Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Something Borrowed (2019 Edition)

It's that time of the year again, when I doff my cap to those hard-working people in the library service, and remind all you writers out there that libraries are fantastic, and that we should all support them.

Libraries also help out jobbing authors in more ways than just getting their books in front of readers, thanks to something we have here in the UK and Ireland called the Public Lending Right; it’s the gift that keeps on giving to writers, editors, illustrators and other folks involved in making books happen.

Here's my annual public service announcement on the subject:

If you are a writer/editor/illustrator/etc, a resident of the UK or Ireland and you ever need a reason for donating your books to the library - on top of all the obvious ones like promoting reading and supporting this valuable and increasingly undermined public service - this is it.

The PLR is a system where authors who've written books that are in public libraries get a little revenue each time somebody borrows their works. It's a way to repay writers who won't be earning a royalty from a sale in a bookstore.

The PLR office pay a nominal fee based on how borrowed you were - and in the interests of fairness, you can't earn more than around £6000, so the big names don't get to hog all the money.

The PLR and our libraries are constantly under threat from government cutbacks, so if you are a writer or a reader, please do your bit to help support both as best you can.

Here's my Top Ten Library Loans of my novels for 2018 (with 2017's position in brackets)

1  (1) Nomad
2  (2) Exile
3  (-) Garro: Weapon of Fate
4  (-) Sisters of Battle: The Omnibus
5  (-) Ghost in the Shell
6  (4) Peacemaker
7  (3) Fear to Tread
8  (8) Black Light
9  (5) Deadline
10 (6) The Poisoned Chalice

Once again, my Marc Dane thrillers topped the chart in 2017, with Nomad and Exile pulling in a whopping 26,684 loans between them! My Horus Heresy novels remain a fixture, with Weapon of Fate coming in at 3rd place and Fear to Tread slipping from 3rd to 7th. Jack Bauer shows his tenacity with my 24 novel Deadline clinging on to the top ten for the 4th year in a row, and my Star Trek: The Fall novel The Poisoned Chalice rounds out the chart. It was also interesting to see my Warhammer 40,000 Sisters of Battle collection appear this time around, along with the novelization of Ghost in the Shell I worked on with Abbie Bernstein.

As always, my thanks to everybody who has supported their local libraries and borrowed my books over the past year (and please continue to do so!)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Horus Heresy Weekender 2019

The annual conclave of all things Horus Heresy-related is happening this weekend, and the official program has just been announced - so I can now confirm I'll be along talking about The Buried Dagger, my next novel in the series...and the last before the Siege of Terra!

The official blurb sez: For fans of the Horus Heresy and Adeptus Titanicus, the Horus Heresy Weekender is the ultimate event not to be missed. Prepare to immerse yourself fully as you explore every detail of these worlds. Chat with the masterminds who created them, see the latest miniatures, and uncover what the future holds for the hobby you love. If you want a dedicated weekend that leaves no stone unturned, then the Horus Heresy Weekender is for you!

This year the Weekender is taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel at East Midlands Airport near Derby, and tickets are still available right Here.  

I'm appearing on a few panels over the two days:

On Saturday I'll be discussing The Fate of the Death Guard in the Throne Room from 11:45am to 12:45pm, and then in the Remembrancer's Hall from 4:15pm to 5:15pm I'll be discussing the first part of the Scions of the Emperor

On Sunday, I'm back in the Remembrancer's Hall from 10:30am to 11:30am for the second part of the Scions of the Emperor discussion, followed by a conversation about The Journey of Nathaniel Garro from Midday to 1:00pm.

I'll also be signing books at the Scribe Station on Saturday from 10:30am to 11:30am and again between 5:30pm and 6:30pm; and on the Sunday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm.

To see the full event programme, click Here. I hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 05, 2019

2K18 Games

And my annual year-end blogs conclude with my list of games played and enjoyed/endured/shouted at/otherwise engaged with...

I hit 33 titles in 2018, an improvement on 2017’s 22 – although once more I returned to games from earlier years for a lot of play (key among them Destiny 2, The Division and Ghost Recon Wildlands). But by far the new games I put the most time into during 2018 were Horizon Zero Dawn and Far Cry 5.

Top picks for this year: Abzu, Tacoma, Horizon Zero Dawn and Marvel’s Spider-Man.

Here’s the full list:
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3: The Sabotage, We Are Doomed, Pocket Ops, What Remains of Edith Finch, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Tacoma, Night in the Woods, Call of Duty: WWII, Reigns: Her Majesty, Assassin's Creed Origins, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, NieR: Automata, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Horizon Zero Dawn, Trackmania Turbo, OnRush, Space Station Continuum, Grip, The Division 2, Far Cry 5, Far Cry Arcade, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, WipeOut Omega Collection, Sky Force Anniversary, LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2, Rainbow Six Siege (PS4 version), Space Hulk Tactics, Hyper Sentinel, Abzu, Space Hulk Deathwing (Enhanced Edition), Far Cry 5: Hours of Darkness, Far Cry 5: Lost on Mars, Marvel's Spider-Man, The Crew 2, Elite: Dangerous (PS4 version), Far Cry 5: Living Dead Zombies.

Friday, January 04, 2019

2K18 Movies

The next in my yearly log of free-timery is a look over the movies I saw in 2018... 

I set myself a target of  one movie a week, and just popped over that with a total of 54 viewed, although less of them at the cinema than I would have liked. 

As I’m such a sucker for franchise flicks, naturally there’s a whole bunch of sequels and series movies, but I don’t care. I love big, brassy blockbusters and there were many. My top picks: Atomic Blonde, Solo, Mission Impossible: Fallout and Into The Spider-Verse.

Here’s my complete list:
Drone, Sicario, Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge, Jarhead 3: The Siege, Black Panther, We Still Steal The Old Way, Despicable Me 3, Transformers: The Last Knight, The Last Witch Hunter, Cars 3, Wonder Woman, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Pacific Rim Uprising, Triple 9, Avengers: Infinity War, Alien: Covenant, Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & The Punisher, Atomic Blonde, Anon, American Made, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ocean's 8, The Great Wall, The Mummy [2017], The Transporter Refuelled, Kong: Skull Island, Drug War, Alien Invasion: S.U.M.1, Please Stand By, The Dark Tower, Bastille Day, The Operative, Search/Destroy, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Geostorm, Renegades [2017], Mission Impossible: Fallout, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Justice League, Ant-Man & The Wasp, Final Score, The Shanghai Job [aka S.M.A.R.T. Chase], Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Logan Lucky, American Assassin, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Hitman's Bodyguard, Mechanic Resurrection, London Has Fallen, Now You See Me, A Walk Among The Tombstones, Gods of Egypt, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Now You See Me 2.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

2K18 Books

The second of my annual year-end blogs begins my what the heck did I spend my free time on lists, starting with my reading...

In 2017 I felt like I neglected my reading, so I made a better effort in 2018 – but I kinda cheated a little by including a whole bunch of audiobook shorts and novellas (over half my total for the year!). 

I especially worked on my backlog of Warhammer 40,000 and Horus Heresy audios, of which there is a rich and deep selection to enjoy. Story is story, it doesn’t matter how you get it, and anyone who gets sniffy about audiobooks and eBooks over dead-tree editions can go kick rocks.

I read a lot of fun stuff this year with hardly any clinker in there; top picks are Andrew Reid’s debut The Hunter, Darius Hinks’s The Ingenious and Words For Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis.

Here’s my full list for 2018:
First Lord of the Imperium (L.J. Goulding), Ahriman: Key of Infinity (John French), The Darkness (Ragnar J├│nasson), Stone and Iron (Robbie McNiven), The Rage of Asmodai (C.Z. Dunn), A Lesson in Darkness (Ian St. Martin), Fortune of War (David Mack), American Assassin (Vince Flynn), Lies Sleeping (Ben Aaronovitch), A Rare Book of Cunning Device (Aaronovitch), The Break Line (James Brabazon), The Assassination of Gabriel Seth (Andy Smilie), Heart of Decay (Ben Counter), Unreachable Skies (Karen McCreedy), The Eagle's Talon (French), Hunter's Moon (Guy Haley), The Hunter (Andrew Reid), Diary of an AssCan (Andy Weir), The Art of The Division (Paul Davies), One Way (S.J. Morden), A Noise Downstairs (Linwood Barclay), The Last (Hanna Jameson), The October Man (Aaronovitch), The Ingenious (Darius Hinks), The Either (Graham McNeill),  Mortation's Heart (Goulding), Veil of Darkness (Nick Kyme), Trials of Azrael (Dunn), 100 Deadly Skills (Clint Emerson), The Freedom Broker (K.J. Howe), Hot Wheels Classics: The Redline Era (Angelo Van Bogart), The Janson Command (Paul Garrison), The Board is Set (Gav Thorpe), Lanzarote & Fuerteventura Pocket Guide (Berlitz), Iceclaw (Counter), Desperate Measures (Dayton Ward), Stealing Gulfstreams (James Patterson, with Max DiLillo), Kill Shot (Counter), Judge of the Wastes (David Annandale), Forever and a Day (Anthony Horowitz), Smuggler's Run (Greg Rucka), Repossessed (Sandy Parkes), The Interrogation of Salvor Lermentov (Chris Wraight), Iron Corpses (Annandale), Incorruptable (Annandale), Jar City (Arnaldur Indri├░ason), Words For Pictures (Brian Michael Bendis), The Autobiography of James T. Kirk (David A. Goodman), Taker of Heads (St. Martin), The Last Guardian (Dunn), The Thirteenth Wolf (Thorpe), The Emperor's Judgement (Joe Parrino).