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 . . .

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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 archaeological dig site where the Terracotta Army was discovered.

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 . . .

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SF Short Stories for National Short Story Day

National Short Story DayToday is not only the shortest day of the year but it’s also National Short Story Day. I was recently asked to recommend two science fiction short stories, one classic and another modern, to appear on the National Short Story website. Click on the link if you’d like to hear what I had to say about Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick and The Calorie Man by Paolo Bacigalupi.

This was a difficult decision to make. My tastes vary from month to month depending on what I’m reading / writing / playing at the time. Ask me next year and I’ll probably give you a completely different answer!

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Rocket Dragons Ignite Anthology

Rocket Dragons Ignite: DSF Year 2I’m very pleased to announce that my short story Silver Sixpence has been published in the Daily Science Fiction anthology Rocket Dragons Ignite: DSF Year 2. This anthology is a huge read at 870 pages with over 260 stories and 425,000 words — that’s the size of four typical novels in a single volume!

Silver Sixpence is what I would call mundane science fiction, a sub-genre which focuses on a believable use of science and technology as available at the time of writing. That means no faster-than-light travel, no aliens, quite possibly no lasers or robots, although that’s a changing arena right now.

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