You know it’s funny, January always seems to drag its feet, taking forever and a day to haul us past that post-Christmas and New Year hump, and yet it’s been and gone in nothing flat.
There’s something instructive; keep yourself busy and the time will take care of itself. And things have been busy; I’m working on a new manuscript, a science-fiction epic encompassing dual timelines, an alternate history, and the hell of intended consequences (as well as the hell of intended consequences, sometimes). I’ve taken to calling it Tin Whiskers. Because Chronscast has taken up much of my writing time these past few months, the old writing muscles have taken a while to wake up and get firing, but I’ve made a good start and tings are going well.
Chronscast Episode 2 is live now! Chris and I were joined by Jo Zebedee, author of several novels, including the Abendau space opera trilogy, the dystopian Inish Carraig and the Irish fantasy Waters And The Wild. Jo talks to us about Klara And The Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2020 novel about a sickly young girl who purchases a robotic “Artificial Friend” called Klara. We also talk about Jo’s latest novel, The Wildest Hunt, and about the strong Northern Irish thread that runs through her work. You can listen to Chronscast on Anchor, or your usual podcast provider.
I also made a guest appearance on Richard Sheppard’s Constant Reader Podcast, his exploration into all things Stephen King, where we took a deep wander down the dusty aisles of Leland Gaunt’s malevolent curiosity shop in Needful Things. Listen to The Constant Reader on your usual podcast provider, and if you’re into Stephen King and all things horror, do subscribe – it’s one of the superior podcasts out there, with knowledgeable guests, a genial host, and immersive deep-dives. Needful Things is one of my favourite King books; completely crazy, bursting with imaginative and gruesome set pieces, and satisfyingly closing the chapter on his Castle Rock stories (at least, back then it did) before he started writing more intimate character pieces like Gerald’s Game and Dolores Claiborne.
Following on from the two novellas I published here last year, Resurgam and The Gigantomachy of Antonios Costas, I’ll be publishing a third, set in the same universe, this springtime. This novella is called the Rings Of Saturn, and follows Emmanuel, a bitter young man who travels to Madrid to drink himself to death. However, he happens to meet his idol, the artist Edouardo Del Bosques, in the Museo Del Prado, and becomes something of an apprentice to him. But the lines between muse and apprentice become blurred, and soon after so do the lines between reality and nightmare, and between life and art. It’s another weird horror fiction piece, which I really like, and goes to some very dark and strange places.
Not that Madrid is that dark and strange. Usually it’s sunny and pretty, and I love the place. But it does have a dark history, like all these great European cities, and makes for a great location.