The Last Dragon (6/6/2011)

Posted in News

I’ve been promising the result of the genre-for-japan auction and the short story that came out of it for a little while, so here it is: The Last Dragon

And now back to work :-!

The Last Dragon

Posted in Excerpts | Short Stories

The Genre for Japan appeal was launched in the Spring of 2011 to raise money for victims of the recent earthquake near Japan. Many people gave generously of their time, their creativity and their money. I offered up two days of my time, Many suggestions were made as to what could be done with it, and I honestly didn’t expect much interest. But there was, and an interest that far exceeded my expectations. This story is the result of that auction, written on request for the winning bidder, Michael Amouyal. Michael, I salute you.

Genre for Japan (Again) (13/4/2011)

Posted in News

Over here, the dust has settled and the news media has largely moved on. Over in Japan the dust may have settled too, but for the people whose lives were washed away, I imagine it will be a very long time before they, too, can move on.

In the big scheme of things, the money raised by the Genre for Japan auction probably doesn’t seem like very much. I’d like to think it means more than just the money, though. Any one of us putting a hand in our pocket alone and fishing out whatever loose change we’ve got, that’s not going to make a difference, but the sum of all of us does, and for each individual, it’s a little message of support. A tiny signpost raised to say ‘I see your need. I see your suffering.’ Put aside the actual money – I see it as the difference between struggling to put your own life and those around you back together on your own, and doing it in a metaphorical stadium-of-life with millions of distant supporters cheering you on. I hope, somehow, the people whose lives have been literally washed away somehow get to hear a little of that voice.

I’d like to think it’ll mean more for those who supported the auction, either as bidders or donors, too. Some of you will be appearing in stories over the next couple of years. I hope there’s a mention in the acknowledgements of each of those characters and how they got to be there. For my own part, I’ll now be writing a short story about a dragon a girl called Lyna. I’ll be doing it for someone for whom english isn’t even their first language, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy it, and when it’s done, it’ll be online for anyone to read. Might even go looking for some art and stuff…

So here’s to you, Genre for Japan, Amanda, Louise, Jenni, Ro, Alasdair and Robert, I salute you.

Genre for Japan (28/3/2011)

Posted in News

Berren: Here, look master, no one’s doing anything useful with this site at the moment – let’s crash here again for a bit.

Syannis: Can we just go home?

Berren: There was this bloke in the night market last night and he was selling all this weird stuff that looked really cool. Yeah, and next to him was this old bloke with a stack of books. Had a sign up that said something like Johnner for jug pan. Dunno what that was about.

Syannis: I think you mean Japan.

Berren: A what-pan?

Syannis: Japan. It’s a place.

Berren: Never heard of it.

Syannis: Powerful rich kingdom across the sea. Sea swallowed a a good chunk of it and then spat it out again. Lots of people died.

Berren: And who’s this Johnner?

Syannis: Genre, idiot.

Berren: Eh?

Syannis: Stuff like us. Made up stuff from places that don’t exist. Low-brow escapism if you ask some people. Stories. Bad for you, apparently, like listening to the story of some miserable old quack-intellectual merchant musing over the spiritual emptiness of his life of obsessive avarice and acquisition has any more relevance to my life. I’m talking about stories that touch upon the primordial myths we all carry inside us, our basic hopes and fears and desires stripped of contemporary complexities and concentrated to their bare essentials.


Syannis (with a quiet sigh): With swords and dragons and fighting and stuff.

Berren: Sweet! (frowns)

Syannis: Mind you, with these bloody sword-monks busy cutting everything to bits left right and centre and with us being all out of work and skint, I dare say you can’t afford a bunch of tawdry stories about dragons and stuff.

Berren: Oh that’s all right. I’ll just go and steal s . . . er, go and do some extra work. Dragons? Did you say dragons? Are we in it?

Syannis: ‘Fraid not. Go and have a look for yourself. Visit the night market, or click here for more. Can we go now?

Berren: Dragons! Dragons dragons! Oh, wait, and there was this bloke hanging around shouting stuff. Rijerd Little-Dick or something. Said we shouldn’t be helping foreigners.

Syannis: You mean foreigners like me?

Berren: Er . . .

Syannis: I’ve really had enough of that nob. (heading for the exit while sharpening sword) Where was he, exactly . . .?

Berren (running after): Anyway, Johnner for jug pan! I mean Genre for Japan! Cool stuff! Rare stuff! Cheap stuff!

The Genre for Japan auctions opens at 9am today (monday 28th) and will run until the following Sunday. If you’re after dragons, you can bid on a complete set of A Memory of Flames here; alternatively, if you want something read, written or can otehrwise think of something useful for me, you can bid for some of my time. Unless it’s too do software, because that counts as too humiliating. There are loads of other great books up for grabes and numerous opportunities to get yourself into various fantasy and SF novels.

For more Berren and Syannis, The Thief-taker’s Apprentice is available in paperback from 7th April