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Showing posts from April, 2016

Another weekend, another book hunt

Today I had the opportunity to pop into Chesters, a second hand book shop in Polesworth (just outside Tamworth). It's a real old school used book store. I've not been there for quite some time which is a real pity (and comes with no small amount of shame). The shop is on two levels, both filled with rabbit warrens of shelves all packed with thousand upon thousand of books on all subjects imaginable.

I did buy three books while I was there

Gerard Klein - The Day before Tomorrow
Bob Shaw - Ground Zero Man
Bob Shaw - The Two-Timers

Strangely the first of these shares its title with the second novel I wrote (one of the two I have deemed should never see light of day - not without considerable rewriting anyway). I can't remember ever having heard of this title but I can't say for definite I hadn't ever. Maybe it just sat at the back of my subconscious until a suggestion for a book title was needed. Thankfully the story is nothing like mine so I can't berate myself …

The Return of the Collector

It's been a while since I had any real success out on the collecting trail so today has come as a welcome change to the norm. I went into Ashby and then Derby and have a few to boast about - some of which are just my kind of thing. Anyway here is the list of the new additions to the collection. (All are A format paperbacks unless noted)

Shaun Hutson - Shadows
Ian Graham - Monument
Karen Miller - Innocent Mage
Brian Aldiss - The Primal Urge
Philip K, Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep HC
Jean Jules-Verne - Jules Verne: a Biography HC
John Farris - The Uninvited  HC
Gardner Dozois - Strangers
Hal Clement - Cycle of Fire
Barry Malzberg - Overlay
Norman Spinrad - The Men in the Jungle
A. E. van Vogt - The Changeling
Eando Binder - Menace of the Saucers
Jack Bertin - The Pyramids from Space
Hilbert Schenck - A Rose for Armageddon
Lindsay Gutterridge - Killer Pine
Edmond Hamilton - What's It Like out there?
Frederik Pohl - The Gold at the Starbow's End
Avram Davidson - …

Thursday - a few quick things

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My wife is out every night this week. She is a musician and plays in the band for a local musical theatre group. And this is show week. So in theory I have lots and lots of time to get huge amounts of writing done.

Problem is it hasn't quite gone like that. For one thing I finished my last novel at the weekend just gone. So I went into the week of much time without a current project and no real idea of which story I should tell next.

Well that last part is now behind me. I spent three days not writing to clear out all the places, characters and plot points of The Stairs Lead Down. This involved watching an awful lot of comedy clips on YouTube. I have a fondness for the Scenes We'd Like to See segment of BBC comedy panel show Mock the Week as well as for George Carlin.

Head cleared and decision made I started in on chapter one of a new novel - a science fiction novel set in a future Africa on a very changed world. I'm calling it the Church. Of what I'm not going to say…

The Return of Book Hunt

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It's no secret to anyone who knows me or reads this blog that I collect books; mainly science fiction, fantasy and horror books. I've been doing so for nearly four decades and do not intend to stop any time soon,

Well I've not done much of it in recent weeks. Weekends have seen me doing other things - lots of writing for instance. Yesterday though I had to go into Derby with my wife do I made the most of it. While she was safely ensconced in a coffee shop reading her latest book I headed around all the charity shops Central Derby has to offer. And I came away with ten new books for the collection

David Weber & Steve White - Insurrection ppb
James Tiptree, Jr. - Ten Thousands Light-Years form Home ppb
Juliet E. McKenna - Northern Storm ppb
Richard Laymon - The Midnight Hour ppb
David Gemmell - Bloodstone ppb
Robert E. Howard - The Conan Chronicles Vol 1 (part of Fantasy Masterworks series - book 8) B format
Michael Marshall Smith - What You Make It B format
Guy Gavriel…

March ended on a low note

I have a few issues when it comes to confidence; at least as regards my writing. I'm pretty good in my day job. In the office I can make decisions quickly and with great belief in my abilities. It doesn't translate to my writing. In this endeavour I feel a lot more exposed and a lot less sure of myself.

It's why this week has mostly been a washout writing wise. I did write a scene on Tuesday evening but when I came to the document today I reread it, highlighted the lot and hit the delete key. It just wasn't any good.

The reason for it is an email I received for a submission of my alternate Earth science fiction novel Against the Fall of Empire. I submitted it to a number of agencies last year and received a number of rejections, mostly pro forma style. I chalked these up to par for the course for a wannabe writer and carried on.

Then the miracle happened and I received an email that was different. Admittedly it was still a rejection but it contained a personal respons…