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


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


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.