Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Spreadsheet of Ideas

Writing and editing Gap Years has kept me busy for ages. I've also recently done some work editing my novelette for the Ancient New anthology, written a flash fiction story and completed work on a collaboration with Ken Schneyer. I'm currently working on a collaboration with several other authors, but at the moment I have nothing to write until I hear back from them.

So, with time available, I sat down to do some writing and shockingly discovered that for the first time in several years I have nothing ready to write at the moment. My great spreadsheet of ideas lists 4 short stories and 2 novels, but even the short stories are not well-enough developed to start writing yet.

So I'm doing some plotting, working on synopses of the novels, biding my time...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gap Years Edited

Several months after finishing the first draft, the final edit of Gap Years is complete. It's also now 10,000 words shorter.

Conveniently, during a break only pages from the end, I formulated the broad plot for a sequel. Not sure when I'll start work on that...

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Writing Review

At the begining of the year, I had several plans for what I was hoping to accomplish in terms of writing this year. We're approaching the finale now, so how have I done?

The main accomplishment has been finishing my second novel Gap Years. After some initial editing it was read by my beta readers, then I kind of ignored it for a while, but now I'm almost done with the final edit. Definitely by the end of December...

I wrote 2 of the short stories that had been waiting for ages, plus another 2 flash fiction stories that I thought up along the way. I wrote my first complete TV screenplay and plenty of suppporting material for a potential TV series. I've also collaborated on a short story with Kenneth Schneyer and recently started on another experimental collaboration with several authors. Details on both of these will be forthcoming.

What shall I do next...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Book Review: Phases of Gravity by Dan Simmons

This was the last review I wrote, several months ago now, and the book is published this month.

Unusually for me, I’m reviewing a non-SF book. This is purely by accident of course. The title, the fact that it’s about an astronaut and is being published by Subterranean Press fooled me into thinking that Dan Simmons’ Phases Of Gravity was going to be science fiction.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Gondolier in Cornish

This Cornish translation of The Gondolier is due to appear in a newsletter for learners of Cornish at some point. It's already been posted here as part of the Celtic polyglot version, but this is the first time it's appeared on its own.

An Gondoler

Gen Gareth D. Jones

Pedn dirag du ow gondola a droghas leven der dhowr kosel an gwerdhowrow. An lester smoth re servyas dhebm lies bledhen ha degi trethyji dre dhowrhensyow an cyta 'ter dornow sur ow hendasow, henath war henath.

Th era an howl ow sedha dres an cyta goth, ow treylya an dowr maga tewal vel funen dhu 'ter treven fin derhevys a grag. Me 'anellas down ayr yeyn an gwyns gorthuher.

Era teller y'n bys o tekka 'vel an cyta varthys-ma a werdhowrow ? Ha'n skath ow tos es dh'y theller yn porth, me a sevis malja'ma miras der vaner lowen ort an ebren a vis Meurth yn tewlwolow.

An Diwedh

Translated by Neil Kennedy

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Retro Roadmaker

I came across this article about a 1960s concept nuclear roadmaking machine. Similar idea, though far more colourful than the machine from my Roadmaker stories.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Steampunk Novelette Sale

My steampunk novelette The Journey Within has been accepted for publication in the anthology Ancient New. The book has a wider remit than just steampunk and looks to be rather interesting.

The story had been accepted for another anthology last year that has since been cancelled.

It should be out towards the end of next year.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

One Hundred Fiction Publications

Filling in my fiction tracking spreadsheet, I came to the startling realisation that Remember Yugoslavia? is my 100th fiction publication. 101st too if I count the podcast seperately.

This total includes:

44 translations in 20 languages
19 reprints
1 comic
3 podcasts

I'm quite astonished!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Steampunk Podcast

News from Anatoly Belilovsky that his story Kulturkampf is being produced as a podcast by Cast of Wonders.

Kulturkampf appears in The Immersion Book of Steampunk and was Anatoly's first story sale, though he's done rather well since and other stories were published ahead of my anthology in the end.

I'm looking forward to hearing how the story will sound.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remember Yugoslavia?

My short story Remember Yugoslavia? is out today in Nature magazine. You can read it online, or listen to the podcast too. This will be my first podcast in an English accent!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Future is Murky

Terry Martin of Murky Depths has given his first post-MD interview, in which he discusses the future of The House of Murky Depths now that the magazine itself has come to an end. The long-planned Best of Murky Depths is still on the cards along with several other projects. In fact, I have another possible project I discussed with Terry a while back; must give that some thought...

Thursday, November 03, 2011

BSFA Award Nominations

Nominations for the BSFA awards have started making their way to the BSFA and the nominations so far have been posted. As I thought inevitable, the fabulous artwork for The Immersion Book of Steampunk has been nominated, along with one of the stories from the anthology. It will be another couple of months before the shortlist is anounced.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Demise of Murky Depths

As reported at the blog of editor Terry Martin. Depressing, but unsurprising I guess.

I've appeared twice in Murky Depths: Looking In, Looking Out in issue #1 and my first ever comic Frozen in #15. I'd since had another comic and a non-prose story accepted and another comic under submission. It's going to be tough finding another market anything like Murky Depths.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Future is Soon

My story Remember Yugoslavia? is due to appear in the November 20th issue of Nature magazine. Plus something else exciting I'm not sure whether to anounce yet...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Gondolier in Norwegian

I thought I'd found somewhere for this to be published, but sadly it never happened. So here's The Gondolier in Norwegian - the thirtieth langauge for it to appear in.


Min gondols sorte stamn gled fram gjennom de stille kanalene. Det forseggjorte stykket håndverk hadde gjort jobben godt i mange år, fraktet passasjerer gjennom byens vannveier etter veiledning fra hendene til generasjonene før meg.

Sola gikk ned over den gamle byen, gjorde vannet til et rosa bånd som la seg mellom elegante sandsteinsbygninger. Jeg tok et dypt åndedrag av den svale kveldsbrisen.

Fantes det noe vakrere sted enn denne utrolige kanalbyen? Mens båten roet seg i fortøyningen, stoppet jeg og stirret med tilfredshet inn i Mars mørke himler.


Translated by Sigurd Koran

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Science Fiction Encyclopedia

The third edition of the Science Fiction Encyclopedia is now on-line. It includes an article about Jupiter magazine that mentions my Roadmaker series, much to my excitement.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Yugoslavian Proofs

The proofs of my story Remember Yugoslavia? arrived today. That usually means that it will only be a few weeks until it will appear in Nature magazine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Immersion Steampunk Imminent

This weekend you'll be able to get your hands on The Immersion Book of Steampunk at FantasyCon in Brighton. Look out for the Immersion Press stall in the dealer hall.

Meanwhile, you can check out cover artist Charlie Harbour's work at his new website, including a much bigger version of this glorious cover.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You Can't Please All the People

Suffering rejections, harsh critiques and bad reviews is part of the life of the writer. I've come to realise that the old saying that you can only please some of the people some of the time can be a writer's greatest comfort.

One story I recently submitted for critiquing is a good example. The critiques I received are split down the middle between 'this is great, just needs a couple of tweaks' and 'what is it about? I don't get it, needs completely rewriting'. It's the clearest split I've seen yet in critiques. Now I need to find a magazine editor who shares the opinion of the first group.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Comic Markets

Since reading Murky Depths I've become quite keen on comics. My first, a one-pager, was published in Murky Depths #15, a second has been accepted for publication, this time a 5 page script, and another 2 pager is under submission there. Murky Depths accepts completed comics and also scripts which they will match up with an artist.

Of course, not all comic scripts I write will necessarily be suitable for Murky Depths, so where else might I submit them? I had a quick scout around the internet, and this is what I came up with so far:

Future Quake accepts completed comics of 5 pages or less.

2000 AD (which even I had heard of in my pre-comic days) accepts 5 page scripts for their Future Shocks section

OrangUtan Comics wants completed comics of 6-8 pages

Panini Comics publish a wide variety of well-known comics and are looking for sample scripts

Engine Comics wants scripts of 8 pages or 3x8 page serials

Markosia are looking for completecomics or graphic novels

There are more details on each of their websites.

There are probably others - I didn't spend a huge amount of time searching. The usual market listings like Duotropes and Ralans don't seem to include comic markets. Maybe I'll drop a hint.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Slow Editing Progress

I've finished work on editing one short story this week and, I think, my screenplay. Editing is such slow work compared to writing.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Immersion Book of Steampunk Announced

It's ready at last, anounced on the Immersion Press website and available for pre-order:

I've already spent several hours just staring at the cover art.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Doldrums

Things seem to go quiet on the writing front every summer. Not many responses to submissions, I guess because the readers are on holiday. I've not done much writing either, mainly because I'm editing at the moment. I can't say I've done much of that either. I have 2 short stories and a screenplay to work through. Once my beta readers are done with Gap Years I'll be working on that too.

Must get on with at least one of them...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Indefinable Story Sale

My indefinable non-prose story Expenses Claim for Snowdonia 'Bigfoot' Expedition has been accepted by the incomparable Murky Depths magazine.

This will be my fourth, or third, appearance in Murky Depths. My flash fiction Looking In, Looking Out appeared in issue #1, and my 1 page comic Frozen was in issue #15. My 5 page comic Plugged In has already been accepted, and now Snowdonia too. I have another 2 page comic under submission there, so I'm hoping to make 5.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reviewing Fatigue

After five years and 140 reviews, I've decided to hang up my reviewing hat, at least for the foreseeable future. It's been a wonderful privelege to read and comment on so many authors' work, often in advance reading copies weeks or months before most people are able to read them.

My initial motive for writing reviews was to give more exposure for the UK's small press magazines, where my first few stories were published. This blossomed later into book reviews too, appearing at Laura Hird, UK SF Review, Whispers of Wickedness and ultimately SF Crowsnest for the last 112.

I find myself now suffering from reviewing fatigue, so I shall give it a break, allowing more time for my own writing and to catch up on reading a whole backlog of books I intended to read but never got round to. The final review won't appear on SF Crowsnest for a few months yet. Who knows, I may be back writing them again by then.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Book Review: Troika by Alastair Reynolds

I read Troika in a single sitting in Eindhoven airport, as one does, and found it to be an enjoyable and engrossing tale that did far more than merely while away the time while drinking tea and eating a baguette of uncertain content.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Magazine Review: AltHist #2

The second issue of AltHist magazine builds on the solid basis of the first issue, bringing a collection of historical fiction and alternate histories from a broad cross-section of history.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, July 04, 2011

German Delay

I was expecting to see the German translation of The Gondolier in the new issue of Exodus this month, but the magazine is full and my story has been bumped to the next issue. It should now be out next January.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

World Wire Web in Galician

My future-steampunk story World Wire Web, published last year in Nature, has been accepted by Galician webzine Nova Fantasia. This will be my third story in Galician.

Monday, June 27, 2011

One Hundred Billion Dollars Out Now

The July issue of Bards & Sages Quarterly is out now, available in print or electronic formats. It includes my tale One Hundred Billion Dollars.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mercurial Nights at Raygun Revival

My golden-age style story Mercurial Nights is on line today at Raygun Revival. Go and enjoy a bit of old-fahioned escapism.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Steampunk Anthology Update

The updated list of contributors for The Immersion Book of Steampunk is now on the Immersion Press website. Launch is now scheduled for FantasyCon in September. There are some fabulous stories for you to look forward to.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Whole Lot of Editing to do

In the past couple of weeks I finished the second edit of Gap Years, the first drafts of a new screenplay and a new 4000 word short story and the supporting proposal to go with the screenplay. Now, I’m faced with lots of editing, reviewing and critiquing, both of my own work and of short stories I’m critiquing for others. After a first edit of the screenplay and story they will go off to be critiqued, then come back for further editing. Gap Years is now with a Reader, after which I shall work on The Final Edit.

Somewhere among all this, which will keep me busy for several weeks, a new short story is beginning to take shape and hoping to make it onto paper…

Monday, June 13, 2011

Palindromic Story Sale

My 26 word palindromic story Time Did Emit has been accepted for publication in The Palindromist magazine, the next issue of which is due out in the next month.

This will be my shortest story in print, though if you read it forward and then backwards it's double the length.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Magazine Review: Murky Depths #16

Issue 16 of Murky Depths may well be the darkest yet, with death and depravity forming an atmospheric backdrop to many of the stories. As usual the quality of the magazine shines through in terms of glossiness, paper and artwork; it just feels like a great product. What though of the contents?

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Book Review: The Coincidence Engine by Sam Leith

The coincidence engine of the title is a machine, or a device, or maybe just an idea, that affects probability to create the most extraordinary coincidences and accidents. At the centre of a string of such bizarre occurrences is Alex Smart, driving across America to meet his girlfriend. He has no idea what’s going on. In pursuit are two mercenaries working for a global arms manufacturer, and two agents working for the Directorate of the Extremely Improbable. At least, they think that’s who they work for. It’s a wonderfully convoluted and confusing trip, full of outrageous coincidences delivered with a dry humour and incidents narrated as ironic commentary on American culture.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Constructing a Short Story

My short stories tend to hang around in my head for months or even years waiting to be written. They bubble to the surface occasionally, get turned over, and sink back into the depths to cook a bit longer. There are five of them there now. The reason for this is that stories rarely come fully-formed.

My stories start life as one of several things:

• A concept – maybe a location or piece of technology
• A character – perhaps an alien or someone with an unusual trait
• A plot – but without any detail
• A title – something that sounds good but has nothing to go with it
• A snippet of prose – normally an introduction or a conclusion

Over time, hopefully these seeds will accrete the other parts necessary to make a whole tale. It’s not until I have a plot, with an interesting concept behind it, at least one definite character, a title, an introduction and fairly-well defined conclusion, that I start writing. That way I can write from beginning to end, normally in several sittings, and get a complete draft. The plot in the middle may change along the way, the character, concept or location may transform into something else and the title may change, but at least I don’t waste the limited writing time I have available.

It’s the cooking that counts. Excuse me while I go and stir a few ideas again.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Story Sale to Ray Gun Revival

My short story Mercurial Nights has been accepted by semi-pro magazine Ray Gun Revival, which specialises in Golden-Age style space opera and pulp stories. It's nice to find a magazine that seems to suit a story perfectly and for it to be accepted.

Mercurial Nights should be on-line in the next couple of months.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Second Edit Complete

I've finished the second edit of Gap Years, in which various critiquers point out spelling, grammar and other problems. Most of the 9 parts of the novel have been looked at by a selection of different people, and I've taken the comments I thought useful and made changes accordingly.

The next stage is a complete read-through by my First Reader. Okay, technically he's not the first, but he'll be the first to read the complete novel.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Episode One

I've completed the screenplay I was working on, and it's finished up at 46 minutes - just right for a TV episode. I'll come back to editing it in a couple of weeks, but meanwhile I shall start turning my notes and ideas into a coherent proposal for a TV series, and write up synopses for the next few episodes. If it ever ends up on your screen, it'll be brilliant.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reading Proofs

The galley proofs of my story One Hundered Billion Dollars arrived today. The short story is due to appear in the July issue of Bards & Sages Quarterly. It's always a worry that I'll read the proofs and instead of finding errors I'll discover I don't like the story so much any more. Not the case this time though. I still love it.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Last year I wrote my first screenplay, adapting my short story Artefact Nouveau. It turned out to be only 23 minutes long, which isn't very helpful, but I did learn a lot along the way and got some useful feedback from others who know more about the subject than I do.

This week I've started writing a new screenplay, this time destined to be a 45 minute long TV drama pilot. With this script I have much more idea where I'm going, and a whole TV series planned out. None of which guarantees that the screenplay will be any good, but I'm enjoying myself nonetheless.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New UK-Based Genre YA PodCast

The title just about sums it up. Cast of Wonders is a new genre podcast for a YA audience. It accepts reprints, as most podcasts do, paying a token amount for the privelege.

Off to rummage through my hard drive now to see what I can submit...

Monday, May 09, 2011

Latest Magazines

I have a small collection of paper magazines to look forward to reading over the next couple of weeks:

Jupiter XXXII
Interzone 233
Murky Depths #16

All three generaly contain stories that I enjoy and I've been reading them for quite a few issues now.

Meanwhile, in other UK based genre 'zine news:

AltHist #2 is in the works, with stories also accepted for #3.
CossMass Infinities is up to podcast #11, but that was put on line in November.
Dark Fiction Magazine podcast #7 is available. I don't know if it's just my computer, but I can barely read the light blue font. :o(
Spectra magazine is on issue #2, but is now on hiatus due to some technicality that I don't understand.
Singularity will be available for download 'in the coming weeks'.
Midnight Street #14 has been available for a while, now in electronic format.
The Winter 2010 edition of Estronomicon is still available to download.
Hub magazine is up to issue #139, rather impressively.

That should be enough short fiction for anyone.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Escape Velocity - The Anthology

Escape Velocity - The Anthology, containing my short story Relativity, is out now for the kindle and available in paperback on May 12th. Also in the anthology are two people I was talking to at EasterCon recently: Roy Grey and Ian Whates. It's a 360 page book of stories that appeared in Escape Velocity magazine as well as stories new for the anthology.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Book Review: With A Little Help by Cory Doctorow

If I were to self-publish a collection of my own stories, I probably wouldn’t sell a huge amount of copies. One of the main arguments against self-publishing is the lack of editorial input, potentially leading to the publication of things that should have remained unpublished. Of course, when the author is someone rather well-known like Cory Doctorow, and the stories have already appeared in respectable venues, that does away with the problem.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Book Review: Doctor Who – The Complete Guide by Mark Campbell

Oh dear. I can see already that I’m going to end up reminiscing about my own Who experiences rather than getting on with reviewing this book. I guess though that only ‘Doctor Who’ fans are going to be buying Docor Who – The Complete Guide and therefore only those same fans will be reading this review, so they, that is you, will probably indulge me.

Read the rest pf my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sale to Nature Magazine

My short story Remember Yugoslavia? has been accepted by Nature magazine - my third sale to that well-known scientific journal. The magazine has a very tight word count limit for short stories, so it's quite tricky to end up with something suitable to submit to them.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mentioned in Vector

In the latest mailing from the BSFA was the new issue of Vector, the critical journal of the BSFA, and there, in the midst of an article about comics, my name gets a mention. That was a nice surprise.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Saturday at EasterCon

I was at EasterCon in Birmingham on Saturday for the day, and had an excellent day of conversation and catching up. I arrived later than planned due to a train cancellation, only to find that the badge laminator was broken, so I had to lurk badgeless around reception and the arty show for a while. Even during that lurking period I met fantasy novelist Juliette McKenna, Dr Who script writer Paul Cornell, literary agent John Berlyne, BSFA Award-winning author Aliette de Bodard (though she didn’t know it at the time), and Angry Robot editor Lee Harris.

I only attended one panel item during the day – the interview with David Weber – and spent the rest of the day circulating among the fan lounge (drinking tea), the dealer hall, the restaurant / bar, the long corridor between, and various signing sessions.

Spread among those various locations I met (in randomly-remembered vaguely chronological order) authors such as Rebecca J Payne, Toby Frost, Ian R MacLeod, Charlie Allery, Gaie Sebold, multiply-translated Belgian author Frank Roger, Tricia Sullivan, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, James Swallow, Neil Beynon, David Weber, Ian Whates, Roy Gray (who will be appearing alongside me in the Escape Velocity anthology), Gareth L Powell, Lavie Tidhar, Colin Harvey, John Meaney, Ian Sales and Christopher Priest (who appears alongside me in the new issue of Focus). Plus literary agent John Jarrold, artist Andy Bigwood, Chris Teague of Pendragon Press, Jaap Boekestein of Dutch SF magazine Wonderwaan, Terry and Liz Martin of Murky Depths, BSFA Orbit Coordinator Terry Jackman and the organisers of the UK steampunk Asylum Weekend Lady Elsie and Major Tinker. I also saw Ian Watson in the toilets, but it didn’t seem like an ideal place to strike up a conversation.

This year’s double-sided badges meant it was much easier to spot people’s names, but even so there were others who passed in the crowd and disappeared before their name had registered. I’m sure there are others I spoke to whom I’ve neglected to mention, but it was one big whirlwind of conversation and I was glad to meet all of you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Focus on Languages

The latest edition of Focus, the BSFA's mazine for writers has arrived. It includes my article Speaking in Tongues in which I discuss my experiences of being translated and published in numerous languages. There are also articles from Gareth L Powell, Aliette De Bodard and Christopher Priest, among others.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Eastercon Plans

It's a week until Eastercon, and I've been looking through the guest list to see who I might bump into. There are lots of people I've met before whom I'm looking forward to meeting up with again, plus several authors whose books I've read recently, agents, editors and others I'm hoping to see. Of course, with hundreds of people spread over a dozen or more rooms, much of it is down to chance. But I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: The Iron Moon

Recently I’ve been enjoying a bit of steampunk and my new discovery, graphic novels. The Iron Moon is a steampunk graphic novel, so I was pretty excited about reading it. It turned out to be great fun, mixing marvellous Victorian steam-powered inventions with aliens, Brunel-style space stations and cyborgs. Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Book Review: Steampunk'd

I’ve read a fair amount of steampunk recently, so an anthology entitled Steampunk’d was rather tempting. The stories in this anthology are mostly set in alternative Victorian settings, but there are even more alternate histories where the era is not named after the British monarch at all. The book features a fine selection of everything you might want from the genre – steam trains, dirigibles, goggles, inventors, gadgets.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Inside Every Successfull Greek

I discovered today that my story Inside Every Successfull Man was published last june in issue #512 of 9, the weekly SF / comics supplement of Free Press, the Greek national newspaper. This is the fifth appearance for this story, following:

English in Hub
English audio on ClonePod
Polish in Fahrenheit
Italian in Intercom SF

Unlike a few other translations, where I made the discovery by chance, tis time I was contacted by the publishers, who want to pay me. :o)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One Month to EasterCon

It's only a month until EasterCon - the British National Science Fiction Convention. Guests of honour this year include David Weber whose Honor Harrington series I enjoy, and David Hardy whom I met last year and later discovered was the illustrator for the Thomas Cook Galactic Tours brochure which I loved when I was a kid.

I'll only be there for the Saturday, but I'm looking forward to meeting up with numerous authors, artists, editors, publishers and agents again. I can only hope the results are as succesful as last year.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Gondolier in Ukrainian

I've had no luck finding a Ukrainian SF market, so for your enjoyment, here is The Gondolier in Ukrainian.


Автор: Гарет Д. Джоунз

Чорний ніс моєї гондоли плавно прорізав спокійну воду каналів. Це спокійне ремесло слугувало мені багато років, коли я перевозив пасажирів водними шляхами міста під направляючим мене перстом поколінь предків.

Сонце сідало над старовинним містом, перетворюючи воду на чорнильну стрічку, розкинуту серед елегантних будівель з піщанику. Я глибоко вдихнув прохолодне вечірнє повітря.

Чи було десь інше місце, чарівніше за це вражаюче місто каналів? Коли човен м'яко торкнувся причалу, я зупинився, щоб із задоволенням подивитись на Марс, що пломенів у сутінках на небі.


Translated by Irina Mircha

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Comic Sale

I've sold my new 5-page comic script, the title of which is under debate, to Murky Depths magazine. This will be my second comic and third appearance in Murky Depths. I can't wait to see my ideas turned into pictures.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Klingon Interview

Continuing with the Codex blog tour, Klingon authority Lawrence M Schoen asked me a few questions on writing, reviewing, translating and hazardous waste. You can read the interview here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

First Edit Complete

I've completed my first edit of Gap Years, in which I make sure it's in a fit state to be read by my critiquers. Another milestone reached.

Meanwhile, I've sent each section to be critiqued as I finish with them, and had comments back on over half the novel so far.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Escape Velocity

News from Escape Velocity editor Geoff Nelder that the Escape Velocity anthology, including my story Relativity, is due to be published March 17th. The full list of contributors is included in his blog post.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Book Review: Engineering Infinity by Jonathan Strahan (Ed)

Like most of the other subgenres and classifications of speculative fiction, Hard SF is something hard to define, but easy to recognise when reading. In the anthology ‘Engineering Infinity’, renowned editor Jonathan Strahan has brought together a collection of fourteen stories under the label of Hard SF, which, as he admits in the introduction, stretch that label in many directions.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Magazine Review: Interzone #232

A new year, and a new style of artwork graces the cover of Interzone, following on from last year’s continuing sequence. This issue also includes the voting form for last year’s best story – a reminder of how quick last year has gone. Already in this issue are some fabulous stories that may well feature on my personal next list of year’s favourites.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Book Review: After the Sundial by Vera Nazarian

Vera Nazarian’s first science fiction collection ‘After The Sundial’ brings together ten stories and poems from the past decade, two of them original to this anthology. Although the tales deal with SF tropes, they’re written in a lyrical style, with fantasy overtones.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Interview with Me!

My second stop on the Codex blog tour is at the site of Gray Rinehart. Author, retired air force officer and contributing editor for Baen Books, Gray has interviewed me about editing The Immersion Book of Steampunk.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Relativity Coming Soon

My 1200 word story Relativity was accepted by Escape Velocity: The Anthology some time ago, and I've now had word that it will see print next month. I originaly submitted it for the magazine, but the publishers decided to bring the magazine to an end after the 4th issue and produce an anthology. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One Hundred Billion Dollars

One Hundred Billion Dollars is the title of a story, not the amount of money I've sold it for. It's a 1500 word story and has been accepted by Bards & Sages Quarterly. It has been slated for the July issue.

That's two sales in a weekend, which is a great result.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Gondolier in German

The German translation of The Gondolier has been accepted by German print SF magazine Exodus, a magazine that first saw publication in 1975. It will be accompanied by a specially commisioned illustration and should appear in the June issue. This will be the 11th language that The Gondolier will be published in.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

How Not to Submit Your Novel

I came across this mind-boggling post at the Zeno Literary Agency, wherein several unbelievable submission errors are detailed.

It reminded me of a comment made by a panelist at BristolCon last year, who said that if you manage to send in a query letter typed on white paper you're already in the top 25% of submissions.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Book Review: Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan

Set some time in the not too distant future, ‘Lightborn’ is a post-apocalyptic tale of intelligent software, deranged adults and a struggle for survival by the youths abandoned to look after themselves.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gap Years is Complete

Last night I came to the end of my second novel, Gap Years. It's a wonderful feeling to finally write 'The End' after 96,000 words.

Friday, January 28, 2011


My contributor copy of Murky Depths #15 has arrived, containing my first comic, the one page post-apocalyptic story Frozen.

As usual, the magazine is packed with other great fiction and comics. You should by it - and not just for my piece.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Languages, Translations and Being Half Welsh

A couple of months ago I joined Codex - the writing group for neo-pro speculative fiction authors (yes, that's me), and over the first couple of months of this year the Codex Blog Tour links many of the authors together with interviews and guest posts on each others' websites.

My first stop on the tour is at the website of Aliette de Bodard, where I talk about languages and translations in fiction, a subject of intereste to Aliette who, rather impressively, writes in her second language.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Gondolier in Hebrew

מאת גארת' ד. ג'ונס
תרגום: ניר יניב
חרטומה השחור של הגונדולה שלי חתך בקלילות דרך מימי התעלה השלווים. הסירה הנאה שירתה אותי נאמנה במשך שנים
רבות והובילה נוסעים בדרכי המים של העיר תחת ידיהם המנחות של דורות של אבותי.השמש שקעה מעל העיר העתיקה, הופכת את המים לסרט של דיוֹ בין בנייני אבן החול הנאים. שאפתי עמוקות את אויר הערב הקריר.האם יש מקום יפה יותר מעיר תעלות מופלאה זו? בעוד הסירה מחליקה אל תוך המעגן, עצרתי לבהות בסיפוק בשמיו המתכהים של מאדים.

Translated by Nir Yaniv, co-author of the fabulous novel The Tel-Aviv Dossier
I'm afraid I can't tell whether the formatting is still correct after cutting and pasting from Word.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Almost There

Last night I finished the penultimate subsection of Gap Years. Just the finale to go...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

2011 Writing Plans

We’re well into the first month of the year – time to start thinking about my plans for the year in terms of writing.

I’ve been saying this for a couple of weeks now, but I’m exceedingly close to completing Gap Years, which should end up around 94,000 words. I’ve written little else since April last year, so I’m looking forward to the relief of finishing the first draft and having time for other things. Editing and re-drafting will keep me busy for a while, but there’s less self-imposed pressure.

I have ideas for 5 short stories, some of which I have been harbouring for years. One is a piece of flash fiction that I’ll probably do first to achieve a swift sense of accomplishment.

I plan to work on a screenplay after that. Following last year’s experiment I have a much better idea of what I’m doing. I have grand plans to develop it in all kinds of directions, but one thing at a time.

I have a 6 page comic script completed, so I need to take a final look at that before sending it off. I also have vague plans for a graphic novelette, but being so new to the form I have no idea if or when I'll develop it.

After that, a new novel, Promised Land, about a lost colony ship. This is another idea that has been shaping up for years. I’m in no great hurry to start it yet. I want to work on the smaller projects first.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Immersion Steampunk Contributors Anounced

The list of contributors to The Immersion Book of Steampunk is now up on the Immersion Press website. Some well-known names, and some you may not have come across.

The book should be ready to launch in April.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One Section to Go

I finished Part 8 of Gap Years last night, at 89,000 words. Just Part 9 to write - the concluding section, estimated at 4000 words.

It's so close...

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Sea Monster from the Murky Depths

The cover of Murky Depths #15 is up on their website, and looks pretty awesome. My name has made the cover too, along with some rather more well known authors.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Clockwork Chaos TOC

I managed to miss this when it was posted a month ago, but the complete TOC for the Clockwork Chaos steampunk anthology has been anounced, and it's nice to see I'm joined in the line up by Colin Harvey. The Journey Within is my first novelette sale. I don't have a confirmed publication date yet.

The Power of Her Position by Bernie Mojzes
Miss Winterdove and the Erupting Eulogist by Angel McCoy
Ambergris on Ice by Jeff Young
Timeless In A Bottle by Don D’Ammassa
Deadly Imitation by Patrick Thomas
Symphonie Magnifique by Dylan Fox
The Last Yong-Shi by Matt Dinniman
The Journey Within by Gareth D Jones
The Foxglove Broads by Gail Gray
Cuckoo Moon by Colin Harvey
The Ghost of Love VanMeek by Dan Ross
The Countess’ Doorman by Peter Medeiros
Bell, Cog, And Scandal by Rebecca Rozakis
King And County by Richard Marsden
Clockwork Angels by Sarah Miller
A Melody For Bast by James Chambers
The Curious Tale of Elizabeth Nigel by Patricia Puckett

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Magazine Review: Albedo One #39

There are two competition-winning stories in this issue of Albedo One, along with some well-known authors. They like to pack in as much good fiction as possible, keeping interior illustrations to a minimum – basically just book covers for the reviews and interview – and concentrating on the writing.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Magazine Review: Murky Depths #12

The cover of this issue of Murky Depths is a lovingly rendered steampunk image from Nancy Farmer, who has supplied some wonderfully atmospheric interior artwork in the past. The illustration accompanies Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s Glory Of The Empire in which a disillusioned young man launches himself on a rickety manned kite to attack the emperor aboard his grandiose airship.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Book Review: Dreadnought by Cherie Priest

I was rather excited to receive Cherie Priest’s Dreadnought after enjoying immensely both Boneshaker and Clementine in the past year. I was not disappointed. We’re immediately immersed into the culture and atmosphere of civil war USA, with Cherie Priest’s unique overtones of steampunk, zombies, and wondrous mechanical contraptions. The manners and the speech are mid-nineteenth-century America, but the story is out of this world.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.