Last updated by at .

Toodle-pip 2012! Brace yourself, 2013!

So 2012 was a hell of a year for me, personally. I started the year two stone overweight, in financial freefall and actually pretty much depressed. I had no writing gigs lined up, was struggling to find any joy in my day job and generally felt like things were Not Going My Way. But did I wallow and fester in misery? Yes. Yes, I did. A bit. But not for long!* The start of 2013 finds me two stone lighter, black dog free, with a new day job, a new accountant and much smaller debts. I’m also a teetotal gym-bunny, which my younger self is finding deeply upsetting, but my 41 year old self is finding oddly satisfying. I would like to stress that this IN NO WAY constitutes any kind of mid-life crisis. Anybody suggesting such a thing will get a slap (from my now finely toned, oh so youthful arm, which, now I think about it, would probably look great draped around the shoulders of, say, a smouldering young secretary in the front seat of  a red ferrari, y’know, the kind that goes VROOOOM!) So aside from sorting myself out personally, what have I achieved on the writing front this year? Stuff I started AND finished I needed to get myself back into the routine of writing after taking 2011 off (except for a short story and some work on a computer game). Happily, in January Abaddon asked me to write a novella for them, and I used it to ease myself gently back into the swing of things. When it comes to completed projects I can...

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 tor.com, 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...

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 tor.com. 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 tor.com, 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:...

Farscape: What TV Was Invented For

Written halfway through Season Three, this article was a Starburst cover feature, designed to alert people that Farscape was well worth tuning in for. I later wrote a whole book on Farscape. In an age when each autumn bombards us with new Sci-Fi shows clamouring for our attention it’s hard to know which ones are worth the time and effort. A common tactic is to watch all the pilots and only follow those shows whose opening effort demonstrates real originality, or a spark that seems to promise greater things. Of course some shows get off to a great start and then lose the plot – Star Trek Voyager springs gruesomely to mind – but at least that way you get to see the best and avoid the rest. No one really knew what to expect from the Farscape premiere. Puppets were supposed to be a big part of the show and that didn’t inspire confidence. Plus it was filmed in Australia, and who ever heard of a great Australian TV show, let alone Aussie Sci-Fi. The cast were all unknowns and the production company, Jim Henson productions, had only had one real success, The Muppets, which didn’t bode well for their ability to handle mature, adult drama. Perhaps most worrying of all, the show was devised by Rockne S. O’Bannon, the man responsible for Seaquest DSV, and we all know what a mess that turned out to be. As it transpired, we were presented with Buck Rogers redux. The main character, Crichton, was a square jawed all-American hero who seemed to promise self-sacrificing heroics, Kirk style seductions and Gil Gerard...