Saturday, December 13, 2014

Monday, December 08, 2014

Book Review: Voices by Colin P. Davies

Featuring a stylish cover by Richard Wagner, ‘Voices’ is the second short story collection from Colin P. Davies, whose stories have appeared in such magazines as ‘Asimov’s Magazine’, as well as many others for over twenty years. There are twenty stories in the collection, each of which have an honest, down-to-earth feel to them (even those not set on Earth) featuring characters from all kinds of backgrounds, but all of them sympathetic and accessible. Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, December 01, 2014

A Decade of Writing

Astoundingly, it was 10 years ago today that my first story was published, when A Feast of Eyes appeared on the now-defunct website Star Trek & Science Fiction Stories. It was a non-paying website that also featured fan fiction, but it was my first submission to its first venue and the acceptance inspired me with confidence to go on writing and submitting. I'm pleased with all the stories I've had published, the fact that I've completed 3 novels and that I'm still writing now. I've been in pro mags and semi-pro anthologies and translated into 24 languages. I've written over 100 book reviews, edited a steampunk anthology, met loads of other authors and publishers, been to cons and collaborated on stories, written everything from a TV screenplay totwitter fiction. I have a shelf full of magazines and anthologies containing my stories. It's been great.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Writing Plans

There's always so much to write and so little time. There's also so much to read, after having picked up 14 books at WorldCon and several more since. Currently I'm writing a short story about alien detective Ek-Lo-Don, who first appeared in The Sound of Death at IGMS earlier this year. I have ideas for 5 stories in that series and I'm seriously thinking about a novel too. That may well take over from the novel I started 2 years ago that didn't get very far, which if I continue will become a trilogy. I also have ideas for a novel in the same universe as Gap Years, as well as 3 or 4 in the Galaxy's Game universe. Meanwhile I'm also writing an interactive novel related to Galaxy's Game. I'm enjoying it, but it will be a long-term background project. I have another 2 partly-written short stories, which is unusual for me as I normally write one at a time and finsih them. Both are awaiting further inspiration. Then there are the usual ideas patiently awaiting their turn on the page - at least five definite short stories lurking in the background. That should keep me busy for a while.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Astropolis

Astropolis is an orbital habitat that has been in orbit of earth for around three centuries, gradually growing and expanding as new modules are built and added until it has reached over a kilometre in diameter. It’s home to several thousand inhabitants, including representatives of some alien races. There are markets and gardens, offices, restaurants, shopping malls and mile upon mile of service corridors and shafts linking it all together. Some of the oldest sections of Astropolis are now defunct, but they lie cocooned within so many layers of newer modules that they have been left in place, abandoned and gathering dust. There are observation decks that look out on nothing but the hull of a new adjunct, docking bays that lead nowhere, recycling systems with nothing to recycle and corridors with no access.


As well as three of my own short stories, Astropolis has been the setting for my three collaborative stories. It’s an ideal setting because the numerous different styles and technologies fused together to form the great habitat allow authors to write what they want without fear of contradicting each other. All three have been blind collaborations, where I give the other authors the setting and minimal guidance, and then I join their contributions together to form a whole.





Astropolis stories:



The Blind Collaborators – Aphelion – Sept 2007
      Reprinted - Aphelion – Feb 2008
Travel by Numbers – Nature – June 2008     
     Serbian translation – Antares – Mar 2009
     Estonian translation – Algernon – Apr 2009
     Spanish translation – Alfa Eridiani – May 2009
     Reprinted – Paralelisomos – Dec 2013
     Galician translation – Nova Fantasia – Sept 2009
Up To My Neck In It – Hypersonic Tales – Aug 2009
     Spanish translation - Aurora Bitzine – Oct 2009
     Reprinted – Paralelismos – Dec 2013
Three AM – Golden Vision – Jan 2010
Crowd Control – Perihiloion SF – Sep 2014
Something On Your Mind? - Kaleidotrope - Forthcoming





Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Gondolier in Macedonian

It's been a while since any new translations of The Gondolier have appeared, so I'm very pleased to be able to present my very short story in its 36th language: Macedonian.


Гондолиерот
 

Црниот клун на мојата гондола успокоено ги расекуваше мирните води на каналите. Витиот чун добро ме служеше во годиниве, носејќи патници по градските канали воден од советите на моите претходници.

Сонцето замираше над древниот град, претворајќи ја водата во модра лента положена меѓу елегантните згради од варовник. Длабоко го вдишав студеникавото вечерно ветре.

Та има ли поубаво место од овој маѓепсен град на каналите? И додека гондолата полека сопираше пред сидриштето, се кренав со воздив кон стемнувачкото небо на Марс.


од Гaрет Џоунс

 
Translated by Sasho Spasoski

 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hiking in My Head in Polish

The Polish translation of Hiking in My Head is now on line at Szortal. This was the story published at Daily Science Fiction that confused many readers. Maybe the translation will make more sense?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gareth D Jones Interviews Gareth P Jones

At WorldCon I was mistaken for Gareth P Jones, which makes a change as usually I'm mistaken for Gareth L Powell. There are a few other Gareths and even some more Gareth Joneses with writing credits to ther name, so I thought I'd track some of them down and ask a few questions about writing and being a Gareth.

First off, Gareth P Jones, author of numerous children's novels.




What do you enjoy about writing for children?

The freedom. Authors who write for adult readers very often end up writing one type of book, but I have written science fiction, gothic, thrillers, funny books and mixtures of all these things. I’ve written about dragon detectives, ninja meerkats, Steampunk pirates, ghosts, werewolves. I love the variety of my job.
 

What books did you enjoy reading when you were young?

Again, I was never very consistent in terms of genre or loyal in terms of author. I have great affection for fantasy books such as Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books but I also remember with great fondness the sheer wonderful silliness of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. And then there were all the books that were read to me including Watership Down and Mrs Fisby and the Rats of Nimn.
 

What do you enjoy reading now?

Recently I’ve made a conscious effort to read books aimed at the same age group as the novels I write and I’ve very much enjoyed Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell and Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead.
 

As you mentioned, you write in a variety of genres. Do you have a favourite?

Not really, but I do like making myself laugh.
 

What's your writing schedule like?

In terms of deadlines this year is pretty hectic. In terms of my working day, it’s very flexible. I have no set time of day I work better, no set place to write. I set myself weekly targets and work the hours necessary to meet them.
 

Have you ever been mistaken for another author, or another Gareth?

No. I chose to insert the P into my writing name so that I wouldn’t be mistaken for any of the many other Gareth Joneses. Since getting published in 2007 though, another Gareth P Jones has started writing kids books, which just shows you how common this name of ours is. I blame our parents. I have brought this up with my mother but she claims she didn’t know I wanted to be an author when she named me.
 
 
Fin.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Crowd Control Comment

I spotted a nice review of / comment on Crowd Control on the blog of Hungarian author Haralambi Markov whos says of the story:

“Crowd Control” by Gareth D. Jones, Aliette De Bodard, Nancy Fulda, Deborah Walker, John Murphy, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley: It’s a short story experiment with six authors writing a segment following the minimal of guidelines and then stitching all fragments into a whole narratives. It’s clean, tight and explores science fiction through a relaxed plot lens. The plot threads come together seamlessly in the last segment. The whole story is a brilliant example of the virtues of collaborations and experimentation. I feel very satisfied having read this.

I'm glad the story came across so well.

I was once published in Hungarian magazine Galaktika, which os one of the best-looking magazines I've seen.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

In Which I Rediscover My Blog

You may have noticed a resurgence in blog activity recently. After a dearth of posts for a couple of years, I suddenly had 4 story sales to report, and realised there were other things I could have posted too. I have plans for more features to come...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Fellow Reader

For the first time ever, somebody said to me "I'm reading that book too!"

Except at SF conventions, I've rarely met anyone who's read any of the same books as me, never mind at the same time. I was reading the Jonathan Strahan anthology Edge of Infinity on the flight from Dublin when the stewardess checking we were all strapped in saw the book and made the comment.


I think everyone else on the flight was reading various volumes of Game of Thrones!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

The End of Barsoom

I really enjoyed the film John Carter when I saw it a year ago, unlike the critics who didn't like it at all apparently. I didn't realise until I watched it that it was based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series, and in fact I was only vaguely aware of the books. I enjoyed the film so much that I got the entire 11 book series in omnibus edition.

 
I started them in December, reading each book individually with other books in between, and finished yesterday, 2500 pages later. I enjoyed all of them immensely, even though the plots started to become predictable. They have barely aged at all, despite being started 100 years ago. Barsoom is a fabulous place, and even though we now know nobody lives on Mars, it doesn't matter. I'm quite sad to have come to the end.

At WorldCon I picked p the omnibus edition of the first 3 volumes of Burroughs' Pellucidar series. I'm hoping they will be just as enjoyable.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

New Collaboration

My six-author collaborative story Crowd Control should be on-line in a week or so, but selling the story has inspired me to start work on another collaborative story that I started thinking about a long time ago. This time I have 12 other authors joining me! Should be fun!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Valley Has Two faces

My 1800 word story The Valley Has Two Faces has been accepted by Domain SF and is now on-line for your reading pleaseure. You have to log on when you get to the site before you can read the stories.

Domain SF's theme revolves around this:

The future has some profound, existential problems for our species to resolve if we are to persist into the far future. Two of the themes related to these problems are:
  • What it means to be human
  • How humans relate to the natural environment as their technologies become ever-more powerful

As soon as I read that I realised that my stoory was a perfect fit. Admittedly I've thought the same before about other stories and other venues, but this time I was right!

Earth

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hiking in Polish

I was contacted this week by Polish webzine Szortal, who would like to translate my story Hiking in My Head that first appeared in Daily Science Fiction. This will be my second story in Polish, following Inside Every Successful Man that was published in Fahrenheit in 2009. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Crowd Control

I'm very pleased that my collaborative story Crowd Control has been bought by Perihilion magazine. This was written as a blind collaboration in which the other authors didn't know what the plot was - much like the original story The Blind Collaborators.

My co-authors in the venture are Aliette de Bodard, Nancy Fulda, John Murphyy, Deborah Walker and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley. I'll write more about the process of creating the story in a future post.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Futures 2 Anthology Launched

Futures 2 Anthology, featuring the best stories from Nature magazine's Futures column, was launched at WorlCon on Friday evening. The anthology is available in various e formats, and includes my story World Wire Web, along with a host of well known authors and fabulous stories.

I was at the launch party where I met editors Henry Gee again and Colin Sullivan for the first time, as well as several of the other authors.

Monday, August 11, 2014

WorldCon Approaches

LonCon 3 - WorldCon - the World Science Fiction Convention, starts at the Excel Centre in London on Thursday. I'm going on Friday and Saturday - it's only an hour's drive from my house. This will be my first WorldCon so I'm pretty excited, especially as I'll be attending the book launch for the Futures 2 anthology.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Spanish Review

A nice review on Smashwords of my short story collection Paralelismos:

Un gran descubrimiento. Me ha encantado, es un libro de ciencia ficcion al 100%, me ha enganchado des de el primer momento. Las historias son inmersiva y te metes de lleno en ellas. Se desarrollan todas con un ritmo perfecto que te mantiene sumergido de principio a fin, quedándote con ganas de más.


Which roughly translates as:

A great find. I was delighted, it's a science fiction book 100%, I was hooked from the first moment. The stories are immersive and you get right into them. All are developed with perfect rhythm that keeps you immersed from beginning to end, leaving you wanting more.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Appearing In Somebody Else's Collection

A while ago I worked with Ken Schneyer on one of his short stories Grapple With Thee, a minimaly sfnal futuristic legal / political tale of corporate greed and single-mindedness.

Ken has been nominated for the Nebula and Sturgen awards and his work has appeared in many top-notch magazines, so it was a pleasure to work with him. It's even more exciting that Ken's first collection is being published imminently in print and ebook format by Stillpoint Digital, and Grapple With Thee is included among the thirteen stories therein.

Entitled The Law and the Heart, the collection is described thus:

Exploring the seams where humanity and technology, society and individuality intersect, Nebula- and Sturgeon-nominated author Kenneth Schneyer presents thirteen mind-bending, thought-provoking tales of near and far futures that will amuse, amaze, and unsettle. The law will change, and the heart will change, and the heart will change the law. These stories confront the question of just what makes and keeps us human.


 
 
I'm looking forward to getting a copy soon.

 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Sound of Reviewing

The first review of IGMS #38 is up at Tangent Online, 'the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993.'

Of 'The Sound of Death', reviewer Michelle Ristuccia concludes by saying:

As hard as Jones works to present the reader with a profoundly alien world, he puts equal effort into painting Ek-Lo-Don as a sympathetic character solving a mystery that plays on the aliens' human-like nature.
 That's pretty much what I was aiming for, so I'm happy with that.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Sound of Death at IGMS

My 6300 word alien murder mystery is now on line at IGMS with absolutely awesome artwork by Scott Altmann.

This is my 7th pro sale and a story I'm really proud of.

From the editorial:

Our cover story is "The Sound of Death" by British author Gareth D. Jones, proving that while murder is universal, exploring an alien world and culture through the eyes and ears of a detective investigating that murder is an event not soon forgotten.


Monday, February 03, 2014

Book Review: Freefall by Mercurio D Rivera

I have read and enjoyed several of Mercurio D Rivera’s ‘Wergen’ stories in ‘Interzone’ over the past few years, so I was very pleased to receive a review copy of his new novella ‘Freefall’, set in the Wergen universe.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Gondolier in Thai

I attempted unsuccessfully to make contact with various Thai SF sites, so having failed to find this translation a home I thought I'd kick off the new year with The Gondolier in Thai.


ผู้พายเรือกอนโดลา

หัวเรือกอนโดลาที่ดำสนิทของฉันได้ตัดผ่านน้ำที่สงบนิ่งของลำคลอง เรือที่มันปลาบนี้ได้รับใช้ฉันมาอย่างดีเป็นเวลาหลายปีแล้ว บรรทุกผู้โดยสารมากมายผ่านการเดินทางทางน้ำของเมืองภายใต้การนำทางของฝีมือคนรุ่นแล้วรุ่นเล่าของบรรพบุรุษของฉัน

พระอาทิตย์กำลังตกลับเมืองเก่าแก่แห่งนี้ เปลี่ยนสายน้ำให้เป็นดั่งริบบิ้นสีหมึกที่ทาบอย่างสวยงามอยู่ระหว่างสิ่งก่อสร้างหินทรายเหล่านี้ ฉันสูดอากาศเย็นของยามค่ำสู่ลมหายใจลึก ๆ

มีที่ใดที่จะสวยงามมากไปกว่าเมืองแห่งลำคลองที่น่าอัศจรรย์นี้อีกบ้างไหม เมื่อเรือเข้าจอดอย่างสงบนิ่งที่ท่าเทียบเรือ ฉันหยุดเพื่อที่จะเพ่งมองขึ้นไปในท้องฟ้าที่มืดมิดแห่งดาวอังคารด้วยความพึงพอใจ

 

จบ

Translated by Mei Lim

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Hiking Review

Several months later, Hiking in My Head has been reviewed at Diabolical Plots, home of the Submission Grinder. The last line of the review sums up what most readers seemed to think:

'An odd tale I had to read twice to partially understand it.'
Strangely, I had to write it twice before I understood it!