The Future In Blogs

I like to see what other writers are doing on their blogs. Three of my favourite blogs all deal to some extent with the future. (There’s a surprise, I hear you mutter – you’re a science fiction writer.)

Actually,  SF is often as much to do with the present, and much though I love the genre I’m not really a scientist.

But Gareth L Powell has a clear view of what may come, and in thi

s excellent post he deals with the implications of a future that looks increasingly influenced  by Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Meanwhile, Madeline Ashby is working on various projects involving the futures in media, and is also blogging for Tor about the differences between her fiction and her futurism work.

Charlie Stross is perhaps the pre-eminent blogger in this area and generates more ideas in a couple of weeks than some writers do in a year. Here he blogs about obsolete threats to the world, while here he posts about potential new ones.

• July 4th, 2011 • Posted in Writing • Comments: 0

On Holiday…Or Not

I realized yesterday as I posted the review of Interzone that it was my first post for a week. Given that I’ve been fairly quiet on other venues as well, a few of you might be forgiven for thinking that I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole.

You should be so lucky.

As I write this, at the same time last week I was on my way over to Gareth‘s place, to set off for Eastercon. Two days of long periods of relaxation, interspersed with frantic running around to get to and from signing sessions to promote Damage Time. Six of us ended up coming back from Birmingham Waterstone’s in a taxi to get back in time for the Illustrious signing.

That should have sounded a warning – the railway station was in chaos, which was only going to get worse by the evening. I duly found myself stranded by the chaos, although I eventually got home only an hour late by leaping in a taxi at Bristol Temple Meads.

So off on holiday on Sunday morning down to Poole. On the plus side, we were going on holiday. On the downside, I had a shedload of work to get through, and was suffering from tendonitis, preventing me from walking more than a few hundred yards without having to take painkillers.

In a way that injury was a blessing. Unable to go out, and with minimal distractions -since I couldn’t go for our usual long walks in the Purbecks or on the beaches, I had no option but to buckle down to editing Transtories. (More about that tomorrow) And since the weather was so good, I was able to read in the garden in the afternoon.

But it’s meant for a strange, claustrophobic existence that doesn’t really feel like a proper holiday at all. So I shall have no option but  to take another one, later this year…

• April 29th, 2011 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

Anthology Update

This is the stage of editing Transtories that is proving most difficult, and most instructive.

It’s the first time that I’ve had to deal with the consequences of an open call for subs –Killers, Future Bristol and Dark Spires were all invitation only.

One practical effect is that there are far more stories to read for an open sub anthology than for one with an invitation only policy, which of course takes up more time. 

Unsurprisingly, stories fit into three roughly equal categories; the ones that are easy to accept, the ones that are easy to reject, and the last ones, which are almost there, but not quite. These are the ones that call for multiple readings.

I’ve asked for a couple of rewrites for my preferred ones, but in some instances there seems to be something of a communication gap, and I now have the dilemma of how much more time I spend trying to nudge these stories toward the quality I’m looking for.

Meanwhile, I’ve posted a couple of acceptances, and I’m intending to add more at the rate of about one a day; it might not be exactly that, but I need to have the line up completed by Eastercon.

Which is where I’ll be attending a launch party for not one but two books containing my work at the same time.  (I’m not the only person claiming this singular honour, so you have even more reason to turn up and buy both books!)

First up is Further Conflicts, Ian Whates’ sequel to his 2010 anthology.

It has a fine BSFA nominated cover by Andy Bigwood, and I get to share to Table of Contents with my stunt double Tony Ballantyne, fellow Angry Robots Lauren Beukes, Andy Remic and Dan Abnett, as well as Gareth L Powell, Eric Brown, Kim Lakin-Smith, Adam Roberts and others.

I’ll talk about -the other title- The Sixty: Arts of Andy Bigwood next time. 

Before I go, you’ll notice that I’ve posted links to all the books here; in the interests of full disclosure, I get a small fee if you buy through the site, and you get to save money – so it’s win-win. 🙂

• April 6th, 2011 • Posted in Appearances, Books • Comments: 0

Post Bristolcon Musings

Well, that was good. Bristolcon 10 was over three times the size of last year, with an attendance of over 150 people. Now, that’s a proper con. The panels were well attended — I opened on the Juliet E. McKenna moderated Publishing panel with Mike Shevdon, Andy Bigwood and Dave Bradley of SFX, then sat in on the Joe Abercrombie interview, both of which were excellent. I followed that with an hour on the con dealer’s desk and then the Dark Spires launch.

That went pretty well, although it became a little chaotic (mea culpa) as the event progressed. There were definitely learning points to be taken from it. Like, put the box -and the designated treasurer- at the end of the line. Still, we had  good sales, and people seemed to like the actual finish of the book, which is marvellous, IMHO.

After a late lunch and a visit to the Dealer’s Room to pick up Murky Depths 14, containing Neil Beynon’s ‘Stone,’  onto The Future of Science panel. Impressed as expected by Alastair Reynalds and Gareth L Powell, but it emerges that Paul Cornell’s urbane exterior camouflages an Inner Science Geek…

The Programme culminated with ‘Writing Fight Scenes,’ in which Joe Abercrombie was repeatedly thrown down by Juliet E. McKenna and Meaney-san. I was supposed to moderate this panel, which turned out to be an exercise in futility, but by this time a worsening chest infection (which has seen me confined to barracks while Kate and Sharon hit Bath) forced me into withdrawing from both my panel and the 6.50 reading.  Cheryl Morgan was a more than adequate replacement.

And so, here’s looking forward to next year…

• November 7th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 3

Busy Busy

Although I’ve dully completed my 1400 words this morning, focusing on the wip has been quite tricky, as a lot of stories seem to be breaking at the same time. I’m not the only one who’s been busy…

First of all, the inaugural Angry Robot podcast is up at their website. It sounds as if Marco and Leeeeeëe are having way too much fun in their padded cell, and Mrs H and I chortled at the note of bemusement that host Mur Lafferty tried -and failed- to keep from her voice as she tried to bring some sanity to the proceedings.  Joking apart, there are some great insights on the state of publishing and some of its possible futures.

Secondly, huge congratulations to fellow author Gareth L Powell, who has been equally busy in a less obtrusive way; yesterday he announced the sale of his novel The Recollection to Solaris Books, who had this to say. The beers are on you on Monday week, Gareth…

And lastly, Cheryl Morgan has also been busy. She’s announced a new venture, Wizard’s Tower Press. The new company will publish a new non-fiction magazine, Salon Futura, as well as a number of out-of-print works, and a small number of new books. The first of those new books will be Dark Spires, edited by Yours Truly. More details are here and will follow as we get a ToC. 

As well as blogging, interviewing and pimping cons like Bristolcon and London 2014, Cheryl does a huge amount of work behind the scenes, and Wizard’s Tower Press deserves to succeed. Good luck, Cheryl.

• July 17th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 1

Generating Heat

This morning I’m guest blogging over at at Gareth L Powell’s website, on the subject of Generating Heat.  Nothing to do with starting fires or keeping warm, but rather a film industry term.

Long gone are the days when the author wrote a book, sent it off, and left it to take its chances in the world. Nowadays every publisher expects the author to have a plan. The scriptwriting industry is much more self-aware about writing as a career, and can provide the aspiring writer with useful career guidance. Read more here.

• June 8th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

News, Reviews, and More on Damage Time

The news is that Peter Watts has been fined, not imprisoned; hardly good news, but far, far better than things looked 36 hours ago, and at least he can now (hopefully) get on with his life.

Meanwhile, I’ve reviewed Gareth L Powell’s debut novel over at Suite101.

And the second part of the memory thread that formed such a serendipitous moment, given Damage Time’s imminent publication, is here. This is specifically about deleting memories, the parallel to the novel’s ripping them.

If this all seems a little breathless, it is; this Tuesday seems especially frantic as the Uni timetable is all over the place and I have to be out of the door in about five minutes…

• April 27th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0

Odds and Sods-ery

Various bits of Odds and Sods-ery for your erm, pleasure today.

First of all, I’m pleased to see that I’m not the only person who was pissed off at the BBC for allowing a cartoon Graham Norton to clamber across the screen at the supposed climax of Doctor Who last night. What were they thinking of when they decided to do that? Were they thinking at all? Seriously, Beeb, WTF?

It’s enough that we have to cope with a new Doctor (jury still out, but generally OK) a new assistant (thumbs up) and the most intrusive music and background noise since 1972 (thumbs very much down) but now this? What’s the point of making drama programmes if you throw the audience out of the drama at key moments?  If you want to complain, here’s the link.  I urge you to do so, or we’ll have no quality of programming at all.

And I’ve posted the latest review at Suite101; in line with my continuing fascination with Children’s Literature I borrowed The Wolves of Willoughby Chase from Newton Park Library. It’s a good-ish book, marred somewhat by the moron who borrowed it before me deciding that they were an editor, and that they could ‘improve’ on Aiken’s prose. So many, many passages have been pencilled through and ‘alternative text substituted in the margins or over other text.

Are you sensing a theme this morning?

Well, if so, here’s something completely different. The launch of Silversands yesterday included Gareth L Powell reading a chapter of his debut novel and free vino. What more could you want? Certainly not me desperately improv-ing a 30-second interview on AudioBoo

• April 25th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0