Today sees the official announcement of the Table of Contents for issue 3 of Nine: A Journal of Imaginative Fiction. It may very well be the reason you are here at my blog — in which case, welcome! (And if not? Welcome anyway!)

When I was a young child — five, or maybe six — the family sat down to watch “The Day of the Triffids”. I was greatly looking forward to it: my older brother had told me there were monsters, and what’s not to like about monsters? But as the scene in the greenhouse unfolded, as the night watchman played his torch along the stirring roots (my description of the scene may not be entirely accurate, the scene may even be entirely a figment of my imagination, since I’ve not watched the film since), I withdrew further and further behind the sofa and eventually burst into tears. My mother swiftly brought a halt to the proceedings and despite my siblings’ strident protestations the TV was switched off. Still tearful, I was bundled off to bed.

Where I had nightmares.

Of stirring roots.


You see the house was full of houseplants. Pots and pots of them. In every room. With roots. Stirring…

No, no. That was just my over-active imagination. Wasn’t it?

Anyway, I’m fine now. See?


Now I’m all grown up and everything, I know there’s no such thing as monster plants. And even if there was, I bet I could deal with them.


Want to know how triffids could actually emerge? I recommend you take a look at Kelly Lagor‘s remarkable story “How To Build A Triffid” at Tor.com. (I was lucky enough to read an early version of it, and it partially inspired my Nine story, “Starfish and Apples” — thanks, Kelly!)


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