Friday, October 30, 2009

Black Static

Stairway to Hell got a nice review in Black Static magazine (the UK's premier mag for horror/dark sf/slipstream etc). Many thanks to Mr Peter Tennant for the positive words, and for having a crack at nailing the genre:

"In the end, this is not so much horror fiction as a subversive text in which tropes of the genre are added on to a comic novel dealing with aspects of modern life, such as the lust for fame, reality TV and the superficiality of the media, all of which get the piss taken out of them (sorry, but I couldn’t resist that). Bottom line, Stairway to Hell is a barrel of fun, probably best read to a soundtrack of The Song Remains the Same and Ch-Ch-Changes."


Anyone in Canterbury read this? On Tuesday, 10th Nov I will be at Kent University campus in that town (my alma mater) to talk to the creative writing fraternity there. I am told the event is open to the public, so please come along if you like my books at all or are interested to know how and why I write such things. If you don't give a shit either way, maybe you should come anyway and let me convert you. If you actively dislike me and the books, maybe you should stay away. Or come, and throw things at me. I'll bring my cricket bat and fire them back at you, thereby achieving these kinds of headlines and the success that notoriety brings.

Check the events page for details. Nothing there as I write this but I'll pull my finger out about a week before the event.

Bandido vs Bandido

My kind of biker gang:

"They were at the very bottom rung of biker gangs. Some were in their 40s but still lived with their parents. They were not making any money, many of them had been rejected by the Hells Angels and half of them didn't even own a motorbike."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The only thing real is waking and rubbing your eyes

Not been here for a while. It always goes the same way when I have a book out: intense burst of activity as you take the book by the hand and lead it out into the world. But Stairway to Hell can stand on its own two feet now, even though it has no actual feet. The book must walk out there and make its way in the world. If it gets run over, falls foul to drugs or becomes a member of Coldplay, well, at least I tried.

But it's doing OK so far, if reports are to be believed. Rob Chilver in Adventures with Words had this to say:

Williams’ prose is punchy, filthy and funny, littered with musical references and sideswipes at the state of the music industry today. The plot takes on a variety of twists and turns with some truly laugh out loud moments. While, the premise may sound bizarre, and it is, Williams creates a world and its character where by the end of the novel, bodyswapping and exploding record shops seem to be the norm. For those looking for a witty, entertaining and original read, this is a must.

You know, that makes me want to go right out and buy eight copies of the book. And I wrote it! Then there's Andrew Collins in The Word:
Charlie Williams' committedly silly novel about the eternal Faustian pact of pop stardom is difficult to dislike. A vivid turn of phrase ("chewing air" after puking up), witty touches (the pretense of teen idol Zak Bremner summed up in album titles Zakology and Bremnology) and fag machine philosophy (if you have an All Day Breakfast at breakfast time does it just become Breakfast?) sugar the pill of the ludicrous, scatological plot.

Ah, yes, the old pill sugar. I've never met a plot that couldn't be helped along with a shake of the sugar jar. Especially scatalogical ones. But "ludicrous"? "Commitedly silly"? Couldn't we just say "absurd"? Beckett was absurd. Ionesco and Genet were absurd. I don't mind rolling with those guys, even if I missed that scene by half a century. But I never heard of no "Theatre of the Ludicrous". Mind you, "committedly silly"... that sounds like you're so silly that you've been committed to a mental institution. That's no small accomplishment, I feel.

Of course, I josh. My book is lucky to even get noticed by Messrs Collins and Chilver, and I hope it said thank you and bowed politely (right before they chucked it in the Worcester County Pauper and Lunatic Asylum).

(For a taster of other Stairway to Hell reviews, check it out here.)