Saturday, November 29, 2008

Neal Asher E-books

I picked this up from a website called galleycat but it's scattered all over the Internet elsewhere too. I signed the addendum to my contracts just a little while ago so this could go ahead.

Pan Macmillan Partners with Popular iPhone Reader

Books by John Scalzi, Clive James, Peter F. Hamilton, China Mieville and Neal Asher can now be purchased for the iPhone, as Pan Macmillan partnered with the e-reader company, Lexcycle--becoming one of the largest publishers to step into this new digital realm.
The first round of titles are available on the iPhone and iPod Touch using Lexcycle's Stanza application, and the companies expect to add more titles over the next year. In addition, the partnership will allow Stanza readers to sample bestsellers in special excerpts.
Sara Lloyd, Digital Director of Pan Macmillan, said her company had studied the market carefully before the partnership. From the press release: "Since the iPhone launched its App Store we have been watching developments closely to see which reading apps became most popular. Lexcycle's Stanza emerged very quickly as a clear leader in its category and so we immediately made contact to ask about developing a strategic partnership to bring our ebooks to readers through this new channel," she explained.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wot No Books?

My thanks to the staff at Forbidden Planet for having me there signing books again (and providing sandwiches, cake and tea). Not a vast attendance, but more than made up for by the enthusiasm of those who did turn up. I also signed plenty of stock so if you're after a signed copy you can order one here, just put in a search with my name - it would also be worth checking because I know they have signed copies of those shown here but not marked as signed.

Nice also to meet Julie Crisp, senior commissioning editor at Tor/Pan Macmillan and Chloe Healy the press officer there. Also great to see Simon Kavanagh and Peter Lavery, as always.

Sorry to have missed any of the usual crowd afterwards - the Angel was packed so we went to the Phoenix Club. Maybe this coming April when The Shadow of the Scorpion comes out?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Signing Today

Don't forget I'm signing The Gabble today at Forbidden Planet, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, between 6-7pm.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Success! I actually managed to clean out the printer cartridge, refill it and get it all working again (though for how long I don't know). Really I should confine myself to a monochrome laser printer then I just wouldn't have such problems. I don't bother printing off photographs or much else of the like. However, I always like to print off bookmarks like these shown here - a combination of advertising and calling card. There must be thousands of these scattered around the world now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rip-Off Printer Manufacturers.

Y’know, I’m heartily sick of the rip-off printer manufacturers that dominate the market now. I bought an Epson printer some years back which, if I’d bought Epson cartridges, would have cost me £60 a time to refill (5 cartridges at £12 each). However, I bought a kit of refillable cartridges and with much fucking about, inky fingers and the occasional purchase of refilled cartridges on the Internet to get replacement chips – I was reprogramming them and they often went wrong – I did save myself more than three times the cost of the printer itself. But the printer finally died and I had to bin it.

My next purchase was a Hewlett Packard. The replacement cost of the one black and one tricolour cartridge for this too is ridiculous, but that’s not a point to belabour since we all know that most printer cartridges retail probably at something like 10,000% of manufacturing cost. I got my colour cartridge refilled at a local computer suppliers (the machine there drilled the holes for me so in future I would know where to inject ink) but, having left the printer alone for six months, the cartridge of course dried up and fucked up. I’m now trying to clean out the printer head holes to get it working again, but don’t hold out much hope.

Wouldn’t it be nice if some printer manufacturer produced a printer with refillable reserviors and maybe an extra one for head cleaning fluid? Wouldn’t it be nice if said manufacturer made it so it will print on any paper, rather than its own expensive brand? Wouldn’t it be nice if it was built to last rather than fucking up just after the guarantee ran out? Again this is something I don’t hold out much hope for.

So, what I’m after is a printer that doesn’t have its ink cartridges chipped, doesn’t make the printing head integral with the cartridge, has a print head accessible enough to clean, has a transparent cartridge so I can see how much ink is inside and also refill it, doesn’t have software that says, “you’re using cheaper printing supplies therefore I am going to shut down”, doesn’t have a software package that takes hours to load (like the HP), and maybe, just maybe, lasts for a while. Any ideas?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Colchester Waterstones.

Thanks to Mark, Adam and the rest of the staff at the Colchester Waterstones for having me there signing books today. Let's hope you sell of that pile Gabble! And thanks to those who turned up to buy books. I should also add a message to others entering the store: you can check out the books since I don't bite and I'm not going to drag you in like a Turkish market trader.

Two pictures here from Caroline's mobile phone since I forgot my camera.

Thanks also to BHS Colchester for the slowest breakfast in recorded history.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Subterfuge: A clever device or strategy used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, or to hide something...

Ian Whates just visited me today to get me to sign the remainder of a signed special edition of Subterfuge, in which you’ll find a Polity story of mine called The Rhine’s World Incident. On Amazon we have:

A Signed and Numbered Limited edition of just 150. Each copy is signed by all contributors (barring Neal Asher). This special edition contains three additional stories to the other two standard editions (By Ian Watson, Storm Constantine and Ian Whates).

The ‘barring Neal Asher’ has now changed for about the remaining 90 copies.

Authors also included in this are Tanith Lee, John Meaney, Storm Constantine, Dave Hutchinson, Steve Longworth, Nick Ravensworth, Sarah Singleton, Neil Williamson, Nick Wood, Una McCormack, Juliet McKenna, Tony Ballantyne, Pat Cadigan, Gary Couzens, and Ian Whates (Editor).

It’s further worth noting that the Dave Hutchinson is the very same as who posts comments here (I look forward to reading Multitude, Dave).

None limited edition here.

Shadow of the Scorpion.

I've been having fun trying to convert a pdf sent to me by Macmillan into a jpg so I could put a picture of this cover up here. Nice free program downloaded to do it, only for some unfathomable reason it will convert the whole dust jacket except for the title on the front and spine. Another program accessed online (sends the picture to you by email) just converted half the cover, the back half, which is no use at all. I've ended up just copying this from amazon. The hardcover of Shadow of the Scorpion should be published on April 3rd.

Raised to adulthood during the end of the war between the human Polity and the vicious arthropoid race, the Prador, Ian Cormac is haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpion-shaped war drone and the burden of losses he doesn't remember. In the years following the war, he signs up with Earth Central Security, and is sent out to help either restore or simply maintain order on worlds devastated by Prador bombardment. There he discovers that though the old enemy remains as murderous as ever, it is not anywhere near as perfidious or dangerous as some of his fellow humans, some of them closer to him than he would like. Amidst the ruins left by wartime genocides, he discovers in himself a cold capacity for violence, learns some horrible truths about his own past and, set upon a course of vengeance, tries merely to stay alive.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Battlefield Laser.

Still, a lethal laser that can reach full power in less than a second may cause Northrop Grumman’s stock to rise and the phones to ring off the hooks. "We are ready to deliver on the promise of defense at the speed of light with FIRESTRIKE," Wildt said.

My brother just emailed me about this neat device. So, not only do we now have pain rays and stun guns, we've got a battlefield laser. I wonder if mainstream literati pricks will ever cease their 'sci-fi nonsense' cries? Probably not.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Heavy Metal.

Well, since it's now out there on the Internet, there's not much point in me keeping quiet about it. Hopefully Hollywood Insider won't mind me pinching this:

David Fincher's Remake of Heavy Metal a No-Go at Paramount.

An article on Jul 9, 2008, 03:44 PM by Nicole Sperling

Not even a bigshot like David Fincher could keep Heavy Metal at Paramount. The Zodiac director, who is currently putting the finishing touches on his highly-anticipated Brad Pitt movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, has been spearheading an edgy remake of the 1981 R-rated animated flick inspired by the 1970s fantasy magazine of the same name. But Tim Miller, whose Blur Studio is handling the animation, says he and Fincher, along with current Heavy Metal publisher Kevin Eastman, are now shopping the film to other studios because Paramount's new production execs felt the movie was too risque for mainstream audiences. The project is an amalgam of erotic and violent storylines penned by well-known sci-fi scribes like Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Joe Haldeman (The Forever War), and Neal Asher (Gridlinked). The concept is to use eight to 10 of these shorts in a single movie with each segment helmed by a different director (Fincher is on deck to direct one). Though things are on hold until another studio picks it up, Miller is confident the film will eventually see the light of day. "David really believes in the project. It's just a matter of time," Miller says.

Five of my stories up for inclusion -- about half the film.

SFX December 2008

Nice profile piece on me in the December 2008 issue of SFX, with a full page picture too (inside, not that scary-eyed depilatephobe on the front cover). I can’t say it was much fun posing in the pissing rain on the Mayland mud flats, but the result seems pretty good. I’d just love to know how the other more ambitious photos of me posing against a wall of scrap turned out. That picture could have had the tagline: here is Neal Asher superimposed over a view inside his head.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Writing Update

Okay, I’ve had a little rant so now it’s time for a writing update. As far as I can gather, Shadow of the Scorpion, a shorter novel about Cormac’s past years, was published in America by Night Shade Books on November 5th (Hah! Bonfire night!) in paperback. The Macmillan edition, which will undoubtedly start out as a hardback, will be published in Britain on April 3rd 2009. The Gabble and Other Stories, a collection of short stories some of you may have read elsewhere, came out in Britain in hardback on November 7th.

Back in June, whilst away, I completed Orbus – a follow-up to The Voyage of the Sable Keech – and sent it in to the publishers, however, due to a communications cock-up they thought I’d just sent some stuff for the cover designer to use so the book languished in some computer file until a recently asked about it. It is now in the hands of the editor. No matter really, since that doesn’t change the publication date of September 4th next year.

After this I wrote a longish story loosely based on the Rockfish video you can find on You Tube with a view to possibly turning it into a script. No real news about that at the moment.

Presently I’m 45,000 words into somethng provisionally titled The Owner of Worlds, based on the ‘Owner’ stories to be found in my collection The Engineer Reconditioned.

That’s about it for now … except I couldn’t resist putting up a picture of where we’ve been living for the last six months, and where I’ve been applying myself to the keyboard.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back in Good Old Blighty.

Ah, back in the land of politically-correct wank and bureaucracy for less than 24 hours and already I want to turn round and climb on the next plane out of here. My hackles started to rise in Stanstead Airport where apparently some new legislation applies which dictates that ‘No Smoking’ signs must be placed no more than twenty feet apart, though some variation of their contect is allowed: Smoking is illegal, Smoke here and we’ll take you to a political correction cell and beat the soles of your feet with a rubber hose. However, my hackles really stood up upon sight of the big blue ‘UK Border’ sign with its pale zit-encrusted officials gathered underneath. Beyond the sheer fucking arrogance of that I just knew that beyond it everything was going to go further down hill. I wasn’t wrong.

After going into shock for a while with the cold, the endless roundabouts and traffic, we finally got home to immediately put on the central heating, which took about five hours and probably a new mortgage to take the temperature up to somewhere bearable. For the night, hot water bottles were dusted of cobwebs and filled.

Today, since the car was in cobwebs for a while too, it was necessary to get an MOT. As we discovered on our last return trip here everything costs no less than £50, and this was no exception. Whilst the MOT was being conducted we headed off down the pub … another mistake I won’t make again. No smoking of course, so the four customers and one of the two bar staff were outside smoking whilst a pub capable of holding hundreds had one person inside. Outside we put our cigarettes out in ashtrays filled with water which was not there to stop the ash being blown about by the hot meltemi wind. The glasses weren’t out of a freezer, since that was hardly necessary. On our way away we noted that the pub seemed as ragged, run-down and as fucked-over as the country it occupies. No money to repair the damaged toilets or paintwork; that was all spend on the unused wheelchair lift to convey chairs over the three steps into the restaurant area.


Righto, back at a fast constant Internet connection and time to start catching up. First off, I'll be doing a couple of signings this month in Colchester and London. Here's the shop shop addresses:

Waterstone’s, Culver Square, Colchester.

Saturday 22nd November, 1-2pm

Forbidden Planet, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London

Thursday 27th November, 6-7pm