Wednesday, May 31, 2006

all CHIMERICANA BOOKS now available through AMAZON:

Chimeraworld #1 was one of the first projects for Chimericana Books and only now has its Amazon Marketplace link been restored (I even got a refund for the ISBN I bought). And all the titles now have detailed book descriptions (including authornames, themes and editorial blurb) to make it easier to find.

All Chimericana Books now available through Amazon.com

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

BIG ISSUE SALES AWARD 2006:

I really admire the energy these Big Issues guys put into their sales patter, it's like each and every one of them has their own sales techniques that they've been honing for however long the Big Issue has been available to them as an extra source of income. Is there a league table (per district) that shows who's done the best in terms of sales figures? Is there also a sales technique award (this could be a national scheme) that rewards non-aggressive nee creative presentation and sales methods for these guys.

If there's not, there should be.

Monday, May 29, 2006

PARK(ing):

Received this delightful missive from Paul Cullen (Oxford Pedestrians Association) about what one enterprising guy did in San Francisco - I mean rather than just park his car.

PARK(ing) is an investigation into reprogramming a typical unit of private vehicular space by leasing a metered parking spot for public recreational activity.

We identified a site in an area of downtown San Francisco that is underserved by public outdoor space and is in an ideal, sunny location between the hours of noon and 2 p.m. There we installed a small, temporary public park that provided nature, seating, and shade.

Our goal was to transform a parking spot into a PARK(ing) space, thereby temporarily expanding the public realm and improving the quality of urban human habitat, at least until the meter ran out.

By our calculations, we provided an additional 24,000 square-foot-minutes of public open space that Wednesday afternoon.


Check out the PARK(ing) website for the full report (and videos)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

MIKE PHILBIN @ PHILIP K DICK official site:

A couple of reviews I did of Philip K Dick novels for SFZone are being referenced (i.e. linked to) from the official Philip K Dick website. Solar Lottery and Cosmic Puppets are ones I've found so far. Very nice compliment.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I AM ALIVE AND YOU ARE DEAD:

So, for the last few days I've been slouching around in the Oxford BORDERS reading Philp K Dick's lifestory as told by some French biographer in translation, I Am Alive And You Are Dead. And I'm thinking, "What a sad fucking tale of a truly talented (if totally drug-dependent and truly paranoid) writer having to hack together fucking pulp novels en-genre to make a living."

No, I digress too liberally. What I'm trying to say is, at least I don't have to write to genre. I can write what I truly enjoy writing. Isn't that the best a writer can hope for? Yeah, but what about the bizarro genre Mike, isn't that a subscribed-to writing restriction? No, you've got it all wrong - and all the bizarros agree with me on this - bizarro is a retrospective genre. You don't actually have to write to ANY FIXED IDEAL. If the bizarros call it bizarro, then that's what it is, no questions asked. It shouldn't even have members yet, if ever. For who's to be able to suggest what future bizarro-ites might consider worthy of inclusion in the great bizarro hall of fame.

Forget any personalised bizarro ethos, it's all pissing into the wind - I write what I write and am happy to do so. I'll not be detered by any of my peers or critics, that's their job after all, to rake up the muck. If those who created the bizarro methodist chapel are happy to name me as one of their brethren, then I'm happy too. At least it's a creative genre within which you simply have to do what you've always done - by its very definition. No sales pitch required, no back stabbing, no disgruntlement at conventions. Anyway, digress, digress, digress... I'm gonna get going some more on the Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said novel at some point in the week. God, I'm loving that novel. PKD's a genius (a term not to be used lightly).

Mark my fuckin' words.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

CHIMERICANA BOOKS free pdf samplers

Just because I'm a nice guy (shouldn't all publishers be this way?) I've put together two FREE samplers of Chimericana Books from the years 2005 and 2006 respectively.







Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bryn Elltyd, Blaenau Festiniog via Responsible Travel:



In April, my family and I spent a very refreshing four days at Ann & Bob Cole's Bryn Elltyd Guest House one mile outside the Welsh slate-mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. As you can see, we found the guest house thanks to the website Responsible Travel meaning we were able to enjoy a lovely holiday without a car - we also got a free ROUGH GUIDES TO LATIN AMERICA for answering a few questions about our holiday on our return. I'd just like to thank Ann & Bob Cole for all their hospitality and wish them well with the future.

Here's a few lovely memories of our time in Wales:


the view from just nearby the guest house.


that hole behind us is a sheer drop


my daughter up a massive hill in Llandudno


Mrs P and I up the same hill in Llandudno


out in the middle of nowhere on one of our daily ten mile walks

Monday, May 08, 2006

FPS GAME MAKERS ARE ASLEEP:

re: Sony Playstation 3 Keynote Speech @ E3.

So, there it is, onscreen, the most delicious carnage-ridden PS3 game you've ever seen. I'm talking, of course about RESISTANCE the fall of man. I'm looking at this totally immersive apocalyptic wargame and I'm thinking, well, where's the fucking first-person skeletal model?

Even in 2007, players are gonna be asked to control a firstperson game as if it were Doom. There's no interaction with the world via a living breathing first-person character. It's just a dead set of hands onscreen holding a gun/guns. Don't they know? Haven't they done the simplest of tests? Put a fucking camera in the head of a decent first-person AI character and just feel the immersive illusion intensify 3 MILLION PERCENT. Just looking around ... the way a human head moves, that tension at the extreme of the neck rotation, and the shift of weight when the body starts to turn, the acceleration of movement - all missing with the standard first-person DOOM method. Oh, dear.

I did this simple skeletal test back in 2003 for a (unnamed) demo. It felt so much more 2007! I sometimes can't believe the laziness of next-gen games developers.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

ARTWEEKS, the oxfordshire artists' festival:

It's that time again.

That time of the year I always miss. ARTWEEKS, the Oxfordshire artists' festival, 13th of May to 4th June. I guess I'm just in a state of expositional inertia. So, what I'll do is put on a mini-expo here that links to my online gallery (saves folk tramping their dirty boots through my living room).



Well, go on then - enjoy yourselves.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

CHIMERICANA BOOKS, PRICES SLASHED:

In a measure intended to offset Lulu no longer running their Economy (free) Postage deal, I've decided to drop the price of the five bizarro novellas to $13.99 each. This means that if you buy all five together, you still effectively get your postage/packing paid as Lulu now send from the country of order. Nice.