Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




Debbie Miller – Valediction

Posted on May 18th 2013 | 2 Comments so far

Sad to recount, Debbie Miller, a good friend and great fantasy writer, has passed away. I first met Debbie when her first novel, Talisker, was published by Simon & Schuster’s Earthlight imprint at the same time as Shadowkings, part one of my fantasy trilogy. We were both ’discovered’ by the redoubtable John Jarrold, prince among men, who was head honcho for Earthlight. At that time she was writing under the name Miller Lau, having adopted her (formerly) married surname as a nom-de-plume. Talisker was book of her determinedly Scottish fantasy sequence, The Last Clansman trilogy. Round about the time that the final volumes of both our trilogies were due to appear, Simon & Schuster had a fit of deck-clearing; having already dispensed with John Jarrold and promoted Darren Nash to editor, they then decided that Earthlight was unnecessary and ditched Darren too, with upsetting consequences for their stable of writers. (Its worth pointing out that John and Darren went on to higher, greater greener pastures in subsequent years.)

Anyway, not wishing to laboriously go into a detailed historical account (although it should certainly be noted that the David Gemmell Award would not exist were it not for Debbie’s iron resolve and cheery and creative persistence) I need only say that the last time I saw Debbie last year she was looking better than she had for a while, having been through gruelling courses of chemo, and was looking forward to regaining some of her former energies and forward momentum.

But it was not to be. In January of this year the cancer reappeared and this time she was not able to overcome it and on May 7th she passed away. The field has lost one of its champions, and I have lost a good friend – part of me feels diminished by the loss, but my memories of her genuine nature and her indefatigable joy more than makes up for it.

Vale, Debs. Safe journey.

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AYE WRITE – the Glasgow Book Festival (I`ll be there!)

Posted on February 23rd 2010 | Leave a comment

Thought I’d send up a flare on this, giving those of you in the vicinity a heads-up about the Aye Write festival. I’ll be taking part in an SF panel entitled ‘The Early Days Of A Better Future’, scheduled for Sunday March 7th, taking place at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, between 8pm and 9.30pm.

Chaired by Edinburgh critic and writer Andrew J Wilson, the panel will consist of Richard Morgan, Hal Duncan, Ken Macleod, Deborah Miller, and m’self. Broadly, the panel will take a look at the future or, perhaps more accurately, look at the way we look at the future. There will also be readings of brief extracts, an open question and answer session, and a few surprises.

It is a ticketed event, costing £7 waged/£6 unwaged; tickets can be had from the Mitchell Library itself, or by phone booking on 0844 847 1683. With this coruscating lineup of wit and reason, it could be an event to savour!

Posted in Buddies, humour, Michael Cobley Posts, on writing, philosophy, Politics, science fiction, space | Tagged , , , , , , ,
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