Hello. My name's Warren Ellis. Thanks for letting me into your inbox. With the release of my next novel, GUN MACHINE, some nine months away (GUH), I thought I'd start doing one of these again.
It's been a little over two years since I shut down my last mailing list, which was green with rot by that point. In the interim, email lists have gone from being mocked dinosaurs of the internet to uncomfortable little reminders that not much is as direct and personal as an email.
My old list would sometimes cause four or five emails a day to appear on your screens, depending on how much I was drinking. MACHINE VISION will be a roughly weekly occurrence, depending on what's happening. Much easier on your systems and mine. These days I have Twitter to empty my brain over. In fact, it's horrible to think that ten years ago I was using the email list with ten thousand people on it AS Twitter. One day the United Nations will force me to pay reparations.
image from: http://ecobrooklyn.com/mannahatta/
This image relates to GUN MACHINE, the novel, coming from Mulholland Books in early 2013 and Mulholland UK in spring 2013. I had been telling people GUN MACHINE is out in autumn 2012. Everyone was talking about it being in the "fall catalogue." Therein hangs a thing I learned about book publishing.
It turns out that Mulholland Books only have two seasons. Yeah. Apparently there is only autumn (fall) and spring. So each publishing season falls across six months. Hence, GUN MACHINE, which I discovered just the other week is nominally slated for an early January release, is a "fall catalogue" book.
I'm sure some of you are shaking your heads at how stupid I am for not knowing this, and in some places I'm sure this is as common a piece of information as operating a phone and knowing how much to tip your coke dealer. I, however, am from the mud-caked plebian depths of the comics industry, and I find quite surreal the idea that in the rarefied heights of book publishing only two seasons are countenanced. Though I am amused by the notion of people dressed exclusively in (and possibly personally, that morning, by) Tom Ford and sipping Indonesian luwak-crapped coffee looking out of their floor-to-ceiling Gorilla Glass office windows and intoning solemnly that summer is bullshit and they simply won't have it in their town any longer. "Very progressive of you, Heathcote. A slice of steamed baby to go with your truffled swan's egg? Not imported, I promise."
God, I hope that picture worked. This is a new software system I'm using, and this is the first thing I've released using it. EXPECT GLITCHES ha ha ha oh christ
This is going to be a process thing, in significant part. I'm not allowed to talk much about the new (post-GUN MACHINE) novel I'm working on, or even give its title, but bits of it will leak out into this newsletter thing here and there. More openly, I can talk about the process of bringing GUN MACHINE from here to print (in January, which is apparently now bloody autumn). If anything really interesting happens, it'll probably be noted here first. I'm aiming for weekly delivery of these things, but I reserve the right to do a quick email blast should there be Very Weird News or something time-sensitively useful.
Also I may mention graphic novels once or twice. Maybe. Possibly.
And, um, a televideowebby sort of thing I'm supposed to start writing next month.
I'm going to have to start the vile process of Talking To People and Going Out In The World To Be Seen, Even In Sunlight, and those things will be mentioned here too.
But mostly I'll probably just be putting down all the stuff that won't fit into Twitter and isn't coherent enough for a post at warrenellis.com, and showing you as many interesting things as I can. I want to bring some fellow authors in for little bits at some point, too. So hopefully this won't just splat into your email as something dull and beige that you want to flush unread.
Tell you what, though. At an Australian comics convention last weekend, Brian Michael Bendis -- an old friend, to whom I emailed the manuscript the month previously -- got asked about me. God knows why or how. But the subject of GUN MACHINE came up. And so, to a hall full of people, he read the first line of the novel. And since that first line is now out in the world, here it is.
On playing back the 911 recording, it'd seem that Mrs Stegman was more concerned that the man outside her apartment door was naked than that he had a big shotgun.
That wasn't really worth subscribing for, was it? Sorry.
Finally, just to fill up this first one, I should plug some friends.
Si Spurrier will cry if I don't mention that his new iteration of Garth Ennis' CROSSED pervert-zombie comic, entitled CROSSED: WISH YOU WERE HERE, is being serialised on the web for free at http://www.crossedcomic.com/ . For something dotted with animal rape and shit-explosions, it's actually a very tense, emotionally subtle and intelligent piece of comics.
LONDON: my child, artist Molly Crabapple, is signing and doing a talk at the Groucho Club on April 26. It's free entrance, the talk is being conducted by writer and curator Ana Finel Honigman, and the surrounding are, believe me, something different from your usual comics shop. And if you see a short, long-haired chap in a dark suit running the proceedings, then that is Bernie Katz, the Prince of Soho and your actual diamond geezer, so you should be nice to him. If you see a large, bald, tired gentleman slumped in the back of the room swearing in his sleep, then that will be me. Here's a link - and if you want to go, please read it, because you MUST MUST RSVP, so they know the score.
And my old mate D'Israeli (who I did LAZARUS CHURCHYARD and SVK with) just had a new graphic novel release in the States, called LEVIATHAN. You can cross to some gorgeous preview pages from this link. For my money, D'Is has always been among the very best that British comics has to offer. -- I will attempt to close this with some music.
As an experiment (BEWARE GLITCH), I'm going to try the embedded player as well as the link. I was listening with half an ear to Mary Anne Hobbs' Saturday experimental-electronic radio show on XFM while working on an action-y scene in GUN MACHINE, just not finding the tempo for the bit. And then "Bolts" by Northern Structures came on. And that was it. That was the pacing I needed. I was so happy I posted on Twitter once I'd nailed the scene, which Mary Anne noticed, and now we talk every week. She's even threatened to make me play some records with her one day. Anyway. If you like a bit of crunchy techno, you'll like "Bolts."
And here comes the player, which may or may not work.
Also, if you don't like techno, this is just going to sound like a horrendous rumbling clanking noise to you. So don't click.
Thanks for reading this far. -- W
@warrenellis - warrenellis.com