Ancient Wonders soon to go OOP

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The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders, edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber, is soon to be out of print. If you haven’t bagged yourself a copy now is the time to do so. In a year used copies may be worth £££ or $$$.

“When we think of a wonder, our minds go most often to the great buildings of the past – the pyramids, the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge – but the human mind can make almost anything wondrous. We walk with wonders every day, through the power of curiosity and imagination and our human tendency to make stories about what we fear, what we desire, what we wish to understand. This collection offers new glimpses into the wonder we all feel.” – Kari Sperring

Discover standing stones, burial mounds, ruined castles or sunken cities: the ancient sites that litter our landscapes; the ancient wonders that possess a mysterious appeal that cannot be denied.

Check out the great contents via this link. The book is available via Amazon and other online dealers.

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.

 

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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Alchemy collections

Here is a round up of Alchemy Press collections. As you can tell from the range of anthologies and collections we’ve published, we are a great fan of short fiction. Click on the image for further information on each title.

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  • Tell No Lies by John Grant
  • Merry-Go-Round and Other Words by Bryn Forty

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  • Evocations by James Brogden
  • Monsters by Paul Kane

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The Cunning Plan

Sunset painted the tops of the mountains, but on the alpine meadows no goats whatsoever gambolled. Nobody, absolutely nobody, yodelled. Cheerfulness was not allowed.

Crimson light rivered from the sky, seeping like blood into the valley. At the edge of the shadowed village, lights twinkled merrily through diamond-lattice windows. A creaking sign at the front and a stack of empties at the back showed what this place was. As soon as it was full night, dark-cloaked figures began to make their way to the tavern.

Discover more here

 

Lives

We are waiting for Christopher to get home. Sipping wine around the kitchen table, Alice and I are just at the stage of starting to get worried. He’s all right, we say to each other occasionally, betraying our concern that there might be something wrong. He’s all right: Dick Charters will have picked Chris and Harry up okay from after-school drama practice, it being Dick’s turn this week to fetch the two nine-year-olds. Maybe the traffic’s hellish. Maybe Dick’s run out of gas – wouldn’t be the first time he’s done that – and even now they’re waiting for the rescue vehicles. Something like that.

Discover more here