Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Blog Awards

Wow, so while I've been taking a little downtime I've been given a couple of peer-awarded blog awards. They were actually awarded to my flash fiction blogs, Xeroverse: Missing Pieces and Xeroverse: 101, but I'm going to accept them here, because in the convoluted way I've set up my blog presence this is the more appropriate place for rambling discourse... ;)

First up, Steve Green and Stephen Hewitt both awarded me the Versatile Blogger award. For which I apparently have to mention seven random facts about me and announce nominations of my own.

And Rebecca Bohn has awarded me the Liebster Blog award.

So, a big thank you, to all three of you. =)

It's a real honour to be nominated by those three, all of them being writers I admire in their own right, all of whom I would happily nominate in return. As such, I am immensely fortunate to have been given the two awards, as it means I can award Steve and Stephen the Liebster and Rebecca the Versatile Blogger award. So that risks seeming like some kind of hippy love-in, but my mutual respect is genuine and all three deserve it.

Steve Green is an ideas machine. His flash fiction shifts easily among genres and is always a good read, week in, week out. There's often a healthy dose of humour in there too, and what this man doesn't do with zombies isn't worth doing... ;)

Stephen Hewitt takes myth and drapes it attractively over the real world, and then sometimes he takes the real world and drapes it artfully over myth. Always a joy to read, his use of language is sumptuous and masterful.

R.S. Bohn is one of the loveliest people I've 'met' since I've begun to get my toes wet with this flash blogging lark. And she's a very talented writer too. Take the time to read the short fiction she's posted on her blog recently, you won't be disappointed.

To my other nominees I say, "pick and choose". ;)
The following are both among my very favouritest and also extremely versatile bloggers, so they may pick and choose which award they like, or take both. =)

Lily Childs writes exquisite horror fiction. She also hosts and judges the Friday Prediction flash fiction challenge. A gracious host, she invites and brings together a wide spectrum of writers under one roof. Hers is definitely a blog worth following.

Aidan Fritz creates deep and interesting worlds, and somehow manages to evoke that depth without slowing his stories down. Always a great read.

Eastscapes is a blog I've pimped before. A friend and colleague of mine with a great eye for the spaces people leave behind, humanity's afterimages, the photography of the damned...

And now, for those of you still with me, my seven random facts...

1. For a short while I was in business with my parents and managed a lovely little children's bookshop... If I knew then what I know now.

2. I have no TV licence. If you live in the UK you know that means I don't watch any TV. At all.
(OK, so I watch Castle on demand5, but it's Nathan Fillion, dammit.)

3. I'm a big geek, but I'm a massive Batman geek. That established, my favourite character isn't Batman, it's Nightwing. (Not necessarily Dick Grayson as Robin or Batman, but Dick grayson as Nightwing)

4. I have a dragon scarified on my left shoulder.

5. My dream job would be to write computer games (not program, I can't program for toffee, but plot, dialogue etc.). I think, even more so than books, the capacity for (interactive) storytelling and character development is very exciting.

6. The surname 'Xero' comes from my second internet incarnation as Angel Xero. Originally created for a prank, it stuck, and when I wanted something more grounded I swapped out the Angel for my real name.

7. My very first internet venture, back when no one used their real names and I called myself Shadow Weaver, was a site called Dark Minds. It began, 2002-ish, as a collective of friends producing creative snippets; it picked up a few other contributors along the way before fading away. These days it only exists on the Wayback Machine.


  1. Thank-you, John. I enjoyed reading these seven facts. Game designers seem like an interesting art form. Have you read the New Yorker's perspective on Cliff Bleszinsky (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/03/081103fa_fact_bissell). I wasn't interested in the fast-cars part as much as the way he thinks about the games he designs.

  2. John, thank you very much, I'm rather pleased at being described as "An ideas machine" :)

    Some of your nominees I already know, Stephen Hewitt, and Aidan Fritz, both of them eloquent and imaginative writers, I think you have their styles described very well.

    I shall be paying a visit to your other nominees soon to check out their blogs too.

    I like your list of random facts, even though you don't watch TV I'm surprised you aren't hounded day and night about the licence, there is not many escape from the BBC Gestapo, I've heard told they even have tracker vans on Pluto. :)

  3. Loved your seven facts, especially the scarified dragon. Not a tat, and that is very interesting.

    This has been a week to find awesome new blogs to follow. Thanks for adding your recs to the mix -- scrolling through everybody's becomes a richer and richer experience every day.

    (boy, I'm boring today!)

  4. Hey there John -- thanks for the Liebster nomination. Very much appreciated from a cracking writer. I'll be checking out those other folks, too.

    Loved your seven random facts. I also don't have a TV licence and don't watch TV [@Steve the BBC will hound you unto death, unless you contact them in writing... and even then, they say they may still check on you. They have shovels and everything].

    And I am a game designer / game writer so can understand #5.

    Thanks once again. Time to get back to my wordlings and mythic drapery. :)


  5. Thanks Aidan, I hadn't seen that, that's really interesting. I'm a big fan of the Gears series (looking forward to 3). =)

    Steve and Stephen, I think I had a couple of letters when I first cancelled my licence, one phone call and one visit but I haven't heard from them in a little while. There's a form you can fill in online now, rather than write (although ridiculously, you can say you have a TV for watching DVDs, or playing video games, but not both...)

    The tracker vans are propaganda, anyway... all for show. ;)

    I'm jealous, Stephen, any games I might know? =)

    And Rebecca, you're never boring. =)

  6. Computer games writer, huh? It fits you.

    Congrats everyone.

  7. from John's mother - who also had no TV licence when in UK - in the end I wrote in red ink telling them it was blood!! Then I rang up and said 'well what are you going to do if I don't let you in to check?' They replied that they would get a warrant - so I said 'Go on then'. Never another word!!!
    AND it WAS a lovely children's book shop and John was a wonderful manager :- ) He gets lots of awards from me!!!

  8. Hey there John -- one thing tends to define game work: it's a hellova effort. o_O That said, I've written on APB (for Dave Jones of GTA fame), Earth Worm Jim, the latest XBox game for Harry Potter, and a few other bits n' pieces. St.

  9. Thanks for mentioning Eastscapes again, John. Always a bit embarrassed about asking for feedback, so it's really great when it's received. And no. 3 on your list may not be the biggest revelation, considering your current footwear...

  10. Oh cool, yeah, I'm familiar with all of those, Stephen. =) I've heard it can be pretty intense when a game is in production, especially as you near release.

    And no worries, David. =) My shoes are, of course, Bruce Wayne shoes, philanthropist and playboy (philanthropist is the left shoe). They are in no way affiliated with night-time, rooftop vigilantism and punch-ups. ;D

  11. I always enjoy these list-reveal posts. What is it about Nightwing that gets you going, John? I'm a massive Joker geek, as has been well-exposed by now.

  12. I think the Bat 'family' has always been my favourite, though I couldn't exactly say why, maybe because they're human, to my (young) fantasist's mind... I could do that. But Batman himself is so dark, and there is very little new to the character (or at least, there was very little until Hush and then Morrison's writing). I used to read all the tie in comics, Nightwing, Robin, Catwoman, but none of the main books.

    Nightwing represented Dick growing up (which was probably as I got really into comics myself), but at the same time he never really grew up (like me... ;D ). Dick's a great guy and Nightwing's a great hero. And more so than any of the Robins since he has a lot of connections within the DCU, real depth.

    I did really like Tim's Robin too, although as Red Robin he's become a bit of a non-character. Someone needs to write a really creative book for him like Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel did for Nightwing.

    I'm tentatively looking forward to the new Nightwing series. But they seem to have made a mess of the DC52 #1s I've read so far... =/