Thu, 08 March 2018 Interview on The Thin Air

Today I’m interviewed on The Thin Air by Loreana Rushe, where I discuss comics, influences, and in particular my forthcoming work for 2000 AD.

Tue, 06 March 2018 It’s a sitcom miracle

February can be a bit of a dour month, so I watched comedy to offset the grey. In particular I like the half-hour format, which feels like a delightful popcorn snack. I re-watched four seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Netflix, which was a fun binge.

Casting about for something else, I struck upon One Day at a Time on Netflix, about which I’d heard some positive buzz.

What an enchanting surprise awaited me! A wonderful, progressive, humourous (and often poignant) story about a family of Cuban descent, which explores issues to do with feminism, racism, mental health, gender, citizenship, religion, veterans’ issues, and the legacy of cultural traditions all while maintaining its bounce as a comedy.

Problems are thrashed through with gusto – and due to the three-generation lens through which the stories are presented, very astute observations are made. Minds are changed due to discussion, lived experience, and love.

Every single actor pulls their weight, but at its centre is nurse, veteran, and Mom Penelope (Justina Machado) and her elegant and outspoken mother Lydia (Rita Moreno). Both are outstanding.

I’ll just say make sure you have your tissues on hand for the final episode of season 2!

Hats off to the writing team, who have created a little miracle. Led by executive producer, and legend, Norman Lear, and re-conceived by Gloria Calderon and Kellett Mike Royce from the sitcom of the same title in the 1970s.

I’m just sad that I’ve watched all two seasons, and have to wait for another.

I was so pleased to see Rita Moreno at the Oscars ceremony… what an inspirational woman and fine actor. (She’s 86! I want to be her at that age.)

Tue, 27 February 2018 Best New Horror #28 is out

The trade paperback of Best New Horror #28, edited by Stephen Jones, and published by PS Publishing, is now available to buy. It contains my short story ‘The Light at the Centre’, which was originally published in Uncertainties Vol. 1, edited by Brian J. Showers, and published by Swan River Press. The cover art is by Lee Elias.

Also, there’s a great deal on at the moment where you if you order the limited edition, slipcased, hardback edition of the book (signed and numbered too), you will receive the trade paperback free! More on this deal at the PS Publishing web site

Mon, 26 February 2018 The Stephen King Mixtape

Mark West has put together another of his Mixtapes, this time on Stephen King short stories. I agreed to contribute as thanks to my faulty memory I thought that ‘The Long Walk’ was a novella… well, it’s a novel! It certainly stands up to a re-read, and remains strangely relevant considering current events in America.

Mark was happy to include my contribution despite the fact it’s not quite on topic.

Tue, 20 February 2018 We Are the Martians up for a Rondo

The ballot for the 16th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards is now online – there are loads of amazing titles shortlisted in a wide variety of categories. It’s going to be difficult to choose what to vote for (and please do vote, you have until midnight on 8 April 2018).

I should note, least editor Neil Snowdon is disappointed, that We Are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale – published by PS Publishing – is up for Book of the Year (among some outstanding company). It was a pleasure to be part of that project.

Thu, 08 February 2018 Zarjazzed

In an exclusive, The Hollywood Reporter announced yesterday that:

this summer’s 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special, which — for the first time in the anthology’s 41-year history — will feature an all-female creative lineup when it’s released in June, from writers and artists to colorists and letterers, working on some of the title’s biggest characters and series, including Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper and Psi-Judge Anderson.

I’m very pleased to say that I’ll be writing one of the strips for this special edition. I’m thrilled and honoured to be among such good company, and to have the opportunity to write for such an iconic comic.

Growing up in a small town in the West of Ireland there wasn’t much in the way of comics except for 2000 AD. I read it as often I can could get it, and the characters and stories have a special place in my nerdy heart.

It’s marvellous to get the opportunity to work with the Mighty Tharg. My younger self would have been hugely impressed.

I’ll provide more specific details about the project as it progresses…

Tue, 06 February 2018 Votes for Women

On this day – 100 years ago – the Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed, giving the parliamentary vote to women aged at least 30 who had property or a university education (and to all men over the age of 21).

Irish Women over the age of 21 obtained the vote when the Constitution of the Irish Free State Act came into effect in 1922.

The Irish Government is celebrating this event with the #Vótáil100 Programme, which is a series of events taking place around the country discussing women’s suffrage.

As always, I feel hugely indebted to my ancestors who fought so hard and endured great hardship to gain the vote for women. I enjoy many freedoms because they fought for it. But this victory was the middle of a long series of hard battles, which continue to this day.

My thanks to those who have fought, and continue to fight, for the equal rights of all people.

‘Revolution is not a one-time event.’
- Audre Lorde

Mon, 04 December 2017 Discussing The Quatermass Xperiment

The inaugural episode of the Hammered podcast is now available for listening. The host of the series JG Byrne and I talk about The Quatermass Xperiment (1955). It was a fun and nerdy deep dive into the film. Perfect for fans of Hammer films, science fiction, and Nigel Kneale (though of course he didn’t write the movie, but it’s based on his original BBC TV series. I give a lot of love to Kneale in this episode.)

You can listen to it here:

There will be a different guest with John in the next episode, and I should be returning for more Hammer exegesis with The Mummy (1959).

Make sure to subscribe to the series or like the Facebook page, which will give updates when each episode is online.

Tue, 21 November 2017 Hammered Podcast

I’ll be taking part in an on-going podcast called Hammered, dedicated to examining the more ghoulish output of the British Hammer Film Productions studio.

Starting with The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) and ending (maybe) with To the Devil a Daughter (1976), the discussions will be hosted by J G Byrne and aided by a rotating guest list. Each episode will work through one film from the studio’s horror releases.

The original music for the podcast is created by David Blake.

The first batch of films I’ll be chatting about with John are: The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), The Mummy (1959), The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960), The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964), and The Gorgon (1964).

The other august contributors are: Donald Clarke, Paul Duane, Tracy Fahey, Kasandra O’Connell, John Maguire, Aoife Martin, and Dan Smith.

You can subscribe now, and episodes should commence in December.

Fri, 10 November 2017 Best New Horror #28

Here’s the cover for Best New Horror #28, edited by Stephen Jones. My short story ‘The Light at the Centre’ is in it – the story was originally published in Uncertainties Vol. 1, edited by Brian J. Showers, and published by Swan River Press.

Here’s the table of contents:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: Horror in 2016 – The Editor
  • Pale Tree House – Angela Slatter
  • The Light at the Centre – Maura McHugh
  • En Plein Air – J.T. Glover
  • India Blue – Glen Hirshberg
  • Walking with the Cross – Peter Bell
  • Bedtime Story – Richard Christian Matheson
  • The Symphony of the Normal – Darren Speegle
  • The Ballet of Dr. Caligari – Reggie Oliver
  • Who is This Who is Coming? – Lynda E. Rucker
  • The House That Moved Next Door – Stephen Volk
  • Princess – Dennis Etchison
  • A Home in the Sky – Lisa Tuttle
  • On These Blackened Shores of Time – Brian Hodge
  • The Enemy Within – Steve Rasnic Tem
  • The Court of Midnight – Mark Samuels
  • Far from Any Shore – Caitlín R. Kiernan
  • The Fig Garden – Mark Valentine
  • White Feathers – Alison Littlewood
  • Over to You – Michael Marshall Smith
  • In the Dark, Quiet Places – Kristi DeMeester
  • Mare’s Nest – Richard Gavin
  • The Red Forest – Angela Slatter
  • Necrology: 2016 – Stephen Jones & Kim Newman
  • Useful Addresses

The book will be published by PS Publishing. The cover artwork is by Lee Elias, and was originally used in Tomb of Terror #15 (1954).

It’s a fantastic privilege to be counted among so many talented writers. My heart is full.

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    “Vigorous writing is concise.” — William Strunk, Jr.

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