• Golden Blasters 2011

    Golden Blasters

    Octocon, the Irish National Science Fiction Convention (15-16 October, 2011), has announced details of this year’s Golden Blasters Short Film and Short Script Festival. The Golden Blasters Short Film competition is now open to short film submissions from filmmakers from anywhere in the world. The science fiction, fantasy or horror films should be 12-15 minutes long, and can be live action, animation or a mixture of media. The shorts can be filmed on 35mm, 16 mm or video but entries must must be on DVD. Two copies will be required. A short-list of films will be selected prior to Octocon and will be screened for the attendees of the festival.…

  • three secrets of writing

    The picture on the right is Sir Terry Pratchett twenty years ago when he attended the first Octocon convention in Ireland as Guest of Honour. It was early in his career, and I remember him as affable, friendly and willing to socialise with the fans (not always the case with authors). The convention introduced me to his work, and I’ve been an admirer of his Discworld novels ever since. Today, Pratchett has sold over 70 million books worldwide and his hair is much whiter. He’s also coping with early-onset Alzheimer’s with rare honesty, as evidenced in last year’s two-part BBC documentary. Pratchett is currently in Trinity College Dublin for a…

  • Übermensch

    If you would like to watch ‘Übermensch’, which won the Golden Blaster for Best Short Film at Octocon, here it is: https://dailymotion.com/video/xdm0p6?width=480&iframe=1&additionalInfos=0&autoPlay=0&hideInfos=0 ÜbermenschScreenplay by Daniel Poole, adapted from a short story by Kim Newman; Director: Simon Temple. For those who were at Octocon you can now watch the closing title sequence in full, which I recommend.

  • blasted winners

    I took the above picture of graffiti and tags in Temple Bar in Dublin today. Despite being in the vicinity I never got a chance to drop by to Octocon‘s Dead Dog get-together in the Porterhouse as I was busy in the afternoon. Since I was on the jury for the Golden Blasters Short Film Competition with Michael Carroll and Dave Lally I figured I should mention the winners of the competitions: Golden Blaster Award for Best Short Film (Jury Award): ‘Ubermensch’, directed by Simon Temple and written by Daniel Poole, based on a short story by Kim Newman. Silver Blaster Award for Best Short film (Audience Award): ‘The Astronomer’s…

  • Goodnight Dublin

    I’ve had a lovely Octocon weekend in Dublin. Tomorrow I’ll be heading back to the West of Ireland, sad to leave friends, but inspired to continue working in the genre I love so much. I’m already looking forward to the next event.

  • Octocon 2010

    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…

  • Golden Blasters 2010

    Golden Blasters

    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…

  • death and taxes

    It’s been a strange week. There have been two deaths, and I’ve attended one funeral (neither of the deceased were close to me, so don’t proffer sympathies), and a major row erupted in the Irish sf scene that involved a lot of people I know. My mother had been away on holiday, and she called me on Tuesday evening and asked if I wanted to go see a film. I couldn’t really spare the time. Not only did I have a funeral that was going to take up most of the following day, I was really late on sorting out my taxes. I’d been brooding on the Internet fracas going…

  • end of summer round-up

    Golden Blasters

    I’ve never had such a long gap between blog posts before, I guess that means I’ve been busy. Time to herd some news stories across the prairies. I sold my sf-horror story, “Empty Mind Came Back With the Pearl”, to M-Brane SF a while ago. It will appear in issue 9. I’m delighted this story will get to an audience. I wrote it at Clarion West, during the week Nalo Hopkinson was our teacher. She described it as the love child of Clive Barker and Brian Aldiss I believe. I’m co-writing a three-issue comic book, called Róisín Dubh, with Rob Curley of Atomic Diner publications, and the fabulous Sub City…

  • a weekend of speculation

    My weekend was spent in the company of funny, intelligent people who like to discuss speculative fiction. Best of all my Clarion West classmate, Julie McGalliard, and her husband Paul Carpentier turned up for two evenings. I’d met them in Galway on Thursday and guided them on a brief tour of the more interesting parts of the medieval city. They managed to squeeze in loads more sightseeing in their remaining days in Ireland, and make time to hang out with friends at Octocon. The lacklustre organisation of the convention didn’t impinge upon me very much because I wasn’t involved in the running of the event, and from my past experiences…