science fiction and fantasy writer

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Holyshit! Sale!

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2013 at 10:06 pm

My story “Cold, Cold War” has been accepted for Beneath Ceaseless Skies, my third story there and – good grief! – my third acceptance in three weeks!

This one started from a dream a friend of mine had, about reading a novel I will have written, which had a scene with blue biplanes taking off over a white plain beside a giant’s tower. Awesome. Gotta love friends who have dreams like that and let you use them.

The other thing I found to bang it together with was a picture in a book about the Russian Civil War. The picture was of a group of Russian peasants posed with the human body parts they harvested from battlefields and sold for meat to other starving peasants. Funnily enough, the cannibal peasants didn’t actually make it into the final draft of the story, but they gave me a location in space and time and set the story’s tone.

Oh, and the other other thing I found to bang together was this newt that defends itself by stabbing its own ribs out through its skin to make spines. (Yeah, that totally made it into the final draft.)

Sale! Woot!

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Edwina Harvey has accepted my story “Grey Snow in the Shadows” for her next issue of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (#58).

This story had, I think, the longest germination of any I’ve yet written. Unusually for me, all the seeds came from other books. The first seed was planted with a gift of a series of Korean novellas from my friend Gord Sellar in 2006, one of which was The Gray Snowman by Ch’oi Yun, an account of underground political activisim in South Korea under the dictatorship of Park Chung-Hee. A story with an amazing, bleak, atmospheric setting.

I carried that seed around for four or five years looking for (changing metaphors) something to bang it against to get a spark. Then I found Ryzsard Kapuscinski’s account of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Shadow of the Sun and an Irish mother during the Potato Famine in Tom Keneally’s Three Famines and all of a sudden I had my antagonist and protagonist, respectively. From the resulting sparks sprang tentacle monsters and Tolkien’s Shadow – because of course that’s what you get when you bang together Korean political activists, Idi Amin and a starving Irish mother.

Well, that, or my imagination just defaults to tentacles and the Shadow of Mordor.

Eh, either way, how could it possibly go wrong?

Eep! Reprint!

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm

The first story I wrote at Clarion West in 2006, “Bitter Dreams”, is being reprinted in the CW 30th anniversary anthology. I’ve known about this for a little while, but needed to wait for the table of contents to be announced.

It’s hard work to keep a “WOOHOO!” like this one bottled up.

The title of the anthology is Telling Tales and Ellen Datlow is editing. ToC is up on Ellen’s LJ.

You gotta love a story that keeps on giving.

Booyah! First sale of the year!

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Mike Allen has accepted my story “The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine Daughter” for his Clockwork Phoenix 4 anthology. Very happy to see the CP series continuing – and even more happy to be a part of it again.