Category: Funny fantasy

the steampunk panel

Awesome is an over used and devalued word. I need something else to describe this years Sci Fi Weekender….freaking fantastic?

  I am absolutely exhausted from the event, a happy, smiley fatigue from spending so much time with over 5000 fun people. The organising team must be congratulated and warmly thanked…it was non-stop, seamless entertainment from the moment it started. Their seemingly endless stamina, friendliness and enthusiasm should be harnessed  as an energy source to save Planet Earth!

My biggest problem was getting to Pwllheli, in North Wales, nine hours on the train from Bucks…eek!  Again I was able to take dreadful advantage of the boundless hospitality of David J Howe and Sam Stone who put me up, took all my books to the event and generally spoilt me rotten. I was also able to get to know the beautiful American actress and guest star of the event, Chase Masterton, a real lady who is as gorgeous on the inside as her outward beauty. I also met up with lovely Frasier Hines again, he has always been  my favourite Dr Who companion and is great company in real life.

The venue, a Haven park in stunning coastal setting was a revelation. The excellent accomodation was fresh, spotless and luxurious…a real treat. With bright, early spring sunshine every day of the event, there was a definite holiday atmosphere to the event. And there was a Starbucks…so I could continue to fuel my addiction to caramel lattes.


With such an action packed program, the weekend went in a blur. I was on a line of tables among great people, firstly Robert Rankin with the effervervescent Lady Raygun, the Telos table with many of their authors. My table was also next to the King of Steampunk Jonathan Green, as always a delightful gentleman and wonderful company during the long hours of book promotion.

Jonathan and I were also together on the steampunk panel. This was so well attended, the auditorium packed solid with an enthusiatic and responsive audience.  We shared the panel with the irrepresible Rob Rankin and lovely Sam Stone at the table. A great success and so much fun to do. 
Other enjoyable panels I was on included one on fantasy world building, skilfully moderated by renowned author Paul Cornell.

The event attendees were awesome, incredible costumes, so much enthusiasm. One of the stand out costumes for me was one of the monsters from Attack the Block. How he managed to get the authentic -looking glowing blue fangs and spiky long black fur ! He had worked out how to fit an internal water bottle but not how to go to the loo…well, sometimes you have to suffer for your art!

Chase, Sam and David had the uneviable task of judging the cosplay competition, with so many brilliant entries, people who had put in so much dedication, imagination, humour and many hours careful crafting their costumes and props. The final ten were on the main stage on Saturday night and were popular choices of finalists judging from the enthusiastic cheers of the packed crowd.

Sadly I was too poorly to be able to take full advantage of the night events or maybe just getting too long in the tooth! I am determined to get fitter for next years extravaganza so I can join in and party all night. I was also soo busy to be able to catch any of the interviews with Chase, Frazer and Peter Davidson, Virginia Hey and the now legendary Rob Rankin/Brian Blessed interview. I hope someone has filmed them.

A big Gothmother thank you to the event organisers and support teams…you did an amazing job. Much respect to you all.

Also huge thank you hugs to Sam and David for looking after me ,to the Telos authors for holding the fort when I did panels, to Jonathan for your support and friendship, to the Rankins for being so fun and splendid. To the people who bought my books. To Kat and Lawrence and also my friends from the comic shop in Chesham for a lovely suprise reunion and to all the attendees for infecting me with your good natured spirit. An event to remember for the smiles….

Do you have people with a sense of humour on your holiday present list ?

If they chuckled through Blackadder, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Monty Python, then you have a dead cert choice of book to entertain them.

The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire is a sharply written spoof of fantasy novels  where no cliche of the genre is spared. It has great characters like Morven The Unwise Woman and Zaff the lead guitarist from Hell, plenty of quips, puns and dark ironic humour.  And voles.

The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire is available to order from all good bookshops, on line and directly from the publishers- Endaxi Press.

The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire by Raven Dane

Prosochi ( Imprint of Endaxi Press)

isbn 978-1-907375-99-6

Best not read while eating a mince pie or quaffing sherry…it is that funny.

My funny fantasy , The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire is now available to buy!

It can be ordered online, from all good bookshops, on Kindle and directly from Endaxi Press.

Huzzah !  The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Woman is now available for pre-order!

I am delighted to be involved in a book of short stories called Summer Shorts

This is the perfect book to read by the poolside or in your hotel room when the weather is bad…guaranteed to brighten up any day !

The book is compiled by Sheena Ignatia and published by Endaxi Press.

Also available as an Ebook.

Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron

London, 1874, where brash new technology exists alongside occult forces. Cyrus Darian is torn between gaining power or doing the right thing. Never an easy choice.


Cyrus Darian; hedonist, philanderer, alchemist and necromancer is approached by a wealthy American to find a mysterious occult book called the Technomicron. He soon finds out most of London’s criminal and spiritual underworld wants it too.

After a vicious attack on his home, Darian gathers up his team of trusted adventurers, including an inventor, a demon and a half human shapeshifter.
Nothing in Heaven, Earth or Hell will stop him getting hold of the book for himself despite not knowing what it is or what it can do.

Can he also trust his shapeshifter lover, the beautiful and bewitching Lady Teknoligi, owner of the insanely itinerant Emporium of Magickal Curios? Her knowledge could give Darian the edge he needs over his enemies but she could also kill him on her own pursuit of the Technomicron.

After all, she had tried to kill him before….

The first of a series of Cyrus Darian steampunk misadventures




Preview critique… 

‘This is an extremely good example of steampunk. An impressively imagined pseudo Victorian world of airships, clockwork men, brass goggles, steam hansoms, and deadly polluting gasworks. This is the type of steampunk that embraces the dark magical world of powerful ancient artefacts, ethereal creatures, and demonic conjuring. There are wonderful contrasts of location, from dreamlike emporiums to the bustling streets of London. Darian is perfect as the main character, with a mixed heritage, shifting ethics, and a wealth of skill and experience. The writing must be praised here, for it is luxuriously elegant, the rich descriptions conveying even the sense of smell (a favourite of mine). I really enjoyed reading ‘Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron’.

© Raven Dane 2010

A belated blog about  Odyssey 2010 , one of sci fi and fantasy fandom’s greatest conventions. I got such a charge to my creative batteries from this wonderful event, I have been too busy writing a new book.

This year the  event graced the Radisson Edwardian Hotel near Heathrow Airport, a luxurious, comfortable but Euclidian building.  The layout appeared to change at random, I swear I could see the shadow of  the minotaur down one of the many corridor labyrinths.

It didn’t eat me, too old and chewy I suspect which left me free to enjoy a packed and varied programme of events…some not really sci fi related but certainly no less fun. Sadly,  I was too cackhanded to attempt to knit my own Clanger or build an interdimentional robot. There were panels and quizes covering a wide range of sci fi and fantasy interests from the deeply scientfic to the borderline insane. I love that !

Inevitably there was such a surfeit of riches, that some clashed, something impossible to avoid with so many wonderful things happening at once. Thanks to the wonders of 21st century, many panels were recorded as podcasts.

Nor did I have  mega cool clothes to go the Steam Punk Ball either but I have a year to get some before the next EasterCon….

I need these fun events to give the batteries of  my creative inner workings  a much needed boost. Meeting so many talented, creative people gives me the kick up the backside I deserve.   Odyssey worked so well I haven’t stopped writing my first steampunk novel Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron since I returned home… Thank you Odyssey people …much huggage !

I was supposed to be launching my first funny fantasy ; The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire at Odyssey. Delays at the publishers meant I went to the Con empty handed but I was delighted to be invited on the panels of several discussions, all well attended with enthusiastic and lively audiences that joined in the discussions with insight and good humour…the best kind!

Friday night I was on a panel discussing the  modern interpretation of Arthur and Merlin legends. With three eminent historians and authors, Kari Sperring and Edward James and  Liz Williams.  I felt out of my depth but there was no need to worry. They were lovely. The debate between me and fellow panelist Nickey Barnard championing the BBC Merlin became  a tad  lively at times but we both thoroughly enjoyed the good-natured verbal jousting.

On Saturday, after doing a book signing session, I was able to relax for the whole day. It was a joy to attend as many panels as possible as a member of the audience including a fascinating and informative one on swordplay by Steve Kilbane who helped us learn the correct way to use rapiers, longswords and other weapons

Sis in law picked my up from the hotel and we went home on Sunday to join in the Great Family Easter Egg Hunt and then brought me back during the evening.

Monday was a busy one for me. I had a thoroughly entertaining time on the panel discussing funny fantasy where I was a good girl and didn’t plug The Unwise Woman….yeah right!  As if….OK. I confess to a small degree of shameless plugging. Also on the panel were John Coxon,author Johnny Nexus, comedian Donna Scott and the delightful American author Esther Friesner with her hamster ears. ( She raises money for charity by doing cheeblemancy…divination by hamster! )Later in the day with the help of a massive dose of  caffeine , I managed to summon enough energy to be on the panel discussing researching fantasy with the event’s Guest of Honour Liz Williams,Jane Killick and MD Lachlan.

A perfect end to a fabulous weekend.   I found out  what filking was and that it wasn’t something rude, missed the bondage demonstrations which would have been, didn’t knit a Clanger and made lovely new friends.

In convention terms, as near as perfect as you can get.

Thank you all the organising team, you are diamonds !

Raven and Enta the Dragon

I am delighted to announce my first funny fantasy novel. The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire is to be published by Endaxi Press in spring 2010

Prince Rafial’s Castle

Built high in a distant desolate land, where mountains ceased to resemble toblerones but became twisted malevolent shards of stone, where eerie winds moaned through bone strewn valleys, was a black fortress. It had many names, Allhopes End, The Hall of Despair, Deathskull Palace. Which made it hellish for postmen.

Darkness reigned supreme in this place, called the Land of Darkness and Despair or Land of Hackneyed Clichés to the more worldly wise of its night-bred inhabitants. A greenish-yellow sulphurous mist swirled through the forests and around the base of the fortress. Large bats permanently flitted around the turrets in a dizzying whirl. Obviously in shifts except at weekends when the skeleton crew took over.

The moon was always full and often blood red when it felt the need for added melodrama. And whenever anyone or anything approached the fortress, a violent thunderstorm would strake the night sky, a sort of paranormal intruder alarm. The worse offenders for setting it off were the werewolves using the storm has an impromptu bath when their coats became too manky. The evil minion guards of the castle had become accustomed to so many false alarms and now ignored them, a case of crying werewolf.

Despite this, the demon that lived there called it home. A reluctant dweller on Earth, he had been kicked out of Hell for the heinous crime of dissension. To Rafial, all that prodding with pitchforks had seemed so petty, so pointless. An eternity living in sulphur scented darkness with no reality TV and soaps was surely punishment enough for the souls of the damned? What was the point of having devilish powers and a fallen angel’s beauty just to dangle food on long poles in front of the eternally hungry? And do all that annoying maniacal laughter. It was so trivial and tedious.  His dissent had led to banishment, condemned to live amongst humans for eternity. It could have been worse. Living with lemmings or wombats would have been far more problematical.

With a huge, gloomy castle to roam in and plenty to read, Rafial was content. Unlike his daughter Demonica. Born of a human woman, she was desperate to create merry hell on earth. Bored and restless, she frequently railed at her father to go out and wreak some satanic havoc, to corrupt souls and torment people.  But Rafial was adamant. He would leave humans alone if they didn’t bother him. They had enough misery in their lives already…clip on ties, verrucas, puberty, gangsta rap, piccalilli, spam emails selling shlong enlarging cream…the list was endless.

In her spacious, cobweb draped quarters, Demonica stood in front of a suitably gothic mirror, black glass, dark pewter surround decorated with sculls, dragon claws and bats. A click of her fingers and the mirror cleared. She was darkly glamorous like her late mother, tall, with long slim legs, an ample bosom and a tiny waist. The tumble of her raven locks down her back hid two neat horns, courtesy of her father’s side of the family as were her neat yet sharp fangs. Her eyes were jet black and would flare into flame when angry – which was often. Long, blood red painted talons completed her look. To her dismay she had not inherited her father’s impressive black wings. Wasted on him of course, another sore point, Rafial never flew anywhere.

Unlike the contents of her chambers. The demon’s daughter stepped back from her mirror and kicked a childhood favourite toy, her scarebear flying across the room to bounce off the furthest wall. It waited, crumpled into a heap on the flagstones until her attention was drawn to a pile of magazines by her bed before wisely slinking into the shadows. Around Demonica agitated by her fury and frustration spun a dizzying tornado of ‘Succubus’ and ‘Lilith’ and other teenage girly demonic magazines as well as a copy of ‘Not Ok’ featuring hot gossip from the damned in Hell.  What was the point of them all anyway? Time wasting trivia, she had no intention of becoming trapped in perpetual ennui like her pathetic father.

Time for action, with a flash of fire from her eyes, she incinerated the flock of magazines and all of her toys, save the cowering hidden scarebear.

Dressing in her favourite skin tight black leather cat suit decorated with vicious looking stud and spikes and arming herself with various weapons of mass destruction, Demonica was ready. Watch out world, the Daughter of Darkness was on her way, ready to kick some weakling human backsides!