• Conventions,  Ireland,  News

    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…

  • Conventions,  Film,  Ireland,  News,  Screenwriting

    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…

  • Film,  Reviews,  Screenwriting

    die die die die die die

    Continuing the topic of Women in Horror Recognition Month, I want to pivot the lens towards a fantastic little animated short film called “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”, which was written by Kathleen O’Rourke and directed by Nicky Phelan. O’Rourke also provides the voice acting for Granny O’Grimm herself. The piece is delightfully animated, switching from 3D to 2D as Granny narrates her version of the opening of Sleeping Beauty as a bedtime story for her less-than-enthusiastic granddaughter. Initially I thought the ending rather abrupt, until I listened properly to the words of Granny’s lullaby, which accompany the finishing credits. What I like most about this little piece is that it…

  • Conventions,  Fiction,  Film,  Reviews,  Screenwriting

    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…

  • Film,  News,  Screenwriting,  Thoughts

    on set

    Wednesday’s shoot of my script “Hotel Training” went well. This is one of the longer scripts that will be part of the Hotel Darklight anthology film (there will be eleven short films in total). It’s ten and a half pages long, which will probably translate into 10 – 11 minutes, although a number of factors can affect the final running time. It was a demanding task for the director, Conor McMahon, to shoot all the scenes in one day. He, and his crew, began quickly and locked down the exterior shots. The protagonist of “Hotel Training” is called Glenn, and actor Chris Gallagher played the role. Chris was in almost…

  • Fiction,  News,  publications,  Screenwriting

    a sale, and a shoot

    Chris Fletcher, editor of M-Brane SF, informed me yesterday that he wanted to buy my near-future sf short story “The Secret Names of Buildings”. So I said yes! It will appear in issue 12, which is being guest edited by Rick Novy. Again, this is a story I wrote at Clarion West. It was during week six, my last week at the workshop, and we were being mentored by sf legend Vernor Vinge. Vernor is a hard sf writer, so I wrote something I thought might benefit from his expertise. Vernor, by the way, was very generous with his time, and enjoyed geeking out with us – all his conferences…

  • Film,  News,  Screenwriting,  Thoughts

    building Hotel Darklight

    The Hotel Darklight anthology film is racing ahead at a furious pace. My short script is titled “Hotel Training”, and is being directed by Conor McMahon. Conor is best known as the writer/director of the horror short film “Baineater”, and the feature-length zombie flick, Dead Meat. The casting is complete, and Conor has been scouting the location this weekend. The shoot will take place on Wednesday, and it’s going to be tight to get all the scenes completed in one day. An early start, and a late finish I think. There’s a Hotel Darklight fan page on Facebook now, if any of you fancy keeping up with what’s happening. Although…

  • Film,  Ireland,  News,  Screenwriting

    making a short film

    So, some good news. A script I wrote for a weird short film is being made. Darklight Festival is Ireland’s annual festival for filmmakers, animators and artists whose work explores the convergence of art, film and technology. It’s taking place in Dublin from October 8 -10. For its tenth anniversary it is organising an anthology film that will consist of 8-10 short films themed around one location: Hotel Darklight. The producers Marie Caffrey, Alan Keane and Declan Lynch are doing a super job of putting together a challenging genre project on minuscule funding. It’s mostly fuelled by passion, enthusiasm, and hard graft. The shoot is taking place next week, and…

  • Clarion,  Conventions,  Film,  publications,  Thoughts

    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…