The Books That Saved 2017

Books of 2017

With the end of 2017 somehow vanishing in a hectic whirl of work and gluttony, I’ve barely had a chance to reflect on all the excitement it contained.

It was a funny ol’ year. The weather was chaotic, but not as chaotic as the government. The news was filled with international posturing of a kind barely seen since the iconic but lesser known Mr Men story – Mr Ineptitude Goes to War. 2017 was a year for incredulous face-palming it seems.

One thing that didn’t disappoint were the books I read. I think I vanquished around a hundred of them in my conquest to remain delighted. So here are some of the books I most enjoyed in 2017.

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Posted in Am reading

Sound Inspiration


Mechanically sound?

Edinburgh is once more packed to bursting with festival-laden delight. August’s annual Edinburgh Festival and Edinburgh Fringe make for easily the most exciting month to live in this fair city. Yes it takes about twice as long to travel anywhere, from a dander down the road to the perils of a bus straying too near the Royal Mile, but the pay-off is most definitely worth it. The real art is enjoying enough cultural joy to balance the everyday travel frustrations. It’s a challenge, but one I’m certainly up for.

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Posted in Amwriting, Our Pretty City

Staying Ahead of the Sci-Fi


NASA imagining a Martian future. Image – NASA.

I’m not going to lie, sometimes writing science fiction can be a right pain in the arse.

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Posted in An interesting story

Short Story Competitions: Summer 2017


Summer is here. I’ve got salty palm prints on my laptop to prove it. Given I live in Scotland, it’s probably only due to last a few days, thank goodness.

Sunshine might make it harder to discipline myself towards writing, but it doesn’t remove the impetus all together! Here are three short story competitions I’m writing for this summer.

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Posted in Amwriting, Short Stories, writing opportunities

Beyond Tomorrow

Beyond Tomorrow


For my reading pleasure this week I’ve been enjoying the delights of Beyond Tomorrow, a sci-fi short story collection with an author list so fantastic that the only way they could make it better would be by time travelling back to kidnap Mary Shelley.

With its original publication in 1965, Beyond Tomorrow, is an exploration of the future by literary titans such as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke. But with its discussion on the future, it was the delight of the foreword which I enjoyed the most.

“The one simple idea – that the future will be different – used to make science fiction unacceptable to most people… I take this to be a temporary state of affairs, though it has been going on for about a century; you can’t make change go away by turning your back on it, and sooner or later, as a culture, we must find that out.”

So, 52 years on, seems we writers still have a lot of work to do. On the bright side, we’ve stopped using asbestos in our space suits like the first short story implies. So that’s a bonus.


Posted in Am reading, Short Stories, Uncategorized

Flash Fiction: 6 Word Stories


No taxidermist loved his daughter more.

by Ami Hendrickson.


I can’t think what reminded me of this story this week, but it still makes me smile.

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Posted in Am reading, Flash Fiction Series, Writing

Flash Fiction Series: System Error


The Red Planet

Part 3 of my flash fiction series. This is System Error.

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Posted in Amwriting, Flash Fiction Series, Short Stories, Writing