666, An Anthology of Horror Shorts, Reviewed.

https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/card?asin=B01M6A07BE&preview=inline&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_ERalAbGW2P26R&tag=stuartaken-21 A scary collection of thirty-two horror shorts, every one of them exactly 666 words long! These Fantables were mostly the result of a contest run by the publisher, Fantastic books Publishing, but include some tales by selected invited professional writers. The stories run the whole spectrum of horror writing from the traditional through to …

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SciFi Made: Now Available in All Formats!

My latest science fiction novel, Blood Red Dust, is now available as an ebook as well. You can get a copy by clicking here to buy from Amazon. The paperback version was mentioned in a previous post. As readers of my blog, you get to know about the new book before the official launch. That’s …

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Yes, I Named My Daughter Gaylord Focker, by Joseph Joel, Reviewed.

An unusual book, in that the longest ‘chapter’ containing prose is the introduction by the author. However, this amusing preface says all that’s needed to introduce readers to the lists of absurd, improbable, insane and downright insulting names that parents have saddled their offspring with and some companies have labelled themselves as. The phrase ‘A …

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SciFi in the Making: Now Available!

It’s here! It’s there! And you can have it everywhere! Okay, a little ott, but, hey! I’m excited. My latest science fiction novel, Blood Red Dust, is now available and you can get a copy by clicking on this link. At present, it’s available in paperback; the ebook will follow shortly: I’ll let you know …

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Looking for the Best Word? Tip #10

Examining similar and dissimilar words to find ways writers might make their work more varied, accessible, interesting, accurate and effective. A good thesaurus gives substitutes for the idea of a word, but not all suggestions are true synonyms. Context is vital. Putting alternative words in the same sentence to see if they actually make sense …

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A Miscellany for Word Lovers, by Robin Hosie & Vic Mayhew, Reviewed.

As a writer and a reader, I love words. They’re the ingredients that form marvellous works and the means for the storyteller to create wonderful tales. This collection, presented as a series of quizzes interspersed with all manner of facts relating to words, is readily accessible. It’s also a brilliant resource for writers. It provides …

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Progress on the WIP: SciFi in the Making – Cover Reveal!

In a couple of days, I'll be announcing the launch (soft at present, as the official launch will occur on 19th November at Fantasticon 2016 in Hull). But, to keep you up to date, here's the cover of Blood Red Dust: Volume 1 (Generation Mars). This is my new science fiction novel. Watch this space …

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The Bloody Chamber, by Angela Carter, Reviewed.

I ‘won’ a copy of this book in a giveaway entered online. When the paperback arrived, I was delighted, as I was about to go on holiday and expected it to make good poolside reading. This is an anthology of singularly dark, complex and richly written tales. Most are based on the elements of fairy …

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Looking for the Best Word? Tip #09

A series of posts examining similar and dissimilar words to suggest ways writers might make their work more varied, accessible, interesting, accurate and effective. A good thesaurus provides alternatives for the idea of a word, but not all suggestions are true synonyms. Context is vital. Placing alternative words in the same sentence to see whether they …

Continue reading Looking for the Best Word? Tip #09

Around the World in 80 Tales, by Dave Tomlinson, Reviewed.

There are stories from much of the world here, though the bulk concern East Asia, Australia and South America. The author uses simple everyday language to convey his adventures in often exotic locations. The style is easy and peppered with humour, humanity and the occasional caution. This is travel on a budget, so we’re treated …

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