2017: A Writer’s Year

I’m pleased to report that this year has been a particularly productive one. If we wind back to just before its start, December 2016 saw me commence a sustained phase of writing new short fiction – everything from micro-stories to novella length. Most of these have yet to be finalised let alone published, but I have a bank of stories to work on during 2018 and beyond. I took two of these pieces to the Milford SF Writers’ Conference in September (my fifth since 2004). Both were very well received. The quality of fiction my fellow attendees brought to this year’s event was breathtaking. The critiquing process was arduous, as always, but I spent a highly enjoyable week in soggy Snowdonia and made several new friends.

Since Milford I have written another new story, which is in response to an invitation, but my primary focus has been on finalising my first SF novel, which has been a work-in-progress for a very long time. This book, which is intended to be the first in the series, is finally ready to market. Yay!

All in all, 2017 saw a pleasing haul of acceptances and published stories. One acceptance left over from last year was The Last Moonshot. A Scottish SF magazine, Shoreline of Infinity, published that one in September.  This is an excellent magazine, which I urge you all to support.  I have also seen two micro-fiction stories published at Speculative 66 and another at Fifty-Word Stories. The fourth of my flash-length Reeves stories, Delicious Served Cold, appeared at Space Squid. I compiled it and its first predecessors, also a newly-written capstone story, in Reeves Indeed! This ebook is available from all the major on-line stores, incuding Amazon. Talking of ebooks (and print-on-demand ones too), I sold my 1000th this year. That was a nice milestone to reach. However, my most pleasing publication of the year was to see my short SF story One Is One selected for Third Flatiron’s Kurt Vonnegut tribute anthology, Cat’s Breakfast. Vonnegut is one of my favourite authors, so this was a big thrillfor me. The story also appeared in Third Flatron’s end-of-year Best-of ebook. I saw several other stories reprinted, including The English Dead in Quasar 3, which is my first story to be translated into Italian.

You can find lots of links to my free-to-read stories here.

Also of note for this year is that I gave my first-ever talk about my fiction to a local Writer’s Group. The members of the Thurrock Writers’ Circle were very attentive and kind to a rather nervous first-timer. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope to do more of this sort of thing in the future!

I hope to have lots of interesting news to report in 2018. One event to look forward to is a Virtual Futures evening of near-future fiction readings on the theme of “Post-Brain” in May. I’m a co-curator!

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!