Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Year of Writing

In terms of sales and publications, 2013 has been my most successful yet, though certainly not my most prolific. In terms of writing I’ve done pretty well too.

I’ve written 8 stories this year – 5 of them flash fiction and 7 of them in the first half of the year. I wrote Hiking in My Head in January and it was published in Daily Science Fiction in August. Ode to an Earthworm was completed in May and published in Looking Landwards in October. The book launch for Looking Landwards at BristolCon was my first, in which I sat on the platform and talked about my story, as well as signing 100 sheets for the limited hardback edition. The others stories are still biding their time, or being edited. From April onwards I concentrated on my novel Galaxy’s Game and wrote 60,000 words to complete it in December.

In total I’ve had 4 semi-pro and 2 professional publications this year, along with 3 more appearances for The Gondolier, in Serbian, German and Ligurian. The year was rounded off nicely with the sale of The Sound of Death to IGMS, due out in the spring.

Meanwhile I’ve collected together my 10 stories that have appeared in Spanish and with permissions from the various translators put them together into an e-book that should be ready to launch early in the new year.

So another half dozen short stories are queuing up to be written, one novel is several thousand words in, several more novels are suggesting themselves to me. Looks like 2014 could be pretty busy!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Review of Anthology of European SF - Romanian Translation

My review of the Anthology of European SF, published earlier this year in SF Crowsnest, has been translated into Romanian for SRSFF, the Romanian fantasy and SF website.

The anthology included stories translated into English, so it's only fitting that the review is translated back out of English!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Galaxy's Game Complete

Weighing in at 105,000 words, Galaxy's Game is finally complete. It was the first novel I started writing, and the third to be completed.


Friday, December 06, 2013

Spanish Collection Cover and Title

I've almost finished work on my Spanish short story colection, which wil be called Paralelismos, after one of the stories. Here's the cover, featuring the artwork Last Man Standing by John D Stanton that first appeared alongside my story The Last Adam in Static Movement magazine. The translation of that story is also included in the collection.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Story Sale to IGMS

I'm exceedingly excited to anounce that my 6300 word alien detective story The Sound of Death has been bought by Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, aka IGMS. I love the character and setting I've created for this story and reallly want to write more in the same world. No publication date confirmed for this yet, but probably next spring.

Monday, December 02, 2013

The Lighthouse Keeper

Issue #9 of Plasma Frequency magazine is out now, containing my Welsh SF story The Lighthouse Keeper. I had the idea for this story several years ago while visiting South Stack lighthouse on Anglesey.

Friday, November 08, 2013

The Gondolier in Ligurian

The Gondolier has been published in Ligurian, or Genovese, on the Ligurian language website Genoves. This is the 14th published language for this story.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Major Milestone

Galaxy's Game passed 100,000 word today - not only a major milestone for this novel, but also the first time I've hit 100K on any book. Almost there now...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BristolCon 2013

This year I stayed in the BristolCon hotel, which was very convenient for dropping stuff back up to my room. It was a great day, including the book launch mentioned in my previous post, a couple of interesting panel discussions, and lots of conversations with several authors, publishers and artists, many of whom I met for the first time, and a few brief hellos in passing with various others. And free tea!

New Story Sale

Somehow I forgot to mention a few weeks back, my near-future sci-fi story set in North Wales The Lighthouse Keeper has sold to Plasma Frequency magazine. Pretty excited about this - it includes a lighthouse I've been to visit.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ode to an Earthworm

Saturday at BristolCon saw the launch of the anthology Looking Landwards from NewCon Press, which includes my story Ode to an Earthworm. In the morning I signed 100 signing sheets for the limited edition hardback, and the book launch was at 2:00 PM. There were seven of the authors present, plus cover artist Andy Bigwood. After a few words of introduction from editor Ian Whates, each of us spoke for a minute or so about our stories. After that there was wine and crisps, and a queue of people buying the paperback edition and moving along the table to get their copy signed by all of us. It was great fun and I'd be happy to do it again!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Vector Steampunk Review

The BSFA's Vector #269 came out in spring 2012, but I didn't receive a copy. Presumably lost in the post. I got a replacement copy today and it includes a nice review of The Immersion Book of Steampunk. As you would expect, the reviewer liked some stories more than others, but the final sentence is a satisfying acknowledgement of one of my aims:
As a whole though, the collection is a stylish and interesting collection of tales from authors who may normally live in the shadows cast by the zeppelins of more instantly recognisable heralds of the subgenre but here are given a chance to showcase their talents and do so in fine fashion

Thursday, September 26, 2013

BristolCon Approaches

Only a month till BristolCon, a small con that I enjoyed immensely when I went 2 years ago. Looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces, and meeting some new ones. Of course, to make it even more exciting, there will be the launch of Looking Landwards, the first UK-published anthology I have appeared in.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Becoming Academic

The Immersion Book of Steampunk was referenced in a lecture at Durham University. I feel quite academic now.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Final Part

After a bit of time plotting and planning, and a bit of revising of earlier sections, I have started work on part 10 of Galaxy's Game. I can feel 'The End' approaching...

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Gondolier in Serbian

The Gondolier has been published in Serbian at SF-Serbia, the 13th language it's been published in.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Return of The Gondolier

Things have been quiet on The Gondolier translation front for a while, but 3 new translations are on their way, one of them imminently: Ligurian, Serbian and Thai. This takes the total to 36 languages.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


My contributor copy of the tenth anniversary issue of German magazine Exodus has arrived, and it looks fabulous. It's an A4, glossy, colour magazine with loads of illustrations, and as this issue is all about retro-SF it has some fantastic golden-age images. My story The Gondolier is a very retro-SF story, and German is the 12th language it has been published in.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Last night I wrote the penultimate chapter of the penultimate part of Galaxy's Game. Looks like it should end up at 100,000 words, somewhere near the end of September.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Out This Week and Next

Hiking in My Head was published on Monday and went out to subscribers of Daily Science Fiction. It will be posted on their website next Monday. Several nice comments on their Facebook page, and several bemused readers. The original version was even more confusing!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Ode to an Earthworm

When I heard at EasterCon that Ian Whates of NewCon Press had an open submission call for his latest anthology, I was determined to send something in. NewCon publish some great anthologies and collections, usually with a whole host of well-known authors.

I've never written a story specifically for a themed anthology before, and Looking Landwards' theme of the future of agriculture is somewhat specialised. I thought about it for several weeks while several half-formed ideas came and went. I finally wrote it with only two weeks to the deadline, edited it, deliberated on the title and submitted it with only two days to go.

Ode to an Earthworm was accepted this week and will be appearing in Looking Landwards when it's launched in October.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Spanish Short Story Collection

One of the projects I've been working on occasionaly is to collect my ten stories that have been translated into Spanish and release them as a free e-book. Unfortunately it's such a long time since I turned Daybreak into an ebook that I don't remember how I did it. Meanwhile I've almost tracked down all of the translators to get permissions, so it shouldn't be too long.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Ancient New Anthology Published

The anthology Ancient New is out today from Deepwood Publishing, and it looks rather splendid. My novelette The Journey Within is a Victorian SF adventure and is my longest story so far published.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Part 7 Complete

I've completed Galaxy's Game part 7 and the book is nearing 80,000 words. I have an early draft of part 8 to re-write, then it will be on to new territory...

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Gondolier in German

My very short story The Gondolier has been published in issue 30 of German SF magazine Exodus. German is my 24th published language, and the 12th for this story.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Hiking in my Head

I'm very pleased that I have sold my short story Hiking in my Head to Daily Science Fiction, a fine venue that has published a plethora of great authors. I don't know when it will be published yet. I'l let you know.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: Anthology of European SF

I'm quite a fan of translations, foreign-language SF and languages in general. My stories have been published in twenty European languages, and nominated for awards in Estonian and Catalan, and one of my short stories appears in another fifteen European languages on my website, so I was very pleased to be sent a review copy of the ‘Anthology Of European Speculative Fiction’. The collection features both stories translated into English and originally written in English by authors for whom English is a second language. And two English people.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

101 Stories

This week I finished writing my 101st story. That's enough to make a fur coat!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Galaxy's Game Returns

A long time ago in a notebook far away...

Galaxy's Game was born. But it had a different title. I wrote it for ten years. Then I stopped for twelve years. Then I started re-writing it on computer for a year. After 40,000 words I stopped again. Then I went back to it after four years and decided it needed too much work to get it up to scratch. Then I found it again three years later and read it to my two boys, who love it and want me to finish it. So I've written another 15,000 words and I think I'll finish it this time.

What happens then is anyone's guess.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Anthology of European SF

As you may know, I'm quite a fan of translations, foreign-language SF and languages in general, so I was very pleased to be sent a review copy of The Anthology of European SF, featuring stories translated into English from around Europe. I shall be reviewing it soon...

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Ancient New Anthology Due

The cover art for the semi-pro anthology Ancient New has been revealed on the Deepwood Publishing website, and I've received an e-ARC to glance through. I'm very excited about this anthology, not least becasue it contains my first published novelette, the Victorian SF adventure The Journey Within. Oh, and my name's on the cover!

Physical copies should be available soon.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Accelerati

My 4800 word Welsh sci fi detective story The Accelerati is now out, the lead story in issue 2.3 of Lore magazine. This was my fifth pro sale, and the magazine looks great.

The magazine is 187 pages altogether and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Book Review: The Peacock Cloak by Chris Beckett

I enjoyed Chris Beckett’s first collection, the award-winning ‘The Turing Test’, and his recent novel ‘Dark Eden’, so I was very happy to get a copy of his new collection ‘The Peacock Cloak’ to review.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Relativity Reviewed

Escape Velocity: The Anthology has been reviewed again, and my story Relativity was described as:

A short story with impact. I saw the twist coming but the mental image still retained strength.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Matryoshka Now Online

My short story Matryoshka, inspired by the Russian dolls of the same name, is now on line in the February issue of Interstellar Fiction.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Russian Story Sale

I'm very please to announce another stiry sale. Not in Russian, but set in Russia, Matryoshka has been accepted by online webzine Interstellar Fiction and is due to appear in February. A good start to the new year for me.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Book Review: The Soul Consortium by Simon West-Bulford

Simon West-Bulford coincidentally works on the same site as me though we'd never met before the book was released, 'The Soul Consortium' is a slick-looking volume with an eye-catching cover, though the generous type face means it's not as long as it looks. It is however a gripping read.

The setting is in the far future. I mean really far. Think Greg Egan squared. The last human, Salem Ben, lives alone with an AI, immersing himself in the recorded lives of the dead to pass the millennia. The high-tech setting, quantum physics and esoteric philosophy at first glance lead you to believe you're in for a hard SF extravaganza, but there's far more to the book than that.

Detecting aberrations in the Soul Sphere where countless human lives are recorded and stored, Salem Ben decides to investigate by re-living the affected lives. The technology is totally immersive, so these lives are lived and told from the viewpoint of those characters. An interesting selection they are too - a serial killer and a psychic from our own past, a monk from the far future and the ages-old woman who created the Soul Consortium. The lives they lead are told in gritty realism, with all the horrors of their existence played out in sometimes visceral detail. They are all convincing and the monk in particular becomes a fascinating story in his own right.

The way these past lives gradually link up, adding hints and weaving threads, connected by Salem Ben's own slowly revealed history, make this a stand-out debut. I was thoroughly drawn in and enjoyed it to the end.