Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Year in Writing 2010

Looking through my writing spreadsheet, I seem to have accomplished a fair amount of writing this year. At the beginning of the year I finished the novelette that I was co-writing with Jonathan C Gillespie, and since then I’ve written 5 more short stories, amounting to less than 4,000 words. Since April, when I returned to writing my second novel Gap Years after a hiatus of several months, I have written another 70,000 words, and the end is in sight.

I had 13 stories published this year, only 2 of them new but one of those was my fourth pro sale, to Nature magazine. My stories appeared in 7 languages this year, 3 of which were new for me: Bengali, Italian and Frisian. Eight more stories have been accepted and are awaiting publication, including my first novelette and my first comic.

On top of the fiction, I had 37 reviews published on SF Crowsnest, averaging 500 words each.

What about 2011? Let me see what I have lined up…

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Gondolier in Swedish

I found four Swedish SF zines. One replied that The Gondolier was too short, another closed down and two more didn't reply. So, after almost two years, here is the Swedish translation of The Gondolier.





Gondoljären
Av Gareth D Jones

Gondolens svarta förstäv skar mjukt genom kanalens lugna vatten. Den eleganta farkosten hade tjänat mig väl i många år och hade fört passagerare runt stadens vattenvägar under ledning av flera generationer av mina förfäder.

Solen höll på att gå ner över den gamla staden och förvandlade vattnet till ett bläcksvart band mellan eleganta sandstensbyggnader. Jag tog ett djupt andetag av den svala kvällsbrisen.

Fanns det någon vackrare plats än denna underbara kanalernas stad? När båten gled in i sina förtöjningar stannade jag och skådade med tillfredställelse upp emot Mars mörknande himmel.

Slut


Translated by Gustav Sjöblom.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Favourite Stories of 2010

It's time to look back over a year's worth of reviews and a collection of other magazines I read during the year to see which were my favourite stories of the year. Here's the result, in alphabetical order:

A Clown in Apus – Gary Budgen – Jupiter XXVIII
Agents of Repair – Rosie Oliver – Jupiter XXIX
Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life - Rochita Luenen-Ruiz – Interzone 229
Frogs on my Doorstep - Annette Reader - Albedo One 39
Ishin – Madelin Ashby – Shine
Over Water – Jon Ingold – Interzone 228
Plague Birds – Jason Sanford – Interzone 228
Served - Rauri MacInnes – Murky Depths 11
Spare Change – Jay Eales - Murky Depths 12
The Bottle Garden – Mike Wood – Jupiter XXIX
The Cloth from which she is Cut – Gareth Owens – Fun with Rainbows
The Shipmaker – Aliette De Bodard – Interzone 231
The Shoe Factory - Matthew Cook – Interzone 231
The Story of Andrew Haddock, Part 2 - Dave Barnett – Murky Depths 11

Friday, December 17, 2010

Steampunk TOC Coming Soon

The Immersion Book of Steampunk is approaching completion. Stories are being proofread, biographies gathered, contracts signed and artwork is under way.

The final TOC will be anounced in the new year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Post-Apocalyptic Comic

The artwork for my 1 page post-apocalyptic comic Frozen has been completed by Mick Trimble, and it looks awesome. It's pretty amazing seeing my first script brough to life anyway, but Mick has brilliantly captured the mood and feel of the piece just the way I imagined. It's also illustrated in the style I would have drawn it, if I could draw.

I can't wait to see it in print in Murky Depths #15.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Review: Up the Bright River by Philip José Farmer


Like many people, I read Philip José Farmer’s Riverworld saga many years ago, but I don’t recall ever having come across any of his short fiction. Subterranean Press have pulled together the first posthumous collection of his stories, edited by Gary K.Wolfe and containing 16 stories written over the course of forty years between 1953 and 1993.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Graphic Novel Review: The Broadcast by Eric Hobbs & Noel Tuazon


It’s a well-known tale that when Orson Welles broadcast his radio adaptation of H.G.Wells’ The War of the Worlds, many Americans thought it was true and believed they were being invaded by Martians. The story is told again in The Broadcast through the eyes of several characters in a small rural town, cut off by a storm, not knowing that the play has ended and the rest of the world knows it was only fiction.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Magazine Review: Interzone #231


Over the past couple of years, Jason Stanford’s stories in Interzone have proven very popular, and have been among my favourite. He receives his own special issues this time, with three stories and an in-depth interview.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Graphic Novel Review: Air: Flying Machine by G.Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker


Flying Machine is the second volume collecting together the comics from the series Air, a fantastic and complex story from G.Willow Wilson that combines adventure, surrealism, steampunk, SF, romance, espionage and thrills in a non-stop tale that travels the globe.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Book Review: The Best of Larry Niven


Subterranean Press have put together another impressive looking volume in The Best Of Larry Niven, a six hundred page book that collects twenty seven stories from over three decades of writing by one of the best known names in science fiction. Each story is prefaced by a brief comment from the author, a feature that I like in anthologies. It would be a very long review if I commented on every story in the book. Many of them have won accolades in their own right and all were published in the top magazines, so I shall just mention a few of the highlights that I found along the way.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, December 03, 2010

New Critters Comics Workshop

Long-running on-line critiquing workshop Critters has recently expanded to cover all genres and all kinds of creative media. I've joined the comics group, and this week I am priveleged to have the first piece of work up for critique in this workshop.

This is only my 3rd comic script, so I'm hoping that other members will join and provide some feedback. From my experiences in the original Critters, I can recommend it to anyone.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

End of Part 7

I've finished Part 7 of Gap Years, at 77,500 words. I'm only a couple of thousand words short of Roadmaker, and with parts 8 & 9 to write I still have 18,000 words to go.

Should be finished by the end of January.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Gondolier in Russian

I received this Russian translation of The Gondolier some time ago, but I've been unable to find a home for it. Well-known Russian magazine Esli now only publishes stories selected from profesional magazines, and I never heard back from two other Russian magazines I queried. So here it is:


Гондольер
Гарет Д Джонс


Черный нос моей гондолы плавно рассекал тихие воды каналов. Блестящая лодка исправно служила мне в течении многих лет, перевозила пассажиров по городским водным дорогам, направляемая руками поколений моих предков.
Солнце низко висело над древним городом, превращая воду в чернильную ленту, изгибающуюся между элегантными зданиями из песчаника. Я глубоко вдохнул прохладный вечерний воздух.
Существовало ли место более прекрасное, чем этот дивный город каналов? Когда лодка осторожно причалила, я замер, с наслаждением вглядываясь в темнеющие небеса Марса.


Конец.

Translated by Alex
Erica Translation Team


Proofread by Ekaterina Tokareva

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New UK Genre Mag - Singularity


Well, it's been surprisingly busy recently in the UK genre publishing world. Following on from the recent launches of Immersion Press, CossMass Infinities, AltHist, Dark Fiction and Spectra, there is a new quarterly print magazine forthcoming entitled Singularity.

Based in Scotland, Singularity is a mixed genre, token-paying magazine containing


a range of genre fiction that takes in the best that Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction has to offer.


I'm looking forward to seeing the first issue.

Friday, November 19, 2010

World Wire Web


My future-steampunk story World Wire Web appears in this week's issue of Nature magazine. This is my secnd sale to Nature, and their first steam punk story. It has a fabulous steampunk gadget picture to go with it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quantum Anthology Released

After a long delay due to various circumstances, and a change of format, the anthology Quantum Genre in the Planet of Arts has now been released as an e-book. The anthology has been published by Paraphilia books and contains a huge selection of quantum works.

What is quantum genre?


Basically, the Quantum Genre is not theme-based but style-based. In other words, Quantum Works are not about quantum theory but quantum representation of characters and their worlds. The style is distinguished by a high degree of obscurity of both the narrative and characters which are subject to mutability and ambiguity.


If you want to know what that means, take a look at the revised reprint of my story Fluctuations in the anthology. When the story originaly appeared on Bewildering Stories it received some very favourable comments, which include some spoilers.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Best of Murky Depths


One of the people I met up with at BristolCon was Murky Depth editor Terry Martin. As revealed on his blog, we are working on The Best of Murky Depths, an anthology containing my selection of the best graphic and prose stories from the first 10 issues.


The selection has already been made, I've written a few words about each of my choices and permissions are currently being sought from artists and authors. The anthology will go out in PDF format, giving readers a chance to sample what Murky Depths has to offer.


It will look pretty awesome.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Two New UK Genre Fiction Markets

At the weekend I met Del Lakin-Smith, co-founder of new genre podcasting site Dark Fiction. The first issue was launched at the end of October and I've seen it mentioned in numerous places since. Many well-known names in the world of UK genre fiction are lined up for the first few issues.



Passing me by completely was the launch of Spectra, a UK-based ezine available in several formats that seems to have appeared some time in recent months.



I shall put both on my list to get interviews and find out more information.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Saturday at BristolCon

BristolCon is a relatively small con in its second year, and I made the 2 1/2 hour trip down to Bristol for the weekend and attended the event on Saturday. It may be small, but it was very relaxed and friendly.

Two minor things I thought were good ideas and worth noting were:

  • Name badges were printed on both sides. At previous cons, people's badges tended to flap over so you couln't see their name. This neatly solved that problem.
  • There was a constant supply of free tea and coffee. Admittedly, that would probably be impracticaly at a much larger con.

This was a single-stream con, and I attended about half of the programme items, spending the rest of the time in the dealers' room, art show and bar (drinking tea), or lurking round the lobby.

I met up with a few people I've met before, others I've interacted with on the web, others whose work I've read, and saw several others whose names I knew but embarresingly hadn't read anything by them. I don't feel too bad introducing myself to fantasy authors whom I've not read as I don't read any fantasy, but it's a bit more awkward when it's a well-known SF author and I've not read any of their work. :o/

Anyway, I got to chat with authors Kim Lakin-Smith, Colin Harvey, Gareth L Powell and his wife Becky, Neil Beynon, John Meaney and his wife Yvonne, Mike Wood, Paul Cornell, Adam Colston, artist Andy Bigwood, Terry Martin of Murky Depths, Steve Upham of Screaming Dreams / Estronomicon, Del Lakin-Smith of Dark Fiction, and several others whose names I didn't note. Sorry.

It's especially nice to be able to chat to fellow authors about the trials and joys of writing.

I'm looking forward to my next con.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

First Steampunk Contributor Anounced

I'm pleased to be able to reveal the first of the contributors to The Immersion Book of Steampunk: prolific short story author Paul Di Filipo.

We're pretty excited to have Paul on board. You can read the full anouncement at Immersion Press.

Other stories have arrived or are expected soon. Further anouncements will be forthcoming and the TOC will be confirmed in December.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Magazine Review: AltHist #1


It’s always a pleasure to see a new UK-based genre magazine being launched. AltHist is, as the name suggests, a magazine specialising in alternate history and historical fiction. There are very few markets that deal specifically with this subgenre, so it will be interesting to see how the magazine fares: are there enough people writing this kind of story and are there enough people reading it? I would think the answer to both is yes.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Graphic Novel Review: Air: Letters from Lost Countries


Before I start I should point out that I’m not an expert on graphic novels. In fact, I haven’t read one since TinTin and Asterix when I was a lad. I’ve been converted to an appreciation of the more mature version over the past couple of years by the fabulous Murky Depths magazine. So much so that I’ve written a couple of my own comic scripts and the first has been accepted for publication. Anyway, enough about me, this is about Air, a series written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by M. K. Perker.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Book Review: The Nemesis List by R.J. Frith


The Nemesis List is the debut novel by R J Frith, the winning author of the ‘War of the Worlds’ competition run by SFX magazine. On discovering this fact my thoughts were that it could turn out to be a brilliant book by a previously undiscovered author, or a rather dire effort that was the best of a bad lot.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

One Week to BristolCon

Next weekend I'll be attending the second BristolCon, a small convention held in Bristol. I enjoyed EasterCon so much this year that I didn't want to wait until next Easter to get together with the other authors, artists, publishers and others who you can meet at cons.

I'm looking forward to another enjoyable day.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Half the Moons of Jupiter

I've been reading the latest issue of Jupiter magazine this week, entitled Hermippe after Jupiter's 30th moon. In his editorial, Ian Redman makes the point that when he started publishing the magazine, he thought 63 moons will be plenty. Now he's half way through them and the last dozen or so still haven't been named! Thirty issues is an impressive number for a small press magazine and I still enjoy reading each issue.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Frozen Depths

My first comic script, a single page story entitled Frozen, was accepted by Murky Depths magazine some time back. Its appearance has now been confirmed for issue #15 and the artwork will be by Mick Trimble.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how my script is translated into pictures. It's always a thrill to see an illustration drawn to accompany one of my prose stories, but this time the whole thing will be somebody else's interpretation of my vision.

Meanwhile I've submitted a 2-page script and I'm still tinkering with a 6-page script that I wrote up a while ago.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nature Proof

The galley proofs have arrived of World Wire Web, my story that is due to appear in Nature magazine. There's a fantastic illustration of a steampunk gadget to go with it. If the scheduling is the same as it was for my last story in Nature, then it should be appearing in the next couple of months.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quantum Anthology

The anthology Quantum Genre on the Planet of Arts is to be published as an e-book by Paraphilia Books in the near future. The original publishers closed down last year some time, so although I'm disappointed not to be getting a physical copy of the book, I'm please that my story Fluctuations will be getting a second airing. This is a revised version of one of my earliest published stories and one that I've always been particularly proud of.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Gondolier in Welsh

This is one of the first translations of The Gondolier that was done. It was under submission for a long time. I never heard back and it was overlooked until now, although I have included it in the Celtic polyglot version. So here it is, The Gondolier in the language of my relatives.




Y Gondolïwr


Torodd trwyn du fy ngondola yn esmwyth trwy ddŵr llonydd y gamlas. Roedd y llong lefn wedi fy ngwasanaethu’n dda am lawer blwyddyn, yn cludo teithwyr trwy ddyfrffyrdd y ddinas, dan ofal cenedlaethau o’m cyndadau.
Roedd yr haul yn machlud dros yr hen ddinas, yn troi’r dŵr yn ruban inciog rhwng yr adeiladau tywodfaen. Cymerais anadl ddofn o awel oeraidd yr hwyrnos.
Oes yna harddach le na’r ddinas ryfeddol yma yn llawn camlesi? Wrth i’r bad orffwys i’w hangor, syllais lan yn fodlon i wybren dduog Mawrth.

Y Diwedd



Translated by Lili Fach

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Graphic Novels

Having been converted to appreciation of the graphic story form by Murky Depths magazine, I have acquired 2 graphic novels to review for SF Crowsnest. These will be the first I've read since TinTin and Asterix!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anthological Progress

Lots of anthology-related things going on this week and last:

My first novelette sale, to a semi-pro anthology.

The first author for The Immersion Book of Steampunk has signed their contract. I've also seen three more stories for the anthology.

The first anthology that I became involved with, which has yet to be anounced, is being finalised. Permissions are being sought from the authors to reprint their stories.

I've been sent a story for the third anthology I'm editing, which also has yet to be anounced. Still a fair amount of work to do on finalising the details of that one.

I'm looking forward to making further anouncements.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

News from Argentina

News from Argentina today. Two of my flash fiction stories, Launch and Frozen,that I submitted along time ago and were lost somewhere over the Atlantic, are due to be published shortly. The translator now has them and is curently rendering them into Spanish. They will appear along with several of my other flash fiction stories on either Quimicamento Impuro or Breves No Tan Breves, depending on the length.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Novelette Sale

My first novelette has been accepted for inclusion in a forthcoming semi-pro anthology, the name of which I'll anounce when I've checked with the publishers, just in case they're planning a big anouncement of the whole TOC.

The Journey Within is a steampunkish,Victorian SF adventure story involving an expedition to the Himalayas, the British army and the Royal Society. At just under 10,000 words it's the longest story I've written single-handedly.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Quantum Chance

Several months after the Quantum Genre anthology was cancelled when the publisher closed down, the editor has found another publisher who is interested in the project. A reprint of my story Fluctuations was due to appear in the anthology, so it may yet see the light of day.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Review Archive: Non-Fiction

My review of Writers of the Future - The First 25 Years is the first non-fiction review I've done and doesn't fit into the three review archive catagories I've already got. Here then is a new review archive catagory that will be linked from the side bar. I don't expect this one to fill up very fast.
_____________________________________________________________________

Doctor Who - The Complete Guide by Mark Campbell

Ghost in the Shell by Andrew Osmond

Sibilant Fricative by Adam Roberts

Writers of the Future - The First 25 Years




Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Magazine Review: Interzone #230


The latest issue of Interzone celebrates 25 years of Nick Lowe’s film review column ‘Mutant Popcorn’ with a reprint of the very first column, and an interview with the man himself. It’s an impressive feat for any genre magazine to have reached the stage of being able to celebrate a quarter century in its existence. Of course to go with this feature there is the usual fair-sized selection of book, film and DVD reviews, plus five stories.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Book Review: The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi


In a brilliantly imaginative future, Hannu Rajaniemi has created a distinctive world as the setting for his debut novel The Quantum Thief. Set mostly in a city that moves across the surface of Mars, it’s full of quantum technology, physically and mentally augmented humans, secretive vigilantes and a whole host of bizarre developments that initially left my brain in a whir.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Book Review: Writers of the Future, the First 25 Years


I once sent a story to the Writers of the Future competition, but never heard back. Lots of other authors did though and many of the winners over the past 25 years have gone on to become well known authors. Writers Of The Future – The First 25 Years is a celebration of the successes of the competition and the stories behind it. This is a big book – a hard back almost a foot square, full of photos, interviews, quotes and anecdotes.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Two Thirds

Gap Years passed 60,000 words this week, that's 2/3 of the way there. The writing is going fast and smooth at the moment. I'm not entirely sure I'll finish by the end of the year now though; January 19th is looking like the finish date. Can't squeeze any more writing time out of the day without foregoing sleep.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Steampunk Anthology Developing

I've read several stories for the Immersion Book of Steampunk, and they're all pretty fantastic. I now have a full complement of contributors working away on their stories and so far I have a wide variety that encompasses adventure, romance, SF, espionage, fantasy and clockpunk, set in the past and the future.

The TOC should be finalised in December. It's going to be great.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Murky Congratulations

The fabulous Murky Depths magazine has deservedly won the British Fantasy Society award for Best Magazine, on its third anniversary. Of course, the magazine got off to a great start by including a story of mine in issue #1...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Book Review: Blood and Iron by Tony Ballantyne


I enjoyed the first of Tony Ballantyne’s Penrose series Twisted Metal last year. The book ended with all of the characters’ stories unfinished, but also with lots of questions about the robot inhabitants of Penrose unanswered. Blood and Iron continues where the previous volume left off, developing the characters further and beginning to unravel the mysteries of the robotic life forms.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Book Review: Zendegi by Greg Egan


I’ve been following Greg Egan’s work since his short stories first appeared in ‘Interzone’ twenty years ago and I’ve been reading his novels as they appear ever since. His first novel ‘Quarantine’ was the first book I picked up because of recognising the author’s name from his short stories. That has happened very few times since.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Book Review: Journeys by Ian R Macleod


Subterranean Press are regularly putting out anthologies by some very well known authors, and with great artwork to match. The scene on the cover of Ian R MacLeod’s anthology ‘Journeys’ is wonderfully evocative of the tales that take place in a world, or worlds, subtly different to our own. They are places that seem very much like the world we live in, but where history, or physics, or the powers of the elements are just not the same.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Roadmaker Shortlisted for Ictineu Award


The Catalan translation of Roadmaker that appeared in Catarsi #1 has been shortlisted for the Ictineu Awards, in the Best Translated Story category. Also nominated is fellow linguaphile and multiply translated author Frank Roger, and Spanish author Santiago Examino, former editor of Efimeras who translated some of my flash fiction into Spanish.

This is the first time one of my stories has been shortlisted for anything, and I'm very pleased.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Road to Israel

The original short story Roadmaker has been published in Hebrew in the webzine Bli Panika (Don't Panic!). This is my second story publishhed there, and the fourth language for Roadmaker.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Immersion Interview

Immersion Press publisher Carmelo Rafala and editor is interviewed on SF Signal. He talks about current and forthcoming projects, including the Immersion Book of Steampunk.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Novel Writing Regime

I’ve finished part 4 of Gap Years and almost reached 50,000 words. I’ve settled into the routine that I developed towards the end of writing Roadmaker. Both novels are divided into parts averaging 10,000 words, divided into subsections of varying lengths. I save each part as a separate file. I try to write each subsection in one sitting so that I start each writing session on a new scene. I wrote without looking back. Only if I’m in mid-section I read the last couple of paragraphs to remind myself where I was.

At the end of section 2 I went back to edit section 1. This is a fairly light edit consisting of:

• Spelling and grammar corrections
• Changing, adding or deleting the odd word or sentence
• Checking for inconsistencies
• Adding ideas that have developed later but need to be introduced earlier

The advantage of this is that I’m reading stuff I wrote two or three months earlier, giving me a fresh perspective.

When I have a clean draft I send it off to my writing group for critiquing. I read the critiques as I receive them, to get an overall feel for the problems that are most commonly pointed out. When I have them all I sit down and go though them one at a time, making corrections and amendments to the manuscript.

I like to do this one section at a time so that any major flaws are picked up early and I can avoid them going forward. This critiqued version is then left until I finish the novel.

After each part is written, checked, critiqued and amended I then go back to the beginning for the third and final edit, by which time there is hopefully not too much to change. I found last time that the main thing I picked up on the final edit was the unnecessary words or sentences that could be deleted to tighten up the text.

I’ve read about several authors’ methods of drafting their novels, but this seems to work for me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Translations, Rejections and Spam

A series of rejections all arriving within a week have proven disheartening. I've found every year that August is very quiet for responses. Then everyone returns from holiday and sends their replies at once. Unfortunately this time I got lots of rejections. They were mostly from pro markets though and I'm now determined to continue aiming high even if it takes longer to find a home for my new stories.

On the bright side I have a new translation of The Gondolier, this time in Afrikaans - its 32nd language. I've already found a possible market for it.

My blog is being targetted by spammers at the moment. I'm suddenly getting a dozen spam comments a day. I don't know what I've done to deserve this unwarranted attention. It does mean that new comments may not appear immediately as I'll have to moderate all comments now.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Writing Schedule

I'm just about keeping up with my schedule to complete the first draft of Gap Years by the end of the year. This means that several short stories and various other projects will have to wait their turn. I've already worked out that I have enough writing to keep me busy for the whole of next year at least. After that maybe I can start on my new novel Promised Land that has been a vague outline for years.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Two Magazines

I've read 2 magazines over the past few days:

Jupiter XXIX, with 5 stories, of which I'm undecided as to my favourite. Mike Wood's The Bottle Garden or Rosies Oliver's Agents of Repair.

The latest edition of the BSFA' critical journal Vector also arrived. The theme this time was children's and YA genre fiction. Lots of books were highlighted, none of which I read as a child. I talked about my early reading habits in this post. What were you reading in the old days?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

New British Genre Mag

I came across a new UK based genre magazine this week: Alt Hist. From their mission statement:


Alt Hist’s mission is to provide readers with entertaining and well-written short stories with a historical setting, whether portraying actual events or events that could have happened.
They plan to produce electronic and POD copies a and will pay royalties to authors. Looks like an interesting model they're attempting to work with. No confirmation of a date for the first issue yet, but they're open to submissions.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Novella to Novel

Last night I completed part 3 of Gap Years and in so doing passed the mythical 40,000 word marker. Gap Years is now officially a novel. Projected final wordcount is 90,000 words. Still aiming to finish by the end of the year.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Magazine Review: Interzone #229


Interzone seems to be giving more attention to artwork recently, with big full-page or even double page illustrations to accompany each story. As ever there is news from the world of SF, courtesy of David Langford’s ‘Ansible Link’ as well as a selection of book and film reviews and an in-depth interview, this time with Jeff Vandermeer.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Book Review: Mammoths of the Great Plains by Eleanor Arnason


Mammoths Of The Great Plains consists of three parts: the title story, plus the transcript of a speech entitled ‘Writing Science Fiction During World War III’ that was first given at a convention in the US, and a lengthy interview with author Eleanor Arnason.
Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Book Review: Absorption by John Meaney


Absorption is the first volume of Ragnarok, a new space opera trilogy by John Meaney that takes us from a thousand years in the past to half a billion years in the future, with several stops in between.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New UK-Based Podcast


While searching through Duotropes this week I came across a new audio fiction podcaster I'd not seen before. CossMass Infinities is a UK-based science fiction and fantasy podcast that pays for submissions, one story per month. They started in January, so I've missed them for six months. I've had three stories podcast so far - one in Catalan and two in English, but both with American accents. It would be interesting to hear one of my stories, particularly one with a British setting, read with a British accent.


I submitted four stories to four different podcasts this week - including CossMass Infinities.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cornish Translation Coming

The publishers of An Garrak, the magazine for learners of Cornish, have been in touch. They are now planning to publish the Cornish translation of The Gondolier in their new newsletter Te Ha Tasednow. I'm hoping to see that some time this year.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Stalker Awards Anounced


The results of Estonia's Stalker awards have been anounced. My story Travel By Numbers, translated for Algernon magazine by Juhan Habicht had been nominated in the 'Best Translated Story' catagory. It was voted joint 16th, out of 49 contenders. I'm very pleased with this as it's my first nomination for anything. :o)
The winner of the catagory was Charles Stross, and many of the others were translations from French or Russian whose names I didn't recognise.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cat Tales Contributor Copies


After some time lost on the Atlantic, my contributor copies of Cat Tales 2: Fantastic Feline Fiction have arrived. My 100 word story Delayed Reaction is the shortest in the anthology, though there are a few short poems too.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Steampunk Story Sale

My retro-future-steampunkish story World Wire Web has been accepted by internationally renowned scientific journal Nature. This is my second sale to that august magazine, and my fouth professional sale.

I'm pretty chuffed.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Steampunk Shaping Up

The contributors to The Immersion Book of Steampunk are begining to sign up. We have an exciting selection of professional authors, novelists, up and coming authors, steampunk enthusiasts and everything in between. I can't as yet confirm who exactly will be involved, but when you find out I hope you'll be as thrilled as I am.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Book Review: The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang


The development of artificial intelligence has been dealt with numerous times before and often used as a fait accompli in science fiction. In The Lifecycle Of Software Objects we are taken on a journey through the process of just how this could happen – the development not just of the software and technology to make an AI a reality, but the process of teaching a piece of software instead of programming it, of allowing it to grow and develop, to nurture it like a child.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Book Review: New Model Army by Adam Roberts


The biggest triumph of Adam Roberts’ new novel ‘New Model Army’ is that he has written a literary and engrossing book despite the narrator.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Book Review: Hard-Luck Diggings by Jack Vance


Before I start I should point out that Jack Vance is one of my favourite authors, with his novels The Blue World and Night Lamp counted among my favourites. I love the way he wrote – the formal yet flowery language, the fabulous descriptive work and exotic cultures – so I was very excited to receive Hard-Luck Diggings. This is a collection of early Jack Vance stories from the 40s and 50s presented chronologically. I don’t recall ever having read any of his short stories before, so I was interested to see what editors Terry Dowling and Jonathan Strahan had put together. I had high hopes for the book, which always leads to the worry that I might be let down.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Reading Queue

For Review:

Coming up any day now ill be my reviews of Hard Luck Diggings by Jack Vance and New Model Army by Adam Roberts. I've also read Ted Chiang's Lifecycle of Software Objects and I've just finished Ian R MacLeod's anthology Journeys. Reviews of both of these will be appearing at some point. Lined up next I have Absorption by John Meaney.


Not for Review:

I've recently read Stormqueen! which is one of two remaining Darkover books by Marion Zimmer Bradley that I've not read. It's one of those series that I've been reading on and off for two decades. Just Hawkmistress to track down. Earlier this month I read Patriarch's Hope, David Feintuch's penultimate novel in the Hope saga. Just Children of Hope to get hold of. Last week I read Extro, one of only 2 books by Alfred Bester that I've read. The other was the faboulous classic The Stars My Destination aka Tiger, Tiger. Extro was much more dated, in attitude and stereotyping more than technology. Next up is The Early Asimov, Volume 1, several years after reading volumes 2 & 3, then Jack Vance's Showboat World, one of the few remaining Vance novels I have yet to read. I'm trying to spread them out so there's always another to look forward to.

I really need a bigger bookshelf.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One Quarter

A few more thousand words on Gap Years over the past couple of days. I've now passed 25,000 words - one quarter of the projected total for the book.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Immersion Book of Steampunk

As anounced by Immersion Press editor Carmelo Rafala yesterday, I shall be editing The Immersion Book Of Steampunk, an invitation-only anthology due to be released late 2011.

I've always been a fan of original Victorian SF: H.G.Wells, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle and recently wrote my own Victorian SF story - though it's not very steampunkish. I read K.W.Jeter's Morlock Night - generaly recognised as an early steampunk novel - two or three decades ago and more recently I've enjoyed several short steampunk stories and Cherie Priest's books Boneshaker and Clementine.

Who will be featuring in The Immersion Book of Steampunk? Well, we have grand plans. More details will appear here and on the Immersion Press website.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Novellette to Novella

After another lengthy gap, I returned to my novel Gap Years over the past week and made some good progress. I completed part 2 (of 9 parts), graduated from novellete to novella status and passed the 20,000 word marker.

I'm hoping to keep up the momentum.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Book Review: Fun with Rainbows by Gareth Owens


I first came across Gareth Owens in Nature magazine, where in fact he has had four stories published. Other than that, he’s a relatively unknown author in SF circles and yet as I read through this collection I began to wonder why that is so.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Book Review: The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry


Genetic manipulation, clones, transgenics, reconstructed DNA from extinct animals, cool gadgets and high-tech computer systems – all ingredients that you may expect to see in a sci-fi novel, but here blended seamlessly into an explosive thriller that pushes the boundaries of science.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Book Review: Clementine by Cherie Priest


Clementine follows on almost immediately from Cherie Priest’s other steampunk novel Boneshaker, though it’s not a sequel. We follow the travails of Captain Crogg Hainey, a minor character in Boneshaker who is attempting to recover his airship that was stolen in that novel.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Longlisted for the Stalker Award

My story Travel by Numbers has been longlisted for the Estonian SF Society's Stalker Award in the 'Best Translated Story' category. Voting is until July 11th and the results will be anounced in August.

English translation of the site here.

I'm not sure how much of an accolade this is as there are 50 stories on the list - possibly every story translated into Estonian last year. Nevertheless it's nice to be noticed.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dream Inspiration

I woke in the night from a bizarre and complex dream and had to get up and make some notes. It could be a great story, involving a tennis academy in Yugoslavia, sun tans, mind control and a Belgian salesman. It all made sense in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quoted in Print


The children's paperback edition of Bernard Beckett's Genesis is out next week from Quercus Press. I reviewed the book last year for SF Crowsnest, and my review is quoted on the inside page of the new edition. I've seen my reviews quoted on numerous author and publisher websites before, but this is the first time I've made it onto a paperback, so I'm pretty chuffed. Now I just need to aim for the cover...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Frisian Translation

The Frisian translation of Dog's Best Friend has been published this week on Ensafh, the Frisian literary website. This flash fiction story is set in the world of the Roadmaker and originaly appeared as a piece of Friday Flash Fiction. It was later published in Jupiter, where the original Roadmaker series appeared, and has since been translated into Bengali for the Sonajhuri literary webzine.

Frisian is my twentieth published language.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Zooniverse

I read the new issue of Jupiter this week. As usual I enjoyed the whole issue - it seems to be the magazine closest to my taste in short stories. One story in particular stood out though - Gary Budgen's A Clown in Apus. It's a brilliantly clever idea of a CERN-type set-up creating a pocket universe, set in a zoo (there is a reason for that!) The way the author has applied complex physics into a mundane setting is genius.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

From the Pen

Okay, I don't really use a pen much for writing, but it sounds better than saying 'from the keyboard'.

This week, Jonathan C Gillespie and I have, we think, completed our collaborative novelette Quivira. It crept up to be a novella for a while, but editing has brought it back down. It's been interesting and fun working with Jonathan, seeing how ideas develop from one section to the next as we each developed the story. The strange thing is that while editing there were some sections that I couldn't remember whether I wrote them or not.

I had intended to get back to my new novel Gap Years after several weeks away from it, but instead a new story concept that has been rattling around for a while won out and I started work on that instead. Snowdonia (not its full title) is neither a prose story nor a graphic story, but something indefinable. I think it's going to be rather interesting.

Friday, May 07, 2010

On the Bookshelf

This week I finished Jonathan Maberry's The Dragon Factory, I've nearly finished the BSFA's survey of SF writers and I've started the new Jack Vance collection Hard-Luck Diggings.

The new issue of Jupiter arrived yesterday, and currently lined up on the bookshelf I have Ted Chiang's first novella-length work The Lifecycle of Software Objects, the new Ian McCleod collection Journeys and Patriarch's Hope, the sixth in David Feintuch's intensely gripping series.

In the post I'm expecting a review copy of Gareth Owens' Fun With Rainbows and my contributor copy of Cat Tales 2.

According to my calculations, all of that will keep me occupied until the end of June. :o)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Book Review: Shine by Jetse De Vries (Ed)


I've been looking forward to receiving the Shine anthology. One of my stories was published on editor Jetse De Vries' Outshine twitterzine, and he sent me a most encouraging rejection for the Shine anthology itself. I was also at the launch party at Eastercon and met some of the authors.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Poignant Publication


I was very pleased to note today that Cat Tales 2 has been published by Wildeside Press. It's an anthology of fantastic feline fiction that includes a reprint of my flash ficiton story Delayed Reaction. The story was accepted over a year ago without a definite publication, so I'm excited to see that it's here at last.


I discovered only moments later that editor George Scithers died earlier this month following a heart attack. Even though I've only ever spoken to George via half a dozen emails, it comes as a shock, and my symapthies go to his friends, family and colleagues.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Translation Experiences

Drawing on my experiences over the past couple of years of having my stories translated and published around the world, I've written an article on the subject for the benefit of other writers. It should be appearing in the next issue of Focus, the BSFA's magazine for writers.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Gondolier in Romansch

Romansch is a language spoken mostly in Switzerland, where five different dialects exist. This translation of The Gondolier is in the Puter dialect spoken in the Upper Engadine.




Il gondolier

da Gareth D Jones

Il piz nair da mia barchetta tagliaiva lamin tres l'ova calma dals chanels. Il vehicul agil am ho servieu düraunt bgers ans ed ho mno passaschers tres las vias d'ova da la cited suot la guida da tuot mieus babuns.

Il sulagl tramuntaiva sur la cited antica, tuot las giassas guardaivan our scu faschas nairischmas traunter las chesas da crap da sablun. Eau d'he respiro plain tensiun l'ajer fras-ch da la saira.

Do que üna cited pü bella scu quista grandiusited plain chanels? Intaunt cha la barcha navigiaiva vers sieu löet d'he eau fermo il mumaint plain satisfacziun sün sieu viedi vers il tschêl s-chüranto dal Mars.


Traducziun Victoria C. Mosca

Monday, April 19, 2010

Anthology Cancelled

Sad news today - the small press publishers Crossing Chaos / Enigmatic Ink have folded, leading to the cancellation of the forthcoming anthology Quantum Genre on the Planet of Arts. After a couple of previous delays I was looking forward to seeing my story Fluctuations in print this month, but alas it is not to be.

Fluctuations is one of my favourite - and certainly one of my most unusual - stories. It originaly appeared in Bewildering Stories and I rewrote the ending for this anthology. I think I shall look for another new home for it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One Hundred Reviews

Today I completed my review of the 'Shine' anthology - my 100th review!

These have appeared on:

Laura Hird - 2
SciFi Com - 16
The Science of Fiction - 2
Whispers of Wickedness - 6
SF Crowsnest - 74

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Immersion Press

At Eastercon I met up with Carmelo Rafala of Immersion Press, a new small press who have just released their first book: Fun With Rainbows by Gareth Owens, whom I shall henceforth dub 'the other Gareth', coincidentaly the same as 'the other Gareth'.

They're also due to release a new anthology entitled 'The Immersion Book of SF', for which the line-up looks pretty impressive. Their website says they'll be specialising in single-author collections, which is good news for those of us mourning the demise of Elastic Press.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Eastercon Saturday

Had a great time at Eastercon this year. I was only there for the Saturday, but met up with lots of authors, editors, publishers and others to chat about the trials of writing and other things.

Queued for lunch alongside Paul McCauley and Maura McHugh, had dinner with Toby Frost and David Hardy, chatted to Terry Martin of Murky Depths, Ian Whates of NewCon Press, Carmelo Rafala of Immersion Press, Martin McGrath of just about everything, Terry Jackman from Orbiter, artist Andy Bigwood, Henry Gee of Nature, Jetse De Vries of Shine fame (went to the book launch too), David Hebblethwaite who writes more reviews than me, Paul Raven of Futurismic, Justin Pickard and Neil Beynon of the Friday Flash Fictioneers, Gareth L Powell, famous for sharing my name, Aliette De Bodard, Ian Hocking, Philip Palmer, Chris Beckett, Colin Haynes, Stephen Hunt, Ian Watson and several people whose names I didn't catch.

The breathless, unending sentence above pretty much sums up the spirit of the whole day!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Magazine Review: Interzone #227


Last year all of the Interzone covers were by a single artist and the same is true this year. The added twist this time is that all of Warwick Fraser-Combs' pictures can be combined into one larger piece at the end of the year. Typically, now I have the second issue of the year I can’t find the previous magazine to put the two together. Ah well, inside to the fiction then.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Review: The Light of Other Days by Arthur C Clarke and Stephen Baxter


This is the paperback edition of 'The Light Of Other Days', released an unusual ten years after the hardback original. Penned by the late and current chairmen of the British Science Fiction Association, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, it is sub-titled 'A Novel Of The Transformation Of Humanity'. As the book progresses, it becomes evident that the transformation is of that indefinable characteristic known as humanity as much of humanity itself.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Magazine Review: Murky Depths #11


From issue #10, ‘Murky Depths’ has been made available as a PDF download as well as the original print edition. In fact, editor terry Martin has just made a PDF of #1 available too. (You should buy this – it includes a story by me!) So for issue #11 I have obtained the PDF version for the first time instead of the print copy.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Recent Languages

I've recently received translations of The Gondolier in Slovenian, Ukrainian and Romansch. The latter two are currently looking for a home.

The French translation was rejected by Canadian magazine Solaris as they don't publsih stories that short. They did like the story though and editor Joel Champetier said that the door is open if I'd like to submit again. I impressed myself by corresponding in French. :o)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Swarm

My 100 word story Swarm is on Flash shots this week - but you can only read it for 10 days until it disappears.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Eastercon Approaches

It's less than 3 weeks until Eastercon, the British National Science Fiction Convention, takes place over the bank holiday weekend in a hotel at Heathrow. I'll only be there for the Saturday, but I'm hoping to catch up with several authors and editors that I know, and to meet as many more as I can.

In 2007 I mostly wandered round in bewilderment. In 2008 I had more of an idea what was going on, but my day was cut short due to other commitments. Last year was too far away, so this year I intend to make the most of it.

See you there!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Italian Success

My 4,400 word story Inside Every Succesful Man appears today on Italian webzine Intercom SF.

The story was first published in Hub, was podcast by ClonePod and translated into Polish in Fahrenheit.

This is my second story in Italian - the other being the ubiquitous The Gondolier, also on Intercom SF earlier this year.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Screenwriting

As I may have mentioned at some point in the past, I recently spent some time learning about screenwriting. Last night, I completed the first draft of my first screenplay!

Soon after Artefact Nouveau was published at the end of 2005, I received an email from an independant film maker and screenwriter in North America who was interested in turning it into a screenplay for a possible future project. He said it was a suitable story as it contained lots of action and dialogue. He also siad that if I could turn it into a screenplay myself it would be more valuable. Of course at the time I had no idea how to do that, and the idea came to nothing.

Then, last year, after learning to appreciate comics courtesy of Murky Depths, I decided to have a go at creating a comic script. I used one of my own very short stories as a basis and found it a fascinating discipline to distill my own prose into scenes and dialogue.

At the end of last year I read Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, the new edition that included two screenplays that he wrote based on the stories. It suddenly ocured to me that writing a screenplay is very like writing a comic script - converting your story to scenes, action and dialogue.

I dug out Artefact Nouveau and had a go at the first page or so. It's very slow work. Then I decided to look up some information on how to write a screenplay and found some very helpful websites. I discovered that thet Bradbury script is what they call a 'shooting script' - with camera angles, transitions and all kinds of detail. What I needed to write is a 'spec script' - with just the bare bones that a director can play with as he sees fit.

So I started again. According to my calculations, the finished story would make a 45 minute drama - perfect for the BBC. Yes, I know, somewhat optimistic for a first screenplay.

What I need now is to find some friendly screenplay critiquing people to tell me where I've gone wrong.

It's been a fun and interesting experience.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Iberian Polyglot

The Gondolier has been translated into 5 langauges from the Iberian peninsula. Here they are all together, to read and compare.



El Gondolero (Spanish)
El Gondoler (Catalan)
L Gundoleiro (Mirandes)
O Gondoleiro (Galician)
O Gondoleiro (Portuguese)




La negra proa de mi góndola se deslizaba suavemente a través de las calmadas aguas de los canales. La elegante embarcación me había servido bien durante muchos años, llevando a los pasajeros a través de los cursos de agua de la ciudad, creados por las sabias manos de generaciones de mis antepasados.

La negra proa de la meva góndola es desplaçava suaument a través de les tranquiles aigües dels canals. L'elegant embarcació m'havia fet bon servei durant molts anys, i havia transportat passatgers a través de les vies aquàtiques de la ciutat a mans de vàries generacions d'avantpassats.

La proua negra de mie góndola slubiaba calmamente pulas serenas augas de las canales. La eilegante ambarcaçon habie-me serbido bien por muitos anhos, lhebando ls passageiros pulas canales d'auga de la cidade, criadas pulas sabidas manos de giraçones de antrepassados mius.

A negra proa da miña góndola corta suavemente as calmadas augas dos canais. A lustrosa embarcación serviume ben durante moitos anos, levando aos pasaxeiros a través dos canais da cidade baixo as mans dirixentes das xeracións dos meus antepasados.

A proa negra de minha gôndola cortou suavemente através das calmas águas do canal. A elegante embarcação tem servido por muitos anos através dos canais aquíferos da cidade, pelas mãos guiadoras de meus antepassados.

El sol caía sobre la ciudad, transformando el agua en una cinta manchada de tinta que yacía entre elegantes edificios de piedra arenisca. Respiré profundamente el fresco aire nocturno.

El sol es ponia sobre l'antiga ciutat, transformant l'aigua en una cinta de tinta col·locada entre edificis elegants de pedra sorrenca. Vaig inhalar profundament la brisa fresca de la vesprada.

L sol çponie-se porriba la cidade antiga, streformando l'auga nua cinta tenhida antre eilegantes casas de cantarie. Respirei perfundamente l aire fresco de la nuite.

O sol ocultábase sobre a antiga cidade, tornando as augas nunha cinta negra estendida entre os edificios de pedra arenisca. Respirei fondo a fresca airexa do serán.

O sol caía sobre a cidade ancestral, transformando a àgua numa
tintura escarlate entre os elegantes edifícios de arenito. Eu respirei
profundamente a brisa fresca da tarde.

¿Existía lugar más hermoso que aquella maravillosa ciudad de canales? Cuando el barco quedó amarrado me detuve a admirar, satisfecho, cómo se oscurecía el cielo de Marte.

Hi havia algun lloc més bonic que aquesta marevallosa ciutat de canals? Mentres la barca entrava al moll, em vaig parar a contemplar amb satisfacció com s'enfosquia el cel de Mart.

Eisiste lhugar mais guapo que aqueilha ancrible cidade de canales? Anquanto prendien l barco, parei-me a cuntemplar, cun sastifaçon, cumo se asselumbraba l cielo de Marte.

Haberá algún sitio máis fermoso que esta marabillosa cidade de canais? Mentres a barca entraba coidadosamente na súa amarradoira, parei a contemplar con satisfación cómo se escurecían os ceos de Marte.

Existiria aí fora um lugar mais lindo do que essa maravilhosa
cidade de canais? Enquanto a embarcação deslizava para seu atracadouro
eu me detive a admirar, satisfeito, o crepúsculo de Marte.



Spanish translation by Santiago Examino. First published in Efimeras. Reprinted in Quimicamente Impuro.

Catalan translation by Gemma Sellarés i Pujol. First published in MLN Langauges.

Mirandes translation by Cristóvão Pires. First published in Froles Mirandeses.

Galician translation by Ana Xaubet. First published in Nova Fantasia.

Portuguese translation by Mauricio Barbosa. First published in I Lusiadas.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Book Review: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest


Although I’ve read a few short steampunk stories over the past couple of years, Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker is my first experience of a full-length steampunk novel. An enjoyable experience it was too. There are steam-powered airships, fabulous mechanical contraptions, a mad scientist in an underground base and clouds of poisonous gas that eat away at anything organic and turn people into walking corpses.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Another Flash Shot Flash

My 100-word story Swarm, that first appeared here as a Friday Flash Fiction, has been accepted by Flash Shots, the daily flash fiction email subscription. It's currently scheduled for March 16th.

Friday, February 19, 2010

New Gondolier Acceptance

The Slovenian translation of The Gondolier has been accepted by the Prizma SF Society for publication in their newsletter Infinity. No confirmed date for this yet as they have had some publication problems recently. This is the 29th langauge for The Gondolier and the 11th language in which it will be published.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Friday Flash Retrospective

Starting in July 2007 I posted a flash fiction story on this site on most Fridays for over a year – a total of 39 in all. Since then I’ve started looking for homes for them elsewhere, and last week’s sale to the Daily Flash anthology prompted me to review how far I’ve got. Here are the statistics:

8 published in Illuminations – The Friday Flash Fiction Anthology
8 others published on-line or in print, plus 4 reprints
6 published and then reprinted in Spanish
6 published in 10 other languages – a total of 15 publications
6 more due to be published in English in the Daily Flash anthology, plus a reprint elsewhere
3 more due to be published in 2 other languages
3 currently under submission to English markets
2 under submission to 12 other language markets

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Gondolier in Dutch

A colleague from work translated The Gondolier into Dutch for me last year and I promptly sent it off to the only two Dutch SF markets I could find. The editors of Pure Fantasy liked it, but they only publish Dutch authors. They did think about it for a while as the story had already been translated, but in the end decided to stick to their remit. The editor of Wonderwaan also liked it, but it doesn't fit in with any of their upcoming themes.

Unable to discover any other potential markets, I have decided to post the translation here.




De Gondelier



De zwarte boeg van mijn gondola baant zich een weg door het staande water van de kanalen. Reeds vele jaren, met mijn voorouders nog aan het roer, heeft deze trouwe ranke schuit passagiers langs de talrijke waterwegen geleid.


De zon ging langzaam onder in de oude stad en de komende duisternis werd zichtbaar in het water. Reeds als inkt zo zwart, een donkere slang zich zwenkend tussen de elegante zandstenen gebouwen. Ik ademde de koele avondbries diep in.


Zou er ergens een mooiere plaats zijn dan deze wonderlijke vesting met zijn kanalen? Terwijl de boot rustig aanmeerde genoot ik van de donker wordende hemel van Mars.



Einde



Translated by Tim Vanlangendonck

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Gondolier in Italian

The Gondolier has been published on Italian webzine Intercom SF. This is the 19th language I've been published in, and the 10th for The Gondolier.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Six Story Sales

As you may have noticed, I like writing flash fiction. In fact I've written 54 stories of less than 1000 words each. When I saw a call for submissions to Daily Flash - 365 Days of Flash Fiction, to be published by Pill Hill Press, I thought it looked like a great anthology.

I submitted the maximum 6 stories, all of which have previously appeared on this blog, and all 6 have been accepted:

Another Year
Blue Men
Grammar
Gone with the Window
Never Talk to Strangers
Prequel

The anthology is due to be published in December, ready for next year.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Magazine Review: Interzone #226


Issue #226 of Interzone presents the opportunity to vote for the favourite stories of last year. As if to remind you, three of last year’s well-know contributors are back for this issue.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Magazine Review: Albedo One #37


I like Albedo One – they send the friendliest rejections. It’s a nice looking magazine too with a colour cover and clear interior layout. The majority of space is given over to the fiction with just a few book reviews at the end and an interview at the beginning. It’s an interesting interview with Greg Egan, an author whose work I always enjoy. A generous seven stories pack out the rest of the pages.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Book Review: Breaking Point by John Macken


The blurb for Breaking Point by John Macken talks about forensics scientists developing a system to identify future psychopaths from their DNA. This led me to expect something akin to Philip K Dick’s Minority Report, especially as it was received through SF Crowsnest as usual. Before you make the same assumptions, let me point out that this book is not in any way a science fiction novel.


Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, February 01, 2010

New Bengali Translation


The Bengali translation of my Roadmaker story Dog's Best Friend appears on the literary webzine Sonajhuri today. It's a bit tricky to find what you're looking for if you can't read the script. My story is here. I am the first non-Indian writer to appear in the magazine.


This is the 18th language I've been published in - and the first new langauge of the year.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Gondolier in Galician

The Gondolier has been published in Galician on Nova Fantasia, the site that last year published Travel by Numbers.

Galician is the 27th langauge for The Gondolier and the 9th language it has been published in.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reading List

The BSFA Award shortlist has been anounced, and unfortunately I've not read any of the 4 short-listed novels. I don't see how I'll have tome to read them before April either.

I've read Albedo One #37 and Interzone #226 in the past couple of weeks, as well as At All Costs, the latest Honor Harrington book from David Weber. I say latest, but it seems to be 4 years old. It's taken me that long to get round to it. I've now started Colin Harvey's Winter Song and my contributor copy of Galactika finaly arrived today. That won't take long as I can't read Hungarian.

Lined up I have:

Cherie Priests two books Boneshaker and Clementine, which will be my first steampunk novels
The Light Of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
Hard-Luck Diggings: The Early Jack Vance, one of my favourite authors
Journeys: Stories by Ian R. Macleod, his forthcoming new collection

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spanish Bibliography

The Spanish website Tercera Fundacion keeps track of speculative fiction published in Spanish and provides comprehensive magazine and author listings. I have my own bibliography page there.

It only mentions Spain-based publications, not the Spanish stories published in Argentina, but it's a nice reference.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Roadmaker in Spanish


The Spanish translation of the original Roadmaker story appears in this month's edition of Aurora Bitzine.

This is my second story in Aurora Bitzine and my tenth story in Spanish.

Roadmaker has already been translated into Catalan for Catarsi and accepted by Hebrew webzine Bli Panika.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Just a Novella

The story I've been writing with Jonathan C Gillespie, Quivira, reached the conclusion this weekend. It totals just over 17,500 words, making it just qualify as a novella. It will shrink below this marker by the time we've edited it, which will be an advantage when we come to look for a home for it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

First New Language of the Year

A work colleague translated my short Roadmaker story Dog's Best Friend into Bengali, or Bangla, for me last year. The translation has just been accepted by Bangla webzine Sonajhuri and will appear in their February issue. The editor says I will be the first non-Indian writer to appear on the site.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Fourth Gareth

Issue #37 of Albedo One contains a story by Gareth Stack - his first published story in fact. This takes the total numner of SF authors called Gareth to 4, as far as I am aware.

- Gareth D Jones
- Gareth Owens
- Gareth L Powell
- Gareth Stack

Of course there may be more. Drop me a line if you're an SF author called Gareth.

Surprisingly there aren't that many authors called Jones, considering it's a pretty common surname.

Friday, January 08, 2010

One More Mention for Roadmaker

Prolific reader and reviewer Richard Horton provides his annual summary of reading over at The Elephant Forgets. In his round-up of Jupiter magazine he mentions two stories that were also on my list of favourites and gives a mention to my Roadmaker story Dog's Best Friend.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

SFF Meta Review Site

I've discovered a rather fabulous new review webite called SFF Meta. It collates reviews from a growing number of different review sites and gives an average score. Each reviewer has their own page, and it's actually a better summary page than I have here,though only for my more recent reviews that have appeared at SF Crowsnest.

Comparing my reviews with the averages, I seem to be a bit more generous than most. Of course we don't give scores on SF Crowsnest so the SFF Meta people have assigned a score based on the tone of the review. A couple of these are a bit optimistic, but overall I found it a great site.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Magazine Review: Interzone #225


Adam Tredowski’s run of cover art comes to an end with issue #225 of Interzone. Once again he portrays a scene of fabulous technology imbued with an aura of mystic grandeur. It’s a picture of intricate detail and complexity that bears lengthy scrutiny. Inside the glossy covers the fiction continues to live up to the high standard set in recent issues, with such perennial favourites as Jason Sanford and Lavie Tidhar making welcome appearances.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Book Review: The Prisoner by Carlos J Cortes


Having spent time working on various effluent treatment plants I know something about waste water, drains and even sewers. Not nearly as much as Carlos Cortez has discovered in his research for The Prisoner though. About a third of the book is spent in the sewers beneath Washington DC, where the author’s first-hand experiences shine through in wonderfully varied and graphic descriptions of life beneath the streets.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Book Review: Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams


Little did I know twenty years ago when I first became enthralled by The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy that twenty years later I would be completing a review of the entire series to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of the first book. That sentence may seem rather long and unnecessarily complicated, but its typical of the rambling ideas that Douglas Adams weaves throughout his work. His sentences are usually funnier and more clever than that though.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Magazine Review: Midnight Street #13


As is the case with many a small press magazine, the editor of Midnight Street has announced that issue #13 is to be the final print edition. Future issues will be in PDF format, but there will also be an annual anthology of original stories not seen in the electronic version. Good news for lovers of the kind of dark speculative fiction that is the speciality of this magazine. It’s a publication with a definite feel to it: a very British, often pessimistic air that experiments with the edges of reality in a subtle but effective way.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Three AM


The new issue of Golden Visions magazine is now out and contains my story Three AM. The story is set aboard the orbital habitat Astropolis, the setting for my previous stories The Blind Collaborators, Travel by Numbers and Up To My Neck In It.

It's a bit of an experimental story - the same incident told from three different viewpoints. It's a bit of a mundane story that is barely SF except for the setting. I enjoyed working on it though.