Category Archives: Ranting

Publication and other deathly creatures

A lot has happened in the last months, therefore my apologies to those few who visit here for keeping quiet.

Life is a strange thing. As is creativity. You can mill over a question in your head, a half formed idea and then just like in a cheap comic book, k-pow, in a middle of an unrelated sentence, halfway down a coffee cup or in a middle of a shower, the complete answer pops into reality. Sometimes. Other times it’s like pulling a millstone on your own – hard and with little visible result until you gather the dust and make bread. The months that has passed from my previous post were a full mixture of both of above.

14369911_715467695272365_5394313979286190288_nThe coming months will also be full of events and work.  Some of it, might even interest you (win
k, wink). Firstly, there is this big event called Fantasycon-by-the-Sea in Scarborough this weekend, which I will be attending. And I would not usually share it with you if not the fact that I will be present at a launch of “This Twisted Earth” anthology published by Six Minutes To Midnight, which contains my rather long short story. It goes without saying that I am really pleased to be published next to the fine authors listed in the table of contents. Things like that give me a kick in the back side and make me think that perhaps all of this was not a mistake after all.

Anyhow. The event will take place at 1pm Sat 24th, so stop by, grab a glass, chat, perhaps even get a scribble if you’ve bought a copy. The volume will be available at the con or via Amazon here. And… oh what the hell! Paraphrasing LMFAO’s lyrics, I’m thrilled and I want you to know it. We’ve already received some nice reviews on Goodreads. Check them out here. So, Saturday, 1pm, got it, right? See you there.

Moving on. As I said, this is an autumn full of pleasant happenings. I have managed to grab some tickets to see Jean Michel Jarre’s concert in Cardiff for myself and Magda, which was an item on the bucket list to be ticked and a childhood’s dream fulfilled.

Following galavanting in Caerdydd, I will be reading an excerpt from a new short story during the Egyptian event in Bristol Museum’s Assyrian Gallery. Ancient deities and science fiction will be combined for your entertainment, so come along. The event is part of Bristol Festival of Literature, it’s free and details about it can be found here.

And last but not least, I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of you during this year’s BristolCon, which will take place 29th October. I’m not on any panels this year (overslept with the participation form) so should have plenty of time to catch up with friends. And if there really are any gods of wine and tits and roleplay, make them hear my prayer and make them bless the gaming evening!

Traditionally, let me leave you with something for the ear. Or both. Jaromir Nohavica in a Czech blues and Kaminanda in atmospheric piece with flutes.


Frome, Bristol and other ungodly places

A lot has happened since my last entry here, so I will try to recap the most interesting points.

Firstly, I’ve managed to sell a flash piece to the ‘365 tomorrows’ e-zine. It’s a wee little piece inspired by Popol Vuh, Zelazny and lack of sleep. If you wish to spend a brief moment of your life reading it, it’s available here.

Now, with that out of the way, let me tell you about a great literary evening I’ve attended in July during Frome Festival. It was organised by the Frome SF Group (yes, I am a member) and featured readings from a lot of local and slightly less local authors, including David J Rodger. He did a nice entry about it here. There are some pictures (in no particular order) available, so feast yer eyes.

Eric Nash

Eric Nash

Justin Newland

Justin Newland

John Walton

John Walton

Andy Bigwood

Andy Bigwood

B Anne Adriaens

B Anne Adriaens

David J Rodger

David J Rodger

Piotr Świetlik

Piotr Świetlik

After that, the holidays happened (they do have a tendency to creep up on one) and I was lucky enough to be off and away for three weeks. Return to the real world was somewhat painful but it was quickly sweetened by the fabulous BristolCon. It has been my fourth appearance and as always I enjoyed it immensely. The event is steadily growing each year, which is both good and bad. Good, because the quality and interest from the fandom are increasing; bad because the more people come, the harder it is to catch all of them within a space of a day as well as attend panels, view artists room and check what the dealers are offering. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed it and managed to catch up with some friends from as fas as London whilst managing to meet some new ones. The only disappointment was that the gaming evening to which I was looking to, didn’t happen. But well, will make it up next year!

Since I’ve covered most of the events between March and November (the interesting ones anyway), let me tell you about something that is about to happen. It is with great pleasure that I can say I will be reading my work as part of the North Bristol Writers group during the Sanctum. Don’t know what the Sanctum is? Despair not, my friend. Check the link instead. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to publicise our timed slots, but if you know me (in ‘real’ life, through Facebook or other), there’s a good chance you’ve already received a pestering message from me inviting you to the exact time and date to listen to me ramble to the microphone. If not, let’s get acquainted. As you can imagine, I am thrilled to be reading there and really looking forward to it.

And that is, as they say, it. For now anyway. There is more to come pretty soon, so hope you’ll stay with me and I promise to update things a little more frequently. To keep a tradition going, have a listen to the superb Kayla Scintilla’s ‘Light of the North’, as mentioned in David’s post.

Expect me, when you see me 😉

The FWC – Who are you? Blog Hop


The FWC – Who Are You? Blog Hop is a chance to visit the online homes of many of the talented members of the Collective and learn a little more about who we are. The Collective, and unfortunately Eric beat me to pointing the connections with the infamous Borg, is a wonderful idea made flesh. I have lived in Frome for a decade without realising how many people involved with literature live here too. So if you’re a writer, illustrator, poet, editor or publisher – be warned, YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!

I was kindly nominated by Eric Nash, who’s entry can be found here: Read it, it’s good.

Done? Ready? Let’s roll then.

Frome Writers’ Collective is home to a range of writers, poets, illustrators, editors, and publishers. Which one best describes you?

Writer. I usually write technology rich science fiction, though have occasionally veered off towards fantasy. To make it even more confusing, my first story ever published in English was a steampunk adventure. So there you go. I’m fascinated by weird physics theories and progress in genetics, which is why there usually is one or the other present, or both. In this form or that, or… Yeah, I tend to go on. I like to mix fantasy and science-fiction elements with various mythologies, which might be caused by my love for the works of Roger Zelazny. He influenced me for good or bad and I would not change that. Mainly because, if I was different I would not be myself. And I am myself. Or am I?

What are you working on at the moment?

Edge of sanity, which is a short story containing swords and elements of Cthulhu Mythos, Polish professors and alien ninjas. I originally started writing if for a particular anthology but unfortunately didn’t made the deadline.  The Nameless Writing Group is, as always, providing critique, guidance and occasional kick in the back side, so I’m hoping to find home for it soon.

Not quite what I've imagined but the main two elements are here. Seen on

Not quite what I’ve imagined but the main two elements are here. Seen on

I’m also working on the first draft of my first novel, which will be a sci-fi murder mystery.

Jack London said that “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Would you agree?

As one of my character’s like to say ‘there’s a bipolar answer to that question’. My inspirations comes from such wild collection of incidents and accidental experiences (not least of them the famous thing called “Shower”) it’s hard to say I’ve really looked for them. Pretty much everything I see or experience inspires some more or less random strand of thoughts. Some of them make it to the page, though most just clutter my brain. Sometimes, if I’m struggling with a particular scene I use graphic or even musical stimuli to get my head to where I need it to be.

Staring at a blank page can be daunting. How do you get from brain to page?

I hardly ever face the dreaded “blank page” situation. I mostly start writing when there is something in my head I want to write about. Which is the case almost always. If it’s a new story, I tend to write down the first thing about it that comes to mind, whether it’s a dialogue or just a simple description of a place. Then I either let it fly on its own or think and tinker with the idea until I like what I see. Quite often there is some research involved, but usually the stories more or less gradually just pop into my head. There is a quote by one of my favourite authors, Phillip K Dick which I think describes it quite well: “The SF writer sees not just possibilities but wild possibilities. It’s not just ‘What if’ – it’s ‘My God; what if’ – in frenzy and hysteria. The Martians are always coming.”

P K Dick

This is not me

You’ve finally stopped procrastinating and you’re ready to get creative or tackle that manuscript. Have you a particular place where you like to work?

Once upon a time there was an armchair. In its youth it served people proudly, but as it grew older its owners put it out for an auction, which hurt the feelings of the armchair profoundly. (If you don’t believe furniture can have feelings… why are you reading this?!) It stayed in the auction house hurt and abandoned, shedding dead mites and thinking about retirement, until it has been bought by a young man, naive and ignorant of certain things. He gave the armchair a good wash, repaired the small tears and sat in it every evening. The armchair quickly grew to like his new master and became a perfect lair for his musings and occasional nap. They lived happily ever after.

I also tend to write wherever and whenever I can focus enough. In the kitchen, on a train, at work… A necessity caused by having a full-time occupation, wife, kids, dog, fish and occasional visiting aliens.

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check Eric’s entry and hop to the virtual homes of:

Crysse Morrison at

I’m a free-lance writer with a patch-work portfolio of experience from novels and short stories to performance poetry ~ you can see samples of various aspects of my work here. I live in Frome, southwest UK, and currently my passion is stage drama, both as a playwright and reviewer.  I also enjoy involvement in Frome’s poetry cafe, pub theatre, and summer festival, and am open for contact about writing from community projects or individuals.

and Doug Hilditch at

For over 20 years I worked in the printing and publishing industries doing everything from proof-reading and copy editing to book production consultancy for most of the leading UK publishers. I left publishing to set up my own business as a freelance technical illustrator which I ran successfully for 14 years. I am currently employed as a fraud investigator. For the last 10 years, my beautiful wife Tess has been my biggest fan and critic and her help and encouragement has spurred me on. I have currently written five novels, numerous short stories and have recently rekindled my love for humourous verse.

Their posts will appear on Sunday 22nd – don’t forget to check them out!

Time wasting

I’ve discovered quite recently the problem with focusing, developed through lack of sleep, kids, dogs and visitors and enriched by the overall laziness of human nature, is beginning to bother me. I’m not moving forward towards any declarations, but would like to share some of the distractions occupying me recently.

Books first. I’ve finally had the pleasure of reading ‘Ack-Ack Macaque’ by Gareth Powell and it was amazing. I have to admit I started reading worrying it will be one of those books with a slapstick idea run over and over again. I was very much and pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a rich AND funny science fiction. I have previously read Gareth’s short stories (which are quite excellent as well), but ‘Ack-Ack’ made me want more of the characters. I could go on here and rant more about them, but instead I’ll just say: read the damn thing! You won’t be disappointed.

Ack-Ack Macaque

Moving to movies. With not much time together to venture into the world of cinematics, we (myself and wife) recently managed to scape up some time to watch the ‘Europa Report’. It is… and interesting movie. Not much in terms of action, no great names at the beginning, but it has enough story to keep you seated through the whole thing. The things I specifically liked were the neatly shown isolation through enormous distance from Earth and the claustrophobic feel of the inside of the ship. It reminded a little the good atmospherics of the ‘Apollo 18’ movie. And I know the aliens there were… well let’s just say obsolete. But that movie very nicely shown the innate lack of space in outer space. The music was also appropriate and played well alongside the picture, so if you want to know what happened to a crew of astronauts sent further than any man before, do watch it.

Europa Report

Series finally. I recently watched the first season of Black Sails, which is a pirate story of captain Flynt et al. taking place approximately 10 to 20 years before the ‘Treasure Island’. First thing that catches is the really nice soundtrack. Well composed and interesting enough to listen to it on its own. The pirates, ships and all that junk that comes with the territory is also present and more or less accurate. The actors play well and the characters (thank goodness!) are mostly villains, which is repeatedly shown and nicely bottom lined with Benjamin Hornigold’s quotation: “No matter how many lies we tell ourselves or how many stories we convince ourselves we’re a part of…we’re all just thieves awaiting a noose.” One thing that I found obsolete were (excuse the gentle reader) naked tits. And don’t get me wrong – I love to watch naked female body just as much as the next man, but there were few instances where those shots didn’t really bring anything relevant to the story. Curse of the game of thrones, I suppose.

On the bright side, work with stories is progressing well, so hope there’ll be some good news to share soon.

Airship Ball

Let me invite you to the launch of the Bristol Steampunk anthology ‘Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion’. There will be a Victorian picnic with a selection of sandwiches and cake and a glass of home-made lemonade or sparkling kir royale.

There’ll be a fancy dress competition for best representation of a character from the book, (fancy dress is not compulsory!) dramatic readings, and music from Cauda Pavonis.

Picnicker tickets are available in advance from the BristolCon team or, and cost £15 or £11 with a copy of Airship Shape. Latecomer tickets will be sold (subject to availability) on the door from 8:30 p.m. onwards priced at £5.

Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion is available now from at the Bristolcon Fringe reading on Monday 17th March taking place in Shakespeare Tavern, Brisol.


Hope to see you there!

Book launch

So, this will be the first entry here and hence it’s about a launch of an anthology that has my story in it, I’m hoping it will be a good omen. I’m working hard on a couple of stories and waiting to hear back from a two publishers regarding things I’ve submitted to them but in the mean time, allow me to invite you, dear reader, to the aforementioned launch.


The official launch will take place in Forbidden Planet Megastore in Bristol, UK on 8th March 2014. The contributors will be signing their work between 13:00 and 14:00 or 1pm and 2pm, if you prefer.

You can also join it on Facebook here