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 . . .

Continue reading “Glass Fifty-Three”

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. Continue reading “China: Shanghai & Hong Kong”

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. Continue reading “China: Xi’an & Chengdu”

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! Continue reading “China: Beijing”

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.

 

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!

Continue reading “SF Short Stories for National Short Story Day”

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.

Continue reading “Rocket Dragons Ignite Anthology”

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . .

Mos EspaLike a lot of 70’s kids I loved Star Wars. I’ve just returned from an amazing week’s holiday in Tunisia with my wife and sons. During our visit we were lucky enough to visit a couple of locations used during the production of the Star Wars films A New Hope and Phantom Menace.

Both sites were situated in the far south of the country, well away from the popular tourist spots of the north. Undeterred, we booked a two-day tour that went on to cover nearly 1300 km, we rode through a sandstorm in the Sahara and enjoyed an adrenalin-fueled 4×4 rally drive along a section of an old Paris-Dakar route.

Continue reading “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . .”

MA Graduation

"Masters in Creative Writing with the Vice Chancellor's Prize"Three years ago I was still relatively unpublished. I’d previously had a short story called Farming Tsiolkovsky placed with Demensions magazine and a handful of non-fiction gaming articles (albeit paid articles) published with the Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society. What I really wanted to do was write novels.

At this point I’d completed three ‘practice’ novels: a historical/Lovecraftian thriller set aboard a British airship, a mundane hard-SF novel with a rather turgid plot and a dystopian cyberpunk novel set in near-future London. These had all been sent off to various agents and publishers and I’d received the usual ‘no thanks’ response slips or just nothing at all. I decided that my writing needed help, especially at a technical level, and so I looked around for a local evening class. I eventually ended up swapping emails with Jon Glover, head of Creative Writing at nearby Bolton University, about joining that year’s intake for a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.

Continue reading “MA Graduation”

Calls for Submissions: Ghost Stories

Calls for submissions: Ghost StoriesI don’t know what’s going on at the moment but I keep seeing calls for submissions for ghost stories. I often write in this genre but I simply don’t have enough pieces to submit to all these wonderful markets, so I thought I’d share them around!

Continue reading “Calls for Submissions: Ghost Stories”