Sunday, June 28, 2009

We kicked our way through autumn leaves

As a birthday treat my daughter took me to see Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds on Wed 24th June 2009 at the Cardiff CIA and it was a brilliant performance and night. Can it really be thirty years since we came back from Italy (where I worked for three years) and sat in the dark in the evenings listening to this iconic musical rendition of one of the best SF stories ever told? It only seems like a few weeks ago. Time and the human memory are strange things indeed. My children must have sat through dozens and dozens of performances of this double LP set until the records became so scratched I finally superseded them with CDs. The cast did an admirable job, including the stand-in Parson Nathaniel who took over the role at short notice as Shannon Noll had a family emergency I understand. Justin Hayward's voice was just as I remembered and as he sang 'Forever Autumn' the air was filled with multi-coloured paper tissue leaves as they dropped from the ceiling onto the crowd below, a nice touch! We managed to scrabble a few away for posterity. Then later on in the night when the Artilleryman had finished singing about 'A Brave New World' and he realised that his digging tunnels for the future of Mankind was futile, he threw a handleful of playing cards out into the audience and we both had one each. Jennifer Ellison impressed me with her singing and she played the part of Beth very well indeed. Chris Thompson (The voice of Humanity) gave a powerful performance too and on checking up on him I found that he used to be in Manfred Mann's Earthband. The musicians were spot on, especially the soloists and Jeff Wayne's conducting showed what energy the guy has. Finally, hearing Burton's voice and seeing the enhanced computer projection of his face just seemed to confirm what every Welshman knows, there'll never be a voice like his again. His opening lines never failed to send a shiver down my spine 30 years ago and I have to say that they did again the other night...
bwyso i mewn dangnefedd, Richard.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm a Guest Writer on Wilywriters.Com

Some time ago I was invited to join and write on an American writers' site called Wilywriters.Com which is a speculative fiction site that has both free and donation-enabled stories in text and audio. You cannot send in submissions to them, it's invite only.

My story is available for free in both versions and can be found here:-

'But Everyone Is Different!'

It is well worth listening to the audio version!

The site has been set up by Angel Leigh McCoy who is a writer and games developer (Guild Wars™ 2). Thanks again for the invite, Angel.

The narrator is Nathan Crowder who has done a superb job and to say I'm extremely pleased is an understatement! Many thanks Nathan.

The cat-girl graphic (Dasha) was done by none other than Steve Upham, thanks Steve.

I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I AM PHARTICUS! .... No! I am Pharticus, No I am Pharticus!

Tomorrow, 13th June will be my birthday and as a surprise present my brother-in-law Tony Harwood, has made a model of my character in World of Warcraft which stands about three inches high and guards my computer desk with his might axe. His name is Pharticus and he is a Death Knight. Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm much too old to be playing games like this but even though on the outside I might resemble a shrivelled prune I can assure you all that inside I am like a fresh grape (all green and full of pips)...

Thanks Tony!

Monday, June 08, 2009

British Fantasy Awards Shortlist

The BFA has announced it shortlist for this year and I'm very pleased to say that Cone Zero is up there with five other books fighting for Best Anthology. As you all probably know, I have a story of mine in this fine anthology called - (The Cone Zero Ultimatum) which is about the revolt of sentient household appliances against their 'Flesh' masters - this is what Peter Tennant (famous writer, editor and teddy-bear fancier) of Black Static said (in haiku form!)

longest and the best

chock full of fun and a treat

from first word to last

Thanks Pete!

Steve Upham's Screamingdreams is also shortlisted, as is one of his writers, Allyson Bird who is in both Best Collection and Best Short Story - Good Lucky Ally!

Chris Teague's Pendragon Press is also well represented in the shortlist too in various categories, nice one Chris!

An exciting time for all involved, now get over to the BFA site and vote, vote, vote! :)

(no expenses were claimed in the writing of this blog...)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Estronomicon Spring/Summer 2009 Edition

Steve Upham of Screamingdreams has uploaded his newest edition of Estronomicon and it can either be found on his website here: LINK or you can read it in the full flip-book version over on the excellent Issuu site by clicking on the magazine below:

You'll find something of mine in this issue too. It's called 'The Devil Went Down To Swansea' and is a change from my normal fantasy or sf in that it is a factual piece. I hope you enjoy.