I received fifteen acceptances for my short fiction, twelve of which were for reprints. As in 2015, I took Deborah Walker’s excellent advice and made sure that, whenever possible, my pre-sold stories were “out there” seeking out gainful employment.
Three stories accepted in 2015 saw publication this year: Brown Cat Blues in Plasma Frequency Magazine; Collapsing into Life in Cracked Eye; Insider Art in Abyss & Apex. Sadly, by the end of the year, both Cracked Eye and Plasma Frequency Magazine had folded. Although Cracked Eye is no longer on-line, you can still see Rachelle Meyer’s stunning illustrations for Collapsing into Life, three of which are animated, here.
In what has definitely a good year for my micro-fiction, I saw my story POD People published in the debut issue of Speculative 66. This on-line journal publishes stories that contain exactly 66 words. Also, my story Peace on Earth received an Honorable Mention in the 200 CCs Christmas Contest. That’s the first time any of my stories have placed in a contest!
English Language Reprints
My Nature Futures short-short Dark They Were, and Strange Inside appeared in the Unintended Consequences anthology from WolfSinger Publications.
Another Nature Futures short-short Bee Futures appeared in issue 3 of The Singularity magazine.
Foreign Language Reprints
Dark They Were, and Strange Inside was translated into Croatian and reprinted in Eridan magazine (please be aware that this link is to the PDF, which may download automatically).
Dark They Were, and Strange Inside was translated into Estonian and appeared in Reaktor magazine.
String-Driven Thing was translated into Polish and reprinted in Szortal.
Three cheers for my Nature Futures stories! Long may they find new homes.
February saw a wonderful podcast of my Mars-set SF story First and Third at StarShipSofa. This was recorded by Nikolle Doolin, who did a marvellous job.
Later in the year, C B Droege recorded a pair of my Nature Futures stories (again) for his Flash Fiction Podcast, again with highly entertaining results. If you have five minutes to spare, you could do much worse than listen to his readings of The Last Botnet and Bee Futures.
December saw two podcasts of my stories: Beam Me Up released Ron Huber’s excellent reading of Stars in Her Eyes, while at the end of the month 600 Second Saga released Mariah Avix’s equally fine rendition of String-Driven Thing.
The scare quotes are deliberate. I spent a lot of time working on the third draft of Survival Strategies this year. The feedback from my readers was mixed. I am still pondering how to proceed.
My most important ebook project this year was editing and producing One Step Beyond, a reprint anthology of short stories written by members of the titular writers’ group, which has been in existence since 1998. One Step Beyond is published by Tower of Chaos Press and is raising money for English PEN, a charity that supports freedom of expression around the world. It is available from all the major ebook retailers.
This year I also produced my second collection of short stories, Sons of the Earth. This is currently available only as a Kindle ebook, although I do have plans to produce a paperback in 2017.
I thoroughly enjoyed attending Manunicon (aka Eastercon 2016) in Manchester. The four principal guests were either good friends of mine or authors of considerable interest to me, so I never lacked for programme items of interest to me. I also participated in my first ever discussion panel, on “Obscure British SF Television 1950s-1970s”. Talk about typecasting! But we had great fun in the tiny but packed-out room where the panel took place. I think we all left with expanded to-buy lists.
I continued to serve as first reader for a small (but beautifully formed) speculative fiction magazine. I hope to continue in this role, as I love reading the work of other writers, which also provides acute insights into my own writing.
I acted as proof-reader and on-line editorial consultant to Richard Lewis while he wrestled with issue 2 of Thoughtforms (the band-approved magazine for fans of British Indie band Lush). The results of his hard work were deservedly acclaimed.
I will be attending Milford Writers’ Conference in September. (Memo to self: must write some new stuff!)
I have several stories awaiting publication, including The Last Moonshot at Shoreline of Infinity.
As ever, please check my website’s news page regularly for the latest news!
Sadly, two writer friends of mine died this year.
Like me, Sean Timarco Baggaley attended Liz Holliday’s One Step Beyond workshop in 1998 and went on to become one of the founder members of the group of the same name. A big physical presence, a talented writer and something of a Renaissance Man, Sean had a delightfully quirky sense of humour that found expression in his (sadly unpublished) fiction.
Many of the same adjectives could be applied to Philip E Kaldon. Another big man, Dr Phil as he was generally known on-line had a splendid sense of humour, as well as being broadminded on a wide range of political and social issues. He, too, was a fine writer, but unlike Sean a lot of his output did see publication. The widespread outpouring of grief after Dr Phil died was a good a measure as one could ever need of just how much he was loved and admired.
Rest in peace my friends.
Wishing all my readers and visitors to this website a happy, productive and successful 2017.