dark (reading) matter
Following last week’s readings on BHCR, my novel Leland Poet is available today on Kindle (here).
Magic, mystery and murder haunt a strange, brutal city…
Some things are too
grotesque, even for a world of supernatural nightmare. The eccentric,
untrustworthy Leland Poet investigates: who is the killer, and what awakening
evil is behind this reign of terror?
When he becomes entangled with a woman
at the heart of the horror… then becomes a suspect… Leland is forced to flee not
only the city – but his own dimension…
Social breakdown follows: martial law,
savagery, an epidemic of violence and bizarre disease.
Leland must find a way
back to his reality, through eerie netherworlds, to confront fears
half-forgotten – but far from dead.
…So goes the blurb. A little background here for the curious; basically it’s a vanity project, but I hope not an uninteresting one.
sneak preview: live readings
Something different… In a week’s time I’m back on Nigel Staley’s programme Under The Table on Brighton & Hove Community Radio, Thursday 27th June, 6 – 7pm. (Not bad going, considering the last occasion was only a couple of months back.) This time I’ll be performing eight spoken word pieces, with ambient interludes from Susumu Yokota’s album The Boy and the Tree. The pieces will include three extracts from this novel, Leland Poet – which I’m re-releasing onto Kindle the following week, on Monday 1st July.
It’s quite a step away from strumming guitar, but there’s many hooks to grip you with.
Internet short fiction publisher Ether Books has just published another story of mine as a free download. This one’s called Lucky Bleeder, and was performed in London by White Rabbit at one of their Are You Sitting Comfortably events in 2012. It’s about sex – of an unpleasantly strenuous kind – and it’s 666 words long, which was pure coincidence.
It can also be found in my recent Kindle compilation, The Gift of Fear.
The Ether app can be downloaded from iTunes here.
2012 was bipolar – but I’d do it all again
Well, that was a… colourful year. And who could ask for more? Rather that than the alternative, which is a dreary thought. Death!
So what happened? (I’m still asking myself that, so this summary is as much for my benefit as anything else.)
1) Released 2nd album. Got more, and better, reviews than #1 – which was kind of the idea.
2) Did a brief and eventful tour after release – pretty much broke even: another first. Played a fair few other gigs, mostly solo, some with…
3) A band, which orbited around the songs for roughly 8-9 months and then exploded. With hindsight, it was never going to last, but during that time we played…
4) Live on BBC Introducing: The South (and the single got a little air-time too). This was exciting.
…Besides these bare bullet-points, I’ve just kept on doing it, “it” being more songs. Met some potential collaborators in the last couple of months, had a few tantalising overtures; again, I’m not going into detail yet for fear of The Jinx; in this game, so many promising set-ups tend to evaporate without warning.
But it’s promising just the same. And it’s been a blast – on a gross venal level, the trickle of royalties makes filling in an income tax Self Assessment form such a thrill.
Joking aside, I’m still fuelling off the highs and regret none of the lows – hope you (whoever you are) likewise. Happy New Year.
20 tales of terror, the supernatural and the super-real: a richly-varied journey from the horrors of the human mind to the depths of space.
You’ll meet people in these pages whose fearful struggles will grab you hard, and some you’ll wish you’d never met at all… But either way, you won’t forget them.
Evil beings, experiments gone hideously wrong, psychopaths, erotic maniacs in league with the outer gods, sinister corporations and ghosts from the future. If you get nightmares, just remember: it’s THE GIFT OF FEAR.
A lucky 13 days from Xmas, too.
There’s this thing I wrote:
Both are due to be published on Kindle in Winter 2012 – Spring 2013.
The short story compilation comprises previously-published tales and several new. The novel Leland Poet was issued in paperback in 2009, in an edition so badly-produced I asked Amazon to withdraw it from sale. Details are hazy, but it was an Arts Council funded publisher that went bust (or whatever) and passed their roster to a vanity press – who plopped out the manuscript with some crappy off-the-peg cover art and riddled with misprints. I just washed my hands of it in disgust and went out of my way not to publicize it, for instance never mentioning it on here before. But having decided to DIY the short stories, I thought What the hell. Besides, this gave me a chance to substantially edit and improve it.
Again, think of music and the new Just Get On With It ethic: this is all too familiar. But if that sounds gloomy, it needn’t – it’s quite a buzz revisiting this stuff and getting ready to hurl it back out onto the internet. More news soon.
[EDIT: As of 12th Dec 2012, The Gift of Fear is now available on Kindle for a princely sum: less than a 2nd-hand pulp paperback – the kind of thing it’s squarely in the tradition of.]
[EDIT #2: Leland Poet is also now available – June ’13, a little later than planned, to coincide with the BHCR readings]