Friday, December 30, 2016

Polish Story Sale

To round off the year, my short story Rose Coloured Tentacles, which was published last year in Perihelion, has been accepted by Polish magazine Szortal.

This will be my third story published in Polish and means I have 4 stories lined up for publication next year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Spaceports and Spidersilk

My oldest son Alex has sold his second story, this time to YA magazine Spaceports and Spidersilk. It's due to be published in the spring.

Continuing to develop the Jones literary heritage...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Book Review: Crises and Conflicts edited by Ian Whates

Celebrating ten years of well-known UK small press publisher NewCon Press, editor and owner Ian Whates has launched a series of anthologies with various themes, including Crises And Conflicts, the third of such space opera and military SF anthologies from the imprint. This one includes sixteen stories by a fine array of well-known and up-and-coming authors.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Reviewing in 2016

This year I wrote 23 book reviews for SF Crowsnest, as well as an article and 2 interviews. I've surprised myself with that total as I didn't think I'd been producing reviews that regularly. This probably also contributes to my post yeesterday, in that I've writen more word count on reviews than on fiction.

I think reading and reviewing will slow down next year as I delve into writing a new novel.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Writing in 2016

I've not managed to write a great deal this year, the lowest word count total since I started writing seriously in 2004, totaling only 4 short stories.

 By strange coincidence I also sold 4 stories, two of them to podcasts. I've also had 3 stories published, one of which was in German and one was a podcast.

I've been working on the plot for a new novel in the past couple of weeks, so prepare for more word count next year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Reading in 2016

I've read a surprising 58 books this year, rather more than usual. Probably because I haven't done much writing I guess. As I've also been reviewing I've read quite a few new books along with books from previous years and decades.

These are my favourites of the year, in reverse chronological order of reading:

The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo
Everfair by Nisi Shawl
Death's End by Liu Cixin
Daughter of Eden by Chris Beckett
Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson
Made to Kill by Adam Christopher
Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen

I know a top 7 is a little odd, but it was either that or a top 28, which doesn't narrow things down much!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Greek Anniversary

Ten years ago this month the second half of my story Artefact Nouveau was published in Greek magazine Universe Pathways, following part 1 that had been published in the previous issue. This was my second translated story and the first published in Greek.

I've now had 5 stories published in Greek, making this making this my 3rd most published language after English and Spanish:

Artefact Nouveau - Universe Pathways - Oct & Dec 2006

Absolute Zero - 9 - Sep 2007

Fool Britannia - Ef-Zin - Jan 2009

The Gondolier - Ef-Zin - Jul 2009

Inside Every Successful Man - 9 - Jun 2010

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book Review: The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo

I’ve read several translated novels during the past year and, one thing I’ve come to realise is that, although the location, language and customs may be different, the ingredients of a great Science Fiction novel are just as indefinable. ‘The Core Of The Sun’ is the first Finnish novel I’ve read but, once again, it has proven to be a fabulous book and the fact that it is a translation is just one part of its charm.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Interview Reaction

My interview with Cixin Liu has been mentioned in more diverse places than probably anything I've done in the past.

I already posed that it was mentioned on File 770, then last week it was tweeted on the official Three Body Problem Twitter account.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Book Review: The Commons by Matthew Hughes

I first came across Matthew Hughes in ‘Interzone’ a few years back and was immediately struck by the story’s similarity to something that might have been written by Jack Vance. Of course, I’m not the only one to have spotted that and the cover of this and his other books makes that comparison.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Book Review: Everfair by Nisi Shawl

Nisi Shawl’s debut novel, Everfair. is a fantastically intricate portrayal of the birth of a free state in the heart of Africa and its fight for survival against the brutal regime of Belgian King Leopold. The classic steampunk tropes of Victorian Britain are transported to the burgeoning state of Everfair and the neighbouring Congo and adapted to the tropical climate and local materials and culture.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Book Review: Invisible Planets by Ken Liu (Ed)

Not to be confused with Hannu Rajaniemi’s recent debut collection of the same name, this Invisible Planets is an anthology of contemporary Chinese SF in translation. Ken Liu is the editor and also the translator of all the stories, most of which have appeared in some of the top SF venues over the past few years. Coming hot on the heels of my reading Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Trilogy and then interviewing both Ken Liu and Liu Cixin, I was decidedly in the mood for some more Chinese Science Fiction.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Book Review: Jacaranda by Cherie Priest

I’ve been a fan of Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century books since I was first captivated by Boneshaker. Although Fiddlehead was announced to be the last Clockwork Century novel, we’ve been given the bonus of a novella in the form of Jacaranda to assuage the withdrawal symptoms.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

An Excellent Interview

My interview with Cixin Liu was referenced on the venerable 'File 770' where it was called 'an excellent interview.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Cixin Liu Interview

It’s a surprisingly warm October day in London and the Embankment is crowded with tourists. Outside the South Bank Centre, dozens of people are eating and drinking at tables belonging to half a dozen restaurants. It’s also busy inside the building but, fortunately, I’ve entered at the right end of the building and spot the lift straight away. It’s quieter as I step out on the wide expanse of the fifth floor and directly in front of the lift is the Chinese contingent.

Read my interview at SF Crowsnest.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Interview with Ken Liu

Ken Liu is an author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy awards, he has been published in ‘The Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction’, ‘Asimov’s Magazine’, ‘Analog’, ‘Clarkesworld’, ‘Lightspeed’ and ‘Strange Horizons’, among other places.

Photo by Lisa Tang Liu

Read my interview with Ken Liu at SF Crowsnest. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Book Review: Death's End by Cixin Liu

The grand scale of Cixin Liu’s ‘The Three-Body Trilogy’ continues in this third volume ‘Death’s End’, translated from the Chinese, as was the first volume, by Ken Liu. This 600 page book moves forward at a stately place, building solid ideas one upon another, continuing to extrapolate the future of humanity under the threat of annihilation from the Trisolarans and the earth-shattering events of the previous volumes.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Interview Experience

I've interviewed several authors and editors in the past via email, but today was my first opportunity to carry out an interview in person. The author in question was none other than Cixin Liu, acclaimed Chinese author of the Three-Body trilogy. I travelled into London to meet him at the South Bank Centre where I carried out the interview via an interpreter.

The interview will be appearing at SF Crowsnest soon.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Book Review: Daughter of Eden by Chris Beckett

In this third volume of the ‘Dark Eden’ saga, Chris Beckett continues the story of the lost colony that inhabits the orphan world of Eden, warmed and lit only by fluorescent flora powered by geothermal energy.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Review: Time Seige by Wesley Chu

‘Time Siege’ is Wesley Chu’s sequel to ‘Time Salvager’, which I reviewed here earlier in the year. It has another beautifully atmospheric cover depicting the ruins of a future Earth where the cities, New York in particular in this book, are overwhelmed by pollution, rampant vegetation and savage tribes.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Gondolier in Latvian

It's been a while since my last translation of The Gondolier. This Latvian translation is the 40th language for this story. 16 have been published and the rest appear on my blog.


Manas gondolas melnais paceltais zobenveidīgais priekšgals vienmērīgi dreifēja cauri kanāla mierīgajiem ūdeņiem. Gludais kuģis bija man labi kalpojis daudzus gadus, pārvadājot pasažierus pa pilsētas ūdensceļiem tieši tāpat, kā to bija vadījušas manu senču rokas no paaudzes paaudzē.

Saule rietēja pār seno pilsētu, pārvēršot ūdeni par iespiedkrāsas pārklātu lenti, kas vijās starp elegantām smilšakmens ēkām. Es dziļi ieelpoju vēso vakara brāzmu.

 Vai ir vēl kāda skaistāka vieta par šo brīnumaino pilsētas kanālu? Tā kā gondola atviegloti ieslīdēja pietauvošanās vietā, es ar gandarījumu pārstāju lūkoties augšup tumstošajās debesīs uz Marsu.

Translated by Daiga Veikmane

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Book Review: The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

Cixin Liu’s classic of Chinese Science Fiction continues in this second volume, translated into English by Joel Martinsen as ‘The Dark Forest’. The same mixture of contemporary settings, cutting-edge technology, political intrigue and glimpses of a frighteningly powerful alien civilisation make this book just as riveting as the first volume ‘The Three Body Problem’.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Heat of the Night

My flash fiction story Heat of the Night is now on-line at Perihelion magazine. This is my third story to appear there over the past couple of years.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Book Review: Central Station by Lavie Tidhar

I read several of Lavie Tidhar’s ‘Central Station’ stories when they appeared in ‘Interzone’ magazine in recent years. They were all interlinked, both by the location and by some of the characters, but chiefly by the richly imagined world that revolves around the edifice of Central Station.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Writing a Sequel

I'm currently writing a sequel to Squirrels, Foxes and Other Fine Specimens which appeared at Escape Pod last week. I hadn't particularly planned to write a sequel, but I enjoyed the story so much when I listened to it (three times) that I was inspired to write another story about Yorick and Sandy. This time they're going to Scotland.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Waste Management in Science Fiction

Author Dan Koboldt runs a blog series entitled Science in SciFi, Fact in Fantasy in which:

Each week, we tackle one of the scientific or technological concepts pervasive in sci-fi (space travel, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, etc.) with input from an expert.

This week, the expert happens to be me dealing with the subject of Waste Management in Science Fiction.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Squirrels, Foxes and Other Fine Specimens

My slightly humourous urban SF story Squirrels, Foxes and Other Fine Specimens is now available to read or to listen to at Escape Pod.

The narrator is brilliant. He sounds a bit like Idris Elba and gets all the punctuation and emphasis just right to make the story really shine.

I'm really pleased with it.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ten Professional Story Sales

When updating my submission tracking spreadsheet this week, I realised that my recent sale to Escape Pod is my tenth professional story sale.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Victorian SF Story Sale

I'm very pleased to have sold my 7100 word stoy The Long Afternoon of Sir Rupert Moncrief to steampunk / retro futurist podcast Gallery of Curiosoties.

This is my second recent podcast sale after Squirrels, Foxes and Other Fine Specimens was accepted by Escape Pod last month.

Moncrief is my second Victorian SF story, the other being The Journey Within that first appeared in the anthology Ancient New and this year was published in German in Austrian magazine Visionarium.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Third Story Sale to Perihelion

I've sold my flash fiction story The Heat of the Night to Perihelion magazine. It will be on line on September 12th and will be my third story to appear there, following on from Rose Coloured Tentacles last year and Crowd Control the year before.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book Review: Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson

‘Europe At Midnight’ is Dave Hutchinson’s follow up to his debut novel, the anarchically enjoyable ‘Europe In Autumn’, which I reviewed here in September 2015. I say follow-up rather than sequel because this book doesn’t follow the same character or continue the story from the first novel but the setting is the same and some of the elements introduced in the first book are followed up here.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Book Review: The Corporation Wars: Dissidence by Ken MacLeod

The first volume in Ken MacLeod’s new ‘Corporation Wars’ series, ‘Dissidence’, takes us straight into the action as we learn the back stories of the two main characters. Carlos is a reactionary/computer-hacker/terrorist in the midst of a war over London, controlling drones and weapons and swiftly meeting a violent end. Seba is a mining robot in a far distant star system who attains consciousness and quickly discovers that the powers that be are keen to quash any such self-awareness.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Review: The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker

This sounds good, I thought. A post-apocalyptic tale about a man who has to run the length of Britain to find his family. The cover does not look like a Science Fiction book, though, it looks like a ‘literary’ book. More worryingly, when it arrived, it had a sticker on the front cover advertising the ‘BBC Radio 2 Book Club’.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Novel Anouncement

I omitted to included a link to this at the time, at Immersion Press:

'this year we hope to release a novella by Gareth D Jones'

It's a novella or short novel, depending on how you count these things. Plans aren't firmed up yet, but should be news coming soon...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cancelled Story

Sadly, the Electronic Encyclopaedia of Experimental Literature has ceased publication, which means they won't be publishing Expenses Claim for Snowdonia Bigfoot Expedition after all. This story seems doomed never to see the light of day.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Book Review: Invisible Planets: Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi

I first came cross Hannu Rajaniemi when I read the story ‘His Master’s Voice’ in Interzone. I remember being struck by its original voice and intriguing ideas as well as the fact that the protagonists were a dog and a cat.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago, in 2006, I'd just had several landmarks in my early career as an author:

April 2006 saw my tenth publication, and my first story to appear in print: A Word in the Right Place in Scifantastic #4

In June 2006 The Grey Void was published in Aphelion #102. This was my first sequel, a follow up to The Grey Hole published in Aphelion the previous year.

Also in June, Artefact Nouveau was published in the English edition of Greek magazine Universe Pathways. This was my first reprint in a magazine other than the original, Fluctuations having been reprinted by Bewildering Stories the previous year.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Escape Pod Story Sale

I'm very pleased to have sold my short story Squirrels, Foxes and Other Fine Specimens to Escape Pod, the leading sci fi pod cast. This will only be my 4th podcast and I'm really looking forward to hearing how it comes out.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Book Review: The One-Eyed Man by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

A couple of years ago I read Adiamante by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.. It was the first of his books I’d read and up to that point I hadn’t realised he wrote Science Fiction, having only seen his fantasy books in the past. The One-Eyed Man, subtitled A Fugue, With Winds And Accompaniment, was published in 2013 but I ended up reading it now mostly on the strength of Adiamante.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Collaborative Story Sale

I'm very excited to have sold my third blind collaboration, this time to Kaleidotrope magazine. This time my co-authors are Stewart C Baker, Anatoly Belilovsky, Robert Dawson, Kate Heartfield, Holly Heisey, CL Holland, Laurie Tom and Deborah Walker - the most I've ever collaborated with.

Once again the story is set on Astropolis, a two hundred year old orbital habitat that has been the setting for several of my stories.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The German Within

Issue 8 of Austrian magazine Visionarium is now out, with the German translation of my Victorian SF adventure novelette The Journey Within. This is my longest translation to date, and my second story in German.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Book Review: The Cusanus Game by Wolfgang Jeschke

This month I have a novelette being published in German, my second story in German and my longest translated story to date. This piqued my interest in German Science Fiction, so I took the opportunity to get hold of Wolfgang Jeschke’s award-winning 2005 novel Die Cusanus Spiel. My German isn’t good enough to read the novel so, in fact, I got the 2013 English version, The Cusanus Game, translated by Ross Benjamin.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Experimental Story Sale

After a long period bereft of sales, my experimental story Expenses Claim for Snowdonia Bigfoot Expedition has been accepted by The Electronic Encyclopaedia of Experimental Literature.

I'm really excited to see what this one will look like when it comes out.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Arachnids and Phobias

My second son's first published story is out this week: Arachnids and Phobias by Haydn T. A. Jones at The Flash Fiction Press.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Book Review: Time Salvager by Wesley Chu

I do like the cover art on Wesley Chu’s ‘Time Salvager’. It’s like one of those slightly blurred oil paintings and is very minimilastically atmospheric. It gives a good impression of the dystopian future that James Griffin-Mars lives in, where the atmosphere and the oceans are polluted and the cities are crumbling to ruins.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

The Editors: Dawid Wiktorski

My slightly confusing story Hiking In My Head, first published in Daily Science Fiction, was translated into Polish and published in Szortal in 2014. I popped over to Warsaw and met up with editor Dawid Wiktorski  to find out about Szortal and Polish SF in general. Or maybe we corresponded by email.

Q. Is there a long history of science fiction in Poland?

A. When we compare Polish SF to, for example, American, we can see they started their expansion concurrently - in 1960s. Those were the times when Stanisław Lem wrote his most remarkable texts (“Solaris” and “Fables for robots”) and Janusz Zajdel started his writing career (for example “Limes inferior”). The Communist Period, however, turned out to be the golden age to Polish speculative fiction - our market was mainly closed to American texts, so - naturally - Polish ones were mostly favored. Not without significance was the previous political system - what could be better than criticizing it by means of fictional analogies and references?

Unfortunatelly, Polish SF lost its importance and monopoly after the opening of borders in 1990s. We were flooded by a wave of foreign texts’ translations and Polish writers gradually started being forgotten (in the good days their most influential works were reprinted over a dozen, sometimes even several dozens times!). Naturally, it’s not the end of the history of SF in Poland but this period could be marked as the decrease of its role and popularity - those were gained mostly by fantasy that became really popular in my country.

Q. Are there any themes or styles that define Polish science fiction currently?

A. Nowadays the SF market in Poland is so niche that it’s hard to talk about any styles or subjects that can define it. Recently there could be observed a rise of number of space opera and post-apo publications but it’s not a rule. Unfortunately I cannot foresee that fantasy would stop being the dominant genre in my country, where the market is really small, especially in comparison to the Anglo-Saxon one.

Q. How did Szortal get started?

A. The whole idea came from Krzysztof “Baranek” Baranowski (but later Aleksander Kusz was the organisator) and it was refined on a forum of a non-existing magazine. In Poland Szortal was a unique idea, before no one was interested in “shorts” (really short pieces of literature), the most emphasis was put on stories.

For a long time Szortal was dedicated to Polish writers only but about two years ago there was a section for foreign prose introduced. It empowered the whole website - not only with really interesting texts, but also promising contacts.

Q. What kind of stories do you like to publish?

A. A text has to have SOMETHING that makes you remember several thousand of signs. I don’t care about the genre or the main motif. It’s crucial for me to remember the story and that it would somehow make me wonder about it.

Q. What are the challenges of translating stories from English?

A. English really differs from Polish. On one hand the Polish language is richer, but on the other in English there are some collocations and words that don’t correspond with my language. Translating a text with a "word by word" method in case of fiction is totally impossible and the translation will always have something invented by the translator. It makes the whole process of translation unique, makes us wonder about the sound of every word, whether to translate it directly or search some other synonyms. It disables the automatisation of the whole translating process and makes every translation a challenge.

Q. What plans do you have for this year?

A. It’s the most difficult question, I guess ;) It’s hard to say what would happen this year - I certainly have plans, especially when it comes to Szortal and other speculative fiction issues, but those are too dynamically modified and postponed for non-specified future. In other words - nothing specific. But I have maaany ideas!


Monday, April 04, 2016

Book Review: Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre

Over the past few years I’ve been attempting to read some of the ‘classic’ SF books, those that won multiple awards or are always included in ‘Best Of’ or ‘Must Read’ lists. Vonda N. McIntyre’s ‘Dreamsnake’ was first published in 1978 and won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards, so fits into this category nicely.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

German SF

At EasterCon I picked up a copy of Andromeda SF Magazine #152, a special bilingual edition of the German magazine that was produced for WorldCon and is full of information about the German SF scene. On the cover is a picture Exodus #30, which contained the German translation of my story The Gondolier, which I was excited to see.

I discovered as I read the magazine that this same cover received the 2014 KLP Award for best artwork. This award is the equivalent of the Nebula - voted for by professional in the SF field.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

EasterCon 2016

I was at EasterCon for just the Sunday this year, and spent the day with my usual combination of browsing the dealer hall, attending a couple of programme items, chatting to other writers and drinking quite a bit of tea.

 I didn't pick up as many books as usual, but I did get a copy of Mercurio D. Rivera's short story collection, which I discovered has a quote from one of my reviews on the back cover which was quite a thrill.

I caught up with Mike Wood, C.A.Hawksmoor and Eliza Chan from Codex and had a lengthy chat about our experiences as writers, GOH Aliette de Bodard, Gareth L Powell and Neil Beynon, Ian Whates, Roy Grey. As usual I also saw a few others in passing that I dodn't get to speak to. Next year will be at the NEC apparently.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Book Review: Made to Kill by adam Christopher

I was sitting in my lounge, a book in my hand, reading in the yellow glow of the standard lamp. The book was a hard back, all yellow and red with the face of a steely private eye staring at me from the cover beside the silhouette of a dame with a duffel bag. By now, I knew what was in that bag, having read the first couple of chapters.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Book Review: Four Doctors by Paul Cornell & Neil Edwards

A couple of weeks back I watched ‘The Three Doctors’ again, which was originally aired before I was born, but I’ve seen at some point in the murky past. I like all the ‘Doctor Who’ crossover episodes, so I was keen to see what Paul Cornell has devised for his five-part comic event ‘Four Doctors’.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

The Editors: Rami Shalheveth

My first translated story, Devotion, was published ten years ago in Hebrew in the webzine Bli Panika, edited by Rami Shalheveth. In 2010 a translation of my short story Roadmaker also appeared there. The webzine is still going today, which is quite a feat in itself. I popped over to Israel to meet up with Rami and we chatted about publishing and translations as we wandered through an orchard enjoying succulent oranges. Or maybe we corresponded by email.

Q. How long have you been publishing Bli Panika, and how did it get started?

A: Bli Panika was established on October 28th 2000 by the members of the Ort science fiction and fantasy forum. Its name was a tribute to Douglas Adams "Hitchhiker Guide" series – "Don't Panic" in Hebrew. At the beginning it was a "forum magazine", i.e. a platform to publish the forum users reviews, stories and even inner jokes and fans folklore. Several months later, after I saw that Hadas, the original editor, didn't find enough time to update it regularly, I asked to take over Bli Panika and turned it into a more professional zine. Sadly, the ORT forum is long gone, like most internet forums, but Bli Panika is still here.


Q. Is there much science fiction published in Hebrew?

A. The Israeli SF market is very small and consists primarily of translated fiction, mostly long form and mostly from English. Nevertheless, each year about 15-30 original books are written in the genre in Hebrew, mainly YA but also novels published by mainstream publishers.

Short Israeli fiction is published at BP, of course, and also at "Hayo Iyeh" (meaning "Once upon a Future") yearly anthology published by the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy. Several other stories are published at the ISFSF web magazine, both original and foreign. Both publications are edited by Ehud Maimon. The only paying market for short fiction is the magazine "Chalomot Be'Aspamia" (an ancient Hebrew idiom that means "daydreaming", but its literal meaning is "dreams in Spain". Spain was considered a very remote place in ancient times J) – a bimonthly print+ebook magazine edited also by me.


Q. How would you describe Israeli SF? Is there a defining characteristic?

A. Israeli SF fiction is small. Very small. There are too few writers and not enough publishers. The short fiction is very varied and it's quite similar to English written fiction. Same topics, same genres and ideas.

As I said, long forms Israeli fiction is mostly YA. Many adult books printed by mainstream publishers tend to deal with Hebrew myths and demonology, like the Golem, biblical and Mesopotamian myths etc. There's also a trend for political apocalyptic/dystopic fiction dealing with the Israeli-Arab conflicts or the inner Israeli conflict between secular Jews and orthodox Haredi Jews.


Q. Who are some SF authors writing in Hebrew that we can also read in English?

A. Not many. Most Hebrew fiction wasn't translated to other languages. There are several Israeli authors who write in English and publish to the English-reading markets. They include Lavie Tidhar, Guy Hasson and Ron Friedman (living in Canada). Nir Yaniv translated several of his stories to English and Vered Tochterman had a short story at F&SF magazine several years ago.


Q. What are you looking for in English-language stories that you accept for translation?

A. They got to be good, of course, with a kind of sense of wonder – enough to make me Wow. I prefer character-based stories, both SF and fantasy, but not Swords & Sorcery or horror. If it has many puns, dialects or other "translational hazards" it will make it harder for me to accept the story, but I won't avoid the challenge if I like it enough.


Q. What plans do you have for this year?

A. I just found a new translations editor for Bli Panika, so I hope we'll be able to publish more stories this year. I'm collecting now original stories for an eBook dedicated for a new Israeli SF film called "Tslila Hofshit" (Free Diving).


Saturday, March 05, 2016

The Editors: International Series

A few years back I posted a series of interviews with editors of UK based magazines and small presses. Click on the label 'Interview' below to see them.

Starting this week my series 'The Editors' returns, this time with a series of interviews with editors of SF magazines from around the world who publish in a variety of languages.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Austrian Novelette

The next issue of Austrian magazine Visionarium will be out in May, containing the German translation of my Victorian SF adventure novelette The Journey Within. This will be my second story in German and my longest translation yet.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Book Review: Barsk: The Elephant's Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen

Some time ago I dreamt that the new issue of ‘Interzone’ featured on the cover a story about giraffes in space. When I woke up, I thought it was a good idea and jotted down some notes, but sadly haven’t written the story yet. Subsequently, I was intrigued when I saw that Lawrence M. Schoen’s debut novel ‘Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard’ is about elephants in space.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Decade of Translations

It's ten years this month since my first translated story was published: Devotion in Hebrew webzine Bli Panika. Later in 2006 I had a story published in Greek, so I had the interesting experience of my first 2 translations being in different alphabets that I can barely read.

Since then I've gone on to be published in 26 languages - possibly making me the second most translated science fiction short story author in the world. My very short story The Gondolier has been published in 16 languages, and translated into 37 altogether, most of those appearing here on this blog.

2009 was the busiest year for translations, with 23 stories published in 17 languages.

My rate of submissions to other language magazines has slowed down in the past couple of years but I'm still sending out a steady trickle as well as scouring the web for new venues in yet more languages. It's been great fun.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Classic Progress

Last year in this post I commented on some of the so-called classic SF books I've managed to read over the past couple of years. I've got through several more in the past few months:

Helliconia Spring - Brin Aldiss - Excellent, but not quite as ground-breaking as perhaps it was at the time

A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge - Brilliant. It was like reading 2 fantastic novels simultaneously.

Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut -  Original and quirky, but I was left underwhelmed

The Windup Girl - Paulo Bacigalupi - Brilliant.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Book Review: Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

It’s an intriguing set up for a story being set in a solar system as imagined back in the vary earliest days of Science Fiction, with every planet inhabitable and colonised by the great powers of the Victorian era. Spaceships are launched by cannon and filmmakers travel between planets to produce the latest silent blockbuster in black and white. All of this in the 1960s. Or most of it.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

EasterCon 2016

Two months to go and I've bought my EasterCon tickets. This year it's in Manchester and I'll be there for the Saturday as usual.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Book Review: Can and Can'tankerous by Harlan Ellison

For some reason I’ve never read any Harlan Ellison, which is odd considering he’s been writing longer than I’ve been alive. This new collection of ten previously uncollected stories seemed like an ideal opportunity to rectify that oversight. 

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Book Review: The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts

The thing about ‘The Thing Itself’ is that it’s difficult to say what the Thing is, which is actually the whole point of the thing itself. It can’t be described or even comprehended, due to the way our minds work. I’m afraid that sentence won’t make much sense unless you’ve read the book.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.