Category: TV & Movies


Retro SF

Professor Bernard Quatermass was created by Nigel Kneale for the BBC and appeared in television,radio serials, newspaper serials, radio shows, novels, theater and film between 1953 and 2005. Quatermass is a Professor and works for the British Experimental Rocket Group and in charge of planting the Union Jack in space. He is usually portrayed as a dour, serious man who has little time for fools and is totally driven by his thirst for scientific knowledge and the advancement of humans into space. His demeanor means he comes across as arrogant and down right ignorant, a totally unlikable character but despite this he has been one of the most enduring science fiction characters ever. There have been many times parallels between him and Doctor Who have been drawn, and the types of stories from the early years show a heavy Quatermass influence, but Kneale himself despised the association and and the show. He commented in an interview in 1986 that Doctor Who “sounded like a terrible idea and I still think it was”.  Despite many attempts the BBC tried to get Kneale to write for the show but he always refused.

There is little revealed of Quatermass’s early life, he was at one time married because in the second TV serial his daughter Paula is introduced and in the final serial he is the legal guardian of his teenage granddaughter. The character first name was in honour of Bernard Lovell the founder of Jodrell Bank, the name Quatermass was picked from the London phone directory.

The main TV serials are The Quatermass Experiment (6 x 30 minute episodes 18th July – 22nd August 1953), Quatermass II (6 x 30 minute episodes 22nd October – 26th November 1955) and Quatermass and the Pit (6 x 35 minute episodes 22nd December 1958 – 26th January 1959).

The Quatermass Experiment – Quatermass and his team are waiting for the return to Earth of the first men to travel into space. The craft carrying a three-man crew  is overdue and thought lost but then reappears on radar and crash lands in Wimbledon. There is only one survivor, there is no trace of the other two just their empty space suits. Soon after he is rescued the survivor is kidnapped by foreign agents eager to learn what secrets he has brought back from space but he begins to mutate into an alien/plant hybrid that if it spores will destroy all human life on Earth. Quatermass learns that the surviving crewman has absorbed the other two men and he and his team track the creature to a final confrontation at Westminster Abbey where the professor appeals to the absorbed crewmen to fight back and eventually the creature is destroyed.

Quatermass II – Meteors are falling all over norther England and after a farmer finds one Quatermass is called in to investigate. He learns the meteors are hollow and contain a mix of gasses and also an alien life form. Anyone that is exposed to the gas comes under the power of the aliens and all have a strange mark on them. Quatermass learns the aliens have been coming to Earth for a while and have possessed members of the military and high ranking members of the government in preparation for a full invasion. Quatermass’s daughter learns there is an asteroid in orbit around the Earth that is launching the alien carrying meteors every 14 hours and must be destroyed before humanity is overwhelmed. After travelling to a secret base Quatermass discovers the individual aliens are actually part of one giant organism and that the gasses are keeping it alive, he manages to destroy the base but the asteroid is still sending more aliens down to Earth so Quatermass uses the nuclear engine of one of his rockets to destroy the asteroid.

Quatermass and the Pit – Workmen digging in a London street unearth a pre-human skull, after a reconstruction it is found the skull comes from a small dwarf-like humanoid with a large brain capacity. Further digging unearths a rocket craft that the military believe to be a WWII bomb, Quatermass is called in and discovers the craft is in fact a crashed alien craft and that the nightmares and spectral visions that have been rife in the area for centuries is due to latent psychic forces emanating from the craft. Investigating those forces Quatermass learns the craft came from Mars and the dying race there was trying to advance the proto-humans they found on Earth so they had the same psychic abilities the Martians had, he also learns the Martians nearly wiped themselves out with a violent purge and that the emanations from the craft were causing the same violence to happen in the people living nearby. After full scale rioting erupts Quatermass manages to  the stop emanations and return calm.

Around the time Quatermass II was being broadcast Hammer Film Productions released their own version of the first serial in the form of a feature film called The Quatermass Xperiment. Nigel Kneale was not happy about the version, partly because several changes were made to the story, and the ending changed so the absorbed crewmen’s humanity wasn’t part of the reason the creature was defeated. But his displeasure was mainly directed at an American being cast as the very British Professor Quatermass. Despite the displeasure of the characters creator though this film was Hammer’s highest grossing film up to that time. Because of the success Hammer went on to release their own versions of the other TV serials titled Quatermass 2 and eventually Quatermass and the Pit (Five Million Years To Earth in the US). 

The last outing for the character came in 1972 when Sir John Mills played the now retired Professor in Quatermass (also known as The Quatermass Conclusion or Quatermass IV), where he travels to London in search of his missing granddaughter. Society has nearly collapsed and urban areas abandoned to roaming gangs, appearing on a TV show Quatermass witnesses the destruction of a US and Russian joint mission by a mysterious force from space. Later he learns the force is linked to a series of mysterious mass vanishings around the globe where members of a new-wave hippy type group called Planet People gather to be transported to a better world. Quatermass believes his granddaughter has joined this group and so travels to one of the gatherings and witnesses one of the “ascension events” but learns instead of being transported the people are vapourised. All the vanishings happen at megalithic sites and Quatermass learns these sites act as beacons for this alien force and it is attracted to large gatherings. Planning a trap by setting up a fake mass gathering and having a nuclear bomb placed there to cause some destructive feedback along the course of the beam sent to Earth. As the moment arrives a group of Planet People arrive, among them is Quatermass’s granddaughter, in the struggle the follows he suffers a heart attack but with his granddaughters help manages to detonate the bomb.

In 2005 BBC4 broadcast a live and updated for the modern era version of The Quatermass Experiment. The original TV serials were live and this was done as a homage to the early days of TV.

 

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Watched the first episode of the Capaldi era and have a few thoughts. 

 

What I Liked

Capaldi after he got over his regeneration sickness was THE DOCTOR. Brilliant manic, wild and with a dangerous undertone.

New TARDIS interior, like how the central column doesn’t seem to move up and down but the TARDIS spins around it (least thats the effect I got from the window lights spinning round.

The Doctor the killer, hints this will be a darker Dr and I like that. 

 

What I didn’t Like

The theme tune, seriously, what the fuck?

The T-Rex, how big to the writers think a T-Rex is? No-way would a police box get stuck in its throat, it probably wouldn’t be able to even get its mouth around it. It was like the Rex’s you used to see in the old old dinosaur films when people didn’t really know how big they were.

Madam Vestra standing in a group of Londoners looking up at the Rex and no-one seems bothered by A) the T-Rex and B) there was a Silurian in their midst.

The “battle” with the metalmen. Strax had a fricking laser and the metalmen were all slow moving and he only hit a couple. Come on!

 

Theories

“Missy” I first thought perhaps it might be a somehow regenerated River Song, but after a comment on Twitter I’m thinking maybe its the Master (Missy…Misstress?)

The Promised Land, is it Utopia (another link to Missy maybe being the Master)

If the Promised Land is Utopia does that them (possibly) make the metalmen Toclafane (a further link to Missy being the Master)

 

All in all the middle part was fun, the beginning and end not so. The Matt Smith cameo wasn’t needed.

Next week Daleks, not looking forward to them because being honest I find them boring and about time they were well and truely rested. 

Following post will container spoilers for non-book readers.

 

Been a while since I said anything about the fast approaching S3 of HBOs Game Of Thrones (March 31st USA/April 1st UK). Unless you’ve been in a cave the past week you will no doubt already have seen the trailer.

Yesterday HBO released a list of episode titles…

1: Valar Dohaeris
2: Dark Wings, Dark Words
3: Walk of Punishment
4: And Now His Watch is Ended
5: Kissed by Fire
6: tbc
7: The Bear and the Maiden Fair
8: tbc
9: The Rains of Castamere
10: Mhysa

Some interesting titles there and follows some speculation as to what they may relate to.

SPOILERS AHOY!!

 

 

 

Ep.1 – Valar Dohaeris (translated = all men must serve) is the traditional reply in High Valerian to Valar Morghulis (translated = all men must die and the title of S2/ep10), so we may get some Ayra action, possibly involving the Brotherhood Without Banners?

Ep.2 – Dark Wings, Dark Words – Ravens have dark wings and carry messages around the kingdoms. Does this possibly allude to Robb and/or Catylin receiving news of the “death” of Bran and Rickon?

Ep.3 – Walk Of Punishment – not sure about this, some link to what the Brotherhood is about maybe, or Theon’s fate?

Ep.4 – And Now His Watch Is Ended – obviously relates to the Nights Watch, could allude to the battle/aftermath of the battle at the Fist of the First Men. Or it could allude to events at Crasters Keep.

Ep. 5 – Kissed By Fire – obvious choice is Yrgitte, so could involve what Jon is up to with Mance’s army. But I wonder if it might be a reference to Sandor Clegane (his burn scar is him being “kissed by fire”) and his duel with Ser Beric (and his flaming sword).

Ep. 7 – The Bear And The Maiden Fair – this is a song in the books and is sung several times, it could also allude to Ser Jamie, Brienne and a certain bear pit.

Ep. 9 – The Rains Of Castermere – any book fan will know what this points towards, its a massive event. Not saying anymore than that.

Ep. 10 – Mhysa – Myhsa is the Ghiscari word for “mother” and is what the freed slaves cal Daenerys.

It’s all shaping up to be another great season, possibly one of the best considering the ground it will travel.

 

 

A day early but…

So February…

Another month down, ten more to go until I hit the big 50; so what did February do for me?

BOOKS

Quite a mixed bag this month…

space danger

First up there was Space Danger: The Deadly Planet of DEATH by Doug Strider. I had an early look in on this as Doug (who I’ve known on Twitter for about a year) asked me to beta read for him. Great little novella, with funny settings, characters and a story that whips along nicely. If you like Douglas Adams & Terry Pratchett you’ll like this.

from man to man by DEM Emrys

Man to Man by D.E.M. Emrys is a tight short story about a grizzled warrior who just wants to get on with his life and forget his past. But the past doesn’t stay away for long.

the alchemist of souls

The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle, you can see my review below this post.

 

Still reading…

dreams and shadows

Dreams and Shadows by Robert Cargill is a quirky read, shades of Neil Gaimen so I’ve been told (never read him so will have to take their word for that). If you like stories about creatures that live unseen alongside the “real” world, this is for you.

ack ack macaque

Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L Powell is brilliant so far. Funny and gripping, plus who can’t love a foul mouthed, cigar chomping, booze swilling one-eyed gun totting monkey.

TV & MOVIES

the following

Still keeping up with The Following (Sky Atlantic), though I do fear it’s in danger of over arcing itself. Nearly mid-way through S1 and the tank is being filled with water, the shark is on its way and the bike prepped for the jump. This show is in danger of losing itself in its own backstory, too many flashbacks (memories of LOST) and not enough answers. It needs to either give something back to the viewer in the way of answers, or have the bad guy’s cock-up once in a while. The whole “everything is pre-planned” theme its using is wearing thin and getting to the point of being unbelievable (how can Carroll – who is in prison and has been for years – know Hardy will be somewhere/do something at a set time so he can counteract it).

game of thrones S2

Halfway into the re-watch of S2 of Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic), still by far the best thing on TV by far. S3 is only a few weeks away, there will be blood, and dragons. Ripper Street (BBC1) is still gripping stuff, dark and brutal and my hat goes off to the BBC for not toning it down in any way.

ripper street

Went to the flicks this month and caught A Good Day To Die Hard. Bruce is still king, yes it was corny, yes it was OTT, but hey – Yippe Kiyay Mother Russia.

a good day to die hard

WRITING

Slight downer with the writing this month, all the short stories I had out in the big bad world have now come back with rejection slips. Very disheartening, but it goes with the territory. I’m already looking at other outlets to send them to.

The TV script has been put on hold; hit a few snags that need ironing out so looks like I may miss the BBC Writers Room Spring window.

Prepping is all done on the post apocalyptic novel, and the alternate history one.

Current full on WIP is a short story I wrote a year ago that I’m re-working into a novella or (possible) novel. Part one is out with beta readers, part two is about a third wrote. Not rushing it, still trying to keep to my writing plan of having a finished novel by the end of the year.

So that was January, first month of 2013, eleven months until I hit the big 50. So what did it mean for me?

BOOKS

I finished Great North Road by Peter F Hamilton. This was the first of his books I’d read outside of the Commonwealth Saga. It was enjoyable, though I did find some sections overblown and there seemed (to me) to be a lot of filler.

I also read Redshirts by John Scalzi. I was expecting something more along the lines of Galaxy Quest, if that was what he was heading for then it fell well short of the mark for me. There were some funny moments, but I did not have any of the laugh-out-loud moments some of the reviewers seemed to have enjoyed.

I was back on familiar territory with Bait Dog by Chuck Wendig (a double bill of the novella Shotgun Gravy & the novel Bait Dog). Familiar as in I know what Chuck is about, have  a pretty good idea of how he works. Though I will be honest and say I was surprised by the intensity of this one. Also it was Chuck without any psychic or vampiric powers. A hard hitting story of bullies, racists and sadists. Not for the faint of heart.

Just finished (last night) Apocalypse: Year Zero, a collection of four novellas that center of four women who go through life changing, and shattering events – 911, the Boxing Day tsunami, hurricane Katrina and California’s “big one”. The end result of these experiences is they each find they have power over fire, water, wind and earth. And as they slowly come together over the course of the four novella’s it’s revelaed that the Four Horsemen were not men at all.

 

TV & MOVIES

Well actually only TV, I did intend to go and see The Hobbit for a second time but never got round to it. TV wise I’m now a proud subscriber to Sky TV, and boy am I a happy bunny. Watched Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (available on Alibi) staring the brilliant Forrest Whitaker. Some pretty hard, brutal stuff in there. Also been watching Ripper Street (BBC1) set in Victorian London in the months after the Ripper killings. Dark, gritty and no holds barred, it also stars Gerome Flynn who seems intent on carving out a niche for himself as a hard as nails character actor (he’s also the brilliant Bronn in Game Of Thrones)

This week started watching The Following (Sky Atlantic) staring Kevin Bacon. Ex-FBI agent brought out of retirement to bring down an escaped serial killer. It has echoes of Red Dragon but an interesting twist is the serial killer has amassed a following, he’s been creating serial killers, he has (possibly) an army of them. Its not for the faint of heart (especially episode 1’s Ice Pick lady scene) but looks to have the makings of a gripping drama.

I also received my DVD of Dredd, watched it and still think its a brilliant stab at bringing the iconic character to the screen. Its just a shame it bombed at the cinema and so highly unlikely and sequels will be forthcoming.

 

WRITING

Some sad news last week when I received an email telling me that Pill Hill Press has closed. Pill Hill gave me my first break, published my first short story. On top of that I have another story accepted by them that was due to be in their next anthology. But there was a sliver lining, Miles Boothe – another author and ardent monster hunter – has created Emby Press and intends to honour all submissions made to Pill Hill. So hopefully in a few months the anthology will be released.

I’ve had a short script placed with Twisted Showcase – a web based anthology series (named in the Guardian’s Top 25 web shows in 2012) – for several months now but they have been struggling to fit it into the filming schedule. There was talk of making it as their first animated short, but finding an animator with time on their hands is not easy. Now they are looking into producing it as a comic strip, and if it is successful on the site will be the first of many.

My WIPs are ticking along nicely. I’ve been prepping a post apocalypse novel for a couple of months now which is close to being ready for the start of the first draft. I’ve also finished a treatment for a pilot episode that I will be writing next month. The aim is to have it written, beta read and second drafted by the end of February so I can catch the current BBC Writers Room submissions window. Once that is done I start work on the novel first draft.

I still have four short stories out there in the world waiting on acceptance/declining emails.

 

All in all January was a packed month, February is shaping up to be more of the same.

 

A day behind the rest of the planet but here goes.

Looks great, and slots nicely into the look and feel of the Lord Of The Rings films. Some good scenes, dwarves, elves, wargs and Gollum. I like the look of the goblins, bit like Orcs but different.

As an added bonus, if you go over to the main movie site, there is a choice of five different endings.

http://www.thehobbit.com/index.html#content=choose-your-moment

 

 

 

Dredd 3D – Review

I was 14 in 1977 when I picked up the first issue of 2000AD, a weekly comic full of exotic characters and – for a kids comic – some very adult action. In Prog#2 the world was introduced to a character that has become an icon of British comics, even though the character himself is American. Judge Dredd blasted onto the pages of 2000AD taking charge of the grim street of Mega-City 1 and bringing a weird assortment of perps to justice every week. Over the 35 years since his first appearance Joe Dredd has been through the mill, he’s faced death (literally), disaster, aliens, demons and  the near destruction of his city several times. To bring such a character to the big screen is a hell of an undertaking, his following are up there among some of the most difficult to please there are. So to do the character justice (sic) it would have to be done right. On the whole I think Alex Garland has pulled it off.

Getting the character right is paramount, ignoring Sylvester Stallone’s attempt in 1995 this time round they’ve hit the nail on the head. The one thing Judge Dredd is known for is he never removes his helmet. There is never any explanation as to why – there are hints of disfigurement – and it is taken that staying true to the character’s catchphrase “I am the Law, that the reason the character is faceless is because justice is the same. Karl Urban has the mannerisms and voice down to a tee. Back in the early days of 2000AD creator John Wagner stated that the character was heavily based on Clint Eastwood’s Spaghetti Western man-with-no-name character. To listen to Urban deliver that famous catchphrase you can see he’s researched the character well.

To act as a foil for Dredd the writers have given him a partner, but this time round there is no cringing re-imaging of Fergie, we have Cadet Judge Cassandra Anderson who is well portrayed by Olivia Thirlby. Anderson is a Psi-Judge, mutated by the fallout from the atomic wars she has powerful psychic abilities that, despite not being the best Judge material, set her above other cadets. As with the comic character, in the film Joe Dredd is a brutal law enforcer, think Harry Callahan and times him by ten. Anderson is there to show a softer side to the future Justice system, not that she’s a pushover, she shows her metal throughout the film and proves to a skeptical Dredd that she has what it takes to police the streets of the city.

Every hero needs a villain, Dredd has his in the shape of psychotic crime boss, murderess, drug dealer Ma Ma played by Lena Headey. They could have so got this wrong – think Rico in the 1995 effort – but they managed to get a perfect balance between over-the-top madness and directed aggression. Ma Ma is the queen of her world, and as queen thinks she is above everyone, including the Judges. Her rule over the Peach Trees mega-block where the action takes place is one of total fear. Placed between the two powerful forces of Ma Ma and Dredd you have to feel for the residents, talk about a rock and a hard place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all the characters ticking the boxes the other problem the writers had was getting the feel of the film right. Judge Dredd is known as an ultra-violent story, if you’ve ever read the comic you’ll know what I mean. The gunshot wounds inflicted by any weapon are graphic and bloody. The effects in this film have managed to transfer that image perfectly, and is helped also by the Slo Mo effect that kicks in during some of the set pieces. Thankfully the writers made sure the tone of the comic strip was not lost, and thankfully the British censors gave the film an 18 certificate meaning we weren’t served up a watered down film.

I was a little unsure about the look of Mega City One, I suppose I’m too used to the overcrowded look of the comic version. For me the shots we had showed a city with too much open space. But then after watching I thought perhaps I was wrong. In the comic Judge Dredd is set 122 years in the future, so the first time he appeared in the comic in 1977, in Dredd’s world it was 2099. For someone back in the late 70’s the year 2099 was a long way away, in 2012, not so long. So the image created for this film is of a city not that far ahead of us in time, but enough so that we notice the differences.

So how does Dredd 3D stand up against Judge Dredd? I’ll admit to having a soft spot for the Stallone version. Yes it was flawed, Dredd takes his helmet off, the kiss, too many storylines mixed into one. But some things it did have right, the look of Mega City One was closer to the current comic image, the bikes, Mean Angel and the ABC Warrior. But watch them side-by-side (something I will do once Dredd is out on DVD) you can tell which is the superior film, and which one is closer to the source material.

I will admit to having a lot of misgivings about Dredd going in. All of those misgivings were dispelled fairly soon after the film starts, in taking the low budget, more graphic path the writers have managed to capture lightning and produce a vivid, action-packed 90 minutes that gives the viewer little time to catch their breath. The one misgiving I still have, the 3D, not so much the use of it but the films distributors and cinema chains insistence on only showing the film in the one format. Yes I watched it in 3D, I had no choice, after I had a headache, I would have preferred to have watched it in 2D, but wasn’t given the choice.

I’m hoping that Dredd is a success, I’ve heard its taken $1.6million on its opening weekend in the UK placing it at number 1 in the ratings. To get a sequel the studio have marked $50million as the target to break. Hopefully goods reviews and results in the UK will make the film a hit in the US as well.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/08/syfy-to-develop-remake-of-cult-u-k-sci-fi-series-blakes-7-with-martin-campbell/

News broke yesterday that SyFy are in development of a remake of classic BBC science fiction show Blake’s 7. During its run the show was in competition with Dr. Who as the show to watch. Although a lot darker in tone to it’s BBC stablemate, Blake’s 7 had a loyal following, a following it continues to have to this day.

The show centers around a group of escaped convicts who embark on a crusade against an evil galactic empire, they come across an abandoned alien spacecraft – christened the Liberator by the crew – that is more advanced than anything the empire has. Running for four years – 1978 – 1981 –  the show ended in a semi-cliffhanger with the return of titular character Blake (he’d been missing presumed dead since S2) and had a final scene of the surviving crew all being shot by soldiers of the empire before the screen goes black. The show was never renewed, despite continual calls for it from fans, especially after the revival of Dr. Who in 2005.

As a bit of fun I thought I’d speculate on who might fit as recast members of the crew. This is my view and mine alone, mostly fantasy casting.

Roj Blake – originally played by Gareth Thomas, Blake was a long term political activist who uses the Liberator as a weapon to fight against the Federation. He’s reckless, driven and ruthless in his pursuit of his goals. For the remake I visualized Colm Meaney in the role.

 

Kerr Avon – originally played by Paul Darrow, Avon was a computer and electronics expert, very logical, very clever, but equally as ruthless as Blake. Only ever had one person in mind for this, Mark Sheppard.

 

Vila Restal – originally played by Michael Keating, Vila is a skilled thief, a lock-pick, but he is reluctant to risk his life and so comes across as cowardly. He has a high IQ but has a weakness for women and booze. I can only think of one person to fit this role, Robert Knepper.

 

Jenna Stannis – originally played by Sally Knyvette, Jenna was a skilled pilot and smuggler (a female Han Solo). For her role I went for Knepper’s old Prison Break castmate Sarah Wayne Callies.

 

Cally – originally played by Jan Chappell, Cally is a telepath and guerrilla fighter. For her role I’ve gone for Supernatural’s Sheriff Jody Mill’s – Kimberley Rhodes.

 

 

 

Olag Gan – originally played by David Jackson, Gan was a convicted murderer who’d had an electronic “limiter” implanted in his brain that made it impossible to kill anyone again. For this role I’ve gone for X-Files alumni Brian Thompson.

 

All the above has been for fun, it’s whiled away a couple of hours on a damp Friday afternoon.

 

 

Few bits of catch-up news and some of the things that interest me in the coming months…

 

Game Of  Thrones

HBO have signed a deal with UK based Blinkboxto stream S1 and 2 –http://www.blinkbox.com/TV/Series/1024/Game-of-Thrones?icn=GameOfThrones&ici=DHB_homepage – both are now available – £1.89 per episode or £17.99 for the series. Blinkbox are part of Tesco and looking through their site have quite a lot to offer. There is no monthly subscription, you pay-per-view.  As part of the deal with HBO shows like Boardwalk Empire and True Blood are also available. Whilst this is good news to non-Sky customers I do worry if it will have a knock on effect. If viewers can now what the show without signing up to Sky will it affect their viewing figures, and also with S2 now available to view 7 months before the proposed release date for the DVD/BluRay boxset, will this affect those sales as well?

Staying with GoT, Irish actor Ciaran Hinds has been cast as Mance Rayder.

 

Mance is the King-Beyond-The-Wall, he’s been mentioned numerous times during S1 & 2, and the last time we saw Jon Snow he was being taken to see him. Mance has amassed a Wildling army and is heading for the Wall.

Ciaran is a well known actor appearing in films such as Munich, John Carter, Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy. He’s probably most well known for his portrayal of Julius Ceaser in Rome.

 

Dredd 

The official trailer for Dredd was released a few weeks ago.

I’ve been a fan of Judge Dredd and 2000AD since the comic first came out in 1977, whilst I am looking forward to this film, I have some reservations. But those reservations are dwindling as the release date draws ever nearer and more information about what we can expect are made known.

 

Red Country

Publisher Gollancz have released a new trailer for Joe Abercrombie’s next book Red Country.

And a newish blurb.

They burned her home.

They stole her brother and sister.

But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old stepfather Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own, and out in the lawless Far Country, the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust. . .

The past never stays buried . . .

Red Country is out September 3rd in the UK.

 

Gypsys Kiss and more…

I mentioned a while ago that my current WIP – Gypsys Kiss – now has the first part completed and edited, I’m doing some research for parts 2 and 3 before continuing with the writing. In the mean time I’ve begun work on an as yet untitled project that I aim to have completed in time to submit for the Abaddon Books open submission month in September – http://abaddonbooks.blogspot.com/2012/07/write-for-abaddon.html – I’ve got about 3.1/2 chapters done (approx 9,000 words) and hope to have a first draft early in next month. This will hopefully give me time to re-read, edit and get it submitted.

I’ve also re-visited a 60 minute pilot script I started about 18 months ago (I had 20 minutes written and the rest notes). The aim on this one is to get it finished and an outline of the other six episodes in time for the next submission window for the BBC Writers Room in the Autumn.

Busy, busy, busy…

 

The Hobbit Trilogy Confirmed

Over on his Facebook page Peter Jackson has confirmed that The Hobbit is now a trilogy.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/peter-jackson/an-unexpected-journey/10151114596546558

To quote:

It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life.  All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’  

 We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance.  The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.

 So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of “The Hobbit” films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.  

 It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, “a tale that grew in the telling.”

 Cheers, 

 Peter J

Happy dance time!