I spent my teenage years painting Citadel miniatures and playing a bucket-load of role-playing games: Traveller, Warhammer, MERP, Shadowrun, to name but a few. I was an avid reader of course, SF mostly, some fantasy: from Lord of the Rings to the Pern series to Neuromancer. For some reason I’ve always struggled with fantasy that wasn’t set in Middle Earth. There is one other notable exception.
Back in October 1986 I had a subscription to White Dwarf magazine and when issue #82 appeared through the letterbox I had no idea I was about to read something that would influence me as a reader — and perhaps as a writer — for the rest of my life. That little something was an extract from the novel The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett. Continue reading “The Light Fantastic”
It is time, once again, for me to don my editor’s hat! Over the next few months I’ll be teaming up with fellow writers Graeme Shimmin and Eric Steele to produce the Revolutions anthology, a collection of Manchester-themed speculative fiction short stories due for publication later this year. Submissions are open right now through to the 1st May (that’s this year, 2015, for you time travellers).
We are a paying market and we are looking for speculative short fiction — that’s science fiction, fantasy, horror, dystopian fiction, slipstream and so on — with a link to the Greater Manchester area. That’s a pretty wide remit. Feel free to mix it up. I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the more interesting interpretations.
Continue reading “REVOLUTIONS! Anthology”
This 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. Continue reading “LonCon3”
Very 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 . . .
Continue reading “Glass Fifty-Three”
This 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. Continue reading “China: Shanghai & Hong Kong”
Following 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.
Chengdu has a well-established panda breeding center. Continue reading “China: Xi’an & Chengdu”
A 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! Continue reading “China: Beijing”
I’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.
Today 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!
Continue reading “SF Short Stories for National Short Story Day”
I’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.
Continue reading “Rocket Dragons Ignite Anthology”