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December 2012

Five. Friday Five: 5 Best of James Bond

JamesBondopenHi! Gosh, it's been a while, hasn't it? To make up for having left everyone dangling for months, I'm doing my very own Friday Five, all by myself. And my subject, of course, is James Bond. Because if there's one subject I can carry on (and on... and on) about, it's James Bond.

Also, the Bond film franchise is fifty years old.

Favorite Bond films

5. License to Kill
4. Goldfinger
3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
2. Casino Royale
1. Thunderball

I expect you might be surprised by License to Kill above; it's a deeply flawed film, but I appreciate that it was an effort to make Bond more brutal and violent and thoughtful. Thunderball remains my favorite because it is monumentally insane, and because that extraordinary underwater battle is utterly hypnotic.

More after the jump!

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The Kitschies present... London Falling

London FallingThursday, 13 December: 
London Falling with Paul Cornell and Ben Aaronovitch
(6.30 pm start)

Two amazing writers - Paul "London Falling" Cornell and Ben "Whispers Underground" Aaronovitch talking about Paul Cornell's highly anticipated new book, London, crime, the occult and whatever else happens to be on their minds.

The two authors are a brilliant combination - we heartily recommend any occasion in which they're both speaking (especially this one).

The Kitschies will be there to spread some holiday cheer (read: The Kraken Rum and other tasty, crafty and tentacular treats).

Hosted by Blackwell's Charing Cross. Details on their blog and Facebook.

The Trembling Footloose Skies Fall Modestly at First

I saw five movies last week, and, for lack of a planned post, here's my definitive ranking of them:

1) "Tremors" (1990): Pure unadulterated awesome. Brilliant, charismatic lead characters (which include the female 'love interest' who is a) brilliant and b) never needs rescuing). Plus gooey monsters, a poop joke and extraordinary guns. It manages to combine tension with comedy in a way that few monster movies succeed in doing. Plus, monsters!

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Post-Apocalyse & Competition Winner!

A huge stack of thanks - to everyone who contributed, supported, bought, read, talked about, retweeted, browsed or even looked at Stories of the Apocalypse. The limited edition has now, sadly, hit its limit and is no longer on sale.

Cover - Coming SoonWe're delighted that this world ended with a bang, as Apocalypse sat as the #1 SF anthology on Amazon for the whole weekend. 

If you're still looking for reading material (and who isn't?), you can get a suitably apocalyptic fix with the upcoming Thy Kingdom Come. Or travel to the Weird and Wild West with A Town Called Pandemonium. If you're lookinng for a new spin on some classic literature, Stories of Smoke contains original stories of London, as inspired by Charles Dickens - from the steampunk to the cyberpunk to the very, very strange. Or if you like your classics unspun, Lost Souls contains macabre tales - carefully resurrected from their original publications.

Too much? You can always pick up one of our chapbooks - the bonkers Fire, haunting Crossroads or darkly comedic Stocking Stuffer. They're each 80p and contain at least three completely original short stories. (Plus, 1853 on its way...) 

Of course, one person gets one of these for free - our competition for a copy of Thy Kingdom Come is now over and we've chosen a winner. It was surprisingly easy - only one person got the right answer. Which means our challenge was either too difficult, or just difficult enough.

The question: Joey Hi-Fi is in three Jurassic London books. Which are they?

The answer, as expressed by our winner:

I think these are Joey's appearances in Jurassic London books:

1. Illustrator for Thy Kingdom Come
2. Illustrator for Pandemonium: The Lowest Heaven
3. He's mentioned as one of the players in Osgood Vance's story "The Closer" in Stories of the Apocalypse under his real name Dale Halverson.

Congratulations, Mieneke!

Friday Five(ish): 10 Strange Stories of the Apocalypse

Two days left for Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse! We love all our print & digital children, but Apocalypse was our first book, and will always hold a special place in our hearts. 

Here's ten sneaky secrets and fun facts about Stories of the Apocalypse:

Cover - ApocalypseExtra limited. 

Apocalypse is ostensibly a 100 copy hardcover... but the print run was five copies short (Tip to budding publishers: check contracts carefully). A 95-copy limited edition doesn't have the same ring to it. Despite being a numbered edition, we're not sure which 5 numbers don't exist - something in the 70s, we think...

Rebecca Levene is not in this book.

But we can understand the confusion. For some reason, one of the editors (cough) got it into his head that Rebecca Levene had a story in Apocalypse. So all the publicity material - the first website, the postcards, a few A3 posters - had her name on it. (We finally got her for Smoke.) (Other name goofs: the mysterious "Louise 'K.' Morgan"...)

First print appearances. 

Lou Morgan, Tom Pollock, Archie Black, Oz Vance and Den Patrick. Lou and Tom had their book deals already. Den's came this year. Archie and Oz have both since sold stories to other publishers. Like a reverse-curse! (Fun facts: although not the first short from either Louis Greenberg or Sarah Lotz, it is the first S.L. Grey short story. Also the first prose fiction from Chrysanthy Balis.)

London burning, America flooding. 

The London riots appear (or inspire) the stories by Lauren Beukes and Scott Andrews - possibly Andy Remic's, as well. And the US goes under (literally) in stories by Kim Lakin-Smith and Archie Black. Other parts of the US, UK and South Africa are destroyed in the other stories. (The suburbs are particularly lethal - they're singled out for special attention by Lauren Beukes, Magnus Anderson and Chrysanthy Balis.) The only story to take place wholly off Earth? Jon Courtenay Grimwood's "The Last Man". 

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