Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Engelbrecht Again!

My book ENGELBRECHT AGAIN! -- which is a sequel to Maurice Richardson's THE EXPLOITS OF ENGELBRECHT (see below) -- is now an ebook!

Formatting this one proved very tricky because it's full of unusual layouts.... Anyway it's the book I slaved most over and is packed with more incident than days in a millennium... You don't have to read the original to understand the sequel as it's a stand-alone novel as well.

The hardback original of this book sold very slowly. Not many people wanted an obscure sequel by an obscure writer to an obscure original by an obscure writer... I am hoping the ebook version will give my novel a brand new start in life...

The ebook can be purchased as follows:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Exploits of Engelbrecht

“The Exploits of Engelbrecht is English surrealism at its greatest. Witty and fantastical, Maurice Richardson was light years ahead of his time. Unmissable.” - J.G. Ballard

Maurice Richardson's cult classic is one of the strangest works of fiction ever written. Fifteen stories that relate the activities of the Surrealist Sportsman's Club, a society with very dubious morals that spends the time it has left between the collapse of the moon and the end of the universe taking the concept of the 'game' to its logical limit.

The tone of these adventures is a curious blend of Gothic and science fiction, but an avant-garde Gothic and an absurdist SF, a voice which simultaneously lampoons much of the atmosphere found in novels of the past and future while making a genuine contribution to both kinds. Richardson has placed his tongue firmly in his cheek, true, but then he has proceeded to bite it off with molars sharpened on the grindstones of profundity...

Courtesy of Maurice Richardson's daughter (who gave me the rights) and Gloomy Seahorse Press (myself in a jumper), the first ebook version of the cult 1950s classic THE EXPLOITS OF ENGELBRECHT has just gone live on Amazon. Here it is...

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Gloomy Seahorse Says Welcome!

I have set up my own small press. This is something I have been planning to do for a long time.
It has a name: Gloomy Seahorse Press.
And it has a mandate: to publish my own works (of course) but also a few writers who have gone out of print, or foreign writers who haven't yet been adequately translated into English.

I have the rights to issue the first ever low cost edition of the 1950 cult classic The Exploits of Engelbrecht by Maurice Richardson.

I am interested in publishing such writers as W.E. Bowman, Shinichi Hoshi and Jacques Sternberg.

Here is the logo, painted for me by Adele Whittle:

So far it has published three books by Yours Truly, including:

* More Than a Feline (an illustration collection of cat-themed stories and poems)

* The Gloomy Seahorse (my one and only poetry collection)
* Flash in the Pantheon (a collection of 123 flash fictions)

All these books are (or will be) available on Amazon and elsewhere. I will soon be reissuing my book from 2002 Journeys Beyond Advice, among others.


More Than a Feline is my first self-published book. I don't intend to make a habit of self-publishing (just two or three books in total) and I don't expect this collection to do well; it's more a gift to myself than anything else. I did enjoy having complete control over the contents, layout and design though! Such total control might not actually be a good idea in general, but hey, it's a collection of stories and poems about cats. Like cats themselves, it's not really going to go far...

I designed the cover myself. It's a photo I took of Tufty, a cat I regularly look after. The book is dedicated to Koshka, the cat I once 'owned'. The collection is illustrated and eight artists contributed a drawing. Not knowing anything about printing and image resolution, I didn't expect the illustrations to come out especially well, but to my delight they are very clear. I am very happy with the look of the book. More information, including how to buy it, can be found on the relevant link here.


I have been thinking about this for ages and finally decided to do it for real. I doubt I will ever have another poetry book published. I don't write enough poetry to fill up a second volume. Back in the 1990s I wrote a reasonable amount of poems and occasionally recited them in public too; then I had a brief resurgence in 2005/2006 and won the First Poetry Slam to be held in the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea. But since then I haven't written much at all.

Anyway... some of these poems were published in obscure 'journals' a couple of decades ago. Most weren't. They aren't like normal poems, though, so do be warned!

The book is priced at £3.99 but post and packing is £2, which is a bit cheeky. Make sure you select the 'standard delivery' option and not the more expensive one with tracking. If you click on this link and choose the 'preview' button under the cover you can read the first five poems for free... Just so you can see what to expect if you buy it...

My one and only poetry book ever, including poems that have been lying idle for twenty years... Rejoice you ten or eleven people who are likely to buy it!


"If only I'd had Flash in the Pantheon with me when I hitchhiked through Germany in 1959! I did have Fredric Brown's Nightmares & Geezenstacks flash fictions, to which Rhys Hughes tips his hat—but half way down the Rhine I ran out of flash; and I don't mean torch battery. Many of Hughes' microstories imply much, served with wit and whimsy and word-relish, high spirits and bittersweet twists—like a candied anchovy in a shot glass of rum; and some are very punny. Hughes would have kept me going till I got to the HofbrÀuhaus." -- IAN WATSON

My collection of flash fiction, which has only been an ebook until now, has finally become a real book too... And the paper book is bigger and better than the ebook was... 123 stories, none longer than 999 words and some of them only one sentence long... The cover was done by the genuinely amazing Brankica Bozinovska from Macedonia. And the awesome Ian Watson, genius wordsmith and doyen of the gedanken, gave it a nice blurb too, as you can see above, which delighted me profoundly...

Information about the contents of the book and how they compare with the contents of the ebook can be found here. This collection took a long time to put together and there were many false starts. I kept revising the contents, finding old material that would fit, writing new work, increasing and decreasing the number of fictions in the volume. At one point it consisted of 144 tales and I subtitled the book "a gross of microfictions" but ultimately too many stories weren't quite right for the project, so I dropped them. What I finally achieved is leaner, sharper and funnier... and it's here!

The book will be available from Amazon soon, but in the meantime it can be ordered here.

The book is surprisingly beautiful and I am hugely indebted to the talented Brankica, who did this cover for me way back in 2007. Not everything is a flash in the pan: some things burn for a long time before exploding!