Tag Archives: Roy Gray


Follycon will be the 69th British National Science Fiction Convention, or Eastercon. It will be held at The Majestic Hotel in Harrogate, from 30 March – 2 April 2018.

Sadly, I won’t be there but I’d like say a big thanks to Roy Gray and TTA who have kindly agreed to put a few copies of  “All the Fabulous Beasts” on the stand. These will be at a special con rate of £10 for the paperback and £16 for the hardback edition.

Even if you don’t like the look of my collection, I’d urge strangers to TTA to check out their stock. If you’ve not read “Skyshine” buy Carole Johnstone, do yourself a favour and buy Black Static Issue 60. It’s a bumper issue that also contains the sterling work of Tim Lees, Stephen Hargadon and Ray Cluley.


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Roy Gray and The High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature

You might know Roy Gray as the friendly face at TTA Press’ stand at various events around the UK. He is also a writer and poet.

His poem, “Farming the Wind”, will be included in a technology themed issue of literary magazine Shooter out later this year.

Roy was a finalist for the 2015 High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature with his story “Hallqueen”.

The presentation took place on 6th July 2016 at the University of Chester with the winner and finalists bring presented with the anthology of their work: “Patches of Light”, which is available from University of Chester Press books.

Top left: Roy reading from his story, Ian Seed (one of the judges and anthology editor), 3rd right: Roy with his wife, Irene.

The first prize of £2,000 was presented to Pauline Brown for her story “Tick Tock”

Joint runners up, who received £250, included Cathy Bryant with “For Yourself Alone” and Lynne Parry-Griffiths “My Will Ne’er Be Done”.

The High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature, has been running for 13 years, having been set up in 2003 by the then High Sheriff of Cheshire, John Richards OBE, DL. It’s open to writers who were born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked, in Cheshire.

The High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature 2016 will be for poetry .


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Twisted Tales of Austerity

The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, based at Manchester Metropolitan University, has launched its second Gothic Manchester Festival. Its programme includes a tour of the John Rylands Library (a neo-Gothic stunner), a Victorian lantern show, an afternoon of Steampunk and panel discussions by the UK’s leading scholars on a variety of subjects around Gothic art, literature and architecture and its influence on modern culture.

Iwent to Twisted Tales of Austerity, an event at Manchester’s Waterstones hosted by Twisted Tales exploring how the Gothic can critique the current mainstream political consensus surrounding poverty and the welfare state. There were readings by authors from Horror Uncut: Tales of Social Insecurity and Economic Unease,  followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

Twisted Tales of Austerity

Twisted Tales of Austerity

Left: Tom Johnstone

Centre: Rosanne Rabinowitz,

Right: Lauro Mauro

Tom Johnstone, the anthology’s co-editor, read Joel Lane’s  “A Cry for Help”, the final sentence of which packed a hard punch. Rosanne Rabinowitz, a Shirley Jackson Award nominee, read from her affecting story, “Pieces of Ourselves”. My personal favourite was Lauro Mauro’s “Ptichka”, which was a vivid and visceral piece of writing about an immigrant who finds herself pregnant in a post-NHS Britain.

It was also great to catch up with Simon Bestwick, who also contributed to the anthology, Cate Gardner and Roy Gray from TTA Press.

A reprint of my own story, “The Ballad of Boomtown”, is also included in the volume.

A note on Cate Gardner: She quietly gets on and does her thing. And what a thing! Cate’s shy about it though. She’ll never tell you that Damien Walter (of The Guardian) listed her Theatre of Curious Acts in the top five of his Indie Sci-Fi and Fantasy Hunt.

Twisted Tales aims to promote horror across a range of different media, from live events across the North West to critical reviews. It was founded by David McWilliam (a doctoral student and Associate Lecturer at Lancaster University, Liverpool John Moores University, and Manchester Metropolitan University) and Glyn Morgan (Ph.D researcher and tutor at the University of Liverpool) in 2010.

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The Science Fiction collection at Liverpool University

This week Roy Gray and I were lucky enough to visit Liverpool University’s staggering collection of over 35,000 books and 2,500 periodicals. The Science Fiction collections in the University Library’s Special Collections & Archives comprise Europe’s largest catalogued collection of SF material, including the Science Fiction Foundation Collection and a wealth of literary archives.

Andy Sawyer , who manages this treasure trove, based in the Sydney Jones Library, was very generous with his time and encyclopaedic knowledge.

My own personal highlight was seeing the manuscript for John Wyndham’s  The Day of the Triffids.

Thanks again to both Roy and Andy!

    Roy’s chappbook, The Joy of Technology, is in the archive and is available from Pendragon Press.

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