Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Silas Sets Forth

Signed with an Inspired Quill

For a man who makes a living out of words, it's quite disconcerting to find myself suddenly speechless: still that's the effect a book deal can have on an author.

Yes, that's right – a book deal.

I am greatly pleased to say that my novel Silas Morlock has been taken on by up-and-coming publisher Inspired Quill (IQ) and is scheduled for release towards the Autumn of 2012.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Ripping Yarn

Deep, dark and gruesome

By Ian Woodhead

 Reviewed by Mark Cantrell

ONCE again the delightfully twisted mind of Ian Woodhead has concocted yet another cracking horror story – and this one really isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Feel The Guilt

Seeing Red and feeling Cross, this ‘charity’ has gone too far 

By Mark Cantrell

THE letter landed on the doormat with all the urgency of a final demand, but this was no stern warning from some self-imposed authority barking a bellicose warning on the consequences of my fiscal shortcomings.

No, this letter was a guilt trip, or maybe that should be a guilt trap: if there was any stick, then it was intended to be a club made of my own guilt, and I would be the one to wield the cudgel until I saw the error of my ways.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Feeling Peaky

Dr Eurich
Conquering the scourge of anthrax

Back in 2002 (or thereabouts),  a terror scare erupted after several people received mail contaminated with anthrax spores. In the wake of that, I found myself being interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds as an 'expert' thanks to the following article I'd written some years before. Fortunately, I was interviewed alongside a genuine expert. Aside from that, there can't be many cities 'twinned' with a disease and what a nasty one my home town got...

Saturday, 3 December 2011

A Word With Me

Interviewed on Indies Unlimited

Check out the blog Indies Unlimited for an interview with Mark Cantrell, the author of Citizen Zero. And once you've finished that, you might care to stick around and discover a wealth of indie authoring talent...

Friday, 25 November 2011

Life's Too Short

Deus Ex Insomnia
Orbital Decay
By Mark Cantrell

We orbit,
Far away, but with each turn
We spiral ever closer
To the terminal point of doom.
Behold it, in space-time
Like the Reaper, cowled
By the shattered remains
Of matter & thought,
Tumbling slow into the dark space
Within.
Closer now, we spin,
Each of us in turn
Tumbling towards that Dark Abyss
At the end of our life's time:
The Event Horizon
Where Mind & Soul
Is torn asunder,
Ripped from fleshly remains,
By the gravitational forces
Of Death's Black Hole.
There, within that super-dense
Singularity
Is the junk yard of the Mind;
Our thoughts and feelings
From the beginning to the end
All the pain and the tears,
All the laughter and the joy,
All the things we did and yet
Could have done,
Crushed into one.
Trapped,
Lost,
Forever,
In that singular singularity
We call the Past.


Mark Cantrell,
Bradford, 7 January 2003



If I remember right, this poem (and many others!) appears in my collection Deus Ex Insomnia, available in paperback from Amazon and in a variety of digital formats at Smashwords.

Copyright (c) January 2003. All Rights Reserved.


Category: POETRY

Monday, 14 November 2011

Screw The King

In the republic of the word

By Mark Cantrell

ONE of these days I’m going to start blogging.

Hang on, though, isn’t this a blog? Well, no. Sure, it’s a blogging platform, but I started this site as a place to post my writing work rather than to actually blog per se.

That’s why it’s filled with poems and fiction, newsy bits (the ones that catch my eye – a hangover from a writers’ newsletter I once edited, but that’s another blog), comment pieces and essays, not to mention the odd feature article, and plenty of stuff plugging my writing elsewhere.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Was Tebbitt A Spaceman?

Visionary spaceman?
Sign On To The Stars 

There's a fine line between visionary and madman, but in this 2005 article, Mark Cantrell wondered if Lord Tebbitt hadn't actually been beckoning us to a future among the stars when he famously declared 'on yer bike' 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Bite The Bullet

You looking at me?

OKAY, so unaccustomed as I am to letting a video camera steal a slice of my soul, I endured the glassy gaze for the sake of UKFast's roundtable discusion on the alleged death of traditional print and the rise of digital publishing.

Here's the results. The discussion lasted a good hour and covered a lot of ground, so you obviously wouldn't want to sit through all that, so without further ado check out the edited highlights...

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Digital Screaming

Take your fingers out of the dyke!

 As the nascent Indie publishing scene develops, its greatest challenge is not just to win the battle for respectability, writes Mark Cantrell – but also to avoid becoming a pale imitation of the big publishing corporates

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Dead Good In Brum

In the city of the undead, novelty stirs


By Dave Jeffrey

Amazon (Kindle Edition)
ASIN: B0042P53RY
Publisher: Disturbed Earth (First Edition, September 2010)

Review by Mark Cantrell

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Then As Now

Campaigning for the Right to Thrive

By Mark Cantrell

Matters have long been coming to a head. Many of the themes hitting our societies today -- politically, economically -- have been bubbling beneath the surface for years and are now bursting forth to see fists shaken in outrage at our corporate masters. Today's global protests and occupations, of Wall Street, of the London Stock Exchange, prompted me to dig into the archives and dig out this little item. The article may be old, but the words and its subject retain their resonance...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Poetry Crisis

Homeless in the house of Keats

By Mark Cantrell

Poet Benjamin Zephaniah took in a group of homeless and vulnerably housed people to show them around Hampstead House, London, and lead them in a poetry workshop; all part of efforts to help them overcome their problems.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Poets Abroad

Poetry Sans Atlantic

Oscar Wilde once observed that the British and the Americans are two peoples separated by a common language. In this little 'blast from the past', two Bradford writers discovered that the language of poetry can bridge the divide...


By Mark Cantrell

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Seema's Jang


Seema’s novel is Svera’s song

Reading a novel by an author you know personally is fraught with dangers; all the more so when the novel in question is the author’s first. So Mark Cantrell approached Seema Gill’s Svera Jang with a certain sense of trepidation. What he discovered is a beautifully crafted novel about one woman’s resilience – and the strength of the human spirit

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Free Labour


Free labour anyone?
Towards a very British gulag

Work for free? You must be joking! Sadly no. The British Government is working on normalising the practice of forced labour and it begins with an easy target – the unemployed. So much for an end to so-called welfare dependency, why should employers hire when they can take a free ride at the taxpayers' expense…

By Mark Cantrell

Monday, 29 August 2011

Silver Winnings


Silver bookmark in poetry prize
 
POET laureate, Carol Ann Duffy (pictured) is to judge the Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet competition as the organisation marks its 25th anniversary.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Poetry Competition

Decanto calls for poems

Time is running out on the latest international poetry competition organised by Decanto magazine but the deadline is far from critical just yet.

The deadline for this year's Decanto Poetry Competition is 1 October 2011, with entries welcome from poets the world over.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Contemplating Sin

Sinners In Streaming Video

"DON'T worry," he says, wiping the incessant perspiration from his face. He stands by the door, framed in the pale light filtering in through the window high above my head. His beady eyes stare out of his pudgy face with a doll's sincerity. Almost it hides his embarrassment.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

About A Boy

The Dear Leader sets the tone
 An Open Letter To David Cameron's Parents

The following j'accuse has come my way and it seemed only fitting to post it here. Why should our great leaders be the only ones to stand in judgement of those whose loose morals have brought this country to the edge of mayhem? Read on...

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Take A Walk


Take a walk on the zombiefied

Ian Woodhead's brilliant novella brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'going clubbing it' and creates a worthy successor to The Unwashed Dead, writes Mark Cantrell

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Unwashed Dead


The dead are coming home in this dark tale of the ‘great unwashed’

Scream? I nearly went to Bradford. Mark Cantrell finds there’s an eerie air of the familiar to Ian Woodhead’s The Unwashed Dead, an enjoyable zombie horror that transports him back to the city he once called home…

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Well Flash

Short, sweet, and totally inspired

A Flash of Inspiration
A collection of incredibly short stories
Edited by Helmy Kusuma

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Special Offer

Sizzling deals in Smashwords’ Summer Sale

THERE’S a smashing cut-price deal on my fiction titles throughout July in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale 2011 – and as an added bonus my poetry collection is available for free.

Monday, 4 July 2011

A Hari Ordeal

The Cautionary Tale of Johann Hari

Be careful what you write; be careful how you write. If anything, the sorry saga of Johann Hari, the Independent journalist accused of plagiarism, provides a cautionary note to those of us who like to attempt a certain literary flair with our journalism.

By Mark Cantrell


Sunday, 3 July 2011

In Pontefract


Yorkshire author shares his words

TALK about a captive audience, but by all accounts the residents of a supported living scheme in Pontefract enjoyed the attention, when a local writers’ group chose the place for a launch event for its latest book.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Dannye Williamsen

Making a break for quality writing

Dannye Williamsen, author and founder of the Breakthrough Bookstore, tells Mark Cantrell why she has chosen to redesign and re-launch the site with a focus on quality Indie authors

Monday, 27 June 2011

To Hell


Hell is where the heart is

The Devil's Lair is far too gruesome to be painted in mere gore, so don't expect 'torture porn' in this intelligently crafted fantasy, writes Mark Cantrell

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Divided Nation

Re-building the pyramid that inters social justice

Society’s social-structure was once said to have become diamond shaped, as most of us clustered in the so-called middle class, writes Mark Cantrell, but now it seems the traditional pyramid-form of class and wealth is making a come back – that’s if it ever truly went away

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Nice Jam

What's to do in Bradford?



Category: GUEST

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Tad Williams

Timeless fantasy eschews myth for Medieval real

Mark Cantrell re-visits a gargantuan tome that takes fantasy out of Tolkien's 'Heroic' age and propels into the rugged realism of medievalism

Friday, 17 June 2011

Breached Horizons

When Inspiration Takes Hold

A Kind Of Prose Poem
By Mark Cantrell


THE words are out there somewhere: they hide like sinister malignancies in the shades of the mind. Lurking, until the moment comes to strike.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Citizen Zero Reviewed

Read the review on Inspired Quill

“Ever since George Orwell penned 1984, since Aldous Huxley gave us Brave New World, dystopian future sci-fi has been a staple in the English-speaking world. But how do you follow up such literary classics without resulting in a hashed up mishmash of the two? Surely it would take a feat of unparalleled genius to put something new on the plate.” READ THE REVIEW


Monday, 30 May 2011

Talking Shop

The man behind the mayhem

CITIZEN Zero author Mark Cantrell has featured on the ‘Woulds & Shoulds’ Editing & Design website in its Self Publishing Success series of interviews with indie authors and publishers.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Poets-On-Sea

Grab your knitting and get to Brid, there’s poetry in the air

POET Laureate Carol Ann Duffy faces some stiff – well, rather more floppy – competition at her forthcoming gig since she’ll be up against the world’s largest knitted poem.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Word Aid


Spare a word for charity

A charity that provides emergency shelter and supplies for families around the world caught in disasters is to be the beneficiary of a poetry collection currently seeking submissions.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

On Literature

Inspiration set free to kindle your mind

On Literature,
Selected Journalism of Mark Cantrell, Volume 1

A collection of essays and feature articles dedicated to the world of the creative writer
By Mark Cantrell

Book Fest


Read up for the city of eight

THE city of Lincoln is to host its eighth annual book festival next week with a top line-up of authors, poets, comedians – and even the odd politician.

Digital Dealing


Scroll on up for the latest smashing words

DIGITAL publisher and distributor Smashwords has signed a deal with the largest supplier of branded apps in the iTunes App Store, opening up a wider potential audience for independent authors and publishers.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

May Day Book Offer

Something for the weekend

Special May Day weekend offer on Citizen Zero

Mark Cantrell's hard-hitting science fiction thriller and political satire, Citizen Zero, is available at the subversively low-price of $0.99 (around 60 pence) for the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, iPad, Nook and other popular devices only from Smashwords. 

Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding Tribute


No fools like Royal fools in these days of Coalition austerity

THIS is a Festival of Fools – and it seems we the British public are most foolish for this Royal Wedding as we gawp in idiotic delight at the spectacle of sickening subservience to symbolic serfdom.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Taking Stockton

Competition win is cool as Iceton

SOMEHOW it seems a shame the prize wasn’t a house, but then that is perhaps a bit much even for a writing competition organised by a housing association. As it is, the winning writer has won recognition for her work – and a nifty £500 cash prize.

Buy Deus Ex Insomnia

Amazing poetry available to buy from the following retail outlets:




Buy Isolation Space

This thrilling collection of science fiction, fantasy, horror and thought-provoking satire is available in paperback and digital editions from the following retail outlets:




Sunday, 24 April 2011

Trailer Parks

Novel launched with trailer competition


BOOK trailers are becoming an ever-more popular phenomenon so when novelist Adele Parks decided to create one for her latest work, she called in students from the University of Teeside to put one together on her behalf.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Buy Citizen Zero

The hard-hitting science fiction thriller is available from the following retail outlets:




Category: PLUGGED

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Yawning Review


The grave case of the detective clown

Beginning an irregular series of book reviews, Mark Cantrell takes a walk through the curiously undead streets of Greasetown

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Quick Rant

Click for story

The wrong kind of people

READING this left me simmering with anger.

Here's the story in the local newspaper of my old home town, the Telegraph & Argus, about plans to regenerate a so-called slum estate.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Isolation Space Reviewed

What Hungur has to say about Isolation Space
Review by Terrie Leigh Relf, editor, Hungur Magazine

Mark Cantrell’s Isolation Space: A Melange of Short Fiction, is, as its title and content reveals, a medley of twenty short stories that will challenge, disturb, fascinate, provoke, sicken, and otherwise engross readers. They may even incite you to foment change!

FREE Sample

Restored on Scribd: A substantial FREE sample of the hard-hitting novel Citizen Zero

A dystopian glimpse at a future born in an age of austerity and political uncertainty, CITIZEN ZERO is a gripping social satire that exposes our deepest fears, and presents a grave warning to any society that abandons the pursuit of social justice. The novel presents a grim future of a society broken by austerity. It blends the stark social commentary of ‘The Boys From The Blackstuff’, the millennial anarcho-chic of ‘The Matrix’, and the uncompromising force of ‘V for Vendetta’ into one devastating portrayal of tomorrow’s Britain…

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Defying Austerity

This country shall not break nor bend to Tory toffs

The story of austerity entered another chapter today, when tens of thousands of ordinary working people took to the streets of London for a show of strength. Britain shall not be broken, they declared. Cameron and his crony Clegg should take note, writes Mark Cantrell, this is not a nation eager to doff the cap to plutocrats and toffs

Sunday, 6 March 2011

FREE For eBook Week

'
'Buy' CITIZEN ZERO -- but don't pay a penny

For this week, the hard-hitting science fiction thriller and political satire, CITIZEN ZERO, is available FREE from Smashwords.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

On Air In Bradford

Laugh, I nearly went home...



You can't take this pair anywhere, or as Joe likes to say: "Yes you can, the second time to apologise!"

Category: GUEST

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Bohemian In Middlesbrough

Is there a writer in the house?

FOR some years now, housing associations in the UK have been doing a lot more than providing low-cost – well, relatively low-cost – homes, though that may be coming to an end thanks to Government reforms – but that's another story.

Monday, 7 February 2011

SOS For May Day

Dave 'I hate Morris Dancers' Cameron
‘Oy, Dave – leave our day alone!


THERE’S something rather curious about David Cameron’s desire to abolish the May Day bank holiday.

Out of all the possible public holidays, why did he choose this one?

Friday, 4 February 2011

Zephaniah Gigs With Dead Poet


Benjamin is "cool" with Keats


"THIS is cool," said poet Benjamin Zephaniah as he looked forward to his next gig. "I've always wanted to work with Keats, and now my time has come."

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Fighting The Cuts

Government all set to abolish a generation of young people

But trade unionists and students are rallying to resist the cuts

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

With A Little Help From A Friend

Healthcare reform: creating a system fit for the 1920s

Doctor Dave and Nurse Nick are ready to see you now... Are you sure you can afford the price of the treatment?


Category: POLITICS

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Wot, no Kindle?

Free apps make a Kindle of a phone or PC

You don't need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook, provided you install one of a range of applications that can be downloaded from Amazon free of charge.

The online retailer has created a range of apps that will enable devices to read ebooks formatted for the Kindle. These include: Apple's iPhone, Windows PCs, Apple Macs, iPad, and Android OS phones. Its latest app release Kindle-enables the Windows Phone 7.

Each version of the app is available to download from AMAZON.

Category: NEWS

A Very Uncivil Disturbance

In the future, everyone will be a subversive for 15 minutes...

Hard-hitting science fiction thriller and political satire spreads through the online world with a host of popular ebook formats...

Digital Fiction

Don't be isolated, read it on the device of your choice

Fantastic fiction collection is available for a host of popular e-reading devices...

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Digital Editions

A great deal on digital

First published as a paperback collection, Deus Ex Insomnia is now available in a range of digital editions.

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