Archive for June, 2011

I have taken one more story for the book, which is ‘Our Island’ by American author Ralph Robert Moore. He is a writer whose work I always enjoy; he has one collection published already and will be familiar to you as a regular contributor to ‘Midnight Street’.

I know that I said I hoped to be able to announce the full line-up by the end of June but it’s not going to happen.. Stay patient – you will all hear from me during early July.

Looking Back on Blind Swimmer

Posted: June 22, 2011 by Eibonvale in Articles

Blind Swimmer

The idea behind the anthology Blind Swimmer was a simple one really – a chance to bring together all the authors the press had worked with or would soon be working with and thus create a kind of self-portrait of the press itself – a sampler.  It is no surprise then that Blind Swimmer occupies a very special place for me – as a retrospective of this still young press and as a moment of taking stock – not to mention as a consolidation of the Eibonvale ‘family’.  I resist the description of ‘editor’ of this book, which has been bandied around – it was a collaborative project on every level.

The reaction that book is getting is still intriguing me though and I can’t resist discussing it a bit here.  Some have called it one of the best anthologies of 2010, as already trumpeted elsewhere on this blog and which naturally makes me very happy.  However, the reactions to the book have been rather more complex than that and the reviews it has received have been an education in themselves – an exercise in how diverse and personal reviewers are as much as anything.  Every reviewer finds some stories to single out – but never the same ones.  That’s the crucial thing.  Every story in the book has been loved by someone – and every story in the book has been hated by someone.  No exceptions.  To either.  The original hope for the book was to provide a challengingly diverse collection – stories in a dizzying variety of styles and timbres.  That in itself was symbolic of the press’s ambitions, which are to be fundamentally unpredictable and varied, open to anything interesting on any level (not simply literary elitism), and yet at the same time united within that diversity on levels far more fundamental than mere matters of matching up with some genre-based or scholarly ideals.  And judging by the response to the book, that has come closer to succeeding than I ever dared hope.  Operating on a slightly different level to some, it is almost as if Blind Swimmer has been tweaking people somehow – poking squarely at their individual expectations of what an anthology of stories should be and generating a weird mix of ire and love and downright confusion in the process.  I consider this a far more interesting and successful reaction than if everything in the book was universally raved about.

Blind Swimmer remains above anything else – above any strange games that it chooses to play with people – a simple expression of the Eibonvale Family – the amazing writers we have been lucky enough to work with.  And needless to say, I am looking forward to continuing (and expanding) that family in the future.

David Rix

Automatic Safe Dog… barking mad!

Posted: June 22, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Ros Jackson has given Jet McDonald’s novel Automatic Safe Dog a first rate review over at Warpcore SF, finding it one of her more unusual recent reading experiences:

“…Automatic Safe Dog is a crazy story, but it’s madness with a barbed point. It reminds me a little of the film Brazil, although really it’s too unique to compare successfully to other works. Telby Velour is a great character, funny and incompetent and a real chancer, and he captured my imagination from the story’s shocking start to its stunning ending. This is a good read, which I like best for the way it takes aim at corporate leadership, marketing madness, and the easy acceptance of the dictates of people who wear suits, no matter how insane they may be.”

Bloody War… in coming!

Posted: June 21, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Hard hats on again, lads (and ladies). Just when you thought it was safe to put your head back up above the parapet, we have another very good reviewing in-coming, of Terry Grimwood’s Bloody War, this one from Paul Wilks at The Future Fire, who finds “the narrative engrossing and the plot devastating”. Paul explores the novel in critical depth, even giving some credence to a weighty comparison with Orwell’s 1984. The review really needs to be read in its entirety, but here are two snippets:

“The novel roars along at a blistering pace and there are plenty of cliff-hangers. I read the book in two sittings but many readers will require only one. It is very difficult to elaborate on the plot at too great a depth without releasing spoilers, but the novel is packed with twists and turns and these continue until the final page…

…Both refreshing and disturbing, Bloody War is a speculative gem; an honest, well written ‘What If?’ novel. It proposes an old fashioned war coming to modern-times London and describes deliciously the societal vacuums and issues this creates.”

Bloody War….. bloody good.

Posted: June 20, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Well, we with our tin hats on here at Eibonvale Press understand of course that we’re dug in for a long campaign, but so far the dispatches are looking pretty good about Terry Grimwood’s novel Bloody War:

Over at The Horror Zine website, Nicolette Heaton-Harris says:

“This fast-paced book has twists and turns, and the story pulls you this way and that. This is a thriller, written in a surprisingly conversational, intimate tone, allowing you as the reader to travel on Pete’s journey with him. Grimwood’s tale is gripping from the first page and definitely has that PTQ: Page Turning Quality. His character Pete is one you can easily relate to. In fact, Pete could be anyone….the man next to you in the shopping queue….or even you or me…”

Then, over at Warpcore SF, Ros Jackson gives Terry a spectacular 5 out of 5 stars, and says:

“Bloody War is utterly terrifying. The first person narrative makes the story more immediate, and the tension is cranked up by scenes of awful claustrophobia and the constant threat of death. But I think what really drives home the fear is the way the story is set now, in a London that’s both completely transformed yet easily recognisable, using the language of conflict we’ve all heard in the media and recognisable and believable weaponry…

…Bloody War is an important book, a timely warning about political complacency and the insidious erosion of our rights. And the ending, which brings the story’s relevance to the real world into clear and startling focus, blew me away.”

One more acceptance to confirm and it’s another Ian. This time the story is by British science fiction author Ian Sales with an exciting adventure called ‘The Way The World Works’. Ian has been published in ‘Jupiter’, ‘Interzone’, etc as well as in my previous anthology ‘Catastrophia’. As for the remaining stories – most of them are on their third reading and I will be making final decision – along with some more acceptances – very soon.

Bloody War reviewed at Rising Shadow

Posted: June 10, 2011 by douglasthompson in News, Reviews

Terry Grimwood’s “Bloody War” has been reviewed by Sami Airola over at the Rising Shadow website:

“…one of the most interesting science fiction books I’ve read during the last year.

…Most apocalyptic books are usually action-driven books, but Bloody War is partly a character-driven book. It focuses mainly on relationships and how the main character feels about certain things. This is good, because it adds depth, harsh realism and complexity to the story.

…Terry Grimwood writes fluently and the plot is intriguing. I think that several readers will find Bloody War interesting, because it’s a harsh and cruel story about war. Bloody War isn’t an easy book, but it’s rewarding reading experience.”

Sylvow reviewed in Midnight Street

Posted: June 8, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Trevor Denyer has reviewed “Sylvow” in the latest edition of Midnight Street Magazine (No.15):

“…the hallmark of this talented and imaginative writer remains clear. This is quality writing that grips the reader with an almost guilty pleasure…
…The horror elements are expertly crafted and extreme as the forest and its components encroach upon the city and its inhabitants. The characters are unusual and well drawn, providing depth to the narrative…
…this is a superb and important novel that combines horror and fantasy elements, cleverly interweaving them into an apocalyptic tale that resonates with our feelings about the ecology of the planet and imagines an original scenario where the tables are turned masterfully and devastatingly against us.”

Sylvow reviewed by Decomp Magazine

Posted: June 1, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Spencer Dew has reviewed Douglas Thompson’s “Sylvow” over at Decomp Magazine:

“…Thompson’s work reads something like a moral tact, winking at the horror of fairy tales and rolling up its own sleeves to pen some pretty gruesome passages, while also speaking, through the mouths of various characters, about Carl Jung and collective dreaming, Gaia and the haughty human sense of sovereignty, and taking some pleasure in relaying a revenge fantasy wherein it is the natural environment that takes revenge, sending floods and murderous trees, setting free the zoos and welcoming some children into its own fold, out in the dark of the deep woods.”

Automatic Safe Dog reviewed by Rising Shadow

Posted: June 1, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Our favourite Finnish person, Sami Airola, has reviewed Jet McDonald’s “Automatic Safe Dog” over at his lovely Rising Shadow website:

“…Jet McDonald has a vivid imagination and he writes witty satire about modern way of life, corporate life and unrequited love. He’s taken a risk with this book, because writing satire is difficult, but he’s managed to write a funny and inventive book, which will appeal to readers who enjoy black and twisted humour. This book reminds me a bit about the works of J. G. Ballard, David Sedaris, Chuck Palahniuk and William Burroughs, but it’s distinctively different from their works.”