LonCon3

LonCon stuffThis year’s Worldcon — the appropriately named LonCon3 — was held in London over the weekend, so I popped along on Saturday to have a look.

WorldCon is a science fiction convention that’s held every year in a different city, different country, and has done so since 1939. Worldcon also hosts the Hugo Awards.

The convention was huge! Multiple discussion panels, a Fan Village with gaming tents and its very own library, an Exhibits Hall with tons of loot for sale. Slightly daunting at first and so much to do that I barely scraped the surface. [Read more…]

Meet My Main Characters

Spindle DreamsHurrah! I’ve been invited to join another blog tour by Graeme Shimmin. This time we’re looking at the main characters in our novels.

My novel is called Spindle Dreams and it’s part of a planned trilogy: the Canton Station series. [Read more…]

Glass Fifty-Three

Happily Never AfterVery happy to announce that my short story Glass Fifty-Three has been published with the Happily Never After anthology from Fey Publishing. It’s available on Smashwords as well as Kindle from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. It’s also sitting pretty over at Goodreads.

Glass Fifty-Three is a standalone story set in a dystopian future and based around the reworking of a rather well-known fairy tale. There’s a gun, a flying car and a talking hoover. Fellow students and lecturers from the 2010-2013 Creative Writing MA might recognise this story from one of the workshops.

So check out the anthology and let me know what you think. Here’s the blurb . . .

[Read more…]

China: Shanghai & Hong Kong

shanghai_hk_charsThis is the third and final blog post about our recent tour around China. The last two stops were Shanghai and Hong Kong.

I’ve visited Hong Kong before now and I love the place. The plan was to take my family to some of the places that I’ve visited before such as Lantau Island and the Big Buddha as well as Victoria Peak.

As for Shanghai, well I was expecting some ‘sci-fi city’ and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. [Read more…]

China: Xi’an & Chengdu

xīānFollowing on from yesterday’s post about Beijing, here’s the second post about the next two stops on our China tour: Xi’an and Chengdu.

Xi’an is home to the Terracotta Army.

都-order成-orderChengdu has a well-established panda breeding center. [Read more…]

China: Beijing

BeijingA couple of years ago I spent a few days in Hong Kong and Guangzhou. I always planned to go back to China and so here I am, two years later, having just returned from a 12-day tour around China with my wife and two sons. We had a great time visiting Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Plenty of surprises along the way. We were all completely knackered by the end of it!

I’m going to publish a series of posts for each of the locations that we visited, although I will only be able to go into so much detail for each place. Looking back I can’t believe we covered as much ground as we did. Let’s get started with Beijing! [Read more…]

Jupiter 43: Arche

jupiter_mag_archeI’m pleased to announce the publication of my short story Spindle Pickers with British SF magazine Jupiter. This is Jupiter’s 43rd issue titled ‘Arche’. Each issue is named after a Jovian satellite: Io for issue #1, Europa for #2 and so on.

Jupiter is edited by Ian Redman. This issue also features stories from John Davies, Adam C. Richardson, Carmelo Rafala and Neil Clift. Cover art by David Conyers.

You can buy paper copies from the Jupiter website. It’s also available on Kindle from Amazon UK and Amazon in the US.

Thanks again to Pat, Eric, Graeme and Luke from the Manchester Speculative Fiction writers’ group. This story was critiqued during our January meeting last year.

 

The Blog Tour

IMG_2902I’ve been nominated by Graeme Shimmin to answer questions about my writing as part of the Blog Tour. Before I get started I’d like to make my own nominations. I had a tough time picking just two other writers, but I’ve decided to go for Zoe Lambert and James Ridgway.

Zoe’s first short story collection, The War Tour, was published by Comma Press in 2011. She is a creating writing lecturer at Lancaster University.

James is a writer and artist. He gets fired up about sustainability, designs his own board games and has a thing about gas masks. [Read more…]

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy New Year! Congratulations and be prosperous! Peace and safety wherever you are!Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Out with the snake and in with the horse. I hope you all have a successful year, whatever you have planned.

新年快乐! Xīnnián kuàilè! Happy New Year!

恭喜发财! Gōngxǐ fācái! Congratulations and be prosperous!

出入平安! Chūrù píng’ān! Peace and safety wherever you are!

Three Films I Need To See This Year: The Reboot

Mmm... exploded corn coated in fat and sugar...The last time I blogged about the films that I fancied watching this year it was 2011. I mentioned The King’s Speech and Never Let Me Go — both of which I loved — and another film that I now can’t even bring myself to name. What was I thinking? Why didn’t I just go for something like The Adjustment Bureau?

Since then, other potential highlights were to include Prometheus in 2012 and then Elysium in 2013. I came away from Prometheus rather confused and a little disappointed. Elysium went fairly well, it looked nice, though it was no District 9. I guess I also enjoyed Hobbit parts 1 & 2 though I wanted less rabbit-sledding and rather more troll purse singing. A few “Attercop!” outbursts would have been a bonus.

Unlike the rest of humanity I still haven’t seen Gravity. I love my science so I’m a little nervous about this one, though it certainly looks spectacular.

So here are the three films that I’m looking forward to in 2014 . . .

[Read more…]