Fantasy Circus Or Lakeside Scroll?

Happy to learn a couple of stories have been accepted in the past few weeks. “Within Without”, a hard(ish) SF flash piece at Lakeside Circus, and a 5K story “The Dragonmaster’s Ghost” at Fantasy Scroll Mag. The latter is the third and very probably final instalment in the “Mevlish The Mighty” sequence of tales that started with The Edge Of Magic and continued in The Clay Farima. I’m really pleased all three found good homes and readers can follow the whole saga (if they wish!).

Pure coincidence, but the current Issue 1 cover at Fantasy Scroll Mag by Jonathan Gragg is actually a pretty good match for the theme of “The Dragonmaster’s Ghost”. More details about this story and “Within Without” closer to their publication dates.


Fantasy For Good

Very pleased to announce my story “The Edge Of Magic” will be included in the upcoming charitable anthology “Fantasy For Good”, edited by Richard Salter and Jordan Ellinger, published by Nightscape Press. Net proceeds will be going to Colon Cancer Alliance.

The anthology’s contributor line-up includes some of the best known names in fantasy writing. Frankly, I can’t believe I’m sharing a ToC with these people: Michael Moorcock (I grew up reading Elric, Corum, Von Bek, et al: they’re a part of my writerly DNA), Piers Anthony (again, I grew up reading early “Xanth” novels, “Kirlian Quest”, “Blue Adept”, etc.), Alan Dean Foster (before “The Empire Strikes Back” was more than an improvised twinkle in George Lucas’ eye, the only Star Wars sequel that existed was Foster’s “Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye“), Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Orokafor, Carrie Vaughn, Jay Lake…the stellar list goes on (see more here). Oh, and there’s also some guy called George RR Martin, who’s recently enjoyed some modicum of success with a popular long-form tale involving dragons, knights and zombies — but to me, he’ll always be the author of “A Song For Lya“, “Sandkings“, “In The House Of The Worm”, “The Way Of Cross And Dragon“…some of my very favourite SF stories.

Oh, and the anthology cover. Lookit that cover by Paul Pederson. Judge the book by it. Go on: judge it.

So yeah. Many, many reasons to rush out and buy multiple copies of this anthology when it comes out this summer.

I’m honoured and humbled to be a small part of it.


“The Bargain” accepted by DSF

Learned today that my short flash story “The Bargain” has been accepted by Daily Science Fiction. This is my fourth acceptance at DSF, and will be my sixth story to appear there in total (if you count Three Kisses as three separate stories). It also means that I already know I will (very probably) have at least six stories published in 2013 — and February’s not even ended! Not quite believing it all yet…I keep looking up, waiting for a piano to drop on my head and restore the karmic balance…

More details about “The Bargain” closer to its publication.

“The Clay Farima” accepted by Beneath Ceaseless Skies

I’m very pleased to announce that my novelette “The Clay Farima” has been accepted by Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

Pleased for many reasons. First, BCS is a kick-ass magazine, one of the best looking and highly regarded venues in the genre. Second, it’s an opportunity for readers to see my longer works of fiction; I love being able to explore the worlds, characters and situations made possible by using the long form. Third, and by no means least, it’s been a real pleasure working with a pro-active editor like Scott H. Andrews. Check the stats at Duotrope or Submission Grinder. BCS consistently rates as one of the most approachable markets for writers, with the vast majority of rejections being personal. I can speak from experience! The nuggets of editorial wisdom these rejections contain are gold dust to the beginning — and even experienced — writer; ignore them at your peril. Used wisely, they can shape up your work…and one day, it may not be a rejection you receive.

I’ll post more about “The Clay Farima” closer to its publication date. Suffice to say that this month’s cover art by Jorge Jacinto (“The Frozen Valley”), although not at all related to my story, manages quite coincidentally to convey some of the atmosphere of its setting.

The Frozen Valley

“Three Kisses” accepted by DSF

First the bad news: “Nine”, the online journal that recently published my story “Starfish and Apples”, has permanently closed. I’ll be sad to see it go. I loved its clean, clutter free layout and its mix of long and short fiction from both new and established names. The editorial staff always seemed very friendly and professional, and I wish them well in their future endeavours.

On the good news front, I learned today that my short story “Three Kisses” has been accepted by Daily Science Fiction. This is my third acceptance there, but the first story which is longer than flash length (although it is composed of three flash length components). Really pleased by this, as I hope it signals my ability to write longer length, marketable stories is improving. In an industry where word count is directly proportional to the cost and risk of publishing a story, this is particularly gratifying.

I’ll write more about “Three Kisses” closer to its publication date (hopefully early 2013), but for now, here’s a teaser image:



I’m pleased to announce my story “The Unforgiven Dead” has been accepted for inclusion in the anthology “Magic Creatures from Celtic Mists”, edited by Jeanne M. Haskin, for Artema Press. Release date is currently scheduled for April 2013.

All my proceeds from this story will be donated to brain tumour research charity Taylan’s Project, so I hope the anthology does well.

What magical Celtic creature or creatures feature in “The Unforgiven Dead”? I’ll post further details a little closer to the story’s release…but I can reveal it features at least one of these little critters: a tandoori lobster. A dish I can highly recommend.


Life Is A Beach

So…news of my last story acceptance landed in my inbox whilst I was sprawled on a beach near St. Ives, Cornwall. Yesterday, after returning from a day on the beach at Lyme Regis, Dorset, I discovered an acceptance from Nine: A Journal of Imaginative Fiction. It may sound like I spend all my life with my toes wiggling in the sand, but the truth is we live as far from the coast as it’s possible to get on this island nation. Given the trend, maybe that’s something I need to do correct…

Very glad to be appearing in Nine. I love the clean, minimalist look: it allows the reader to immerse themselves in the text without distraction. Plus, hey, royalties (maybe).

I’ll post more about the story when the details get firmed up. In the meantime, a picture of the boys digging on the beach as the Great British rainclouds gather…