Friday, 28 May 2010

The Untold Ghost at Pill Hill

I've been trying to get into a Pill Hill Press anthology pretty much since they started, so I was very pleased yesterday to get the news that co-editor Jessy Roberts had caved in and accepted my story The Untold Ghost for her forthcoming Haunted anthology.  It would be intelligence-insulting to explain much about what either the story or the anthology is about, so I'll just say that I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this one - Pill Hill have been putting out great-looking books since day one and I'm a sucker for a good ghost story.  (Damn!  And I was doing so well...)  No idea if a release date's been set yet, but I'd guess it'll be towards the back end of the year.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Death, Destroyer of Worlds : A Tweet

Wednesday saw the publication of my second twitter fiction sale, which you can read here at Thaumatrope if you've got approximately seven seconds to spare.  I'm conscious that this post is already longer than the story it's about, so I'll try to be brief!  Los Alamos, 1945, as my tweet would have been called if tweet-fiction allowed for titles, is an idea that I've been kicking about for years now, presented in probably its shortest possible form.  Unfortunately, this makes it a bit obtuse unless you happen to know quite a lot about the Trinity atomic bomb tests.  Oh well ... maybe one day I'll get it up to flash length and it'll all make sense...

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Today the War Ended in OG's Spec Fic

Monday saw the publication of my most prog-rock titled story yet, Today the War Ended, Tonight the Sky Burned, in issue 24 of free e-zine OG's Speculative Fiction.  Wow, what was I thinking?  A title so long that it's completely mucked up the carefully planned formatting on my website!  Still, it does a fairly good job of summing this little tale up, so maybe I shouldn't give it too hard a time.

I seem to remember having already said quite a bit about Today the War Ended.  It's kind of a science-fiction love story, although that shouldn't put anyone off, because there's very little in the way of either science or love to be found.  It's me in thoughtful mood, and definately a bit of an oddity. 

Also, nods of appreciation to Jeff Ward for his fantastic cover.  I seriously recommend taking a few minutes to check out Jeff's site, there's some lovely work on there.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Funland: Week Ten

Not a great amount to say about last week ... things were going badly, so by Wednesday I decided to go with the backup plan and spent a couple of days trimming what I'd already done of part four and plotting out the remainder.  It wasn't fun or satisfying, but it got me back on track, and I hope to have the section finished off by the end of this week.


The big news now, however, is that I finally have a new contract confirmed, with a pretty solid start date  - the 7th of June.  That means two and half more weeks for Funland, and that around some seriously hurried flat-hunting and packing.  Am I going to get finished?  Not a cat in hell's chance, but I shouldn't be far off, and I'll be suprised if I'm not done by the end of June.  I always figured that if I got to the 80K mark I'd be happy enough to finish up around a day job, and I'm almost there now.  So while it would have been cool to type THE END on the night before I start, I'm still pretty happy with how things are falling out.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Endangered Weapon Slightly Less Endangered Than a Week Ago

I posted a while back on the fact that my third comic script, currently titled Endangered Weapon B, had found itself looking for a new home after the magazine I'd written it for went the way of the Dodo itself.  This was a hard blow, not just for me personally but for the entirety of global civilisation, which I firmly believe is psychically crying out - even if it doesn't know it - for a comic featuring a mechanized grizzly bear, Nazi space dolphins, and a mad Norse-god-worshiping scientist going to extreme lengths to cure his "unfortunate social sicknesses".  Of course, the only way I can prove this perhaps vain-seeming theory is to get the thing in print, at which point I'm confident that world peace will ensue, or something equally unlikely.

Anyway, point is, I think I may have found a new publisher for Endangered Weapon B.  Since it's very early days, I won't say any more for the minute, except that they've put out some really nice-looking books in the past and it'll be immensely neat if it comes off.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Funland: Week Nine

Just a quick'un this week, since I've nothing remotely interesting to say.  I hit my target for last week, although it was a lot like pulling teeth, particularly towards the end.  Even working around checking my e-mail every three minutes for news of the job I'm waiting on I kept up a steady (if painful) 1500 words a day. 

Now, I'm not sure of my next step.  Do I try and push on through to the end of part four, which is looking like being another 10'000 or so words off?  Or, since I have no real deadline, do I go back to the drawing board a little and focus on getting the remainder as right as can be?  The latter seems to make sense, but then I have a feeling it might just be my subconscious urge to skive and prevaricate talking.  Anyway, the two things that occurred to me yesterday are that a) I don't really need to make a decision right now and b) any decision I do make stands a good chance of being changed by a development on the job front. 

So for the moment I'm plodding on as I was, eyes firmly on the tantalisingly close three-quarters point!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Funland: Week Eight

Last week was another no-news week in many ways, I lost three full days in travelling to an interview at the other end of the country (which thankfully the interviewer turned up for this time) and was so knackered from the unaccustomed driving that the last couple of days were hardly productive either.  I did at least reach the crucial three fifths (60'000 words) mark that's been eluding me for so long, finally finishing part three around Saturday lunchtime.

This week, though, things should be seriously looking up again.  I've no more interviews on the horizon, which is potentially awful news from a not-ending-up-sleeping-on-the-streets perspective but really good news for Funland.  Today was the first day in a while that I achieved the magic two thousand words, and you know what?  It felt good.  I see no reason I shouldn't hit 70'000 by the end of this week.  Of course, the devil makes work for rolling stones and all that, so maybe I shouldn't be tempting fate, but it would be nice to return to the kind of productivity I set out with, if only for a little while.

I'd thought about trying to actually write something about the whole novel-writing process this time around, but I suspect I'm too much in the thick of it right now to make any sensible observations.  I still wonder if I've been overambitious trying so many new things and stretching myself in so many directions all at once.  Writing with a big cast is new to me, and writing from multiple third-person perspectives is something I've only tried before on a much smaller scale, (in fact the only time I can think of off the top of my head is in The Painted City, recently published in Andromeda Spaceways).  I've never written anything with such a strong crime element before.  I've written my first proper sex scene - the only other one had a golem as one of the protagonists and probably doesn't count.  I've eschewed chapters in favour of this weird parts system, which may or may not have been a terrible idea.

Perhaps trying to jump just one or two of these hurdles might have been the wiser plan, instead of going for the lot in one go?  Time will tell, I guess.  To anyone facing a similar quandry, I would say that at least I'm learning more and faster than I ever have before, and I have a feeling the risks taken this time around will pay off if and when I get round to a third novel.  Either way, part of the intention for Funland was always to take the chance of being over-ambitious - and at three fifths and counting, it's too late to worry about it now.