Win A Gruesome Death!

Your chance for immortality by your own gruesome demise – in John Meaney’s (Thomas Blackthorne’s) next Angry Robot title – or you can win a gorgeous replica Aztec calendar offered by Aliette de Bodard.

All you have to do is be at the signing of ‘Edge’ and Aliette’s stunning ‘Servant of the Underworld’ at Forbidden Planet’s London Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue on Friday 12th February 6 – 7pm.

There will also be a unique opportunity to interview the authors – and to speak to them about their work – after the signing… (which is also likely to involve beer).

John Meaney brings us the terror of Knife Edge – the reality TV show where wannabe blade fighters are the celebrities in a nation going to hell. Take a bloodied trip through a future London where prime-time gladiatorial combat has taken on a deadly bite.

Aliette de Bodard is a winner of the Writers of the Future Award and a Campbell Award finalist. ‘Servant of the Underworld’ is her debut novel, an Aztec mystery-fantasy featuring ghostly jaguars, bloodthirsty Gods and fingernail-eating monsters – and revealing her passion for, and knowledge of, Aztec mythology and culture.

Check it out at Forbidden Planet, or at Angry Robot Books.

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At Last We Shall Have… Peter Serafinowicz

We’ve had Simon Pegg – advising me on what to call my then-unborn son – and Nick Frost – running loose with a price-gun and answering the phones. Hence, it seems rather fitting that their Spaced arch-rival Peter Serafinowicz will be signing at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Monday 1st February 6 – 7pm.

Peter Serafinowicz is a cult figure, known by fans for his show-stealing appearances in Spaced, Black Books, How Do You Want Me?, Look Around You and Shaun of the Dead. He also has a hugely credible list of guest appearances to his name – including, famously, providing the voice for Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.

Taking a humorous swipe at today’s choice of viewing, the BAFTA-Award nominated The Peter Serafinowicz Show hosts gloriously futile television game shows, including Heads Or Tails? and Which Hand Is It In?, while offering exclusive ‘celebrity’ interviews on O! News.

Through his impressions of familiar faces, Peter creates a world in which Simon Cowell and Terry Wogan mingle with famous fictional characters like Darth Vader and with his own quirky creations – like the wonderfully incompetent PI Brian Butterfield. And look out for Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, Mikey, Mikey and Mikey, and Kitchen Gun’s Derek Bum.

We’re just hoping we can persuade him to use the tannoy…

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Yes, it’s finally happened.

The flaming horse, the huge firearm, the gigantic sword, the almighty demon – not to mention comics legend Joe Madureira – are all coming to Forbidden Planet in the new year.

On Thursday evening, 7th January, for the very first time in the UK, you can get your mitts on THQ’s epic ‘DARKSIDERS’ (for PS3 and XBox) at FP London. Joe will be there to sign the game and talk about his work, plus we’ll have pods right there so you can get up-close-and-personal with the Four Horseman.

This is a first for us – kicking off a whole new decade with a whole new kind of event.

Go on…

…go Mad!

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Yes, he’s back! The one-and-only Rob Rankin will be signing Retromancer at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Saturday 12th December 1:00pm – 2:00pm. And I swear we’re all out of rayguns…

Evil magic is abroad. The Germans have won WWII; America is a nuclear wasteland. And worst of all, the breakfast menu at The Wife’s Legs Cafe in Brentford is serving Bratwurst. It’s time call Hugo Rune – a man who offers the world his genius, and asks only that it cover his expenses. Together, the Retromancer and Rizla return to war-torn London, match their wits against beautiful spies, alien technology, killer robots and death rays – and come face to face with Hugo Rune’s arch-enemy, the sinister Count Otto Black.

London-born Robert Rankin started writing in the 1970s and his books regularly storm the bestseller lists including The Witches of Chiswick and The Toyminator. He’s one of the country’s most renowned humorous fantasy writers and is well known for having recurring characters and running gags that pop up throughout his books. Robert is also an unrepentant Luddite who writes novels by hand in exercise books.

And I swear I’m not just posting this because he hosts a class party!

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Now With Added Swearing

There’s no better arse-kicking heroine than Tank Girl – the icon of my twenties, the rebel streak of my thirties and now a professional contact of my forties (ain’t life surreal!). Yes, Alan Martin and Rufus Dayglo, unaccompanied by kangaroos, will be signing Skidmarks #1 at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Saturday 5th December 1 – 2pm.

Alongside artist Jamie Hewlett, Alan created Tank Girl in 1988 for Deadline magazine – and now, this gorgeous and anarchic heroine is a cult icon that has starred in strips, monthly comics, graphic novels, prose novels and a Hollywood movie. For Skidmarks, Alan has been joined by hot British artist Rufus Dayglo – and they’ve brought us, complete with added swearing, a riotous, brand new Tank Girl mini-series.

Skidmarks shows us Australia in the near future: a post-apocalyptic, but still rather picturesque wasteland. The former bounty hunter turned outlaw known as Tank Girl spends her days drinking, fighting and getting up to all manner of mischief – until she’s forced to give up her life of semi-retirement and climb back into the saddle to save the life of her best friend, Barney. This is everything you ever wanted to know about Tank Girl’s schooldays – and everything you didn’t!

It’s a book that makes me wonder if I missed out on a load of (tank)-girly schooltime fun…

(The poster for done for FP by Rufus last year – don’t let the date confuse you!)

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Five Authors; One Event (You Know How This Works!)

FORBIDDEN PLANET and Gollancz Publishing are delighted to be hosting an open-format, multi-author signing. Five authors, one event – at 6pm on Thursday November 26th, Forbidden Planet 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London will be playing host to: –

David Devereux
Paul McAuley
Justina Robson
Adam Roberts
Chris Wooding

To promote the release of Justina’s new book CHASING THE DRAGON, Forbidden Planet and Gollancz Publishing have gathered a host of science fiction and fantasy talent into one event – an event to bring writers and fans together and to promote interest in new and different kinds of fiction.

This is a free-form and open signing, bringing the authors out from behind their tables and giving their readers a chance to meet them and talk to them about their work. An array of fantastic books will be on hand to be picked up and signed – including works by every one of the writers present.

And, as usual with these events, there are likely to be more than a few surprise guests…

…and a subsequent visit to the pub!

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Raising Hell? Clive Barker!

At gleefully short notice, CLIVE BARKER will be signing his DVD, The Midnight Meat Train at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Thursday 15th October from 6 – 7pm.

The Hellraiser Himself, Clive’s career began as founder, writer and director of a small theatre group staging such plays as The History of the Devil. Short horror stories written in his spare time came to the public eye as The Books of Blood, the popularity of which enabled him to begin writing and directing horror films. In 1987, of course, came Hellraiser, featuring a character that has become an icon of the genre. Referred to by Barker as ‘the Noel Coward of the lower depths’, we remember him as the master of pleasure and pain: Pinhead. More recently, Clive has moved into writing fantasy fiction, revealing that his flamboyant imagination can encompass light as well it can darkness.

In The Midnight Meat Train, a photographer gets far more than he imagines when he tries to capture the grit and grime of the city. While taking pictures of the subway, he encounters Mahogany (Vinnie Jones), a vicious killer who preys on subway riders. And then the nightmare really begins.

Clive is a long-time friend of Forbidden Planet – it’s good to see him back!

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You, Robot

We all know Asimov’s three laws of Robotics: –

1. A robot may not injure….

2. A robot must obey…

3. A robot must protect…

It’s probably down to Asimov, then, that so many Angry Robots at Forbidden Planet didn’t result in lawless chaos. Instead, it resulted in big piles of books and posters, a buzz of energy and a lot of giggling – not to mention too many flapjacks sneaked in between interviews.

Fun was had by Mssrs. Harvey and Remic, refusing to obey any orders whatsoever, by new author Mike Shevdon (who gives a mean tour of London’s West End) and by the ever-irrepressible Dan Abnett, signing a steady stream of copies of Triumff for happy fans.

Protecting their Robot interests, Marco and Lee were on hand to discuss the imprint, the arrival of the eReader and the future of publishing in general – while steering well clear of the Wasabi Pringles.

Thanks to Nik Butler aka loudmouthman, we can prove that all Robot laws were upheld. Asimov would be proud.

Angry Robot Books @ Forbidden Planet from nik butler on Vimeo.

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An Evening With Kevin Smith (or: The Irony of ‘Silent Bob’)

Silent Bob likes to chat.

Signing behind the big merch desk at FP London, he’s made slightly uncomfortable by the elevation and the barrier – something he jokes about to the incoming fans. He’s a strong presence, as you might expect – a tireless enthusiasm of energy, humour, sincerity and spectacularly foul language. He’s happy to see every single person that comes through that door.

And they’re happy to see him.

In spite of the three-hour queue, the evening has a very chilled atmosphere. A relaxed, good-humoured crowd warm to him instantly; he greets every one of them with ‘hey, man, how’re you?’ and he means it every time. Everyone gets a joke and a grin – and they know he’s a mate.

The thing about Kevin Smith: he’s still a fanboy. As comics buyer Del commented, it’s only been ten years since Clerks first aired. Kevin Smith may be a culture hero, massively successful – but, rather like an American Simon Pegg, he’s still one of the guys, a fan himself. Signing one lady’s black leather bra (she wasn’t in it) and another guy’s elbow for a later tattoo needle doesn’t phase him – this is his world, and he totally get it.

You’ve got to love a guy who burns the ‘no photos’ rule within five minutes of the event starting – and who seems actually disappointed that the queue’s moving too fast for his people to really stop and chat.

Perhaps most telling was the half-hour he took to tour FP once the event had closed. While his wife bought gifts, he surveyed the store with the professional eye of a comic book retailer – and later told Nick Grimshaw on Radio 1 that he’d loved what he’d seen.

There’s surely no better example of the New Age of Geek than Kevin Smith – still fanboy and retailer, he’s an all-round streetgeek champion, all about the people, and all about the fans.

And isn’t that kind of the point?

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The Man Himself: Ray Harryhausen

It’s hard to describe what standing in the presence of Ray Harryhausen feels like – he’s gentle, funny, sharp and insightful and yet he can still make me feel like I’m twelve years old and in need of a Werther’s Original.

In six years at Forbidden Planet, there have been few guests who have reduced me to tongue-tied fangirl – and I’m not ashamed to admit that Ray is one of them.

In 2003, he was the Guest of Honour at the launch of the FP Megastore; a few months later, his was the very first signing I ran. Afterwards, I had the enormous privilege of escorting him home in his cab and listening to him talk – not about the skeleton sequence in Jason, but about how it felt to be in LA during the war, his family, and his horror at the arrival of CGI.

The cabby, also, was unable to find a word.

I’ve been to his home, been entranced by the pictures, by every little knick-knack that sits beside his kitchen table – a wealth of history and experience that just leaves me overwhelmed.

He’s a rock star – mischievous still – and he shows almost no signs of slowing down.

For this reason, welcoming him back to Forbidden Planet is very special. He’ll be in the London store on Saturday 24th October at 1pm, signing the softcover of ‘An Animated Life’.

I won’t bore you, or insult him, with the press release.

You know who he is.

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