Tuesday, 18 December 2012

SFX Review The Houses In Between

SFX Magazine has just reviewed my The Confessions of Dorian Gray episode, The Houses In Between, and I am both gobsmacked and overwhelmed by how utterly fantastic it is.
Reviewer Alasdair Stuart says of my audio play:
"The Houses In Between is a short, clever, wonderfully nasty piece of London gothic, which continues the strong course this series has already set. Packed with chilling imagery and a great central premise, it’s one of the best stories Big Finish has put out in 2012. Trust me, you’ll never look at musical hall theatre the same way again."
You can read the full review on the SFX website HERE.

Monday, 17 December 2012

New Book Day (Part 2)

Look what arrived over the weekend - a box full of Resurrection Engines, the first in a range of anthologies I am editing for UK publisher Snowbooks.

And like all of Snowbooks' publications, it looks absolutely fantastic!

The book was published on December 1st and is available to buy in paperback from all good high street bookshops or online at places such as Amazon and Waterstones.

Work is already well underway for Anthology II which this time will be Horror and contain brand new stories from some very exciting names.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Another Archangel Review

Another lovely review for my Blake's 7 novel Archangel has appeared online over on the Suite 101 review site.

This time reviewer Steve Rogerson says that the "novel is a pleasant mix of horror, adventure and humour that retains the essence of the original TV show. The characterisation is good; he has Vila down to a tee." He rounds it off by saying that the book is "a very enjoyable addition to the Blake’s 7 canon."

You can read the review in full HERE.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Big Finish Audio Play - Blake's 7: Epitaph

Spent a very frustrating day yesterday unable to get online due to my broadband connection being down all day long (apparently it was a nationwide problem, or so the recorded message on the Virgin Media helpdesk told me), but this was more than made up for by the exciting news that greeted me this morning.

Big Finish announced on their news page yesterday the line-up for the Volume 4 box set of their Blake's 7: Liberator Chronicles, and I'm delighted to say that it will include my audio play Epitaph.

My story stars the fabulous Sally Knyvette and will concern itself with Jenna's troubled past and, more importantly, her family. The story also features the brilliant Michael Keating as Vila who, along with Jenna, inadvertantly get's embroiled in unfinished business when answering a spaceship distress call.

As you can imagine, the script was an absolute joy to write (especially as both Jenna and Vila are two of my favourite characters) and I'm very proud that my story will be the first Liberator Chronicle to feature Jenna Stannis! Personally I can't wait for next May when it'll be released on CD in a fab looking box set with two other stories.

Here's the details:

"Sally Knyvette, who plays former smuggler Jenna Stannis, and Stephen Greif, who plays Blake’s mortal enemy Travis, are joining the cast of Blake’s 7: The Liberator Chronicles for the fourth volume, out in May 2013.

Blake's 7 was created by Terry Nation (who also created the Daleks for Doctor Who) and ran for four years on BBC TV. It focused on a team of resistance fighters aboard their advanced ship the Liberator, who battle the corrupt forces of the Federation. The Liberator Chronicles is a series of enhanced audiobooks that is being released in a licence deal with B7 Media.

The Volume 4 box set opens with Promises by Nigel Fairs, in which telepath Cally (Jan Chappell) forces Blake’s enemy Travis (Stephen Greif) to confront a secret from his past – a secret that involves them both…

Epitaph is written by Scott Harrison, and stars Sally Knyvette as Jenna and Michael Keating as Vila. When Jenna and Vila answer a distress signal, they begin a journey that will lead to the surviving members of Jenna’s family.

Finally, in Kerr by Nick Wallace, Servalan hopes to gain an insight into the crew of the Liberator by creating a clone of Kerr Avon. But can the clone be trusted? Jacqueline Pearce stars as Servalan, and Paul Darrow as Avon.

Volume 4 of The Liberator Chronicles will be released in May 2013. Volumes 1 and 2 are one sale now, with Volume 3 available in February 2013.

A range of new Blake’s 7 novels is also available: The Forgotten by Mark Wright and Cavan Scott, and Archangel by Scott Harrison are on sale now."

You can read the news page HERE, and you can pre-order Volume 4 either on CD or as an mp3 download HERE.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Archangel Reviewed!

This first review for my Blake's 7 novel Archangel has appeared online today, on the Sf and fantasy review site SciFi Bulletin.

It's an absolutely lovely review, giving my book a cracking 7/10 star rating! Reviewer Paul Simpson says of the book:

"There’s also a horror element added in: it’s safe to say that this story pushes the envelope of what would have been transmitted at 7.20 p.m. Harrison builds the atmosphere around the recipients of Project Archangel so that the final act is very powerful."

You can read the full spoiler-free review HERE.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Next Big Thing Guest - Gary Russell

Last week I took part in the Next Big Thing blog-a-thon (see previous entry) and one of the five brilliant writers I tagged at the end was a certain Mr Gary Russell. His work includes author of over a dozen Doctor Who and Torchwood novels, comic strip writer, script editor on Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures and the new audio series The Confessions of Dorian Gray, as well as acting in such fab 70s and 80s film/television as The Famous Five, The Phoenix in the Carpet, Dark Towers and Octopussy!

As Gary doesn't have his own blog I have invited him to run riot on mine for today! Some might say that was a silly thing to do...you decide!
What is the working title of your next book?

At the mo it's called Bernice Summerfield and the Splinter of the Mince Pies - but I suspect that'll change, because crap Star Wars jokes are so passé these days (and Disney might sue) :-) But I'm doing my first ever proper Benny novel (my one and only Virgin Benny NA was about Jason - Benny was in about three pages of it!) This features Benny and the lovely Jack. At the same time, I'm also starting work on a non-genre novel that's been in my head for years. That has no title as yet.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The Benny book is just a fun romp really - so no one thing sparked it off, I just wanted to write something with spaceships, rayguns and giant chefs. The non-genre one is inspired by memory, the loss of it and identity. Themes I'm very interested in. How do we survive through amnesia?

What genre does your book fall under?

It's just a contemporary thriller. At the moment. God help me if I get bored and put spaceships and rayguns in that, too.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Ha! My Benny will be "cast" as I go along, other than seeing Lisa Bowerman and David Ames in my head obviously. My memory book will star whoever I most fancy on telly at the time :-)

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

1) Bernice Summerfield realises she should never enter a pie-eating contest, no matter how high the prize "or cash-amount" is.

2) Memory is a funny thing. Until you lose it. Then it's not funny at all.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

All go through my agent. The Benny book will be published by Big Finish. The memory book is purely a spec book at the mo.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I haven't started either. But my books generally take four months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Well, all my Doctor Who books are very "me" so the Benny one will appeal to those who like my stuff and be reviled by the vast majority who don't. The memory book is a whole new departure for me, an attempt to stretch myself out of my comfort zone and see if I can actually write, rather than write within the confines of established shared universes.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Benny - the desire to do one, simple as that. The memory book, it's just been in my head, burning away since 1998. I *have* to do it, get it out of my system.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It's not got any spaceships and rayguns in it.

To continue the blog chain Gary is nominating; Kathy Sullivan, John Richards, Xanna Eve Chown and Zan Christensen.

A huge thank you to Gary for taking the time out to take part in the Next Big Thing blog. I'm looking forward to reading both of those books!

And now...normal service will resume.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Next Big Thing

Last week Cavan Scott (a writer with many fingers in many pies) rather kindly tagged me in the Next Big Thing, which has been referred to variously online as a ‘blog chain’, a ‘tag-athon Q&A’ and even a ‘pass-it-on interview’.

Whatever you care to call it, the idea is that you answer ten questions about the current project you’re working on and then keep the ‘chain’ going by tagging five more writers who will answer the same ten questions and then pass it on again...

So, anywho, without further ado, here are my answers -

What is the working title of your next book?
The novel I’m working on right now is called The Horus Engines, and will be the first book in a brand new series called Tales Of The Iron War.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It actually developed while I was writing a short story, The God Of All Machines, for an anthology I recently edited for Snowbooks called Resurrection Engines. As I was writing the story I realised that I was creating this epic back-story in my head, an entire war with a steam-driven alien invader that had lasted for thirty-one years (1914-1945) which was just screaming to be told. The short story itself flits back and forth between two time periods - the beginning of the war and a number of years after its end - so very little of the war iself is actually presented. That's when I started thinking, wouldn't it be great to have a series of novels telling the story (or, rather, stories) of that war...I could ask other talented Steampunk authors to write for the series too, to see what they'd do with it!
What genre does your book fall under?
Steampunk, only with a ‘BUTtagged on at the end. Sadly I feel that Steampunk as a genre has been rather tragically misused, misrepresented and under-explored of late. There’s a number of novels being released under the ‘Steampunk’ banner which, aside from the occasional mention of an airship, are really nothing more than Victorian detective novels, or have werewolves and vampires battling it out in late 19th century London – which should really fall under Urban Fantasy. With The Horus Engines I’m intending to push the boundaries a little bit, to really explore what can be done with the genre.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
OK, this is a difficult one. When I’m writing I never actually picture my characters in that way. I know roughly how they look, but it’s very rarely like someone famous.
Oh, alright then, if pushed I’d say that the two Scarlet Council agents Markham Vale and Gaius Creed could be played by John Simm and Adrian Brody respectively. Not least cos it’d be really cool to hang out with them on set.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Gah! I hate writing synopses, no matter the length, but here goes:
"When an archaelogical dig in Egypt in 1907 uncovers an alien crash site, Pharoah Rameses II (a human/machine hybrid clone of the original) unwittingly fires the first shots in the Iron War – thirty-two years later British agents Markham Vale and Gaius Creed are sent to North Africa to infiltrate the country and stop the construction of a fleet of giant space rockets, codenamed the Horus Engines."
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It’s going to be published by Snowbooks in June 2013. From then on 3 books a year in the series will be published.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Hard to say as I’m still writing it. But I’m aiming at having the first draft completed by the beginning of March, so that’ll be between 3 to 4 months. I have several other projects on the go as well, so they all have to be carefully slotted in.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’ve actually stopped reading Steampunk novels since I started working extensively in the genre, but I particularly enjoyed K.W. Jeter’s Morlock Nights and Infernal Devices. I don’t think they can be ‘compared’ to The Horus Engines, but I’d like to think that anyone who enjoyed Jeter’s novels might also enjoy mine.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A combination of a hell of a lot of things, really; the compulsion to write, a love of the Steampunk genre, the fabulous Emma Barnes, being lucky enough over the past year or two to have worked with some of the most talented and generous writers on the planet…trust me, I could go on for hours here.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s an Alternate History/Steampunk reimagining of World Wars I & II, which continue in an ongoing series of novels. Also, the books can be read independently of one another and in any order you choose.
So, there you go. And now all that's left is for me to tag five writers who will answer the same questions next week - over to you chaps:
And the fifth will be Gary Russell who will be guesting on this blog next week!


Monday, 26 November 2012

Starburst Review

It may be Monday morning (not to mention being grey, miserable and peeing it down outside) but the week has started rather brilliantly in my house.

The fab Starburst Magazine has reviewed the complete Series 1 of the new Big Finish audio horror/supernatural series The Confessions of Dorian Gray and they've given it a star rating of 10/10.

I'm absolutely thrilled, not to mention bloody proud, to be a part of this brand new series, and must say a huge thank you to the brilliant Scott Handcock for creating such a wonderful sandbox for all of us writers to play in!

You can read the full review HERE on the Starburst Magazine website.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Reviews & Comments (redux)

Here's a few more lovely comments and reviews of my episode of The Confessions of Dorian Gray from people on twitter and review sites.
"This is excellent. It reminds me in parts of Dark Shadows' equally wonderful London's Burning. Sound design is beautiful, as are the performances. Very eerie story - this is shaping up to be an unmissable series."
"Excellent. Episode 2 even better than the first!"

"Enjoyed this just a touch more then the first episode - think it was the quicker focus on the proper horror elements, although I did enjoy the bits with Wilde last week, they did divert the rest of the story. Still a 9/10 though."

"8/10 for me! This series is shaping up to be absolutely fantastic. I can't wait until next week."
"Episode 2!!! Oh lovely."

"Lovely, lovely spooky stuff. Fabulous voice work and a cameo from Gary!"
"Holy crap @vlavla is killing me in this week’s Dorian Gray!"

"More than the first episode, this is a showcase for Alexander Vlahos: the script by Scott Harrison is powerful (and felt suitably creepy just as words on the page), but Vlahos wraps his voice around the narration."

Thursday, 15 November 2012

New Book Day (Part 1)

Look what the lovely old postman has just delivered - a box chock-full of hardback copies of my Blake's 7 novel Archangel.

The book is released in just two weeks time - November 30th - and can be pre-ordered from the Big Finish website either in hardback or in eBook format here, as well as on Amazon here.

The book will also be available to buy in bookshops and genre shops such as Forbidden Planet and the Who One shop.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Resurrection Engines - Final Paperback Cover

Those talented chaps over at Snowbooks have just sent me the complete, final cover for the paperback release of the Resurrection Engines anthology, and i just wanted to share it with you.

It's absolutely stunning and I can't wait to see it in the flesh. Luckily none of us will have to wait too long as it will be published on December 1st, just three and a half weeks time!

Here's the full ToC:

The Soul-Eaters of Raveloe      by   Alison Littlewood
A Journey To The Centre Of The Moon   by  Alan K. Baker
She-Who-Thinks-For-Herself   by   Juliet E. McKenna
The Great Steam Time Machine   by   Brian Herbert & Bruce Taylor
Silver Selene   by   Philip Palmer
White Fangoria   by   Roland Moore
The God Of All Machines   by   Scott Harrison
The Crime Of The Ancient Mariner   by   Adam Roberts
There Leviathan   by   Jonathan Green
The Island Of Peter Pandora   by   Kim Lakin-Smith
The Ghost Of Christmas Sideways   by   Simon Bucher-Jones
Talented Witches   by   Paul Magrs
Fairest Of Them All   by   Cavan Scott
Tidewrack Medusa   by   Rachel E. Pollock
Robin Hood And The Eater Of Worlds   by   Jim Mortimore

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Reviews & Comments

The second episode of The Confessions of Dorian Gray has only been available to download for 3 days and already the reviews and comments are pouring in on websites and on Twitter. So far they have all been fantastic (honestly, I haven't read a single bad word yet) and I've just been so incredibly bowled over by how well it has been recieved.

Here's what people have been saying so far:
"Second episode of Dorian Gray…Whoa. So Good. I got scared. And then I got emotional. And then I got even more emotional"
"@vlavla (Alexander Vlahos) you've gained a fan, a pitch perfect performance, loved it. @scott_handcock's Dorian Gray is absolutely fantastic! #HousesInBetween"
"Listening to @vlavla second Confessions of Dorian Gray before bed, Fantastic stuff!"
"@bigfinish very encouraged to see 'Series 1' on Confessions of Dorian Gray. Listening to episode 2 before sleep and I'm completely immersed."
"@scott_handcock the new C. of Dorian Gray is as brilliant as the first ! Cant stop singing this song. Look forward to the next. Well done!"
"The Confessions of Dorian Gray from @bigfinish read by @vlavla , Lorna Rose Harris, Rebecca Newman, Gary Russell and James Goss is superb!"
"@vlavla Interesting twist at the end of Merlin tonight :) downloaded 1.2 of Dorian Gray today, loving that also :)"
"Am sitting in park b4 work listening to Confessions of Dorian Gray ep 2. Chills."
"Confessions of Dorian Gray episode 2 is wonderful. Amazing. So good that I subscribed - something that I rarely do!"
"Oh god, The Houses in Between, I’m crying."
"The Houses in Between has assured me that the splendid opening episode was no fluke, and that this is a series being produced with a clear, smart vision. Every aspect is polished and on target; the music in this week's episode was beautiful and haunting. Houses is not quite as potent a package as This World Our Hell, but it's still excellent drama. 8/10."


 Download it HERE

Saturday, 3 November 2012

It's Dorian Gray Day!

November is a very exciting month for me - not only does it see the publication of my Blake's 7 novel Archangel in hardback on the 30th, but today sees the release of the first of the audio plays I've written for Big Finish!

The brilliant new horror series The Confessions of Dorian Gray began last week with a creepy little story set in Paris in the year 1900 with Dorian visiting his old friend Oscar Wilde.

The second episode of the series - The Houses In Between - finds our eponymous (anti) hero living in the heart of blitz-torn London in 1940, where his dark and sorded past is about to catch up with him. The 30 minute audio play costs a mere £2.99 and is available to download in MP3 format right now from the Big Finish website here.

If you enjoy it please download the other 4 episodes in the series (released every week throughout November), all of them penned by some very exciting writers, including David Llewellyn, Gary Russell, Scott Handcock and Joseph Lidster.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Houses In Between - Uncovered

Over on the Big Finish website the covers to the first three episodes of the new horror series The Confessions of Dorian Gray have been revealed, including my episode The Houses In Between -  and it looks brilliant!

"London, 1940. As German bombs begin to fall, Dorian's past starts catching up with him. Something is gathering in the rubble-strewn streets of the capital: something dark, malevolent and all too familiar. Something with a score to settle..."

The series will be available weekly to download from October 27th and can be pre-ordered HERE

Friday, 21 September 2012

Series Trailer

Just a quick post to let you know that the series trailer for The Confessions of Dorian Gray, the new Big Finish horror audio series that I have written for, is now up on their website - and it sounds absolutely fantastic!

For all those interested, here it is -

You can also find it on the pages of each of the five individual episodes HERE (it's the same trailer on each page).

The series will be available to download from end of October, with one episode being released per week! Writers include David Llewellyn, myself, Gary Russell, Scott Handcock and Joseph Lidster, with a Christmas special released later in the year written by Tony Lee.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Dorian Gray Cast

Lorna Rose Harris as Rosina Sawyer and Alexander Vlahos as Dorian Gray
Over on the Big Finish website they've revealed cast details for the forthcoming audio horror series The Confessions of Dorian Gray.

A few weeks ago, during recording of my episode The Houses In Between, the creator / producer of the series, the lovely Scott Handcock, sent me this picture that he'd taken of the cast during a break in recording. Joining Alexander Vlahos as the titular character is the fab Lorna Rose Harris playing cockney songstress Rosina Sawyer.

Also popping up in the episode is the brilliant Gary Russell (script editor of the series) who is playing the character of Alfred! But if you want to know who that is you'll have to wait until October / November when the series is available to download.

All details of the episode (and the series) can be found here where it is also available to pre-order.


Monday, 27 August 2012

Writing For New Big Finish Range

Delighted to see that the first of my audio scripts for Big Finish has finally been announced on their website – this one for a brand new audio horror series called The Confessions of Dorian Gray inspired by the classic novel written by Oscar Wilde.

My script is called ‘The Houses In Between’ and will be the second episode released in October. Here’s the blurb from the Big Finish site:

Big Finish Productions is pleased to announce details for its brand-new audio horror series - The Confessions of Dorian Gray. Inspired by Oscar Wilde's classic story of hedonism and corruption, The Confessions of Dorian Gray imagines a world where Dorian Gray was real, and his friendship with Oscar Wilde spawned the notorious novel.

          The Confessions of Dorian Gray begins with their final encounter in Paris at the dawn of the twentieth century, continuing right through to 2007 and the present day.

          Alexander Vlahos (The Indian Doctor, Privates, and soon to make his debut as Mordred in Merlin) will star as the eponymous antihero.

         'We couldn't have been luckier in the casting of Alex,' says producer Scott Handcock. 'I've worked with him a few times now, and he's one of the most instinctive and exciting actors I've ever seen in studio. He's a real pleasure to work with and has been wonderfully committed to the project from day one! We have demons, romances, possession, ghosts - you name it! All of which offer fascinating glimpses into the mindset of Dorian Gray. And Alex has most certainly risen to the challenge!'

          A series of five half-hour episodes will be available to download weekly from October this year (priced £2.99 each or £12.99 for the series) and has been written by regular Big Finish contributors David Llewellyn, Scott Harrison, Gary Russell, Scott Handcock and Joseph Lidster. A Christmas special will then follow in December.

Here’s the details about my episode:

1.2. The Houses In Between


London, 1940. As German bombs begin to fall, Dorian's past starts catching up with him. Something is gathering in the rubble-strewn streets of the capital: something dark, malevolent and all too familiar. Something with a score to settle...

Written By: Scott Harrison
Directed By: Scott Handcock


Alexander Vlahos  (Dorian Gray)

Note: The Confessions of Dorian Gray contains adult material and is not suitable for younger listeners.


Friday, 17 August 2012

TV Novelisations

I was chatting on Twitter this morning with a few friends about TV novelisations something that’s been on my mind a lot of late, after I found the wonderful Open All Hours book from 1981 by Catherine Sparks (a writer, I’m informed by Stuart Douglas, who also penned one of The Good Life books – something I’m going to have to keep my eye out for!).

This find (in a little second hand book shop on the Yorkshire coast) was a complete surprise to me as until last Saturday I didn’t know it existed. This, naturally, got me wondering about all the other novelisations out there that I’ve no clue about.

Then, yesterday, I stumbled across news of a new Life On Mars novel being released as an eBook in September, and how brilliant it would have been had its cover been a parody of those fantastic 70s/80s paperback covers we used to see – especially those adorning the front of the TV tie-in novels I used to devour when I was growing up.

I’ve already spoken about the heaving book cupboard in our old house growing up which was full of my mother’s books (see here for more details), which became my training ground as both a reader and a writer. One of the things she used to have in there – besides a collection of wonderful old horror and SF titles – was almost the entire collection of James Blish penned Star Trek books and The Professionals series by Ken Blake.

I used to love those novelisations, not least because this was in the days when video hadn’t quite caught on and these books were the only way to relive your favourite TV shows. Even when we did get a video player*1 we only had a handful of The Professionals episodes on tape*2. So reading those books over and over was a good way of keeping the images of those episodes alive in my mind. Star Trek wasn’t as bad as it was repeated every Wednesday evening at 6pm on BBC 2 seemingly throughout the entire 1980s*3.

I guess you could say I caught the novelisation bug off my mother*4, and as I was growing up I used to read these books voraciously. I still remember quite vividly sitting in the living room of a top floor holiday flat in Bridlington during one particular two weeks' holiday, waiting for the rain to pass over; sitting next to my mother reading Star Trek 4 & 10 while she read the novelisation to series 1 of Auf Wiedersehen Pet. When we’d finished we swapped books.

Another time (in a different flat this time, round about 1983, as I remember seeing the trailer for the original V - mini series on the TV in the kitchen) I remember getting back to the flat after a day at the beach with a big bag of fish and chips and reading Terry Nation’s novel of Survivors for an hour or so before an episode of Tales of the Unexpected came on the TV (I was only 9 then and staying up this late was unusual for me, but as it was holiday I was allowed to stay up past 10 and watch it). I remember being creeped out by both the book and the Tales of the Unexpected episode and getting very little sleep that night.

These are all in my own collection now – either the above copies were given to me by my mother or I have replaced them as and when I’ve found them in bookshops.

I have gradually and lovingly built up a nice little collection over the years, scouring second hand and rare books shops for titles like The Sweeney 2: Regan & the Manhattan File by Ian Kennedy Martin, Robin of Sherwood & the Hounds of Lucifer by Robin May, Quatermass by Nigel Kneale (1979 series) and Sapphire & Steel by Peter J. Hammond (a novelisation of Assignment One).

I miss those times when a British TV series almost always used to get an accompanying novelisation, and so, it seems, do most of my writer friends on Twitter. It was a different time back then, when TV was much more than something you’d just sit and stare at, it was something you read about too - in books and comic strips and in the Radio Times. Something that was shown once, repeated, then seemingly gone forever.
I’m just glad that certain TV shows out there today have, or have had, their own range of novels for us to enjoy, such as Doctor Who, Torchwood, Primeval and Being Human, even some making a welcome come back, like Blake’s 7 and Life On Mars. It makes me feel like the tradition of an accompanying TV novelisations is continuing in some form or another.


*1 In 1985. The first thing we ever videoed was episode 4 of ‘V’ the series (actually shown as episode 3 as the real episode 3 was pulled because it was considered too violent – so now the character of Kyle Bates is introduced twice!)

*2 For anyone interested they were: Operation Suzie, Foxhole On The Roof, You’ll Be All Right and Spy Probe.

*3 Until possibly 1988/89, when it became The Invaders and Quantum Leap slot.
*4 Later, I rescued The Professionals books when my mother was throwing away a huge pile of books moving house. They now form part of my collection.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Countdown to November

In this month's issue of Vortex Magazine

Friday, 27 July 2012

Reading and Writing and Stuff

I’ve been a bit silent on the old blog front of late, but with very good reason. I’ve been busy working on a number of exciting projects, which have been taking up my time (did a few rather exhausting 2am – 8am stints during my week’s holiday too, just to meet a couple of deadlines).

I’ve recently finished work on a couple of audio scripts - one SF, the other Horror/Supernatural – both of which should hopefully be announced very soon, as well as completing work on my Blake’s 7 novel for Big Finish.

There are also three short story anthologies which I am both writing for and editing – one Steampunk, one Horror and one of stories all based in the popular seaside town of Scarborough – in various stages of development. The first ‘Resurrection Engines’ which has been delayed for a few weeks due to clashing/heavy work schedules on a number of parties, has now been rescheduled for an August 31st publication in limited edition hardback, then a mass market paperback publication in time for Christmas 2012. The Horror anthology is scheduled for an early Spring 2013 release and the Scarborough book publication has yet to be confirmed.

I’ve also been hard at work creating a new Steampunk ‘shared universe’ novel range for a UK publisher, which I will be range editing and writing the occasional novel for. That’s all the news I can share with you for now, but hopefully will be able to announce all the details for that very, very soon.

There’s also one or two project still in discussion (books and audios) which I hope to get started on very soon, but I’ll drop a few more hints about those when I’m able!

Meanwhile my mountainous pile of To Be Read books gets ever mountainous (and I’m getting shockingly little time to read now adays, which is very frustrating). I have recently got my hands on some very exciting titles, which I can’t wait to read – Kim Stanley Robinson’s ‘2312’ and Juliet Gardiner’s ‘The Blitz’ being two particularly exciting titles!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Thirteen Anthology Update

It’s an exciting time right now as the audio horror anthology Thirteen, the first in the Modern Masters of Audio series, has finally gone into the studio and is currently being recorded.

I was recently sent the first of the finished stories, Gary McMahon’s ‘Down’ and it sounded utterly fantastic - having been beautifully edited and spankingly remastered by the multi-talent Neil Gardner. I can’t wait for everyone to hear the finished anthology.

The portmanteau anthology, which is produced by myself and Neil, is based around the old 1970s horror collection LPs and will contain 13 stories with a linking narration written by myself, and will feature a host of exciting guest names reading the short tales of horror and suspense. Those who we can reveal so far are:

- Frances Barber
- Lalla Ward
- Jeff Harding
- Greg Wise
- Trevor White
- Stephen Rashbrook

The 13 stories will consist of the following:

Side A
01 - Dead Space  by  George Mann
02 - A Girl, Sitting  by  Mark Morris
03 - Finding The Path  by  Kaaron Warren
04 - The Hairstyle of the Devil  by  Martin Day
05 - Down  by  Gary McMahon
06 - Visions  by  Cavan Scott
07 - Half Life  by  Dan Abnett

Side B
08 - With Her In Spirit  by  Stephen Gallagher
09 - Tabula Rasa  by  Alasdair Stuart
10 - One Hit Wanda  by  Kim Newman
11 - A Glass of Water  by  Mark Wright
12 - Ghost Pit  by  Simon Clark
13 – I Wish  by  Johnny Mains
     - Hidden Track  (linking narration)    by Scott Harrison

The anthology will be available later in the year as an mp3 download from Ladbroke Productions, with a planned CD release appearing hopefully at a later date.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Resurrection Engines - The Cover

I’m so pleased to finally be able to share with you the cover for the Steampunk anthology I am editing for UK publishers Snowbooks. Designed by the multi-talented Emma Barnes, it really is stunning, and such fun to look at!

The anthology will feature sixteen brand new stories from some of the most exciting names writing in genre fiction today, and will be Steampunk ‘reimaginings’ or ‘retellings’ of classic works of literary fiction. Below is a list of the authors contributing to the book, along with their chosen literary work.

Unfortunately, due to a conflicting work schedule George Mann has had to reluctantly drop out of the anthology, instead we have the wonderful Jonathan Green, author of the Pax Britannica novels, joining us on the anthology. Although it’s such a shame to lose a fabulous author like George, we’re all absolutely thrilled to have Jonathan with us instead!

"Resurrection Engines: Sixteen Extraordinary Tales of Scientific Romance" will be published in hardback on June 30th, then released in paperback in time for Christmas!

01 - Brian Herbert & Bruce Taylor    (H.G. Wells)
02 - Lavie Tidhar   (Alice in Wonderland)
03 - Adam Roberts   (Rime of the Ancient Mariner)
04 - Philip Palmer  (Wilkie Collins)
05 - Juliet E. McKenna   (H. Rider Haggard)
06 – Jonathan Green   (Moby Dick)
07 - Alan K. Baker   (Journey to the Centre of the Earth)
08 – Roland Moore  (White Fang)
09 - Scott Harrison     (Jekyll & Hyde)
10 - Alison Littlewood  (Silas Marner)
11 - Jim Mortimore  (Robin Hood)
12 – Cavan Scott   (Snow White)
13 – Kim Lakin-Smith  (Peter Pan / The Island of Doctor Moreau)
14 – Paul Magrs    (Wuthering Heights)
15 – Simon Bucher-Jones   (A Christmas Carol)
16 – Rachel E. Pollock   (Treasure Island)