• Ireland

    Touring Tuesdays: Enniscrone Beach

      Worldcon will be coming to Dublin next August, and the blog on its web site already has a regular feature – Touring Tuesdays – to highlight other places for visitors to our beautiful island to explore. I wrote a piece on Enniscrone, and surrounding locations in Co. Sligo, an area I’ve repeatedly returned to since I was a child. You can read my full report on the Dublin 2019 web site. All the photos in the article are images I’ve taken over the years – I had plenty to choose from as the Wild Atlantic Way landscapes are spectacular.

  • Ireland

    dynamic trio

    I utterly failed to post images last week, as I promised, so I’m endeavouring to do better this week. This dynamic trio is Wonder Woman, Catwoman and Hawk Girl, and was a small splurge on my part while I was in Dublin last week. I was smitten with the expression on Hawk Girl’s face in particular. There is also a Harley Quinn in this set, but alas she sold out first (no surprise). I was up in Dublin last week for the 2011 ZeBBie Awards Ceremony, the annual awards voted upon by the members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild. It’s an event that honours Irish writers of radio,…

  • Ireland


    It’s the end of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, a day of celebrations and parades all over the country. It’s turning into a fun holiday, far from the pitiful parades of yore, which involved tractors with ghetto-blasters strapped to their sides blaring out The Clancy Brothers, dingy floats advertising the local supermarket, shivering school bands wearing beige blazers and plaid skirts marching in grim formation and people wrapped up in raincoats and scarves waving plastic tricolours with scant enthusiasm. Later, after we’d breathed life back into our blue fingers, we’d watch the parades in New York, Paris and Sydney on telly and wish we had something that colourful and interesting…

  • Octocon 2010
    Conventions,  Ireland,  News

    Octocon 2010

    This weekend I’ll be a guest at the 2010 Octocon convention in the Camden Court Hotel, Dublin. The Guest of Honour is George R.R. Martin, best known as the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels. The first novel in the series, Game of Thrones, is currently being filmed in Northern Ireland as a HBO mini-series. Its tone has been described as ‘Sopranos with Swords’, and since HBO rarely does anything badly, this could be the fantasy television series of a generation. Here’s the teaser trailer that HBO has released: It’s a considerable coup for an Irish convention to have such an established author as a…

  • Ireland,  News,  Thoughts

    cresting the big wave

    I’ve been working on the web site redevelopment of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild for a long time. I do a lot of web-related work for the Guild, including managing all of its social media outlets, which every organisation needs to maintain these days. A big job like a web site overhaul requires large periods of allocated concentration, and that’s been problematic in regards to divvying up my few resources. Working with advocacy organisations means you’re always scraping the pan for those last scraps of funding, and this year the Guild absorbed several funding cuts: there is nothing lurking at the bottom of that pot now. Still, I’m glad…

  • comic books,  Galway,  Ireland,  News

    Irish Free Comic Book Day 2010

    This Saturday is Free Comic Book Day in Ireland. Free Comic Book Day started in the USA in 2002, and as the name implies, is a day when participating retailers hand out copies of comic books to their customers for free. Here is the list of shops involved in Irish Free Comic Book Day: Easons book shop in Heuston Station Forbidden Planet in both Dublin and Belfast Other Realms in Cork Sub-City Comics in both Dublin and Galway The Winding Stair in Dublin There will be five titles available: In Dublin City – preview Formation 7 – preview Freak Show, issue #1 – full copy Róisín Dubh – preview Vampire…

  • Conventions,  Ireland,  Poetry,  Thoughts

    sun in the sky you know how I feel

    I’ve been getting a constant stream of birthday greetings from people via Facebook and Twitter today, and it’s lovely. Thank you all! People might grumble about social media, but it has its good uses too. I’m just about recovered from my two-week trip with back-to-back convention in the UK. World Horror Convention was probably the highlight because it was a well-run convention, and I met loads of new people at the event since the horror/dark fantasy crowd aren’t well represented at the likes of Eastercon (which focuses more on SF and Fantasy). It’s pretty much confirmed that I’ll have to start attending Fantasy Con in England, and I’ve already joined…

  • Conventions,  Fiction,  Galway,  Ireland,  News,  Reviews,  Thoughts

    horrible happenings

    I’m in London at the moment, but I’ll be heading to Heathrow for Eastercon later today. Some time after 2pm this afternoon I’m back on “Arts Brew” on the Internet Radio Z103, and I’ll be discussing the forthcoming Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway, among other things. World Horror Convention in Brighton last weekend was tremendous fun, if somewhat exhausting. The samples of the Roisin Dubh comic book arrived just in time for the convention on Friday morning, and it was a real joy to hold the 10-page preview. The panel I moderated about Women in Horror was excellent: our panellists were articulate and the audience asked questions and…

  • Golden Blasters
    Conventions,  Film,  Ireland,  News,  Screenwriting

    Golden Blasters 2010

    The Irish national science fiction convention, Octocon (October 16-17), has issued a call for scripts for its inaugural short script competition. It’s looking for fantasy, science fiction or horror short scripts, less than twenty pages, and in the usual format. The fees for the competition are on a sliding scale depending on when the script is submitted: May 31, 2010Earlybird Deadline €10.00 July 31, 2010Regular Deadline €15.00 August 31, 2010Late Deadline €20.00 It has also issued a call for submissions for fantasy, science fiction and horror short films (under 15 minutes) for its second Short Film Competition. The films that are short-listed will be screened at this year’s convention, and…

  • Ireland,  News,  Thoughts

    talking arts

    I’ll be interviewed this afternoon, around 1.30pm, by Claire O’Mahony, as part of her weekly “Arts Brew” cultural programme, on Z103, an Internet radio. We’ll be discussing the arts and its relationship with the Internet, although I believe Claire will be quizzing me a little about writing horror as well.