Firstly! There’s another issue of the fine and august publication When Saturday Comes out with something by me in it. Just a little something, mind – a sidebar piece for the regular “Screen Test” feature, in which old football-related VHSes are dusted off and written about. What did I review? Well, you’ll have to buy the magazine to find out, innit. But it’s something I used to own about twenty years ago, then recently remembered about, and thought “Hey, I should buy that off eBay and then write about it for WSC, shouldn’t I?” So I did. The cover looks uncannily like that picture on the left, and you can find out more about what’s in the issue here.
Secondly, last week I went to see the first of this year’s barrage of superhero movies, Thor, and then reviewed it for Film 4. And here that is. I didn’t make a single joke about how the lead character’s name sounds like someone with a lisp saying “sore”. I think that shows remarkable restraint and maturity.
Specifically, I collected a load of articles about Red Dwarf written by the Ganymede & Titan team over the last eight years, shuffled them around, edited them, formatted them, and turned them into a print-on-demand book that’s now on sale via Lulu.com. Hurrah!
There’d been talk about doing a G&T book of some kind for years, but it was after getting Jane Killick’s Stasis Leaked (a collection of old articles of hers on the making of Series I) for my Kindle that I again reasoned we could probably do something similar. The original plan was for an eBook release, with a view to possibly printing at some point – but as I investigated publishing options, it became apparent that getting a physical copy out there would actually be pretty feasible. The deadline I’d set – to have the book onsale at the Dimension Jump convention this last weekend – made it too tight to actually get any new material in (for one thing, I wanted to do a mammoth article on the history of the Dwarf novels), but it’s still a pretty solid package, with 200 pages of material that while available online will probably not have been read even by everyone who visits the site regularly. And if this one does alright, we may well do a Volume 2 – with more in the way of new stuff – in future.
G&T’s Photoshop wiz Danny Stephenson came up with an absolutely astounding wraparound cover based on my original concept, and this is one of the things that I think really helps it stand out as a darned fine artefact in its own right. Here’s what it says on the back:
Red Dwarf, the cult BBC2 and Dave sci-fi sitcom, has entertained millions of fans worldwide since its first broadcast in 1988.
Ganymede & Titan, a Red Dwarf fan website, has entertained literally several of those fans since its launch in 1999.
Now, a selection of the site’s best articles from between 2003 and 2011 have been rounded up and thrown into The Garbage Pod, the first such collection of unofficial fan writing in the show’s long and illustrious history.
Inside, you’ll find analytical critical commentary, bloody-minded arguing, meticulously researched Lists of Stuff, hard-sci-fi theorising and elaborate swearing from the site’s team of entirely unprofessional and equally unsanitary writers.
Over at Lulu, we’re selling the print copy for £4.99, and the PDF download for £1.99 (and a Kindle version might well follow when I can sort out creating/formatting it). We’re making a small profit on each copy sold, all of which is being donated to Amnesty International. And while I imagine most of the people I know who are Dwarf fans are already G&T readers so know all about it already, if there’s anyone who isn’t but would be interested in picking it up, you can do so right here.
We figured, though, that our best business would be done at DJ – and it seemed to go down pretty well. We sold around two-thirds of the copies we’d ordered in bulk and brought with us, and drummed up a decent amount of interest. We also gave copies to, among other people, visual effects king Mike Tucker, and – most excitingly – Doug Naylor himself (who insisted on paying for his copy, and asked us all to sign it, which was A BIT OF A THRILL). People who got around to reading any of it while there seemed to enjoy it, which was great.
So it may be a daft little self-published vanity project with an incredibly narrow niche market – but still. I’ve got a book out. Yay!