Bound reviewed at Marianne de Pierres’ blog

June 1, 2014

The early reviews of Bound are starting to come in, and the reaction so far is pretty fantastic. I’m so pleased people appear to be enjoying it. Recently Marianne de Pierres was kind enough to host on her blog a review from Jamie Marriage. Here’s an excerpt:

Bound is a fantastically gritty and modern view of dark fantasy, with twisted mythologies, sexual deviancy, and unapologetic characters. Most chapters have plenty of action, but not enough to hide the fact that there is a great story-line and dialogue going on from cover to cover. Greed, gluttony, wrath, and lust are all demonstrated in large portions throughout, and no character is without their vices and imperfections. It all comes together to create a book that’s difficult to put down and thoroughly worth re-reading. Baxter has proven he has real skill with this genre, and if this first novel is anything to go by, there are even greater things to come.

Honestly, it really doesn’t get any better than that. Read the full review here:


I’ll be over here Snoopy dancing.


The winners of the Bram Stoker Awards® for 2013

May 11, 2014

The winners of the Bram Stoker Awards® for 2013 were announced at the Awards Banquet on May 10, 2014, at the Bram Stoker Awards Weekend and World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon. The winners for superior achievement in each of the categories are:

Stephen King – Doctor Sleep (Scribner)

First Novel
Rena Mason – The Evolutionist (Nightscape Press)

Young Adult Novel
Joe McKinney – Dog Days (JournalStone)

Graphic Novel
Caitlin R. Kiernan – Alabaster: Wolves (Dark Horse Comics)

Long Fiction
Gary Braunbeck – “The Great Pity” (Chiral Mad 2, Written Backwards)

Short Fiction
David Gerrold – “Night Train to Paris” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jan./Feb. 2013)

Glen Mazzara – The Walking Dead: “Welcome to the Tombs” (AMC TV)

Eric J. Guignard (editor) – After Death… (Dark Moon Books)

Fiction Collection
Laird Barron – The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories (Night Shade Books)

William F. Nolan – Nolan on Bradbury: Sixty Years of Writing about the Master of Science Fiction (Hippocampus Press)

Poetry Collection
Marge Simon, Rain Graves, Charlee Jacob, and Linda Addison – Four Elements (Bad Moon Books/Evil Jester Press)

The following awards were also presented:

The Lifetime Achievement Award
Stephen Jones
R.L. Stine

The Specialty Press Award
Gray Friar Press

The Silver Hammer Award (for outstanding service to the Horror Writers Assn.)
Norman Rubenstein

The President’s Richard Laymon Service Award
JG Faherty

Congratulations to all the winners!


AHWA winner judges report

November 29, 2013

I just received the judges report for my AHWA Short Story Competition winner. Here’s what one of the judges said:

‘Showing his great proficiency of the written word, Alan Baxter gives an all too believable tale with “It’s Always The Children Who Suffer”. Classic, creeping horror to linger in your mind and prey upon dark little fears, both real and unexplained.’
– Ashlee Scheuerman

That’s very nice to read! You can find the story in Midnight Echo issue 10, out at the end of the year. You can pre-order print or electronic versions now at the Midnight Echo Magazine site. I have another story in that issue (two yarns in one mag!) along with loads of other great stories and features by tremendous authors. You know you want it.



Great and powerful opening lines

November 17, 2013

My pal and horror writer extraordinaire, Robert Hood, wrote a blog post recently about great opening lines. He links to an interview with Danel Olson on the subject, since Olson’s anthology, Exotic Gothic 4 (P S Publishing), recently won the World Fantasy Award (and contains an excellent story by Rob.)

Rob listed a couple of his favourite opening lines and asked if anyone else had any. I’ve got loads! It’s a bit of a pet subject for me. So I shared some of mine on Rob’s Facebook post and then thought I might post them here on my own blog, as I think they’re well worth sharing. This is just a few that immediately sprang to mind as powerful enough to stick with me. The strength of an opening line can never be underestimated.

“The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-wracked Northeast Sea, is a land famous for wizards.” – Ursula Le Guin, Wizard of Earthsea

“The abyss should shut you up.” – Peter Watts, Starfish

“This is the story of a man who went far away for a long time, just to play a game.” – Iain M Banks, The Player of Games

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” – William Gibson, Neuromancer

“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own…” – H G Wells, The War of the Worlds

“Of all the rash and midnight promises made in the name of love none, Boone now knew, was more certain to be broken than: ‘I’ll never leave you.'” – Clive Barker, Cabal

I could go on and on, but I’ll leave with one more, my all-time favourite. Not quite the opening line, but the end of the opening paragraph:

“Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.” – Robert E Howard, The Phoenix on the Sword


Have you got any?


Five word sentences

October 1, 2013

I found this on Tumblr and had to share it here too. It’s a fantastic piece, so simply, and yet so well, put.

“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”
Gary Provost


The Gallifreyan Calendar

August 6, 2013

This started as a gag on Twitter that seems to have garnered some support. Can we make it happen? (Of course not, but it’s fun to imagine.) I originally tweeted:

Let’s rename all the months after the Doctors. Christmas would be on the 25th Capaldi. New Year is 1st Hartnell. Halloween is 31st Tennant.

It can be known as the Gallifreyan Calendar.

“Remember, remember, the fifth of Smith.” Still kinda works.

“Beware the Ides of Pertwee.”

Of course, we have a problem with two months called Baker. So we’ll have to have T’Baker and C’Baker. My birthday is 18th T’Baker. Regarding the pronunciation of those: TeeBaker and SeeBaker. Nice and clear.

The Months of the Year then are: Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee, T’Baker, Davison, C’Baker, McCoy, McGann, Ecclestone, Tennant, Smith and Capaldi.

How is that not WAY better than all this January, February, March, etc. rubbish we have now?

A Leap Year will be called a Hurt Year (after John Hurt’s mysterious extra Doctor). Troughton 29th will be known as a Hurt Day.

I’m going to just start using the new Gallifreyan Calendar and let the rest of the world catch up. Who’s with me?

Have a good 6th McGann, everybody.

13 Questions at Joan De La Haye’s place

July 2, 2013

I’m technically not around this week, but I’m just dropping in to share this little thing. The wonderful Joan De La Haye asked me to answer 13 questions about reading and writing over at her blog. Enjoy!

SFWA, sexism in SFF and missing the point

June 4, 2013

I really wanted to avoid posting about this. So many other people are addressing the issues very well and I don’t really have much to add. If you’re not sure what’s happening, suffice to say that two old guys who are members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America wrote a piece in the official publication, the SFWA Bulletin, that is astounding in its prehistoric approach to gender and dealing with justifiable complaints. If you want a good breakdown of what happened, Foz Meadows does an excellent deconstruction here (and she includes many relevant links). And honestly, if you throw a virtual dart anywhere near the SFF community online at the moment, you’ll hit something to do with it.

I’m not a SFWA member, although I think I do qualify. I can’t actually be bothered to check. Suffice to say that I’m not really interested in being part of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, as I’m a British-Australian writer. I really wish they would change that A to stand for Association, as they are a global entity in most respects and it would be great to see that reflected in the name. But that’s not the issue here.

It’s also worth mentioning that on the whole SFWA does excellent things and is a great organisation. The current President is John Scalzi and he’s a stand-up guy who is definitely on point when it comes to pretty much any issues rife in the community today. As a result of the Resnick/Malzberg debacle, Scalzi immediately went into action and did two things:

1. “authorized a task force, headed up by SFWA Vice President Rachel Swirsky, to look at the role of the Bulletin within the organization moving forward”;


2. “as the person who by our bylaws is responsible for publications, I took responsibility for events and opened up a channel for people to comment and criticize”

Those quotes are from his official presidential statement here. He made them the other way around, but I want to concentrate on the responsibility issue, so I quoted that one second.

That response is an excellent start. And Scalzi goes on to reiterate and clarify how much he’s taking responsibility for the article. He talks about how he didn’t give it a thorough read for content (and as he’s not the editor, that’s no surprise). He says, regarding the lack of checking, “This did not happen. I as publisher gave the go-ahead – and once again, the responsibility for the event, and the offense it caused, falls on me.”

You can read the extensive explanations and apology in the presidential statement I linked above. But this is all missing one really fucking significant point. At no point has any mention been made about Resnick and Malzberg, the men who wrote the offensive article.

It’s all very well Scalzi taking responsibility and apologising, but he’s only really apologising for publishing it. Where’s the apology for writing it? Where’s the promise that Resnick and Malzberg are going to be counselled by the organisation for whom they wrote on just why they’ve upset so many people. If SFWA wants to be seen as responding well to things like this, it needs to try to change the archaic attitudes of the men who are being so offensive. And while it’s unlikely those people will change their perceptions, the attempt must be publicly made. An apology from those people for writing the offensive article would mean a lot more than the apology by the president for publishing it.

It’s quite possible those people have apologised and I’ve missed it. I couldn’t find such an apology. It’s possible the organisation has said it will hold them to task for their offensive article, but I can’t find that either, nor is it part of the official presidential response. Unless an apology is made for the content, SFWA are seriously missing the fucking point of all the outrage. I would really like to be proved wrong here, so please point me in the direction of that proof if you can. I’m quite prepared to accept that I might have missed something.


Site slightly bolloxed

May 25, 2013

Apologies all. This site is going through a theme upgrade and there’s going to be a few glitches along the way. Hopefully it’ll all be fixed up ASAP, but we’re only human. Well, barely human.

Everything should still work even if things look a bit wonky.


How to help an author

February 7, 2013

You all want to help out the authors whose work you love, right? Course you do. It’s really easy and anyone who’s listened to me crapping on for more than about thirty seconds will have heard this before, but here it is again anyway. Cos it’s important motherflipping stuff and really very simple. Try to make it a habit. In this modern realm of social media, it’s an easy habit to form. Plus, this time it’s presented in a nice graphic.

How to help an author

Pass it on.



The website of author Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter, Author

Author of horror, dark fantasy & sci-fi. Kung Fu instructor. Personal Trainer. Motorcyclist. Dog lover. Gamer. Heavy metal fan. Britstralian. Zetetic.

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