March 2024 Archives

I am very pleased to be able to admit that the Laundry Files are shortlisted for the Hugo Award for Best Series!

(Astute readers will recall that the Laundry Files were shortlisted—but did not win—in 2019. Per the rules, "A qualifying installment must be published in the qualifying year ... If a Series is a finalist and does not win, it is no longer eligible until at least two more installments consisting of at lest 240,000 words total appear in subsequent years." Since 2019, the Laundry Files have grown by three full novels (the New Management books) and a novella ("Escape from Yokai Land"), totaling about 370,000 words. "Season of Skulls" was published in 2023, hence the series is eligible in 2024.)

The Hugo award winners will be announced at the world science fiction convention in Glasgow this August, on the evening of Sunday August 11th. Full announcement of the entire shortlist here.

In addition to the Hugo nomination, the Kickstarter for the second edition of the Laundry tabletop role playing game, from Cubicle 7 games, goes live for pre-orders in the next month. If you want to be notified when that happens, there's a sign-up page here.

Finally, there's some big news coming soon about film/TV rights, and separately, graphic novel rights, to the Laundry Files. I can't say any more at this point, but expect another announcement (or two!) over the coming months.

I'm sure you have questions. Ask away!

A Wonka Story

This is no longer in the current news cycle, but definitely needs to be filed under "stuff too insane for Charlie to make up", or maybe "promising screwball comedy plot line to explore", or even "perils of outsourcing creative media work to generative AI".

So. Last weekend saw insane news-generating scenes in Glasgow around a public event aimed at children: Willy's Chocolate Experience, a blatant attempt to cash in on Roald Dahl's cautionary children's tale, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". Which is currently most prominently associated in the zeitgeist with a 2004 movie directed by Tim Burton, who probably needs no introduction, even to a cinematic illiterate like me. Although I gather a prequel movie (called, predictably, Wonka), came out in 2023.

(Because sooner or later the folks behind "House of Illuminati Ltd" will wise up and delete the website, here's a handy link to how it looked on February 24th via


Tickets to Willys Chocolate Experience™ are on sale now!

The event was advertised with amazing, almost hallucinogenic, graphics that were clearly AI generated, and equally clearly not proofread because Stable Diffusion utterly sucks at writing English captions, as opposed to word salad offering enticements such as Catgacating • live performances • Cartchy tuns, exarserdray lollipops, a pasadise of sweet teats.* And tickets were on sale for a mere £35 per child!



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