Thursday 1 February 2024


I've written something for D-Generation magazine, the first issue of which will be out fairly soon with a free CD of music from underground legends the Apostles, Rapoon, Val Denham, and We Be Echo, also Retirement Community which is myself and therefore substantially less legendary. I'm sure you can work out the names of other contributors from the above and appreciate why I'm honoured to be included. As should be obvious, it's a physical magazine and you can order your copy here, here, or here; or from Timeless if you live in France. I understand it should also be stocked by Cold Spring in the UK, Tesco Organisation in Germany, and Soleilmoon in the US, but you may have to nose around on their respective sites. It's probably going to sell out fast so buy now while stocks last.

No. There isn't an electronic version. If you weren't able to work out that much from the above, then it probably ain't for you, twinkle toes.

Friday 26 May 2023

More of More of This Sort of Thing!

Careful Now Promotions of Medway, Englishland have finally come up with a fourth issue of More of This Sort of Thing!, a proper print fanzine like nature intended which you won't be able to download to your silly overpriced portable telephone. This issue features writing by the excellent Vic Templar, author of the highly recommended Taking Candy from a Dog, which should be sufficient recommendation by itself; also Bob Collins, Stuart Turner and myself returning to strip cartoons for the first time in fucking ages (me, I mean, not Stuart or Bob) with Dennis the Drum Kit, a typically puerile rearrangement of the same old poo jokes which served me so well back in the late 1700s, back when everything was better than it is now.

There's not much point waiting for any of this stuff to be posted online or reproduced in some digital format, so if you want it, you'll either have to go back in time to the Careful Now gig at which they were giving them away for free (Heavenly and Treasures of Mexico, May 13th), or possibly badger someone on the associated facebook page. There's a notice in the fanzine saying further copies can be had for 50p and an SAE sent to CNP Towers, but with no address given, so that would probably be the Oast in Rainham, Kent, which is where CNP stage all of their fab pop concerts. Each issue of More of This Sort of Thing! is actually designed to be read at its associated gig whilst waiting for the next band or for bar staff to pour one's sixteenth pint of the evening, but is a satisfyingly substantial read in its own rights.

Tuesday 28 February 2023

The Tragedian

I never really intended to be a publisher of anything besides my own material, but I really wanted to read Andy Fraser's first novel, and it turned out that the easiest way to do so (given that I hate reading off a screen) was to make a copy for myself; then I sent one to the author - figuring that he should at least see it - and one thing led to another, and here we are...

I've known Andy (whom you may remember as a contributor to Kiss of Life) on and off since the eighties. He's one of those people who has proven difficult to pigeonhole, but he always makes things interesting; and his writing is as distinctive and possibly as unique as his music so I'm disgustingly proud to be in the position to make this available to a slightly wider audience. The Tragedian is approximately autobiographical, alternately funny, tragic and emotionally powerful despite a shitload of writing conventions having been thrown out the window. As I've said elsewhere, it's a novel which does what it does because no-one told it that it couldn't.

Buy your copy here, then review it on Goodreads so it will appear successful to future potential readers, who may then buy it, read it, review it on Goodreads, until it eventually achieves critical mass and takes over the world; which will at least be preferable to the singularity.

Friday 10 February 2023

Figures in a Landscape

I have a new collection of short stories, mostly written around the time of Against Nature but previously unpublished and freshly tarted up around the end of last year. They're mostly science-fiction by a definition which allows for wiggle room, and I'm inappropriately pleased with all of them, particularly Evolution of Language and The War Against Continuity, both of which are fucking excellent; and yes, I do indeed say so myself. Some are long, others are short (just a couple of pages), and Life After Games probably counts as a novella. If you've read anything I've written, you probably have some idea of what to expect, and that's what you'll get except it'll be better, quite frankly. If you like to read, then there's a reasonable chance you'll enjoy this collection. If you don't like to read, just fucking buy one anyway.

Make your purchase(s) by clicking on this link.

No, there isn't an eBook and nor will there be. Same goes for the possibility of an audiobook, specifically that there isn't one. Much as RA the Rugged Man doesn't want fans who don't know who Kool G Rap is*, I intend to maintain a certain standard in terms of my readership, such as it is, and am keen to discourage riff raff.

*: The album came out twenty years ago. There's no good reason for you not to have known this.

Thursday 20 January 2022

The Bunker


For the sake of convenience, I've called The Bunker a found novel, because that's essentially what it is. I didn't write it, but I've spent the last couple of years transcribing the text from a series of monotonous cassette tapes - just under thirty-two hours of rambling testimony set down at a rate of five minutes per day. I did this because I've found something both fascinatingly banal and yet distractingly peculiar in the aforementioned testimony, and I had a hunch it might work as an admittedly lengthy piece of writing. Two years later, having completed this undertaking, I feel that The Bunker actually does hold together as a novel, both comic and tragic, not least for having been drawn from real life - if that which it describes can be called life of any sort.

My sales pitch thus far will most likely have raised more questions than it addresses, and I feel that most of the answers are best to be found by reading the book, because whatever I might say here will prove misleading. What I will say, however, is that I've put a lot of work into this thing, some of which has bordered on painful, so it's something I very much believe in as an artistic statement - which I state in the awareness of its potential audience being extremely limited. I've been thinking of it as James Joyce's Ulysses rewritten by Alan Bennett as an Alan Partridge vehicle. I'm not sure that this is necessarily a great description, but something in that direction.

If you're brave enough to buy a copy, then buy it here, keeping in mind that The Bunker is over six-hundred pages of not-entirely-linear narrative, incoherent sentence structure, mania, and slightly musty delusion and that the views expressed therein - many of which are unpleasantly strident - have often been formed without being based on any actual experience - which, for me, is part of the appeal of the book.

If you want to know what's wrong with absolutely fucking everything, you need to read The Bunker.

Saturday 13 November 2021

Missing Words

I have a new book out, another collection of essays of which most - but by no means all - have appeared on my blog, An Englishman in Texas during the final two years of the Trump administration. Re-reading the thing as I usually do prior to the sales pitch, I've been struck by how it inadvertently represents a record of its time given that this was also when the coronavirus pandemic hit, so I guess that's interesting even though it's unintentional. In addition to the material with which at least one or two of you may be familiar, Missing Words features around 167 pages worth of writing which I kept to myself rather than post on the blog - material written because I needed to get it out of my system and which might prove to be a source of contention should it be read by those I was writing about and who I couldn't be bothered to disguise with a pseudonym.

It's nearly six-hundred pages and could be used to stun cattle, or at least a large hound, which strikes even me as an excessive page count but I'm nevertheless pretty pleased with how the thing has turned out. If you enjoy reading what I've written, you'll probably enjoy this too, and as Christmas presents go, you could probably do worse - unless the person you're buying it for is a fucking moron.

It's available here.

Tuesday 12 January 2021

Golden Age

Here's my new novel, either my third or fourth depending on how you're counting, and what feels like the first proper one - the first to have turned out how I hoped it would turn out. It was written parallel to Against Nature back in 2012 or thereabouts and represents a response to the same, amongst other things. It isn't a sequel, or a tie-in (yuck), or anything of that sort, although it explains the two strangers mentioned in passing on page forty of Against Nature if anyone really cares about that kind of thing.

For reasons I won't go into here, Against Nature had a problematic history dribbling on for five or six years prior to publication, and by the time Obverse Books turned up to save the day, there was an element of my wanting to get it written at least so that the previous five or six years hadn't been a complete waste of time - whilst hopefully yielding something worth reading in the process. However, due to it having become work in the sense that building a cabinet is work, I needed something a little sparkier to get me through.

I therefore committed myself to a writing exercise, eight-hundred words a day, hammered out without too much aforethought as a mean of warming up to unpicking and embellishing the labyrinthine plot of Against Nature. The exercise was based on one of A.E. van Vogt's techniques, specifically his preference for narrative blocks wherein he introduced some new or unexpected element every eight-hundred words, developing a thoroughly disorientating rhythm and yielding stories which genuinely defy expectation. So, the parameters I set for myself were as follows:

  • Eight-hundred words daily, regardless, and usually moving the narrative along by the introduction of some unexpected development, often whatever the hell pops into my head.
  • If it becomes a chore, introduce something, anything which restores the fun.
  • What people will think doesn't matter. Say what you like.

By the fourth or fifth day, the story had begun to write itself, and it felt like something which might eventually grow up to be a novel. Clifford Simak once said something along the lines of how, when writing a novel, he usually has about a third of it worked out but the rest he leaves to his characters to develop of their own volition. This always struck me as a somehow more honest means of writing than the story arc and post-it note bullshit by which Against Nature was eventually plotted, and so Golden Age became a reaction against the narrative rigidity of its predecessor and contemporary; and the more I wrote, the more it became a reaction against everything I'd come to loathe about the milieu from which it was born and a celebration of the science-fiction novel as a medium in an historical context. I had fun writing it, and I personally think it worked out well.

Golden Age - the title of which loosely refers to the aforementioned narrative technique by which it was written - sat on my PC for the next six or seven years, at which point it seemed like time to get the thing sorted out. I spent most of 2020 editing, turning sentences into grammar, going over it again and again, and having all of the Raumclown's dialogue professionally translated into German - which wasn't cheap, and which I mention lest anyone should have formed the impression of Golden Age being just some random splatter of an idea which seemed funny at the time; and now, at last, you are able to purchase copies for yourselves, you lucky, lucky people.

So here it is: no pitch, no plot outline, no writers' workshop, no focus group, no agent, no career projection, no eBook, no Amazon, no Patreon, no market research, no merchandise, no funny foreign names you can't understand*, just your proper blue collar science-fiction brought to you as nature intended. No previous experience necessary, although admittedly it's littered with references to earlier short stories, some of which appeared in The Great Divide.

Buy as many copies as your bank account can manage here.

Review copies available on request depending on what sort of show you're running and whether or not I approve.

*: This is a lie.