Sunday, 27 March 2011

Genre For Japan

Would you like the opportunity to bid on some fantastic sci-fi, horror and fantasy items in aid of a great cause?  Then read on...

A group of fabulous people have got together to create Genre For Japan: an online charity auction where all proceeds are donated to the Red Cross Tsunami Appeal to help the relief effort following Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The lots include rare books, signed books, comic art, one of a kind items, story critiques, and you can even bid to have your name used as a character in a writer's next novel.  There are items from authors such as Will Hill, Joe Abercrombie, Neil Gaiman, Peter V. Brett, and many more.

The website is well worth a browse and there is bound to be something you are interested in.

For Wintercraft readers, I've donated signed copies of Wintercraft and Wintercraft: Blackwatch - lot 119.  The starting price for the pair is just £5.00, so if you'd like your own signed copies (both paperback first editions) then please, get bidding!

The auctions begin on Monday 28th March and bidding closes on Sunday night.
Full details of how to bid can be found here.

Good luck if you do decide to take part, and let's hope lots of money is raised for this excellent cause.

The auction is now over!
The official total raised by all the lots comes to...  £11, 139.36!

Huge thanks to everyone who placed a bid!

Genre For Japan is organised by:
Amanda Rutter: reviewer and webmistress at Floor to Ceiling Books
Jenni Hill: editor for science fiction, fantasy and horror publishers Solaris Books
Louise Morgan: author and interviewer for the British Fantasy Society
Ro Smith: writer and reviewer; blogger at In Search of the Happiness Max
Alasdair Stuart is the editor of Hub magazine.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Counting Down...

If the countdown clock on my sidebar could have a musical accompaniment, it would start to sound a little more intense today, complete with pounding drums and suspenseful violins.

There are only four weeks left until the gates of Fume open again and Wintercraft: Blackwatch strides out to take its place upon bookshop shelves in the UK.

Thank you to everyone who has emailed me over the past few weeks. It's wonderful to hear so many of you are looking forward to Blackwatch! If I haven't replied to you yet, I will catch up very soon.

In the meantime, I'll keep hearing that countdown music every time I look at the clock.

If the rest of this year is anything to go by, April 14th will be here sooner than I think.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Bad News For Welsh Badgers...

Despite long-running oppostition from The Badger Trust, Save Me, animal charities and many other people who respect wildlife across the UK, the killing of badgers has now been given the go-ahead in Wales.

To say this news disappoints me would be an understatement.  A few months ago it appeared that the cull was not going to happen - now that seems to have been only a temporary reprieve.

I am appalled that badgers are being persecuted in this way.  They are are a protected species, yet it appears to have only required the say-so of one minister to sentence thousands of animals to death on very dubious grounds, which may actually make the problem it is meant to solve (the spread of bovine TB) worse.

The coalition government recently delayed their decision on whether or not to have an English badger cull, but following this news from Wales, I'm worried that traps and guns may also be out in force in England soon enough.

If you'd like to learn more, here are some useful links.
(These are all family-friendly links. No gruesomeness or graphic imagery.)

Pembrokeshire Against The Cull (Including addresses to write to)
RSPCA - Badgers & The Law
The Badger Trust
Stop The Cull
BBC video neatly summarising both sides of the argument.