Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Flash Fiction: Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars
By Gareth D Jones

This story will be appearing in Big Pulp in September 2009.


You may remember that I was working on a novel a very long time ago, a space opera adventure story that was progressing nicely. At some point it stumbled to a halt and has been abandoned now for months. I haven't given up on it; its over 40,000 words and I have copious notes and plans to return to one day.

This year I found myslef writing a new novel though. It was originaly a stand-alone short story, that then developed further and further until I now have a whole novel-length piece of work under way. This week I passesd the seemingly significant word count of 33,333. I'm getting into more of a routine now and making steady progress. I'll keep you informed.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Nebula Awards

One of my favourite short stories of 2006 was Terry Bramlett's The Fallen Angels of Jude. While I'm sure he was quite thrilled with the recognition, it's probably not as prestigious as being shortlisted (for a different story) for this year's Nebula award. Which just goes to prove my good taste! Congratulations Terry!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Flash Fiction: Just One Day

This story follows on from last week's Mercurial Nights.

Just One Day
By Gareth D Jones

This story has been re-written and is under submission.

Like last week's story, I feel there's potential for more development here. I'll add it to my list...

Three Hundred Posts

Can you believe it? Hopefully, among the endless waffle and self-aggrandisement, you've found the odd item of interest.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

One Month to Eastercon

Yes, it's only a month 'til Orbital 2008, this year's Eastercon. I'm looking forward to a good day out, to meeting the other Fictioneers face to face at last, and to hob-nobbing with the SF community in general. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How About Some Fiction with Your SF?

Wouldn't it be great, I thought, if one of the popular SF magazines available from your newsagents also contained some fiction? After all, contrary to my initial assumptions, they don't just concentrate on TV and films. There are sections about novels, even interviews with authors. With the limited number of professional markets for short SF, there would be no shortage of talented authors available. Some popular science magazines like Cosmos and Nature publish a story every issue, so why not in an SF magazine too?

Rather than just ponder the question, I decided to ask the editors. Here's what Matt Bielby, editor of Death Ray had to say:

It's something we've talked about and it might happen, but the mag's pretty packed already and fiction would eat up quite a lot of space, so something would have to give.

Plus, we wouldn't have the time to be proper literary editors, so stuff would have to come to us very clean and ready to use, which almost certainly means we'd only be using the most experienced writers; the sort of people we'd interview, perhaps.

It doesn't mean we won't give it a try, but exactly how and when we'd do it I'm not sure of yet.

So, he's not ruling it out, but no immediate plans. I shall let you know if I hear of any developments.

Monday, February 18, 2008

One More Night

Here's another odd coincidence: The title of last week's FFF Mercurial Nights was inspired by The Arabian Nights, the same inspiration behind the long running magazine Scheherazade (she was the narrator of the 1001 nights). I reviewed Scheherazade #28 over a year ago, and it had been out some time then. They anounced in that issue that #30 would be their last. Since then their website has gone down, though I have meanwhile discovered that #29 was produced. So, anyway, the point of this waffle is that I heard from editor Liz Counihan this week:

Yes, we are preparing isue 30 of Scheherazade at the moment but it is going to be the last edition for the forseeable future as I want to spend more time with my computer! We've had some difficulty finding out why our website had gone down - it shouldn't have - but our webmaster is trying to get it going again.

So, the markest is still closed, but at least is still in existence!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Flash Fiction: Mercurial Nights

Mercurial Nights
By Gareth D Jones

This story has been re-written and is now under submission.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


In another bold technological leap, I've added options to subscribe by RSS feed or by email, using the new links on the side bar. Those of you who are reading this by subscription already know that of course; for everyone else it's another way to make your life easier.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Flash Fiction Workshop

The preliminary Eastercon schedule has been posted this week. The Flash Fictioneers' workshop has been scheduled for 3 PM on Saturday in the George Room. If you're at Eastercon the Fictioneers would love to meet you (in fact, we're quite looking forward to meeting each other!) and will be happy to see you at the workshop. Bring a pen and paper, but more importantly an idea for a short story.

Monday, February 11, 2008

400 Stories is Nothing!

I thought my total of ~400 short stories read last year was quite a lot, until I saw this entry in Richard Horton's blog. He's obviuosly a very prolific reader and reviewer, so I was rather pleased that he found my story Inside Every Succesful Man worth mentioning in his summary of Hub 2007.

Aphelion's Best of 2007

The new edition of Aphelion is out, containing the editors' selection of the best of 2007. Included in the short story section are two that I included among my favourites of 2007: Michelle Dutcher's A Pocket Filled with Posies and John Hickman's Audience of One.

In the 'Serials' section (which includes novelettes and novellas) is The Blind Collaborators, the collaborative story that I wrote with Lee Alon, Nathan J Kailhoffer, Iain Muir and the enigmatic TauPhoenix. It's a thoroughly enjoyable story, which I can only say as I didn't write most of it. For the full story behind the collaboration, click here. You can also view the comments made at the time on the Aphelion forum.

Swelling Ranks

Two more recruits to the Friday Flash Fictioneers this week: Jay Lake and Ian Hocking.

One was on Sunday, so may just coincidentaly be called Flash Fiction; after all, we don't have a copyright on the phrase!

At this rate we'll have enough FFF for an anthology.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Flash Fiction: White Out

Almost another disasterous no-show for me this week. I had a story that I've been working on for a couple of days, and yesterday it was finished. Until I had an inspiration last night of a way to improve and expand the main character. So I added another 200 words today, taking it close to the 1000 word limit. It's still flash fiction, but much longer than I post most weeks. I'm not satisifed with it though. The concept is almost brilliant, but I don't have time to do it justice and it needs more work to get it right.

Fortunately I have another FFF idea that's been lurking for a couple of weeks, so I dashed that one out in 300 words today. I'm quite pleased with it, though a bit more time to polish would be nice; that's the idea of FFF though, so here it is:

White Out
By Gareth D Jones

White Out will be appearing in the July 2009 issue of Golden Visions magazine.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Interzone #214 Review

What a fabulous set of stories the Interzone team have come up with again! The presentation is nice and clean – none of the overly-coloured and obscurely laid out pages that have made reading somewhat difficult on past occasions. The magazine looks smart from start to finish, with prose to match.

Read the rest of my review at Whisper of Wickedness.

P.S. I remembered this week that I have been published in Interzone in the past. They once published a letter of mine, way back in the #20s.

Midnight Street #10 Review

The subtitle Journeys Into Darkness gives you an idea of the kind of speculative fiction contained within Midnight Street. It’s an A4 magazine with internal B&W illustrations, and a fabulous classic SF colour cover. Between the stories you’ll find a generous selection of interviews, reviews and articles to keep you entertained.

Read the rest of my review at Whispers of Wickedness.

Forgotten Worlds Finishes

I'm sorry to once again be the bearer of bad tidings, but now it's the turn of Forgotten Worlds to anounce its closure.

The magazine launched optimisticaly as a paying, monthly publication in 2006, switching to quarterly in 2007. The final issue, number #9, was published in September last year, thus unfortunately adhering to the usual pattern for small press mags of not making it to double figures. They published a great selection of SF and fantasy, including three of my favourite stories from 2006:

The Last Moments of Rapture and Peak by Kirsten Lincoln - Issue #5

The Fallen Angels of Jude by Terry Bramlett - Issue #6

Seize the Lightning by Law Yihua - Issue #7

Another sad day in the world of science fiction.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Intercom SF

I said one of the replies was quite promising:

My nanotech story Inside Every Succesful Man, first published on UK semi-pro webzine Hub, has been accepted by Italian webzine Intercom SF.

That will be my sixth language: German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Another exciting anouncement awaits too, but sadly can't be made public yet...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Foreign Submissions

Doug Smith updated his Foreign Markets List at the end of last year, so I've been working my way through it to see who I can submit to again. The problem with submitting to foreign markets is that you very rarely get an acknowledgement, though the same applies to lots of English markets, and most of them only reply if it's a yes. This leaves me with the quandary of when to submit again. I don't want to pester them with stories if they've already got a huge backlog, so I tend to leave them for endless months before considering them again.

This past week has been different though: I've received acknowledgements from China, Finland and Italy, one of them quite promising.

The excitement of having a story translated far outweighs any inconvenience!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Second Roadwalker Review

A review of Jupiter #19 has appeared on the SFRevu website. Of Roadwalker the reviewer Sam Tomaino writes:

The last story is "Roadwalker" by Gareth D. Jones. This is a sequel to a story called "Roadmaker" that appeared in issue #16 but it's not necessary to have read that (I haven't) to enjoy the story. It takes place in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic world which has few machines. In the previous story, a road-making machine had come through the village of DeFrey and had paved a road going north. In this story, one of the young villagers named Luke the Hand decides to travel north to see what lies beyond. Thus starts an amusing journey that I want to see more of.

Along with the positive review from Whispers of Wickedness, it's been a good week.

Friday Flash Failure

No fiction from me this week, due to a pathetic collection of excuses that I can't even bring myself to write about. Instead, check out the other Flash Fictioneers:

Neil Beynon
Martin McGrath
Gareth L Powell
Paul Raven
Shaun Green
Dan Pawley
Justin Pickard
Greg O'Byrne

Whispers of Quietness

Sad yet all-too-familiar news this week. Another of the UK's small press magazines closes to submissions indefinately. Whispers of Wickedness is not only a magazine, but home ot one of the best known small-press review sites, a reviewing team that I've only recently joined.

The final issue of the magazine will be out later in spring, but the website and reviews section will remain functional for the foreseeable future.