good Wikipedia entry about it), it was perhaps the wrong choice if I was hoping to doze off: I was immediately caught up in the story and watched a couple of episodes before I tore myself away. I eventually fell asleep again for a couple of weird, dream-filled hours before getting up at seven.
As I'm not sure how I'll be feeling later, I thought I'd write this now: it's not quite nine and I've been back from my morning walk about twenty minutes. At the moment I don't feel too bad—I'm still feeling tired but the second cup of coffee is starting to kick in, and the walk helped iron out a few kinks. Hopefully I've headed the cold off at the pass and I'll be as right as rain by the time you're reading this. [Update, Friday morning: Seems to have worked. I'm feeling OK.]
Anyway, I promised news on the next Bear Alley Books publication and, now I've swapped contracts on it, I'm very pleased to announce that we will be publishing a reprint of "Arena" from The Crunch. The Crunch ran for a year in 1979-80 and, while it didn't find its audience, it had some very memorable stories. (Some of them I might look at for future publication!)
"Arena" was written by Dave Taylor, who began writing for Thomson's weeklies with stories in Bullet. Already a fan of science fiction (he had previously edition the fictionzine Nebula, in 1974-77, he went on to write for Starblazer, Buddy, Spike, Hotspur and Victor, writing, amongst many others, the adventures of Starhawk, Billy the Cat and Alf Tupper, the Tough of the Tracks.
I'm hopeful that if "Arena" sells well, I can do more reprints of classic Thomson strips. At the moment, I'm looking at a book of around 130 pages. The bulk of the internal artwork is ready to go (I just need to see how it prints up). I'm have a ton of notes for the introduction, which I've started writing. I've had lots of fun researching SF yarns about Roman gladiators, dystopian futures, corporations, future sports and reality TV. The problem now is to try to stick to writing what I need to write and not to try throwing in the kitchen sink.
I'll have more details about the book over the next couple of weeks, and I'm hoping that I'll have the book itself in September.
The only other news I have is that we've had over 80 tomatoes off our two plants... so far. There are dozens more ripening and I'm expecting to be eating many more sandwiches featuring tomatoes over the upcoming weeks... cheese & tomato, ham & tomato, corned beef & tomato... I'm expecting singing to break out in the background. Bloody Vikings.
Today's random scan is a little different. I picked up the debut novel by James S. A. Corey, described on the cover as a "Kickass space opera" by none other than George R. R. Martin. I later discovered that James S. A. Corey is, in fact, two writers: Daniel James Abraham and Ty Corey Franck, the latter being George R. R. Martin's personal assistant. Hmmmmm. That said, the book was well reviewed elsewhere and was nominated for a Hugo, so it'll be worth a read.
What really sold me on it was the cover by Daniel Dociu. He's well worth a Google image search as he's produced hundreds of superb paintings (you might start here, for instance) and designs for video games. I was intrigued to discover that the front and back covers of the Orbit paperback were canibalised from the same painting.
So, first we have the book cover as you would see it if you had plucked it from a shelf. Then the original artwork, and then the front and rear covers overlayed onto the original artwork to show how they all fit together.