Yargh! Ugrosh smash secondary school selection system. Horrible horrible. Local selective school for geniuses: won’t get in. Distant selective school for almost-geniuses: too far away. Local good comprehensive: Not in catchment area. Local not-so-good comprehensive actually the only straightforward option. WHY DO YOU GIVE ME THIS ILLUSION OF CHOICE? RAGEMONKEY FURRYCHIMP KICKHOLEINTHEUNIVERSE NYAAARRRGH!!!!
Yes, yet another week in which not a lot got done. My second Bulldog Drummond novella got reworked and the first one got edited.
This week’s giveaway is Among Others by Jo Walton, maybe a love it/hate it book, not quite my personal cup of tea but exquisite in its own way. A book about books and fairies and magic and the real world too. Won some awards as well.
Fifteen-year-old Morwenna lives in Wales with her twin sister and a mother who spins dark magic for ill. One day, Mori and her mother fight a powerful, magical battle that kills her sister and leaves Mori crippled. Devastated, Mori flees to her long-lost father in England. Adrift, outcast at boarding school, Mori retreats into the worlds she knows best: her magic and her books. She works a spell to meet kindred souls and continues to devour every fantasy and science fiction novel she can lay her hands on. But danger lurks… She knows her mother is looking for her and that when she finds her, there will be no escape.
Usual deal – comment on this post before November 3rd and I’ll randomly select a lucky victims for a free copy of the book. This week we’re playing Fairy Supermarket so each comment (to enter) needs to be in alphabetical order and be fairy-related shopping items. Like A is for Ankou; B is for Brittany where Ankous come from; C is for Cee how easy it is…? Extra points if you tell me about a faery or a fairytale or something fey I’ve never heard of.
Although though no one has yet complained about how long it takes me to get to the post office and post things, it can take a while and if you live abroad then it can take even longer. Sorry about that, but they do get there eventually. Well, so far. Recent winners, I have cleared my backlog.
 Extra points not guaranteed to actually mean anything.
Another week in which not a lot got done. My second Bulldog Drummond novella for Piqwiq got drafted and I’m just about recovered from the great iPhone-rain interface disaster. A lot of the last two weeks and a good chunk of this week is going to be filled with trying to choose a secondary school. I suspect I speak for a lot of parents when I say that I don’t really want all this choice – I just want the local school to be a damn good one and for that to be all there is to it. It also occurs to me that there is surely a viable commercial venture in a website for people to whinge about really dumbass drivers. Had some peaches yesterday, people jumping the queue at temporary traffic lights into a single-file stretch of road only to then find the lights were red, jump those too and then end up blocking the one lane through the roadworks. And I guess that one dick per day is tolerable random background noise but several people did this. So if you were in Stratford on Sunday and waiting for ages and ages at a set of temporary lights, I’m sorry about the dickheads.
This week’s giveaway is the Orcish War-Fighting Manual by Den Patrick. My last regular gaming character was an orc so i have a soft spot for this.
Usual deal – comment on this post before October 28th and I’ll randomly select a lucky victims for a free copy of the book. This week, your challenge is to either vent some spleen about bad drivers, expound an Orcish approach to dealing with some of life’s problems or, for extra points, both at once.
Although, though no one has yet complained about how long it takes me to get to the post office and post things, it can take a while and if you live abroad then it can take even longer. Sorry about that, but they do get there eventually. Well, so far. Recent winners, I have a backlog again.
 Extra points not guaranteed to actually mean anything.
Last week was a desperately lazy week in which not a lot got done. News? Nah. Still waiting on a couple of announcements for new projects that are already in their editing stage, though – the Sekkrit Projekt and a piece of historical crime fiction. I was supposed to write another Bulldog Drummond novella for Piqwiq last week and then this week being a lazy sod, so I guess that’s now this week. Ho Hum. Also not at all helped by the great iPhone-rain interface disaster. Yes, folks, iPhones do not like being used in heavy rain. Given that I took my previous phone swimming by accident, maybe I just shouldn’t be allowed to have one. Meanwhile the topic of authors reading and commenting on reviews of their work keep bugging me because I keep seeing and being shown things in Dragon Queen that I hadn’t consciously realised were there. I may write something about that once I get this novella out of the way.
Anyway, this week’s giveaway is a double-header, meaning there will be two winners. Yay! Cheer, damn you! I have two old Adam Roberts novels: Swiftly and Land of the Headless up for grabs. Adam’s one of these authors who quietly gets around quite a bit and he finally won some award recognition this year for Jack Glass. I haven’t read Jack Glass but Yellow Blue Tibia was one of my favourite books of the year a few years back.
Usual deal – comment on this post before October 21st and I’ll randomly select two lucky victims for a free copy of the books (one each). Now if you don’t follow Adam on Twitter then you won’t know this, but he has quite a fondness for puns. Frequently very bad puns. So this week, your challenge is to come up with a pun. The gods of random will judge the two best puns. If you want some inspiration, go follow @arrroberts on Twitter. You won’t have to wait long.
Although, though no one has yet complained about how long it takes me to get to the post office and post things, it can take a while and if you live abroad then it can take even longer. Sorry about that, but they do get there eventually. Well, so far. Recent winners,my backlog is cleared and they’re all in the post.
I shall be at World Fantasy Con at the end of the month, a long established intention and a fact of great excitement to at least one person. As things stand I won’t be doing any panels, despite last-ditch efforts to establish a panel on why author should regularly interact via the internet with those who comment on their work and damn well comment on any review they damn well please. Fortunately this means propping up the bar for longer hours and probably having exactly the same discussion only with beer and thus louder.
However, I can announce that I’ll also be appearing in a slightly more useful and written form as part of the BFS anthology Unexpected Journeys and in the form of a short story, The Sin Eater, a brief vignette of revenge and wickedness and redemption and in which dragons are not mentioned even once. See, I can if I try…
The other stories are:
A Thief in the Night by Anne Lyle
Seeds by Benjamin Tate
Steer a Pale Course by Gail Z Martin
The Groppler’s Harvest by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Oak, Broom and Meadowsweet by Liz Williams
King Harvest Has Surely Come by Chaz Brenchley
The Queen’s Garden by Kate Elliott
The anthology is edited by Juliet McKenna and rather than have me waffle about it any more, you might fancy reading her thoughts and observing how I totally stole that list. You can also see the cover artwork there.
The anthology is only available (I think) to BFS members and WFC attendees (that may be a redundant statement). The BFS have a few months of exclusive rights to the story before it revert, after which I reckon there’s a fair chance it’ll show up here as a freebie.