Welcome to the Urban Fantasist website, home to the Grievous Angel scifi and fantasy, poetry and flash fiction webzine, as well as Charles Christian's fiction, nonfiction, Urban Fantasist Publishing, and The Blog, our regular news, pictures, video clips and blog postings on writing, tech, geek stuff, the Swinging Sixties, the just plain weird, and anything else we think you'll enjoy. For further details visit our FAQs section or use the Search Box at the top of the page. You can also find a link to our Twitter feed.
The Grievous Angel
Read our latest Poetry & Flash Fiction every Monday
The Blog + News
Autumn colours, near Gaudy Hall, South Norfolk
Picture du Jour
This is fabulous and yes I am guilty of Esplanading & Negligent (in fact left to my own devices I'd probably live in my dressing gown)...
The Fastest Starship?
This is where I take you on a Throwback Thursday featuring 7 degrees of separation from Scarborough in 1965 to the Marina Theatre Lowestoft in 2015 by way of two encounters with the Kray Twins... Full story HERE
Ever had one of those debates in a pub or late at night at a sci-fi convention about which is the fastest starship in the Universe? Well click HERE for a graphic that explains it all!
Do Humans Dream of Electric Sex?
Here's a link to a new article of mine in House on the Borderland on robots and sex in science fiction and science fact.
Heading down the Highway
For anyone thinking of following one of the Great American Roadtrips of Literature - here's an interactive map from Atlas Obscura showing some f the best, including Jack Kerouac's On The Road + Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test + Robert Persig's Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance + Bill Bryson's Lost Highways. Full story HERE
The Top Five Steampunk movies of all time - well at least so far...
With the much anticipated new Guillermo del Toro movie Crimson Peak – described as Gothic Romance, Supernatural Horror, Steampunk – scheduled for release in just under a month on 18th October, I've been conducting research into the most popular Steampunk movies to have been released to-date. You can find out which the Top Five are HERE.
Advice for Authors
Transports of Delight
1960-vintage Autobianchi, complete with original "suicide doors," spotted in my local town the other week Full story HERE
Autumn Writing Courses
Picture du Jour
Here you go: racial, sexual and religious discrimination explained in one simple image. Shame about the pirates tho!
Mashup: What if everyone in the movies was at the same disco?
There is a place where all fictional characters meet. Outside of time, outside of all logic, This place is known as HELL'S CLUB but this club is not safe as its customers include The Terminator, Tony Montana, Tom Cruise, Carlito Brigante, Blade, John Travolta, Al Pacino, Pinhead, the Mask, Jedi Knights, RoboCop and Michael Jackson.
Here's my reworking of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs for Geeks & Techies attending tech shows and conventions.
Another retro image – this time with a StarWars theme.
It's a Wet Bank Holiday Monday and...
It's a wet Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK so I'm reading the final Terry Pratchett Discworld novel – The Shepherd's Crown – and drinking beers from Discworld Ales, including their infeasibly potent Taking The Dark 10% proof black IPA!
I'm pleased to announced I've just been accepted on the HWA's mentoring scheme and am now offering mentoring on poetry, flash fiction and screenwriting. You need to contact the HWA directly about this.
StarTrek reimagined as a retro 1930s style travel poster.
All winners from the start – and that means no "It was a dark and stormy night..." opening paragraphs!
Oh, the irony!
Now here's ironic... I've been writing about tech for 35 years and best ever response from readers has been for a joke story on Twitter about a My Little Pony meets Hellraiser Pinhead mashup. Even the man himself Clive Barker favourited the story. Still, lessons have been learned – "No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering" – I shall remodel myself – just like Bert from Sesame Street.
Coffee time for Cult TV fans
A couple of my old and now distinctly foxed The Prisoner coffee mugs from Portmeirion. What's that big white balloon coming over the hill? "No. get back Rover!"
Writers' Earnings: one more cup of coffee before I go
Talking to the American author and poet Ken Poyner about his latest collection Constant Animals: Unruly Fictions, I joke that with each sale he probably makes enough for one coffee and a muffin in Starbucks. "No," he replies, "trust me, it is more like coffee at McDonalds and they won't even give you a second sugar!"
Sign of the Times
A birthday present to me from Jane Christian. The words are by the late Douglas Adams, of Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy fame, and are the story of my life.
Books + Twitter
New Travel Guide now in the Kindle Folklore & Mythology bestsellers list
Just in time for the holiday season here's my new – and unusual – travel guide to that part of East Yorkshire known as the Yorkshire Wolds, a guide that pulls together the secrets of the Wold Newton Triangle – where fact is even weirder than fiction.
A travel guide to Yorkshire’s Weird Wolds: The Mysterious Wold Newton Triangle by Charles Christian is available on Amazon Kindle as an ebook for £0.99p now.
Meet, amongst other oddities, werewolves, zombies, vampires, green skinned fairy folk, headless ghosts, screaming skulls, ancient warlords, miracle-working priests, very eccentric gentry, England’s oldest buildings, disappearing rivers, a good Queen and an avaricious Queen, a black skeleton, a Parkin-eating dragon, sea serpents, shape shifters, enchanted wells, giant monoliths and a grid of ley lines, as well as a surprising amounts of Quite Interesting Facts. There is even Lawrence of Arabia in there and, for enthusiasts of American naval history, Captain John Paul Jones. And for sci-fi & fantasy fans, you'll also find the inspiration for some of Philip José Farmer's books.
What the reviews say:
"Outstanding writer who perfectly captures the hidden worlds and forgotten corners of Britain" ...Amazon 5 Star review 1st June 2015.
"Great work bringing local folklore to life" ...Amazon 5 Star review 16th June 2015.
Buy & Read The Best Seller Writing Guide
Only available on Amazon Kindle as an ebook from £0.99p / $1.50
Do you write genre fiction? Or love reading it? This book reveals the 12 rules that writers of science fiction, fantasy, crime and horror must never break when building believable imaginary worlds for their readers.
What the reviews say...
"What a brilliant book! Rule 13: Read this book. It can only help you write better genre stories. What's to lose?" ...Vanessa Gebbie, award-wining author and editor of Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story
"It's the ideal go-to source for the basic rules and principles of genre fiction writing... it's a thoroughly enjoyable read and easy to dip into in the future for recaps... best of all, it's solid, practical advice."
"In my collection, this is one of the Best writing references I have. Insightful, Detailed, Concise, and helpful writing tips. Highly recommended to all writers!"
"A quick and witty read (some great examples are given), this book is well worth returning to at greater length to savour the author's knowledge and analysis of a wide range of fiction and the spin-off films. A short book that packs a punch!"
"This great little book gives aspiring writers a dozen common sense rules for crafting fiction.. it's also well worth the attention of more experienced writers."
"If I had read this book first, maybe I would not be on my fifth rewrite!"
"It's the sort of book I wish I'd had ten years ago, when I started working on my first novel. The price is great and the advice is sound."
"If you write fantasy (I do) a very useful quick-read anchor and check-list from someone who knows what he's talking about."
Latest Review: "An easy to read reminder of how to keep your imaginary worlds in order – or out of order as the case may be. Well written and concise."
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MELTC84
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MELTC84
60 consecutive weeks in the Amazon.com Kindle Top #20 Education/Reference and Writing Skills Bestseller Lists
Collections featuring short stories by Charles Christian