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"RealmShift is phenomenal. If it’s not already on your bookshelf it should be."
"a gritty tale of blood rituals, mystery, and mysticism… grabs hold of the reader and doesn’t let go"
"A sinister tale of black magic and horror..."
"...stunning supernatural noir..."
"Everything about it is bang on"
“The best way for a writer to learn what’s really involved in brawling, short of going down the pub and starting something.”
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot." - Morpheus, The Sandman - Dream Country (Neil Gaiman)
"A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensly right words in a book or a newspaper the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt." - Mark Twain
"At the beginning there was the Word - at the end just the Cliche." - Stanislaw J Lec
As a massive fan of Firefly, Serenity, Buffy and Angel, this makes me very happy indeed. I’ve yet to see Dollhouse, but I have high hopes for it.
“Like everyone who picks up a pen, I was a rabid Bradbury fan and as greatly influenced by him as any other writer I read. To receive the award named for him is an honor I’d not dreamed of. In my defense, it didn’t exist back then. What did exist were the very lovely, very twisted and very human stories that warped my impressionable mind, and that I have tried, in whatever medium they will let me, to measure up to.”
The Bradbury Award was named in acknowledgement of Ray Bradbury’s contributions to the fields of science fiction and screenwriting by the SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America). While not a Nebula Award it is awarded as part of the Nebula Awards Banquet. Details here.
Well, now there’s been a bit of a Christian backlash, which was also inevitable really.
The Reverend George Hargreaves, leader of the right-wing Christian Party, created a bus ad that proclaims “There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life.”
I think it would be easier to challenge this one with the ASA. After all, calling an ad that says “There’s probably no god” false advertising is shaky ground. An ad claiming something with the word “definitely”, however, is rather more open to a complaint requiring proof.
The Russian Orthodox Church is going with a more authoritarian line, invoking the old “We command” approach with “There IS a God, BELIEVE. Don’t worry and enjoy your life.”
The Trinitarian Bible Society makes the mistake of using a line from the Bible to put down non-believers with “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” taken from Psalm 53, verse 1. Of course, if you are an atheist, you don’t give a toss what it says in the Bible, so that one is a bit of a toothless tiger.
These ads will run on 175 buses for two weeks from Monday. Who says debate in public life is dead?
Stephen King thinks Stephenie Meyer, author of the ridiculously successful (at the moment) Twilight series of vampire novels, “can’t write worth a darn.”
The whole quote was in reference to the massive success of both Meyer and J K Rowling (Harry Potter and the Bottomless Bank Account). He said, “”The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephanie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.” Ooh, harsh.
Stephen King/Stephenie Meyer (pic E! Online)
He did go on to say that, regardless of her apparent inability to write, her storytelling was compelling and appealed to a lot of fans. Teenage girls that have no idea what good writing is, I suppose. Let’s be honest – if you’re a huge fan of the Twilight books, which are essentially about a young girl giving herself to a metrosexual emo with night wandering issues, then you probably don’t seek out high literature to really engage your mind. If the story of a shivering touch on bare, moonlit skin from a forbidden lover keeps you reading, you probably don’t care about how well it’s written.
Mind you, King has been known to cast aspersions from his Bestseller Throne before:
Perry Mason author Erle Stanley Gardner – “He was a terrible writer, too, but he was very successful” Dean Koontz – “…can write like hell. And then sometimes he’s just awful” James Patterson – “a terrible writer but he’s very very successful”
This from King who, more often than not, writes a fantastic book but never once gets an ending pinned down.
If we’re honest, all of us are hacks and we just hope that our stories engage a certain slice of the public enough that they buy our books. The bigger the slice, the more we get to talk about it. But for every single author out there, there will be numerous fans, numerous people that just don’t care and plenty of people that think we’re not “worth a darn.”
Don’t worry, Stephenie Meyer – keep writing your books for teenage girls and let your success cushion you against the slings and arrows of Stephen King.
Louise Burke, publisher of Pocket Books, said publishers now trawl for new material by looking at reader comments about self-published books sold online. Self-publishing, she said, is “no longer a dirty word.”
The movement of indie publishing, following music and film, is starting to shed a lot of the stigma that has been attached for so long. Of course, it’s still an uphill struggle, and will continue to be.
“For every thousand titles that get self-published, maybe there’s two that should have been published,” said Cathy Langer, lead buyer for the Tattered Cover bookstores in Denver, who said she had been inundated by requests from self-published authors to sell their books. “People think that just because they’ve written something, there’s a market for it. It’s not true.”
And she’s dead right. But, the fact that the public and the big publishers are starting to recognise that there is some quality out there in the indie publishing world is very heartening news. It’s up to us to make sure that those standards are consistently improved upon and that indie authorship continues to stride ahead.
(Hat tip to April Hamilton for spotting the article – read the whole thing, as it’s quite interesting.)
Fantasy author and all-round top bloke David B Coe has a new release out now. The Horsemen’s Gambit is the second book in his Blood of the Southlands trilogy and was published on January 20, 2009.
David spent a year in Australia a while ago and I had the pleasure to meet and hang out with him a bit. He’s a great writer and a great guy; you’d do well to check out his work if you haven’t already. He recently posted an interview at his website which is an interesting read, talking about his work, what inspires it and some tidbits about the man himself. You can read the interview here. Have a look around his site while you’re there to learn more about David and his books.
Well, sadly they didn’t squash the actual complainants, but in a win for free speech and common sense they did squash the complaint. If you remember I was talking about this ad campaign in the UK that has banners on buses declaring:
“THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE”
Of course, those funny old hypocritical religious folk leapt up in alarm and declared it offensive. Thankfully, according to the BBC, the Advertising Standards Authority said it had assessed 326 complaints, some claiming that the wording was offensive to people who followed a religion, and concluded the adverts were unlikely to mislead or cause widespread offence. They closed the case. Bravo.
In some ways it’s sad that the ASA didn’t investigate further, as it would have been highly entertaining to see how they tackled the claim that the advertiser would not be able to substantiate its claim that God “probably” did not exist. That would have been fun.
I saw this in our local Kiama Independent newspaper (from last Wednesday, I think) and it did make me laugh.
“Gimme Five” is this little feature they do where they print five opinions about something from locals. This first response is just brilliant. If a shark attacks a human that she knows, then it should be killed. If she doesn’t know the person, then what the hell; let the shark live.
Research into serious issues like teenage pregnancy needs funding, I suppose. In truth, teenagers are going to have sex and some are going to get pregnant. An abstinence program is as misguided as it is useless. Education about birth control would be the best attack. Then you wonder how much these researchers earned for this groundbreaking study:
Let’s hope it’s the paper, not the scientists, that are the idiots here.
EDIT: I just noticed that it actually looks like it was a quote from a Republican senator. That sort of makes a bit more sense! If anyone does know where this is from, please let me know.
I can’t help jumping on the bandwagon with this one. My blog is all about words and stories, after all, and no one can mangle words and abuse the English language quite like George W Bush. I won’t be sorry to see him go when he leaves office, but I will miss him just a little bit. Is there some completely harmless area of public life that we can keep him in so that he has no power or authority yet still has to speak publically as often as possible? I can think of no greater use for him. Answers on a postcard please.
Anyway, seeing as old Dubya is off into the ex-presidents retirement home (no doubt completely skipping the ex-presidents keynote speaker trail, sadly enough) I thought it was worth revisiting some of his greatest quotes, now commonly known as Bushisms.
Furthering my recentpostson the independentpublishing and ebook movement that is strongly gaining momentum, I thought I’d write about April Hamilton. April is an author that is spearheading a large part of the independent author movement.
April defines indie authors as:
An indie author is an author who has decided the mainstream publishing industry has little or nothing to offer, and has made the conscious decision to bring his or her work to a readership independently. If you are publishing and promoting your work yourself, without the intervention of any corporate middlemen, whether the product is a hard cover, paperback, Ebook, Kindle™ book, podcast, or online serialization, congratulations: you are an indie author.
April’s methods are a lot like my own, only she has been at this longer and is enjoying greater success from her efforts than I am so far. It’s encouraging for all of us to follow April’s example. She began by publishing her two novels as Amazon Kindle editions and subsequently released them as trade paperbacks through Amazon’s CreateSpace. This limits her to a US readership, but subsequent other ebook versions of her work are available everywhere. And if you don’t mind using amazon.com and copping the shipping and exchange rates, her trade paperbacks are available everywhere too.
Based on what she has learned, April has written The Indie Author Guide. I have a copy of this myself and can assure anyone that it is a very valuable addition to your library if you’re planning to go the indie author route.
April is just one example of the success that can be gained from indie publishing. Like all other indie artforms (music, film and so on) only a few people ever see real success. A few more will see moderate success. But compared with the rounds and rounds of rejections from the traditional publishing houses, moderate success off your own hard work is a fantastic achievement. And there’s no reason to stop submitting your stuff to trad houses while your other work is making a dent in the indie world. It’s a free market out there.
The main thing is to get good at what you do and believe in yourself. The more you write the better you will get and the more feedback you get, the more you can improve your craft. What better way to get feedback than to have your work out there in all the various forms available these days?
April is very active in promoting the indie author movement and has written several articles along with her guide book. She’ll also be doing some webinars soon on the subject. Check her website for details and be encouraged.
Author of horror, dark fantasy & sci-fi. Kung Fu instructor. Motorcyclist. Dog lover. Gamer. Heavy metal fan. Britstralian. Misanthrope. Learn more about me and my work by clicking About Alan just below the header.
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