The Digger’s Tale

My story, The Digger’s Tale, has been published at Unofficial Britain.

Unofficial Britain is a great site dedicated to ‘unusual perspectives on the landscape of the British Isles, exploring the urban, the rural and those spaces in between.’ You can read stories and articles there, and I’d also recommend spending some time with the soundscapes.

The story was something that started scratching at me after I read Gary Budden’s Baleen – it was something about the way we treat dead bodies, and how they disrupt space. It was meant to be weirder, and first person, but it seems that death, as Gary says, has its own energy.

The garages are real (but not the ones in the picture), and I did use to play in the rec (though, thanks to vertigo, I wasn’t so carefree on the climbing frame) and walk those fields as a child. As far as I know they’re still standing, and haven’t been stained in the way I describe. But the diggers will come for it all at some point.

Acceptances: KFP and Our Time is Over, P.S. I Love You

I am very pleased to say that I have had stories accepted for publication: KFP in SQ Mag and Out Time is Over, P.S. I Love You in Jupiter SF. Both are forthcoming, with Jupiter confirmed for their issue 48 in April 2015. Both of these are really exciting, not the least because they represent old and new stories for me.

KFP was an early success in my learning process and one I’ve felt really good about for a long time. So knowing that SQ Mag are giving it a good home (internationally!) can only make one fuzzy. As for getting my byline in Jupiter SF, well that’s really cool. Jupiter has been a force to be reckoned with for a long time now. It’s a quarterly publication for one, so issue 48 means they’ve been going for 12 years. These guys know what they’re doing.

Cover reveal: Of Falls and Angela

Cover artwork is pretty exciting. I’ve always got a buzz out of seeing the announcement then finding that the new designs are in fact completely frickin’ ace. Like when I saw the clothbound edition of I, Robot from Harper Voyager, all those gorgeous original covers for Iain Banks’ books or Ad Astra by Wayne Haag.

Well, I wanted a go.

I have recruited the talents of artist Jordan Grimmer and designer Martin Cox to get me some tasty cover artwork for Of Falls and Angela which is being prepared for publication on 13th Jun (yes, that is a Friday and no, I’m not superstitious).

Jordan has made me a pretty staggeringly good bit of artwork and – aww shucks, I’m gonna say it – was great to work with as well. He’s your man for helping you develop the concept and delivering the goods. Just have a look below.

Martin is similarly talented but I’ve worked with him for years at the day job so I’m taking him for granted now. Seriously though, he’s another guru. For one thing, he’s our designer at Unsung Stories (including the branding).

But that’s enough ado. So, with no more of the aforementioned, here’s the cover for Of Falls and Angela. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Of Falls and Angela

 

Reasons to be Peaceful, 1-2-3

It’s time for a short apology regarding why it’s been so quiet here recently. Here it comes: I’ve been really busy, sorry! To give a bit more detail, here’s some news about the exciting things which have been keeping me busy. So in a very particular order:

1) Unsung Stories

What’s been eating my time most voraciously is the new science fiction, fantasy and horror imprint I have been setting up. Yes, you read that right. The day job now involves getting a fiction imprint off the ground. This is tremendously exciting.

We have two books due out soon, Deja Vu by Ian Hocking and The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley. These are both absolute crackers and I’m currently working with illustrators and editors to make sure they are flawless and beautiful to boot.

For those of you so inclined you might like to know that we’re also open for submissions.

Unsung Stories

2) Of Falls and Angela

The time has come for me to create a money-mouth situation which means that I will be self-publishing Of Falls and Angela in the coming months as well. I’m currently working with talented chap, Jordan Grimmer on some cover artwork which promises to be salivatingly good.

I’ll keep this blog updated as that progresses but expect publication soon

3) Book 2

Yup, I’m starting again. In my head it’s called The Many Little Deaths of Arthur Malory and it’s a near-future melodrama. I’ve drafted 15 out of 32 sections and it’s feeling much tighter structurally than Angela did at this stage. This one will be much closer to home as well as it’s about how we deal with increasingly porous social environments in the modern world, and the roots of anxiety.

Don’t worry, there’s a love story in there too.

Publication – My Final Flight on the Never Never

I am rather pleased to announce that today sees the publication of my short story, My Final Flight on the Never Never, on Fiction on the Web. It’s got my name on it and everything.

It’s a relatively short read for me (I do go on a bit sometimes, I realise) so there’s really no excuse not to read it. If you’re feeling really nice then comment on it as well, I’m sure that Charlie will appreciate it.

Drabble – The Comedy Store, Alphard 3

It was vast, the distant windows only visible because they were so tall. Every word Silas uttered was swallowed by the immensity. Puffing with bravado like a sparrow singing at an avalanche, he said, ‘What is it?’

Kilikilitak shifted his broad wings and replied, ‘Why, it’s a comedy club. Ambassador Kahkahree suggested we try one. Very amusing he said.

Silas’s furrowed his brows: ‘You have comedians, but no comedy clubs?’

‘Yes.’

‘Fair enough.’

Kilikilitak burst out laughing, sending Silas flying into the air. Silas didn’t know the Keelee race laughed with their wings and he had been standing very close.

Drabble – Standards

Standards dropped after the bombs fell, that was no surprise, but it definitely changed us when Brian died. Where do you bury someone in a bunker? The stench – I can still taste it now – made the decision for us. It was so messy that we boiled him, one piece at a time, tearing off chunks of his flesh so he fit down the toilet. We had to keep the skeleton.

I’d come to terms with what we did, it broke Spike though. He’s been acting out ever since. I guess that’s why he keeps hiding the skull in my bed.