Friday, 25 September 2015

Short Story News, September 2015

I've been remiss in keeping up with my short story-related news here of late, though in fairness that's been not entirely because I'm easily distracted and at least partly because not so long ago it looked as though a number of things would be coming out at more or less the same time; it seemed like sound logic to post all of that news together, but publication dates wandered as publication dates will and in the meantime other stuff has been happening and, boy, this is a lot of unnecessary preamble, isn't it?

Short Story News, September 2015.  Take two.

I have a story out as an e-book!  It seems decidedly weird that this should be the first time this has happened outside of novels, but there it is.  Digital Science Fiction was an immensely good professional-rate market that lasted not half long enough around four years ago, published my Black Sun in their excellent debut issue First Contact and were scheduled to publish my Across the Terminator when things went south.  So I was overjoyed when owner Michael Wills got in touch to say that Digital Science Fiction was getting reincarnated and would I still be up for him publishing it?  Across the Terminator - probably the nearest thing I've ever written to hard SF and perhaps the nearest thing to a proper love story - is part of a rapidly expanding e-book line-up that's well worth checking out, and you can find it at Amazon UK here or Amazon US here.

Elsewhere I've been making a dint on my finally almost-vanished backlog of somewhat older stories.  Which sounds a lot like "trunk stories" if you're the suspicious sort but they're honestly not that, and in fact quite the opposite; if I'm still sending out anything more than about five years old then I've had to be pretty damn certain of its merits, and it's probably been polished beyond an inch of its life.  Of no story is that more true than Children of Deadways, a profoundly strange slice of sci-fi gothic zombie horror that I feel like I've spent forever getting right and has finally found a place with one of my favourite print markets, Space and Time, who published my In the Service of the Guns way back in 2009.

Perhaps a little older even than Children of Deadways, if memory serves, is my contemporary ghost story Knock, Knock, which has been one of those tales that I never quite understood how it wasn't selling; a stupid question ultimately because the answer is always the same and always that the right home just hasn't come along.  Anyway, it's a creepy little thing based immensely loosely on events and places from my time in York, and that home turned out to be Pantheon Magazine, whose Gaia: Shadows and Breath 2 anthology I was being impressed by so recently.  It's lined up for their Hestia-themed issue, which is a perfect fit for at least a couple of reasons - neither of which I can touch on without spoiling a story that hasn't even had a chance to get published yet!

Fortunately it hasn't just been older work selling; possibly the best news I've had lately was in regards to A Killer of Dead Men, which I wrote specifically and rather optimistically for Beneath Ceaseless Skies as a follow-up to my Ill-Met at Midnight, published there back in August 2013, and which to my delighted surprise is actually going to appear in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.  This was a huge relief because it would have felt weird to have Otranto Onsario, master assassin beyond compare and possessor of perhaps the most twisted conscience in fantasy literature, appearing anywhere else.  I really like this character, it seems that BCS editor Scott Andrews does too, and I should probably start thinking about writing another Otranto story, shouldn't I?

I feel bad now for not having mentioned here the stuff that's come out recently or due imminently - like the Second Contacts anthology from Bundoran Press, or Purple Sun Press's Coven - but I'll get to those in the near future, I'm sure.  This post is already long enough and has achieved its main objective, which was to remind me that amidst the lousy news there's been plenty of good stuff happening.  Putting it all together like this, it's actually been a pretty great few months, and while it's probably far too much to ask, I'll be immensely pleased up things keep up like this for the remainder of the year.

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