Surveillance in Britain

This was originally posted in 2013 — and it’s time for a repeat airing:

Rod Rees writes: In researching my book Invent-10n it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t the surveillance side of State intervention in our lives – the employing of cameras and digital-communication intercepts to collect data about us – that we should be worried about but the use that is made of that data. And this, in turn, led me to the belief that there are now seven truisms regarding the surveillance-pervasive Britain of 2013.

Truism 1: We’re being watched.

Although statistics on the subject are difficult to pin down, the consensus seems to be that, by some margin, the British are the most watched people on the planet, with there being one CCTV camera for every fourteen of us (a conservative estimate, by the way). Now that’s an awful lot of surveillance and as none of these cameras are regulated, there is no information regarding the data they collect, for how long it’s held or who has access to it. The reality is that no matter where we are, we’re being watched.

What this also signals is how obsessive the British authorities (be they police, security services or local councils) are with CCTV surveillance: they have become the most avaricious voyeurs in history. The British authorities like to watch.

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The world is changing

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The world is changing. Maybe this is so apt:

Greetings Gate, let’s Agitate. Look over your shoulder. Do you see the camera? Then dig that even as you read these words of sedition and denial you are being watched by the ever e-quisitive National Protection Agency. The National Protection Agency – omnipresent, omniscient and most ominous – which runs PanOptika, the spider at the centre of the Web.

PanOptika. What’s the slogan: watching out for the good guys by watching out for the bad guys. But what did that Roman word-slinger, Juvenal say? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes: who watches the watchers?

So dig this to the extremity, cats and kittens: if we do nothing soon we must kneel, digitally-dutiful, before National Protection, and then there will be no chance to zig when the ChumBots say zag, or to beep when they say bop. Realise thou that PanOptika triumphant means we will not be able to think, to act, to speak or to move without the spirit-sapping realisation that the badniks know everything … everything.

* We are circling the drain. This is my warning. *

A “freewheeling tour de force.” — James Lovegrove / Financial Times

Invent-10n by Rod Rees is available from Amazon and other online book dealers.

 

December 2016 Newsletter

 

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It’s almost the end of 2016, time for reflection. The Alchemy Press has had a relatively quiet year with just three titles under our belt: The Complete Epistles of Penelope Pettiweather, Ghost Hunter by Jessica Amanda Salmonson; The Private Life of Elder Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Keris McDonald and Adam Gauntlett; and Something Remains edited by Peter Coleborn and Pauline E Dungate, an anthology of stories based on the notes left by Joel Lane after his untimely death. Click on the titles to read more about these titles, or visit the Alchemy website to discover our complete range of books.

From a personal perspective, Peter has experienced the ups and downs of the NHS as he underwent a series of investigations for cancer, culminating in surgery soon after our return from FantasyCon, which was held in Scarborough this year (and which, by the way, we both thoroughly enjoyed despite the hiccups one usually encounters at such events). It’s too soon to know just how successful the surgery was – hopefully we’ll learn more by mid-January 2017.

Time to cheer up. Time for a bit of festive fun! Here’s something to occupy you over the Christmas holiday: unscramble the following anagrams, all are of writers who have graced the pages of Alchemy Press titles:

AN ADVISORY HAT KICK

AN UP LEAK

CLASH ON LINEN

LACE IN ROAD

MAD SEA JAILS MASONS CANON

REAP KITTENS

After you’ve rearranged these send your answers to us using this form before midnight 31st December 2016. The first three will have the choice from any of our limited editions: Nick Nightmare Investigates by Adrian Cole; Rumours of the Marvellous by Peter Atkins; Where the Bodies are Buried by Kim Newman; Merry-Go-Round by Bryn Fortey; or Invent-10n by Rod Rees (state your choice along with your answers). Please note that overseas prizes will be sent surface mail.

Finally, we wish you all a very happy Christmas, Yule, or whatever you choose to celebrate. Have fun. Let’s hope 2017 is a good year for all. And keep buying and reading books. Lots of books.

Hugs and love

Peter Coleborn and Jan Edwards

 

 

Alchemy: other books

Besides anthologies and collections The Alchemy Press has been honoured to publish the following titles. Click on the images for further information on each title.

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  • Touchstones: Essays on the Fantastic by John Howard
  • Doors to Elsewhere by Mike Barrett

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Invent-10n reviewed

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Invent-10n by Rod Rees has been reviewed on the SF Crowsnest website:

…The vision of the future is bleak but indicative of the thinking of some sections of the population. Above all, this book is a brave attempt at being different and, like Jenni-Fur, Rees does not want to follow the herd. — Pauline Morgan

The book is available in paperback (via Amazon, etc) and hardcover (via The Alchemy Press) editions.

 

 

Alchemy Offers

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We have reduced the prices of some of our limited edition titles so now is the time to buy the book you’ve been meaning to. For details of the lower prices click on the book title and scroll down the page and take advantage of the PayPal button….

Merry-Go-Round and Other Words by Bryn Forty — collects the best from the author’s oeuvre, from his first horror story publication to stories appearing here for the first time. The contents range from across the horror and science fiction fields, with a bit between.Merry-Go-Round also includes his heart-felt poetry. This limited edition hardcover comes with a moving tribute by Johnny Mains and an extra, brand new story. An essential collection.

Invent-10n by Rod Rees — Greetings Gate, let’s Agitate. Look over your shoulder. Do you see the camera? Then dig that even as you read these words of sedition and denial you are being watched by the ever e-quisitive National Protection Agency. The National Protection Agency – omnipresent, omniscient and most ominous – which runs PanOptika, the spider at the centre of the Web.

Rumours of the Marvellous by Peter Atkins — “…it’s a real treat to have these stories side by side as they stretch back from 2011 to 1992. I won’t spoil your enjoyment by highlighting particular ones, suffice to say that you are in the hands of one of the best and most original writers of horror and dark fantasy to come along in the last twenty years; but Atkins is also a great stylist with a truly original voice, so be prepared to be entertained, enlightened and educated in the fine art of short story writing.”

Don’t forget, Kim Newman’s Where the Bodies are Buried is still on offer — Meet Rob Hackwill, folk demon. A blackmailer killed by his victims, returning to expose what they are really made of. Or so the script goes. But then Hackwill slithers out of film into reality. Where the Bodies are Buried is a heady brew of pulp horror, political satire and twisted technology. These four stories deconstruct the myths of the late twentieth century – with a hatchet. Prepare to laugh. Prepare to shudder. Prepare to find out Where the Bodies Are Buried.

If you wish to buy two or more titles contact us and we’ll quote a price to save on postage.

Paperback editions of Merry-Go-Round and Invent-10n are available from Amazon and other online dealers.

 

April/May Newsletter

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Sorry, we’re a bit late this time. Blame the balmy spring weather (well, it’s not raining today). When we can drag ourselves away from the garden and the (occasional) sunshine there are many books in the Alchemy Press edit/production room, to be added to the list over the following months. Imminent are:

  • Monsters by Paul Kane, with an introduction by Nicholas Vince (with fabulous cover art by Clive Barker).
  • Evocations by James Brogden, a collection of this fine writer’s horror and weird tales.

Monsters will be published in two editions – the hardcover coming with a special gift! These books will be launched at Edge Lit in Derby this coming July

Also in the pipeline for 2015 are collections from Anne Nicholls, Marion Pitman and others (real goodies in the line up, we promise).

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