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Merry Ememess

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Merry Ememess

Some of you may be aware that toward the end of this month — in some parts of the world — a popular festival is celebrated to mark the approximate birthday of a man whose life and teachings have great resonance within a well-known (if not universally-respected) spiritual paradigm. It is not a body of thought to which I personally adhere, but its influence on world history and culture is nonetheless hard to deny. 

Plus, people give each other stuff, which is awesome. 

And also my point. I’m going to ask you to remember for a moment a memorable Christmas gift you received: a thing you’d always secretly wanted, but never thought could be yours — or maybe a small but wonderful surprise that brought a beatific smile to your face — perhaps lost now, but warm in recollection. Got it? Good.

Now put all that out of your mind and imagine giving somebody one of my eBooks instead. 

Why on earth would you do that?

  1. Someone might actually like to receive the book/s. 
  2. Someone might hate them, and so this would be a weirdly passive aggressive way of getting at them during the holiday season, which is always fun and totally in the spirit of things.
  3. We live an increasingly virtual world. So why not give a virtual Christmas stocking? Not only will it be much easier to shove things into at the last minute, all your friends will be dismayed at how you’ve out-zeitgeisted them, and if Christmas isn’t about dismaying your friends then I don’t know what is.
  4. One of the earliest settlers in the Big Sur region was an illiterate prospector called Al Clark. Wild-eyed and shaggy of beard, he spent decades exploring the wilderness around Pico Blanco mountain, cited by local tribes as the birthplace of all creation. In addition to a now-lost and probably legendary silver mine, Clark claimed to have found a deep, hidden cave whose walls were covered in pictograms of long-extinct mammals — a find which predated the discovery of the Lascaux caves in France by some years. Before his death he allegedly used dynamite to block this cave up again, to save it from the depredations of mankind. Curiously, it was later discovered that Clark was far from illiterate, holding a degree from Columbia University, and also that in actuality he was (some claim) the scion of a prominent pretzel-manufacturing dynasty in Vermont. This cave has long been believed to be merely the fabrication of a bearded loon, but recently an expedition from UC Santa Cruz found it, and were amazed to discover not just pictures of animals on its walls but something that was clearly a prehistoric representation of an eBook, with the name “Michael Marshall Smith” on the cover. Next to it was a picture of some people not-buying it, and then an image that can only portray Earth cracking in two and the end of civilisation as we know it. As always one must be cautious about applying the interpretive preconceptions of modern man to the works of antiquity, but on the other hand, why take the risk?

Almost all of those are slightly true, and anyway that’s my best shot. Just go take a look at the damned site, will you? This kind of self-pimping makes my soul shrivel, and I can't afford that to happen. My soul is looking pretty wraith-like and dusty as it is. There's a cowled figure who hangs out on the crossroads downtown who keeps saying he could make use of it, and to honest, I'm tempted to do a deal where he could at least lease it. It’s not like I’m using it anyway. And he pays in Starbucks gift cards.

What's more, I’m marking the season by giving away another short story on the site. This time it’s UNBELIEF, which has a relevance to the time of year — and the cover features the poster for the truly excellent short movie version of it directed by Fabien Martorell. Please note that this tale is not suitable for children, those of a nervous disposition, or anyone who thinks Donald Trump would make a good president — because it contains polysyllabic words, and no pictures. 

No purchase necessary. T&C probably apply but I think I’ve said enough.

Go visit the ****ing site

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The biit.space — now with added music. Sort of.

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The biit.space — now with added music. Sort of.

So, I thought: why not see if music can spark too? 

While procrastinating moodily through some old folders on my hard disk, I found a few musical sketches I did a decade or so ago, and so to get this ball rolling — and set a reassuringly low bar — I’ve put them up on the biit.space in case they spark anyone to write something… 

Yes, I was listening to a lot of John Carpenter soundtracks at the time. And am barely competent. Don’t judge me. Biit is precisely about the not-judging. I know real composers won’t be eating their hearts out, but that’s a good thing. Because that would be gross. 

I don't think they'll actually break your ears but I won't promise more than that. This is basically a attempt to shame some real musicians of my acquaintance into putting a few scraps of real music up. You know who you are. Do it. Do it now. 

If you’ve forgotten what the biit.space is for — or, god help you, don’t even know — then read this. NOW. And pass it on...

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"The Seventeenth Kind" movie — OUT NOW

Attention, people of Earth...

Quite a long time ago I wrote a story called THE SEVENTEENTH KIND. It is easily the silliest thing I've ever wrought. Despite this — and a long series of obstructive manoeuvres on my part, including disguising myself as a mango and hiding in the Safeway produce section for several months, and then insisting that all contract negotiations were conducted in mime — Loose Cannon Films insisted on making a half-hour movie of it. 

And today, I'm sorry to announce, it has been released

And do you know what? I'm glad. They took all the silliness and ran with it. Sprinted with it, some might say. Not only that, but it stars Tony Curran, Miriam Gargoyles, Silvester McCoy, Ralph Brown and Brian Blessed, for crying out loud — not to mention Lucy Pinder. And it's bundled with extras that include a tie-in eBook of the original short story.

It's available to buy or rent here. Right now. 

So you should do that. 

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Ememess 2.0

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Ememess 2.0

No, it’s not me that’s been improved, I’m afraid. Still the same. Nothing’s changed. The on-boarding experience remains prone to diffidence, the API is inexplicable to almost everyone, and the overall product is glitchy in the extreme. 

This is by way of announcing, however, that ememess.com has been significantly groovified. Yes, that’s a word. Or it is now. In addition to looking slightly less like it was designed by an intern in 2008, it now offers the opportunity to purchase key volumes directly from the site — and in all major eBook formats. I know, I know. Truly this is all the best of all possible worlds after all. 

As a launch special, we are offering the two eCollections — MORE TOMORROW and EVERYTHING YOU NEED — as a bundle for the gasp-inducingly low price of $8.99. That’s all the weird fiction you can uncomfortably handle, for less than the price of… well, for less than something that’s exactly $9.

When I say “we”, I mean “me”. I set this up all by myself, as a chance to give my inner dork a run in the pasture. Aspects of it were gnarly. So if you get a bunch of weird emails implying you've just shipped 10,000 Kalashnikovs to Bakersfield, or the Feds swoop and accuse you of money-laundering for the Marin Symphony Orchestra, we never spoke, and I don't know you, okay? 

Otherwise, if something goes wrong with your order or your book’s wonky or your cat starts staring into space for no reason, feel free to let me know and I’ll fret about it. 

Though to be honest, I’m surprised and a little hurt you’re here still reading this.

GO TO THE SITE, FOR GOD’S SAKE. 

 

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Stay Loud #intruders

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Stay Loud #intruders

Sadly, we are finally able to announce that BBCA will not be renewing INTRUDERS.

The remit was to adapt the book, which Glen and his team did brilliantly. It was never a given there would be more — though we did discuss ideas for future arcs — and for a variety of reasons the first season had to out-perform the norm in order to continue. Unfortunately it did not.

Why? Well, they didn't play it safe. The show was distinctive and unusual, narratively uncompromising and texturally bold. In a world where many viewers will bail after twenty minutes because something's not just like everything else, it dared to ask people to care — to keep the faith and wait to see what happens next. They didn't sell the book short: they did it proud. As an novelist that makes you feel very privileged, and grateful.

A huge thanks to everyone who watched and supported the show — you made the whole thing fun, before and during, and are still doing so afterwards. I'm glad to know you.

I also feel extremely honoured to have had a book worked on by so many people of such extraordinary talent. Producers like Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter (and Jess Pope, who doggedly developed the show for years in the UK before it came to BBCA);  a developer of Glen's unique vision and experience, writers like Kristen and Darren; the remarkable cast of actors in roles both large and small; creative geniuses like Mark Freeborn and Bear McCreary; directors like Daniel Stamm and Eduardo Sanchez — not to mention the social media and marketing people from BBCA who gave it such loving attention here in the US.

In the end (and truly, the end is never the end), it comes down to this: What you want most, if you're lucky enough to have a book adapted, is for it to be made by people who give a shit. 

These people gave a shit. And it was good shit.

Thank you all :-)

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