Friday, 1 January 2010

The Speculative Scotsman: A Call to Arms

Here thar be an introductory note to wish you a warm welcome, one and all!

I've been running blogs here and there on this and that for a few years now, and it's time - at long last, it's time - to embark upon the humble beginnings of the one resource to rule them all: The Speculative Scotsman.

If you've clicked through far enough to be reading this, the hard part - for me, at least - is over. I love to write, and by God, give me half a chance and I will. I've been tap-tapping away at one keyboard or another since before I dared to even indulge the great dream of double digits. As a youngling I wrote for, a few fanzines and the late, great SpinnerRack. I made my home at All Things Uncertain for a brief period and published a few pieces on in the erstwhile. At the moment, the day job is with AceGamez, where I'm lucky enough to review video games of all shapes and sizes. Do take a trip over there if you've any sort of inclination towards the Xbox (or, sure, another platform, just don't ask me which).

That shameless piece of self-promotion over, I was saying: the hard part is already over. The Speculative Scotsman exists, and you, dear reader, have found your way here by some obscure highway or byway of the internet - do tell, incidentally. All I have to do now is hold your attention, and it certainly won't be by indulging any further in the great history of me. To that end, I mean to keep the necessary evil that is this introduction mercilessly short, and as sweet as my deep-seated inner burbler allows.

Perhaps one resource to rule them all is overstating my hopes for The Speculative Scotsman somewhat. Truly, I'd like for this humble blog to come to be considered one of the better sites about for sci-fi and fantasy-minded folks, but I wouldn't dream of stepping on any toes to achieve that end.

It'll take some time to get the good word out there, but every worthwhile thing in life does, and I hope to find a helping hand or two in the form of the best of those bloggers who already make ends meet - monetarily or otherwise - writing about speculative fiction in the form of books, films, video games and on. I'm indebted to and inspired by a long list of authors who you'll likely have heard of.

Firstly, for his Fantasy Hotlist, Patrick St. Denis; A Dribble of Ink, from Aidan Moher; Adam Whitehead for The Wertzone; James Long's excellent Speculative Horizons; the mysterious Jeff C, for Fantasy Book News and Reviews; Peter William for the brilliantly titled Ubiquitous Absence; Adventures in Reading, undertaken by the brave Joe Sherry; another Patrick, who idles away his days Stomping on Yeti; and last, but hardly least, Larry for the OF Blog of the Fallen.

If you've come across The Speculative Scotsman thanks to any of these fine fellows, or indeed another I've been rude enough to neglect, let me know in the comments section so I can buy a few books via their Amazon affiliate links as a thanks. Also, obviously, as a means of getting more books. You'll find that I enjoy the occasional book, you know, from time to time...

The surely innumerable highlights awaiting readers of The Speculative Scotsman are, likewise, too vast to list here, but you can look forward to regular reviews and interesting snippets of news, previews by way of what I'm calling Quick Books, creatures, in-depth features and a weekly look at the state of contemporary speculative fiction as determined by Amazon's bestsellers. And that's not to mention podcast recommendations from the cruel Castmonger, the occasional interview, the Speculative Scotsman's Spotlight (you might prefer the SSS) and indeed, verily at that, more things that I haven't quite thought of yet. But there will be more things! Yes.

Take the content for this week alone. Spoilers for those of you who'd prefer to meet the various entertainments on offer over the coming seven days with virgin eyes, but if this increasingly verbose introduction hasn't been fantastic enough to hold you over, readers of The Speculative Scotsman can also shortly look forward to a review and a ramble about Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay, although not necessarily in that order; the debut recommendations of our own Castmonger; an illuminating Quick Book on China Mieville's next novel; and the inaugural trawl through Amazon's Top 25 in Fiction, DVD and Video Games for something - anything - of importance. There could even be a few other goodies. That is entirely possible.

For the moment, however, you'd do well to move along. There's nothing to see here.

Not just yet.

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