Friday, September 28, 2007

BSFA Award Nominations Open

Nominations for the 2007 BSFA Award are now open. Any memeber of the British Science Fiction Association can nominate their best short story, novel, artwork and non-fiction work. I already have a few firm favourites among the short stories I've read this year. I'll have to start thinking about which ones to nominate.

Of course, should any BSFA members happen to have liked any of my stories this year...

Friday Flash Fiction: The Man Behind the Throne

This week's little vignette is a homage to Jack Vance, written in response to a challenge on the Jack Vance Appreciation Facebook Group. Jack Vance is one of my favourite authors, with books like The Blue Planet and Nightlamp counted among my favourite novels.

The Man Behind the Throne
By Gareth D Jones

With bombastic aplomb, the self-styled Grand and Cognizant Vizier settled himself into his voluminous throne. His parti-coloured robes of aubergine and burnt ochre drifted to rest around him like the silken folds of a deflating hot air balloon. His coiffure and beard were of such exuberant proportions that a team of three barbers were kept in constant employ to tend to them. He was, by his own admission, a great man.

Aldoon Snickerthwatt, senior attending barber, scuttled over to tend to a few stray wisps of hair before the grand doors to the audience chamber were opened. He brandished an ivory comb carved from a tusk of the now extinct desert walrus, and a pair of silver scissors formed in the likeness of a peacock’s head. Briskly he attended to his illustrious task, then melted back into the shadows of the velvet hangings that festooned the rear wall.

The huge dark wood doors, carved in a phantasmagorical intaglio of stylised mythical creatures, opened slowly under the hands of two armour bearers. Ushered in by the Lord Attending Justice, a flock of dignitaries and worthies entered to seek audience with the throne.

Snickerthwatt smiled indulgently at the scene, confident in the knowledge that it was he that made the Vizier so grand.

The End

Already posted ahead of me this week: Paul Raven and Neil Beynon.

Spanish Sahara

My Friday Flash Fiction desert story Delayed Reaction has been accepted by Spanish flash fiction webzine Efimeras and is due to appear in December.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reading and Writing

I received a note from Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine today that for the fourth time one of my stories has reached the 2nd round of submissions. The previous three reached the third round and fell at the last hurdle. ASIM publish the kind of light-hearted, entertaining stories that I like to write, so I'm hoping to be in with a good chance again.

Meanwhile I've read the new edition of Fiction magazine, which includes a story by fellow Friday Flash Fictioneer Gareth L Powell. I've written a review of it for UK SF Review and will be following that with the new issue of Dark Tales that arrived in the post this week.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Flash Fiction: The Emporer's New Force Field

A little slice of space opera this week:

The Emperor’s New Force Field
By Gareth D Jones

Thi story now appears in the Illuminations anthology.

I guess the title probably gave the ending away, but I think you can get away with it in such a short story.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Eastercon Souvenir

The Eastercon souvenir brochure has arrived, full of photos and anecdotes, behind the scenes stories and information. There's also a review of the whole programme, including some really interesting stuff that I attended, and some decidedly odd stuff that I didn't. At the back of the brochure is a complete list of the attendees, and scanning quickly through them there are some people that I didn't know at the time who are very familiar now, including some of the Friday Flash Fictioneers. There'll be a lot more people for me to meet up with next year.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Updated Dates

The Hub publication schedule has been updated, and it now appears that Inside Every Successfull Man will be on line in the next two or three weeks.

Meanwhile the Jupiter blog notes the acceptance of Roadrider.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Almost a Novelette

My Victorian adventure The Journey Within keeps on getting longer - 6,500 words now, with no end in sight. I'm thinking it'll be about 10,000 words eventually. It's already the longest single story I've written.

I had a bit of a rethink yesterday though; parts of the plot weren't developing well and seemed to be heading for a dead end. I've started going back through with some fairly heavy editing to change one of the major plot components before I continue. I've had the idea for this one for a long time, just obviously never thought it through very well!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Anonymous Translation

Today I discovered a German translation of last week's Friday Flash Fiction All Change on a blog entitled 'Tourism Industry'. There's no explanation along with it as to why it's there, or who translated it or anything else. I've left a message hoping for clarification.

I'm quite flattered someone took the time to translate it, although my German isn't good enough to know whether it's been done properly by a human or just put through a translation programme.

Very mysterious!

Friday Flash Fiction: Parallels

By Gareth D Jones

Ironically they had chosen this wide open field to reduce the chance of meeting anyone. They had taken every precaution imaginable to avoid paradoxes. They had theorised about parallel universes and what might happen if he altered the course of time.

What they hadn’t considered was that from this moment, one year in Enoch’s past, a multitude of parallels had been created by innumerable choices in his life. In most of them he had continued his research into time travel. In most of them he had succeeded, had volunteered, had chosen the date of his anniversary to travel to, had chosen this wide open field.

Enoch stared round the now crowded field, at the thousands of parallels of himself all in turn staring at each other in shock.

The End

I was inspired to write this one after watching the film Deja Vu. In fact, I got up at 2 AM to write it, much to my wife's consternation!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Few Good Men

My alternate history story A Few Good Men appears on-line today at the website of Australian science magazine Cosmos. This is my first story to be published in a professional market.

This also makes my 200th blog entry - another milestone!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weekend Developments

'Twas a busy weekend. I dashed out a daft little 500 word story about a giant space whale that will undoubtedly be appearing on this very blog one of these Fridays. After this I wrote the 1st 1600 words of The Journey Within, a Victorian era tale vaguelly unlike anything Jules Verne wrote. That one will probably end up around 5000 words.

I also received word from Cosmos magazine that A Few Good Men will be going on line this week, which is quicker than I thought.

Meanwhile a review of Murky Depths #1 has appeared at short fiction review site Tangent Online. Of my story Looking In, Looking Out they say:

Looking In, Looking Out by Gareth D. Jones is a visually interesting story consisting of a double page spread of several paragraphs, almost thought balloons, arranged in a counterclockwise circle around a picture of a fetus and the Earth.  Each paragraph is a log entry by an alien species attempting to communicate with people on the planet.  They find the only mind flexible enough to understand them as a fetus and so begin to interact with and teach it.  Then comes the twist.  Simple, quick, and pleasant.

Altogether, a very satisfactory weekend.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday Flash Fiction: All Change

This week the Friday Flash Fictioneers are all writing on the same theme: 'A funny thing happened to me in hyperspace', chosen by Neil Beynon. We won't be having a theme every week, but may take it in turns to suggest a theme once a month.

All Change
By Gareth D Jones

This story now appears in the Illuminations anthology.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Another Year

I received word from the editors of Portuguese magazine Phantastes today that there have been further delays in translation and publishing. They now expect to produce the next issue, including my story A Word in the Right Place, next summer.

Midnight Street #9 Review

Unlike most of the other magazines I’ve read recently, Midnight Street contains a varied mixture of interviews, reviews, and articles, as well as a sprinkling of poems interspersed among the fiction. It’s an A4 magazine with coloured illustrations on the cover and black and white within.

Read my review at UK SF Review.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Foreign Friday Flash Fiction

My first Friday Flash Fiction entry has today been accepted by Spanish flash fiction webzine Efimeras, who specialise in stories <200 words. The Spanish tranlslation of The Gondolier will appear in issue #124 in November. This will be the third of my stories they have published, and will take my total publications this year to 12, reaching my target of one per month on average.

Interestingly, one of Gareth L Powell's Friday Flashes, Thai Curry, first appeared in Efimeras earlier in the year.

The Blind Collaborators

Almost a year after its inception, my collaborative story The Blind Collaborators is now on line at Aphelion. For the full story behind the story, click on the 'Collaboration' tab.

You can see the comments being made about it on the Aphelion forum.

New Recruit

On Friday the Friday Flash Fictioneers were joined by new recruit Justin Pickard with Patterns in Traffic. I couldn't seem to leave a comment on his site, so let me say here that it was a very atmospheric story, with well-executed description and a sense of wonder. Very enjoyable.