Diane Severson reviews Russell Jones' anthology Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK at the Amazing Stories website, and reads two of my poems. She also discusses Russell's award-nominated chapbook, Spaces of Their Own.
The Skinny has now published my personal appreciation of novelist Iain (M.) Banks online. Kate Copeland's fine illustration accompanies the article.
The Spring edition of the Journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women's Health was published today, once again ahead of schedule. Featuring the usual range of both clinical and more general material, this issue is the first to be edited by Amanda Savage and Wendy Rarity, who are beginning their three-year term in post. This issue features a number of contributions derived from presentations at the 2012 ACPWH Annual Conference.
I completed correcting the proofs of Charles Stross's The Revolution Trade today. This is the third and final omnibus edition in the reprint of his Merchant Princes series. I was asked to proof-read the books and provide editorial oversight. In total the whole series amounts to over 600,000 words! I can also officially confirm that Charles will be writing a follow-up series, which will be published from 2015.
"Love Is the Most Dangerous Thing: Gender and Genocide in the Weird Fiction of C. L. Moore" and "The Last Musketeer: Clark Ashton Smith and the Weird Marriage of Poetry and Pulp". These are my contributions to Critical Insights: Weird Fiction edited by Professor Gary Hoppenstand for US publisher Salem Press. I previously wrote an essay on Harlan Ellison and Cormac McCarthy for an earlier volume in the Critical Insights series.
I was delighted to take part in the launch of Russell Jones' anthology Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK this evening. The event was held at Blackwell's Bookshop in Edinburgh, and thanks go to the wonderful Ann Landmann for organising it. The writers performing tonight included Edinburgh Makar Ron Butlin, Andy Jackson, Pippa Goldschmidt, Alan Riach, Claire Askew and Ken MacLeod. My friends Jane McKie and Andrew C. Ferguson were there too, and the three of us read our collaborative poem "Lost Worlds".The Hydrogen Sonata was published in The Scotsman today. This is the latest novel in the Culture series, and I describe it as "jam-packed with the extraordinary invention that epitomises Banks’ science fiction". You can read the complete review here.
Journal of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists has been published. At 170 pages, this is the largest issue yet published. Highlights include a major systematic reviews. This edition also features a variety of other essential clinical papers and case reports, as well as the usual regular features.
I have written a review of The Hydrogen Sonata, the new Culture novel by Iain M. Banks, which will be printed in The Scotsman in the next couple of weeks. I will announce the publication of this piece when it comes out, but in the meantime, you can read an extract from the book here.
Split Screen event at the Callendar Poetry Weekend. Hosted by editor Andy Jackson, this lively reading was accompanied by a slide show. Other performers included Angela Topping, Robin Cairns, Sally Evans as well as Andy himself, of course. I read both my poems from the book and the splendid "Orange" by Adam Horovitz.Three of my speculative poems will be reprinted in Russell Jones' forthcoming anthology Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK. Published by Penned in the Margins at the end of this year, the book features luminaries such as Ron Butlin, Ken MacLeod and the late, great Edwin Morgan. I will be appearing and performing at the Edinburgh launch at Blackwell's Bookshop on South Bridge on Thursday 29 November, and this will be followed by an event in London on 6 December.I performed at Illicit Ink's show in the Edinburgh International Book Festival's Unbound strand tonight. Held at the glorious Guardian Spiegeltent in Charlotte Square Gardens, "Magic Words" combined spoken-word, storytelling and stage magic. Orchestrated by Barbara Melville and compèred by Gavin Inglis, the event featured writers and stage magicians including Lynsey May, Doug Segal, Catriona Silvey, Declan Dineen, Andrew C. Ferguson, Professor Richard Wiseman and Ariadne Cass-Maran. I performed a new story called "Now You See It". A four-star review has been published in The Skinny.
Journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women's Health was published today, once again just over two weeks ahead of schedule. Featuring the usual range of both clinical and more general material, this issue is the last to be edited by Kathleen Vits and Linda Boston, who are stepping down now that they have completed their three-year term in post. Wendy Rarity and Amanda Savage will now take over as editors, and I look forward to working with them.
series, having contributed an essay on Harlan Ellison and Cormac McCarthy to an earlier volume.Writers' Bloc at the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature's "Lost World Read" in 2009. The story will be included in Canadian publisher EDGE's Challenger: New Worlds, Lost Places, edited by Jeff Campbell and Charles Prepolec. You can see a sneak preview of the cover, which is based on my story, by Oscar-winning special effects make-up artist Dave Elsey here.
A new story of mine is now available free online at the website of Eggplant Literary Productions. In fact, "Yggdrasil" is more properly a fragment of a non-existent longer work... As editor Raechel Henderson explains: "Inspired by such fantasy libraries as those found in Robin McKinley’s Beauty and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, Eggplant Literary Productions presents Miscellanea: A Transdimensional Library. The shelves will be filled with books of the other: books that have never existed and that haven’t been written yet. What I am looking for are excerpts from such books."
I performed at this month's 10RED poetry performance evening at The Persevere in Leith. Hosted by the estimable and indefatigable Kevin Cadwallender, the 10RED events feature 10 poets reading for 10 minutes each. I was pleased to be part of an excellent night featuring Elspeth Murray, Tracey S. Rosenberg and Ali Maloney, among others.National Flash Fiction Day. The Scottish event was held at The Bongo Club in Edinburgh, and featured 27 writers reading their own work, including Gavin himself, and other members of Writers' Bloc such as Andrew C. Ferguson, Jane McKie and myself. Paul F. Cockburn reviewed the event for the Scottish Review of Books. Seth McAnespie's pictures of the proceedings can be viewed here.Weaponizer Magazine, published today, includes two pieces by me: an exclusive interview with author China Miéville and my tale of a grammatical apocalypse, "The Full Stop at the End of the Line". Also featured are new stories by C. Brian Hickey, Aaron Jacobs and Will Couper.Journal of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists has been published. At 140 pages, this is almost as large as the Autumn 2011 issue, which was the biggest yet. Highlights include two original literature reviews, a reprint of an important paper on paradoxes in acupuncture research by outgoing AACP President Helene Langevin et al. and a fascinating interview with Professor Langevin. This edition also features a variety of other essential clinical papers and case reports, as well as the usual regular features.
Edinburgh-based spoken-word group Illicit Ink have published an interview with me on their website. I answer questions about writing, editing, performing and my middle initial. Thanks go to Barbara Melville and Tom Moore for taking the time to interrogate me and post the results.
Split Screen edited by Andy Jackson was launched today at StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival. Sadly, I wasn't able to make the launch, but you can read "Merciless", one of my two contributions to this anthology, on the Red Squirrel Press website. As the publisher says, "Split Screen is perfect for anyone who was ever told by their parents that they would get square eyes if they watched too much telly...."
A Sea of Alone: Poems for Alfred Hitchcock has recently received a very positive review from Scott Slemmons on his Hero Sandwich blog, and my contribution to the anthology is one of the poems he singles out for praise. Slemmons describes "crop-duster" as "almost more visual pun than poem, but the only work in the book to make me bust out with delighted, morbid laughter". I'm delighted that my work has had the effect I intended.Satellite 3 science-fiction convention in Glasgow today and was involved in three events. After appearing on the "Perils and Pitfalls of Publishing" panel in the morning, I chaired Guest of Honour Charles Stross' afternoon reading and interview session. Finally, I co-hosted and performed at "Wordsmiths – Readings by Local Writers", a high-octane event featuring Mark Harding, Philip Raines, Elaine Gallagher, Stuart Wallace, Bram Gieben, Tracy Berg and my co-host Neil Williamson. Writer Colum Paget blogged about the convention and reviewed "Wordsmiths" very positively, going so far as to ask: "How are these people not already famous and drowning in money like J. K. Rowling?"
Kevin G. Bufton, proprietor of Cruentus Libri Press and editor of 100 Horrors: Tales of Horror in the Blink of an Eye, has announced that his anthology will be published on 20 February. The Kindle edition will retail at a very reasonable $2.99 and a good old fashioned paperback edition will be available for $9.99. My very short story "From Mrs Bean's Cookbook" is featured alongside ninety-nine other equally brief contributions.I make a fleeting appearance in today's edition of the Scottish Review. Following BBC Scotland's recent description of Robert Burns' "Tam o' Shanter" as "the tale of a man who stayed too long at a pub", editor Kenneth Roy challenged his readers to "summarise other world masterpieces in the same fashion". Two of my three contributions made the short-list of the best entries, which also includes squibs from such worthies as James Robertson and George Gunn. Pleasing as that is, I still retain a fondness for the only one of my dumbed-down capsule descriptions that failed to make the grade. True to the prevailing spirit of absurd reductionism, I thought that Jonathan Swift's A Tale of a Tub could best be referred to as "the tale of a tub".
Journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women's Health was published today, just over two weeks ahead of schedule. This issue boasts a healthy range of both clinical and more general material, and features a number of items related to the 2011 ACPWH annual conference. We were also privileged to be able to reprint an important joint report on the terminology for female pelvic floor dysfunction written by Bernard T. Haylen and his colleagues for the International Urogynecological Association and the International Continence Society.Kevin G. Bufton, editor 100 Horrors, has posted the cover for his forthcoming anthology at the Cruentus Libri Press website. Steve Upham has produced a splendid piece of cover artwork for the project. My very short story "From Mrs Bean's Cookbook" is featured alongside ninety-nine other equally brief contributions. 100 Horrors: Tales of Horror in the Blink of an Eye, to give the anthology its full title, will be published both as an e-book and in print-on-demand format in the next few weeks.Happy Verse Day proved to be a very popular event this evening. There was standing room only at the Pulp Fiction bookshop in Edinburgh, and coffee, tea and cake were enthusiastically consumed as a splendid range of poets read their work. Compère Matt Macdonald kept things bowling along with easy wit and charm. As promised, I read some work inspired by films, including "Merciless". This poem about the Emperor Ming, Flash Gordon's nemesis, will be published soon in Split Screen edited by Andy Jackson. Despite a heavy cold and some dental work earlier in the day, I managed to make my words comprehensible to the packed house!
I will be appearing at Illicit Ink's Happy Verse Day on Wednesday 18 January. This event "promises poems to lift the spirits" and will be held at the Pulp Fiction bookshop in Edinburgh from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. The performers will include Claire Askew, Sophia Walker and Andrew C. Ferguson, and the night will be compèred by poet Matt Macdonald. I will be reading some of my film-inspired verse, so expect a preview of "Merciless", which will appear in Split Screen edited by Andy Jackson in the spring.