Just in case anyone's interested, I've updated the biography page, which I'll upload shortly. Filling in a little detail, removing some of the terrible wording. Clearly, I dashed off the original version late at night. I mention my martial arts instructors by name, because lineage is considered important. Or perhaps that's our western misinterpretation of Japanese humility, because some of the Japanese believe trotting out your instructors' names is a sign of insecurity. You just can't win, sometimes...



When we moved into the new house on Xmas week, I put aside the first draft of TRANSMISSION (the second Ragnarok book) to begin POINT, the sequel to EDGE. Just under ten weeks later, it's all done. The first draft, that is. So, definitely whew.

Next, I've got the galley proofs for ABSORPTION to go through. That's tomorrow.

Socially, I took time out to attend the Orion authors' party last Monday in the Royal Opera House in London (Gollancz is part of Orion), met up with some of my lovely fellow writers, and caught the train straight back. Other than that, it's been writing interrupted only for workout, food and sleep.

As an email from a nice person reminded me – asking about a possible third Donal Riordan book (nothing on the cards, but I did outline a sequel ages ago, to no interest from publishers) – I've now written three books since leaving Donal in a dire situation! Poor bugger. He must be really hacked off by now...



I haven't seen Avatar. I don't play computer games. Or drink alcohol.

What I have done is zillions of Hindu push-ups and squats.

Er... I really do feel at home at conventions. Honest.



One of our best-known writers is gone. Not our genre, but he had something matched only by Terry Pratchett (who is most definitely one of our own): a great breadth of readership, from people who read only his books, through those who read only in that genre, to those who read everything; and he had fans among them all.

What I like most about his books is the modest workmanlike quality, the always understated prose, and some very neat things that he did better than anyone: the event that didn't happen (as in, No shot rang out, or that de la Mare poem where "No head looked over the leaf-fringed sill"), or the protagonist's better qualities being revealed by accidental conversation.

Condolences to the family and all who'll miss him.



Over at we have a nice five-star review of EDGE, calling it:
a dark, believable vision of a (near) future Britain, but more importantly an intelligent, slick and brilliantly executed novel with a quite unexpected but superbly scripted ending.
It's long and detailed, this review, so inevitably a little spoiler-ish... but here's a few more bits:
The technology is very clearly described and completely believable while John's knowledge and research of martial arts is quite astounding. He manages to create a very rich vision of a future Britain that is disturbingly close to being quite likely.
Or you can read the whole review. I'm pleased.

Plus, last night's signing at FORBIDDEN PLANET went very well, ta lots to everyone. Aliette de Bodard and I wore matching sweaters due to, er, atemporal bidirectional resonant synchronicity, of course. A billion thanks to Danie Ware of Forbidden Planet, the Invisible Woman (but we know who you are, Siân), plus the magnificent Lee Harris of Angry Robot, Cari and Nic for being there, and of course the primo agents in the universe, John Parker and John Berlyne of Zeno. Absolutely wonderful, so cheers, all!



Here's a better way to download the first two chapters of EDGE. No scrolling involved!

For no good reason, here's a picture of me with the real Colm Meaney...



From Eric Brown, in his review of EDGE in the Guardian, a very nice review indeed. His view of EDGE's protagonist, Josh Cumberland, is:
Cumberland leaps off the page, a trained killer whose anger and grief at his daughter's condition is brilliantly portrayed; the depiction of his simmering rage, barely held in check, and how he channels it, provides a masterclass in characterisation.

A couple of decades ago – can it really be that long? – I picked up a magazine called Interzone and a sudden explosive shock occurred, because it was British but not filled with doom and gloom. Instead, there was a fizzing, energetic story called Krash Bang Joe And The Pineal Zen Equation, written by one Eric Brown; and it gave me permission to write the way I wanted to. Cheers yet again, Mr Brown!

Remember, I'm signing at Forbidden Planet on this Friday, so if you're in London that evening, please pop in! That's the one with the competition whose prize is to feature in POINT, the sequel to EDGE, dying a painful and bloody death!

And you can still download the first 2 chapters of EDGE here by scrolling to the entry for January 18th.