Free download – a million words of wonder

Up and Coming

If you’re prone to the wonder of words, as I most certainly am, then the upcoming Campbell Awards have over a million to share with you. For free!

The Campbell Awards Up and Coming anthology offers up a free download of over 230 short works from over 120 authors in the Science Fiction and Fantasy field.  That’s a whole lot of reading and a great slice of genre excitement to enjoy.

All those included are eligible for the John W. Campbell award for Best New Writer, and the anthology offers a great insight into some of the wonderful short stories and other works in the great menagerie of wordy delight from 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Get your slice of Up and Coming enjoyment and revel in the wordy delight!

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Posted in Am reading, An interesting story, Short Stories

Time for a Space Holiday!

NASA

As a lover of science fiction there’s real excitement in watching the new passion for space exploration that’s recently gripped us poor fools stuck on Earth. I unashamedly cheered when the Philae lander reached its (sort of) target. I laughed with glee as Tim Peake performed his first tumble in space. With every small step towards the success of SpaceX I get a little more excited.

So with the new frontier seemingly closer than ever before, here are some beautiful ‘vintage’ NASA posters that the agency recently commissioned, envisioning the future of space tourism. Enjoy. And if you do like them, you can even get your own!

NASA Ground Tour Read more ›

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Posted in An interesting story

Short story competitions. Early 2016 edition.

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Are you writing?

Somehow January has almost ended. I’m not sure how. I think a few days must have snuck out the backdoor while nobody was looking. Either way it means we’re almost one month down! How are those resolutions going? Mine, not so bad. If you’re not doing the writing you told yourself you would, here are four competitions I’m currently pondering in the eternal attempt to avoid writers-guilt. Read more ›

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Posted in Amwriting, Short Stories, Writing

How many books is too many?

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How many is too many?

Happy 2016! The best way to start the new year? With books! But I have myself a dilemma.

  1. How many books is it ok to read at once? That’s the troubling question plaguing the start to my year. Does more than one make me a cheat or just an ambitious book reading hero? Is it ok to put down Tolstoy in order to pick up Dan Brown? The answer to that question is no, it’s never OK to pick up Dan Brown. Full disclosure – I’m currently reading neither of those authors. Read more ›
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Posted in Am reading, Words are great

My Favourite Books of 2015

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All the books!

As 2015 draws to a wordy end, it’s a good time to look back and reflect on all the things we’ve enjoyed this year. What better thing to reflect on as a writer, than books? At a push I’ve probably managed to read near 100 books this year. Not bad going. Each one is considered “research.”

Here are some of my favourites: Read more ›

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What I’m writing: end of the year edition!

Sci-fi Christmas

Sci-fi Christmas

Christmas is coming. Not in a menacing way like winter, but in a frivolous and exciting array of shiny decorations and delightful chocolate discounts. Honestly the whole season is worth it for chocolate oranges. Oh and this year, the small matter of that Star Wars film…

It also means for this chocolate obsessed writer it’s time to get fingers to keyboard once more and finish up the projects I’d aimed to complete before the end of the year!

Future Shock

Future Shock

If the imminence of the end of the year is a shock, well then what better time could there be for me to finally pen a story for the 2000AD Future Shock submissions? I grew up on 2000AD, and when I wasn’t busy hiding the magazine so my parents wouldn’t work out quite how much red ink was used in the often gore-filled pages I was lost in the world of futuristic judges, ancient heroes or downright strange time travellers. I’d always enjoyed toying with the idea of penning my own words to be put to such fantastic pictures. Now is the time I’m finally getting round to it!

A New Frontier?

A New Frontier?

Next to more science, less pictures, with the Glasgow University short story competition accepting submissions on the theme of science fiction and the medical humanities. I feel I’m particularly well qualified for this because aside from the first 6 hours of the 1st of January I’m mostly human. More importantly with a love of reading and writing science fiction and more than passing appreciation of ill health and wonders of modern medicine, I feel well set to put those two things together in one wonderful elixir of spaceships and sick people. Think Lost in Space, but with coughing. Nailed it.

Anyways, back to writing for me! Hopefully I can post about the results sometime soon.

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Posted in Amwriting

A Short Serve of Sci-Fi

Sweet sci-fi release

Sweet sci-fi release

As a short story writer the greatest challenge is telling a complete story with a limited word count. As someone who often loves to write in genres renowned for the sprawling world building, at times that can be quite the word-dancing damnation. So it’s rather fantastic to see the New Yorker post up a series of micro fiction sci-fi short stories that are both enjoyable to read and which leave a sense of satisfaction once complete. One of my favourites is below. You can find the rest over at the New Yorker.

The galactic federation had rejected the Treaty of Agreement. The Outliers had withdrawn their negotiating squadron, despite the best efforts of the Trade Council. And in the Unoccupied Sector a call arose for punishing tariffs on intersystem trade.

Engineer Wilson didn’t know what any of this meant, but he knew that it probably wasn’t good. After two more commercial breaks, the news ticker began to repeat itself, so he turned off his TV and went back to sleep.

It’s not all breaking the laws of physics and fighting alien species. Sometimes the best sci-fi takes the tedium of today and just adds epic nouns.

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Posted in Am reading, Short Stories