Thursday, 26 November 2009
He came, he saw, he kicked arse - so much so we kinda invited him back...
Andy Remic will be signing Hardcore at Forbidden Planet, 92 Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4HY, on Saturday 12th December 2009 from 1:00 – 2:00pm
Hailed as ‘the new David Gemmell’ and recently nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award for his fantasy novel Kell’s Legend, Andy Remic is a British writer and teacher with an unhealthy love of martial arts, kick-arse bikes, mountain climbing and computer hacking. The new master of violent, high-octane science fiction, Hardcore is his seventh novel and follows the characters from the massively successful Combat K series.
Now, the tense dynamic of the Combat-K squad is back as Keenan, Franco and Pippa face their hardest brief yet - Sick World, a planet once dedicated to the ill, the deformed and the dying. A thousand years ago, it was a state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to the new ailments contracted by humanity after mixing with alien races; today, it lies deserted. On a reconnaissance mission, the Combat-K squad are about the find out that the staff of Sick World have only been in hibernation – a millennium-long gestation of new, hardcore healthcare technology. And now, they can smell fresh meat.
Check out the trailer!
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Yes, he's back! The one-and-only Rob Rankin will be signing Retromancer at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Saturday 12th December 1:00pm – 2:00pm. And I swear we're all out of rayguns...
Evil magic is abroad. The Germans have won WWII; America is a nuclear wasteland. And worst of all, the breakfast menu at The Wife's Legs Cafe in Brentford is serving Bratwurst. It’s time call Hugo Rune - a man who offers the world his genius, and asks only that it cover his expenses. Together, the Retromancer and Rizla return to war-torn London, match their wits against beautiful spies, alien technology, killer robots and death rays – and come face to face with Hugo Rune's arch-enemy, the sinister Count Otto Black.
London-born Robert Rankin started writing in the 1970s and his books regularly storm the bestseller lists including The Witches of Chiswick and The Toyminator. He’s one of the country’s most renowned humorous fantasy writers and is well known for having recurring characters and running gags that pop up throughout his books. Robert is also an unrepentant Luddite who writes novels by hand in exercise books.
And I swear I'm not just posting this because he hosts a class party!
Monday, 23 November 2009
There's no better arse-kicking heroine than Tank Girl - the icon of my twenties, the rebel streak of my thirties and now a professional contact of my forties (ain't life surreal!). Yes, Alan Martin and Rufus Dayglo, unaccompanied by kangaroos, will be signing Skidmarks #1 at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Saturday 5th December 1 - 2pm.
Alongside artist Jamie Hewlett, Alan created Tank Girl in 1988 for Deadline magazine - and now, this gorgeous and anarchic heroine is a cult icon that has starred in strips, monthly comics, graphic novels, prose novels and a Hollywood movie. For Skidmarks, Alan has been joined by hot British artist Rufus Dayglo - and they've brought us, complete with added swearing, a riotous, brand new Tank Girl mini-series.
Skidmarks shows us Australia in the near future: a post-apocalyptic, but still rather picturesque wasteland. The former bounty hunter turned outlaw known as Tank Girl spends her days drinking, fighting and getting up to all manner of mischief - until she's forced to give up her life of semi-retirement and climb back into the saddle to save the life of her best friend, Barney. This is everything you ever wanted to know about Tank Girl’s schooldays – and everything you didn’t!
It's a book that makes me wonder if I missed out on a load of (tank)-girly schooltime fun...
(The poster for done for FP by Rufus last year - don't let the date confuse you!)
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Yes, we boldly go... where everyone wants to be! STARHYKE blasts off at Forbidden Planet London with the launch of the DVD BOX SET featuring guests Danny John-Jules, Jeremy Bulloch and Suanne Braun, on Thursday 26th November 5:30 – 6:30pm.
Starring Claudia Christian (Babylon 5), Jeremy Bulloch (Star Wars), Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf) and Suanne Braun (Stargate SG-1), Starhyke is a off-the-wall, tongue-in-cheek science fiction series in the glorious tradition of the best in UK SF. Released on November 30th, this is a chance to get your hands on a signed edition of Starhyke before its shelf-date!
In the far off and distant future, mankind has evolved past petty emotions. They care about survival and space warfare – and the remorseless onslaught of the human race soon becomes too much for other species. Now another species, the Reptids, has developed a secret weapon – a bomb that will force mankind’s emotions to reawaken, thus swamping them with guilt and rendering them unable to fight. Their plan goes well until a single human ship, the Nemesis, begins to chase them. To conceal the plan, the Reptids self destruct – and the force sends the Nemesis to the twenty-first century, complete with emotions. Can they get home and stop the Reptids from re-creating their bomb?
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Since I’ve (rather belatedly – sorry Stan!) today joined up over at the DGLA website, I’ve just had a proper old nose through the nominations, not only for the DGLA itself, but for the two new categories introduced for 2009.
The David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Newcomer
‘The Morningstar Award will give recognition to emerging talent in the field of fantasy fiction. As David Gemmell always took a keen interest in new writers, and helped many onto the path to publication, we regard this as an appropriate category to add, and one we feel sure David would have approved.’
The David Gemmell Ravenheart Award for Best Fantasy Cover Art.
‘The Ravenheart Award will honour the best fantasy book cover art. The importance of fantasy cover art deserves admiration, as do the artists who produce it, yet there is no major UK award acknowledging this. The Ravenheart Award will fulfill that role.’
There a list of current nominations on the site here.
I was a huge fan of David's work (I think I was 19 when I read ‘Legend’ and it’s left a mark to this day) and therefore very privileged to be at last year’s awards (rumours about my axe-wielding may have been exaggerated).
I’m also looking forward to casting my votes in this one - a celebration of the best in the genre is always a good thing.
The 2010 David Gemmell Awards ceremony will again be held at The Magic Circle headquarters in London, on Friday 18th June.
And I can't help but wonder... just what Raven Armoury have in store for us this time...
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
FORBIDDEN PLANET and Gollancz Publishing are delighted to be hosting an open-format, multi-author signing. Five authors, one event – at 6pm on Thursday November 26th, Forbidden Planet 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London will be playing host to: -
• David Devereux
• Paul McAuley
• Justina Robson
• Adam Roberts
• Chris Wooding
To promote the release of Justina’s new book CHASING THE DRAGON, Forbidden Planet and Gollancz Publishing have gathered a host of science fiction and fantasy talent into one event – an event to bring writers and fans together and to promote interest in new and different kinds of fiction.
This is a free-form and open signing, bringing the authors out from behind their tables and giving their readers a chance to meet them and talk to them about their work. An array of fantastic books will be on hand to be picked up and signed – including works by every one of the writers present.
And, as usual with these events, there are likely to be more than a few surprise guests...
...and a subsequent visit to the pub!
Monday, 9 November 2009
This is ten kinds of cheeky (cheesy?) nepotism - but I'm chuffed as fuck to see our own in-house publishers getting ahead of the game. Make yourself a cuppa... and have a read...
Titan Publishing brings Wallace and Gromit to the iPhone - after the BunVac 6000 and the Techno Trousers, it's only fitting they should be pioneers of a whole new Titan technology.
The first batch offers scripts by Dan Abnett (Legion, Nova, The Authority) and Simon Furman (Transformers, Terminator 2 Comic), plus there will more released in the forthcoming weeks.
You can download four Wallace and Gromit stories right now - ‘The W-Files’, ‘Parts & Labour’, ‘Big in Japan’ and ‘Where there’s Muck there’s Brass’ - each one £0.59 ($0.99) and packed with bonus goodies.
And bless Ned Hartley, editor, for this: -
“It’s really exciting to see Wallace and Gromit at the forefront of such a cracking new technology. Although I secretly suspect that Wallace would be more comfortable with the type of apple that comes with cheese.”
It's also quite exciting to see stuff happening right under (all right above) my nose... at Titan Towers itself!
Sunday, 1 November 2009
When you’ve been called mad by Iain Banks, you know you’re in for an interesting holiday.
And after a week of – well, weather – on the Isle of Mull, I’m beginning to think Banksy had the right of it.
Mull is beautiful – glacier-carved rocky severity shrugging its way out of blankets of rich autumnal colour. Cloud lifts in wisps from the mountaintops – they look as through they are on fire – and they layer back into the mist as far as you care to see. You want to call it ‘rugged’, ‘desolate’, ‘bleak’, craggy’ – but no world suits the Isle more than this one: -
We’ve walked in it and we’ve cycled in it. We’ve got drenched so many times that my abiding holiday memories are not the Martian Red Weed that decorated the grey loch shore, the golden beach at Calgary or the blissed-out religious types on their pilgrimage to Iona… no, it’s playing constant Tetris with endlessly sopping clothes and realising just WHY the Scots love their whisky as much as they do.
It goes with the climate.
One day of blue skies had us leaving the cabin with the sunrise, testing our endurance to the limit with 45 miles around the north of the Island. The beauty was overwhelming; maybe it was sheer physical effort in getting bikes up those hills, but eventually we became completely blasé.
“Heron.” “Yep.” “Waterfall.” “Yep.” “Standing stone.” “Yep.” “Ruined castle.” “Yep.” “Oh look, it’s another fucking great hill.”
We found ourselves in Tobermory at conveniently lunchtime – and went looking for Archie the Inventor… a quest foiled by my smashing both knees as I fell off the pavement (Archie, it seems knew we were coming). A long ride home brought us to our friendly field of radioactive (yes) sheep at sunset, worn down after a long day.
Devin tackled all 3100ft of Ben More – a pleasure I wussed out of due to the hail, gale and bog that awaited me. I tackled the laptop, instead, and watched the lunatic antics of the local chaffinches, auditioning for parts in a certain Hitchcock movie.
A couple of pitch (and I mean) pitch dark treks through the pass to beer and the nearest civilisation didn’t turn up the Headless Horseman… but we did rather feel like we were going for a pint in the Slaughtered Lamb and spent much of the walk discussing how we could off the Wereworf with a couple of mag-lites and a leatherman.
Our local guru Steve, owner of the cabin we stayed in, commented that people had ‘seen us round the island’ – but he also told us that the weather would be good and there was ‘one hill’ coming out of Tobermory… so much for that.
We’ve ended our holiday – and celebrated our new engagement (yes, the diamond ring variety, scary huh?) – with a proto-honeymoon Samhein night in the scariest hotel in Scotland. Bonus points for the king size four-poster and colossal orgy bath… but bleak dark stone and an isolated location are further spooked out by ghastly floral décor, stags heads on the walls and a memory palace of nik-naks creepy enough for a Roald Dahl story.
And why is there a large abandoned building in the hotel’s gardens that’s just full of discarded junk?
It’s all gone a bit Rosemary’s Baby… thank the Gods we’ll be in Glasgow tomorrow…