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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‘Silver Sixpence’ Now Online at DSF

Very quick post because I’ve gone on about this far too much already. My short story ‘Silver Sixpence’ is now available to read online for free at Daily Science Fiction. This story started out at a themed writing evening for a local writing group here in Standish.

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Three Weddings and a Funeral

OK, bad news first. As you may have already heard, Murky Depths magazine has decided to shut up shop. My short story ‘Whisperer’ was published in Murky Depths earlier this year in their #17 issue. Quite possibly a number of different reasons for this (economic climate etc.) but I’m going to huff about the lack of interest in the short story format in the UK. Seems the US are much more accepting of the short story format in both the genre and non-genre worlds. Very sad.

But on with the good news . . .
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What a week…

Last Friday I swapped contracts with Murky Depths for my short story ‘Whisperer’ which will appear in their November issue (#18). Now I feel like a proper writer! I’m still very excited about appearing in Murky Depths because it’s such a gorgeous looking magazine (and it’s British!). You can still buy a copy of their latest  issue (#16) for just £6.99 and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed…titillated maybe, but not disappointed. 😉

Monday I received an email from Daily Science Fiction with the offer that they would like to publish my short story ‘Silver Sixpence’. This is my first sale to a professional market! ‘Silver Sixpence’ is a hard/mundane science-fiction story featuring some solid Einsteinian physics.

There was a fair amount of research involved in this story – perhaps my favourite was reading various Space Shuttle launch transcripts.

Wednesday I read my short story ‘Five-A-Day Friends’ at the Bolton Octagon theatre as part of their Creative Writing Showcase. It was a very strange experience standing on a stage in the bright lights, but it was great fun! Great work by Jenny Martin, Adam Martin, Tatiana Koutsokoumni, Joanne Powell and Laurette Evans for organising the event (apologies if I missed anyone off that list).

I’m looking forward to attending (and perhaps reading at) more of these events in future.

Last night (Thursday) I read my flash-fiction story ‘Metagurneypunk’ at the Flash Mob Writing Competition at the Dulcimer in Chorlton. What a fantastic evening! I finally got to meet some of the people I’ve been stalking on Twitter and Facebook. The networks are still rumbling with the aftershocks. Congratulations to the extremely worthy winners and here’s hoping for a repeat of the event in the future. I’ve heard a rumour that a podcast should be available at some point – I’ll post again when it’s available. The eBook should be available soon.


A loud round of applause to the organisers: Sarah-Clare ConlonDave HartleyTom MasonFat Roland and Benjamin Judge. I particularly enjoyed the exquisite corpses – there’s an online version here if you didn’t get enough last night.