No comics out today, so no real need to write, except for the fact I need to give my subconscious some space to chew over how a fight scene is going to play out, and it's best I keep myself occupied. And I miss you. Of course, I miss you. You are everything to me.
Town With A Lido
My Little Bronte
I'm off to Margate at the weekend for a con. I'll be signing and generally hanging. Come say Hi. You'll save me having to talk to Spurrier.
A big interview about what I'm planning to do next with the Star Wars books. I believe the issue-50 arc is going to be announced shortly, so I suspect more on that next time. Until then, here's me on my research for writing the aquatic world Mon Cala.
I think, like many people, I was watching Blue Planet II over Christmas, as well. All this stuff was like, yes, “I’ll have that, have that, have that.”
Yes, that'll do. More here.
When I met Jeannette Ng she told me about the time she was a false messiah.
When she's not a novelist, among her many stringed bow is her involvement in LARP Community. As part of sprawling community Empire, she started preaching a religion. People started following it. Cue a few complaints to the central narrative body that one person was getting to be central to such a huge plot. They didn't comment, which must have been frustrating. All they could have said was “This is nothing to do with us” and that would have given the game away. Jeannette's role was entirely of her own devising.
The other players could have ignored it, in which case her character would have just been either the person on a street corner howling or a charlatan. But they didn't. They bought in. Soon, she had followers, prominence. The establishment squirmed.
Fast forward to her trial for heresy. Guilty. Before she's executed with a holy weapon, a traditional priest (outraged by the idea of this divine blade being sullied with her sinner blood) strikes her down. Her corpse falls and the voices of the crowd raise in a choral chant, her own words echoing over her cooling body.
You may guess I had decided I was going to read her book by this point.
I'd actually decided I was going to read her book when she said the phrase “I was a False Messiah once.” False Messiahs are the only sort I'll ever believe in. At least “False Messiah” is honest, funny and hilariously, playfully duplicitous, three of my favourite qualities in both books and people. The book fulfilled my desire, with additional Bleak and Poetic.
Her first novel is the just-nominated-for-the-John-W-Campbell-For-Best-New-Writer Under The Pendulum Sky. It threads together the Brontes, Fae mythology and the Biblical Apocrypha into an intricate gothic tapestry, the sort that seems to shift slightly when you glance away, the sort that throws away imagery in every half-sentence that makes the “shifting tapestry” metaphor in the previous sentence wince at being a bit predictable. It performs the trick of generating a world far larger than on the page, the mythology gospel-solid and yet as hard to hold onto as Fairy Gold in the morning.
Prosaic facts: in the 19th century, rather than the Antarctic, Scott discovers the land of the Fae. Cue trade and, relevantly, missionary work. Not-Charlotte-Bronte goes to see why Not-Bramwell-Bronte has fell out of contact. She finds herself in a a sprawling house called Gethsemane which holds a changeling, the one converted Fae, an illusive Salamander and noty a sign of the troublesome Not-Bramwell-Bronte. Plus mysteries as suffocating as the ever-present fog, and answers that absolutely no-one likes, because this is a gothic.
A mood that I'd characterise as drowning-not-waving in absinthe, I liked this a lot and suspect you would too.
A couple of weeks ago I recorded a short video to explain the 24 Panels project, the anthology in support of PTSD survivors and Grenfell. You can watch it here.
More on this soon – the first scripts are arriving, and the open submissions are apparently going well. Still time to do something if you wish to be involved. Details here.
While we're talking Charity Anthologies, it's also the FOC week for Where We Live, in support of the survivors of the Vegas shooting. For those who don't know, FOC is short for “The Direct Market is an antiquated system we work inside.” In short, speak to your retailer if you want to make sure you have a copy waiting for you.
It comes to my attention that newsletter subscribers are interested in cooking tips. Always willing to jump on any bandwagon – not least including writing newsletters – I thought I'd give it a shot.
Here is how I make an omelette.
1) Get eggs. Good eggs. The core of good cooking is good ingredients. That's why we use the word “good.”
2) Crack eggs into a bowl.
4) Get the milk out the fridge.
5) Make eye-contact with Warren Ellis.
6) Not breaking eye-contact with Warren Ellis, slowly pour milk into your whisked eggs.
7) Dodge Warren Ellis' first attack. Warren Ellis will lead with his left, so you either circle right or dodge under the blow. I'd recommend sliding under the arm as it comes high, but this is a high risk manoeuvrer. If Warren Ellis makes contact, it's all over. That arm will cut you in two.
8) Back out the room. Warren Ellis will follow. Warren Ellis' dander will be up.
9) Try and crush Warren Ellis with the two tree-trunks you prepared earlier, but Warren Ellis is smarter than that. What were you thinking? You're a fool. You're a simple, bewildered fool.
10) Warren Ellis will be momentarily distracted smashing the timber into splinters. Use this opportunity to cover yourself in mud to conceal yourself from Warren Ellis.
11) Hold your breath, shut your eyes and lie still until Warren Ellis leaves.
12) Go to local cafe, order Scrambled Eggs with Chorizo instead.
Work? Work continues. This issue never ends. Send love to Jamie and Matt. I killed them in the early 21st century with the WicDiv 36 script.