Still trying to figure out what the f*(&* I want on the cover of Angel Stations. And who by? Okay: there's Steve Stone - some of his stuff is extremely good indeed, and I sure as hell wouldn't knock back the chance of him doing a cover. Then there's Fred Gambino - except I hate stuff like those WordWar: Colonisation books - too cartoony, too many primary colours. Give me subtlety.

Except, that is, for stuff like the covers he did for Jack Womack.

And especially for the cover he did for the recent UK reissues of Lord of Light by Zelazny, which is just an astonishing piece of cover art.

Like, say, Steve Rawlings, who did some absolutely magnificent jackets for Sheri Tepper, ie Fresco et al. But then ... he also did the covers for Neal Asher's Line of Polity, etc, which covers I hate. Far too abstract. Except for the cover of Gridlinked, which is brilliant. I know it's brilliant, because it makes me pick it up and think, hey, maybe I should buy this ... that's how good it looked.

Who else? Well, there's a guy called John Harris. Let me tell you something, John Harris is the absolute sure-fire king of god-damn fucking huge landscapes of technodoom. To coin a phrase. He paints stuff that looks really, really big. I mean, just dementedly huge. That really appeals to me. Especially when it comes to something like the Citadel in the book, or perhaps the Angel Station itself. You really should take a look at his stuff - here's a link.

Can you see why I"m tearing my hair out?

By the by, assuming anyone is actually paying attention, the reason the link I put in earlier to my writer's page doesn't work anymore is I decided to take it down, just for the moment, until I figure out just what exactly I'm allowed to say or not say about Angel Stations prior to publication. It'll be up again at some later point.

What else? The contract is now back, signed, with my agent, so with any luck, caboodles of cash coming my way before too long. I really hope. I really, really hope. In the meantime, I've asked my agent to check out the possibility of what I fully admit is basically hackwork - like writing a novelisation of some crappy movie, or something. I don't know. Just giv me de monee ...

Hang on, no really, I'm more of an artist like that. But it makes sense for a writer to explore avenues that put them somewhere more financially comfortable, so they can get on with writing the real thing. Perhaps I can get something better - let's wait and see.


Busy week. Started on Friday.

Friday, most of gsfwc (glasgow science fiction writer's circle) had split for Seacon, while I stayed behind to help my girlfriend celebrate her birthday. This went quite well, mainly constituting being in a bar for most of the evening with friends before I, as arranged, headed home earlier to get ready for the next morning.

Left at half ten on Saturday morning, somewhat tired, arrived after about three changes at Hinckley completely shattered. Wandered around the con for a bit feeling dazed, found most of everyone before somebody told me I'd be able to find my editor(s) at a party being run on behalf of Earthlight, who publish Mike Cobley's Shadowkings books (this being a guy I used to share a flat with). Found Lavery and John Jarrold, and a couple of hours later found myself having dinner with both of them, another editor called Stef, and several other authors including Freda Warrington, Juliet Marillier, Justina Robson, Justina's husband and, I suspect, one or two other people I was too zonked to either remember or know who they were. I was, of course, my usual garrulous self; I find that other writers tend to be on the quiet side which results in me, usually, trying to fill the vacuum, a reaction born perhaps out of a certain nervousness. I was there, after all, with some writers who are in some cases very well known indeed. I chatted also to Justina at the Earthlight party, and only realised after a few minutes that the reason she wasn't saying anything was she was hoarse and could barely speak ...

The convention was, after all, like most conventions. To be honest, if it wasn't for making a serious sale, I probably wouldn't really go to conventions any more, primarily because most of the time when I'm at them, I spend my time sitting in a bar drinking with exactly the same people I drink with when I'm at home in Glasgow, except there I don't have to book a hotel, travel for hours, etc, etc. But it does make a difference when you become an author who's expecting to get paid several thousand pounds. You feel you should be there; that it's the professional thing to do. And I enjoyed myself. Had a good chat with Andrew Wilson, the sf reviewer for the Scotsman newspaper who I've previously met on several occasions, who had some good ideas about publicising both myself and the book nearer the publication date.

Anyway, the con passed in a bit of a blur, and at the most I saw maybe one or two panels, spending the rest of the time sitting in the bar. Ian Watson is a ridiculously funny man. You have to understand, for most of the weekend I was almost literally staggeringly knackered. I won't even describe the state I was in by the time monday morning rolled around.

Here's the deal. I was about ready to give up going to cons because I wasn't particularly enjoying them any more. Now ... things are different. I feel if I don't go, people might not know who I am, and now, unsurprisingly, I very much want them to know who I am. So I guess that's me back to conventions, eh?


I was starting to get worried the contract - which my agent warned me was on its way - had got lost in the post, but when I got home this afternoon it was there. Had a look at it - the thing that pleases me the most is that (as far as I can tell amongst the lawyerese) a couple of weeks after I return the contract, I get a payment of 7,500 quid. I'm not sure whether they take the agent's share off first, or if I have to pay her, or whatever. I'll probably email her.

What's really important about this isn't even so much that I'm getting paid to write, it's what it means about getting out of flatrenting land. I can put down a serious deposit on a flat and buy a house, which is incredible, although it has to be said that the places worth living in, in Glasgow, are still far, far beyond my means. Which means I may have to go a little further afield. And being self-employed and therefore below the radar of the majority of UK mortgage companies does not help matters any either. Nevertheless, I'm exploring several options - it would be nice to be able to spend christmas this year in my very own house. I'd like that.

I've got two options - either a one-bedroom place for myself and MJ, but it would have to be below 35,000. When you wrap in the monthly council tax payments, that really boosts the cost upwards. Alternatively - and my preference - is a two bedroom place, where I can rent a room out, and pay a good chunk of the mortgage that way. It would also serve as insurance against any unforeseeable financial problems in the future - as long as you can rent out a room, you can cover the majority if not all of the mortgate. Yes, yes, I know it's not as simple as that, I've been thinking about lots of different options, it just more or less boils down to this basic choice - depending on the flat, and where it is.

I haven't done a huge amount on AG since finishing the first draft. Started revisions, not huge, then spent most of this evening downloading files on nanotechnology from the web to load up onto the ageing laptop I do most of my work on. Plus, it's not like I'll get much done before the convention this weekend.


Yay, finished the first draf t of Against Gravity. At what I can only describe (for me, at least) as breakneck speed.

It tops out at a tiny fraction over 120,000 words, started on January 25th 2003. so that's ... 80 days, or two and a half months, roughly speaking. Which is an average of maybe 1500 words a day. I think I only had maybe two, three complete days off the writing, tops. I've now got the choice of completely ignoring Against Gravity until the Angel Stations revisions are out of the way, or I can get more or less straight onto the Against Gravity revisions now. And since I've got the text already down., the theory, at least, is that the second draft should be easier.

It's got to be said, now I've actually got a book deal, I do feel driven to write like a mad bastard, although another little voice keeps reminding me not to rush things too much at the same time. Take my time, get things worked out.

Still. I know what the third one is going to be; Leviathan's Fall, set on the same world as my first, unpublished novel, Touched by an Angel. I've already mentally plotted out the first chapter, and for the past couple of weeks ideas for it have been floating around in my head. I'm hoping I can get working on it later this year, if the other two projects don't take too long. Famous last words ...


Dear, it's been a while since I posted. I've definitely not felt so inclined since the book deal came through. However, I'm back. The second book - Against Gravity - is currently past the 100k mark, and should top out - I think - at 120k. Still no sign of the revisions for Angel Stations, though I expect they'll come through before too long.

I have also figured out what I'm going to do once Against Gravity is out of the way. I'm going to completely rewrite, from the ground up, my first, unpublished novel, Touched by an Angel. Except this time I'm going to call it Leviathan's Fall. In one sense, I think it may be a murder mystery, though mind you, I only say that because the first chapter is basically going to involve a murder and whodunnit. Beyond that, the basic world setup is the same, although the plot and character interaction is, I believe entirely different.

I'm all geared up for Eastercon, my first in a good few years. I'm sure it's been at least three years, if not even longer. A lot of other writers who are also signed to Tor UK will be there, which should be very interesting. You know, I'm really looking forward to it. Yay, I'm a writer. Though some of the money would be nice ... since I've sold the translation rights along with the UK rights, it's very likely, I suspect, that the book will also be published in Germany, although that's very much by way of a guess. Note to self: check how 'angel stations' translates into deutsche ...

I've set up an intermediate website for my books. 'Intermediate' because it's just using a freebie domain address until I get a better and more permanent one sorted out, so beware of annoying pop-up ads and accept my apologies (you know, every time I write or hear that word, to my extreme annoyance I always think of the German torturer in Blackadder II who kept saying 'apple ogee's'). But check it out. Especially the rather handsome chap in the top right corner, albeit with a bit of image manipulation worked in.

The address is www.gmgibson.cjb.net