After a long hot week at work it was terrifically cool to come home and find contributor copies of Best of British Science Fiction 2018 waiting for me on the doorstep. Both the hardcover and paperback volumes are fantastically well produced, and I’ve have to say I still can’t believe I’ve actually got a story in them even though I can see and touch them “for real” now.
Many thanks, again, to Donna Scott and Ian Whates at NewCon Press. It’s a real shame I can’t be at the launch at Dublin Worldcon (on Saturday 17th August from 5:30 to 6:30), but if you can make it, please do — and say hi to all the amazing folk there.
“Best Of British Science Fiction 2018”, cover art by Les Edwards, cover layout Ian Whates, editor Donna Scott
My story “On Ohab’s Land” is out in the Spring 2019 edition of Kaleidotrope. No it’s nothing to do with whales. Here’s a taster:
Grass stubble crunches beneath Ohab’s feet as he approaches the giant. The long, dry summer has baked the hayfield a deep golden brown, and late-blooming poppies sprout from between the ridges of cracked mud, nodding like amiable premonitions of blood as Ohab passes by. The last wisps of early morning mist have burned away, and crows, unfazed by the giant’s presence, flap lazily between the barrel-trunked oaks that dot the field’s perimeter.
Don’t ask me how many attempts it took to get that first paragraph just so. Many. Many attempts. No really. If you have a figure in mind for the number of revisions then I’m pretty sure it’s too low. Yes. Even that figure. Waaaaaay too low. And I’m still not sure about the extra comma or the two instances of “Ohab”. Yes, these are things that give me sleepless nights.
The story’s first-pass name was “The Origin of Giants”, a rather grandiose title from under which it could never really escape. Although “Land” deals more or less with the physical origin of giants (in this story world), it nowhere near adequately approaches the origin of true giants, those not of merely physical stature… for that you’d be better off reading something like Jose Pablo Iriarte’s The Curse of Giants. So the title had to change, and the story had to find a new heart… which I think it does, at the end. Probably it’s too optimistic of me to consider Ohab a suitable case for redemption, but in order to be a writer you really do have to put aside the pessimism now and again. Do I believe that change for the better — for people and the world — is possible? Sometimes. Yes, I really do.
“Giant” by Saryth Chareonpanichkul
The anthology Sins and Other Worlds, edited by Eric S. Fomley, is now out in e-book and print format, available from the retail arm of the world’s most popular cloud computing platform provider. It contains a reprint of my dark little flash story In the Maze of His Infinities, first published by Perihelion SF.
Table of Contents
- The Plague – Ken Liu
- The Far Side of the Wilderness – Alex Shvartsman
- The Last Racist – Laird Long
- Floating in My Tin Can – Gerri Leen
- Tough Crowd – Holly Schofield
- Nothing – Douglas Smith
- The Memory Ward – Wendy Nikel
- About Time – Mike Murphy
- God State – Michelle Ann King
- Tugship – Russell Hemmell
- When There’s Only Dust Left – Jeremy Szal
- Angels Behaving Badly – Rhonda Eikamp
- The Dust Bathynaut – Dennis Monbauer
- A Fully Chameleonic Foil – Christi Nogle
- The Service Call – Ed Ahern
- The Sin of Envy – George Nikolopoulos
- Flies – Robert Silverberg
- Between Two Distant Shores There Lies Space for an Ocean of Troubles – Jez Patterson
- Death, Where is thy Sting? – John H. Dromey
- Last Long Night – Lina Rather
- Apocalypse Beta Test Survey – Gregg Chamberlain
- In the Maze of His Infinities – Henry Szabranski
- Most Valuable Player – Eric Choi
- Benchwarmer – Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn
- The Cyclops – James Dorr
- Remembrance Day – Liam Hogan
- The Eye Patch Protocol – Vaughan Stanger
- Once Was Lost – Alan Baxter
- The Assassin Program – Christina Sng
- The Plan – Mike Murphy
- Stewardship – Holly Schofield
- Walls of Nigeria – Jeremy Szal
- Whom He May Devour – Alex Shvartsman
- Event Cloak – Ken Liu
- Job Qualifications – Kevin J. Anderson
Mark Linsenmayer’s podcast of “Kill Switch” is now up at Constellary Tales, along with an interview with me about the story. Brian Hirt and Ken Gerber have somehow edited my voice to sound much posher and more articulate than it actually is, and boy I do not sound anywhere near as nervous as I actually was during the recording. But judge for yourselves.
Also, a great excuse to post up another great Juno image.
….aaaand my story “Kill Switch” is out now in issue one of Constellary Tales.
In amniotic darkness my mind reflowers, configuring itself in new and unfamiliar ways. Visions of slashing, blood-slicked blades fade, replaced by a deadening calm.
“One of my drones has gone rogue.”
“Red Alert” by Sebastian Hue
… Clarkesworld Issue 143 is out now.
To hear Kate Baker’s superb podcast of my story click here…
To be cut or to be lost. Every veilonaut has to face either possibility each time they pass through the gap.
“la criatura” — by LUIS CARLOS BARRAGÁ
Spent Father’s Day with the boys and wife, tootling around Oxford in the afternoon. Unfortunately tickets weren’t available for the new Tolkien Exhibition at the Bodleian Library, but instead we browsed around the Ashmolean Museum and rummaged through the nearby city centre bookstores, followed by pizza and cheesecake. To cap it off, came back home to find the 2018 Spring edition of Mythic magazine landed on the doorstep. So all in all — for me — a pretty good day.