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Messages - Chadbourn

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British Fantasy Awards / Re: Extra categories in the BFS Awards?
« on: August 19, 2008, 05:45:00 pm »
Eastercon is mainly SF, with a begrudging nod towards Fantasy. 

British Fantasy Awards / Re: Extra categories in the BFS Awards?
« on: August 19, 2008, 11:45:20 am »
I'm quite enthused to get involved again!

British Fantasy Awards / Re: Extra categories in the BFS Awards?
« on: August 16, 2008, 03:03:12 pm »
As Peter pointed out, not so long ago the associated media did get a look in at the awards, and so there's no reason why it shouldn't do so again.

As Stephen points out, too, this is a great way to build the Society's profile.  Word-of-mouth spreads over time.  When Empire started its movie awards, no one heard of them, no one came.  Now it's a big date on the calendars of movie companies.  All these professionals want to reach out to a broader audience.  If the BFS Awards are promoted in the right way, the companies will get behind them and their importance will grow.

Paul - yes, blockbuster movies do get a lot of coverage.  But if the Society can pull in some of their support and re-direct towards fantastic literature, surely that's a good thing?

Promote Your Projects / The Lord of Silence Press Release
« on: January 18, 2008, 05:28:08 pm »
SOLARIS is proud to announce a new acquisition from popular British fantasy novelist MARK CHADBOURN.

THE LORD OF SILENCE is a thrilling new epic fantasy. When the great hero of the city of Idriss is murdered, Vidar, the Lord of Silence, must take his place as chief defender against the mysterious terrors lurking in the dense forest beyond the city?s walls.  But Vidar is a man tormented?by a lost memory and a vampiric jewel that demands the life energy of others. Now, with a killer loose within Idriss, and the threat from without mounting, Vidar must solve a three thousand year old religious mystery to unlock the terrifying secrets of his own past.

A two-time winner of the British Fantasy Award, Mark Chadbourn is the author of eleven novels and one non-fiction book.  A former journalist, he is now a screenwriter for BBC television drama.  His other jobs have included running an independent record company, managing rock bands, working on a production line, and as an engineer?s ?mate?.  He lives in a forest in the English Midlands.

Mark Chadbourn said, ?After several years writing my own particular and peculiar brand of urban fantasy, I wanted to try something completely different.  The Lord of Silence is me cutting loose and experimenting way out of my comfort zone?a completely new world, new characters, a twisted take on magic, and a mystery that spans several thousand years. It?s a sword and sorcery, noir, puzzle-cracking, romance, serial killer, adventure-mystery.  With mad, dancing magicians.?

Publisher Marc Gascoigne added: ?It?s always been puzzling to me why a writer of Mark?s immense talent, and with such a huge British fanbase, has rarely been offered the opportunity to release his books in the US. It?s time to remedy that, with the best book of his career so far.?

THE LORD OF SILENCE will be released in 2009 in the US and UK.

Please note ? this book will be *in addition* to my regularly scheduled novels published by Victor Gollancz. ~ Mark

Promote Your Projects / Jack of Ravens Out Now
« on: December 06, 2007, 11:29:53 am »
The paperback version of Jack of Ravens: Kingdom of the Serpent Book One is published today.

Shortlisted for the 2006 British Fantasy Best Novel Award, the hardback sold out in record time so it's good to have it back on the shelves. 

The story: modern day archaeologist Jack Churchill wanders out of the mists into ancient Celtic Britain.  Desperate to get back to his own time, he embarks on a long quest through more than 2,000 years of history.  But the denizens of Faerie are a constant threat...and a dark force waits for him at the end of his journey.

You can buy it from Amazon ( for just ?3.99 (currently).

I don't think the awards were as clear cut as that, Lee.  While 'Dusk' is a fantasy, it's written by a horror author, with strong name recognition in that market.  And while I'm currently writing in the fantasy field, my short story was definitely horror!

I feel a great affinity with the members of the BFS, having been a member so long.  I'm in a slightly unique position as I started out writing horror and many of my friends in the BFS still remember me for that.  Now I'm writing fantasy, though of a darker kind than most other fantasy around at the moment.  I've always really liked both genres (and SF, for that matter), and I appreciate there are a few like me in the Society.  But I've noticed since I climbed over the fence, some of the horror contingent being sneery about its big brother - ie the aforementioned BFS officer.

I do wish the BFS was bigger, then these differences would be less obvious in the broad mix.  And then the BFS could probably afford the great range of magazines that the BSFA offers, which would better cater to all tastes...

Some very interesting comments here.  Lermontov always manages to find good topics for discussion!

There's a central issue that has exercised my thoughts over the last 12 months or so, and ties in to how we deal with change.  Certainly genre in the broader sense, and the way we read genre in particular, has changed remarkably over the last twenty years or so.  When the BFS was first launched (not that I was involved back then, but I know people who were!), the core genre distinctions were not so defined.  The Society itself was as likely to discuss - and celebrate in its awards - Moorcock as it was Lovecraft.  Readers drawn to imaginative fiction would dip into horror, what little fantasy was around and SF.

Since then we've seen a growth in genre tribalism that mirrors other tribalist impulses in society - culminating in one of the officers of the Society sneering - however tongue in cheek - on these boards about 'fantasy'.  When I first got involved with the BFS in the 90s it was during the unprecedented horror boom (horror has historically been a small niche genre) and the BFS undoubtedly became a horror society.  A lot of people from that time are still members.

Since the eighties, though, fantasy has become *the* publishing powerhouse.  It dwarfs SF, and certainly the rump horror market.  But as Lermontov points out, the fantasy community has not grown apace, not in terms of the blogs and the online groups (where genre community really lies in the 21st century) that we see for SF and horror.  The BFS has edged towards recognising fantasy, but it's always going to be half-hearted as the bulk of the membership is clearly horror - as you can see reflected in the annual awards where virtually every horror novel published gets a shout-out, but many of the biggest, and highly-rated fantasy novels don't even make the long-list.  It's true to say that in recent times this has resulted in a degree of friction between the horror and fantasy membership.   Sometimes both sides complain they're not getting what they want.

Which brings me on to the whole change thing.  The BFS has a strong and committed membership who generally feel happy with the current make-up and direction of the society.  Perhaps in this age it's wrong to try to drag horror and fantasy readers together.  And perhaps it's wrong for the Society to try to cover the whole of the genres so that everybody feels they're getting a watered down mess.

Tens of thousands of fantasy readers in this country aren't really getting the detailed coverage of the genre that they deserve.  They're second class citizens in the BSFA, even though they dwarf the SF readership.  And I feel instinctively they're probably second class citizens in the BFS too, because they're not getting the books that they read reviewed, or the analysis of their genre that they really need.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming the leadership of the BFS for this.  I just wonder if it's too big a job for the Society to do now that fantasy has grown at such a rate, and bearing in mind the core make-up of the society still hanging on from the 90s.  The constitution of the BFS says it covers SF, fantasy and horror.  Surely that is too big an area to be dealt with effectively?  Let's face it, it doesn't cover SF at all.

I'm starting to think that the answer is a new society dedicated to fantasy - clearly defined, with depth as well as breadth in its coverage.  That would make it more acceptable to all those very many fantasy readers who obviously aren't attracted to the BFS, and it would attract those many fantasy authors who still consider the BFS as a 'horror society' (and many do).  It would also allow the BFS to concentrate on serving the needs of the membership it already has.

Announcements and Suggestions / Re: Prism - online? A proposal...
« on: June 25, 2007, 04:13:51 pm »
On a personal note, I wouldn't want Prism online.  Frankly, I'm sick of sitting in front of a computer and printed material now has a value in excess of what it did a few years ago.  Anything I can take away into the garden is a source of escape as well as enjoyment.

More importantly, I think, Prism needs a re-think from first principles rather than just a re-design.  Pasted-in press releases are no longer valid - they're all over everywhere before we receive the magazine.  Can I suggest people take a look at the excellent BSFA mags to see what can be done, particularly Matrix which manages to combine news, interviews and opinion across a range of subjects in a style that doesn't date (having said that, I haven't seen Matrix in over a year so I could be talking rubbish).  The BSFA's separate reviews mag means that most reviews are current too.  It would take a bit of work to put all this together, but that's why we pay our subs, right?

Dark Horizons is a quality publication and a boon to the BFS - sometimes it's worth stating the obvious.  The BSFA doesn't have anything that comes close to it.


General Discussion / Re: Request from the BBC
« on: February 01, 2007, 06:12:21 pm »
Withnail and I turned me into a whining, lighter fuel drinking alcoholic.  Is that the kind of story they're looking for?

General Discussion / Re: Robert Anton Wilson RIP
« on: January 19, 2007, 10:42:48 am »
The Illuminatus! trilogy was a real influence for me when I first read it at university.  I went on to read Cosmic Trigger and the Schrodinger's Cat books and it was so refreshing to see a completely different take on the universe.

General Discussion / Re: Scary pictures? (Horror alert!)
« on: January 05, 2007, 10:22:06 am »
Raspberry jam should be used for toast or crumpets, not as a hair product!

TV and Film / Re: BBC's Dracula
« on: January 03, 2007, 06:49:43 pm »
It didn't work for me, though I enjoyed the opening half hour.  One of the major problems was that they crammed acts II and III into the last twenty minutes.  And, of course, that they made Dracula a supporting character completely devoid of menace, charisma and sexuality.

I did enjoy Wind in the Willows and was very pleased to see they restored the Piper at the Gates of Dawn sequence - which my CofE primary school banned all children from reading in case it turned them from the path of the Lord to a life of carnality.  I did read that chapter and so I am living proof that they were right.

Promote Your Projects / Re: Iain Banks and Iain M Banks
« on: November 29, 2006, 01:16:21 pm »
Trudi 'Soprano' Topham... :o


Critically-acclaimed novelist Deborah J Miller has accepted an invitation to join The Write Fantastic collective of UK fantasy authors.

Deborah has been a published writer since her short story Dinosaur was shortlisted for the Ian St James Award in 1993. She is best known for her Last Clansman series (starting with Talisker in 2001, going on to Dark Thane in 2002 and ending with Lore Bringer in 2004) which was published under the pen-name, Miller Lau.  The first book of her new Swarmthief trilogy - Swarmthief?s Dance - was published by Tor UK in 2005 and the next instalment - Swarmthief?s Treason - is due for release in 2007.

The Write Fantastic comprises Sarah Ash, James Barclay, Chaz Brenchley, Mark Chadbourn, Juliet McKenna and Stan Nicholls.  It is an initiative  to introduce fantasy fiction to readers who have never tried the genre, and to show those who have drifted away the breadth and depth in current fantasy writing.

The group's regular events include appearances at literary festivals, libraries, conventions and bookshops to conduct panels, readings, Q & As and workshops.  In the last few months, the Write Fantastic has appeared at literary festivals in Sheffield, Lincoln and Derby, the Tolkien Fesitval in Birmingham, Fantasycon and Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge, Science Fiction and Fantasy event.

Founding member Jessica Rydill has now opted for associate status and will no longer be appearing at events.

From our website: "Contemporary fantasy fiction is about far more than escape to other realities. Freed of the constraints and preconceptions of other kinds of fiction, it holds up a mirror to reflect on this world and time through the prism of vivid characters and enthralling drama that engage the imagination like no other genre.
"Our work covers the gamut of fantasy writing from orcs and dragons, through high heroic swords and sorcery to reimagining of myth and history, and the magics of matter, mind and spirit."

For more information, visit:

Introductions / Re: Is this the check-in desk?
« on: November 20, 2006, 01:57:08 pm »
Yeah, don't you just hate it when that happens?

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