Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath

"The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath", first published in Beyond the Wall of Sleep, 1943.

This is the the thirty-third entry in my read-through of the commemorative edition of Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H P Lovecraft.

Because of the way the Necronomicon volume is ordered – by publication date rather than writing date – this comes right at the end of the anthology, rather than where it fits in the story of HPL's development as a writer. On the one hand that's a bit of a shame – immediately after this he wrote The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and embarked on the run of stories on which his reputation largely rests, and this story is clearly a turning point.

On the other hand, it's an interesting coda for all the thinking I've done about HPL the man, and how much of him resides in his fiction. They're both interesting topics and I'll take them in turn.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Panoptica - two new reviews!

Well, newish. I haven't perhaps been as on to it about this, time being pressing, as ever.

Anyway, over on amazon.co.uk Mike Davey gives it four stars saying "This book's style is Swift meets Dick with a dash of Vonnegut. A great first novel with satire thats cuts like a katana!"

Meanwhile, on amazon.com Jeffrey Hewitt (author of A Reflection of Glass) gives it another four star review. "This is an excellent first novel! The pace is insane - like a clown on a downhill slope riding on an out-of-control train greased with lightning, satire, and sharp British wit."

Panoptica has international appeal, and is good for what ails you! And a print-on-demand version is coming soon - luddites, watch this space!

My Reading Year 2011

Well, all in all, 2011 wasn't quite as horrible as 2010. I have a new job and will be shortly moving house, so it's all change here. A change is as good as a holiday, as they say, although having cashed-in a week of leave at my old place before starting at my new job, I have to wonder if that's true.

At the end of the year, I self-published Panoptica as an ebook on amazon, thus surfing the breaking wave of publishing phenomenon or throwing my lot in with a passing fad, depending on which way the future goes. To be honest, it's hard to imagine the impact of ereader going away. Maybe it'll all be through more—sophisticated tablet computer things, but it's clearly here to stay and has some expansion yet to do.

It's nice, however, to have it out of my hair, buried in the torrent of slurry, so I can move on to the next project. I'm not sure if my own entry comes a little late, and publicity remains a challenge, but at least it's out there. If you're a regular reader of this blog, I urge you to buy a copy – I mean, at worst it'll sit on your hard-drive harming no one. You might even enjoy reading it, but if you do, don't forget to leave a review on amazon! (A hard copy version is coming soon!)

Okay, that's the sponsorship over with. Let's get serious. Let's talk about books!

Cutting to the chase, the best books I read in 2011 are:

Necronomicon: The Best Weird Fiction of H P Lovecraft
Supergods by Grant Morrison
The Immortalisation Commission by John Gray
The Big Knockover & Other Stories by Dashiell Hammett

Monday, 9 January 2012

Happy Birthday David

Okay, it's a day late, but I just found this awesome version of Life On Mars on youtube. Wow!

From the Parksinson show in 2002, apparently.