+++NEWS POST 4+++

 Well, halfway through July and things are looking peachy at Floppybootstomp Villas. Spain have won the World Cup thanks to an octopus, Paul Gascoigne made an attempt to be the next Cracker by talking a murderous psycho into giving himself up (the police didn’t let him. Spoilsports) and BP have stopped pumping crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. For a day or two at least.

Rafa Nadal, fresh from Wimbledon, with the World Cup

Personally the highlights of the past couple of months include:

** Publication of a short story in the veteran E-zine Aphelion. An early story featuring Malcolm Brook, the beer-swilling, part-inventor of teleportation. I’m glad the story, ‘Grandfather’s Axe’ has found a good home.

** My first ever stint as a judge on a literary competition. Can’t say much about it as the results are yet to be published, but it was an eye-opening experience into the world of editors and the like.

** The spectacular launch of The Speculator. Placed in the position of editor, with the sterling help of Jay Eales and the other Speculators, we put together a 12 page newspaper in less than 14 days. An awesome achievement, especially as the paper was distributed free at the Alt.Fiction conference to all the attendees. It’s put The Speculators on the map in terms of SF writer’s groups. Are we the top dogs in the East Midlands? Hell, yeah!

** Look out for conference overload in the following months. Novacon, FantasyCon, NorCon, Asylum and Literary Leicester are all looming. I hope to get to a few of these at least.

** Tory ‘Shock and Awe’ tactics are in full swing. Jeremy Hunt, new minister for the DCMS has announced 50% budget cuts from this year. I imagine the lights will start going out all over the cultural/literary scene very soon. We are already losing Leicester’s Central Library, organisations like Writing East Midlands must be bracing themselves for massive cuts and possible closure, educational provision that isn’t ring-fenced will also be slashed. Horrid times ahead for the writer’s ecosystem.

** Starbase Leicester will be launching the 2nd print issue of ‘Avatar’ in October. Issue 1 was a fantastic publication, I hope the next issue lives up to the first (I’ll have a story in it, I think!). Go Starbase!

Starbase Leicester on the big screen!

** CarrotNapper news: Keith Large took his trio of plays Laughs From Leicestershire to the Buxton Fringe Festival, London and the main ADC theatre in Cambridge. All this is a prelude to the main event; A Week-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The cast now includes seasoned TV actor Jeff Stewart (Reg Hollis in The Bill), who I’m tipping as the next Dr Who after the bland, charmless Matt Smith pisses off to Hollywood to make bland, charmless movies with Ben Affleck and Adam Sandler. Don’t come back.

Jeff Stewart and 'assistants'

** Writing School Leicester is revamping its curriculum. Saturday Manuscript Writer’s Clinics are set to go and be replaced. I met a great many good writers at these events and I’m sorry to see them go. Hope that Val Moore and the gang can keep up the high standard of their courses (particularly in such a difficult economic climate).

** Two events for October: Get Leicester Reading week; a great effort to raise awareness o literacy issues and just how much help is out there. All splendidly run by Damien G Walter. He also organizes Save Our ‘Zines Day which encourages people to buy/subscribe to at least 1 new publication on the day. Something that is desperately needed by all small press/amateur publications.

** Just found out there is another Floppybootstomp website and it’s just been stopped. It was far more popular than mine (hardly surprising) and featured rock music and girls with no clothes on — not a bad idea come to think of it! Sadly, since the site’s demise, a number of the readers of the original site have been directed here instead. Sorry guys. I feel dirty for stacking up all the ‘hits’ that should by rights be going to someone else. No hard feelings, right?

And that’s the news…

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About floppybootstomp

Lecturer, teacher, writer and traveller all perfectly good nouns aren't they? Do they have anything to do with me? Ask the taxman.

Posted on July 22, 2010, in NEWS POSTS and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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