Thursday, 29 November 2012

Joe Satriani - Flying In A Blue Dream

My baby son loves this track. My baby son has taste.

Thursday, 22 November 2012


Meme time! I was tagged in a blog post by local writer Adrian Reynolds to take part in a writer-based series of questions about where I'm at with stuff, and then pass on the torch to other hacks out there. Here's my own entry. I hope it gives you a bit of an insight into my fevered brain and the stuff I'm up to.

What is the working title of your book? 

Which one?! There are a number of titles very nearly ready to unleash upon the public. My next non-fiction book is VHS ATE MY BRAIN, an affectionate and hugely geeky book about the rare breed of nerd that I am, namely a VHS horror collector.

My next fiction releases will be I AM THE DARK, the third and final book in THE OTHERSIDE TRILOGY, following on from DEAD THING and FOR THE FALLEN.

Next year there will be some special 'Double' releases from me, featuring two stories per volume, as well as a bunch of new non-fiction titles (and yes, in answer to a lot of questions, there will indeed be a sort-of sequel to BAGGED AND BOARDED: LIFE ON PLANET GEEK).

Where did the idea come from for your book? 

The Otherside books are an amalgam of horror movie brain pollution, comics and too much sci-fi TV. My shorter fiction inhabits a strange Clive Barker/Neil Gaiman/Isaac Asimov/Frederik Pohl headspace.

My non-fiction material is largely geek-centric and told with lashings of humour and delicious sarcasm.

Where do my ideas come from? All over the place. Oh, and if ideas don't come, I will just start writing, and the ideas will shape themselves.

What genre does your book fall under? 

My books thus far fall under the following genres:

ACROSS THE SEAS OF MIND – Science Fiction collection
ACCESS NO AREAS – Journalism collection
DEAD THING – Horror/Fantasy
FOR THE FALLEN – Horror/Fantasy

Next titles:

I AM THE DARK – Horror/Fantasy
VHS ATE MY BRAIN – Cult films/non-fiction
Doubles titles – Science fiction/fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 

Focus on cast members from the modern era of Doctor Who and I'd be happy.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

I AM THE DARK; The epic and horrific conclusion to THE OTHERSIDE TRILOGY, in which the Paranormal Division must face a brutal otherwordly darkness on an unimaginable scale.

VHS ATE MY BRAIN: The rantings of a geek obsessed with ancient cheap horror movies on a long-dead format, including interviews with other likeminded freaks around the world.

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

My books are currently published in print and digitally via my Dreamrider Media imprint. The short fiction I had picked up for US distribution was published by Positronic Creations. My music journalism is published nationally in Powerplay. Next year I'll have some more pro stuff out too.

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

Each takes me around three months from initial draft to finished product. These two have taken me a while longer due to becoming a father this year and having no sleep, let alone enough time to write anything other than my regular national freelancing.

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

Hmm. I'd say THE OTHERSIDE TRILOGY would appeal to mature readers who love darker Doctor Who, Torchwood and brutal horror stories with a genre film feel to them. Perhaps Ray Bradbury's darker moments.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? 

Horror movies, comics, anime, metal, novels by people like Clive Barker, Tess Gerritsen and Shaun Hutson, Doctor Who, the X-Files and much more.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 

The cover to DEAD THING (the first book in The Otherside Trilogy) has an absolutely stunning cover by an incredible artist. I'm hoping that the final book can have just as amazing a cover.

As for stuff like BAGGED AND BOARDED and VHS ATE MY BRAIN, there are very specific audiences who I know want titles like them very much. All I'm doing is writing about stuff I love which I know others can relate to.

Right, that's me. Here are the people I'm tagging for next week's players... Thanks for reading!

CLAIRE LOUISA THOMAS - Author, journalist, humourist, genius and mother.

HARRY PATERSON - Political writer, music journalist and famous Grump.

JUSTIN MACUMBER - Author, podcaster, editor. Also known as a Dead Robot...

ANGELA GRANT - Geek. Rush obsessive.

DIE BOOTH - Writer. Enigma.

S.ROIT - Author of the Paris Immortal novels.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


So here's the first poster for the unnecessary remake of The Evil Dead. It's, well, boring, but I'm trying to keep an open mind this time. I despise remakes, but this one does have a definite visual style of its own, even though there appears to be none of the humour of the original. And with no Bruce Campbell, it automatically loses major points there.

I'm hoping it's at least a kick ass horror movie, as those seem to have been thin on the ground of late. I hope something original will come along soon.

And as for the tagline... that's yet to be seen.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


In my professional opinion as a rock journalist, Skarlett Riot are one of the most promising young bands currently on the scene. After slots at Download and Bloodstock, plus their own 'God Damn Reckless' tour, Skarlett Riot have gathered a lot of new fans this year.

The video below is a new update from the band on their recent adventures. This is one band that I truly believe has what it takes - both in the studio and onstage - to become a very big deal.

Fronted by the powerhosue vocals of Skarlett, they offer a young audience a kindred spirit while offering every generation some damn fine rock music. Check them out, and get ready to hear a lot more from them in the coming year.

Need more proof? Check out their 'Villain' video:

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Just as the title says: Buy any of my books (in either print or Kindle formats) from Amazon during November, and I will donate 100% of the royalties to Cancer Research. On a light-hearted note, I can't grow a moustache very well so I can't tale part in Movember, and on a serious note, Cancer Research is a charity I have a lot of respect for.

Cancer can affect the lives of anyone, regardless of background, race, sex or whatever. Let's try and help the search for new treatments and an eventual cure get a step closer.

This applies to all of my own books currently on release (the SF anthology ACROSS THE SEAS OF MIND, the blog collection ACCESS NO AREAS, the horror novellas DEAD THING and FOR THE FALLEN, the film book DIARY OF A GENRE ADDICT VOLUME ONE and my comic-shop chronicle BAGGED AND BOARDED: LIFE ON PLANET GEEK), but does not include the 'Explorers' anthology, as I didn't publish that one and thus I don't see when the sales come in.

Click here to find my titles on Amazon.

Sunday, 4 November 2012


It's been a couple of weeks now, and still I'm riding the high from going to my third Firefest visit. Firefest 2012, once again at Rock City here in Nottingham, surpassed the previous two I'd covered for the magazine in every way. The lineup over the three days was second to none, the crew absolutely professional in every conceivable way, the audience once again a joy to be a part of, and the atmosphere totally unique and utterly intoxicating.

Firefest Friday was a delight from start to finish, blowing the cobwebs away perfectly with wonderful sets from Lionville, Dante Fox, Ten and Tyketto, and was exactly what I needed. I've been having a majorly tough few months with one thing and another, and being back with MY people and MY perfect musical tastes was such a tonic.

There is something about the Firefest atmosphere which is totally different to every other live show around. The bands walk freely around the crowd, the crowd makes friends with pretty much everyone they see, random conversations begin between people from separate continents at the drop of a hat, and so on and so forth.

The only real drawbacks to the entire event relate to the venue itself, as in absolutely nowhere for the audience to sit down between sets (not that they really would have, considering it's also a nightclub) and the vile condition of the toilet facilities (a river of piss and floating turds isn't what people want to see when they've travelled from the other side of the world for it, I'd imagine...).

Those two issues are the only downer on what was another epic weekend of melodic rock music (including headline sets from Tyketto, Gotthard and Danger Danger, and outstanding sets from Lionville, Work Of Art, Robin Beck, Royal Hunt, Stage Dolls and the rest), good times with a sea of people who are a delight to spend time around, approachable and friendly crew, jovial door staff and even bar staff who didn't take the piss out of the bands for once.

I even got to see a little of the backstage mayhem while interviewing the superb Dante Fox on the Friday afternoon, and everyone involved was professional to an almost godlike degree. Special mention must go out to a lady on the crew named Jo, who broke her arm on the Friday, went to get it sorted and was back working at Firefest that night! Now that's dedication.

While the reviews from the four-strong Powerplay team that attended (myself, Rob Evans, Harry Paterson and Steve Swift) will hit the shelves at the end of this month (along with my Dante Fox interview), I just wanted to give the Firefest crew and all of the bands who put on such amazing sets a shout out and a great big and sincere thank-you.

I hope you all know what the festival means to the fans who go. In fact, I do know you understand that, as you're even bigger fans of this stuff than we are. My utmost respect for another glorious weekend of music, which a lot of other shows could learn a massive amount from. Two weeks on and I'm still in awe.