Kizuna: Fiction for Japan
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or, based on some quite sensationalist media reporting, spent the last couple of months in a hastily contrived nuclear bunker), you’ll know all about the earthquake and tsunami that contrived to hurl parts of Japan into chaos. If you’ve forgotten, have a look at this video (about halfway down the page). It’s about five minutes of your time, and starts in a small town next to river which is flooding due to the tsunami in questions. The video lasts about five minutes, and is a slow, hypnotic affair. Only by the end do you really realise that during your five minutes of downtime, during which you could perhaps have boiled a kettle for a cup of tea, you’ve just watched a whole town being wiped from the face of the earth, in real time. Five minutes. It’s terrifying. Anyway, as victims of other catastrophes worldwide know, when the media lose interest and leave, and the eyes of the world are directed elsewhere, the support that was immediately apparent during the aftermath can dry up. Because these things take time to fix (devastated lives and livelihoods not being the sort of thing you can stick a plaster on), the agencies helping can be stretched to breaking point for months and years afterwards.
This book is a genuine attempt to help them. I can’t announce the finished list of contributors yet, because it’s still being compiled (but yes, there are enough big names to go around) but this book is a special something from which all all profits will go to the Japanese Red Cross, who are doing a hell of a job, with diminishing resources. We think we can lend a hand with the latter, by asking you to pay for something that will give you genuine pleasure. More soon, but my contribution to this anthology is called ‘Sharan Gali’. It’s set in India, and is about old gods fallen on hard times, and auto-rickshaw drivers. There are dozens of reasons to buy this book, and I’ll keep you informed. You have early notice, because while all we authors can ‘tap our fanbases’, I’d rather you didn’t buy it in dribs and drabs. If you do so within a day or so of each other, we could see a big, helpful spike of sales on the likes of Amazon, which will make people who’ve never heard of the book look twice at it, and might help to make a lot of money for people who need it. You have been warned.
Wildthyme in Purple
As Obverse Books have gone live with the list of contributors for this forthcoming anthology on various forums, I can happily alert you to the fact that I’m in it. I had a ball playing with Iris Wildthyme and Panda when I wrote ‘The Story Eater’ for Iris: Abroad last year, and I feel very privileged to be allowed a second shot at extending her adventures. Where exotic locales were the theme of the last volume, this one is inspired by pulp fiction (purple prose – geddit?). I’ll keep the title of my tale to myself just now, if for no other reason than it may change as I write the story, but it’s set in America, lets me revisit a childhood televisual joy, and is very close indeed to the heart of pulp fiction. If you’ve yet to step onto Iris’s big, red, time-travelling double decker bus, pop by the Obverse website for one of the previous collections, or check out her mass market novel Enter Wildthyme, penned by her creator Paul Magrs. In particular, if you’re my mother, or a friend who finds my horror scribblings too much for your palate, my Wildthyme efforts, like my sole entry in the Doctor Who canon, might be right up your street. Now… to write the actual story.
World Horror Convention Schedule
Actually, as I’m not launching anything, I don’t have a schedule as such. However, if you’re going and want to hook up for a beer, there are some events I’ll definitely being trying to get to. On Thursday, I’ll be enjoying the opening ceremonies, so look out for me there. I’ll very likely be at Gary McMahon’s reading for the launch Swallowed by the Cracks by Dark Arts Books from 1pm on the Friday. I’m also likely to be found on the crowd at Gene O’Neill’s Bad Moon Books launch for Not Fade Away. I will also definitely be at the Cutting Block Press party, being held in honour of the launch of Tattered Souls 2. As one of the contributors to the numerically inferior Tattered Souls a couple of years back, I’m looking forward to getting a look at the second volume. Other than those, I’ll be playing things by ear, but grab me if you see me. I’ll be packing up today, and heading out late tomorrow, so things will be quiet(er) here in the interim.