Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bull Running for Girls by Allyson Bird

Just finished reading:

Believe everything you may have heard about Allyson Bird’s debut collection Bull Running for Girls (Screaming Dreams Press, 2008), folks: this collection of adventure-horror tales is a stunning, absorbing read. The stories blend together seamlessly to create a unique travelogue style, mixing in supernatural horror and suspense, terror and tragedy. The twenty-one stories take in such locations as Pamplona (for the title story), Madison County, U.S., Hong Kong, the Silk Road in China, Bordeaux, Pompeii and more. So hard to pick a favourite story (they are all equally enchanting), but the highlights for me were ‘The Conical Witch’, ‘The Sly Boy Bar and Eatery’, ‘In a Pig’s Ear’, ‘Blood in Madness Ran’ and the longest story, ‘Silence is Golden’, all of which left me with the most amazing images in my mind long after having finished reading them.

The book is dedicated to Ally’s mother and her sister who both passed away recently, and it’s a wonderful tribute to them and to Ally as a writer that the book is filled with true heart and emotion. The book has been so popular they sold out of all copies at FantasyCon last year and had to order a second print run. I am very excited to hear that Ally is working on a novel. Judging by this glowing debut, it will be one to look out for.
To pick up your copy, contact Ally at: http://www.birdsnest.me.uk/
Cover art by Vincent Chong.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Jupiter SF #23 Out Now!

From the website: "Issue 23 of Jupiter: Kalyke is out now! This issue features 5 stories. The Weight of Shadows by Lee Moan, The Darken Loop by Huw Langridge (this is a follow on from Huws story The Ceres Configuration which was featured way back in issue 4), Thicker Than Water by Ian Sales, The Rule of Law by Elaine Graham-Leigh (a prequel to her story The Blue Man's Burden from issue 18), Notes from the Apocalypse by Michael Pepper and finally a short The Bridge of the Compass Rose by John Rogers."

The cover is by yours truly.

If you wish to purchase a copy of this issue, or any of the back issues of Jupiter SF, go here: http://www.jupitersf.co.uk/index.htm
Jupiter SF costs £2.75 for a single issue.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Hotel Galileo to be published in 2009

Well, I'm still stunned, excited, delirious. After a polite query to Carol Hightshoe at Wolfsinger Press asking about the status of my short novel submission, 'The Hotel Galileo', I received a reply offering me a contract for publication! I was so excited about this I couldn't sleep Sunday night. Woke up for work this morning completely knackered and wondering if I'd imagined it! But no, it's true. Carol said the book was scheduled to be released "sometime in 2009" as a paperback edition as well as an eBook version for Kindle etc. The paperback will be available to buy through Amazon.com.

This is the culmination of two, maybe three years' work. The Hotel Galileo is, so far, one of the most enjoyable writing expereinces I've had so far. I really did have a ball writing it, and it was one of the first times I finished a project and was able to read it back over and feel really proud of it. (I've written several other novels prior to this which remain in a drawer and shall never see the light of day!)

So, what's it all about?

'The Hotel Galileo' is a murder mystery set in an alternate version of the Roaring Twenties where Mankind has ventured out into the stars. The action takes place on board the famed space hotel of the title, where an alien dignitary is murdered shortly after arrival. It is up to Barclay Heath, "one of the greatest detective mind's in the known universe", to see through the web of lies and subterfuge and uncover the deadly plot and the mystery which lies at the heart of the Hotel Galileo.

What else can I say? It's got dancehalls and flappers and the costumes of the Roaring Twenties all set in the plush surroundings of a steam-powered space hotel. It's a whodunnit, a whydunnit, a locked-room mystery with hidden chambers, unexpected twists and ancient alien mysticism.

And it's coming soon...