Monday, 31 October 2011

Mild Panic & Pandemonium



"Pandemonium contains no dead wood; no filler, obligatory inclusions, or unnecessary stories. Every work in the collection, as well as being individually superb, sings for its supper; serves a particular purpose within the thematic framework of the anthology.... This is a rare thing to say about an anthology, but there were no stories I disliked; nothing which I thought to be weak, or badly written; nothing which I found myself trawling through, wishing only to get to the next story."


You can read the rest of this review here.

Which is what I did whilst systematically chewing all my fingernails off in mild panic. Then I breathed a sigh or relief and had a cup of tea. I wrote my story before Anne and Jared mentioned Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Lauren Beukes had committed to the project.

It’s not unlike saying you’ll take your pub band that plays Foo Fighter covers to play at a festival. Then discovering Tool and Soundgarden are headlining (feel free to insert your own analogy here if this one is too ‘rock’ for you).

I’ve been a fan of Jon’s since I read 9Tail Fox, I routinely suggest Pashazade to anyone who even pretends to read. And you’d have to live on Mars (so to speak) to not realise Lauren is flat out stratospheric right now.

So if one person thought I kept up and didn’t drop the ball, well alrighty then.

I should say that this was my first gig actually putting my work in the hands of another, namely Anne, who edited all of Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse. I can’t speak highly enough of what she did both in terms for me as a writer, but also for the story. Anne is a smart cookie and this is her first commercial anthology but you’d think she’d been doing this for years.

The launch party for this unholy beast of an ebook is this Friday at the Tate Britain. A limited edition print run will follow, available from the Tate Britain later in the month.

I’ve not read all the stories, but look out for my friend Tom Pollock’s tale. Also noteworthy is Archie Black's offering that stayed in my imagination long after I'd finished reading it. The sheer horror of the story is matched only by the beauty of the prose.

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