Thursday, April 16, 2020

We've got you a badge

Go visit that patient
with your shit home-made mask
but just dare ask for better
and we'll take you to task

Go empty those bedpans
as you wander the wards
to the hollow applause
of the whole House of Lords

Go comfort the dying
by best at arm's reach
Last rites by iPad
to the scent of fresh bleach

And pray to your God
it's not COVID you catch
but in case you were worried,
we've got you a badge.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Virus of Penzance

"I am the very model of a modern major malady,
Thriving in your respiratory tract via nasal or oral cavity
Know that you should wash your hands, It’s proven immunological
From pathogen from me to you, in order pathological."

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Scenes of Mild Peril - An Evolution

The original pre-publisher prototype cover
for "Scenes of Mild Peril".  I'm rather fond of this
design, and might use it for another project.

Back in September of 2018, Scenes of Mild Peril was released. It was a culmination of several years of work, being a collection of thirty stories both new and reprinted from elsewhere (where the rights had reverted to me, at any rate).

As I've mentioned elsewhere, it was a bit of a disaster. I was incredibly proud of the book, but the publishers were trying a new distribution model and I ended up falling foul of being the guinea pig for this experiment. Ultimately, the formatting was shot - each page had non-existent inner margins, meaning that you couldn't physically open the book wide enough to read the stories.

As a result of this - and the laborious process of sorting it out - I became disheartened. Despite an amazing review in Issue #51 of Scream Magazine, and a lot of positive buzz, I couldn't summon up any enthusiasm for marketing it. Despite the fact that there was an electronic edition out there which read perfectly well, it didn't feel worthy of promotion until there was an actual readable physical copy that I could be proud of. Something I was proud to put my name to. I was having to warn my friends not to actually buy any physical copies of it, which wasn't exactly the kind of promotion I'd envisaged.

Version 1 of Scenes of Mild Peril - now 
with Ultrathin(tm) inner margins!
Eventually the issues were sorted out - brilliantly, in fact - but it took a long, long time and by then it was too late. Any enthusiasm I'd had, had atrophied away. Reviews limped in - and really good reviews, at that - but it felt as though the time for Scenes of Mild Peril had come and gone.

This was devastating, as I feel as though this book contains some of the best stories I've ever written. The whole experience almost put me off writing for good, feeling that there little point in working on things that weren't being read.

But then, the rights reverted back to me. And with it under my total control again, I felt as though it was worth a final push. So, it's been re-released, is a good couple of quid cheaper, and is finally the book I wanted to release all along.

So, if you haven't picked up a copy yet, I'd love you to. I really want this out there and read, as it's something that I'm particularly proud of.

Like "The Shadow Cast by the World" and "Forever and Ever, Armageddon" before it, it's a collection of short science-fiction and horror stories, with a few poems thrown in for good measure. And it's thick - boy, is it thick. At around 338 pages, you could easily use it to disarm an assailant or to shield yourself from the explosion from a fragmentation grenade.

If you're after a copy, the new printing can be found here. Whatever your flavour of Amazon, it's the cheaper of the two paperback formats available. If you're after a signed copy, pop your £7.99 to my PayPal at davidjcourt at, and I'll happily get a copy sent to you.

And if you already own Scenes of Mild Peril and would like to help, spread the word by leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or anywhere that readers visit. The most important part of how well a book does is how many positive reviews it has, and if you leave me one you are directly helping me continue on this journey as a writer.

With love and genuine thanks,

And if that's not enough to convince you to get a copy, how about a word from this handsome awkward brute?