Archive for September, 2013

Andromeda One Parking & Programme

September 16, 2013 - 1:23 pm No Comments

Andromeda One logo

Hi All

It’s less than a week until our one day SFF/Horror con running til late at the Custard Factory Birmingham. And if you haven’t booked your ticket, don’t worry, you can book a ticket on the door on the day.

Take a look at the Programme, almost finalised, our wonderful guests and the parking details you may need.

How to Find Us Custard Factory & Parking

Andromeda One Draft Programme

Join us for a day of fun, frolics and er, fiction!

Don’t forget you get a goody bag with a free book on registration

Horror Double Bill

September 15, 2013 - 4:40 pm 1 Comment

If you like horror you’re gonna love what reviewer Andy Angel has to tell you about; two highl recommeded horror books to get your teeth into as the Halloween season approaches.

Devil Let Me Go
Author: Nathan Robinson
Publisher: The Bookshop of Doom
Page count: 268pp
Release Date: 24th July 2013
Reviewer: Andy Angel

A good package of horror short stories here (13 in all) from new boy Nathan Robinson.

The stories are all well written and, in most cases, pretty damn scary. Many subjects are covered so it isn’t all repetitive.

The book starts with The House That Creak’d – Charles Broome is the last man on earth but something, in fact several somethings, are out to get him. The easy way out would be suicide but his beliefs mean he would not meet his beloved wife in the afterlife if he did that. So, how to fight back

Secondly we have Top of the Heap – basically “don’t cross the boss”. Some truly horrific moments here

Next up – Crack’d – after an earthquake type event an old lady finds and hatches an egg she’s found on her land. For me this story had the most WTF moments and is probably one of the best

Among the others, If You Ever Meet A Girl Named Maisie Mae is probably the most relevent to recent times, while Eat Your Heart Out Lorena will bring tears to the eyes of men everywhere.

The book finishes with a christmas tale (Colder Than Hell Up Here) and a wonderfull little tale of family (Fallen).

As a short story collection this is just the right thing for your bedside table – don’t be too sure of a good night’s sleep though

4.5* out of 5

Turner
Author: Karl Drinkwater
Publisher: Amazon
Page count: 196pp
Release Date: 7th Dec 2011
Reviewer: Andy Angel

There are sinister goings on a plenty in this first novel by Karl Drinkwater.

The story is set on Stawl Island, a small island just off the Welsh mainland. On the island, as well as a whole host of creepy villagers and Lord John (the lord of Stawl Island) are David, the new police officer, Chris, a criminal on the run, and Megan, on the island for a getaway after leaving her cheating boyfriend. Oh, and let’s not leave out Spotty the black labrador, the police dog.

With the creepy villagers and the twisted Lord it is not long before Chris, David and Megan meet up and try to survive a night from hell – and there’s a storm coming too……..

I would like to say that for a first novel this is good, but really that would be a massive disservice to the author. It is, in my opinion, way beyond good. The author has been likened to Richard Laymon and Dean Koontz by other reviewers and these comparisons are pretty much on the mark. I cut my horror teeth on authors like Koontz and Laymon and would also put him up there with them.

The atmosphere on the island is dark, heavy, foreboding. Right from the first few pages it is foot to the floor stuff with pretty much no let up till you reach the end.

This is proper horror writing, the stuff that makes you wince when you see what’s coming. I predict a bright future for Karl Drinkwater and will be adding him to my list of authors whose books I pick up knowing I am in for a good read.

Highly recommended – 5* (out of 5)

Meet Guest Adam Nevill

September 13, 2013 - 9:32 pm 2 Comments

On 21st September 13 at the Custard Factory Birmingham, SFF/Horror convention Andromeda One takes place with Guests of Honour Paul Cornell, Jaine Fenn and Rog Peyton. Here I want to introduce you to Birmingham based guest and horror writer Adam Nevill.

About the Author

Adam Nevill

Adam Nevill was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969 and grew up in England and New Zealand. He is the author of the supernatural horror novels Banquet for the Damned, Apartment 16, The Ritual, Last Days, and House of Small Shadows. He lives in Birmingham and can be contacted through www.adamlgnevill.com

House of Small Shadows
Author: Adam Nevill
Publisher: Pan MacMillan
Page count: 370pp
Release Date: 10th Oct 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Touted as Britain’s answer to Stephen King, Adam Nevill has a lot to live up to. And thankfully he does. The most recent book of Nevill’s that I read, Last Days, was an explosively scary intercontinental voyage to terror and has stayed with me ever since. So it was with excitement and trepidation that I picked up House of Small Shadows. That’s the thing about Nevill; his work resonates with the reader in such a way as to be a living, breathing presence. In this new novel, Nevill expertly researches a number of areas, Victorian houses, taxidermy and dolls/puppetry, to bring the realistic aspects into play into an insightful ghost story.
Catherine Howard has been hired to value a umber of items in the Red House. Her first impression of this building, which has its own personality in the novel, , is that it is ‘enraged at being disturbed.’ Nevill works within the well established tradition of making a house the largest character in his work. The house only has two occupants; Edith Mason, the niece of an infamous creative puppet maker and taxidermist and Maude the housekeeper; oh, and about a zillion creepy dolls! On her way to the Red House, Catherine passes through Ellyll Fields, her old hometown, which has desperately tried to forget, being an adopted child who was bullied continually. Catherine also has a dark past, as does the village, because her childhood friend Alice disappeared and she was not the only child to have possibly been abducted. As a child, Catherine believed she saw Alice after the disappearance, insighting anger from Alice’s parents. Years later after much therapy, she accepts the various children she saw as hallucinations.
There is a wonderful Dickensian quality to this novel and the wizened wheelchair-bound Edith is a veritable Miss Haversham. This book is rife with history and the relevance of history, focusing on aspects of WWI as well as the taxidermy, which plays an important plot point. Catherine is also an honest character, flawed in many ways and unable to cope with many of life’s hiccups, but with the Red House, she finds a new challenge to face up to. Reading a novel featuring a female protagonist by a male author, there are normally gaps in the presentation of the opposite sex, but here Nevill nails it. Catherine’s idiosyncrasies feel real and her reactions are accurate.
In this novel Nevill continues to explore a theme he has used in a number of his previous books – art; beauty, the relevance of art to our modern world and life mimicking art in very scary ways. Amidst the symbolism and imagery is the recurrent sounds and sights of an ice cream van, a symbol of childhood. But Cathetine’s childhood was not one of fond memories.
In summary, this novel is chilling horror full of subtle scares in the vein of Wilkie Collins or Shirley Jackson; there are no bumbling monsters escaping closets. When the monster appears, it is truly terrifying and viscerally real. Nevill’s imagination is warped – but in a good way! A truly amazing book. His best yet.

Andromeda One: Musical Interlude

September 9, 2013 - 9:21 pm No Comments

Hi, really excited to share with you that Rosaleen, Martin Sketchley’s wife and singer with Two Bob Ted are now laying live at Anromeda One. They are very much looking forward to playing at the Andromeda event on 21st September. To give you a bit of info about them, they are a 5 piece band, two vocals, one guitar, a double bass and cajon/snare drum with other bits and pieces of percussion. All their songs are originals and they’ve got about an hour’s worth of material at the moment that they’ll be playing through the lunch hour!

You can’t afford to miss this event.

Meet Guest Janet Edwards

September 9, 2013 - 8:59 pm No Comments

Janet Edwards is the author of The EARTH GIRL trilogy, science fiction for adult and young adult readers, set in a distant future where humanity portals between hundreds of colony worlds . . . except for the unfortunate few whose immune system can’t handle living anywhere else but Earth.
Jarra was sent to Earth at birth to save her life and abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an “ape,” a “throwback,” but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

Earth Star

Author: Janet Edwards
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Page count: 400pp
Release Date: 15th Aug 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin


Jarra is subject to continual discrimination despite being awarded the Artemis medal for her heroic actions in the first novel. The majority of norms have left earth to live on other colonized planets expanding into the universe. Edwards captures the essence of 18-year olds even creating her own future teen lingo/jargon, which resonates. The new academic term starts and Jarra’s team are at Eden to begin an archaeological dig. Unable to leave the planet due to her immunity deficiency Jarra accepts that she can never enter the military. At least she does until she and her ‘twoing’ partner Fian are conscripted in an emergency to the military to help with what may be evidence of first contact.
They are working for the Alien Contact Programme, which has been activated. Of course the worry sets in straight away, because Jarra will die if she goes offworld.
Edwards’ SF elements are strong and speak of her knowledge of the genre, with portals between sectors and planets for transport, hover bags and food dispensers, which are common place and feel real. This novel is bursting with energy and it is refreshing to see a number of powerful, strong female characters particularly in the military. And Jarra is a great female representative too; although being an ‘ape’ she is the daughter of heroes and a Military Honour Child. A thoroughly enjoyable YA book that will appeal to adults too.