Hurrah! Finished my new book this very today and sent it to the lovely publisher Kristell Ink. The book will be out in Waterstones, on Amazon, blah blah, in April 2015. So pleased – it was creatively liberating to do this collection, really it was. If you want more details, you can just click ‘Book of Orm’ in the nav bar on my site.
In other news, I still have a lousy cold. Still it’s almost a xmas tradition, eh?
What the heck. It’s xmas. So I’ve made my Knight of Ages novella free for download on Amazon for the next four days. Enjoy!
So, all confirmed for the book signing at Waterstones Doncaster this Saturday (13 Dec). Last of the year. Phew.
Meanwhile, just three days of teaching left to go. Been a long term this one: 13 weeks without a break.
I also need to get The Book of Orm (‘The A J Dalton fantasy collection’) finished by the end of Dec for Grimbold Books. Release is due April 2015. Really pleased with it so far – and I have contributions from Nadine West (Bridport Prize Anthology) and Matt White (scriptwriter and Salford Uni tutor) too.
Could have three new titles coming out in 2015, therefore, including one with HarperCollins… maybe… all being well… so maybe not. Holding breath. (Feel faint now!)
Here it is. A great cover by Oliver Flude for The Book of Orm, my new fantasy collection. The book will go on release in April 2015. Hurrah!
The Imitation Game is the biopic of Alan Turing, inventor of the device that allowed the British to crack the Enigma code used by the Nazis during WW2. Turing was gay, illegal at the time, so the ‘Imitation’ required of him at once refers to how he had to appear ‘normal’ in society (to keep his secret), while having to understand, mimic and break the secret of others (in this case, the Nazis). The film is about social codes, how messages are coded, the meanings behind them, and the powers at play. We question throughout what is truly ‘significant’/important. The central metaphor of this film works well and is powerful. It means the issue of Turing’s sexuality is a theme throughout, no matter what you have read in some other reviews of this film. The movie does not dodge the difficult questions of his life at all. It is subtle, however, perhaps too subtle for some. Benedict Cumerbatch (as Turing) is superb, as is Keira Knightley (a fellow code-breaker). It scores a 9 out of 10 from me. Thoroughly recommended!
Christian Bale plays an emotionless government enforcer. His job is to kill those guilty of ‘sense’ crimes. You see, in the future, to avoid wars (which are based on anger, jealousy, excessive attachment, etc), the government bans emotion, and issues a compulsory drug (Prozium) to stop anyone feeling. The premise is a bit silly, but if you go with it you’ll enjoy this Matrix-meets-1984 movie. There are enough original concepts (e.g. ‘the gun katars’, the use of Yeats, etc) that I can see why this a bit of a cult scifi film. It’s entirely predictable, and the child actors steal the show a bit, but Sean Bean puts in a star turn and it’s an all British affair, so I give it 7.5 out of 10!
Norwegian mountains. Kids on a snow-boarding holiday. A lost treasure. And Nazi zombies. What more could you want from a horror film? Well, a decision on whether it’s a comedy/spoof or it’s genuinely intended to frighten would have been nice. Dead Snow gets caught between the two, unfortunately, and doesn’t completely deliver on either. For all that, there are things to recommend it: better than usual characterisation and dialogue during the set-up, a decent building of tension, some entertaining set-pieces, and some laugh out loud lines. Things that really should have been better: the rationale for why the Nazis are still ‘animated’, a consistency on the strength of the zombies (they go from superhumanly fast to pathetically slow and weak), and fewer ‘silly’ deaths. Overall, it’s a 6.5 out of 10. Dale and Tucker versus Evil is a far better film in the genre.