Friday, 28 August 2009

Creatures of the Pool

To promote the release of Ramsey Campbell and Bryan Talbot’s new book Creatures of the Pool, FORBIDDEN PLANET and PS PUBLISHING have gathered a horror-host of talent together for a one-off spook-tacular signing. This will be a free-form, open event, bringing guests out from behind their tables and giving their fans a chance to meet them and talk about their work. Come and meet: -

• Doug ‘Pinhead’ Bradley
• Ramsey Campbell
• Peter Crowther
• James Hannah
• Angus Mackenzie
• Bryan Talbot
• Rio Youers

You can discover why Gavin Meadows gives guided tours of Liverpool; find out what brought settlers to the Pool, what used to take place in the cellars of Whitechapel – and what drove Virginia Woolf's uncle mad. As Gavin and his partner Lucinda delve deeper, they're confronted by the truth behind the legends and they encounter what has always lived under the city. Read Creatures of the Pool – and find out what will come up from the dark…

As well as works by both Ramsey Campbell and Bryan Talbot, there will be an array of fantastic books on hand to be discovered and signed – including titles by all the guests present. This is Horror of Horrors – a FP/PS event to remember!

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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Pat Mills: Requiem Chevalier Vampire

PAT MILLS will be signing Requiem Vampire Knight Volumes 1 and 2 at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Saturday 19th September from 1 - 2pm.

Created to break into the French comics market, Requiem Chevalier Vampire is characterised by extreme violence and by each issue being more daring and darker than the one before. Several scenes of violent sex combine fuse with wonderfully dark humour and cynicism; it’s a story of hell and resurrection that contains no concept of justice. Inspired by Mills’ own fascination with reincarnation, Requiem Vampire Knight is a fantastic tale of drugs and reversed reality – and of a search for a lost love.

One of the founding fathers of 2000AD and a legendary name in British comics, Pat has created some of the best-known and longest running characters for the magazine, including Slaìne, ABC Warriors and Nemesis The Warlock. His other work also includes writing and developing Judge Dredd and writing the classic World War One war comic Charley’s War.

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Saturday, 22 August 2009

SF Scoop of the Week: Kell's Legend Promo Video

One hot piece of new SF/F news! The promo-vid to Andy Remic’s KELL’S LEGEND, just landed in my Inbox!

Got rather a shock when my own voice was the first thing I heard – a huge thank you to the Remic powerhouse for asking me to contribute.

Seriously – love this vid (though I'm not a Twilight fan!). Manages to be bloody and subtle, dark and monochome, very atmospheric. Works well without a script and allows the guys at th3m1ss1ng to really show what they can do. Music videos for book promos? Hell yes!

Get your mitts on Kell’s Legend, published by Angry Robot Books!

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Friday, 21 August 2009

Absolute V For Vendetta

DAVID LLOYD will be signing the Absolute edition of the classic V for Vendetta at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Thursday 24th September 6 – 7pm.

V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, now returns in a gorgeous, oversized Absolute edition with new material. Originally published in 1990, the story is both frightening and powerful, dealing with loss of freedom and individuality within a totalitarian England. Written against a background of third-term Thatcherism and tabloid rants against minorities, this is a work of startling clarity... everything that comics weren't supposed to be. With fresh material including never-before-reprinted, newly-coloured full-page illustrations, an expanded sketchbook, the original series back cover art, and the re-mastered colour of the 2005 deluxe hardback edition - this is the ultimate edition of a modern comic masterpiece.

Foremost comics illustrator David Lloyd has a bibliography that spans from V for Vendetta to Slaìne and Hellblazer and bringing to visual life the work of Alan Moore, Jamie Delano, Garth Ennis and Grant Morrison. His own crime-noir thriller - the critically-acclaimed Kickback - has been published by Dark Horse.

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Thursday, 20 August 2009

Who Killed Amanda Palmer?

AMANDA PALMER will be signing her daring and beautiful art book Who Killed Amanda Palmer (and doing who knows what else) at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JR on Wednesday 9th September from 6 – 7pm.

Amanda Palmer grew up dreaming of being an artist, a performer and a provocateur. She’s moved from an eight-foot Living Bride statue to one half of the cabaret punk duo The Dresden Dolls into work as a solo artist both inspirational and controversial. Among her continuous and eclectic collection of creative projects, she spins time to be singer and songwriter, audacious pianist and film-maker – all genre-shattering and massively expressive. Amanda Palmer is not an artist, she’s an art form.

Who Killed Amanda Palmer is the photographic and literary interpretation of her Ben Folds-produced solo debut. Featuring a collection of soft, dark and beautiful images of Amanda’s own death and collected over fourteen years of travelling the world, the book also offers stories by Neil Gaiman. The book is fascinating, tragic and compelling – Beth Hommel describes it as, ‘…many shades of murder; equal parts horror and humor’. Intrigued or shocked, it’s a book that begs a reaction.

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Tuesday, 18 August 2009

What Is A Geek? A Little Word For Lauren Laverne

The Guardian, Thursday 13th August. An interview with Lauren Laverne, presenter of ‘The Culture Show’, the BBC’s front-line magazine programme, focussing on the latest developments in the worlds of film, music, fashion and the performing arts. And a class comment that’s had me rolling in the proverbials all though my holiday weekend.

Lauren, it seems, has missed a significant social and cultural revelation.

Her quote runs thus: ‘Radio’s… for geeks and I'm a geek so it completely resonates with me and I've loved it from day one. But it's run by people who haven't left a studio in decades. Those kinds of boys just don't know what to do with girls; it's just a bit like [comic shop] Forbidden Planet. Would you want to go in there? It smells weird and sells funny stuff. That's what radio studios are like. Ladies just walk past.'

Oh Lauren, Lauren. In 2003, Peter Jackson (you have heard of him?) directed ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’. In case you missed it, this was the first part of a fantasy trilogy written by one J R R Tolkien – and the films were really quite important. They consolidated the movement that began with Joss Whedon’s ‘Buffy’ on the Small Screen and the explosion of comic-book (yes, you’ve never read one but bear with me) superheroes across the Big One… and The New Age of Geek began.

I’m curious to know how the presenter of The Culture Show has missed this – and how Forbidden Planet has been a part of that movement.

In fairness, it must be said you’ve not lost out completely – you’re socially aware enough to know the word ‘Geek’ is cool. But ‘those kinds of boys’ to which you refer know exactly what to do with girls – they’re having a laugh with the large numbers of smart and streetwise ladies that hang out in (yes, in) FP. Perhaps if you took a look at that ‘weird stuff’, you might be able to talk to them? About – y’know – films and stuff? The very Culture you’re presenting a show about? If you’re ‘a girl in a man’s world’, then relating shouldn’t be that hard for you.

Just an idea.

Of course, if best-selling books and movie merchandise are just too freaky, then you’re absolutely welcome to loiter outside FP London and see who really does walk past...

But you’ll miss: -

Amanda Palmer
Mike Carey
Kim Stanley Robinson
Pat Mills
David Lloyd
Iain Banks
Howard Chaykin
Kevin Smith
Cory Doctorow

And that’s just the beginning.

I know you don’t know all these names, but you know enough. These are the people that have helped redefine the word ‘Geek’ to mean what it does today – that have stood on the crest of the wave of social evolution that you’ve apparently missed.

Forbidden Planet is at the top of Shaftesbury Avenue.

You won’t be needing the peg.

(Just for the record, this is my personal blog. What’s written here has not been endorsed by Forbidden Planet or the Titan Entertainment Group in any way. But on behalf of hot, smart, savvy and streetwise Geeks (of both genders) everywhere I kinda had to say something. Y’know?)

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Thursday, 13 August 2009



Come down to Forbidden Planet for the LAUNCH EVENT of Matt ‘Lunartik’ JOnes’ latest vinyl figure Lunartik In A Cup Of Tea.

The first stop on Matt JOnes’ European Tour will showcase the Lunartik Custom Tea Tour – including customised brews by some of the world’s finest vinyl artists. From 28th August to 7th September, the main window of FP London will be displaying one-off custom works by Jon Burgerman, Pete Fowler, Jeremyville, Triclops, Doc. A, The Toasters, Mr. Scruff and many others.

And from 11am on Saturday 5th September, Matt ‘Lunartik’ JOnes will be in our window himself with a live urban art performance - decorating our glass in a way it’s never seen before!

Matt JOnes, also the designer of the 3D version of the famous ‘rocket’ brand, will be signing toys from 1 – 2pm on Saturday 5th September.

Forbidden Planet lives at the forefront of the art toy sensation in the UK, hosting events with Tara McPherson, Jon Burgerman, Pete Fowler and James Jarvis as well as being the only UK venue on the Custom Bart Qee Tour in 2007 and raising money for the Alzheimer’s Research Trust with the MonQee Project, as supported by Terry Pratchett and Toy2R.

Visit Matt's portfolio at:

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Sunday, 9 August 2009

Kim Stanley Robinson Signing

KIM STANLEY ROBINSON will be signing his new novel Galileo’s Dream at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Thursday 17th September 6 – 7pm.

Renaissance Italy abounds in alchemy and Aristotle, yet trembles on the brink of modernisation. One night, a stranger comes to Galileo with a new telescope, showing him Jupiter’s surface as a blasted wasteland – the image of Catholic Hell. Galileo has been ‘called’ by the residents of one of the planet’s moons – he has to succeed in his own world and time in order for them to survive. By day Galileo's life unfurls, leading inexorably to his trial for heresy. By night, he struggles to be an arbiter in a distant conflict he barely understands. This gloriously thought-provoking novel brings us Galileo as we have always wanted to know him, in full.

With a list of academic laurels and industry awards to his name, Kim Stanley Robinson is a writer of true ‘hard’ science fiction – a spiritual descendant of Jules Verne and closely aligned with Isaac Asimov; he’s known to use proven scientific fact and technology in his highly acclaimed work. He became familiar to SF readers with his Orange County series of books in the mid 1980s – but is perhaps best-known for the Mars trilogy, Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars, the last of which was published in 1996.

If you can't make the event, you can still order a signed hardcover of the book!

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Saturday, 8 August 2009

Twitter as a Dating Site

It’s the weekend. You’re at home, your latest flame having preferred to spend the night with his/her cat rather than paint the town pink with your hawt self. You crack the four-pack, you reach for the DVD… then it strikes you…

You could always try…


After all – shhhh! - what have you got to lose?

So, you need a profile. You find a picture – of yourself is good, funny, (more-or-less) clean (let’s face it, we’re all pretty sick of Britney’s mouthful). A good pic on a dating site ups your hits instantly and Twitter is just the same. The second thing – don’t add numbers to your @name – @bigcock4U may give completely the wrong idea. Rise above the sea of spam and look like an individual.

Then you need to start tweeting. On a dating site, blanket-bombing the closest 500 men/women to your location is unlikely to win you a dream date. Why? Because people like to feel special. Take time, add people individually or in small groups and talk to them. Warmth, accessibility, humanity, humour – all of these things count in your favour. Let’s face it; anyone tweeting from home on a Saturday night is probably conversation-hungry too.

If someone follows you, check their profile; if they’re human, follow them back. The skill to setting a promising date – and a promising twitter profile – is two-way communication (and besides, if people don’t follow me back I always feel like I’m eavesdropping). If their twitterstream is an endless list of links – or indeed if they’re a nubile young lady offering you a webcam – they’re probably not up for conversation.

Be on the lookout for the single-tweet ad-profile and the self-professed social media marketeers who follow 4,000 other self-professed social media marketeers. Much like the local sexual professional who’s on your dating site for business purposes, they’re trying to sell you something you only think you need.

Back to setting up that great first date. If someone on twitter @addresses you, talk back to them. You can check their hawtness rating if you like (after all, no-one said you couldn’t get dates through twitter), but it’s the start of a conversation – and maybe a friendship. (Maybe a coffee, dinner…?) In its earliest days, twitter was a global village, a powerful community… don’t lose sight of that.

Watch your mouth. No, I don’t mean like that – I mean remember that anything you tweet is searchable. We’ve had one lawsuit, don’t be the next one. After all, if your husband/wife/boss finds out exactly what you said about… you get the idea. Stay out of the hot water!

A little self-promotion is forgiven, even expected. By all means, tell people you’re fit, and have a GSOH – be chuffed with your achievements and tweet a link to your latest blog genius. But there are respectful limits – if all you do is talk about how cool you are, you’re not going to impress that hawt date…

…but you will if you ask him/her to talk a little about themselves. You know the drill – good eye-contact is always the cincher. Hard to manage that on twitter, but remember the basics: say ‘thank you’, show appreciation by a retweet or a #followfriday, tweet links to cool shit that you didn’t write. If you want to convince your date you’re interesting and knowledgeable – it’s a sure-fire win!

(Don’t over do it, though, no-one likes an arse-kisser).

This is all pretty facetious, but the core message remains: just because it’s twitter doesn’t mean you can be a twat. Remember that your followers are individuals. They may (possibly) not be a date, but that doesn’t mean you can treat them like a statistic.

(And if you’re still stuck for that date? Get off your sodding arse and go to the pub!)

Oh - and the Harry Potter snogging picture came from this fanfiction site.

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Thursday, 6 August 2009

Mike Carey Signing

MIKE CAREY will be signing The Naming of the Beasts: A Felix Castor Novel at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Thursday 10th September 6 -7pm

Mike Carey is an extremely popular and well-respected author who has written on several top comics titles such as Lucifer as well as the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.

The Naming of the Beasts is the fifth in the Felix Castor series, where Castor comes face-to-face with the consequences of his own recklessness. After all, there are only so many times you can play both sides against the middle and get away with it. Now, the inevitable moment of crisis has arrived and it's left him with blood on his hands. So Castor drowns his guilt in cheap whisky, while an innocent woman lies dead and her daughter comatose, his few remaining friends fear for their lives and there's a demon loose on the streets. But not just any demon - this one rides shotgun on his best friend's soul and can't be expelled without killing him. Looks like Felix Castor's got some tough choices to make, because expel the demon he must or all Hell will break loose. Literally ...

If you can't make the event, you can pre-order your signed copy of the book from the Forbidden Planet website!

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Sunday, 2 August 2009

Admiral Rankin's Birthday

He’s the only man I know who can walk into his own signing and demand – no, not tea – but a raygun.

A raygun was exactly what we provided (we’re professionals after all), but when facing the debonair onslaught of one Robert Rankin, I challenge anyone to say, ‘No, Sir, I’m afraid we’re out of stock. Can I interest you in something in a derringer?’

The signing was in Birmingham, made special by the lady who’d driven like a maniac from Leicester – and the gaggle of youfs loitering by the soft porn and ogling the most – erm – tasteful literature they could find.

Once they’d slunk out – to go back to Borstal, one assumes – much hilarity resulted from their choice of educational material.

And much hilarity was exactly what took place at Admiral Rankin’s birthday celebrations last weekend.

Take a boat down the Thames, stuff it full of Pirates, punctuate it with deafening bellows of ‘YARRR!’ at every bridge and much cutlass waving at passing tourists. Throw in a bar, brilliant sunshine and a tight corset, then garnish the whole thing with a live shipboard performance of The Brightonomicon…

…and you have the perfect recipe for craziness.

There was a tragic absence of plank-walking, keel-hauling and hanging from the yard-arm – the free-flowing grog ensured all potential boarding parties remained firmly on the fo’c’sle, even if a few did sway like Cap’n Jack Sparrow. Also swaying rather was the Brightonomicon reading, straying wide of the map and daring a realm of long wigs, short skirts and over-sized Italian sausages – along with much lurid audience participation.

And no power on earth will make me tell the rest of that story.

The pirateship docked in Brentford (where else?) where some of the dastardly crew fell by the wayside, lured by the wiles of eco-traders and watering holes close to the shoreline. The rest of us arrived at Fangio’s bar to celebrate birthdays and Sproutage until eight bells and the last tube home.

Top marks to Sproutlore for a wonderful day – and an unlooked-for reminder of what fandom can achieve with dedication, organisation and a passion for what they do. Not to mention a skull-fetish and a decent pair of bucket boots!

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