Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Short story: ALT.FAN (part three of three)

Guys, here is the conclusion. Missed parts one and two? Go back and read those babies - they're going nowhere sharpish.

BTW, this story scored an "honourable mention" in the "Year's Best Fantasy and Horror" a few years back. To be honest I would have preferred a dishonourable mention, but I ain't complaining.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Short story: ALT.FAN (part two of three)

I posted part two of my short story Read it here.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Short story: ALT.FAN (part one of three)

I've put up a new short story on my myspace blog. Actually it's a few years old, from back in the days when I used to write about relatively normal things. But I like it anyway. This is part one. The other bits tomorrow and Wednesday.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

New short story on myspace next week

Yes, it is true. I will put up new short story on my myspace page next week, just like it says in the title. Actually it's not new at all, being in fact six years old (and originally published in the defunct Roadworks magazine). This one is called, and I'll post it in three parts. In some ways it's a bit dated because it's about a bygone time in terms of internet culture (being so old), but I'm hoping it will hold up. Yeah, it will.

So come back next Monday for episode one!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I've jazzed up my website a bit. Hardly anything at all really but it makes you feel like you've made an effort. Anyway, one bit I've added is a thingio so people can join my mailing list. Do you fancy it? All it means is you'll get the occasional, highly entertaining newsletter from me saying that I've got a new book out, or perhaps that I'm standing for parliament or something. The thingio in question is on the front page. Give it a go. I'd appreciate it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another one bites the dust

Alas, poor Bullet. I knew him, dear reader. A magazine of infinite style, and most excellent fiction.

I hate it when small press magazines fold. I got into writing through mags similar to Bullet (most of which have now folded), and without them the world of publishing seems like a dim and distant netherworld that only celebrities and exceptionally bland but photogenic "writers" can ever reach. Writers like me - a bit fleabitten perhaps but interested in pushing the boat out and walking down less familiar avenues of fiction - we have to take whatever opportunities we can to get published. And the loss of Bullet is one less opportunity. Do you know what? I had a story to send Mr Jeffrey as well.

Anyone want to publish a story? It may not be photogenic but it sure ain't bland.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Serie Noire

In 1945 the French publisher Gallimard brought out a line in crime fiction books called La Serié Noire. This imprint published such greats as Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammet, Chester Himes and Jim Thompson. It didn't just publish them, but it championed them and went a long ways towards supporting them and making them part of the crime canon. La Serie Noire is probably the most famous publishing house in crime fiction, and I am honoured beyond all description to have a book scheduled for publiction by them. This is like signing for Real Madrid! No, no... not Real Madrid. This is like signing for LA Galaxy!

LES ALLONGÉS comes out a month from now in France. Here is the cover (check those yellow words at the bottom!):

Monday, February 12, 2007


You cool people have probably seen it and got over it already, but if you haven't I urge you to see CACHÉ (HIDDEN). One of those films I had to watch again straight after. And this was one time I appreciated having a director's/writer's interview as an extra. You don't need to hear a film explained, but it was great to hear about how he approaches the form and what he cares about. I now want to see all of Michael Haneke's films. I loved what he said about the scene where Laurent first confronts Majid - in a Hollywood movie it would be the hero who is cool and collected, whilst the (perceived) villain (or at least obstacle) is brittle and can be broken down. Here that is reversed. I love that. I am a big fan of reversal. I love reversal so much that I've had extra gears fitted to my car so I can reverse in comfort at high speed.

Michael Haneke is a director after my own heart. I'm still thinking about the film now, after talking about it for two days with whoever will listen. There's so much true mystery going on here, and you find yourself desperate to find stuff out and get to the bottom of things. Intense, compelling stuff. In the end, though, the list of things you need to know gets drastically narrowed down.

Someone here warned me to watch out for the final scene. I must admit - it passed me by the first time. Even now, having gone and watched it again and spotted it, I'm not sure what to make of it. And I love that!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tough cats

Inspired by a post on Steve Mosby's blog, I fancy doing a post about cats. Actually not about cats at all, but about Cat, who is my cat. I say "my" cat but, of course, no one can own a cat. All you can do is look after it, feeding him and taking him to the vet etc in return for his tolerating your presence in his house.

Ten years ago Cat turned up outside the door and barged in. Obviously a stray because no collar, skinny as anything and a fleabitten, starving mess. I asked around and no one knew him, besides as a stray. From his condition we thought he was about twelve years old, an old cat for sure and not doing well on the street. Anyway, that was ten years ago and he's still around, and not looking like retiring. As for the name "Cat", what else can you call a cat that gradually becomes your responsibility? After a while you think "Well, maybe we should name him..." But you've already been calling him "Cat" for a few weeks, so why change that?

We moved house from London to the sticks about four years ago, taking Cat with us. Obviously I wasn't about to leave him behind, but I felt a bit uncomfortable about migrating a metropolitan cat to a different part of the country. I could see the new local cats pointing at him and making fun of his cockney accent. But he settled in OK after waging a month-long war of attrition with the locals, marking out his new manor and putting holes in a few ears. It was like SCUM meets STRAW DOGS meets... erm, THE ARISTOCATS or something. I am full of admiration for the little guy, especially looking at the competition. The main threat was "ginger cat", who included our garden in his territory. Any rabbits go missing around here, it's always "ginger cat". He is a force of nature. Once I got a shot of him picking off an alpha male bunny and eating it. All of it:

I also once saw "ginger cat" fight a fox. It was a short fight but the fox retired after a few seconds and ran off. "Ginger cat" is the Ivan Drago of the cat world, and his deep meow actually does sound like "I must break you". Nevertheless, since Cat's war of attrition "ginger cat" doesn't come round here anymore. So how did our cat beat him?

Because he's a piece of iron, that's how. And here he is:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A small cigar

There are two words I love to write. As a novelist I don't often get the chance to write them, but when I do, baby, it's sweet. Those words are THE END, and I just nailed them on the back of my current project. Ah, isn't everything around me so nice all of a sudden? Aren't the kids so well behaved, the traffic running smoothly, and the birds in the trees singing such beautiful songs? I'm enjoying this while I can, because THE END only means the end of draft #1. Who knows how maany drafts there will be? Anyway, that cigar...