New review!

In case you’d forgotten, The High King’s Vengeance is on the long list for the David Gemmell Legend Award this year. (I’m sure you haven’t forgotten, really.)

(It’s also eligible for the British Fantasy Awards, if you enjoyed it and are that way inclined, but you need to hurry because the extension for voting runs out tomorrow.)

And because you should always start the week the way you mean to carry on, there’s a wonderful, gosh-I’m-embarrassed review of HKV on Goodreads from Teresa Edgerton, whose Goblin Moon and Hobgoblin Night set the high standard for elegance and Regency-style fantasy of manners back in the 1990s (and which are now available once more from Tickety Boo Books, and yes you should buy them). The full review is linked here, but this paragraph is probably why the cat is looking at me funny right now:

But what makes this book special, I believe, is the characters, who are well-drawn, many-sided, and believable. Even those we thought we knew reveal new sides of themselves under the press of circumstances, and Poore handles these developments so well that none of it seems too convenient or too contrived, but rather the inevitable outcome of who these people truly are, their past experiences, and the choices they face.

No pressure for the ongoing project AoT1 then, eh? 🙂

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365 Days of Listening to Michael Buble

It’s that time of year when people look back and decide how shite 2011 really was. Folks, it’s really on a knife-edge this year. So here’s my 2p. Your mileage, as they say, may vary. And yes, other cheese-encrusted chicken-inna-basket will-this-do lounge singers are available.

Good Stuff

  • Moving from Meadowhall. Nuff said.
  • AltFiction. What a blast of a weekend that was. Just like last year, merely being there reinvigorated my writing. Helpful panels, enthusiastic and friendly people, old friends and new – and a bumper helping of books that I still haven’t managed to get through yet.
  • Journey times. Yes, commuting to Barnsley isn’t that interesting in itself. But I’ve been introduced to the joys of Big Finish’s range of Dr Who audio plays. Specifically, the Paul McGann ones. And they really are good fun. Especially the one where the Daleks start quoting Shakespeare… “We defy augury!”
  • Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer. Superstar. Need I say more?
  • Girl Genius. Somehow I managed to read through all 11 volumes on t’interwebs this year. Spot-on humour, and buxom ladies. What else could a man want?
  • Dice. d20, d6, d12 – even the poor old d4 got a workout this year. All credit to Rich, Lou and the rest of the crew for unwittingly assisting in the creation of a part of the backstory of Malessar’s Curse. Pelicos the Multi-Named wouldn’t be there otherwise. “Hang on – powdered dragon??”
  • SSFFWG. Darren, Jo, Steve and everybody else who helped me keep my sanity.
  • Excellent nights out: Ben Folds at the Academy, PIL at the Corporation, the Magic Band at the Leeds Irish Club. And the Boy With Tape on his Face.
  • Books: Paul Kearney, Stephen Sweeney, Juliet McKenna, and an eclectic assortment of history & SFF from The Works.
  • Sherlock.
  • Mrs Egg. Of course. 🙂

And the bad:

  • Financial journalists, and their insane desire to see HMV (as well as the rest of the High Street) go bust. Who pays these fools – Asda? Probably. I’m surprised Peston doesn’t have a greengrocer’s apron around his waist sometimes.
  • Cameron & Clegg. Obviously. Robbing the poor to pay the rich, closing essential public services, and turning Britain into a medieval state where 90% of the population have neither money, job, nor the ability to read & write. Cheers, chaps. Why aren’t you dead yet?
  • X-Factor. Obviously. Why aren’t they all dead yet?
  • The Write Agenda. Book-burning? A good idea? Oh dear. Proof indeed that there’s no hope for humanity. Why aren’t you dead yet?
  • 99% of idiots on TV. The Only Wankers are In Essex. You aren’t celebrities. Why aren’t you dead yet?

Obviously, all the good things are quite personal & specific. All the bad things are more global. You take the good stuff wherever you can. Now let’s see how 2012 compares…