Comrades’ update, summer 2015

Posted by Halsted | Posted in News, Other events | Posted on 20-08-2015


We may have been silent, but we certainly have not been idle over the past year …

  • Have you seen Hana Feels? Something is bothering Hana. Can you work out what it is? This is an interactive web fiction about mental health written by Gavin Inglis.
  • “Professor Challenger: New Worlds, Lost Places”, which features Andrew J. Wilson‘s novelette “Out of the Depths” (as performed at Bloc’s Lost World Read show “Doyle M for Murder”), was released as an e-book in June. Hard copies are now available as well.
  • Later this month, Flame Tree Publishing will release three related anthologies, and Andrew J. Wilson‘s tale “Deep-sixed Without a Depth Gauge” will appear in Chilling Horror Short Stories. He’s in good company – the book features Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, H. P. Lovecraft and many, many others. The publisher has now released a full list of the authors – new and classic – included in each anthology, which can be viewed on their blog.
  • Halsted M. Bernard will be performing with Illicit Ink in “Happily Never After” at Jura Unbound in the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The evening of rollicking fairytale retellings takes place on Tuesday, 25 August at 21:00 in the Spiegeltent in Charlotte Square Gardens. More details are on Facebook.
  • New comrade Ali Maloney is currently seeking touring possibilities for HYDRONOMICON after the Edinburgh Fringe and working hard in his laboratory on some new, shorter “spoken weird / stand-up horror” pieces. He is also working on a number of audio drama opportunities.
  • You have one last weekend to catch Ali Maloney and Bram E. Gieben in SHIFT/ A Best of Spoken Word at Summerhall, 21:30, Saturday (Ali’s “Hydronomicon”) and Sunday (Bram’s “Ex Nihilo”).

There’s more to come, so stay in the loop via TwitterFacebookGoogle+, or our mailing list.

Comrades’ update, summer 2014

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


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.

Comrades’ update

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


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

  • 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 (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!

Everything you wanted to know about acf, but never got around to asking…

Posted by acf | Posted in News | Posted on 11-09-2011

0 has a new interview with our very own Andrew C Ferguson up…

Mr Big Society local news

Posted by Helen | Posted in News | Posted on 27-05-2011


It’s the last day of the Guardian Edinburgh blog. We’ll miss you, Guardian Edinburgh!

On this final day, Comrade Mo has contributed a piece about Bloc’s history and happenings in the run-up to next week’s Mr Big Society show: Edinburgh Writers’ Bloc confronts Mr Big Society.

(If you buy your tickets online now for “one of Edinburgh’s wittiest nights out” you’ll get a free Mr Big Society badge on the night! Or, there’ll be plenty of tickets on the door.)

And, in other Edinburgh news, it seems that the Big Society is headquartered on Leith Walk:

Big Society | Originally uploaded by HellyBelly

Badged up

Posted by Helen | Posted in News | Posted on 17-05-2011


Photo of 4 designs of badges featuring Writers' Bloc

The People’s Commissariat has authorised production of a limited number of Writers’ Bloc badges.

If you’d like to demonstrate your allegiance to the Bloc, badges will be on sale at all our events. Or, even better, get a Mr Big Society badge free by buying your ticket online for the Mr Big Society show.

Welcome, comrades!

Posted by mo | Posted in News | Posted on 02-05-2011


In an unprecendented multiple adoption process, the Writers’ Bloc spoken word collective has expanded again.

Following on from their successful guest slots at Bloc’s Wee Red Gig last year, we would like to welcome our new comrades Bram E Gieben, Helen Jackson, Mark Harding and Stuart Wallace, who will be formally presented to you at ‘Mr Big Society’, The Wee Red Bar on Wednesday, June 1st. 
Bram E Gieben is a writer, poet, musician, critic and emusic label curator. He is one of the founders of The Skinny, a member of Chemical Poets, and recently launched the new spoken-word night ‘Blind Poetics’ at, strangely enough, The Blind Poet.

Helen Jackson is a recovering architect, animator and short story writer. She’s already upgraded the Bloc website so we are even more technologically amazing than before.

Mark Harding of Mutation Press, is a journalist, reviewer and short story writer. And he dances. Last year Mark published ‘Music for Another World’ an athology of strange fiction on the theme of music.

Last but definitely not least, Stuart Wallace is a journalist, fiction writer, scriptwriter and experienced Edinburgh Fringe performer. In 2010 he was a guest author in Story Shop at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
We think you’re going to enjoy their stories…

Call for Submissions – Rocket Science

Posted by mark | Posted in News | Posted on 22-04-2011


Illustration of a rocketComrade Mark’s Mutation Press has a new project! ROCKET SCIENCE is an anthology of hard SF, edited by Ian Sales. There’s an open call for short stories and essays. You’ll find detailed guidelines on the Mutation Press website. (Contributions that don’t follow the guidelines don’t stand a chance.)

Good luck with your submissions!

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

Posted by mo | Posted in News | Posted on 14-04-2011


And congratulations to comrade Hannu, whose debut novel ‘The Quantum Thief’, published in the UK by Gollancz last year, will be released in the US by Tor in 2011 – watch this space!

This is what Charlie had to say about the book:

If you dropped Greg Egan’s hard physics chops into a rebooted Finnish version of Al Reynolds with the writing talent of a Ted Chiang you’d begin to get a rough approximation of the scale of his talent. It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I read it. Hard to admit, but I think he’s better at this stuff than I am. And The Quantum Thief is the best first SF novel I’ve read in many years — Charles Stross

Now that is praise!

Sea of Ghosts by Alan Campbell

Posted by mo | Posted in News | Posted on 14-04-2011


Congratulations to Bloc comrade Alan Campbell on the publication of his fifth book, ‘Sea of Ghosts’, on sale now.

This is what Alan has to say about his latest creation:

…It’s the start of a new series, which is very (and I do mean *very*) loosely based on the Deepgate stuff. Blink and you’ll miss the connection. All this means is that you don’t need to have read the Deepgate series first (but you should buy it anyway).

With this series I wanted to do something a bit different. A few people have pointed out that Deepgate was a pretty dark place. Not the sort of town you’d want to be stuck in without specialist training. With The Gravedigger Chronicles, I wanted to lighten things up. First and foremost, I wanted it to be an adventure story. I also wanted to focus on fewer viewpoint characters. So this time round there are, I think, only four.

Furthermore, I’ve opted to include magic in a more overt way. But I have a problem with this. Magic in fantasy is colourful, powerful, awe-inspiring, yes, and yet it I always find it just a little frustrating. There’s always a voice in the back my mind saying “How does this actually work? Everyone’s learning it, but why isn’t anyone actually trying to figure out the nuts and bolts of it?” The magic in Deepgate stemmed from Hell, which was, more often than not, simply the manifestation of subconscious fears and desires. At least I think that’s what it was, but I haven’t read those books in a while, so please do feel free to buy them, read them, and correct me.

We have magic in the real world, but we call it science. Electricity, magnetism, quantum physics – beautiful, jaw-droppingly awe-inspiring stuff. And yet we spend billions and devote lifetimes to trying to unravel the secrets of the cosmos around us. So why do characters in Fantasy so often accept magic without question? Why does Frodo never ask, “Cool ring, but how exactly does it make you invisible?” To me that’s akin to never wondering why the big yellow ball goes away at night.

In SEA OF GHOSTS, the treasure hunter and metaphysicist Ethan Maskelyne (named after the Reverend Dr Neville Maskelyne) takes on this burden. It’s a small part of the book, and possibly inconsequential to the main story. The point is, it doesn’t really matter if he does manage to figure out how his particular cosmos works, the important thing – to me at least – is that he’s trying.