Some very kind things are still being said about Rumours of the Marvellous out there in the blogosphere, and I'm told I would be derelict in my self-promotional duty if I didn't apprise you of them.
That fine fellow Jim McLeod, eponymous ginger nutcase of thegingernutcase.blogspot.com, must have finally received the plain brown envelope of used fivers I left for him in the pub because, in the course of a generally glowing review, he had this to say:
"...the writing is indeed rather marvellous ... a brilliant collection from a master storyteller"
Jim's whole review can be seen at his own website or at Shiny Shorts (shinyshortfic.blogspot.com), where it has just been reprinted.
Meanwhile, over at sleepinghedhehog.com, the lovely and legendary Ellen Datlow did me the honour of including RotM in her round-up essay "The Best of 2011", where she listed it with six other collections from some first-rate writers and was generous enough to describe it as:
"Fourteen stories by this consistently entertaining writer, including one bracing original"
There's another round-up opinion piece at alchemywriters.blogspot.com in which several writers discuss whatever floated their particular boats in 2011. One of the participants, the splendid Jan Edwards, happens to be married to my collection's publisher. But I'm absolutely and completely sure that she speaks from an unimpeachably impartial place when she ventures the following opinion of Rumours:
"It contains some of the best short fiction I have ever read. Pete Atkins really is one of Britain's greats"
But enough about me (part 3, addendum A)...
I'm sure most of you have heard that me dear old mate, Clive Barker, suffered a nasty health-scare recently.
I'm delighted to say he's recovering apace and is already back at his desk (and his easel, and his camera, and wherever else his multi-talented spirit takes him), preparing new wonders for an undeserving world. Still, it's sobering when something like that happens to someone you've known and loved for nearly forty years. Particularly because those things happen to older people and, in my delusional head, we still look like this:
Yeah, that's me and the lad back in the mid-70s when we were both young, healthy, and -- face it, bitches -- totally fucking fabulous.
Stay strong, my beautiful friend. You've many more tales to tell.