My publisher, Oktober Books, is currently seeking submissions for its 2012 list.

Any completed manuscript in any fiction genre or non-fiction subject will be considered.

If you have a book you would like Oktober Books to have a look at please send them the first three chapters along with a synopsis of the rest of the book to:

submissions@oktoberbooks.co.uk

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A new era for book covers?

January 25, 2011

This concept is kind of sweet.

But it makes me wonder why anyone would want to make your modern digital device look like the analogue version circa 200 years ago.

Anyone fancy doing this to their device? Please tell me, why?

Did you ever watch Blake’s Seven – either when it was first broadcast or on video / DVD / download/ whatever.

I  was quite young when it was broadcast in the late 70s / early 80s, but one of my earliest memories is of my older sister loving / talking about / drawing images from the show Blake’s Seven.

I remember watching parts of the last series in the 80s and especially the shock ending of the show.

During the late 90s I watched most of the show on video (my sister owned them) and it was then I really GOT it.

Terry Nation (inventor of the Daleks) created the show and one of the key ideas what that these people were more real than anyone else in TV sci fi ever had been before. These characters had faults, were sometimes morally ambiguous and would not always make the right decision based on doing something which was right, but didn’t benefit them. They were pragmatic.

TV sci fi before then had been very black and white in terms of you were either completely good or completely bad. Star Trek so far was all about that – as was Dr Who (altho interestingly, Dr Who has had a slight edge at certain periods since then – Sylvester McCoy‘s Doctor always had a very dark side).

If you look at TV sci fi since then – Farscape, re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, Firefly – or many others, they have that edge. And in my opinion this is down to Blake’s Seven.

If you haven’t seen it before take a look (but please forgive the 1970s BBC special effects).

One of the things we looked at when I studied media at sixth form (the best part of 20 years ago) we covered the representation of women in their own magazines (and of course other media).

One of the things which bugs me about the media is this negative stuff we analysed is still happening. I would write about it at length, but I think this article is probably a good starting pointt for anyone who cares about the issue, and why write in my own words what has been expressed so well there?

Any thoughts?

Robotic actress causes a sensation in Japan.

The robot is named Geminoid F and is extremely lifelike.

I seem to remember one of the really early Asimov robot stories being about how human looking robots freaked people out so they were always built in a human shape but with an appearance that made it very clear they were not humans (I always imagined the Asimov robots looked like the IL series Cylon in the original battle Star Galactica.)

This is of course a really serious issue for our collective futures. Should we make robots look like us (for some reason a bible quote comes to mind about “man being made in god’s image”) or not?

In Alien Resurrection the character Call (Winona Ryder) turns out to be an human-looking android who like many others of her kind burnt their interfaces and hid among humans.

This is a moral dilemma which we should consider. What do you think?

 

An analysis of the iPad magazine market, which highlights the ongoing issues publishers are having with the jump from print to tablet.

Book trailers

January 11, 2011

What a genius idea – having a trailer for a book.

You could call them adverts, which is really what film trailers always have been. But since I always associate video adverts with TV, you can get away with the fluffy term.

Of course, with films you just cut a sequence of the best bits and get a voiceover artist. But with books you actually have to go through the creative process as you would do when making a soap power advert.

As you’d expect, some of the trailers are pretty good. Others, not so good.

If you see any good trailers let me know.

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