Saturday, 28 March 2009

Authonomy.... A New Kind of Disaster!!

As many of you know, I joined this site months ago, and I've been more or less happily plugging my books ever since. It was an odd kind of place, there was a sort of concensus on behaviour, and dispite folks' inability to hold their tongues (and occasionally their liquor) it all bumbled along reasonably pleasantly. Or as pleasantly as you can expect from a collective of people whose favourite thing is essentially a solitary endeavour.

Then along came a young man with a book, and a fanbase for something completely different. All hell broke loose. The young man's fans shelved his book in their thousands. The old guard were (perhaps justifiably) annoyed by this. Then apart from some serial moaning (from both sides of the arguement), things appeared to settle down a bit.

Until now.

I've held to one criterion only ever since I joined. Would I buy the book? If I would I shelve it, and comment on it. If I wouldn't, I either say why, or pass on by. Simple. It works for me.

This morning, I saw I had a new comment. Oooooh goodie... I thought. I was doomed to disappointment. It wasn't a new comment at all, what it was, was a five line bleat about how another reader/writer had used his high talent spotter ranking to artificially manipulate the system to keep the young man's book out of the top five, so this guy was doing the same, and would I shelve his book for ten minutes. Oh and by the way I should split my blurb into two paragraphs.

I did hit all four walls at once. I know exactly what he can do with his high TSR... I'm more than happy to do it for him... with a poker! In theory my parents brought me up to be a lady, so convention prevents me expressing myself in the precise terms (actually neatly provided for me by my blacksmith!) that I would like to about this guy's past, his present and suffice to state, if I did catch up with him, his future would be brief, and exceptionally unhappy.

Out of extreme interest... what exactly did this joker think was going to happen? That I would fall down and grovel and be pathetically grateful that he noticed my book at all? If this is the kind of BS that's going to happen, Authonomy is broke. Irretrievably.

Pardon for the outraged rant... but I felt the need to vent! I'm not the only one that received the message and the backing... It almost tempts me to go and back the young man's book, even though I read it and didn't like it, and have already told him that I wouldn't buy it.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


The Man Who Painted Agnieszka’s Shoes is the first Year Zero project. Here you will find the Year Zero manifesto.

The problem

The Factory: agents, editors, media arbiters of taste, publishers. A chain of filters that takes raw fiction, cuts it, sells it on, cuts it again until the street product peddled to readers is weak, toxic, and addictive.

YEAR ZERØ exists to eliminate the impurities and deliver prose in the pure and raw.

Pushing the boundaries of substance through new technologies, YEAR ZERØ provides prose just as addictive, in many cases just as toxic, but with a powerful, instant high that will stay with you for life.

YEAR ZERØ is not an industry. YEAR ZERØ is not a group of writers. YEAR ZERØ is not a set of beliefs. YEAR ZERØ is an approach to culture.
Culture is the breath we suck from• each others’ lips.

Culture is not alive. Culture is• life.

Readers and writers, like all• producers and consumers of culture, cannot exist apart from each other. They exist only insomuch as literature flows between them. Inasmuch as The Factory exists to separate readers from writers it exists only to bring death, to create ghosts and hollow men.

Culture speculates; culture takes• risks; culture hijacks every human artifice and structure in the name of life.

YEAR ZERØ exists as a conduit for this process.

We are not YEAR ZERØ. We are some of its voices. You are its heart.

We are, among others: Garalt Canton, Larry Harrison, Dan Holloway, Annia Lekka-Blazoudaki, Gupter Puncher

On June 1 we will be releasing “Brief Objects of Beauty and Despair”, a quilt of prose patched together from all our writers

Our first novels will be released on September 1, 2009, with further releases following quarterly.

‘Benny Platonov’ by Gupter Puncher.
Benny Platonov will save the eight-hundred and fifty-seven homeless of Hong Kong. He will save them with his words!

Glimpses of a Floating World - Larry Harrison
It is 1963. Scandals like the Profumo and Challenor cases are exposing the dark underbelly of post-war Britain, while one of the first teenagers to be addicted to heroin and cocaine undergoes a cold turkey in prison. A poetic and triumphant elegy to a seedy, vice-ridden London of the Sixties.

Songs from the Other Side of the Wall - Dan Holloway.
Sandrine, who has grown up in post-communist Hungary, faces the choice that will shape her future – to stay in the cosmopolitan life of art and music she shares with Bohemian sculptress, Yang; or to return to the rural vineyard her dying father’s family has run for 300 years. She is led on a journey across Europe and cyberspace, accompanied by diaries that appear from nowhere, a talking bull, and an elderly fashion mogul who may be telepathic.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Yet More Lists... Tag some folk see what happens!

It's All About You
01. Name: SJ
02. Nickname: SJ or Mocky
03. Age: somewhere in the middle
04. Location: Surrey dweller....... just outside London
05. Gender: female
06. Tattoo/Piercings?: no tats, too permanent, one hole in each ear (that was bad enough, they went all yucky)
07. Dream Job: Writer
08. Words that describe you best: temperamental, fiesty, inclined to procrastinate,
09. Eye Colour: green
10. Pets: Dan the dog
11. Are there any words you can't say outloud? yes, and they're not suitable for printing here either
12. How laid back are you? can be very, depends on my mood.
13. Do you procrastinate? How much? Of course, sometimes for a very long time
14. How many pillows do you have on your bed? One
15. Have you ever stayed in hospital? No.
16. Which song describes you best? The one that breaks my heart is Think Twice
17. Do you have/want children? It was the dearest wish of my heart, but I'm 44, think that ship has sailed.
18. Do you believe in Father Christmas? Nah

First thing you...
01. Do in a morning:
02. Wash in the shower/bath: shower
03. Do when you get into bed: write
04. Do when you get into a car: plug in all my stuff
05. Do/Did at school/work: input a million forms, check a million letters, post them off
06. Do when you get home after a long day: Make myself a drink
07. Do when you go on the computer: Check all my various fora and email accounts
08. Touch in the morning: my dog

01. Television show: NCIS and The Bill
02. Character from that show: Abbey (NCIS) & Stuart (TB)
03. TV Actor: Doug Rao
04. TV Actress: Pauley Perrette
05. Singer/Band: Toby Keith and The Beautiful South
06. Song: As Good as I once was & One Last Love Song
07. Food: Sushi
08. Colour: purple
09. Season: Autumn
10. Day of the week: Monday
11. Subject at school: History of Art
12. Film: Casablanca
13. Film Actor: Humphrey Bogart (no one's ever matched Bogie)
14. Film Actress: Bette Davis
15. Book: If I'm reading it, To Kill A Mockingbird... Writing it? Fatal Diversion, my first collaboration
16. Author: Douglas Adams, Janet Evanovich, Preston/Child
17. Soap: don't watch 'em, but if you're referring to the bath variety, the citrus imperial leather.....
18. Cheese: Jarlsberg
19. Smell: Lavender
20. Taste: Savoury

What/who was the last thing you...?
01. Ate: Piece of Pizza
02. Drank: water
03. Watched: The Mummy
04. Read: The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul (I love a bit of improbability)
05. Laughed at: the dog
06. Shouted at: the mother
07. Talked to: my mates
08. Hugged: my best friend
09. Bought: Blink on DVD
10. Threw away: pizza box
11. Said: NO.............NO........... What part of NO is unclear?.............No...........Oh allright, yes then!
12. Smelt: Okay that does it, heavens to betsy, what the devil did you just eat??? (to the dog)
13. Thought about: I'm too old to tell you, and you are far too young to know.....
14. Wished you were doing: See question 13
15. Missed: Being in love......

Decisions, Decisions...
01. Blanket or Stuffed Animal? cuddly toy every time
02. Summer or Winter? Summer
03. Coca Cola or Pepsi? Pepsi
04. Salt and Vinegar or Cheese And Onion? Cheese and Onion
05. Lefty or Righty? Right handed
06. Gold or Silver? both
07. Love or friendship? both, they're indivisible.
09. Fish or Chips? Fish
10. Busy or Lazy? Busy

01. What do you want to be when you're older? I'm going to get older???
02. Are you looking forward to anything? Yes, but whether it will ever happen is another matter
03. What are your pet hates? IGNORANCE, it should be a hanging offence......
04. What is your most embarrassing moment? A bus in Italy, a huge elderly man, his big sweaty paw on my knee, his other hand making adjustments to the front of his trousers, more than that I am not prepared to reveal.
05. Is the glass half empty or half full? Half full of course
06. Do you regret anything? Je ne regrete rien
07. Do you have any posters? Yes
08. Which chat show host would you love to be interviewed by? None of them. Tho I would like to get that Jeremy Kyle bloke........ vengeance for all the sad losers he's paraded across the screen for the baying crowd's entertainment...... just what kind of person is he??
09. Would you like to be famous? No
10. Would you prefer to be rich or in love with 'the one'? LOVE. Money will not keep you warm and loved at night.