East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Douglas Barbour Award

I’ve been pushing uphill for weeks now, entangled in a number of projects.
But last night I got a big surprise – the anthology Water: Selkies, Sirens & Sea Monsters, edited by Rhonda Parrish, was awarded the Douglas Barbour Award for the Speculative Fiction Book of the Year by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA).

The book includes a short story of mine – The Man that Speared Octopodes.
A small aquatic horror number.
I am proud to have contributed in a minimal part to the success of this anthology.


Salvaging water-damaged books

Two weeks after spending a weekend in fear of the river coming here and soaking all my books, I received a second-hand volume I had ordered a while back, and it turned out to be water-damaged – and not “very fine” as the vendor claimed. The pages are warped and some of them are sticking together.
Oh, drat.

The book is only a reading copy, sure, so the warped pages are not a real problem. But this being a photo book, the pages sticking together are a real problems.

So I started looking around, and found out that the best way for un-sticking the pages is to steam them, and then use a very thin and rigid object – say a sheet of plastic file cover or such – and push it gently between the pages.
Which is what I will try and do, hoping not to cause more damage.

As for the book, I’m quite eager to be able to read it properly – it is called Ghosts, by Sian Evans, and it was published by the British National Trust. It is a collection of haunted places, with beautiful black and white photographs, and reports from national Trust employees about their experiences in the places themselves.
Perfect Christmas-time reading.