Category Archives: Events

Fortnight to When Words Collide and Mythcon 45

Both When Words Collide in Calgary, Alberta and Mythcon 45 in Norton, Massachusetts will have Atomic Fez’s Authors in attendance!

Mythcon: Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts, USA, August 8 – 11

[click to enlarge / reduce]
Mark H. Williams [photo by Simon Gough]
The author of Sleepless Knights, Mark H. Williams, [photo, left; so as to aid the spotting of same in the wild], will be attending Mythcon 45. Part of the proceedings of the event is the announcement of the winners of the Mythopoeic Awards, Mr. Williams being a nominee for the “Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature,” alongside Yangsze Choo (The Ghost Bride, William Morrow), Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane, William Morrow), Max Gladstone (Three Parts Dead, Tor), and Helene Wecker (The Golem and the Jinni, Harper). Should the winner be Sleepless Knights, it’s best to seek the location of Mr. Williams by looking directly at the ceiling to locate him.

Other events and panels Mr. Williams may be involved with /​ attending at Mythcon 45 are readings and the following panel:

  • The Inklings and King Arthur
    The 2013 publication of The Fall of Arthur complicated the generic complexities of Tolkien’s work: how does Tolkien’s Arthurian poem fit into the palimpsest of Arthurian legends? how does it map onto Middle-​​earth? How does it interact with Arthurian works by other Inklings? This panel represents The Inklings and King Arthur, an upcoming academic collection edited by Sørina Higgins. The panelists discuss Lewis, Tolkien, Williams, Barfield, Arthurian source materials, MacDonald, and Chesterton.

    • Panelists: Chris Gaertner, Yannick Imbert, Cory Lowell Grewell, Benjamin Shogren, Brenton D. G. Dickieson, Sørina Higgins (Moderator).
WWC: Carriage House Inn, Calgary, Alberta, August 8 – 12

Mark Leslie Lefebvre
Mark Leslie Lefebvre [photo by John Robbie]
Attendees of the 4th Annual When Words Collide can rub elbows with such luminaries as the author of I, Death, Mark Leslie (Lefebvre) [image, left], who is also a Guest of Honour; Chris Rothe, the author of Dirk Danger Loves Life. While Mr. Leslie’s schedule is easily followed on the event’s site – for the panels and presentations he is participating in are numerous – Mr. Rothe’s are equally easy: look for the young man wearing flippers and other snorkelling equipment, or possibly making dinosaur noises.

Atomic Fez’s Publisher /​ Proprietor, Ian Alexander Martin is also attending, and during the event will be participating in the following panel discussions (subject to change) explaining how Everyone Else is Very Very Wrong (this, sadly, is subject to inevitability):

  • HOW TO WRITE A GOOD PITCH AND QUERY (Friday, 2pm)
    You can write the greatest novel ever written, but you still need to get it into the hands of a publisher. Our panel tells you how.
  • BLENDING SF AND FANTASY (Saturday, 10am)
    The world of Science Fiction is one extended from the principles of known science; the Fantasy world is based in unknowable magic. There was a time when never the twain could meet, but writers love to break down this barrier. Can they? Should they? Are there examples where this hybrid has worked? Are there spectacular failures?
  • GRIPING ABOUT GRAMMAR (Saturday, 7pm)
    Who VS That. Who VS Whom. The apostrophe goes where? And what does subjunctive mean, anyway? Bring your grammar questions for our Grammar Gurus to debate, debunk, and decipher. Be prepared to take notes.
  • THE PUBLISHERSPANEL: NOVELS (Sunday, 10am)
    Novels Publishers and editors discuss industry trends, their working relationship with authors and agents, the impact of ePublishing on their business, and other questions raised from the audience.
  • THOUGHTS ON THE eBOOK REVOLUTION (Sunday, 2pm)
    The popularization of eReaders, such as the Kobo and Kindle reader, has changed the way books are read and has caused major upheavals in the publishing industry. This panel looks at some of the ramifications for readers, authors, and publishers, with special attention to issues that remain in flux.

I,Death Launch Final (Half)Between those points in the schedule, have a look in the Merchants’ Room near the table with EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing books on it, because that’s where you’ll also find copies of Atomic Fez’s books; including copies of I, Death: freshly created for WWC, and only available there! Attend the launch at 3pm on Saturday and witness the author read words aloud!

You can probably also find Atomic Fez’s Publisher /​ Proprietor in the pub with a pint of beer in his hand. Failing that, have a look under one of the tables; you might be rewarded for helping him to his room.

Eagle's idea of 1949 Northrop Flying Wing
Artist’s impression of Northrop Flying Wing, c.1949 [Illustration originally by L. Ashwell Wood for the comic book Eagle (via XRay Delta on Flickr)]
Thankfully the Atomic Fez Flying Wing [artist’s impression, left] is going through final air-​​worthiness checks so as to be ready to whisk those involved thither and yon in the pursuit of spreading the good news of books!! The Publisher /​ Proprietor is looking forward to spending much of his time in #15 and #16, so as to properly receive other passengers as some are picked-​​up here, others are dropped off there, and so on.

Mark Leslie's I Death Launching in August

I,Death Launch Final (Half)Atomic Fez Publishing is happy to announce that Mark Leslie’s first novel, titled I, Death, will be officially launched as part of When Words Collide in Calgary, Alberta. The “book social” will be held Saturday, August 9th 2014 at three pm.

Mr. Leslie will be in attendance to read passages from the book (and different from those read during other festival reading events), as well for signing. Copies of the novel be available for purchase at the “book social”, as well as throughout WWC in the ‘Merchants’ Room’ thanks to an agreement with EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing and the brains behind the genre-​​house, Brian Hades.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre (photo by John Robbie)
Mark Leslie Lefebvre (photo by John Robbie)

Mark Leslie is leading a fair bit in pre-​​festival workshop series [MORE INFORMATION HERE], mostly in his role as Director of Self-​​Publishing & Author Relations at Kobo Canada. He’s specifically doing “Marketing Best Practices” Thursday morning, followed by “Hybrid Publishing” in the afternoon. The two sessions promise to be an excellent opportunity for writers of all levels to get an insider’s perspective at the ever-​​shifting landscape of literary publishing, especially during this period; arguably the most anarchic time since Gutenberg made it possible to produce books of guaranteed quality in high volume at a tiny fraction of previous costs.

Space is limited for these two workshops (and may already be full, actually), so e-​​mail them to reserve your seat or add your name to a waiting list.

  • Marketing Best Practices (9 AM – 12 PM; Thursday, August 7th)
    • 3 hour session limited to 50 seats, and includes topics from pricing, to marketing strategies, to working with eRetailers and local bookstores
  • Hybrid Publishing (1PM – 5PM; Thursday, August 7th)
    • Traditional or Self Publishing? Choose both. Mark Leslie draws on his experience in the publishing industry to discuss the advantages of each method in this presentation limited to 50 seats

CLICK to view their site [new tab or window]
CLICK to view their site [new tab or window]
When Words Collide exists to provide an opportunity for the literary community, from readers to writers to publishers, to gather and share information and inspiration. With the belief that different genres have more in common than they have differences, the festival includes content for all types of literature including Mainstream, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Historical, Literary, and non-​​fiction.

WWC 2014 will be held at the Carriage House Inn, 9030 Macleod Trail South, Calgary, Alberta.

In addition to Mr. Leslie, Atomic Fez’s publisher Ian Alexander Martin will be there; as well as Chris Rothe, the author of Dirk Danger Loves Life.

Join them in the celebration of reading and story-​​telling, won’t you?

ROUND-UP: Too Much News for One Post!

…but somehow I’ll cram it all in.

[pause for inevitable ‘that’s what she said comment from somewhere in the back of the crowd

So… herewith: a whole bunch of news!

Change of Publishing Date for Sleepless Knights

Due to overwhelming demand, all printed copies destined for stores and libraries in the United States of America has been re-​​scheduled to September 24. Note that orders placed directly with the publisher through this site remain entirely unaffected. The only copies this covers are the 2nd official run of the paperback destined for retail outlets distributed through Midpoint Trade Books.

CLICK to read the interview [new tab or window]Interviews A-Plenty

Read an interview with Mark H. Williams!! He tells you all sorts of things like his preference for coffee v. tea (depends on the time of day), cats v. dogs, and many other exciting things!  Head here: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1477641-an-interview-with-mark-h-williams-author-of-sleepless-knights

Also: listen to Bell Book & Podcast Episode #2, wherein Ian Alexander Martin (the publisher in charge of this so-​​called house) babbles about how editing gets done, the publishing industry and its anarchic developments, what the Big Publishers think about the books you think you own but never actually have (the publishers do, actually),  http://pgbell.wordpress.com/2013/bbp2/ and how he actually resembles a Hollywood Movie Star.

If you’d prefer to hear something from Mark H. Williams about how he writes (which interests many people far more frequently than the publishing nonsence), head to http://pgbell.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/bell-book-podcast-1/ for a shorter, more fun podcast. 

For more Bell Book & Podcast yumminess, subscribe here:

and so on.

Sleepless Knights Launch Party!

Some more information about the event in Cardiff can be found on the author’s blog in the post titled “Launch! Party! Prizes!” Meanwhile, here’s some pretty pictures.

Images of the diorama competition entrants as well as wonderful images of the launch (above)!

As mentioned a few posts ago, Mark held a competition on Twitter using the hashtag #DioramaFriday.

DIORAMA FRIDAY WINNERS!

Draken was hopeful that he'd be in Mark's book but Sir Kay wasn't convinced ... by @Indigo_Blues_
Draken was hopeful that he’d be in Mark’s book but Sir Kay wasn’t convinced …by @Indigo_Blues_
The palisade's guard by Zoe, aka @SaidHanrahan
The palisade’s guard
by Zoe, aka @SaidHanrahan

These photos below are also quite nice.

LAUNCH PARTY FUN!!

Mark H Williams reads from Sleepless Knights at the launch. EXCITED!
Mark H Williams reads from Sleepless Knights at the launch. EXCITED!
PHOTO BY: Laura Cotton ‏@lalscotton
CAKE!!!
CAKE!!!

Other bits about the launch can be found here: http://pgbell.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/sleepless-knights-book-launch-and-podcast-update/

ANNOUNCEMENT: Distribution in the USA

METRO VANCOUVER, B.C.–Atomic Fez Publishing is proud to announce they have signed a distribution deal with Midpoint Trade Books for supply of its catalogue of titles to libraries and wholesale trade customers in the United States of America. This agreement covers not only paperback and hardcover books, but widespread supply of electronic books as well.

The Publisher /​ Proprietor of Atomic Fez, Ian Alexander Martin, says this distribution agreement was “something that Atomic Fez very much needed to complete the preparations for Mark H. Williams’ Sleepless Knights. Without some proper way of satisfying the public clamour for the novel, the author would be done a disservice after all his hard work, given the tale’s appeal to such a wide swath of the reading public.”

CLICK to log-on to their site [new tab or window]Representing 275 independent publishers across the United States, UK, Canada and Australia, Midpoint Trade Books provides full service book, eBook and audio sales; as well as a marketing and distribution. It is based in the Flatiron District of New York City, with additional offices in Kansas, Michigan and San Francisco.

Since Midpoint aggregates many publishers under one name, they have a much larger catalog and market presence. This makes the books they carry, including Atomic Fez’s, more attractive to larger retailers such as Chapters/​Indigo, WH Smith, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble; as well as the internet branches of retailers and the many international versions of Amazon, and the incalculable number of American public libraries.

Midpoint was founded in 1996 by a group of industry professionals, including current President Eric Kampmann and Executive Vice President Chris Bell. Today, Midpoint retains the same entrepreneurial spirit with which the company was founded, which was something that Mr. Martin felt was a key factor to the partnership being mutually beneficial. “Taking risks because it’s exciting is no way to run a business,” he explained. “Taking a risk which is a qualified one – using pre-​​orders or reviews as an indication of potential sales – is something which any small press publisher does, but always with a varying amount of success” when independent houses attempt things on their own. Midpoint understands that, and provides the ability for me to realise that goal for the authors.

“There is no way I could handle even a fraction of the work load Sleepless Knights is going to create,” Mr. Martin added. He pointed-​​out the review last week from Publishers Weekly which earned a star making the title “Highly Recommended” in the estimation of the reviewer. Additionally, the book was reportedly featured on the ‘Table of Contents’ page in the printed edition of the issue. “With attention like this prior to the official publishing date of august 5th,” Mr. Martin continued, “I’m confident this is a book that people are going to not only want to read, they’ll take the time to do it. All of the books Atomic Fez has published more than earn their place in people’s reading time, but once in awhile a book really hits all the right notes so that you know it’s something anyone, no matter their tastes, will share your enthusiasm about.”

The recent surge in eBook sales has seen a considerable need to create distribution on the electronic format. The Association of American Publishers reports eBooks represented 22.55% of the total share of the USA trade publishing market’s net revenue in 2012, compared to a miniscule 0.005% a decade earlier¹. BookStats recently released statistics showing this translated into 457.093 million units for a total value of $3.042 billion last year². This growth has expanded even to the typically staid European market, with eBooks reaching 2.4% of the German Book Market in 2012, representing a 140% increase from only the year before³. Additionally, the Institute for Publishing Research projecting that eBooks will represent 20% of the overall reading market by 2015. Additionally. most readers do not buy physical books once they switch to buying eBooks (and these readers are often the most voracious).

New supply of electronic titles to eRetailers
• Amazon Kindle
• Mobipocket
• Barnes & Noble
• Fictionwise.com
• Ereader.com
• Sony eReader Store
• Kobo Books
• Ebooks.com
• Books on Board
• Scribd
• Apple iBookstore
• Blio Store
• Book Depository
WH Smith
• Waterstones
New supply of electronic
titles to Public Libraries
• Overdrive
• Net Library
• myilibrary.com
• Follett Software Company
• eBook Library

Recognising this but being unable to break into the market in any meaningful way was something which Mr. Martin found frustrating. “Kobo, the Kindle store, and directly through the Atomic Fez site, the eBooks are available – and always without any DRM to screw things up for readers down the road – but sales of the books just haven’t matched what the growing market represents taking place. The problem is that, when you’re doing everything yourself, you’ve only got so much time, so much influence, and so much cash, to try and make a big enough splash readers take note of your titles.

“So when Laura Robinson” – Midpoint’s New Business Manager and National Accounts Manager – “pointed out that they handle eBooks, my heart skipped a beat. After skimming down the list of retailers Atomic Fez’s books could be brought to, especially the Public Library market, there wasn’t any question that signing an agreement with Midpoint was going to be a cornerstone of our step up in the next few years. At long last, this is going to put the words written by Atomic Fez’s authors in front of a huge number of readers’ eyeballs compared to before now.

Citing text on the Midpoint Trade Books’ website quoted below, Mr. Martin says “it’s obvious that Midpoint is dedicated to create the kind of connections that small press houses need” to make the difference between being a hobbyist concern and an on-​​going, professional concern.

The digital marketplace has expanded well beyond Amazon Kindle. It now includes retailers, libraries, and independent eBook websites — and new sales avenues are developing all the time!

At Midpoint, we have developed an extensive sales network for eBooks. Midpoint eVolve gives you access to this network, so that you can provide customers with more opportunities to buy your books.

The digital marketplace offers a huge growth opportunity for publishers, but entering that market can be confusing and overwhelming.  That’s why we created Midpoint eVolve. eVolve is a full service eBook solution, which includes consultation, conversion, distribution, sales, secure digital storage, and reporting.

Principal to any distribution agreement is the physical movement of printed books from one place to another, mostly from the distributor’s warehouse to a retailer’s location. With Midpoint’s use of Leisure Arts’ distribution centre located in Little Rock, Arkansas, shipments by common carrier can reach either the Pacific or Atlantic coast in two days, while both UPS and FedEx deliver to most of the USA within one to three days, at regular non-​​priority rates. Even postal shipments tend to get to their destinations faster when shipped from Little Rock. In fact, more than 98% of all orders ship from the warehouse within 24 hours of being released, and more than 99% of orders ship accurately

Midpoint’s storage of its inventory using Leisure Arts facility enables use of the latest technology and equipment in order to provide fast, efficient service. The distribution center is an air conditioned, secure, state-​​of-​​the-​​art facility, equipped with high-​​flow sprinklers and both fire and burglar alarm systems. The modern wire guide system ensures safe and efficient movement of products and can handle pallet loads of up to 4,000 pounds.

While specific dates and details weren’t available, discussions regarding distribution agreements with firms in both the United Kingdom and Canada which are allied with Midpoint are expected t be concluded soon.

CLICK to get details about this titleMr. Martin cites Midpoint’s approach to pro-​​active sales demonstrated through their positive, friendly environment at conferences and expos attracts large numbers of people to their booth at events. Midpoint is known for having a particularly strong presence at Book Expo America – aka “BEA” – and The London Book Fair. Author signings at the Midpoint booth provide their publishers with a strong platform for promoting their authors and titles.

In addition to international events such as those, Midpoint is always interested in other opportunities to connect with the publishing industry. They often have a presence at The Frankfurt Book Fair, ALA, CBA, NEIBA and other regional trade shows.

“All in all,” Mr. Martin concluded, “things couldn’t look brighter for Atomic Fez than they are right now. There’s not just the awesome novel Sleepless Knights from Mark H. Williams on the way, there’s a system ready to go to make it available as widely as possible in any edition people can want. Not only that, it’ll apply to the entire current Atomic Fez catalogue of genre-​​busting fiction. Things feel ready and, with this agreement in place, things are ready.”


Links from this article:


¹     Library Journal, April 11, 2013: “Statistics: Ebook Sales Made Up 22.5% of U.S. Trade Publisher Revenues in 2012

²     Library Journal, May 22, 21013: “Ebooks, Online Drive Trade Sales Growth

³     The Digital Reader, June 13, 2013: “eBooks Reached 2.4% of the German Book Market in 2012

CONTEST: Winner of “The House that Death Built”… and much more!

The winner of the original, marked-​​up, edited manuscript for, plus Copy Nº1 of the Limited Edition of  The House that Death Built has been determined! Not only do they win both of those, they also win a copy of Wicked Delights, plus a bound copy of the “manuscript version” of Terribilis written by Carol Weekes (these was planned to be used entirely for valued individuals who could provide cover quotes, but some were left over after the initial mailing was done).

Here’s the video of the draw taking place!

And for those who haven’t the bandwidth or patience to watch it, the winner is:

Riju Ganguly
Gujarat, India

EXCELSIOR!

Post-Event Summary Stuff

So… that went well… I think.

The actual financials are yet to be examined, especially the ones from the BFS FantsyCon 2012 in Brighton, as Christopher Teague is still probably trying to remember what he did most of the week-​​end. 

All my bags are packed…

It seems, however, that the BFS FantasyCon has once again been rocked – ROCKED! I SAY – with controversy. I’ll say no more, pointing simply to THIS POST over on Joe Abercrombie’s blog. 

Much like Chris Teague does, I approach a convention or similar event an opportunity to remind others that Atomic Fez exists, and to share information with readers, authors, and other publishers; not as an opportunity to make lots of lovely lovely money! I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to money, obviously, it’s just not the principal reason I’m there.

VCon 2012 was the thing for me here in Metro Vancouver: a chance to have a good visit with the brains behind Gaukler Medieval Wares [ :: waves at lone visitors to blog :: ], trade well-​​meaning insults with Brian Hades of EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, and generally wonder when can I run away and get some decent coffee? I did a couple of panels – one about eBooks v paper ones, the other about submitting material to differing markets – but wasn’t able to check-​​out any others, owing to being on my own in the Dealers’ Room. Ah-​​well.

Next year you’ll probably find Atomic Fez at more events, and in more locations than normal! Additionally, it looks likely you’ll see the Publisher /​ Proprietor at all those events too, as the dates don’t over-​​lap for any of them! Look forward to more details about the following events (mark your calendars now):

Now please excuse me as I try to catch-​​up on some orders that have been ignored for the last week or so. Plus some sleep that was over-​​looked. Thanks. 

Announcing the Titles for 2012 and Another for 2013

Now that we’re well and truly into the new year (and thus we’ve no reason to keep accidentally putting “2011” on things anymore), it’s time to let you all know what’s coming in the next twelve months! Things have been quietly plotted in secret until now, so they’re being let out into the yard to run about in the fresh air for a little bit. Have a look at them before they get dragged back into the basement for some more advanced adjustments.

Atomic Fez  World Headquarters Building
Atomic Fez World Headquarters Building

All of the titles are novels, and in the case of the first and last ones, they are the author’s first ‘long-​​form narrative’. Hooray!

There’s absolutely no artwork available, and isn’t that a pity? Try to be patient.

Likewise, pre-​​orders will begin once we’re closer to the date, with each title’s eBook edition being made available just as soon as the text is finalized and the files are back from the hard-​​working slave labour.

Autumn 2012

  • In conjunction with the British Fantasy Society’s FantasyCon 2012 in Brighton (September 27 – 30):
    • John Llewellyn ProbertThe House of a Thousand Screams (title not final)
    • John TravisThe Designated Coconut (Benji Spriteman #2)

Winter 2012

  • In conjunction with the World Fantasy Association’s World FantasyCon in Toronto (November 1 – 3):
    • Mark Leslie LefebvreI, Death

Spring 2013

  • In conjunction with… um… because it’s nearly Spring Equinox, St. David’s Day /​ Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant (March 1st):
    • Mark H. WilliamsSleepless Knights

 In order to whet your appetite, here’s some text about the individual titles. You’ll also notice that the second and fourth in the lists below are very-​​much Wales-​​oriented, thus in keeping with my never-​​ending accidental association with the country and its people. I swear this is not by design; but it just keeps happening, so why try to fight it?

 
The Designated Coconut
 (Benji Spriteman #2), by John Travis, author of The Terror and the Tortoiseshell; Autumn 2012

As the first in the series was an homage to the noire thrillers, so we have the second Benji Spriteman tale similar to the classic English Mystery of roughly the same era.

During the visit of the two famous mystery-​​writing sisters, a death occurs, leading to a complicated series of events. How did the safe in the locked room get stolen? Who was behind the poisoning? Is someone at the resort’s hotel involved, and is it the beer-​​guzzling band-​​leader? What do the mole-​​men have to do with it?

 
The House of a Thousand Screams
 (working title), by John Llewellyn Probert, author of Wicked Delights; Autumn 2012

The very first novel from John Llewellyn Probert provides a mystery of ghosties, ghoulies, long‑legged beasties, and thing that go ‘bump’ in the night, starring Mr Massene Henderson and Miss Samantha Jephcott; the most un‑likely team of paranormal investigators you’ve somehow lived your life without… until now!

Henderson and Jephcott head to the wilderness of Northern Wales to investigate a house constructed from the bits of haunted buildings and filled with devices of death, all constructed on a foundation of a ‘stone circle’. Designed to be the most haunted house in Britain, the original owner hasn’t been heard from since the mid-​​1950s, and the new one wants to know if he’s got the real thing or not. What lies in wait for the two detectives and the four people who are there to help in the research, and will anyone survive to claim the fees for their labours?

 
I, Death
, by Mark Leslie Lefebvre; Winter 2012

The terrifying story of a young man coming to terms with a death curse.

By writing an on-​​line journal, Peter O’Mallick hopes to deal with his emotional turmoil at being dumped by his former girlfriend. While the blog helps, it also attracts cyber stalker Bryan Brecht, who coerces Peter into doing things which should never be done… 

Hilarity ensues.

Publisher (left) and Author (right) sign contracts for “Sleepless Knights” prior to RCMP Musical Ride performance in Maple Tree Square (out of shot, to right) {photo: Laura Cotton}
Publisher (left) and Author (right) sign contracts for “Sleepless Knights” prior to RCMP Musical Ride performance in Maple Tree Square (out of shot, to right) {photo: Laura Cotton}

 

Sleepless Knights, by Mark H. Williams; Spring 2013

It’s not easy being the man behind the myth.

Sir Lucas is butler to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; the person who managed every epic legend behind the scenes. He’s the one who made sure each quest happened in the right place at the right time, and that everyone involved had comfortable accommodation for the weekend. The man whose average working day involved fighting dragons, defeating witches, banishing demons, and ensuring the Royal pot of tea never crossed the thin line separating ‘brewed’ from ‘stewed’. What’s more, 1,500 years after that golden age, he’s still doing it: here in modern Britain, right under our noses…

Through ten working days in the life of Sir Lucas the Butler, discover what really went on at Camelot. The story behind Lancelot’s affair with Guinevere. The truth about the quest for the Grail. And find out what happens one fateful day in June, when King Arthur and six of his knights are revealed as living among us. A revelation that brings about the return of Merlin and the end of the World, uncovering secrets from the past which King Arthur would rather stay buried, and forcing Lucas to confront the truth about his own unique and peculiar destiny. A destiny he will do anything to avoid, even if it means sacrificing the love of his life in the service of his master.

In short, the kind of crisis only the ultimate butler can resolve.

CLICK for embiggening / de-embiggenation

WINNERS: Signed Copies of Two Different Titles

Back a ways, we announced two contests for copies of the two September titles below. Two copies of each book are to be signed and personalised to the winners, one copy of each for “North America” and “UK and Others”. In the case of Terribilis, both winners receive a copy of the book in the ‘hardback binding’ (which is not available in North America).

The winners are:

Dirk Danger Loves Life
Dirk Danger Loves Life
Terribilis
Terribilis

 

Dirk Danger Loves Life

 
Christine Taylor
Newport, UK
 

Renee Johnston
Tweed, Ontario, Canada

 
Terribilis

 
Patricia Esposito
St. Charles, Illinois, USA
 

Renee Johnston
Tweed, Ontario, Canada

[owing to a shortage of valid UK entries, North American
entries were included in the drawing for this title]

Congratulations to those three people (and extra congratulations to Ms. Johnston for her win which defies normal rules about ‘standard variations governing probabilities of occurrence’), as well as sincere thanks to everyone who ordered copies of these titles and others as well.

Hooray for JLP! (or "Promo Proberto: Sound Use of Your Time")

This Saturday John Llewellyn Probert can be seen at The Dracula Society’s autumn meeting in London, who are hosting “An Evening with JLP (and puppets!)”, where he shall read, be interviewed, and then the Lord & Lady Probert shall perform their little stage show again (which explains how the puppets got involved).

For those of you not in London (aka: “the Centre of All Known Culture”) that particular evening, herewith is a videographic record – complete! with colour! and sound! – of the Brighton performance of Blood on Satan’s Claw (The Pantomime), presented for your entertainment by Theatro Proberto! Thanks to Martin Roberts for his mad skillz with video production (not the least of which is his ability to shoot live on-​​stage insanity with nary a clue what’s about to happen).

Those ‘in the know’ regarding Mr. Probert’s writing will recognise this is not the first time he has attended an event of the Dracula Society’s creation. No no! He won the “Children of the Night Award” in 2006 for his collection The Faculty of Terror, which is a dashed good read (even if it was published by some other house [judgemental sniff])

But wait! There’s more JLP fun! You can also revel in his genius by reading THIS INTERVIEW over on the web-​​site Read Horror. It’s a bit of a shock, one realises. “JLP reads… [gasp!] horror?!? It’s too much to take in at once!” Yet, he does. He obviously also writes horror, watches horror, and even performs horror. Rumours of him eating and sleeping with horror have been found to be just that: baseless rumours.

JLP reads Horror!
JLP reads Horror!

I admit to finding the title of the blog Read Horror a tad counter to its aim, frankly. There not being a conjugated verb there, one takes the initial word to be presented in the imperitive, thus we are ordered to rush from the screen and locate something by Poe, Wilkie Collins, or Bram Stoker. If we are to to infer that the site itself presents horror, then we are destined to run from our computers screaming in terror. Adding the pronoun “we” at the front of the title would go a long way to explaining the people responsible for the content are afficianadoes and enthusiasts of the genre.

But, I digress…

In the future, we can look forward to more about Mr. Probert, as the chap at Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium wants Mr. Probert to read a story and provide a few comments on it. Specifically the good Professor – whose real name is Scott E. Candey, apparently – wants to hear the author “The Iconostasis of Imperfections”, which you can read along with by ordering a copy of Wicked Delights.

Meanwhile, he continues to work on his first novel (which Atomic Fez will publish), and write horror-​​film reviews which you can read on THIS BLOG (see, I told you he watches horror!).

To keep up to date with all things JLP, head to his official site RIGHT HERE.

Things You Missed Last Week (№40): The British Fantasy Society

Well, well, well. The British Fantasy Society (of which Atomic Fez is a member) has got itself in the newspaper again, as well as the Daily Mail and Sunday Express *. Oddly, the last time they were given space in the press resulted in a huge push to publish more female authors of horror, fantasy, and of other forms of ‘speculative fiction’, so it’ll be interesting to see what comes of this in the end.

The Logo of the British Fantasy Society
The Logo of the British Fantasy Society

I wasn’t going to say anything about this, but it all seems to be coming to a resolution, and for me not to have some sort of acknowledgement of the existence of the matter as part of this supposed “wrap-​​up of the publishing news” dog-​​and-​​pony show of mine seems a tad remiss. So, now that we can see the end of the thing, let’s whip though the main points.

It all got started when the ‘Short List’ for the British Fantasy Awards was announced and there was a great deal of space taken up in the list by Telos Publishing’s output as well the partner of one of the directors of Telos: David Howe. So far so good, except that he’s not only the chair of the BFS, which oversees the awards, he’s also the Acting Awards Administrator and thus is directly involved in the awarding of awards to winners. The votes are all tallied using a web-​​based spreadsheet, and everyone’s votes are registered using their BFS membership number and/​or their e-​​mail, so there’s no chances of his having done anything untoward at this stage.

Indeed, the BFS’s President Ramsey Campbell stated yesterday the following:

[I]t is our firm belief that no corruption or wrongdoing took place during the administration of the British Fantasy Awards, and that in this respect all awards should still stand as presented. We confirm that the summation of the votes cast was performed electronically and once the results were checked they were confirmed and verified by another member of the committee.

So, we’re all fine there; in retrospect, you understand.

During the awards, as well as right after, there was entirely a different tone to the vox populi. Given that five of the dozen awards – every single award for which they were nominated – went to either the publishing house of the Awards Admin or the lady the Daily Mail terms his “live-​​in lover” (as though the only thing that she does is snog the man silly), grumping was probably bound to occur. It just seemed a tad ‘too perfect’ for some people’s liking.

This is where Stephen Jones’s article on his web-​​site come Tuesday starts making the wheels of things turn, the title alone sufficient to getting eyebrows raised: “Putting the ‘Con’ into FantasyCon”. I urge you to read it, as there are number of excellent points to consider made within it. Note, however that “diplomatic” is not a frequently used word to describe the noted Editor and long-​​time BFS mover and shaker who is Stephen Jones. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Jones and his accomplishments. His tastes and business acumen are excellent, and – though his selections for stories to include in his anthologies are occasionally at odds with my own – he certainly knows what he’s doing. He’s not known for the most politic in ways of expressing his views, however, and this is something I can certainly nod my head at in complete understanding, as I possess the same trait.

Anyway, the point here is that even though Mr. Howe didn’t do anything at all wrong, everyone agrees that the appearance of something possibly have been fiddled with isn’t something one should permit to exist, as it then permits someone to rightly ask the questions posed by Mr. Jones. For deeper examination of that in this situation, head over to Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s LiveJournal ENTRY HERE, as he’s got a fairly good run-​​down of the ‘optics’ of the matter. Also good is Simon Morden’s entry RIGHT HERE examining both the time line of the decisions as well as a fairly good neutral examination of both sides of ‘the saga’.

As a result of the above: Mr.Howe has resigned as Chairman of the Society; Samantha Stone has returned her “Best Novel (2010)” Award; the next FantasyCon which was to be in Corby now might not be anywhere as the organizers have backed out, there’s no definite replacement for them, and it’s not east to find a venue for 500-​​or-​​so people for a week-​​end event in an Olympic year with a great deal of ease; and Graham Joyce has agreed to take on the position of ‘Acting Chair’ until such time as an Emergency General Meeting can be held in about six weeks’ time or so. Here’s Mr. Joyce’s statement, in which he says the following to put all of the above to rest (hopefully once and for all):

Meanwhile I will charge the committee with a priority agenda, which will include overhauling the Awards system; identifying and recommending new committee members; ensuring that proper records of meetings, decisions and accounts are transparent to all members of the society; and seeking  to enfranchise a wider “Fantasy” base for the Society.
     The proposed Corby FantasyCon will not now go head and we are looking for an alternative for 2012. The situation at this moment is fluid and we will attempt to keep members informed.

Something to keep in mind at this point is that the BFS is a dashed-​​fine organization and has had far more influence than it’s often given credit. The terms “horror” or “fantasy” fiction cause people to either picture a giant, blood-​​covered chainsaw; or a dragon flying above an impossibly-​​magenta mountain peak. Both images are incorrect for about ninety percent of the literary form. The UK is especially downwards in their glance when considering the genres, seeing either of them as ‘not actually literature, you know’, yet will happily praise Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Mervyn Peake for their Great Works of Literature. To form a society which aims to promote those sorts of works is quite brave, really. To continue to do this for so very many years is laudable, and hopefully the world of the ‘legitimate literature’ will re-​​welcome them to the fold.

If you need any more convincing of the worth of the BFS, have a look at THIS ARTICLE on the aforementioned site of Mr. Jones, and perhaps you’ll get a deeper understanding of the importance the Society has had in his career as well as the careers of others over the years. Another view on the same subject is THIS POST on the Theaker’s Quarterly and Paperbacks blog of Stephen Theaker which goes a long way to explain what effect the BFS can have on those who are less involved in the ‘pointy-​​end of the stick’ when it comes to creating or publishing ‘fantasy’, and simply like reading the stuff.

Atomic Fez is proud to be a member of the BFS and to play a part in supporting it both financially through that membership and adverts, as well as supporting its goal of promoting ‘weird’ and ‘fantastical’ fiction in all its forms.

LINKS FROM THIS ARTICLE

“This Week’s Fish Wrap” is an on-​​​​going series of posts summing up the news of the previous seven days in the publishing industry, and/​or announce the latest news Atomic Fez has about the publishing house, and appears here each Monday. It’s also quite possible that the posts merely serve as a dumping ground of links so that Atomic Fez Proprietor Ian Alexander Martin can find articles later to include in his occasional rants about how ‘EVERYONE ELSE IS ENTIRELY WRONG’ about various things.

* Non-​​UK residents ought to know that the Sunday Express is read by people who think they run the country, the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who actually do run the country, and the Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country. Those who read London’s Sun don’t care who runs it as long as she’s got a good-​​sized pair of “fun bags”. [Full credit to the writers of Yes, MinisterRETURN ↑