Wednesday, 29 April 2009


For most of the last couple of years, I've been chained to my desk a lot meeting deadlines for the first two Raine's Landing novels. Which means I missed a lot of movies that I otherwise would definitely have gone to see. But thanks to the magic of postal DVD technology -- as I've pointed out earlier -- I have finally been catching up. And there's one horror flick I was absolutely kicking myself about having missed. Until I finally watched it, that is.

Friends have told me that they liked the thing. But 30 Days of Night, I'm afraid, left me pretty cold. Okay, maybe it was supposed to ... it's set in the far north reaches of Alaska, the premise being that while the sun's away all month, the vampires get to play. Not so bad a concept ... until you start to realise that it's basically just a bloodsucking rehash of the excellent SF chiller Pitch Black. And there are holes in the telling of the story you could drive a hearse through -- sideways! These vampires are supposed to have hidden themselves from human beings for centuries ... except they are such startling and gruesome creatures, it is impossible to see how they could manage that. And once they've killed most of the inhabitants, why don't they take the trouble to search the houses in this very small town for survivors properly?

But the problem that really rankles is, at which point did a lot of horror movies stop having a real, recognisable plot? The Descent? The unappealing Creep? When did this genre of films turn into just a series of frightening or gruesome scenes all clumsily stapled together? Compare '30 Days' with Kathryn Bigelow's excellent 1980's vampire effort Near Dark and you'll see precisely what I mean.

I'll hopefully get to see Let the Right One In before it disappears from our cinemas. And Twilight has just turned up in the mail. So I'll be talking more about vampire movies on this blog before much longer. Let's hope I have better news to report.

As I mentioned earlier, there've been some good things being said on the Internet about the first RL novel, 'Dark Rain', particularly on Horror Mall's forum 'The Haunt'. So I thought I'd reproduce a little of it here. Gene said "Tony Richards is a fine writer. I would recommend his work." A guy calling himself wcr01gsr went further, proclaiming that "Tony Richards is a fantastic author!" And Jim opined "I can't wait for his next book to come out involving the town of Raine's Landing." Thanks for the kind words, guys. And as for the next Raine's Landing novel, happy to oblige!

Thursday, 23 April 2009


Robert Morrish bought five stories of mine — ‘Yesterday, Upon The Stair,’ ‘Siafu,’ ‘A Place in the Country,’ ‘Misdirection’ and ‘Nine Rocks in a Row’ — during his editorship of Cemetery Dance, and I never once got to meet him. Now that he’s recently quit the magazine, I finally did. Bob was over in London on business from California, and we got together for drinks in Covent Garden before heading across for an Italian meal in Soho. Great guy … a real pleasure to spend time in his company. Writing’s not all hard graft, I’m relieved to say.

There's currently some on-line chatter, by the way, about the first Raine's Landing novel, 'Dark Rain,' here.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009


If you've never heard of the much-praised British magazine Midnight Street, here's your chance to put that right. Edited by Aldershot-based good guy Trevor Denyer, it carries science fiction, fantasy, supernatural tales, horror ... in fact, every kind of fiction that is speculative or paranormal. There are interviews, articles, even poetry, as well as reviews and a Showcased Author every new edition -- I was one such back in #6. And all of this for a remarkably low subscription rate. Check out the link if you don't believe me.

Oh yes, and the cover story for the current issue -- #12 -- is called 'The Crows' and is by guess who. I think that it's one of the most frightening tales I've ever written in my life. It will be interesting to see if anyone agrees. (The cover of Midnight Street #12 appears here by kind permission of Immediate Direction Publications).

Saturday, 11 April 2009


To a packed to the rafters Bull's Head, Barnes, this week to see one of my musical heroes, singer, songwriter, and virtuoso pianist Alan Price. Price first came to the public's notice as the outstanding keyboard player for hit British 60's band The Animals ("House of the Rising Sun"; "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"). He then went on to form his own group and duetted with Georgie Fame, before launching out on a solo career the high point of which was probably his writing and performing of the classic, award-winning soundtrack for Lindsay Anderson's O Lucky Man. And the man was in buoyant form this week, bantering with the audience and launching into memorable numbers from throughout his career, including a couple from my favourite album, Between Today and Yesterday. As a songwriter, he shares many qualities with Paul McCartney. He understands how strong a tool simplicity can be, and recognises the power contained in local and traditional forms of music, weaving all of that into his compositions in a way that lesser artists couldn't manage. And as a singer? Well, the guy's sixty-six, and took a little while to get properly warmed up. But by the second set, that familiar Geordie twang was filling the whole room, to the delight of his audience. He's due to go on tour soon, so look out for him around your way.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Louise and I just had house guests over the weekend, the terrific vampire writer Nancy Kilpatrick and her partner Hugues over from Montreal for a week's visit to Merrie England. Nancy spent half her time trawling around London's more interesting cemeteries ... looking for vampires, I'd presume! Otherwise, it was a real pleasure to have them here. But now it's back to work.

And that means Raine's Landing Book #3 -- 'Midnight's Angels.' I'd love to tell you more about it, but that would involve giving away too many details about Book #2, 'Night of Demons,' which isn't even out until November. Suffice to say that by Book #3, a lot of characters that you've been introduced to are encountering a string of 'problems.' Cassie's not her normal self. And Lieutenant Saul Hobart is decidedly not well. More headaches and trouble for our brave and even-headed hero Ross Devries to put right. But that's what heroes are for, isn't it? Although ... Ross would never admit he is one.

This blog is now linked to SF Site, by the way. Thanks, Rodger! And for the last couple of months, the news page on my website was down. It's now up and fully functioning. Oh, and there's more news about 'Dark Rain' currently up on the Eos Blog.(*Photograph copyright (c) Tony Richards 2009.)