Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Just recently back from the stunningly beautiful Spanish city of Valencia, where they've been celebrating their annual festival Las Fallas (pronounced 'fayas' -- the fires). It marks the transition from winter to spring, as well as being the holiday of St. Joseph, the national saint.

About one and a half million extra people flood into the city centre. The streets become thronged, sometimes unbearably so. There are parades and bands and huge displays of lights and flowers. Kids let off firecrackers in every available free space, and there are massive organised versions of such -- called mascletas -- which can be heard right across town and literally make the ground shake. And most of this goes on well into the small hours. Valencians are true night-owls, and the place is still like Oxford Street come Christmastime at three in the morning. The figurines you see in every square, incidentally, are called ninots. They are made of papier mache and are vast. And at the end of the fiesta, they get set on fire, to the accompaniment of a massive firework display. I thought I'd share some of the images from my visit with you.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


My 2007 collection Going Back got a load of praise and good reviews, earned me a British Fantasy Award nomination, and turned out to be Elastic Press' top selling single-author collection. But editor/proprietor Andrew Hook closed Elastic down a while back after four very successful years, and the book's been out of print since then.

But now, the excellent California-based Dark Regions Press -- who published Shadows and Other Tales in 2008 -- has stepped into the breach and brought out a new, expanded edition. There's a great new cover by Frank Walls. And, in addition to the original fourteen tales, there are four newer ones from the pages of Black Static magazine and The British Invasion.

This bigger, even better version of the original book is now available for sale in paperback and collector's hardback, and you can find out more about it simply by clicking here.