Looming Deadlines

After a glorious day out in the sunshine, it’s back to the grindstone with a vengeance, although the continuing sunshine helps to soften the grind.

What is less wonderful is that I have eight deadlines due in the next nineteen days; six of them are academic, including three in two days, two of them on the same day.

Of the two to do with writing, one of them is out of my control, so I just have to keep a watching eye on it.

The last one is for Transtories, the anthology I’m editing for Aeon Press (publishers of Albedo One); if you’re looking to sub a story, you have another week to get it into me.

If it all goes quiet around here, you’ll know why — I’m already having to put some new projects on hold until the deadline crunch has passed.

• March 24th, 2011 • Posted in Books, Writing • Comments: 0

Transtories Submissions

Midday on the 16th; halfway through the submission period for Transtories.  I was a little worried that we not attract enough submissions, or that they’d be of insufficient quality, but so far the quality has been good, and we’ve had  25 submissions, from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Israel — even Nigeria.

Let’s see how the second half of the submission period pans out.

• March 16th, 2011 • Posted in Books • Comments: 0


The submission period for my new anthology Transtories is now open. You have thirty days to finish up that revision if you’re thinking of submitting. Meanwhile I gave an interview to D.L. Snell over at his Snellville blog, talking about what stories and authors I particularly like, and some of the things I’m hoping to fish out of my inbox over the next month.

• March 1st, 2011 • Posted in Books • Comments: 0

New Story Appearance

Newcon Press has announced its forthcoming anthology Future Conflicts edited by Ian Whates.

The book will be published in April and launched at Eastercon.

The table of contents is as follows:

Introduction – Ian Whates

  1. The Wake – Dan Abnett
  2. Unaccounted – Lauren Beukes
  3. The New Ships – Gareth L Powell
  4. The Harvest – Kim Lakin-Smith
  5. Brwydr Am Ryddid – Stephen Palmer
  6. The War Artist – Tony Ballantyne
  7. Occupation – Colin Harvey
  8. The Soul of the Machine – Eric Brown
  9. Extraordinary Rendition – Steve Longworth
  10. Yakker Snak – Andy Remic
  11. The Legend of Sharrock – Philip Palmer
  12.  The Ice Submarine – Adam Roberts
  13. Welcome Home, Jannisary – Tim C Taylor

Counting Ian. Whates –the editor- there are no less than five Angry Robot authors present in the contents list, as well as my stunt double, Tony Ballantyne, and near-neighbour Gareth L Powell.

Yes, that is me you see at number seven. I’ll be putting pen to paper for anyone who wants copies signed at the launch party at eastercon.

See you there, maybe?

• February 23rd, 2011 • Posted in Appearances, Books, General, News • Comments: 0


The BBC have started to show a series hosted by Sebastian Faulks on Saturday nights called Faulks on Fiction.  This comprises various talking heads holding forth on fictional characters, interspersed with lots and lots of clips from television adaptions of said books. It sounds as dry as dust, but it’s absolutely brilliant, helped by a webpage at the Beeb with a reading list to die for.

Part 1 -which is on the iPlayer for another 19 days- featured heroes, starting with Robinson Crusoe, moving swiftly through Tom Jones (no, not the singer!) and Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair.

Part 2, which brings me to the subject in my usual meandering way, is all about lovers, and asks the question, how much does fiction influence the way we perceive love? Think about it — how many stories feature what happens after the hero and heroine get togther?

You may argue that this is because what happens after boy/girl get boy/girl inherently boring, but maybe that’s the case because Shakespeare et al have so culturally hardwired us that most of us can’t imagine an alternative (most of us being the portion of society that turns books or films into bestsellers — in other words the audience) .

It’s quite ironic that I’ve heard so many singletons lately bitterly resenting the cards that those in relationships are supposedly exchanging, blithely ignoring the fact that people in relationships don’t need to anonymously send each other cards.  In fact, after over a quarter of a century Kate and I have adapted Valentine’s Day to an extent that the card-manufacturer’s target audience would have trouble recognizing it!

I bought Kate a card, but not of the traditional Valentine’s variety, while she bought me Brian Moore’s autobiography Beware of the Dog.  (Far more mentally nourishing and enjoyable)

How did you celebrate the day -if you did- while simultaneously subverting it?

• February 15th, 2011 • Posted in Books, General • Comments: 0

Author Interview at Suite101

If it’s Friday –it seems nowadays– then it must be interview day. I’ve posted an interview with fellow Angry Robot-eer Aliette de Bodard over at Suite101. Aliette’s new novel is now out, and her short story ‘The Shipmaker’ has been picked by Gardner Dozois for his next Year’s Best SF, and has been shortlisted for the BSFA award. With any luck, it will win. It deserves to.

Meanwhile, itIt seems like only a week ago –maybe because it was– that I was interviewed myself  by Lawrence Schoen

And while I’m posting links, here’s a quick reminder of an article I wrote for Salon Futura a couple of weeks ago, on The Rise and Rise of Paolo Bacigalupi.

And now I must dash; If I sound breathless, it’s because I have about a half dozen scripts to read for Monday! Have a nice weekend.

• January 28th, 2011 • Posted in Books, Events, General, Interviews • Comments: 0

New Anthology — Transtories

I’m delighted to announce that Aeon Press have agreed to publish the next anthology I’m editing, to be titled Transtories. I’ve known Rob Nielson, John Kenny and the other members of the Aeon Press team for nearly four years now, and they’re great guys who take their work seriously, and their partying equally so. They’ve been stalwart promoters of Irish SF, but at the same time have championed fiction from both the UK, US and non-anglophone countries.

They kindly took my novelette ‘On the Rock’ for publication in Albedo One in 2008, and we have several other projects bubbling away, but for now Transtories is the one I want to focus on. The submission period will open on March 1st (anyone who submits early will have their submission deleted unread, and will probably break out in boils as well!) and run until March 31st. Submissions guidelines are over at the Aeon Press website.

And while you’re there, take a look at John Kenny’s page for Box of Delights, a horror anthology that will also be coming out later on this year.

• January 20th, 2011 • Posted in Books, Events, General, News • Comments: 0

Dark Spires News

Did you know — and as Diggory Venn would say, not a lot of people know this – that today is the 83rd anniversary of Thomas Hardy’s death? And to mark the occasion, Ove Jansson’s excellent Cybermage site has posted the anthology’s first review.

Until now, the book has been available to order as a paperback, either from the site or at conventions, and for those readers who don’t embrace dead tree format, as a mobi or e-pub download.

But now the good people at Wizard’s Tower Press –who actually reside deep within Hardy Country– have also been able to make the book available as a Kindle. To mark the occasion,  they’ve posted an extract from Roz Clarke’s wonderful ‘Last Flight to West Bay’ to read for free on the website.

This is terrific news because amazon is a whole new ball game, and makes the book available to a whole new set of readers, which for a small press is absolutely crucial.  It also means a slight price reduction to American readers, since until now WTP have only been able to price in sterling, and PayPal adds a conversion fee. And for about twenty-four hours only, they’ll be knocking a pound (about US$1.60) off all formats.

On another front, I’ll be posting about an anthology I’m going to edit soon, but today is Dark Spires’ day, so head on over to Wizard’s Tower’s site, and read the first installment of Roz Clarke’s story for free, and save yourself some pennies if you like it!

• January 11th, 2011 • Posted in Books, General, News, Reviews, Writing • Comments: 1

Reading Matter

It’s that time of year again when people start to look back, peaking around about December 30th when it’s hard to find a TV programme that isn’t a retrospective (which is a good reason to watch DVDs, or better still to turn the box off).

SF is no exceptions to this, and a couple of sites have already started, running their ‘best of/ the following are eligable for’ lists, while the ToC for Rich Horton’s Years Best has already popped up at SFSignal, which also carries Jonathan Strahan’s ToC. Interesting that they have at least two overlaps, Peter Watts and Elizabeth Hand, while Neil Gaiman has different entries in the two collections.

I already have a heavy reading list, and adding in the reading I’ve already done for the Nebula means that I’m almost ready to cry mercy. I’ve already read a lot of the contenders due to reviewing Asimovs and F & SF for Suite101, but there are a lot of other worthy works and authors out there.

At some point by the 30th, I shall endeavour to post my own list, but meanwhile, what do you think are the best stories and novels of the year?

• December 16th, 2010 • Posted in Awards, Books, General, Reviews, Writing • Comments: 0


No blog yesterday, as it was Monday, although I did post a Film Making Mumblings which I’ll link to here.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was keeping a spreadsheet of the hours that I was working, and what activities I was allocating the time to; the categories were the four uni subjects that I’m studying, (Writer’s Workshop aka Core, Genre, Feature Journalism and Film Making, plus writing, blogging, reading and other. As it’s the end of the month today, I’ve begun to reflect on the results. I’ll post an analysis -probably tomorrow- but one of the things that’s come out of it is how hard it is to allocate time to a job that’s as complex as being a writer.

For example, your hard drive goes and you have to get a new one. Is that work? I think so. But where do you put it? In the end, I put it under ‘other.’ The problem is that I also put the time I spent at cons and meetings such as the BSFA interview under other as well, and as a result, a third of my time is spent under other. Perhaps if I do it again, I’ll put a column in for ‘networking.’

I have one activity that doesn’t count as work, which is to take the afternoon off, and to attend Kate’s choral performance of various pieces of music such as ‘Hiawatha’s Wedding March’ and ‘Oklahoma.’  The event is at The United Reformed Church in Bath, just over Poulteney Bridge at 3.45pm. Tea and cakes will be served by my fair hand.

Meanwhile, I’m December’s Featured Author in The World’s Biggest Bookstore in Toronto.  There’ll be an interview going up at some point, and I’ll link to it, but in the meantime here’s a rather nice shot of the gondola end with Winter Song and Damage Time  on.

And I continue to paddle frantically below the waterline on stuff that I can’t yet talk about; as soon as I can, I’ll stop with the mystery.

• November 30th, 2010 • Posted in Books, General, Other Colin Harvey Sites, Writing • Comments: 0