Writing has been demoted from the back seat to the space underneath the spare tyre at the bottom of the boot in recent weeks: I’m back at full time work, and have just been made permanent with a small promotion to boot, so the days have been filled with train travel, wondering what the hell I’m doing back in the Public Service, and paying bills. Not to mention that Foxtel’s IQ program-taping service is the tool of the Devil….

However, a few speccy bits and bobs have arrived to remind the Universe that I do, occasionally, raise my head above the edge of the rut:

101 Reasons To Stop Writing, the acerbic and oft-hilarious anti-writing blog run by my gooderest buddy Sean Lindsay has posted a round-the-table interview with myself, Simon Haynes, Tehani Croft and an anonymous mystery reader on the editing habits of the average ASIM slush reader. It’s in three parts: here; here; and here. As an added bonus, he’s also noted down my favourite slush reading horror story and reproduced it for posterity. Enjoy.

Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, one my very favouritestest places to sell and read stories, has released no less than threeBest Of’ volumes in electronic format. The Best of SF volume contains Murderworld; you’ll find Through The Window Merrilee Dances and the poem Eight For Working within The Best of Fantasy; and Best of Horror will net you not only The Hobbyist but Lyn’s soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture-if-everything-turns-out-right The Memory of Breathing.

Apart from a serious case of Battersbys, you’ll find work by the likes of Stephen Dedman; Dirk Flinthart; Dave Luckett; Tom Holt; Paul Haines; Martin Livings; Jeff Van Der Meer and Mikal Trimm.

At something like 220 pages each for a miserly 10 bucks each, these books represent the best value read in the SF world right now. Go buy.

And Dr Who: Destination Prague supremo Steven Savile has negotiated a whole bunch of value-added goodies for purchasers of this fine volume (with no less than 4 Australian authors at no added cost!) from American Good Guy Mike’s Comics .

In Steve’s own words:

First, Michael has cut his advertised price on Destination Prague to $17.99. This is outstanding value to anyone, regardless of added bonuses. . . oh yes, keep listening for those. They’ll keep this pricing at least until August 1, 2007.

Second, some additional incentives which will again last until around at least until August 1 as well. Michael’s Comics will make available sets of the first four Dark Shadows audios for $39.00 to anyone who buys Destination Prague. (The Big Finish site has the Dark Shadows Season 1 at $68.00 purchased separately and $58.00 as a set.) If the customer is in the US and buys this package, we’ll also offer *free* Media Mail shipping and handling on the combined order. In case it helps, we’ll also offer Doctor Who monthly 2CDs #93-95 each at $14.99 with DP…suggested retail is $25.98 each.

Third, they are going to add a Short Trips subscription offer on their site soon, and will try to add an additional discount, which will be most likely unadvertised, if DP is the start of the subscription.

Fourth, if someone wants to catch up on earlier Short Trips books as well, and wants to buy a bunch (say 10 or more), until August 1, we’ll come down to that same $17.99 price for each Short Trips HC if they’re also picking up DP, and, again, for a package like this to a US customer we’d offer free Media Mail shipping and handling.

And as a little bonus for Michael’s comics there will be three book plates, signed by various contributors to the book, included for the first 60 customers – one per customer, and no plate will contain every signature, but they will contain PLENTY, call it a random surprise… a little gift from us, to the readers.

So who’s in this WHO? Sean Williams; James A. Moore; Keith R.A. DeCandido; Mike W. Barr; Paul Kupperberg; “Robert Hood; Brian Keene; Paul Crilley; Stephen Dedman; Paul Finch; Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis; Chris Roberson; Mary Robinette Kowal; Bev Vincent; James Swallow; Gary A. Braunbeck & Lucy A. Snyder; Kevin Killiany; Tim Waggoner; Todd McCaffrey; Stel Pavlou, and ME!

So, what are you waiying for? Go HERE and purchase, you mad, crazy Dr Who purchasing fools, you!