In the Year 2022

So, 2022…

The global and national handcarts still have destination “Hell” emblazoned on them and appear to be accelerating to their dooms. Still, this blog post is supposed to be about my writing achievements this year, so here goes.

I made good progress on the second version of my novel. It’s almost done. That doesn’t mean I’m finished with the book, as it does need more work, but hopefully not much. Overall, I’m pleased with what I’ve created. I do plan to start marketing it next year.

On the short fiction front: I wasted far too much time writing stories for themed anthologies, which the editors rated excellent but could not find space for. For IP reasons, neither story can be used elsewhere, at least not in their current forms. I’m afraid my instincts were seduced by these passion project(s). I should know better. I do know better. The trouble is, sometimes my writing heart overrules my marketing head. Oh well; lesson learned. I will never again write a story for a themed anthology that would be difficult (or worse) to market elsewhere. (In passing, a writer-friend told me to “just file the serial numbers off”, i.e. remove/replace all the IP-related details. Yes, I could do that, but to my mind the resultant story would be inferior, because all the passion that went into the project would have been leached out of it.)

Despite the above, there were some highlights on the short fiction front. I was particularly delighted to receive an acceptance from Interzone Digital. A change of editor (to Gareth Jelley) brought a change in fortune. This was my
first positive response from Interzone since 2003. Persistence pays!

I saw the following original stories published in 2022:
Slow Money – in 22 Ideas About the Future (Cybersalon, accepted in 2021)
Sky High With Janine – in Abyss: Stories of Depth, Time and Infinity (Orchid Lantern, accepted in 2021)
Starless – in Shacklebound Books Newsletter #1
Those We Leave Behind – in Sci Phi Journal

Plus my first published poem!
Venera 9 –  U.S.A. Anthology (editor Sourav Sarkar)

Reprints published this year:
On This Day – Helion SF (Romanian translation)
I Think We Need to Hear That Again – The Mods anthology
Dreamtime – Tall Tale TV (podcast)
On This Day –  Radon Journal
The Little Shop That Could in 22 Ideas About the Future (Cybersalon)
POD People Constraint 280

Stories accepted this year but not published yet:
Feet of Clay – Interzone Digital (due 2023)
The Museum of the High Street – Museum Piece anthology (reprint,  Metaphorosis Publishing, original title “The Little Shop That Could”, due 2023)
Survival Strategies – Moon: The Book of Lunar Horror anthology (reprint, due 2023)
Supply and Demand in the Post-War Economy – Planet Raconteur (reprint, podcast, unknown date)

I continued to serve as one of Wyldblood magazine’s first readers for short stories. As in 2021, I enjoyed a lot of what I read—and it’s always pleasing to see some of the stories I recommended make it into the published issues. Editor (and good friend) Mark Bilsborough and his team continue to do an excellent job with this magazine. Please buy an issue, or better still, subscribe!

For various reasons I will probably have less time and energy to devote to writing in 2023. Hence I will focus on finishing and marketing the novel, also on assembling a new self-curated collection of my published short fiction. From now on, I suspect that any new short-fiction projects will be few and far between. I also hope to start the development and planning work for my next novel. But, as ever, these plans might not survive contact with reality.
Let’s hope it’s a good year—for everyone, everywhere.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and/or annual festive period, also a safe, healthy, and happy 2023.