One pleasant thing about visiting Scotland was the sunny weather. You might imagine that, living in India, the last thing I’d enjoy would be more sun. While there’s an element of that, the sun in India during summer is too hot to indulge, and in practice you spend your life moving quickly from one air-conditioned building to another rather than hanging about outside. In Scotland, it was hot enough for proper walking about, but not too hot, if you see what I mean.
Just picked up my mail today, and among many splendid books, I discovered my contributor copy of Dark Faith. I knew it was a packed anthology, but had no idea it was quite as weighty looking as this – very impressive. I’m already reading the book on my iPhone, thanks to the fantastic app of the book (which is cheap too), but there’s nothing like paper. If this one slipped your mind, check this review and have a think about whether you can really be without it on your shelf. Once read, you can also use it as a handy burglar-clubbing tool in case of emergencies.
I was also pleased to see that while I was away, more advance reviews appeared for Hiram Grange and the Nymphs of Krakow. Anton Cancre reckons it’s effortlessly entertaining, calling it “snappy, punchy and unafraid to be a bit rough in the sack” over on his Pustule Oozings site, which is not a bad thing to hear. Kurt Criscione also enjoyed it, declaring it to be the Bruce Willis movie of the series due to the physical pounding Hiram staggers through from the very opening of the book, and demanding that the story doesn’t finish here (we’re working on it, though people have to buy these ones first). Andrew Monge at the Horror Drive-In also had a good time with the book, and the way it sets up future Hiram tales.
As you’d imagine, it’s a relief to see that early readers are enjoying the book. I hope it’s enough to make you take a breath, and pre-order it from the publisher. Pre-orders are a good thing. The more the publisher gets, the more confident he feels that investing his time and money in my writing was a good thing to have done, and that does only good things for my professional reputation. This is the case for anthologies too, but on this occasion I’m not one of several authors, many better known than me, that the publisher can use to sell the book. It’s my name on the cover, nobody else’s, so the book stands or falls on that. As such, I hope you’ll forgive the barrage of Hiram information and inducements to buy that you’ll get here and elsewhere. If you’re going to buy the book at all, particularly if you’re in America, please do consider plonking your $7.99 down now, rather than waiting for the post-publication Amazon listing.
To close for the day, although squeezing it in as an ‘and finally’ end-of-news sort of way doesn’t quite do it justice, there’s Iris Wildthyme. Originally created by Paul Magrs, this drunken transtemportal adventuress moved into several Doctor Who adventures before getting bored and wandering off for more of her own tales. In her full length audio adventures, she’s voiced by the lovely Katy Manning. In her print incarnations she’s scribed by numerous fine folk, many of them luminaries from the good Doctor’s tales. She travels through time, space, and the icky bits in between in a double decker bus that’s slightly smaller on the inside than the out. Her best friend and constant companion is a pompous talking stuffed panda bear, called Panda.
Iris Wildthyme and her universe are, basically, as mad as a box of frogs. I mention her here because her publisher Obverse Books have announced the line-up of their third Iris short story collection, Iris: Abroad, and it includes my short story ‘The Story Eater’. It’s due in November as a beautiful little hardback, so watch this space.
Trust me, unless you’ve met Iris and Panda before, this is going to be like nothing you’ve ever read…
Tagged box of frogs, contributor copies, Dark Faith, doctor who, hiram grange, iphone, iris wildthyme, iris: abroad, nymphs of krakow, obverse books, panda, paul magrs, review, sandboys, the story eater, transtemporal