My next big thing

Damn it, that Guerrier chap tagged me in a writers Q&A meme and I’m bound to follow suit or my entrails will be forfeit to Lord Beelzebub and his horde of demonic kittenbats. (Also, it will help prevent me writing a 10,000 word screed on the unbelievable corporate fuckwittery that is the Hellblazer cancellation.) Since Guerrier, and Joseph Lidster before him, have gone off-piste I am going to do the same. I DO have a new novel in the works but I’m not willing to talk about it yet, so I’m going to talk about a new book I’m contributing a short story to. What is the title of your new book?  My story ‘Grit’ is appearing in A Town Called Pandemonium, which comes out at the end of the month. Where did the idea come from for the book? A commission. Anne Perry and Jared Shurin asked me if I wanted to come play in their shared universe along with nine other authors, and I said yes please. Oddly, they’d asked me to contribute a Dickens/London themed tale to a previous anthology, and as a Dickens fan and a London resident, I leapt at the chance and then… came up with nothing. Eventually I recused myself. They then said, how about a western? And I had a story within ten minutes, as if delivered by the ideas fairy. Odd how it happens sometimes. The germ of the idea was a man waking up naked in the main street of a frontier town. How did he get there and what will he do next? What genre does your book fall under?... read more

2012 – half-time report

I started this year with a long list of shit I needed to get done, some personal, some professional. The personal stuff has gone damn well, thanks for asking 🙂 On the professional front, I needed to get my hand back in to writing after a year off. I picked four projects and worked through them, finding my feet again. The first was the Target Hitler novella; the second was a short story for another Pandemonium anthology; the third is an audiobook script, which is nearly finished. I also got the Farscape re-watch blog running over at, which has been, and remains, a pleasure. There have been disappointments this year too, with one book turned down by a publisher, and an audio play falling through after a lot of effort due to unforeseen circumstances. But that’s all grist to the mill – there’s been far more positive than negative so far in 2012. The plan was to work through all this in six months – in fact it took seven – and then devote the second half of the year to bashing out the first draft of a new novel. I have three novels at the same level of development – three chapters and a synopsis. So I had to choose which one to pursue and then just sit down and get down to it. This is a change for me, in that I have no commission. My five and a half books have so far all been write-for-hire, and have been commissioned with a set delivery date and fee. This book, the first that I will retain... read more

Leave it Scott, just leave it!

Online conversation I nearly had today but didn’t quite, because, well, life’s too short. In fact, I spent years having variations of this conversation on Compuserve, Usenet, eGroups, Yahoogroups, Listserves et al. I achieved nothing, but somehow I’m still occasionally amazed by people who are still randomly either rude or stupid. Or both. I try very hard NOT to have this conversation on Twitter or Facebook but sometimes it requires enormous willpower. Friend: I really like this TV show. Me: I think the latest season of that TV show is the best. Friend of a friend: How can you say that the latest season was the best? It was dreadful. Me: Gosh, I guess I can say it because I have a different opinion to you. The clue was in the ‘I think’ bit, which indicated I was stating an opinion. Since you, however, omitted this clause I surmise that you are stating Absolute Truth. Which is a huge relief to me. I’ve always wondered where and how Absolute Truth is generated and now I know it’s IN YOUR BRAIN! Thanks. So now we’ve established that, some help please with a few things that have been REALLY bugging me – how should I vote? Who was the sexiest member of Abba? Which is better, Coke or Pepsi? I await The Truth with bated... read more

Doctor Who: The Anchorite’s Echo

In 2005 I was lucky enough to contribute a Doctor Who short story to a Christmas-themed anthology from Big Finish –  Short Trips: A History of Christmas , which was edited by Simon Guerrier.  It’s long out of print, and I certainly can’t charge for it, but I don’t think there’s any rule against me giving it away. So here is some free stuff – my first published short story, an adventure for the seventh Doctor and Ace. — I have measured out my penitence in Christmases. It was Christmas day when they bricked me up in my cell at the back of the church. The choir were making the most beautiful music. The congregation prayed for my good health and gave thanks for my sacrifice as the mason laid the bricks that sealed me in, leaving only a small window through which I could receive food and water. It was an honour to serve the people of this parish as their anchorite. I became part of the fabric of their church, fasting and praying for the safety of the community that had raised me. I was their talisman, their totem, their good luck charm. My offering served to insure the village from pestilence and famine and drought and war. As long as I remained in my cell, praising the Lord and begging his mercy, my charges in the world outside would remain safe. No calamity would befall them. Even now, so many years later, I still ask myself what it was about me that was not worthy…   ‘Thank you.’ ‘You are… welcome. Are you… are you an angel?’ ‘No.... read more

1990 – Season One

Some years ago, browsing through a second hand bookshop, I stumbled across a TV tie-in book for a show called 1990. I was instantly intrigued. A BBC drama starring Edward Woodward as Jim Kyle, heroic leader of a resistance movement in totalitarian Britain? How is it that I had never heard of this show? And how could I see it? Amazingly, for reasons long forgotten, I didn’t buy the book, but recently, after years of searching I finally got my hands on the series. Created by one of TVs great unsung heroes, Wilfred Greatorex, it ran on BBC2 for two season of eight episodes broadcast in 1977/8. But although 1990 was on at exactly the same time as Secret Army, a show with which it shares many similarities and themes and on which Greatorex was a creative consultant, it has aged far less well. The first problem is Gretorex’s opening two parter. It’s strong on character and ambience but frustratingly free of details. Who are the totalitarian rulers, how did they come to power, what are their objectives, how do they exert control? It’s only over the course of the first eight episodes that the details are, sparsely, pencilled in, and then it’s done so piecemeal, by different writers, that it’s hard to extract a definitive statement. But as the picture clears we are presented with a very sub-Orwell collection of oppressors. In the series’ fictional timeline the Unions have brought the country to a standstill. The economy has totally collapsed, and a strong arm, union-led left wing government has taken power. No one can work, buy food or be... read more

Independent online marketing & ‘Underwater Sunshine’

A few years ago, Counting Crows kind of stunned everyone by walking away from Geffen and announcing they were an independent band. Whether this was prompted by a perceived underperformance of the superb ‘Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings’ or a wider dissatisfaction with the music business is unclear. But band leader Adam Duritz’s impassioned talk on interconnectedness, marketing and audience interaction at a recent technology event confirmed that he really, really gets the brave new world of digital independent music. I was intrigued to see what they’d do with their next album, a set of covers called ‘Underwater Sunshine‘ due for release on 10 April. What new and exciting things were the band going to do to take advantage of their newly indy freedom and push their first indy release? Stop Press: I’ve heard it, this is a great record by a great band and I want it to succeed more than I can say. That said, I’m about to criticise their online strategy, and writing a blog criticising my favourite band, even though my critique comes from love and passionate regard, leads me to worry that I might be being a dick, I certainly hope not, but here goes… if by any chance you’re reading this Adam, this is me trying to help, not tear you down in any way shape or form. Things started well, when they ran a competition to crowdsource the cover art. This generated buzz and, perhaps surprisingly, a really good cover. Today it seems they’re rolling out the next stage of their campaign, with the whole album being streamed in its entirety on... read more

Announcing ‘Target: Hitler!’

Last summer I was lucky enough to do some writing for the forthcoming computer game Sniper Elite V2. Basically this meant doing some plotting, developing the narrative and scripting a bunch of cut-scenes and voiceovers. It was loads of fun and has now led to this press release, hot and shiny from the, um, press of my old buddies at Abaddon books: Everyone knows the story of Adolf Hitler’s final days — cornered, insane, killing himself in despair as Berlin burned above him. But this story is based solely on the eyewitness accounts of the people who shared the bunker with him—the people most loyal to the Führer; the people most likely to lie to protect him. The world’s foremost Nazi hunter has never believed the official account; he has spent his life chasing a phantom, convinced that Hitler escaped the bunker. Now, as he lies on his deathbed, he receives a mysterious visitor; a man who claims to know the true story of Hitler’s death; a man named Karl Fairburn. Is he just another conspiracy fantasist, or could his tale possibly be true…? With the release of the hotly anticipated third-person World War Two shooter Sniper Elite V2 just two months away, Rebellion is to publish a special tie-in ebook. Sniper Elite V2: Target Hitler is an exclusive ebook novella from Rebellion’s publishing imprint Abaddon Books. Written by novelist and the Sniper Elite V2 game writer Scott K. Andrews, the thrilling book ties into the game’s pre-order downloadable content offer, in which players have one chance to kill the leader of the Third Reich before he escapes the... read more

From the archives: Counting Crows

Here’s a piece I’ve dredged up from the archives – early 2004, to be precise. At the time I was working for the BBC’s Top of the Pops website, which occasionally involved interviewing guests who had come to the studio to play on that week’s show. The highlight was when I got to have a sit down with Adam Duritz, the man behind what I would probably nominate as my favourite band, Counting Crows. Here’s the interview, from April 2004, conducted in a dresssing room in TVC before their performance – and yes, you could see me on the broadcast, right at the front, singing along and dancing like a mad thing 🙂 How’s your new drummer Jim Bogios settling in and how has the departure of Ben Mize affected the band? Adam: It’s worked out great. It meant we had less vacation time because we had to do all the rehearsals but Jim’s really great – great drummer, great guy. We’ve all known him for a long time too, so he fits right in. It wasn’t like he was a new guy coming in. I’ve been friends with Jim for years, Immy [David Immergluck, Counting Crows guitarist] used to play in a band with Jim, and I know him through Sheryl [Crow] too. So it’s going real well. I mean, you miss Ben because you miss Ben, because you spent nine years together and every once in a while I find myself looking for him to tell him something, but I just have to call him. I did a radio show in Dublin the other day, DJing for... read more

Calling All ’Scapers!

Back in the dim and distant I wrote a book all about a TV show called Farscape – Uncharted Territory. That book covered the first three seasons of the show and was commissioned by Virgin Books just as the SciFi Channel in America announced they’d be making seasons 4 and 5, so I was confident the book would get a second edition. Unfortunately, it was published THE EXACT DAY SciFi announced the show was in fact being cancelled. Virgin responded by remaindering my book pretty much instantly. (I shouldn’t complain — one friend of mine had his Smallville episode guide recalled and pulped after three days on the shelves!) Ten years later, I’ve reclaimed the rights from Virgin and have just started running a revised edition of the book as a weekly blog over at I’ll be covering one episode a week and this time I’ll cover the fourth season and the mini-series that wrapped things up. I won’t be re-posting the blogs here, I’ll keep them exclusive to, but I’ll promote them here from time to time. So if you’ve never seen Farscape – and it’s just come out as a blu-ray and DVD box set, and is available on Netflix in the US – or if you’re a longstanding fan eager for an excuse to watch it all over again, please come join in the fun. Blog 1 – Calling All ’Scapers! An Introduction to the Farscape Rewatch Blog 2 – Farscape Rewatch:... read more