Saturday, December 23, 2006

Collaborative Progress

Another collaborator has sent in their section of The Blind Collaborators today. Getting closer to completion...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Making the Job Worthwhile

I've had a few emails from around the world regarding my reviews, and links to the reviews, quotes from or copies of them have appeared on various author's websites and on It's nice to know that people are reading them and appreciate them. This comment was particularly gratifying:

For a writer new to the scene, it's an unusual sort of thrill to see my work commented on for the first time in a public format.

That's the very reason I decided to start reviewing: because I know how much it means to an author to get feedback - especially positive - on something you've written.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Upper Second

My final Open University course results arrived today. After 6 years part time study I've completed my BSc in Environmental Studies, with upper 2nd class honours.

The relief is overwhelming.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Progress on Three Items

News today that two more of my reviews are now on-line at SF UK Review. You can read my opinions of Scheherazade #28 and Jupiter #14 there. There's also news of a new UK SF mag due to launch next year entitled Murky Depths. I think it's going to start getting difficult keeping up with all the reviews.

Meanwhile the reprint of A Feast of Eyes has been accepted by Static Movement for their February invitation-only issue. I'm looking forward to seeing the illustration to go with it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Results Pending

The final results of my degree in Environmental Studies are due on Friday. After six years it's nearly over!

Meanwhile I'm waiting for 6 stories and reviews to be published, 7 editors to respond to story submissions and 3 collaborators to send me their parts of our collaborative story.

Writing is 1% typing and 99% waiting.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Laura Hird has accepted two of my reviews for her website. The
Laura Hird website contains reviews of dozens of literary magazines and is widely read. My reviews of Forgotten Worlds #5 and PostScripts #8 will appear in the next issue. Meanwhile my Jupiter #14 and Scheherazade #28 reveiws should appear on UK SF Review this weekend.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

By Invitation Only

On-line SF zine Static Movement, who published my story The Last Adam earlier this year, are planning a special invitation-only issue for February, that will feature illustrations for all of the stories. And guess who's been invited to contribute? Correct.

I love writing stories! :0)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Three Anniversaries

This week is my tenth wedding anniversary, so we went away for a long weekend to the beautiful city of Bath. While I was away I neglected to update the blog on Friday, when it celebrated its first anniversary. Of course, this blog was started on the anniversary of the publication of my first story, so it's now two years that my work has been appearing on line.
The past year I've had less stories published than my first year. That's partly becasue it was the final year of my degree studies, which kept me very busy, and because most of the spare time I had was spent on my novel rather than short stories.
So, on to another year, and we'll see what transpires...


I discovered today that I had unmoderated comments dating back months, waiting for me to approve. I didn't realise they were there as I'd omitted to fill in my email address to notify me. So for those people who have posted comments, sorry - I wasn't ignoring you! I've now posted those comments, while deleting some spam, and set it up properly so it shouldn't happen again.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Assorted Stories

I've come across some real gems as I've been reading through my latest influx of magazines:

In Jupiter 14 there were The Truth About Watermelon Seeds,
The Roots of Martian Civilisation and Stranded.

The highlight of Scheherazade 28 was A Token of our esteem 2298 AD .

I've just finished Forgotten Worlds 5 that included the brilliant story The Last Moments of Rapture and Peak.

I'm on to PostScripts 8 now and hoping for more.

Although these magazines contain SF, fantasy, horror and other 'speculative fiction', all of my favourites are definately in the SF arena. That's just my taste though. They're all worth reading to look for your own gems.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Online Database

An unknown benefactor out in the world of SF has put together a
Database of Online Authors, providing an alphabetical list of authors with links to their stories on line. I was about to submit my information for inclusion when I discovered that I am already on there!

There are links to two of my stories, so I've provided information for the others; they should appear within a few days.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Magazine Progress

I'm currently reading Scheherazade #28, a magazine that I've somehow overlooked previously. The review for this and for Jupiter #14 should be posted on UK SF Review at some point, though at the moment it's all quiet over there.

Meanwhile the latest news from Static Movement is that the print issue with my story The Last Adam will be out by the end of the year.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Too Late the Hero

This is the final retrospective look at one of my stories that was published before I began this blog.

Too Late the Hero is the story of a superhero who finds himself becoming obsolete due to advances in technology. It was published in Aphelion a year ago today and received a number of comments in their Lettercol.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Feast of Eyes

I have been unable to contact the former editors of Star Trek and Science Fiction Stories, and as the site seems to have vanished I have decided to repost my story A Feast of Eyes here.

It was the first of my stories to be published and I have since decided that it occurs in the same universe as my novel. There are a couple of obscure references in the novel for the sharp eyed to spot. When I finish it, of course.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Missing Links

I've put most of the page back together finally, except some of the 'Other Links'. I can't remember what they all were, so I'll add them back in as I think of them.

While putting the story links back in I discovered that A Feast of Eyes and the whole Star Trek and Science Fiction Stories website seems to have vanished. I'll keep looking...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New Illustration

While putting all the lost links back together I discovered that my story The Last Adam now has an excellent illustration to go with it. It's a great picture and really adds to the emotional impact of the story.

Weekend Reading

I've been reading a fabulous Jack Vance novel Night Lamp for the past week or so. His books are full of brilliant description and characters with great names who all talk like they've come from Pride and Prejudice. He also has a phenomenal vocubulary; I have to keep a dictionary to hand while reading.

Much as I was enjoying it I took a break over the weekend to read the new issue of Jupiter magazine that turned up in the post. It's a convenient A5 size, easily manageable with one hand while drinking a cup of tea. I've written a review that should be appearing at UK SF Review in due course

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Few Paragraphs

I've started on the next chapter of the novel - only a few paragraphs so far, but I can feel it all coming back to me. Once I'm back into the flow of writing I should start making some significant progress.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Novel Ideas

While I'm waiting for the rest of the collaborators to send in their contributions, I've turned my attention to my long-neglected novel. I've been reading it through, making some minor amendments and generaly getting back into the story so I can pick up where I left off. There's still so much more to write and I'm starting to get enthusiastic about it again!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Against the Odds

Australian magazine Andromeda Spaceways had provisionaly accepted my alternate history story A Few Good Men, the third time one of my stories has made it to their final submission round. According to their website, one in three stories then ends up being published. Mine has just been rejected; so much for those odds!

Undeterred, I have sent it straight off to one of the new UK magazines.

In case you're wondering why the links in the sidebar don't go anywhwere, I'm gradually reinstalling them following a freak keyboard accident that destroyed my template.

Friday, October 20, 2006

More Mags

Another new UK Sf magazine Fiction Magazine is due to launch in January as a paying market. Meanwhile I've found out about another 3 UK magazines:

- FarThing
- PostScripts
- Scheherazade

I've added them all to my side bar and ordered the latest copy of each to look at. Reviews will appear at UK SF Review in due course.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Collaborative Developments

I've had 1 1/2 sections back from my collaborators, and I've completed the introduction to the story. Although I've already plotted the conclusion, I can't write it until I know who all the characters are. I've written a few paragraphs leading into the conclusion, so it's shaping up nicely.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Second Chance for Last Adam

The print issue of Static Movement, which is to contain my story The Last Adam, has been rescheduled to be printed by a different publisher. Not sure when yet, but at least there's movement again.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Conspiracy Grows

I now have 7 people signed up for my collaborative story, and the intrigue and secretivensss are begining to border on the paranoid.
I've sent information to each of the authors about the background, and each has individual instructions about things to include. Other than that I have no idea what they will write, but the elements I have given each of them should allow me to tie them all together at the end.

It's great fun, though I'm spending as much time on messages and emails as I would on writing it myself!

You can watch the drama unfold at the Aphelion Lettercol.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Blind Collaberation

The first of my 13 story ideas to get off the starting block is a collaborative story I've been planning for a while. I've called it a blind collaboration as none of the other contributors will know what each other are writing, and none of them know what the point of the story is.

I've had six volunteers from among the Aphelion community, so it's about ready to roll.

How does it work? I've created a setting and background against which all of the contributions will be written. I'll also set a common time frame to avoid continuity problems. Each author will be free to create their own character to do with as they will, within the bounds of the setting of course.

The rest is a secret. Actually, several individual secrets known to each author individually. They won't know the significance of their respective communiques until they see the final story.

I think it's going to be great.

Friday, October 06, 2006


As of today I am no longer a student!

After six years of part-time study with the Open University I have finished all the work towards my degree in Environmental Science.

Theoretically, this means more time for writing.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Alpha and the Omega

My copy of the new issue of Universe Pathways has arrived, containing the Greek translation of Artefact Nouveau. I can't read any of it of course, though I can just about decipher enough Greek letters to read the transliteration of the main character's name.

Also today I received an email from Hub magazine to say they're way behind with reading but I should hear soon. It's nice to know that I haven't just been forgotten.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Imminent Greek Magazine

The next issue of Greek magazine
Universe Pathways, containing my story Artefact Nouveau, has been delayed until the end of this week, and the editor says I should get my copy by early October. I'm looking forward to seeing it finaly, especially as I've had nothing but delays recently.

There's always a lull over summer, but I'm hoping to start hearing back from some of my other submissions soon.

Friday, September 08, 2006

No Movement on Static Movement

The print edition of Static Movement, which was to contain my story The Last Adam, has been cancelled due to problems with the publishers. The editor of static movement still plans to publish, but is now looking for another publisher.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Final Countdown

After six years I have reached the final month of studying for my degree. The last piece of project work is due in on October 5th - one month from today. After that - freedom!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Well it's three months since my third stories reached round three of the selection process at Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. They only keep them for three months while they decide, and one in three make it into the magazine, so I should be hearing from them any second.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Portuguese Delay

Apparently the next issue of Portuguese magazine Phantastes has now been delayed until next year. Not sure if my story A Word in the Right Place was due in this issue or not, but I won't be seeing it for a while now.

On the bright side Greek magazine Universe Pathways containing my story Artefact Nouveau is now due in less than a month. I have been wondering, though, how the pseudo-French title will translate into Greek. Only time will tell (a little in-joke there for those who have read the English original).

Friday, August 25, 2006

Anonymous Rejection

I've received a story rejection by email - but I don't know who it's from! It's not an email address that I submitted to, and the sender only uses a first name and no other identification. I sent the same story to half a dozen foreign-language magazines, so it could be any of them. I'll have to wait for the others to reply now to narrow it down!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Career

My new career as a reviewer is taking off, with my review of Scifantastic #5 appearing on the UK SF Review website.

Everything seems to have gone quiet on the story front; no responses of any kind for a few weeks now. I only have 6 more weeks of study left though before I can begin writing again. My long-neglected novel has been on my mind, so I'm eager to get on with it.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Who Reviews the Reviewer?

The kind of small press magazines that I have been published in so far tend to get overlooked when it comes to reviews. Most reviewers stick to reading the big professional magazines. Rather than continuing to bemoan this fact, I decided to do something about it and write some reviews myself.

My first review is of Universe Pathways and appears at the
UK SF Review website.

I'm in the middle of Scifantastic #5 at the moment, so I shall be completeing my review of that magazine in a few days time.

I would really like to see regular reviews of all the UK SF magazines, and I intend to fill this gap whenever possible. If you have a magazine that you would like to see reviewed, please email me and I'll make sure I fit you in.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Conspiracy Theories

My alien invasion conspiracy story Fool Britannia appeared in Aphelion this time a year ago. It received the most comments of any story I've had published so far. Here are a few of the highlights:

"The subtlety of some of the historical events made it fun to figure them out."

"In short, very eloquent, funny (the footie side explanation was quite convincing, i'm afraid), and reminiscent of our conspiracy theory faves."

"I thought this was a well written story, both fun and funny."

"A good little story and a tight read."

"The punch line at the end is priceless."

"Conspiracies rule...and this story had an enlightening angle on the genre, utilizing excellent so-called British humor (often said to be dry), and this droll officialspeak which always works well in a comical setting."

Friday, August 04, 2006

One Hundred Results

My latest stories published on line have pushed the number of results from googling my name to over 100! Admittedly lots of those are multiple hits from the same sites, but it still feels like a significant number.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Stellar Destinations

When I was young I used to like making up holiday brochures for other planets. I found one of them a while back and it inspired me to make some more, mostly for my own amusement. I then realised that I could post them on a blog - after all they're never going to be published anywhere else!

So here it is:
Stellar Destinations. Have a look at all the places you might visit one day. It's open to submissions too, so if you've been off-planet recently feel free to share your experiences!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Static Preview

There's now a preview of the print edition of Static Movement available at the Steel Moon website. My story isn't in the preview as it's the last story in the magazine. I presume they've saved the best 'til last!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Very Thick Magazine

My copy of Universe Pathways has arrived. At 340 pages it's hardly a magazine. It looks great though: glossy colour cover, neatly laid out pages. I'm thinking of getting a new shelf put up for my fledgling collection of printed stories. This will be taking up a significant portion of it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Steel Moon

Details of the forthcoming Static Movement Online print anthology are now available at Steel Moon Publishing. It looks like it will be a good quality mag. It also uses the phrase 'best of best stories', which is quite complimentary to my story The Last Adam. Although I think more space will be devoted to my bio as the story is so short!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Now Available

The English edition of Universe Pathways, which turns out to be a bumper 300 page edition, is now available to buy on It features my story Artefact Nouveau.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

100 Submission

That's right - I've sent off my 100th submission. By a quick bit of maths you may think that I've had lots of rejections, but actually there are several stories still out there waiting, and lots of the foreign markets have never replied. Add that to the magazines that turn out to be dead and it works I've had two rejections for each acceptance.

I'm quite pleased with that.

Monday, July 03, 2006

On Line and in Print

You can now read The Last Adam in the July issue of Static Movement on line. The story has also been selected for their forthcoming print anthology, so I get the best of both worlds.

By coincidence, it's a year tomorrow that my first anthologised story appeared, when Fluctuations was reposted in the Bewildering Stories 'Best of' anthology.

Friday, June 30, 2006

A Busy Day

It's a good day today. The new edition of Universe Pathways is out,
containing my story Artefact Nouveau. It should be available from, but only the first issue appears there at the moment.

My story A Word in the Right Place has also been accepted by Portuguese magazine Phantastes today. I've attached a picture of issue #1 of Phantastes.

My short flash fiction entitled The Last Adam is in the
new edition of Static Movement tomorrow, so I hardly care about the
rejection I got from another ezine today!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bibliography Update

A while ago I added a 'Bibliography' link on the side bar, but up to now it still points to the list I wrote in December, which is now out of date. I've been meaning to update it for a while but I kept hanging on for the two stories due this month to appear. Now one of them has, but another has been accepted, so the updated bibliography will also appear any day along with them.

I shall keep the new version up-to-date, when I finally get it done.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Flash Fiction

In a world record turn-around, my very short flash fiction story The Last Adam has been accepted by the ezine Static Movement. It will appear in the July issue this weekend.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Top of the List

The new edition of Aphelion is out today, containing my hard-SF sequel The Grey Void. This may or may not be significant, but it's listed first on the contents page!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Universe Pathways

I had an email from the editor of Universe Pathways today to say that the English version containing my story Artefact Nouveau will be out in a few days and the Greek version is now due September 22nd.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Exceedingly Short

Several years ago I read about a competiton at a convention somewhere to write a sci fi story in 8 words. The winning story was brilliant, and I've occasionaly thought of writing something really short myself. Several magazines publish 'flash fiction' of 1000 or even 500 words.

I had a sudden idea last night for a very short story - only 78 words in total. I typed it out and submitted it in record time. Not many markets are looking for work that short, but there are a few.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Eleven Twelfths

I've reached the halfway stage of this year's degree coursework. Only 3 1/2 months until I'll have time for writing again! As I'm studying part time this is my sixth (and final!) year, so I'm 11/12 of the way through.

I think by October I'll have so many plots and plans in my head that I'll be writing constantly for weeks.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Then There Were Five

It seems there's another UK SF magazine that I also didn't know about: Here and Now magazine. It's on its eighth issue and I've included it in my list of markets for submission.

I've added links to the UK magazines on the side bar.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

New UK SF Magazine

I was quite excited to discover today that a new UK SF magazine is due to launch in September.

Hub magazine appears to be a professional market and, as far as I know, is the fourth UK SF magazine, the others being Interzone, a professional market, and two small press magazines Scifantastic and Jupiter SF.

It's particularly satisfying to appear in a UK publication, not least because there are so few of them. I've had a story in one of them, just three more to go.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Frustration of Inspiration

I never have a problem with inspiration - I always seem to have plenty of ideas of things to include in my stories. This week I've had another idea for a story.

The problem is, I don't have enough time to write them! I now have 11 short story ideas waiting impatiantly to make it to the keyboard. That's aside from the half completed novel.

I'm making notes of everything, but it's very frustrating!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Round Two

Make that three. Yesterday I received notification from Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (ASIM) that the story I sent them recently has reached round 2 of their submissions process and I would hear more in 2-3 weeks. Today I got another email that it had reached round three and is now on their shortlist for publication!

This either means that it's so short all 3 reviewers thought they'd get it out the way quick, or it's so great they were told to drop everything and read it. I prefer the 2nd theory.

Each edition of ASIM has a differnt editor who chooses their contents from the shortlist. This means that although my story has been accepted as suitable for publication, it might not end up being used. They keep it for up to 3 months while all the editors look at it.

Two of my other stories have got this far, but their webpage does say 1 in 3 make it into print, so the odds are on my side.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Two Stories Imminent

I returned from holiday to find that the new edition of Aphelion is not yet on line, so my story The Grey Void is still due any day.

Also this month Artefact Nouveau should be appearing in the English edition of Universe Pathways. When I checked their website today though, it says the Greek edition will be out June 15th, so now I'm not sure.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Well, I'm off on holiday for a week tomorrow. I may have time to relax and write something, but I could be too busy doing nothing. I sent off two more submissions today, so there are now six stories working their way through slush piles while I relax.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Return to the Grey Hole

My hard SF sequel The Grey Void has been accepted by Aphelion, the fourth story they've taken from me. It follows on from The Grey Hole, which was the first of my stories they accepted. They plan to publish it in issue 102 this month.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The War is Over

I've just read the best short story I have ever come across. The War is Over by Algis Budrys left me sitting in awed silence for several minutes after I finished it. When you've read as much sci fi as I have, it takes quite a story to do that. That's the kind of fiction I'd like to be writing one day.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Words About A Word...

It's 2 weeks since I got my copy of Scifantastic and read it cover to cover during that weekend.

Here are some comments I've received about my story A Word in the Right Place:

'Funny, but also kind of scary in a 1984 kind of way.'
'Very cool little story.'
'This is a very tightly written, sparkling little piece. Whether or not it's set in a sci-fi universe, and it may not even need to be, it makes for pretty effective, ironic, and comic commentary on people's attention span, and particularly on what gets the public's attention.'

I thought it interesting that 1984 was mentioned, the same reference that was made by one of the Australian editors.

I also got a note from Scifantastic editor Sarah Dobbs:

'Thanks for such an original story.'

Which was good, because magazine editors must see a lot of stories!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Devoted to Writing

Another day, another anniversary.

This time last year Devotion appeared in Bewildering Stories, my 4th story to be published. It's another of my earlier stories, but has since become my first story translated into another language. The accompanying picture was chosen by the editor of Bli Panika to go with the Hebrew translation.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Time Dilation Effect

It's a year ago today that my 'hard SF' story The Grey Hole was published. It doesn't seem that long, perhaps due to the time dilation effect of quantum singularities.

This was my first attempt at a 'hard SF' story, i.e. one where the technology is based more on science than on fiction. It was also the first time I set about writing a story of significant length. Previous stories had never made it to 2,000 words, and in those days, 12 years ago, the few markets that existed had 2,000 words as a minimum. I aimed for 5,000 words and finished up with 5,200.

It was accepted on its first submission, by Aphelion. I'm currently waiting to hear back from them about the sequel, The Grey Void.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Fifty Submissions

Today I sent off my fiftieth science fiction story submission to an English language market. In case you thought getting published was easy, that shows how much effort goes into finding the right home for your story. There are so many markets looking for different things, you just have to find the right one for your story.

I was lucky when my very first submission was accepted. Since then I've had another nine published and six more still doing the rounds. None of this includes the foreign language submissions.

The important thing is not to loose heart. As long as you believe in your own story, someone else will too.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Date Update

According to my latest information, the English edition of Greek magazine Universe Pathways, containing my story Artefact Nouveau, will be published June 15th.

So that's two stories confirmed for later this year, English in June and Greek in October.

Friday, April 07, 2006

It's Here!

My copy of Scifantastic arrived in the post. What a great feeling, to see my name in print. Not had time to read much of it yet, I was too busy phoning people to tell them!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

It's Out!

Sooner than I realised, issue 4 of Scifantastic, featuring my story A Word in the Right Place is out! Buy it now!

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Word in the Right Place

It's April. That means that my first story in print will be appearing this month. The editor of Scifantastic said:

"Many thanks for letting us see A Word in the Right Place. I loved it - very different!"

Previously it reached the final submission round with Australian semi-prozine Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. Editors there commented:

"I liked the humorous "1984" feel to this story. A good short piece."
"I enjoyed the quirkiness. Thanks."

I hope you enjoy it too when it appears in print.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


You may remember that my time travel story Artefact Nouveau is due to appear in the Greek sci fi magazine Universe Pathways in October. They began printing a semi-annual English edition this year and have asked if they can use the original English version in that too. Not sure when that will be out, presumably July, but here's a picture of the first issue:

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Plethora of Publications

I've spent quite some time since I started submitting stories attempting to find suitable markets. There are very few professional SF magazines, quite a few semi-prozines and plenty of small press and webzines, and they all have slightly different audiences.

You can get information on them from such websites as Ralans and Spicy Green Iguana. If you want to submit to any market, you need to read their submission guidelines every time. They may have changed, or they could be on hold so you really need to know your market.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Bit of a Lull

Work on the eagerly anticipated novel has come to a bit of a halt; I know what's going to happen next, but inspiration has temporarily fled.

Several short story ideas are still biding their time at the back of my mind, but the current coursework for my degree isn't leaving me much time.

Meanwhile I got another short story rejection today, which always dampens your spirits. Still, the number of stories I still have under submission means I must get some good news soon.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Foreign Markets

The Foreign Market List maintained by Douglas Smith has been updated. This is the website where I got the information about Bli Panika and Universe Pathways, among others. I've fed some info back to Doug on various mags, and he's mentioned my name beside the updates.

I've had rejections from China and Denmark but I'm still waiting to hear from some others.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fluctuations - One Year Later

Today marks the anniversary of my second story to have been published, Fluctuations in Bewildering Stories. I started writing this story during what will come to be known as my 'early creative period' in 1993-4, when six other stories were completed including Devotion (see below).

When I returned to writing in the summer of 2004 I found the hand-written opening two paragraphs of Fluctuations among my other work. I wrote the rest in October 2004 and it was the fifth story I submitted, in November.

More recently Bewildering Stories has anounced plans to publish several anthologies. I haven't been contacted for the first volume, but I'm egotistical enough to hope that Fluctuations might be selected for a future volume. I still like to re-read the editor's review occasionaly to cheer me up after receiving a rejection or two.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Isreali Opinion

A very kind author and fellow contributor to Bewildering Stories, Tala Bar, has looked at the Bli Panika forum for me to see what they thought of Devotion.

It seems that the forum critiques generally wanted a larger story and
more of a surprise ending. Funnily enough I've had a couple of other comments that the story felt like it was part of something bigger; there probably is scope for more, but at nearly 5,000 words it's already getting quite big for a short story. As for the ending, it isn't a great surprise, but it's the how and why that makes the story. One of the things that most English language magazines say in their guidelines is that they don't want totaly unexpected endings that come out of no-where.

The other thing worth mentioning is that Devotion is one of my earliest stories, written 12 years ago. I only have one more of that vintage that I'm still trying to place.

So, over all it's been an interesting experience. My first translated story, and I guess to some extent the readers' opinions will be shaped by the translator. I'm just pleased to have had a story accepted by two different editors.

Friday, March 10, 2006

...Issue 4

The Scifantastic forum now has details of the line up for issue 4:


Overweight - Christian Martius
The Giant Fresh Fruit Invasion - John L Probert
Charlie - George Steele
A Word In The Right Place - Gareth D Jones
Love Thy Enemy - Joel Williams
Captain Andy - Ken Goldman
Ecdysis - Clint Wastling
Lego Land - Aliya Whiteley

There are a couple more stories to be decided on, apparently.

Getting quite excited now!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Coming Soon...

The editor of Scifantastic has confirmed that my story A Word in the Right Place, the shortest story I've written yet, has been scheduled for issue 4. This is due to be published at Easter. I can hardly wait to get the magazine in my fingers!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

If Only I Could Read It!

The Hebrew translation of my story Devotion is now on-line at Bli Panika. It even has an illustration to go with it. Of course I have no idea what it says, apart from the fact that I wrote it. There's also a forum, but again I have no idea if anyone has said anything about it. If anyone out there happens to read Hebrew and could help me out...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Honourable Mention

Aphelion's 100th issue is out this month and also includes the 'Best of 2005' selection. Only 6 out of 88 stories last year were chosen, not including any of my 3, which I try not to be too dissapointed about. Today I was looking through their lettercol and spotted this post from their short story editor:

There were many other stories also worthy of a 'Best of' designation (by the two Gareths, Bill Wolfe, Frank Byrns, Nate the K., etc., etc., etc.), but I had to stop somewhere.

So I did get a mention after all! The two Gareths refers to me and Gareth Lyn Powell. I've put a link to his blog Adventures in the SF Trade in my links section.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What's in a Name?

One of the things I really enjoy while writing is coming up with suitable names for all the characters. Sometimes I think of a name as I'm typing, like Commander Mulholland in Data Dump, other times I really have to think about it. Others are drawn from real life.

I wanted my archaelogist in Artefact Nouveau to sound scientific. The first person I though of was Lord Kelvin, so I ended up with Stanley Kelvington.

Two other characters in my Star Trek stories, Titus Grey and Bronwyn Davies, were names we had shortlisted but rejected for our children.

In upcoming stories there are characters named after our hamster, people from work and names of magazine editors that seemed to fit nicely. In fact just about anyone I meet has a chance of being immortalised in one of my stories!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Quarter Century

I realised today that I've been writing science fiction for 25 years! Ever since I was about 7 my stories at school always began something like:

'Me and my friends jumped into our home-made rocket and took off...'

There was never much of a plot in those days, but hopefully things have improved somewhat.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Not as Soon as I Thought

I've just discovered the Scifantastic forum, which I missed on previous visits to their webpage. It seems the next issue, containing my story (hopefully), is not out until the end of March.

Meanwhile I have eight other stories out there looking for a good home. I'll let you know when I hear anything...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Running out of Time

This year's Open University coursework has arrived, meaning there's only three weeks to the start of the course. Realising that I won't have much time for writing again until October, I forged ahead with another story that's been floating round my head for a while. It's about bats and chickens and was inspired by Asimov's classic story Nightfall and an episode of Noddy.

I still have another 7 story ideas waiting for inspiration to strike them. They may have to wait some time.

Friday, January 20, 2006

It's All Greek To Me

I received my second foreign language acceptance today. Artefact Nouveau has been accepted by the Greek magazine Universe Pathways and is scheduled to appear in October. They do both Greek and English editions, but mine is due to appear in the Greek version.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Sequel

I've just finished writing a sequel to last year's The Grey Hole, entitled The Grey Void. It's the first time I've written a sequel and it's been interesting to compare the improvement in my own writing from 11 years ago when the original was written. Hopefully the editor of Aphelion will agree when I send it off to him!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Too Late the Hero

The new edition of Aphelion is out today, bringing an end to the two months that Too Late the Hero has been featured. Here are a few of the comments I received:

'I greatly enjoyed the flow of dialogue.' - Marianne Kirby, Editor, Cyber Age Adventures

'Very cool idea, very ironic.'

'A very dark future indeed for superheroes: relegated to the funny pages by the endless march of technology…'

'Another winner from Gareth. Tightly written with a good premise and a main character you could empathise with. I enjoyed it.' - Gareth Lyn Powell, Author

'I enjoyed this one very much. Short, and to the point, it simply explores what happens when superheroes become redundant due to technological breakthroughs.'

'I liked this simple but resonant piece.'

'Very short but entertaining.'

'I love it. The idea is so compelling.'

The great thing about Aphelion is that a lot of its readers are also aspiring writers, so you get some good feedback via their lettercol. You might not agree with all of it, but these are the comments I liked!


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Don't Panic!

The Hebrew translation of Devotion has been completed, so it should be appearing in Bli Panika (Don't Panic) in a couple of weeks time. Meanwhile I've submitted another two stories this week, so that's now four I'm waiting to hear back from.

Work on the novel has slowed down as I keep inconveniently thinking of ideas for short stories that need to be written!