Monday, 29 August 2016

Thirty Years of Glaswegian Story Building

UPDATE: Now available from here; Lulu shop page and Amazon print edition and Kindle edition

Did you know that the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle was started thirty years ago? Well now you do.
Off the back of a writing course run by Duncan Lunan a small group began to meet regularly to critique each other's work and encourage one and all to better and bolder things.
Also to go the pub, but that was a minor part.

Well, not the main part.

Well, not the only part.

OK, so mostly there was a lot of sitting in pubs talking about the state of  genre fiction, but also occasionally writing was worked on and eventually people got published. Very good people.

People such as Gary Gibson, Hal Duncan, Neil Williamson, William King, Michael Cobley amongst many others.

I first popped along in the mid-Nineties and spent a lot of time feeling hugely inadequeate, before running away to Englandshire and letting all that sort of thing lapse. But, on my return to Glasgow I took up the pen again and eventually returend to the circle, who have been nothing but encouraging as I show them my scribblings. Without their help I would never have had any of my stories published

To celebrate their milestone the Circle are bringing out an anthology with thirty stories by people who have been at the circle over the years. It's called Thirty Years of Rain (it is Glasgow based after all) and the glorious cover graces the top of the page.

I'll post links to it as they appear but there is a launch on the Saturday of Fantasycon in Scarborough this year (three o'clock on Saturday with Newcon if I remember rightly) and on the 30th of September at the Sauchiehall Street Waterstones in our own rainy Glasgow.

Details are here

Do please come along, meet some of the brilliant people who are in the book and maybe even buy a copy. We'll probably go to the pub afterwards.

And yes, I am in it, with a wee short about refugees that, if you ever think my mind has slipped its moorings, this will only add to the evidence. It's silly.

By way of getting your imagination off on completely the wrong foot here is a Pulp-O-Mizer cover that is totally misleading about the story.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Two posts in a year? By jingo!

No, I'm as surprised as you that I have something to say more than once in a year.

Anyhoo, first things first. Come the 28th of May, point your Kindles and other electronic reading doohickeys at Kzine where you will find me getting a story published in their Issue 15. I am deeply pleased that they have chosen to publish my story about the apocalypse, the food chain and Scottish West Coast holidays. It's called More Certainty In Your Shopping and sits alongside some fine other stories. I hope you enjoy.

In other excitable news, I've just had my story accepted for the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle Anniversary Anthology. The circle, who have to read early drafts of all my nonsense, are thirty years old this year and to celebrate are bringing out an anthology of stories by authors who have, at some point, been members. It will feature stories from the likes of Neil Williamson, Bill King, Hal Duncan, Gary Gibson and Louise Welsh, which does make me wonder how I got in.
Very excited to be in this and fear not, I'll be going on about it for long and weary when it comes out in the autumn.

I think we can safely say I like May. The sun is out, the flowers are blooming, the barbeque is on and I can pretend I am a real writer for a while.

UPDATE: Bus-like, more news appears. If you will be at Satellite 5 this weekend, why not come along to the reading at 8 on Saturday night. Lots of excellent stuff will be read and it very much like like I'll be joining in. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Past Does Not Watch Over Us

It is with great delight that I can point to my latest published short story, now available in e-book format in The Speculative Book

It's a story on education, black holes and fighting your parents. It also mentions pakora and features REAL SCIENCE. (I know, I must be mad) as I originally wrote it to celebrate 100 years of General Relativity.

I hope you enjoy it. The rest of the book looks fascinating.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

2015, the Year of the Long Wait

Merry seasonal whatnots.

It's been a quieter year in the writing way. One story on god management published back in May and a lot of writing.
One of the points of note this year has been the nearlies. I always like to assume that if a story is considered for a long time before it gets rejected, then it can't have been all bad. This year I've had a number that have spent months under consideration, one, in fact, has been with a market for seven months. I queried them and was told they were interested but still to choose. So good, but don't ever expect writing to be a quick route to happiness.

A large part of this year has gone on my novel. This is the first one I have taken beyond a first draft and I've been at it, on and off, for four years. I've now reached the point where I don't think I can do anymore for it (it can be better, but I don't think I'm helping) so I'm going to explore the world of novel rejection next year with it. That should be exciting.

Other things I have planned for next year include trying to get into the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle 30th anniversary anthology, starting on a new novel (I'm thinking spaceships and binmen), and hopefully two publications. I have allegedly been accepted for appearances in the Speculative Bookshop anthology (out in January) and Kzine (somewhere around April) if all goes to plan.

I shall annoy you about them at the time, have no fear.

Now, as is becoming a Christmas tradition, I'll link to something I've written. In this case, something that sprang from a lot of cinema serials I used to watch.
The Greatest Rocketman

Monday, 20 April 2015

Agnes, a Fairy

I've just spoted that Hysterical Realms, the latest Alternate Hilarities anthology containing my story, is available for buying on the internets here

If you chipped in to the Kickstarter for this then thank you very much but if not and you fancy giving it a look then it is available in both Kindle and the infinitely more signable Paperback formats.

Suppose I better get my finger out and sell another story now so I can have ths excitement again.

Monday, 16 February 2015

The Modern World of Book Selling

It's been eighteen months but I now get to say I have a new story coming out. Hurrah!
Called "Agnes, A Fairy" it is a story of gods, management and dodgy art. On the Grim Whim scale this is firmly on the Whim end. It sprang from a conversation following a Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle meeting and is not the only story to come out of that night. You should check out Cameron Johnston (@CamJohnston) for his interpretation of the same seed.

The new thing for me about this story is that it is part of an anthology available through a Kickstarter campaign. This means that I have no idea how much I might, or might not, get paid for my wee story until the bids are in and will lead to me obsessively  refreshing the campaign page for the next month to see if anything is happening.

The campaign is available here and runs until the 15th of March which, coincidentally, is my birthday. If you want to wish me a happy birthday, why not buy a book.

If you do buy, hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

2014, The Year Of Not So Much

It's time for the end of year review thing, something that was most enjoyable to write last year.
But pride comes before a fall, so it seems only right that after last year's belter of a start to this publishing larkey things would drop off. I ended last year feeling like a proper writer. Stories published and plenty of opportunity on the horizon.

None of which came to pass.

To be fair, I have sold one story which should appear early next year, allegedly. But nothing else I wrote worked out. Still, what does not kill us makes us stronger. Or sends us off in a massive storm to kick a bush.

In better news I did do several readings, including in front of the General Public and at cons. Nice and something I greatly enjoy even if it is a billion times more frightening than reading someone else's words. I also ended up on a quiz team of real writers at Eastercon and Worldcon. This was an act of bare-faced cheek and the karma backlash almost undoubtedly explains my failure to sell anything this year.

All in, 2014 was a quiet year writing wise (a very busy year on other distractions though) but hopefully, with the application of elbow grease, the calm before the storm.

By way of starting a tradition, following last Christmas's free story, I thought I'd stick up the most seasonal thing I have. Published almost two years ago, why not read of The 15th of December.
You can read it on other dates too and outside of Norwich.

Happy Seasonal Whatnots!