Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Estronomicon

Ok, the pdf of Screamingdreams' Halloween Edition of Estronomicon is live! Yes it will jump off the page and eat your face, here:
Eat my face!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Estronomicon Halloween Issue

Screamingdreams has released the Halloween Issue of Estronomicon and it's free here: OOPS! the link I had here was for the authors only, so they could check their drafts, hehe. When it's ready for release I'll re-link it, for those of you who already downloaded a copy, I hope there aren't any errors and you don't go selling them on Ebay if there are.... :-)

There are some great stories to read and excellent graphics to view, Steve's put together yet another fine Ezine, well worth a visit and it's all free. Hope you enjoy my story, let me know if you do or don't.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Well done Argentina

I haven't updated my blog in a while, mostly because things have been slow and there hasn't been much news. I have enjoyed The Rugby World Cup, especially the Argentinians who brought a refreshing uplift to the series. They had a well-deserved third place and I think would be a formidable team should they ever get the opportunity to play in The Five Nations Tournament.

Other news: Got a horror short story coming out in the Halloween Edition of Estronomicon from Screamingdreams. It's called 'Here we go again' and I'll link it once it's published.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Empathy Effect

Well, got the first draft done of 'The Empathy Effect' it's a novella of about 44,500 words (thats about 155 pages I guess) and is more of a 'slipstream' story than 'Flames of Herakleitos' which was a dark/sf/fantasy novel. It's a story about a manic few days in the life of Cooper Jones who is a young man living in today's Swansea. A bit of a loner, ground down by a sense of shame (for not doing enough to save a school friend when he was a youngster from being brutally murdered) he seeks solace in drinking himself into oblivion every night. Add to that he is a Traffic Warden and the fact he has a strange 'power' which enables him to 'sense' what people are feeling, sensing, believing, even their desires or emotions. His power, however, is erratic and manifests itself when he least expects it, this leads to a pretty chaotic lifestyle which only gets worse when he gets setup as the fall guy in a robbery, kidnapping, murder and a dog-baiting ring.

Can Cooper stay sober enough to extricate himself ?
Can he save his girlfriend from a physcopath?

Can he stop the dog he's baby-sitting from savaging his family jewels?

Can he finally get some control over his empathic powers?

Perhaps, but first he has to save himself from drowning because someone's bound him to a lower stanchion of Mumbles Pier... and the tide is coming in...

As I've said, it's the first draft, perhaps when I've edited it a couple of dozen times it might get a little thicker or even thinner, but hopefully all the typos will be cleaned out.

Then all I have to do is find someone willing to publish it, hopefully because it's a little more 'mainstream' than straight fantasy or science fiction it might be easier to find a home for it.

Here's the opening, see what you think:


Chapter 1 June 13th 2006

You’d think if anyone of all people could have seen it coming it would have been a guy blessed with the ability to imagine oneself as another person or even feel that other person’s emotions. That guy that could thereby foresee the probable outcome of the other person’s actions before they occurred.
Well, you would, wouldn’t you? I’d think so too and usually I do foresee these actions. Nevertheless, when you see me trussed up like this – and bear in mind its not even Christmas yet so the possibility that I’m impersonating a turkey awaiting the oven should be discounted – then it doesn’t leave many alternatives to think about, does it?
Oh, now you are thinking, perhaps he’s a sadomasochist. He’s the type who gets off being wrapped to one of the support legs of Mumbles Pier with industrial strength cling film whilst the incoming tide laps gently around his crotch and his friend’s little dog – which he was taking care of – has been thrown into the water with a brick attached to its collar. Or you might think he’s the type who enjoys being told that his girlfriend has been made to swallow a stomach full of rat-poison-filled condoms, wrong again. Could I be filming the next James Bond Blockbuster? Check it out. Is that a camera over there? Is it capturing the simulated horror upon my face as I act out Bond’s cliff-hanging opening scene as a scantily clad, nubile young woman surfaces between my legs with a wicked smile and a knife between her teeth then cuts through the wrapping and saves me?
Then roll the opening captions!
I wish!
Some human beings have the capacity – some say through a gift, I say through a bloody curse – by means of a sophisticated and imaginative process, to be able to place themselves in another human being’s position and therefore sense how they feel, act, or react. This capacity, whether or not you want to go with the ‘gift’ word usually has its roots set deep within the recipient from an early age, and through time, develops as its host matures, regardless of the fact if the owner of this gift nurtures it or denies it. Don’t ask me how it works. I don’t have a clue, but work it does. Perhaps the ‘gifted’ have that little extra which normal humans lack. I’m not talking about magic or anything like that. No, I like to think it’s more along the lines of recognizing emotions in others on a finer scale than ‘normal people’. Perhaps we see facial expressions, body movements, even the tone of a voice; I’d even go as far as saying the way a person smells can give the likes of someone like me an insight into how that person is feeling inside and how he or she will react to certain stimuli. So, if you want me to put a finger on what it is I do, or perhaps feel, then I can’t answer you because it’s just as much a of mystery to me now as it was twenty-something years ago when it first manifested itself.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t wandered around all this time in the dark not understanding or seeking to understand why I’m different. I’ve been prodded and poked by the best. Doctors, psychiatrists, priests, you name ‘em, I’ve been poked by ‘em. They all more or less come out with the same word for me.
My name is Cooper Jones, and I’m an empath. Oh, and yes, the water is now up around my neck and I am going to start drowning soon.
I told you I was empathic…

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New Covey Awards Result & Neil Gaiman Result!

Sadly 'Flames' was extinguished in The New Covey Awards for best cover art by Aleka Nakis' 'Eyes of the Dead' congrats to Aleka. Many thanks to all who voted for Steve's artwork, much appreciated.

However, I had a bit of luck with a competition in The Guardian by winning a runner-up prize in a Neil Gaiman comp of a copy of his film tie-in book 'Stardust', received the confirmation email today from Becky Fincham, Publicity Manager for Headline Publishing Group.

Thanks Guardian and Headline :)