Friday, October 31, 2008

Time's Up

Yes, the competition deadline has passed. The correct entries (though there were no incorrect entries) have been randomly passed through a food blender and a name has been pulled out.

The correct answer is that Roadmaker will be published in Hebrew, in Bli Panika.

The 5th anniversary issue of Jupiter, featuring Roadruler, is on its way to Steven Pirie - congratulations.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Competition Deadline Looms

Don't forget, you've only get until tomorrow to send in your answer to my Roadmaker competetion!

Meanwhile, not much else to report this week. I've sent off a couple of stories to foreign language markets and finalised my first author interview for SF Crowsnest.

I'm still reading through Second World, which is 600 pages long, so I've not had tome to read through Jupiter XXII yet. The first story, by Geoff Nelder, has the wonderful title 'Gravity's Tears' that I thought very evocative. Hoping to get round to reading it this weekend.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rejection of the Week

I can't remember whose blog I got this idea from, so please chime in and claim the glory.

In the spirit of making each other feel better about themselves, here's a rejection I received this week for Looking In, Looking Out:

If you don't mind knowing our point of view, we believe that your story has no real plot and that the end is deceivingly weak. 


This was from a foreign-language magazine though, so I'm guessing it's just too subtle to be read in anything but English. After all this is my most criticaly acclained story yet to have bene published, of which others have said:

...a compelling read; a truly memorable story.


...nearly made me cry

I've got a couple of other truly depressing rejections filed away. I may dig them out for your furthur entertainment.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Roadmaker Competition

I have a signed copy of Jupiter XXI, containing Roadruler, to give away. This is the fifth anniversary issue with the fabulous wraparound cover by Jesse Speak.

To get your hands on this excellent little magazine, you need to answer the following question:

What language is Roadmaker being translated into?

Answers on an email.

The winner won't be the first correct answer I receive as this wouldn't be fair on those living in different time zones. Instead I'll pull the winning name from a hat or other suitable receptacle.

The winner will be anounced next Friday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Editors to Come

It's been a couple of months since the last Editor interview, but yesterday I signed up another editor from a rather large genre magazine to appear in November. There are still 2 UK magazines in the pipeline too.

If you're involved in producing an SF magazine and would like to join in, drop me an email.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Currently Occupied With...

Just finished Alan Dean Foster's Quofum, which wasn't as entertaining as I remember his Commonwealth books being in my youth. Ah, the passage of time...

Just started Eddy Shah's Second World and making interesting observations on how a thriller writer tackles an SFnal subject.

Sent off a review of Greg Egan's Diaspora for next month's SF Crowsnest.

Working on an interview, also for SF Crowsnest.

Wrote a small amount of Roadmaker, but generaly felt too unwell to concentrate.

Spent much time hunting for a quail that escaped from my garden, to no avail.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Flash Fiction: Dog's Best Friend

To mark the publicaion of the final Roadmaker story, this week I offer a slice of life from one of the minor characters who lives along the Road.

Dog's Best Friend will be appearing in a future issue of Jupiter magazine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I came across a particularly irritating US-based website last week while carrying out a quick search for references to a non-paying magazine I once appeared in. I won’t dignify the site with a link or even bother mentioning its name, but its entire purpose seemed to be to deride a small number of authors’ writing and publication credits. Several readers had gleefully joined in with comments about how the publication in question was obviously rubbish if it didn’t pay and as they’d never heard of it was deserving of their scorn.

I’ve never heard of the people who wrote on the website, but that doesn’t mean I automatically assume they’re second-rate and worthless. Why impugn a magazine you’ve never heard of, and by implication the other contributing authors?

I’ve always found the SF community in the UK to be nothing but supportive and encouraging. Some markets may be less glamorous than others, but that’s no reason to mock the efforts of those who are probably very excited to appear in them.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Book Review: Luminous by Greg Egan

The ten stories in this collection were first published in the mid nineties, where I remember reading many of them in ‘Interzone’. The themes are diverse but all have in common a rooting in hard science, taking concepts in use today and extrapolating them into the near future or imagining what they may lead to one day. The near-future tales are often set in times that we have since reached, yet they have not become outdated like many ideas have. Instead they still sound as though they could be fulfilled within the next twenty years. Many of the stories have one particular technological idea at their core, but the text is also peppered with references to other developments that remove the entire society and setting away from the familiar and into the fantastic.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Book Review: The Quiet War by Paul McCauley

A brief and possibly pointless note on classification to start with. The cover describes this as an ‘exotic, fast-paced space opera’, and while it’s certainly exotic it’s not what I would expect in a space opera. It’s much closer in style to a hard SF story, set firmly within the solar system and paying close attention to the physics of space travel and practicalities of life in that environment. I don’t that will matter too much to most readers of SF, but it’s nice to know what you’re getting.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Book Review: Distress by Greg Egan

Yet again in this novel, Greg Egan mixes near-future prediction with dramatic speculation of what might conceivably come to pass, resulting in an entirely plausible picture of Earth that already shows signs of fulfilling his predictions thirteen years after its first publication.

Read the rest of my reveiew at SF Crowsnest.

Magazine Review: Concept SciFi #2

The particularly striking thing about Concept SciFi is the artwork, both on the cover of the ezine and on the website. It looks cool and SFnal and the kind of art that some venues seem to shy away from in an effort to look more sophisticated or something. I love this kind of art though. It tells you you’ve found a venue for some honest down-to-earth (if that’s not too contradictory) science fiction.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Book Review: The Turing Test by Chris Beckett

If I ever write enough half-decent stories I’ll be sure to submit the collection to Elastic Press. The anthologies they produce look fantastic. Not only is the full-cover art excellent, but the minimal text on the cover allows you to enjoy the illustration fully. It also feels great. The cover has an almost vinyl quality that speaks of high production values. The collection contains fourteen stories that were published over the past twenty years in ‘Asimov’s’ and ‘Interzone’. The big question of course is whether the fiction lives up to the high standard of publication.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Jupiter XX: Harpalyke is out today, containing Roadbuilder, the final episode in the Roadmaker saga.

Look out for a Roadmaker related competition coming soon on this site.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Roadmaker Characters

As promised, I've created a list of characters from the Roadmaker stories to help you keep track. I've also uploaded the Roadmaker map onto Google docs.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Chameleonic Lifeforms Attempt Communication

In an event reminiscent of the mashed potato scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, chameleonic lifeforms have attempted communication with us via a bowl of breakfast cereal.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Poll

My last poll on the Golden Age was obviouly a bit obscure and didn't attract many votes.

This month something that everyone should have an opinion on.