Archive for August, 2013

Meet Guest Gaie Sebold!

August 20, 2013 - 12:16 pm No Comments

gaie 4. L.Barnes (2)

I am delighted again to announce another of our guests, Gaie Sebold.

Gaie Sebold was born in the US but has spent most of her life in the UK. She lives in leafy suburbia with her partner, writer David Gullen, a lot of plants and books and a daft cat.
Since the age of 5 she has written a large number of words, many of them different. Her debut novel introduced brothel-owning ex-avatar of sex and war, Babylon Steel (Solaris, 2012); the sequel, Dangerous Gifts, came out in February 2013. She is now working on a steampunk fantasy: Shanghai Sparrow, due in 2014.
She has published a number of short stories, three of which have received honourable mentions in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She has also won awards for poetry (her first collection, Urban Fox, is published by Tall Lighthouse).
She has worked as a cleaner, secretary, till-monkey, stage-tour-manager, editor, and charity administrator; she now writes and runs writing workshops. She reads obsessively, gardens amateurishly, and sometimes hits people with latex weapons.
Snippets from Babylon’s world can be found here, (including Babylon’s problem page, notes from Chief Bitternut’s casebook and extracts from the local newspaper): http://scalentine.gaiesebold.com/.
Gaie also blogs with David Gullen (in the guise of Lord and Lady Plott) on writing and gardening at http://weedingandwriting.com
And her own website is at http://gaiesebold.com

Babylon Steel
Author: Gaie Sebold
Publisher: Solaris Books
Page count: 431pp
Release date: 5th Jan 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Babylon Steel has a secret past; one which she hides from her crew at the Red Lantern brothel in Scalentine. Her crew includes twins Cruel and Unusual, who enjoy giving and receiving pain to/from their clients and Flower, a giant ogre-like creature who works in the kitchens and is the best cook in Scalentine.

Whilst the local religious contingent ‘The Vessels’ are hanging around the Red Lantern chasing Babylon’s clients away, Babylon is called to a meeting by the devastatingly handsome Darask Fain. Fain is willing to pay Babylon a rather nice sum of money to find a missing girl. Unfortunately, Babylon has a soft spot for girls in danger, probably because of her hidden past that is slowly revealed throughout the novel.

Scalentine and the world Sebold creates is what make this novel so entertaining. A myriad of creatures and races populate Scalentine; furred creatures, scaled creatures, blue creatures and fey. Sebold has created a believable local dialect for her inhabitants, which adds a sense of realism to an otherwise fantastical novel. The characters are vibrant and realistic, the streets of Scalentine likewise and the overall atmosphere of this novel is one of adventure and fun. The novel ended far too soon and I definitely want to spend more time in the company of Babylon and her ‘crew’. Great stuff!

Meet Guest Dave Jeffery

August 19, 2013 - 7:14 pm No Comments

Dave Jeffery

I am delighted to introduce another of our guests for Andromeda One http://terror-tree.co.uk/andromeda-one/ Dave Jeffery.

Dave Jeffery is perhaps best known for his zombie novel Necropolis Rising which has gone on to be a UK #1 Bestseller. His Young Adult work includes the critically acclaimed Beatrice Beecham Series, BBC: Headroom endorsed Finding Jericho and the 2012 Edge Hill Prize Long-listed Campfire Chillers short story collection.

Necromancer: Necropolis Rising II is slated for release through Dark Continents Publishing, Inc. in October, 2013. His short story Ascension (featured in ALT-ZOMBIE, Hersham Horror) has been filmed by Venomous Little Man Productions and will be released on the festival circuit throughout 2013. A spin-off 13 part TV series Exodus is currently in development.

Necropolis Rising
Author: Dave Jeffery
Publisher: Disturbed Earth
Page count: 156pp
Release Date: 10th Sept 2010
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
I have a particular fondness for this book because it is set in my hometown Birmingham. Although liberties are taken with locations, Hilton Towers for instance, the urban area is instantly recognisable.
The novel stars with a bang, literally, as the Animal Activist League attacks the property of Dr Whittington in Hilton Towers. The attackers, Sam and Sean, reach the penthouse apartment to find the good doctor munching on the remains of a golden retriever. Then an explosion wracks the room.
We next encounter Kevin O’Connell with Stu Kunaka, Amir and Suzie scoping out a building, the National Criminal Intelligence DNA Database. The group plan to infect the database with a massive computer virus. But they have to get into the building first before they can do it. If they can get into Birmingham centre that is, because the city is in lockdown.
There is a wry sense of humour to the novel and it is very representative of the multi-cultural society we live in. As for Suzie, at first she appears a little clichéd; “As a woman Suzie should’ve turned out a mess.” She was an abused coke addict, hence the cliché and is now a mercenary working with O’Connell, however, the character develops quickly into a strong female figure who can kick arse with the best of them.
Next we meet hard as nails Major Edward Shipman who is trying to control the outbreak, and he is aware that before the explosion in the centre Dr Whittington was involved in The Lazarus Initiative, a covert research programme aimed at bringing soldiers to life. Shipman is determined to find the one person who could be the answer to a cure to the Risen.
If your idea of fun is grisly, gruesome displays of the worst humanity has to offer and a bounty of undead, you will certainly have fun with this book, which is filled with gallows humour.
Apart from the military contingent, these are real people, working class or middle class citizens with a history and survivor instincts. One particular scene (I won’t spoil it for you) is oddly poignant and almost reminiscent of the twin towers destruction of 9/11. There is also a dash of romance going on in this novel that feels warm and comfortable, and does not intrude on the action. There are hints of something larger in the background with the elusive and mysterious Consortium pulling the strings behind the database infection. A little bit of historic zombie lore is also present in the form of a character musing on the Haitian origins of zombies and voodoo. Each character is given a solid back story that helps the reader engage with them. Jeffery has a style which reminded me of William Meikle; nard core pulp with heart. A jolly good adventure that keeps you hooked until the end.

Andromeda One Programme

August 12, 2013 - 9:56 pm No Comments

Hi

At last I can present a draft programme for our one day SFF/Horror con on Sat 21st September.

As well as lots of exciting panels/klatches & workshops, we are taking bookings for an Urban Fantasy Walk of Digbeth, Birmingham on Friday 20th September 17:30pm and Sat 21st September 19:30pm. Tickets are £8.00 for an hour walk but including a free guide book to Digbeth including a collection of short stories by local writers telling local urban legends to spook you out. Proceeds go to our sister company Beorma Care CIC, a company set up to support writers and artists with care responsibility & disability issues. Our website will be live soon.

Book your place on the walk now via email at theresa.derwin@yahoo.co.uk.

Payment can be made via paypal at fringewrks@gmail.com or by cash on the day.

Our programme is subject to change, but here it is! We have lots of guests who have yet to select panels they wish to take part in.

Andromeda One Draft Programme

Express Diaries

August 11, 2013 - 10:15 pm No Comments

The Express Diaries
Author: Nick Marsh
Publisher: Innsmouth House Press
Page count: 365pp
Release Date: 25th Sept 2012
Reviewer: Andy Angel
This story started out as a role playing game based round the Call of Cthulhu system

The year is 1925 and in London and ageing professor is convinced he has found clues to the location of The Simulacrum – a mysterious ancient statue.

The ‘gang’ he assembles to help him track down the Simulacrum are a varied bunch who all have their part to play in the search.

As you would expect the professor and friends are not the only ones searching for the artifacts. As they set off across Europe on the wonderful Orient Express they are pursued by a dark cult. Getting to it first will certainly be a challenge and the horrors they face along the way are exceptionally nasty.

The story is told in a collection of diary entries, journal entries, newspaper clippings and the likes. This gives the story a good feel and I also felt that the entries by the different characters all seemed to have individual voices. The writing certainly felt ‘of it’s time.

My final comments are reserved for the physical book itself – the hardback edition (which I was provided with in exchange for a fair and honest review) really is a joy to own, a must lovely book with beautiful illustrations. Any bookcase would be proud to own this volume

4.5 out of 5 stars

Meet Guest Iain McKinnon

August 6, 2013 - 7:24 pm No Comments

IAIN

Meet Guest Iain McKinnon

I am delighted to announce that we have a ew guest coming to Andromeda One. From 10:00am til 14:00pm horror and SF Writer Iain McKinnon will be mingling with the crowds, on panels and taking part in the varied events at Andromeda One.

Iain Mckinnon was born in Scotland in the early seventies and lived a happy well balanced childhood, with the exception of being forced to wear flares and the 1978 World Cup.

Aged 18 he saw George A Romero’s Day Of The Dead and from then on zombies crowned his list of irrational fears.

In 2005 he wrote the screen play for the 10 minute zombie film The Dead Walk in an attempt to confront his fear and get a restful night’s sleep.

Unfortunately although his plan worked and he lost his fear of the undead at the same time his wife gave birth to their son and he hasn’t had a good night’s sleep since.

Iain currently lives and writes from his home just outside Edinburgh. At the moment he only has one irrational fear but he does still keep a survival kit and crowbar close at hand just in case.

You can find out more about Iain at http://iainmckinnon.weebly.com/