Comrades’ update, summer 2014

Posted by Halsted | Posted in News, Other events | Posted on 25-07-2014

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Since our cultures collided at the Science Festival earlier this year, we have been quietly busy on various projects …

  • Did you catch Morag Edward’s interactive audio installation “Filter Feeders” in the Meadows earlier this summer? There are still some pieces waiting for you to discover them in the wild, or you can listen in via the website.
  • Also earlier this summer, Gavin Inglis’ interactive horror novel “Neighbourhood Necromancer” was released by Choice of Games. Ever wonder what kind of dark mastermind you’d become if given the chance? Command your undead minions and find out. Available for iOS, Android, Kindle, and Chrome.
  • Bram E. Gieben has been commissioned to write a story for The Near Now, published by Jurassic London, and coming in early 2015.
  • Halsted M. Bernard’s story “Paper Turtles” appears in the latest and last-ever issue of Innsmouth Magazine. She will also be reading her story “Leftovers” for Story Shop 2014 at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Wednesday, 13th August at 16:00 in the Guardian Spiegeltent in Charlotte Square. Event details on Facebook and Google+.
  • After an enforced lay-off Tribute to Venus Carmichael, the only known tribute band to the eponymous singer-songwriter, come back with a bang. Two Free Fringe shows and their very first EP, showcasing their own take on 5 of Venus’s classic songs. One of the tracks from the EP is downloadable from Soundcloud only until the 9th of August. Join comrade Andrew C. Ferguson (joined by comrade Bernard on the Sunday) for Venus Returns, Cortado Cafe, 244 Canongate, EH8 8AB; Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August at 13:35 (1 hour). Event details on Facebook.
  • Andrew J. Wilson‘s story “Happy Hunting Ground” which was originally performed at “How the West Went Weird” appears in the new(ish) issue of Weird Tales (No. 362, the Undead Issue).
  • Comrades Wilson and Wallace are busy preparing for a theatrical staging in London this August at the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention. The Terminal Zone, by Andrew J. Wilson, was originally premièred in 1993 and has subsequently been performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It is being revived in a brand new, one-off production directed by the author and produced by Stuart Wallace especially for Loncon 3 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the events depicted in the play. Admission is free with a Worldcon membership which are still available online. Meanwhile to keep up with the production news and a range of archive – by which we mean typewriter-produced – material from previous productions check out The Terminal Zone on Facebook.

That’s all for now, but stay tuned via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or our mailing list.

Writers’ Bloc at Eastercon 2014

Posted by Halsted | Posted in Other events | Posted on 16-04-2014

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Some of our comrades will be appearing at the 65th Eastercon, Satellite 4, this weekend.

On Friday night, Hannu Rajaniemi will be a victim guest of Horrorshow, a late night talk show hosted by Andrew J. Wilson. (22:00 – 23:30 in Castle 1)

On Sunday evening, we’ll embark for Planet Scotland, live performances of the best new Scottish SF and fantasy featuring established and up-and-coming talent from the Word Dogs and Writers’ Bloc spoken-word performance groups including Hal Duncan, Phil Raines, and Bloc comrades Mark Harding, Stuart Wallace, and Halsted M. Bernard. The event will be hosted by Andrew J. Wilson and Neil Williamson. (20:00 – 22:00 in Castle 1)

The Culture Collider

Posted by mark | Posted in Bloc events | Posted on 30-03-2014

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helmetmona (Small)

The Writers’ Bloc laboratory of writers brings an evening’s tales of science and surprises to detonate the cultural divide.

Returning to the Edinburgh Science Festival with The Culture Collider, an exploration of weird science and stranger arts.

Experiment dangerously with:

* An investment queen of the City obsessed with appearances. Will she live happily ever after?
* A musician who refuses recordings — a long playing career?
* Environmental self sufficiency — is it literally a dead end?

From literary travelers of strange worlds in deep space, to ghostly doings that defy rational explanation, and high-tech culinary labs where eating becomes a surprisingly emotional experience.

Discover the results of dodgy methodologies and dubious motives. Join Writers’ Bloc as they study two cultures in one Petri dish. Writers appearing at The Culture Collider will include:

Andrew C. Ferguson, Gavin Inglis, Halsted M. Bernard, Stuart Wallace, Hannu Rajaniemi, Stefan Pearson and Bram E. Gieben.

Plus your host for this evening, Andrew J. Wilson.

THE CULTURE COLLIDER will be switched on at the Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall on Sunday 13 April from 8.00pm.

Tickets here

We have arranged a special price deal for our subscriber list so make sure you read the bloc email before buying!

Sterne und Autobahnen

Posted by gav | Posted in Bloc events | Posted on 03-08-2013

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Writers’ Bloc returns to the Edinburgh International Book Festival for a special event with John Lemke and Poppy Ackroyd on Wednesday 14th August, 9pm in Charlotte Square. You may remember the music-and-words show Electric Lit Orchestra. By now it seems that everybody and their медведь has added an accompaniment to their spoken word — Bloc has given this a twist and written a story to accompany the music. Expect wheeling and dealing through rain-lashed Europe; sky lanterns over Hong Kong; and a final destination farther than anybody was expecting.

John Lemke is a Glasgow-based sound designer and composer, originally from Berlin. He has worked with the BBC, Channel 4, and on the silver screen. His debut album People Do is a kinetic, rich collection of soundscapes — “electronic music that doesn’t sound electronic” according to Igloo magazine. John is a familiar face to Writers’ Bloc and we are delighted to be working with him for Unbound.

Poppy Ackroyd is a performer and composer from London. Her work deals almost exclusively with the sounds of the piano and the violin — to their conventional sounds she adds textures, riffs and beats made from the frames, strings and dampers of the piano. Her new album Escapement brings this together in a heady and engaging mix. We look forward to threading a story through Poppy’s intricate compositions.

Your guides along the way will be Halsted M. Bernard, Morag Edward, Andrew C. Ferguson, Bram E. Gieben, Gavin Inglis and Stuart Wallace.

The show starts at 9pm, Wednesday 14th August in the Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square. And — difficult as it is to believe — it’s free entry. See you there.

Size IS Everything: National Flash Fiction Day Edinburgh

Posted by Halsted | Posted in Other events | Posted on 15-06-2013

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National Flash Fiction Day 2013 – Submissions Open

Posted by Halsted | Posted in Other events | Posted on 15-05-2013

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Blind PoeticsIllicit InkInky Fingers and Writers’ Bloc have come together to celebrate the UK’s second National Flash Fiction Day. The Scottish event will take place on Saturday 22nd June 2013 in Edinburgh. You could be part of the lineup.

What is flash fiction?

Flash fiction is simply a very short story; prose fiction. The best examples have all of the elements of a traditional short story, but with a tight focus and a precision of expression that gets their point across in a compact but powerful way. Here’re some examples:

There is no set formula for a great piece of flash fiction. The most important thing is a strong idea, delivered in a vivid piece of writing.

How can I take part?

This event will follow the same format as last year’s Underword event, featuring a range of stories read from the stage by their authors. Most will be under 500 words but we will have a very few slots for stories under 1000 words. Maybe you have something already; hopefully you have time to write something new. We’re looking for stories with conflict, emotion, impact … stories the audience will remember long after the event. But don’t be intimidated. Send your best stuff and be part of the day.

You can send up to three stories. Submissions open on Wednesday 1st May and the deadline is midnight on Saturday 8th June, although we’ll start confirming a few places before that, so the earlier the better. Please send your stories as attachments to nffd.submissions@gmail.com, along with a brief bio and a bit about your performance experience (it’s ok if you don’t have any, but it’s helpful for us to know). RTF files are our favourite, but we’ll also accept Microsoft Word files, PDFs and good old plain text.

Our time slot in the venue is sadly limited so we can only accept a certain number of stories. We can’t take everything we would like. But we definitely want to read yours.

SÉANCE FICTION: An evening of literary necromancy

Posted by mark | Posted in Bloc events | Posted on 18-09-2012

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WARNING: Not suitable for those of a nervous disposition. A daring, dangerous and diabolical show for Halloween.

SÉANCE FICTION: An evening of literary necromancy. 7-10pm, Wednesday, 31th Oct 2012,

The Bongo Club, Edinburgh.

Seance Fiction

In the months running up to All Hallow’s Eve, the members of  Writers Bloc have been contacting the spirits of the dead – invoking the shades of literary giants, and using spirit guides to produce terrifying tales of The Other Side.

On Halloween, Writers’ Bloc invites you to a thrilling live séance at The Bongo Club. Using black magic and cutting-edge technology, Bloc will command the dead to speak, or at least tip some literary tables over. You will see them rise from the grave, and catch a thrilling glimpse of the ghosts, demons and bogles who reside beyond this mortal coil.

Come and witness the birth of a new literary movement: SÉANCE FICTION.

Comrades’ update

Posted by Helen | Posted in News, Other events | Posted on 02-05-2012

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So far in 2012, Writers’ Bloc has performed in Glasgow (for Satellite 3), Edinburgh (the Edinburgh International Science Festival) and Heathrow (Eastercon). As if that’s not enough, here are some of the things individual comrades have been getting up to:

  • Andrew C. Ferguson has been in the recording studio with his band Tribute to Venus Carmichael. Download tracks at Tribute to Venus Carmichael’s bandcamp site or get the latest news on Andrew’s brand new blog.

  • Bram E. Gieben’s been editing: Weaponizer Magazine #1 goes on sale tomorrow in the UK and Europe, with a US edition on its way. It includes 50 pages of stories by Andrew J. Wilson and Andrew C. Ferguson among others, all beautifully illustrated, plus comics, and an exclusive interview with China Mieville. Copies are available through the site www.weaponizer.co.uk.

  • Gavin Inglis is running Underword for National Flash Fiction Day on Wednesday 16th May, 7:30-10pm, at the Bongo Club. Details and information on how to submit a flash piece at www.underword.co.uk (submission deadline 7th May).

  • Helen Jackson is interviewing Edinburgh author Roy Gill about his novel The Daemon Parallel at Pulp Fiction on Wednesday 23rd May (doors 6:30pm, reading and interview at 7pm). It’s free and you can get tickets online at The Daemon Parallel Unleashed on Eventbrite.

Plus, Charlie Stross’s latest novel Rule 34 has been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke award. The ceremony’s today. Good luck Charlie!

Writers’ Bloc at Eastercon

Posted by Helen | Posted in Other events | Posted on 03-04-2012

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Writers’ Bloc will be out in force at this year’s British National Science Fiction Convention, Olympus 2012, which is being held at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow, this weekend (06-09 April).

Comrade Wilson will be reviving his surreal chat show “The Last Man in Space” on Friday night: “Direct from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, join notorious fan-turned-filthy-stinking-pro Andrew J. Wilson, his handler Stuart Wallace and a rogues’ gallery of unusual suspects for the chat show from hell. ‘The Larry Sanders Show meets The Twilight Zone, as directed by David Lynch.’ (May contain nuts.)” Confirmed guests include writer Michael Cobley, scholar Dr Antony G. Keen and impresario Ian Sorenson. The show will also feature the live première of the lost classic Sinister Butler of the Daleks. He may also read his poem about Ming the Merciless… “The Last Man in Space” will be held in Room 41 (Winchester) from 21:30 to 23:00.

Find “The Last Man in Space” on Facebook.

Saturday night will see “Writers’ Bloc presents FANtasia”, again in Room 41 (Winchester), from 20:00 to 21:00: “What happens when SF fans find themselves in skiffy stories? Members of Edinburgh’s leading spoken-word performance collective dish the dirt in their own inimitable style. ‘Particularly neat’ (Locus Online). Featuring Mark Harding, Hannu Rajaniemi, Charles Stross, Stuart Wallace and Andrew J. Wilson. This will be a high-octane show featuring some classic stories, some of which will have been tweaked to fit the venue…

Find “Writers’ Bloc presents FANtasia” on Facebook.

Finally, on Sunday comrade Mark Harding’s Mutation Press launches the anthology Rocket Science. The launch is in Room 12 (Tetworth) at 12:00 and the anthology includes a story by comrade Helen Jackson. In the same room at 15:00 there is a panel, “The Science of Rocket Science”, featuring Iain Cairns, David L Clements, Martin McGrath, Deborah Walker, and moderated by editor Ian Sales.

Read the Rocket Science blog.

Wordsmiths at Satellite 3

Posted by Helen | Posted in Other events, Reviews | Posted on 20-03-2012

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Several Writers’ Bloc comrades took part in Wordsmiths – readings by local writers at Satellite 3 last month. The event was co-hosted by Neil Williamson and our very own Andrew J. Wilson and also featured Bram Gieben, Mark Harding and Stuart Wallace plus Glasgow writers Tracy Berg, Elaine Gallagher and Philip Raines.

There’s a great review over at writer Colum Paget’s website The Singularity Sucks. Here’s a taster:

How is it then, that these Glasgow and Edinburgh writers aren’t just hugely world famous? This was the most throughly entertaining thing I attended at the con. All the stories genuinely enjoyable, and each included that vital element that’s so missing from stuff that I read in ‘Year’s Best’: They were fun. FUN. Remember that? Most of the writers proved to be born performers too, putting on accents and obviously enjoying themselves.

Visit The Singularity Sucks to read the full review.