Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Biggest Pumpkin in the World

My flash fiction story, The Biggest Pumpkin in the World, has been published on as one of their featured stories. This one came about as the subject of my local writing group, Wirral Writers', annual flash challenge. So hey, thanks guys!

here's the link:

I'm delighted to be up on once more. My last story with them was Call Me Murph, back in August 2011.
It's a nice venue for flash fiction, and now there is also a sister site 
Well worth checking out.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

World Fantasy - do awards matter?

This was an interesting panel. ( Big guns, again: Elizabeth Bear, Tricia Sullivan, Melanie Tem, Ellen Datlow) Those who have had the awards; Hugos, Nebulas, Clarkes, etc; feel they do not help a career in any way, that they do not increase income, but are happy enough, in terms of validation, to receive them. Those of us who have never recieved the glittering heights of even a nomination (and I'm assuming my WOTF and Baen are a little too lowly to count in this company) would, I'm sure, be happy to give it a try, anyway, and see for ourselves.

But then we got onto how to get noticed. Is it right to list all one's eligible stories in an effort to make sure that those with a vote are aware of what the writers have recently published that are eligible. A good point was made, from the floor, that there is a big cultural difference between Brits and Americans as regards to what individuals are comfortable doing. This is a good point. I am very wary about the whole self promotion thing. Here's the British way: (and I'm cringing with every keystroke)

I was excited to find this frdge magnet, on the publicity table, as one of the giveaways, and I grabbed it. It's for issue 7 of Kzine, out now. This is a nice magazine, professionaly put together and well worth a look. Issue 7 has stories from Sarah L Byrne, Louise Hughes, Mike Phillips, Forrest Roy Johnson, Simon Kewin, Steve Conoboy, and Edward McDermott. Ryan Sciduna of Malta Comics Con said "...I would hugely recommend you pick up an issue of Kzine..."

There, done. Hopefully people will be drawn to buy issue 7. I hope so. I hope they enjoy it enough to then then go out and buy issue 8, in January. Issue 8 will include a story called The Abolitionist. Guess who wrote it.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Reflections on World Fantasy 2013 in Brighton

Arriving at World Fantasy had me feeling like a Vegan's dog being set loose in a sausage factory. I didn't expect this.  The scale of the thing. I have been to plenty of Eastercons and Bristolcons and Fantasycons, so I am no stranger to the genre convention process, but the buzz and the throngs of overseas participants; a dealer's room the size of an aircraft hangar; an art show with hundreds of exhibits.... I am blown away. And all this while lugging round three bags of free book giveaways. Wide eyed does not begin to describe my feelings.
This was the first panel I went to. It's hard to see from the photo, but up there, left to right, we had Maura McHugh, Mike Carey, Mike Chinn, Christopher Golden, Joe Hill and Neil Gaiman. Big, big guns. They were talking about getting into comics, and this is something, from a reading perspective, I'm more and more drawn to (pun not intended, but I'm leaving it in anyway) probably through having a wife who is an artist and spends each panel absently drawing blood spattered suerheroes in her sketch book.

And then, in the corridor, I bumped into Tim Powers, who recognised me from four years back, and said, hi. So that left me all tongue-tied and fan-boy jelly-legged.

This is great! I should be able to articulate this better, I know, but I don't have a tail to wag - the doggy answer to running out of superlatives.