Nick Bryan Dot Com

BEST OF 2014 - Top Ten TV

I used to be an Internet TV Reviewer, you know. Writing blog-length reviews of TV show episodes, expressing my critical thoughts, trying to be funny without tipping into bitchy snark. I eventually burnt out on sheer volume of critiquing, not to mention it wasn't justifying the time spent neglecting fiction, but still, I never reviewed purely for attention. I did it because I love the work.

So, I haven't reviewed a TV series weekly since Game of Thrones season 4 finished in April, but I have run down my top ten TV shows every year since 2012 on The Digital Fix and here in 2013, so I see no reason to stop now. Let's see this year's list, which includes The First Ever Non-Fictional Shows To Chart.

BEST OF 2014 - Comics

Originally, this summary of 2014's comics-reading was going to share space with the books, but those damn prose-hives ended up taking up so much space that I let them have the entire post. So now, that means I could either not list my favourite comics of 2014 or give them an entire post to themselves.

I think it's obvious which way I was going to go. If you want to know what I was reading a year ago, here's the post for that. Now, onwards back into the comics of 2014, a year where my comic book consumption came dangerously close to being defined by a single app...

BEST OF 2014 - Books

My original plan, as threatened in last week's podcast/film/music summary, was to dig into my favourite books and comics of the year in this single post. However, due to circumstances beyond my control (me banging on for too long), I am going to leave this one with just the books and return to the comics at a later date. Probably quite a soon later date, as I still harbour the ambition of getting these blog posts out before 2014 itself ends, and I still gotta do the TV as well.

If you want to see how my tastes have evolved, you can consult the 2013 equivalent of this blog post. For now, though, let's dig into the best printed prose stories of the year, most of which I read digitally.

BEST OF 2014 - Podcasts, Films, Music

Right, 2014 is one week and a few Christmas crackers away from ending, so it's time for bloggers to work out their Favourite [THING] Of [YEAR] lists. I am no exception, especially as I've hardly reviewed anything for ages and kinda miss it.

So, exactly as I did last year, I've broken my enjoyment down into a series of headings. In this first effort, we'll tackle the podcasts, movies and music. One of those segments will be much, much longer than the other two.

2014 - A Writrospective

Because it's a retrospective about my writing, you see? So it's a writrospective! Even if you don't care about me or my work, surely it was worth clicking on the blog post just for that pun? See diagram for more details.

Anyway. I have more or less reached the point where all my free time is booked for the remainder of the year. Might squeeze in an hour or two somewhere, but I doubt any more substantial writing work will happen before 2015 hits.

So I thought I'd take this chance, late on a Thursday night, to look back on what I did/achieved this year, in and around writing, and whether it met my lofty goals from twelve months ago. Don't worry, it won't be pure self-congratulation - I missed almost all of those goals, but not completely.

Hellblazer by Garth Ennis - Classic Constantine Contemplations

Inspired by the launch of that Constantine TV show, Comixology recently held a generous sale on Hellblazer, the original for-mature-readers John Constantine series. I took this opportunity to finally read in order the entire Garth Ennis-written run on that title, the work that broke Ennis into American comics and first teamed him with Steve Dillon, with whom he'd later create Preacher.

For the uninitiated - Hellblazer is a horror comic about John Constantine, trenchcoated modern-day wizard antihero, confronting supernatural/magical unpleasatness in a modern setting. He was created during Alan Moore's Swamp Thing stories, before spinning off into own series after fans enjoyed his manipulative schemes and wry British comments.

Hellblazer distinguished itself from other urban fantasy via particular emphasis on straight-up awful horrific moments and a tendency to reference real modern-day British issues rather than just the affairs of its own fictional universe, all of which made it a massive cult hit.

SERIAL KILLER - Hobson & Choi webserial conclusion contemplation

As you’ve hopefully struggled to miss if you follow my various web presences in the last few days, the last chapter of the Hobson & Choi webserial on JukePop debuted on the site, bringing the whole 1.75 years of its life to a close.

The story of Hobson and Choi themselves will continue in the self-published book editions, the second of which comes out in January. However, future cases will be written in longer chapters, entirely with the books in mind. I thought the loss of week-to-week serialisation from my life warranted a few words.

Hobson & Choi #100: "Date Night" - WEBSERIAL FINALE

Hobson & Choi #100: "Date Night" - WEBSERIAL FINALE
The extra-mega-long final chapter of the Hobson & Choi webserial is up now on JukePop! Read it, making sure to savour each word.

I should stress, this isn't the end of the H&C story, merely the JukePop-based incarnation of it, but it's been a major part of my weekly routine and writing output for nearly two years now and I will miss it.

The characters will keep going in the book editions - the webseries runs up to the end of book #3, which I'm aiming to get out there by the kinda-middle of 2015. Book #4 will then be all-new post-#100 material, which I've already started writing so hopefully shouldn't take an eternity to appear.

I gotta get some food and I do want the main point of interest right now to be the actual story, so I'll cut my thoughts off here. A longer blog about the serialisation experience will probably follow at some point in the next few days.

Bye-bye then, guys. But only for now.

Hobson & Choi #99: "Home Forever"

Hobson & Choi #99: "Home Forever"
The most penultimate chapter of the whole webserial is here! Can John Hobson find inner peace? What is the massive cliffhanger leading into the huge #100 finale?

Yes, this is the second-last of these posts I will ever do, and let me tell you, it's tense. I'm a little scared to click publish as it brings the end a little closer. Wow, I'm going to have to start thinking of actual blog posts to make this site look used.

Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with this chapter as a pleasant character interlude before the mighty storm of #100. And seriously, it's one hell of a thing. The current draft is around 7000 words long, and although that will be edited pre-publication, it'll still be in that ballpark. Most likely that'll be divided into two chapters for its appearance in the book edition.

So yeah, big moments are coming. Prepare yourself.

Hobson & Choi Blog Tour - Book Two Blurb + Launch Plans

It appears the launch of Rush Jobs, the second Hobson & Choi book, needs preparation. You can see an exclusive 100% real not-fake not-a-joke preview of the Case Two cover just to the right of these words. Enjoy!

But yeah, if you're someone who dislikes making Christmas plans in mid-November, best duck and cover, because we're about to talk late January 2015.

After The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf's relatively soft launch, we at H&C HQ are going bigger this time. Yes, it's a blog tour. This means that if you, the reader, run a blog about books (or something else you can easily relate back to H&C), you can host a post around the time of the Rush Jobs launch. This could be your own review of the book or a piece I've written or some combination of the two. We can work something out.

However, if you wish to be involved at all, you should register your interest by filling in the form here, which does include checkboxes to determine what kind of post you might want to feature.

Get ye applying. Your blogs won't tour themselves (because I will be doing that).

In order to get everything in order for this blog tour, we've also put the new book on Goodreads, so if you want to announce your formal intention to read it, you can do that too.

Oh, and to make the Goodreads page look less skeletal, I've released the blurb for Rush Jobs, which goes like this:

“Sometimes #crime feels like the Matrix. Or the #patriarchy or #porn. It's everywhere, even in people you trusted, and there's so MUCH of it.”
Angelina Choi returns for her second and final week of work experience at John Hobson’s detective agency, ready for anything after their first successful murder solve.
After all that online buzz, they’re in phenomenal demand. Can Hobson & Choi solve a kidnapping, play chicken with corporate crime, beat back gentrification, save a dog from drug dealers and head off violent backlash from their last case?
Or will grim revelations about Hobson’s past leave them floundering in the chaos?
Rush Jobs collects the second major storyline in the Hobson & Choi saga, #1 on Jukepop Serials and #2 in Dark Comedy on Amazon, adding brand new chapters and scenes to the case.
Also included: bonus story Infernal Accounting, exclusive to this book. An unfortunate accountant is terrified of his first day working for Rush Recruitment - but they’re only a temp agency, right? How bad can it be?

So there we go. The countdown has officially begun. Apply now to be a tour stop! And yes, the real new cover, from the creators of the first one, will be unveiled at some point. Exciting times.

Hobson & Choi #98: "Pre-Game"

Hobson & Choi #98: "Pre-Game"
The march to H&C #100 begins in earnest! Angelina Choi needs the whole of this new chapter to prepare herself - have you set aside enough time?

Wow, it really is ending soon. Luckily, I'm feeling quite calm about the whole thing today. Maybe I'll shed a tear in a couple of weeks, when it truly is over.

Or perhaps not - after all, I do have a load of book-related stuff, so it won't feel like H&C ever really went away from my end.

Also, I might be starting Book Four (or at least, doing some planning for it) this afternoon, so again, it's not really going anywhere. But first, I gotta get some lunch, I'm starving.

Hobson & Choi #97: "Exit Strategy"

Hobson & Choi #97: "Exit Strategy"
With only three serial chapters left after this one, time for Hobson & Choi to have a nice chat about where it's all going!

Yeah, the end is getting pretty nigh and I've coming close to changing my mind and continuing the serial a few times, but no. Let's stick to my guns. The end is coming at the end of the month. prepare your emotions.

I'll just have to distract myself with final approvals on the cover for the second book edition, which I'm in the middle of doing right now. Poor me.

Hobson & Choi #96: "Hail Me"

Hobson & Choi #96: "Hail Me"
As the Final End grows ever closer, a major hero/villain showdown in the 96th Hobson & Choi webserial chapter.

Well, it's getting harder and harder to pretend the end isn't nigh, both because we're now on chapter 96 and because, as soon as I've typed this blurb and had some lunch, I'm off to try and write the bulk of the 100th and last chapter. Bloody hell.

But I'll still try and save the tearful eulogies until I publish the finale. May attempt some kind of NaNoWriMo themed blog in the coming days, if I can think of anything to say that hasn't already been said extensively by either myself or others. We'll see.

If I don't manage it, then good luck for anyone trying NaNo. It's a big challenge, and it's definitely good to know what you want to get out of it, but can be very rewarding. Hooray.

Hobson & Choi #95: "Pulling The Strings"

Hobson & Choi #95: "Pulling The Strings"
Hobson & Choi pick up the pieces of this whole messy supermarket adventure! Only five serial chapters left after this one!

If this is the first you're hearing of the upcoming end of the H&C serial then, um, sorry to bring a belated downer upon you. The news emerged in this big Hobson & Choi update post last week.

Don't worry, the books will continue

Speaking of which, I've now finished reading all but the bonus story of the second book out-loud in a final pass, so that's going well. If you'd like even more relevant reading material from me, here a blog piece I posted yesterday about the practice of reading my writing to myself.

And with that, I am gone. Have a good Thursday!

Pros And Cons Of Reading Your Writing Out Loud (or Why I Was Talking To Myself, Honest)

Reading Aloud - The Dream
From eleven o'clock yesterday morning until seven in the evening, I sat at my desk alone, reading out the first sixty percent of my current nearly-finished work in progress. (The second book of the Hobson & Choi series, since you asked.)

For a couple of years now, the read-out-loud has been the final step of any work before I show it to other people. I vocalise the entire text to an empty house. If you don't do this, I'm not going to tell you it's essential (because different strokes for different folks and I would never tell you how to stroke yourself), but if you've never even tried it, here's how it works for me.

Doctor Who review on Dork Adore!

Review of last night's Doctor Who episode - "Flatline" - up now on Dork Adore! One-off, filling in, substitute reviewer type action.

For those who miss the days when I reviewed loads of TV, enjoy. Dork Adore needed a hand, I had the time, so why not? Obviously had to resist dumping all my opinions about the entire eighth series into that one review. Think I mostly managed it.

Hobson & Choi - Updates & End-dates

Hobson & Choi, my ongoing webseries about two mismatched detectives and their weird adventures in a horribly corrupt modern London, has experienced a strong few months. We've done well on Jukepop Serials, the first collected book edition has come out and also put in a strong showing. So since we had a big positive announcement today, it seemed a good time to do a general H&C post, talk about stuff, make some declarations.

Hopefully it's all ultimately going to be good news. But be warned: your emotions may vary. Let's start with the really obvious flag-waving upbeat section.

Hobson & Choi #94: "Enforced"

Hobson & Choi #94: "Enforced"
The ninety-fourth episode of H&C is now up, and they're digging right into the aftermath of recent events! Whatever next?

Well, you'll have to read H&C #95 for that. However, there will be some out-of-story H&C news in the near future, regarding both the webserial and the books. Hopefully some time in the next few days, schedule depending and so on.

But for now, I am editing hard on the second H&C book and considering whether to do NaNoWriMo. There may be some kind of "To NaNo Or Not To NaNo?" blog, although I am painfully aware that is a post I must have written before, possibly more than once. We'll see.

Hobson & Choi #93: "Yellow Tent"

Hobson & Choi #93: "Yellow Tent"
Time for a close-up chat with the baddies in "Yellow Tent". More like this to come, too...

The end of the story arc is nigh, and it's time for some final accounting. Big showdown with elderly woman time. Who will emerge okay? Is the answer "no-one"? Find out now!

And meanwhile, I'm deep into edits for the book edition of the second story arc, which is 100% my excuse for perhaps being slightly quieter than usual on Twitter. Think they're going okay, though, which is nice.

If you want to buy the first book, of course, you can totally do that. Many links up on the official Hobson & Choi homepage thing. It'll provide you with something to read while I edit. May try and do a blog post next week too.

Draft Four The Win? - The Novel Continues

Draft Four The Win? - The Novel Continues
I've just finished draft four of the fantasy novel I've been writing for around 18 months. This is obviously an achievement - not a top-rated one worthy of a party, but a clear rung up the ladder.

So what does finishing a fourth draft actually mean? How many more am I planning? Do I even know?


Hobson & Choi #92: "Cutting Edge"

Hobson & Choi #92: "Cutting Edge"
Hobson & Choi #92 - it exists and features a dramatic knife-fight! We're coming up to the end of a storyline!

So that's exciting. Less exciting, I admit, is this blog as I really haven't had time to do anything. On the plus side, I'm considering doing the one-video-blog-a-day Vlogtober challenge, so if I do that, I'll have some free content to embed here.

Yes, I'm already a day behind, but I can catch up with that.

More relevantly to the H&C saga - thanks so much to everyone who voted for us on Jukepop last month! We won the monthly chart, and we may have also won the biannual prize. We wait.

And as well as possible daily vlogs, I also gotta edit H&C Book 2 soon. Life probably not getting less busy.

Hobson & Choi #90: "Machete"

Hobson & Choi #90: "Machete"
Choi goes hunting for a big knife, as the landmark 100th episode begins to loom into our mutual eyeline!

Yeah, that's definitely happening. Although not quite as soon as you might think, because we're dropping back to one update a week as of now. Nothing drastically wrong, we've just burnt through the huge backlog I built up and I don't want to have to panic-write the end of the storyline. That'd be sad.

So there we go. I gotta work on the novel, but if anyone has any questions for this podcast Q&A I'm still planning on doing, feel free to comment below or stick them in my Ask box on Tumblr. Yes, you can ask anonymously for now. I'll turn it off if I feel it isn't being used responsibly.

Hobson & Choi #89: "Simon Says"

Hobson & Choi #89: "Simon Says"

What was Hobson up to while Choi was off on her deadly mission? At last, the truth can be revealed. Yes, it does involve Simon Ballart, how did you guess?

This takes us up to almost ninety episodes, which is loads. Gosh. There might be another, somewhat predictable, announcement about the future on Thursday, by the way. The future of the webserial, not Book Two.

Far more relevant for now, though: ask me questions about stuff! I am bringing the H&C Podcast back, for one episode only, and I thought I'd attempt an internet Q&A as part of that. However, this idea only works if I get some Qs to A, so fire away. You can ask in the comments below, tweet me at @NickMB or - if you really want question-specific software - you can use my Ask page on Tumblr.

For now, I have left anonymous Tumblr questioning turned on. This can and will be reversed at any time if people start being arseholes. Short of flat-out arseholing, though, I will take on any questions from all-comers. Writing/self-publishing/H&C queries may get priority, but nothing will be ignored. This is my vow.

So, there we go. Fire away with your interrogation.

Novels By Numbers - How I Killed My Precise Book Structure

My novel - the urban fantasy one I am currently editing after intensive beta reading - has a very strict structure. Three parts (because I love the three act structure), each containing seven chapters (because... I'm not actually sure). I laid it out like that when I started, and have stuck to it ever since.

In my last edit, a few conclusive plot developments got pushed off the end of the final chapter - Chapter Twenty-One, obviously - and I put them in an epilogue. Because this preserves my precious structure.

I've continued this game of sevens all the way to the fourth draft, and frankly I think I deserve a medal. Or at least a giant seven-shaped cake. You can probably find one in shops under Birthday Cakes For Seven Year Olds.

Still, all good things are determined to come to an end, and I don't think I can sustain this shape any longer. I've planned out my new final third and am adding some major new sections to the book, important new bits, cool stuff, all thanks to good suggestions from my excellent beta people. But I don't think I can do it within the seven/seven/seven framework - not without writing chapters that are also ten/twelve thousand word novellas, at least.

So, with a heavy heart and a grim smile, maybe ever a cinematic single tear, I am waving goodbye to the sevens. I will miss them, but anything that makes the book better is probably worth it. And I still have sevens in the first and second third.

And, ditching the faux-eulogy tone for a second, let's be honest: if an editor, agent, publisher or similar entity says I need to add extra chapters to the book anywhere, further messing up the sevens, I'll definitely  do it as long as I agree it'll improve the story. Hardly seems practical to get over-attached to these things. Not as if the chapter-counts are story relevant, it just worked out that way.

And it least it gave me something to work within while I got the book written. Let's not be ungrateful.

I'm glad I wrote this blog post, it was therapeutic.

Hobson & Choi #88 - "Victimhood"

Hobson & Choi #88 - "Victimhood"
Choi's deadly mission gets underway. Can she recover the special object? (I'm never sure how much detail to put here, as I don't want to spoil stuff for people waiting for the novels.)

Anyway, yes, hi! Hobson & Choi is getting dangerously close to #90 now - as in, it'll go up this time next week. We're really old now. Might have to stem that flow somehow.

In outside-the-serial H&C news, I did an interview on This Fleeting Dream about the first book, I linked it here the other week but am pretty pleased with it. And so I say again: give it a look, it is fun. And then buy my book, if you haven't already.

Otherwise, I'm off back to a cafe to work on my novel. Progress continues apace.

Interview with me about The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf!

My lovely book cover!
I have not written a blog post today, but it's okay, because Julianne Benford has interviewed me for her blog, so I can just link to that!

It's a fun interview, I talk a bit about my inspirations and process, throw in a few jokes. Give it a look and report back.

And yes, the interviewer is also my girlfriend so there is a nepotism element in there. But don't worry, it's definitely addressed in the post.

Should reading that inspire you to pick up a copy of the book, below is the array of buttons enabling you to do so. And if it reminds you you've read the book and still need to write a review on Amazon/Goodreads/your blog/somewhere else, that's cool too.

Oh, and I 100% finalised my design brief for Book Two last night, so that's looming in the distance, ready to bubble over at any moment. But for now, let's focus on The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf. Read interview, buy, enjoy.

Buy from Amazon UKBuy from Amazon USBuy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes & NobleBuy from NookBuy from Google Play
Buy from Apple iBooksBuy from SmashwordsBuy from Libiro

Buy from Amazon UKBuy from Amazon USBuy from Createspace

Hobson & Choi #87: "Drill"

Hobson & Choi #87: "Drill"
Choi gets thrown unwillingly into ACTION in the latest H&C webserial chapter!

And yeah, we're definitely heading into late numbers now. The nineties beckon! And not in a cheap nostalgia way.

Spent the weekend putting together a design brief for Book Two as well, so lots going on in the H&C arena. And to let you all know how far ahead I am, I finished a first draft of #96 yesterday.

Wow. Treble digits loom!

Hobson & Choi #86: "Who?"

Hobson & Choi #86: "Who?"
Who is behind the whole mess? Hobson and Choi do some serious mastermind-confronting in this latest chapter. Obviously, something is about to go wrong.

Yes, the chapter is out about an hour earlier than usual, due to it just being more convenient to get it done now. I won't be plugging it on social media until the usual 1-2PM type time, so those of you who happen to check the blog or RSS feed a bit early get a little treat. Well done, guys.

You can think of it as a reward for voting us to #1 on Jukepop if you like, or just a complete coincidence. Which it is.

Almost finished the bonus story for the second Hobson & Choi book, it's going to be another slightly grim noir tale, I think. Might attempt something cheerier for Book Three, I already have an idea in mind. Yes, it's scary how far in advance I plan this stuff.

Dealing With Beta Readers - An Early Report

It's been a few months since I last looked at my full-length fantasy novel about Faustian deals - I put it aside for a spell, both to let beta readers have a crack at it and to focus on getting the Hobson & Choi book launch in order.

But the first H&C book is all fired into the atmosphere, the Book Two work now with other people, and most of my beta readers reported, so time to start in that direction again. Yesterday afternoon, for the first time in a while, I opened up the novel Scrivener file, looked at various beta reader notes and thought about it.

So, how does it feel returning to a novel post-beta? Have I got any advice for other writers in similar situations? Let's find out!

Hobson & Choi #85: "Knifepoint"

Hobson & Choi #85: "Knifepoint"
Hobson & Choi have an edgy knifepoint chat with The Yellow Man, and stuff is revealed. All happening in #85.

But, much as I generally want people to care about my story - I will admit, the big news today is external as I was #1 on the Jukepop charts for August! Victory!

Thanks to all who responded to my social-media calls for votes, I'm pretty happy we finally made it there after nineteen months. Lots of other stuff happening in H&C-land too - this may call for a blog post, in fact. Might try and get that up in the next couple of days, but for now, just got time to notify you of the new chapter. Read it and think of victory.

Hobson & Choi #84: "Truth Merchants"

Hobson & Choi #84: "Truth Merchants"
The dark truth behind the underworld car park thingy starts to emerge in our landmark eighty-forth episode!

And yes, as attentive readers will note, I even managed to throw up an unrelated book-blog post in the last few days. Well done me.

More importantly, though, the end of the month is nigh, we're doing rather well in the charts, so if you have time to slip over to the Jukepop Hobson & Choi serial, catch up and vote for a few chapters, it'd be rather lovely. Cheers.

Oh, and in related work updates, I sent an edited draft of the second H&C book off to the editor last night, so that's coming soon too.

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) - Thoughts On A Book

Just finished reading The Cuckoo's Calling, the first crime effort by J.K. Rowling, best known for being written under the pen name of Robert Galbraith and concealed for a short period. Eventually, of course, the truth emerged, and although the fun ended, sales went through the roof.

But plenty already written about that, and sequel The Silkworm was released recently with the unsecret identity still in place. I read The Cuckoo's Calling as if it were a story (and in many ways, it is), how did it hold up? What thoughts did I have? (Some mild spoilers, though nothing explicit really.)

Hobson & Choi #83 - "Underground Shopping"

Hobson & Choi #83 - "Underground Shopping"
Hobson & Choi explore a whole new world in our untopical Bank Holiday Special!

Yeah, we'd definitely have updated today anyway, but you know. It's a public holiday in the UK, you might have some time to kill, why not read some H&C? Especially because we are within real reach of the #1 spot for August, so if you've got time to vote for some chapters, that'd be massively helpful to us. Ta.

And in wider blog admin - yes, I'm aware this is the third consecutive post which is just a link to a H&C chapter, I do feel kinda bad about that. I will try to return to my previous bare minimum of at least one proper blog a week soon. Fingers crossed.

But in the meantime, as I say, any H&C votes on Jukepop appreciated. Ta very much.

Hobson & Choi #82: "Gateway Products"

Hobson & Choi #82: "Gateway Products"
Next chapter already! Our heroes venture into a mysterious underworld and discover some weird shit. Which will get weirder.

Yeah, I was intending to get a blog post up yesterday so this blog isn't wall-to-wall H&C chapters, but didn't quite succeed. Maybe tomorrow, though - I do have an idea.

But regardless, hope you enjoy the new accelerated schedule. More to follow. Plus am furiously editing Book Two as well...

Hobson & Choi #81 - "Going Down"

Hobson & Choi #81 - "Going Down"
And now, for (I think) the first time ever on a Monday, it's new Hobson & Choi! Yes, we're twice weekly for the foreseeable future. Try to contain your excitement.

Sadly, I don't have time to wax lyrical about this right now, but at least I got the story up, eh? Don't forget to tell your friends and such.

Next chapter on Thursday!

Work After Work - A Work Update Working 2014 Over With Work

Authorbot plunges into the books
Due to the combined impact of my book coming out, my first ever trip to a convention and the heat and humidity fucking with my motivation, I have not done one of these ramble-about-my-process blog posts for a while.

I miss them, I have a few minutes spare, I've recently changed my writing routine a little and solidified my future plans, so let's talk about that. Why would you work after work? Is it because you like work, or at least need to work on your work? What is work? What is my work? How is your work?

Hobson & Choi #80: "Redemption"

Hobson & Choi #80: "Redemption"
The landmark 80th chapter of Hobson & Choi! Includes news on a minor format change! And also some shouting and chasing!

Actually, what the hell, as a reward for those who actually read this blog, I'll spoil the format change update: it's now twice weekly. Yes, we're going out twice a week for a bit, as this storyline moves into its big actiony part.

Hopefully this will be fun. It's been hard graft getting fair enough ahead, but I'm enjoying the story. And, you know, do vote for us on Jukepop, if you enjoy stuff.

Nick Vs Nine Worlds - Convention Conclusions

Nine Worlds - THE HOTEL VIEW
This weekend just gone, I was at the Nine Worlds convention in Heathrow. Regular and well-behaved blog readers will have read my pre-game post last week, in which I revealed that this is my first convention, despite having wallowed in nerdy interests from the age of about ten.

So, how did it go? Well, I didn't achieve my goal of taking interesting photographs, for sure. To my right is the view from our hotel window, which was one of only two pictures captured during the con. For the second photo, as well as opinion of the actual event, continue reading...

Hobson & Choi #79: "Try Again"

Hobson & Choi #79: "Try Again"
Detectives vs authority in Hobson & Choi #79! Yes, we're nearly at #80. Wow.

And there's news next week about the very format of the serial. Yes, after weeks of the same, we're making a slight change. Exciting.

Oh, there's also a H&C book out, I don't know if you've heard. If you're on this website, you probably have. Still, details here if the purchasing mood suddenly strikes you.

Nine Worlds tomorrow. Yikes.

Conventional Weaponry - Nine Worlds Prep Time

Nine Worlds 2014
This weekend, for the first time in my about-twenty-five years of geeky interests, I am off to a convention. I could make excuses for this, but no-one wants to read those. The main upshot is: I am going to Nine Worlds, a convention that takes place at Heathrow Airport but is not about air travel.

Although, to be honest, there are so many sub-genres of geekery represented at Nine Worlds, I wouldn't be surprised to discover there are multiple panel discussions about 747s, but my eyes just skipped over them.

Point being: first con! Big deal, potentially. How am I feeling/preparing/occupying myself?

GUEST POST - Fight Or Flight Prologue by Chele Cooke

Today, possibly a first for this blog, we have a guest: Chele Cooke, excellent independent sci-fi author.

I met Chele at the Big Green Bookshop writing group (also pretty cool), she's been a great source of advice during this whole self-publishing process. Not to mention, she hosted a guest-shot from me around the launch of The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf - so really, this is the least I could do.

Coming up below is an extract from the prologue to Fight Or Flight, the second book in Chele's Out Of Orbit sci-fi series. I've read them both, they're great fun, and the first one - Dead And Buryd - is currently free.

The Out Of Orbit covers are also designed by Design For Writers, the same crew who did mine, so naturally they're excellent.

Anyway, let's get the prologue going.

The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf - NOW IN PRINT

So, after a few weeks of slow roll-out, the final step of publication is here: my first book The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf is now in print! Next time, I may try and do it all at once for maximum impact, but this time, here it is a week later.

Basically: it's a darkly comic London crime novel, the first in the Hobson & Choi series. More details about the book, along with enthusiastic review quotes and such, on our very own official Hobson & Choi homepage.

But let's cut to business in this post. Here are the buttons to buy the print book:

Buy from Amazon UKBuy from Amazon USBuy from Createspace

And, if you want it in digital, here are even more buttons...

Buy from Amazon UKBuy from Amazon USBuy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes & NobleBuy from NookBuy from Google Play
Buy from Apple iBooksBuy from SmashwordsBuy from Libiro

And if you buy it in any format, consider leaving a review somewhere, they're all much appreciated.