Archive for January 2012

I certainly think the expanding backlist of trade published writers re-releasing as e-books will be big over the next few years, but I’m not convinced it’s going to be so big that new writers won’t be found. The more lasting backlist novels have remained in print, while many of those that have gone out of print did so because they’re far less relevant than they were when first released.

Whole genres that were popular a couple of decades ago don’t really have much relevance to people today. Cold War thrillers, for example, or post-WWIII nuclear survivalist action novels; the good ones are still around, but the majority probably deserved to vanish into the depths of $0.99 used book sales on ebay. SF stories set in the far future may still be relevant, but those set in the near future written a couple of decades back, not so much; I remember one of Clarke’s novels where he wrote about people entering competitions to find information on a global information network… it was probably pretty cool in the 80s, but today it’s rather quaint and most people would think ‘why don’t they use Google?’

Endless Love is up at Smashwords:

And now Amazon at:

So, I boot into Windows for the first time in a couple of weeks. When I boot into Linux the wireless LAN is connected before I even log in, whereas Windows waits, so I’m forced to sit there wasting my time waiting for the LAN to connect when it could already have done so while I was logging in.

But that’s not the worst problem. I sit there for two minutes as the wireless LAN icon spins around, I check the icon and the popup says I’m connecting to ‘unknown network’ while the other popup says I’m connected to my network. I try Firefox, but it can’t get a connection.

Disconnect, connect, wait another couple of minutes. Nope. Select troubleshooting and waste another couple of minutes while it faffs around and tells me it can’t connect. Reboot. Nope. Complete power down, battery out. Nope. Try disconnect and reconnect again and it says ‘Connecting to the network is taking longer than normal’.

Well, wow. I figured that out.

What annoys me is not just that it’s completely failing to connect, but the way Microsoft phrase the excuse: ‘Connecting is taking longer than usual’. Not ‘I’m taking longer than usual to connect’, but trying to blame the problem on anything but Windows.

Finally after fifteen minutes of faffing it does connect. The only reason I need the LAN is to copy some files from my file server to install Fusion on this system and… now it tells me my password is incorrect.

So I reboot into Linux and copy it over on a USB stick.

I really have no idea how anyone can do real world on such a lousy excuse for an operating system.

Endless Love is almost ready to go; I need to create a cover and do one more pass through it to tidy up a few loose ends before I can upload it. I should really find the original short film and upload it here afterwards.

I’m about a third of the way through revising Horror Movie, and I’d like to complete that next month but I probably won’t finish that quickly. I began writing it in March last year, so hopefully it will be available to purchase in March this year. The main reason for the rewrite was to change the location, and that’s given me some great new ideas for improving the story.

I should also have an Amazon author page shortly at:

And I’ve updated the Smashwords page at:

Review is up at: It was delayed a few days because our DSL router died and had to be fixed.

Next up is THREE by derelict koan.

I just found an exercise book full of stories I wrote when I was nine years old. It must have been among the piles of junk random stuff from my parents’ house that I shipped over when I emigrated, and I discovered it again while looking for a book I needed as research material for Highgate Horror.

I guess the challenge now will be to rewrite one of the stories and publish the revised version :).


Getting in your car and realising the interior is colder than the inside of your freezer.

Scraping the ice off your glasses so you can see to drive.

Thinking ‘feels a bit cold today’ while walking home from the bus stop, then checking the weather and discovering the temperature is minus forty-six with wind-chill.

Thinking ‘oh, it’s only minus twenty, that’s a pleasant winter’s day.’


So my plan for the near future is to get at least one more short story out next month, and rewrite Highgate Horror (which will be renamed since it’s not set in Highgate anymore and it was always a dumb working title anyway). I wrote the first draft a couple of years ago and the fundamental problem has always been that I was trying to force two stories into one novel; I just need to split it up and use the second story for the sequel.

Creepers review is up:

Next up will be Wednesday’s Child by Alan Zendell.

Area 52: Arrival is now up on Smashwords and Amazon.

The first short story is making its way to publication, but Smashwords is incredibly slow tonight; after a few months where conversion took only minutes, we’re now back to a multi-hour queue.

I’ll update the blog tomorrow with relevant links.

I have an old yahoo email address that I’ve used for years. I normally read by webmail and then use POP to download old messages every month or two.

I tried that yesterday and all it would say was ‘server said: problem retrieving message’. Went around in circles for a while trying to figure out what that could possibly mean, changed Thunderbird configuration, contacted Yahoo, who were obviously no help.

Finally I figured this out. I went back to the oldest messages in my inbox and tried to open some:

“There appears to be a problem loading the email”

Oh, great. They’ve corrupted about half of my old emails and Thunderbird doesn’t seem to have any option to not stop downloading as soon as it receives an error, so now I have to manually go through and find out which emails are corrupt so I can delete them. Losing the emails is bad enough, without having to waste an hour or more finding out which ones are corrupt.

Area 52: Arrival coverThe first draft of the first short story this year is done: though I must be honest and admit that I started writing it between Christmas and the New Year.

This is an idea that’s been lying around for a while, about a National Service soldier in 1950s Britain who ends up send to guard a military base in the middle of nowhere which is where all the strange things from around the British Empire end up; this in a world where pretty much every wacky conspiracy or strange creature sighting is actually real. Atlantis existed, the Loch Ness Monster really is swimming around Scotland, etc, etc.

I need to tidy it up, but hopefully it will be out in a week or two, with some more stories about the same characters to follow.

I’ve posted a link to my review queue:

Next up will be Creepers by Brian Dunn.