• end of summer round-up

    Golden Blasters

    I’ve never had such a long gap between blog posts before, I guess that means I’ve been busy. Time to herd some news stories across the prairies. I sold my sf-horror story, “Empty Mind Came Back With the Pearl”, to M-Brane SF a while ago. It will appear in issue 9. I’m delighted this story will get to an audience. I wrote it at Clarion West, during the week Nalo Hopkinson was our teacher. She described it as the love child of Clive Barker and Brian Aldiss I believe. I’m co-writing a three-issue comic book, called Róisín Dubh, with Rob Curley of Atomic Diner publications, and the fabulous Sub City…

  • the garden of death

    This month Fantasy Magazine ran a competition for writers to come up with a story in ten lines based on a piece of artwork. I found the challenge interesting, and picked “The Garden of Death” (1896) by Finnish artist Hugo Simberg (1873 – 1917). Fantasy Magazine decided to shortlist ten stories. A readers’ poll will decide the three winners, which will be podcast. My piece, also called “The Garden of Death”, is among the top ten. All the stories are strong, but if you think mine is among the best, I’d appreciate it if you would vote for me. The poll will remain open until June 12th.

  • try out a diet

    Issue three of the electronic magazine Arkham Tales has been published, and it contains my short story “The Diet” – a tale in the Lovecraftian tradition. It’s available for download in two formats: .pdf for web viewing or .pdf for printing. I enjoyed writing “The Diet”, partly because I love this type of horror story, and because its characters are Irish, and it’s set in Dublin. I set stories all over the world (or invent worlds for them), but I’ve noticed that my stories which are most influenced by the work of Lovecraft are often set in Ireland. I’ve another two stories in this style, both located in this country,…

  • happy and sad: a Paradox

    First the good news: issue 13 of Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction is now available. It contains my short story “Beautiful Calamity”. There’s a snippet on the magazine’s web site from the beginning of the story if you want to get a feel for it. I can’t wait to receive my contributor copies (which are navigating the postal system to me), so I can read the story in print. I’m proud of this one. The sad news, however, is that issue thirteen will be the last edition of the print incarnation of the magazine. Editor Chris Cevasco says that there are plans for future book anthologies through…

  • celebrate short fiction

    I noticed that Poets & Writers magazine is making a case for the concept of May being National Short Story Month. Well, as someone who writes and reads short fiction I think it’s a fine idea. The Emerging Writers Network is behind the campaign, and is blogging all month with reviews of short fiction to lend momentum to the movement. There are a multitude of online sources for short speculative fiction, and here is just a small sample: E-Zines Abyss & Apex Arkham Tales Beneath Ceaseless Skies Brain Harvest ChiZine Clarkesworld Magazine Fantasy Magazine Farrago’s Wainscot Hub Magazine Ideomancer Jim Baen’s Universe Lone Star Stories Strange Horizons Podcast Magazines EscapePod…

  • uplifting

    Another one of my twitter stories has been published on Thaumatrope: if you’re hungry for a fictional nibble.Reviews of Black Static, issue 10, have been appearing online. I realised before reading the first one that I had been bracing myself: like how you involuntarily clench your muscles when you expect a terrible blow. My story, “Vic”, is intimate, small, and poignant, and I suspected some people might want a story that’s more action-packed and brutal. Although, that’s the beauty of a diverse collection of stories in a magazine–you should find one to your tastes. However, Colin Harvey over on Suite 101 enjoyed “Vic” very much, and rated it “Outstanding”. He…

  • catching up

    The past three weeks have been hectic, and my weekly Thursday Twitterfic lapsed during this period, but as it happens a bunch of my twitter stories hit the web so here are links to them: There are two stories, here and here, on Thaumatrope, and a pico story on Outshine. During Easter my poem “Exchange” went live on the fabulous Goblin Fruit. Finally, issue 10 of British horror magazine Black Static is now on sale, and it contains my short story “Vic”. I had a brilliant time at Eastercon in Bradford. I thoroughly enjoyed all the panels I was on, and moderated tightly for the two I shepherded. Generally, I…