Monday, August 29, 2011

Back in the swing

Greetings from your blogger deprived of decent internet for several weeks and now back to the wonders of broadband! I hope you've all had a great summer (for those in the UK, in spite of the weather!). I've spent several weeks in my beloved homeland of Wales, and this year the internet via the dongle has been worse than ever up the mountain, I don't know why - the weather hasn't been bad ALL the time, but the connection certainly has: maybe the signal strength is the same as it was but more people on those lovely heather-covered  mountains are trying to use it at the same time.

Anyway, I'm back just in time for the Goggle Festival which I was therefore unable to tell you about before, and in which I'm delighted to be featured along with some great writer colleagues. It's run by writer and teacher Andrew Oldham and begins today.  Over seven days seven writers, Carys Bray, Ailsa Cox, Graham Mort, Robert Sheppard, David Morley, Chris Beckett and I, will be featured reading from our work. Our books will also be reviewed on the site and there is the chance to enter a competition and win signed copies.

Carys Bray, winner of  the 2010 Edge Hill student prize, kicks the whole thing off today with a reading from her story 'My Burglar'. My own day is Friday 2nd September, when I shall be reading two extracts from The Birth Machine. That day I shall be travelling back from London after an event I'm very much looking forward to: the Art of Wiring Pamphlet Party at which six poets including Christopher Reid, Isobel Dixon and Simon Barraclough will read.

It's good to be back in the swing of things. I'm looking forward also to the Didsbury Arts Festival which starts at the end of the month. The brochure is now online. I shall be doing an event, Doctors and Witches, in the evening on Monday 26th September when I'll read from The Birth Machine and talk about its themes of natural versus hi-tech medicine. The event will be held, appropriately, in Didsbury's health food shop, Healthy Spirit.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Robert Shearman's new book

Apologies for my continued blog neglect: I'm away from home a lot at the moment, and keep finding myself with intermittent and poor internet connection. Back home today to the wonders of wizzy broadband, and hot-foot from London (yes, really hot - it's sweltering!) and a super launch of Robert Shearman's third collection of amazing off-the-wall short stories, Everyone's Just So So Special. The launch was held in the amazing Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons - cases and cases of pickled animals,  human body parts, foetuses, etc. No pics, though, as they were expressly forbidden, which meant that I couldn't even take pics of Rob giving us a brilliant reading of the first story in the book, 'Coming in to Land'. Rob's previous books have won awards including the World and British Fantasy awards, and this new book looks every bit as cleverly written and thought-provoking and fun  - as you might indeed expect from a Dr Who writer.