apologise and I will get copies in this country eventually. Sadly, it seems that our overseas friends will have access to the books at good prices for a while before we do. If you have friends, family or colleagues overseas perhaps you might add these books to your Christmas list and get them to pay the postage.

Watch this space for further updates.


Bigotry I agree with

This is one of those signs that reinforces both sides of an argument. It argues eloquently for those that consider themselves highly devout and for those that are opposed to such nonsense.

And really, being the bah humbug that I am, I wish Christmas was just for Christians and we could do without all the commercial apoplexy that surrounds the whole gods-forsaken event. Ah, so begins the season of goodwill.


MageSign now available online

Well, it’s finally here. After all the waiting and promises you can finally buy MageSign, the sequel to RealmShift, through Amazon.com and all the various Amazon sites around the world. The new edition of RealmShift is also available.

RealmShift and MageSign

You can search at your local Amazon store or click on the covers above for all the relevant info and buy buttons. You can also find all the information at the official Blade Red Press website, which is now up and running.

We’re currently organising for stock of both books to come into Australia in order to supply the local fans and the Australian bookstores that are so kind as to support independent press releases, but this will take a little while longer. If you’re in Australia and not keen to purchase through Amazon, you could wait for that. Given the state of the Australian dollar right now, the combination of exchange rate and shipping into Australia makes it a bit outrageous for people here to use Amazon at the moment. Amazon sales to Australia are cheaper through amazon.co.uk than through amazon.com, but still not ideal. And no, the irony of this whole situation isn’t lost on me. But remember, we live in the greatest country on Earth and have all the advantages of wide open spaces and a very low population. It’s our blessing and our curse.

Anyway, anyone in the rest of the world can get the books for a great price online. Aussie people can either go through Amazon or wait until the books hit our shores, which will hopefully be fairly soon. Or you can have someone you know overseas buy the books locally and post them to you for Christmas. Can you imagine a better Christmas present? Actually, I can – a local amazon.com.au. We can live in hope.

Enjoy the books and be sure to let me know what you think.

(By the way, please share this page with anyone you know, link to it from your blogs and so on. Please help me spread the word!)


Amazon.co.uk Top Ten Sci Fi and Fantasy books

Following on from this post a week or two ago, which listed the Amazon.com editors’ choice Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books of 2008, here’s the list from Amazon.co.uk:

1 The Temporal Void (Void Trilogy) by Peter F. Hamilton

2 Nation by Terry Pratchett

3 Anathem by Neal Stephenson

4 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

5 The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien

6 Iron Angel (Deepgate Codex) by Alan Campbell

7 The Painted Man (Demon Trilogy 1) by Peter V. Brett

8 Winterstrike by Liz Williams

9 The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway

10 Empire in Black and Gold (Shadows of the Apt) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The only book to make both lists was Stephenson’s Anathem. The UK list is here.

(Hat tip S F Signal.)