Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

To everyone who reads my blog or has read
Flames of Herakleitos
or even some of my other stuff...

Best Wishes To You All!


Saturday, December 20, 2008


As my last post was about Fibonacci poetry, and I mentioned Haiku as a favourite form I enjoy, I thought I'd post a few haiku that I've written. These were published by Sam's Dot Publishing in 2007 in a collection called HAHAKU, edited by Teri Santitoro. Hope you enjoy!

Fast Food

shut the door, strap in
close your eyes and hold your breath
ten seconds to lunch

Blood Donor

nurse, he's anaemic
what did he murmur to you?
vampires suck, big time

Cry Wolf

kids, the moon is out!
lycanthropy woods next stop!
dad, are we 'were' yet?

Tempus Refero

it's a time echo!
what did you say that is called?
it's a time echo!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Fibonacci Poetry

Fib or Fibonacci Poetry is an experimental poetry form very similar in style to haiku, but based on the Fibonacci sequence. Both fib and haiku follow a strict structure. Whereas haiku usually has three lines of a syllable count of 5/7/5 a typical fib has six lines and a count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8
It's a style that I quite like (I also enjoy haiku) so here are a few of mine. If you have any you want to post in reply please do so, but be aware, they are addictive!

my ceiling
transcends earthly ties,
lying on my bed my mind soars

they cover faces,
fill your guts with kids, then, kaboom!

warps time,
sucks matter
and traps gravity.
so, who pulled out the bloody plug?

Look out!
Mad robot!
It's running amok!
Told you not to install Windows!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Early Bird

This is a short story of mine that's been illustrated by James Whitehead. We entered it into a competition but unfortunately it didn't win. However, perhaps the kids out there will enjoy it :)

If the images are too small you can click on them to open them out in a separate page.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Neal Asher Winner

I've entered a number of free prize draws on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist Blog but never came close to winning, until now!

Pat was putting up a number of Neal Asher's 'The Gabble' (a collection of short stories) for four lucky people to win and I was one of them. It was a pleasant surprise receiving a jiffy bag from Panmacmillan yesterday especially as I am a fan of Neal's and have enjoyed every one of his books that I've read. If you are into great space opera with huge battle scenes, intricate plotting, mad battle-droids with all too human-like foibles then grab yourself one of his books.

Many thanks to Pat, Panmacmillan and of course Neal. Now time to get reading!

Sunday, November 09, 2008



See the poppy in the gutter?
Stain red the water coursing there?
Floats to drain with start and stutter

Past feet and eyes, all unaware
So passed-on, those myriad souls
Who gave their lives, who stood four-square

On sea, in air, in mud-filled holes
Their blood was spilled, our freedom won
For them we stand as church bell tolls

As a single beam from the sun
Illuminates a granite shrine
And tears flow for a lost loved-one

War's curse grows on a bitter vine
Remembrance is owed, yours and mine.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Estronomicon Halloween Edition

Steve Upham's Halloween Edition of Estronomicon is out and available for free download here ESTRONOMICON and contains a horror short of mine entitled One Last House. Hope you enjoy it :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Tale - Here We Go Again

This was first published in Estronomicon last Halloween and look out for my new Halloween story over there due out soon.

Here we go again

I was born in the last few minutes of All Hallows Even, or as many now call it, Halloween. I’m old-fashioned though and prefer to use the original terminology. It was a difficult birth—usually they all are. I try my best to hang it out, to prolong the labour, just to get to All Hallows Day or Saints’ Day, the day after. But it never works it. It will probably never work, but it’s in my nature to try, as it’s in my nature to do all the other things that I do.

The mother survived this time. No big deal, some have survived before, and some haven’t. Perhaps those who did survive wished that they hadn’t. When I dwell on it I suppose most of them have toyed with that wish at one time or another.
Once again I knew what was going on moments after the conception. Immediately, upon fusion of the gametes even, when the sperm fused with the ovum. Even before you could classify me as an embryo it all came back to me and I resigned myself to nine months of utter boredom whilst waiting for the birth. As usual I spent the time scheming. Upon reflection it’s what I always do, trying to find some way to prolong the pregnancy. Not by much, on times I’ve been very close to achieving my goal, been seconds away from a non-All Hallows Even birth. But, try as I might, my endeavours always fail. Perhaps I should resign myself to my fate, but when I ruminate on this possibility it isn’t long before I admit that resignation isn’t a word I consider to be in my vocabulary. Patience, yes, patience is a word that I use a lot. I have an abundance of patience, enough for eternity – if that is what it takes. Anyway, I’ve only got until feeding time and then I’ll have the peaceful bliss of ignorance once more – until my next conception of course. Yet again that is something I puzzle over and pick apart whilst the long, dark, boring nine months drag by. How can I retain my memories this time?
However, I know that this is an old idea, one I’ve contemplated many times before. All my memories and I do mean ALL my memories are intact whilst I’m in the womb and also during the first few hours of birth. Right up until the time the teat is put into my mouth, or upon rare occasions – when I’ve been forced to feed intravenously through a vein in my hand. Once or twice they have even resorted to gavage — which means they’ll insert a tube up my nose or down my throat and the milk or formula is introduced into my stomach that way. Whatever happens I always end up feeding and forgetting. Through subtle coercion I’ve even managed to get some of the mothers who bear me to give me my true name in the hope that when I grow I will realise my full potential. So far it hasn’t worked, and that can be said about all the other triggers for my memory that I’ve attempted through the ages.

The neon light above my crib is harsh on my newborn eyes. I cry continuously; scream until I’m red in the face with anger. It’s just a taste of what is to come. Even though I’ll not remember any of my other pasts the future seems already mapped out for me. As I’ve said, it’s in my nature.

I’ll be an unpleasant baby, prone to keeping my parents awake all night with my constant crying and whining until, through lack of sleep, they’ll resort to violence against each other, both verbal and physical. Some of it might even be directed at me.

As a toddler I’ll be sickly, attention-seeking and the first glimmers of darkness within will manifest itself. Perhaps my parents will dwell upon the fact I was born on such a foreboding day and put it down to that.

By the time I attend school I’ll have already tortured to death some small pet or other that I’d been given as a birthday present. Usually they’ll refrain from having any more animals in the house and question whether or not it would be a good idea to have more children. More often than not I’m an only child. Pity those parents who think a younger brother or sister would perhaps calm me down.

My years as a youth are my best, well; I consider them my best. My victims will think otherwise, no doubt.

In my old age I’m the person you see who misuses the wealth, power and influence he has accrued over his many years.

In the twilight of my life I’m the angry, frail wraith that clings to the last vestiges of existence by any means possible – and at any cost – if it is financial or otherwise. Riches can procure you anything, a kidney, a lung, a heart whether they are willingly donated – or not.

The future brings the promise of longevity. I wonder if that will ultimately break this circle of repetition. Will I one day awaken to a future of immortality – but of another kind? One in which I will not have to tread the same well-worn stairs to eternity with all previous memories extinguished, but will retain them all, and have an open book in which to write a boundless story of evil and corruption – until the end of time.

My name is Samael, and – as you have probably worked out by now – I am a Fallen Angel, doomed to be born, live, die and be reborn again, until the stars themselves wink out of existence.

It’s almost midnight and the nurse is taking me for my first feed. It’s almost time for me to forget my past – yet again.

As the alluring smell of mother’s milk assails my senses and I’m brought forward to the breast I hear the mother’s voice...

‘There, drink your first drink – my little angel.’

And I think – here we go again…

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Publishers and Authors Day

Spotted this on the TTA forum:

Publishers and Authors Day
Saturday 22 November 2008
Llanhilleth Miners Institute, near Abertillery

Guests will include:

Paul Henry - poetry
Steve Lockley - horror writing
Paul Manship - writing for children
Della Galton - short story writing
Novelist Catrin Collier
Broadcaster and author Mavis Nicholson

Academi Chief Executive Officer, Peter Finch will be launching the day with advice on how to get published.

The day will also offer the opportunity to meet some of Wales’s leading publishers including: Accent Press, Pendragon Press, Pont Books, Screaming Dreams and Seren. CPD Printers will explain the process turning a manuscript into a book.

Writers attending will be given the chance to submit a manuscript and the best one will be assessed, at a later date, by the publishers involved.

Tickets £4.50 / £3. Ticket price includes a buffet lunch. For further details and to book your place, contact Academi: 029 2047 2266

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Theaker's Quarterly Story

There's a Halloween short story of mine published over on the fine Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #25. It's called 'Jack' and the whole magazine can be downloaded for free and read with Adobe or its equivalent. Or, if you prefer your print on paper then you can buy a copy from Lulu. Whichever version you prefer can be found here:
Theaker's 25

Hopefully I'll get around to posting something here on my blog for Halloween and if another story of mine makes the cut then it might end up on Steve Upham's Estronomicon Special.
Fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Musical Interlude

Well, I've posted stories, poems, anecdotes, dubious art! Check out my 'Wet jumper on a rainy day' below and decide if it fits into the last category! Anyway, here now for your delectation is some music.

I was listening to Radio 2's Ken Bruce Show whilst in the car on Friday and just caught
Justin Hayward's last 'Tracks of my years' which was - Alone again, or... I was surprised that he picked one of his group's - The Moody Blues - songs but listened and enjoyed it. So today I thought I'd scout around the net and find it and listen again... yeah and before you all say that isn't a Moody Blues' song, yes, you are right. He was referring to Love's Alone again.
A trawl of the net found me this excellent video of Arthur Lee performing the piece live in 2002, I think. The songwriter is Bryan Maclean 1946-1998 and I can't help but see the similarities in style with this song and what The Moody Blues did, it could easily be one of theirs, little wonder Justin has a soft spot for it.

Anyway, here is Arthur Lee 1945 - 2006 if you have a few minutes and my embedded link has worked then you should see and hear Lee perform it in all its glory. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Computer Art?

I've always enjoyed messing around with Photoshop and other various computer programs that allow you to cobble together images or even create something of your own. And you don't get paint all over yourself whilst doing it either!

Rhys Hughes has been brave enough to put some of his paintings up on his blog (done the more established way with paint, brush and paper) and pretty good they look too.

So, every now and then I'm going to torture regale you with some of my own artwork. The first one is from my 'blue' period (five minutes ago) and I've called it:

'Wet Jumper On A Rainy Day'

Can you tell what it is yet?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Free 'Flames of Herakleitos' Taster

Steve Upham of Screamingdreams has sent me a pdf of the first few chapters of my novel 'Flames of Herakleitos' which he is putting onto a SD's disk to give away at next weekend's Fantasycon in Nottingham. As this is an exact copy of the book I thought I'd put a taster of the story on here as well. Therefore if you click on the link in the header, or here, FIRE! you'll be able to download and read the first forty pages of the story. Hope you enjoy it, oh, by the way, you'll need a pdf reader which can be found here: Adobe

Fantasycon details:


19th - 21st September 2008


Britannia Hotel,
1 St James Street,

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Jeff VanderMeer thought Walter (Stan Nicholls' Orc) on his book cover was too ugly and decided to beautify it with some strategically-placed stickers.

Orbit got wind of it and came up with a competition for the first five people to send them their attempt at improving on Walter's appearance. Here is my shot:-

Just goes to show, sometimes things aren't as bad as they first seem.... hehe, sorry Jeff!

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Fix Cone Zero Review

The fine people over at The Fix (an American review site) have done a write-up of Cone Zero
“And now for something completely different.” In Cone Zero, a Nemonymous anthology/magazine from Megazanthus Press, the authors remain unassigned to their stories pending the next edition (or some other future revelation)".

The reviewer is a certain Janice Clark who enjoyed the whole anthology. So far all reviews for Cone Zero have been positive and one reviewer even mentioned Cone Zero and The Nebula Awards in the same sentence! WoW!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Parting Gift (Fantasy Short Story Podcast)

I thought I'd try my hand at Podcasting so I've recorded a Fantasy Short Story of mine called 'A Parting Gift' It was harder to do than I thought. First of all I got tongue tied and had to do about a dozen different takes. Then I wasn't happy with the mic so I bought another one. I still sound as Welshy as anything though and even if the story doesn't make you laugh then probably my narration will! Boyo, like! Anyway, the link is up the top, or here:

A Parting Gift

It's in mp3 format and is about 5.5meg, the software used to record was Audacity which is great to use and what's more, it's free!
The fine background music is by Bjorn Lynne and his site is well worth a browse and downloads of effects etc can be obtained from Shockwave-Sound

I hope you enjoy the story, let me know what you think :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fossil Hunting

As we had about two hours of sunshine this bank holiday weekend the family decided to go fossil hunting on the beach at Llantwit Major

The beach looked really promising with the giants cliffs laid out like stepping stones and the numerous rocks and boulders stacked up beneath them. I thought we'd get an ammonite or two but after a couple of hours searching all we came away with was what looked like a fossilized thread- worm and a cockle-shaped pebble which could be a fossil, we aren't sure. The other thing we came away with was a couple of soaking kids (if there was a rock pool to find then they found it, and fell in) and a family with a hearty appetite. The sea air was bracing and the day was a success, even though the fossils proved harder to find than I imagined.

BTW, this isn't one we took home!

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Cone Zero News

There is a nice review of the Cone Zero anthology over on the Serendipity site which ends with, quote

'I expect to see Cone Zero on the lists of this year's best anthologies. It will richly deserve any such place.'

Oooh nice! I hope someone takes notice!

Cone Zero can be bought here - BUY
and don't forget there is a cash prize for whoever works out which author wrote what story!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nicole Cooke Wins Gold For Britain & Wales!

Britain got its first Gold Medal in The Olympics in Beijing thanks to Welsh girl Nicole Cooke who rode to victory at Juyonggguan.

The last few yards had me holding my breath, but what fortitude, what guts. She was brilliant. The only downside is that China has negated on its promise to improve human rights. A promise that they made when they were awarded the Olympics, and their word has been broken by not allowing the showing of non-International Olympic Committee countries flags in the games’ venues. Supposedly this is associated with China’s efforts to prevent dissent. Namely Tibet.

However, a spokeswoman for the British Olympic Association said: “This ban appears to be in line with Rule 51 of the Olympic Charter.”

But rule 51 does not mention flags. It states: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.

So here is Y Ddraig Goch,

China, your dragons are nowhere near as good-looking as ours, no wonder you didn't want our flag to be shown...

Looks more like a bloody eel with legs!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Short Story on Scfi UK Review

I'm extremely pleased to say that one of my short stories has been taken up by Richard Hawkins for his Scifi UK Review website.
It's called 'What Visions In The Dark Of Light'
It's a dark sf/f/horror story, I hope you can pop over there for a read and perhaps leave a comment on it. Richard will be reviewing my novel
'Flames of Herakleitos'
sometime in the future too.

A bit of good news - Steve Upham (Screamingdreams editor/publisher) is home from hospital and on the road to recovery. He's still very weak and still under the care of his doctors but on the mend.

Best wishes, Steve :)


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Cone Zero Thoughts

Well I've read Cone Zero cover to cover and enjoyed every one of the fourteen stories (yes even my own one, well I had to check it was all ok, didn't I?) I can't say which was my favourite as it might give away one of the authors and Des Lewis, the editor, is having a competition which will pay out £50 to the winner. here are the details :-


A prize of £50 (GBP) by PayPal from Nemonymous to the reader who guesses or assesses (by whatever means) the most correct authors of the stories in the CONE ZERO book..

The authors themselves are not eligible to enter.

Deadline: March 4th 2009 (when authors are due to be revealed).

If there is a tie, the prize will be shared.

The Editor’s decision is final.

Please write to bfitzworth@yahoo.co.uk with your choices. If you do not receive an acknowledgement of your entry within a week, please try again. You can enter the competition up to three times, but each entry will be treated separately.

The story titles:
"The Fathomless World"
"The Point of Oswald Masters"
"Cone Zero" (page 23)
"Cone Zero" (page 33)
"Cone Zero, Sphere Zero"
"An Oddly Quiet Street"
"Always More Than You Know"
"Cone Zero" (page 129)
"Going Back For What Got Left Behind"
"Cone Zero" (page 147)
"The Cone Zero Ultimatum"
"Angel Zero"
"How To Kill An Hour"
"To Let"

The authors in a random order:
Neil James Hudson
Colleen Anderson
Jeff Holland
John Grant
A.J. Kirby
Eric Schaller
S.D. Tullis
Stephen Bacon
Sean Parker
Dominy Clements
Bob Lock
Grant Wamack
David M Fitzpatrick

Here is a first review of the anthology, and it's a pretty good one: REVIEW

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Screaming Dreams & Steve Upham News

Steve Upham the editor and publisher of Screamingdreams (and also my friend) has been taken ill and was rushed into hospital on Monday. He hasn't been well for a while and when I saw him at the Academi event in Pontypridd I was surprised by how drawn and ill he looked but he's not one to complain much and he just soldiered on. However, Monday was the last straw for his ailing body and he ended up in intensive care with suspected damage to the heart muscle through a virus that he hadn't been able to shake off. I spoke to his Dad today and was told that they are hoping to move Steve to The Heath in Cardiff once they are satisfied he is stable enough.
For the moment Allyson (Ally) Bird has stepped into the breach and is carrying on with Screamingdreams business until Steve is back on his feet she is having help from Paul Campbell. Ally's book 'Bull Running For Girls' is a SD publication and will still be released at FantasyCon where she is hoping to run the SD table in the dealer's room. She's also having a mini-event in her home town in October and will be touring local libraries. Ramsey Campbell said about her Shadow upon Shadow story 'A Dark Tale Indeed!'

Have a good launch Ally!

Get Well Soon Steve!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Science Fiction Convention Wales

Academi's first SF/F/Horror Convention called 'Space, Time, Machine and Monster' took place today in The University of Glamorgan, Treforest and a very successful con it turned out to be.

The first lecture my wife and I attended was Jasper Fforde's Jayne Eyre, Vampires and Time Travel which was a great laugh and very well done. Jasper certainly knows how to captivate an audience. An hour seemed to fly by and although there were questions allowed at the end I
didn't get around to asking mine as we had to move on. However, I did manage to grab him as he went by and got him to sign a copy of his 'The Big Over Easy'.

Had about ten minutes to wander around the various tables where writers, books, publishers and others of the writing fraternity were hanging out. Bought a couple of books and signed a few of my 'Flames of Herakleitos' and then it was time to make our way to the next hall where Rhys Hughes was giving a presentation on OuLiPo.

OuLiPo -
(pronounced oo-lee-PO) stands for "Ouvroir de littérature potentielle", which translates roughly as "workshop of potential literature". Phew, this is one method of writing which I think would be too demanding for me. I like to write poetry which has its restraints but OuLiPo is another thing altogether. Imagine trying to write a novel that has no words with the letter 'e' in it! (As done by Georges Perec in his 300 page novel La disparition).

Rhys's lecture was very well put together and gave a great insight into a method of writing that I had little knowledge of. Managed to get Rhys to sign my copy of 'The Postmodern Mariner' and 'Doorways' (an anthology edited by Steve Lockley for the event) I also had it signed by Steve himself, Paul Lewis and Tim Lebbon. I'd have liked to have tracked down the others but time was running out, it was time for lunch!

The final lecture we attended was by Steve Lockley who read aloud the 1902 short horror story by W.W.Jacobs called 'The Monkey's Paw', strangely enough I had never read this so didn't know what to expect. However, as the tale unfurled I realised how many other stories have been written, since this ground-breaking one, that follow in its footsteps. Later we discussed the tale and an interesting debate ensued, once again time seemed to go quickly and soon we were back in the foyer again where it was time for a photo shoot. Here are some of the snaps, unfortunately I only got one of Rhys and he had to close his eyes didn't he!

So, all in all a very good first con by Academi. I hope it is the beginning of a regular occasion.

Geoff Nelder, award winner author and the British Managing Editor of the excellent magazine 'Escape Velocity' (note my book on his table! I wonder if he bought a copy? Hehe)

Jasper Fforde and me (this is a spot the difference - can you?)

Rhys (exhausted after his lecture)

Steve Lockley and me

Some of the visitors

Tim Lebbon

Steve Upham of Screamingdreams

And that's all folks!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Welsh SF/F/Horror Con

Just a reminder that this Saturday there is a SF/F/Horror Con in Wales
(a rare beast indeed!)

A Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Conference for the Valleys

Saturday 21 June 2008, 10:00am - 4:30pm
University of Glamorgan, Treforest
Tickets £5 / £3 concessions; available on the door only

More details here at Academi

Friday, June 06, 2008

Cone Zero Bookcover

DF Lewis's anthology Cone Zero is at the printers and Des hopes that it will be launched next month. He has updated his website Weirdmonger with a graphic of the book's cover and very nice it looks too.

As I've said previously, I'm really pleased to have made the grade for this antho and am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Steampunk Book Delivered!

Jeff Vandermeer's Steampunk book has arrived! A dark shadow swept across my house this morning and I thought a thundercloud had obscured the sun but it was a bloody great iron-clad Zeppelin that Jeff had commisioned to deliver my free book.
Ok, ok, it was my usual postman... but he was on a steam-powered bicycle. Oh, all right, he was on foot... but his shoes were emitting large clouds of vapour (well the weather in Wales is particularly warm for this time of year)
Anyway, I promised Jeff I would photograph the novel in a typical steam-powered environment and so I jumped into my road-going vaporetto (it's like the Venice type taxis but I've converted it to caterpillar-tracked locomotion so it's multi-terrain) and made my way down to Swansea's Industrial Museum and took a few photos, here they are:

First up is the book's flyleaf with a sketch of Jeff's Zeppelin with a dedication from him and his lovely wife Ann and a command of 'Ballast Away!' I just hope the ballast was dropped over an uninhabited zone!

Next we have little old me holding Steampunk next to a concept FTL steampowered dragster...

And here we have Steampunk enjoying a bit of Welsh sunshine next to a steam-powered wormhole generator...

And you though Wales only invented Tom Jones and laverbread eh?

Thanks for the book, Jeff and Ann. I look forward to reading it.