• Reviews

    Discussing The Quatermass Xperiment

      The inaugural episode of the Hammered podcast is now available for listening. The host of the series JG Byrne and I talk about The Quatermass Xperiment (1955). It was a fun and nerdy deep dive into the film. Perfect for fans of Hammer films, science fiction, and Nigel Kneale (though of course he didn’t write the movie, but it’s based on his original BBC TV series. I give a lot of love to Kneale in this episode.) You can listen to it online. There will be a different guest with John in the next episode, and I should be returning for more Hammer exegesis with The Mummy (1959). Make…

  • publications

    Story in The Grim Future

    I’m extremely pleased to announce that my story ‘Zel and Grets’ will appear in the forthcoming anthology The Grimm Future, edited by Erin Underwood. The beautiful cover is by Richard Anderson. It’s being published by NESFA Press, and will launch at Boskone 53, Boston as a special limited hardback edition. The Grimm Future is a new science fiction anthology of reimagined Grimm fairy tales. I’m not as well known for my science fiction, but I love writing it. This was a chance to combine my deep regard for fairy tales with a far-flung futuristic setting. I can only thank Erin for asking me to be involved, which provoked the story.…

  • Screenwriting,  Television

    brains on your tie

    I’ve been a fan of Fringe since season 1. It had a shaky start, but I gave it leeway because there is nothing I like better than a television program showcasing capable women, mad scientists and weird events. From the beginning it was clear the show rotated around the character of Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), and what I liked most about her was her drive, ambition and her ability to emphatise with those who have been preyed upon by stronger forces. This is a woman with a mission to save people, and women in particular. She also had her heart broken quite badly in the first season, with a long…

  • science

    role reversal

    The above photograph of a sea horse was taken in July, when I visited the Galway Aquarium with a good friend who was staying with me on vacation. I’d been to the Aquarium once before and had been surprised at how much I’d enjoyed the excursion. The Galway Aquarium is tiny by international standards, but there are plenty of cool creatures to oogle. The Aquarium even has a very large tank where you can touch the Rays as they zip by. One of them seemed to be quite keen to be petted, and kept doing chin lifts out of the water as it glided past. Perhaps it was showing off…

  • Ireland,  News,  Thoughts

    cresting the big wave

    I’ve been working on the web site redevelopment of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild for a long time. I do a lot of web-related work for the Guild, including managing all of its social media outlets, which every organisation needs to maintain these days. A big job like a web site overhaul requires large periods of allocated concentration, and that’s been problematic in regards to divvying up my few resources. Working with advocacy organisations means you’re always scraping the pan for those last scraps of funding, and this year the Guild absorbed several funding cuts: there is nothing lurking at the bottom of that pot now. Still, I’m glad…

  • Fiction,  News,  publications

    news for the new year

    I’ve some news I’ve been sitting on for no good reason, other than my motivation for blogging suffered a sap across the forehead late last year. In December I sold the audio right to my story “The Tamga” to Pseudopod. I’m delighted I’ll soon have another story up among their fine catalogue of spoken works. “The Tamga” was originally published in issue 6 of Shroud Magazine. My story, “The Secret Names of Buildings” is now available in M-Brane SF, issue 12, which is guest edited by Rick Novy. It’s another of my Clarion West stories, and this was written for week 6, when the brilliant sf writer Vernor Vinge was…

  • Fiction,  News,  publications,  Thoughts

    waiter, is that horror in my sf?

    The events of the previous week came at a time when I was busier than normal, so it’s taken me some time to catch up, and even out my workload. Except now I have the joyful task of sorting out my tax returns, ASAP. Hurray! So, it’s nice to hear that issue 9 of M-Brane SF has been released. It contains my horror sf story “Empty Mind Came Back with the Pearl”. When I began submitting it to publications I learned that a lot of markets aren’t so keen on horror in their sf; many expressly forbid it. It’s a pity, and certainly a factor to consider when writing a…

  • Fiction,  News,  publications,  Screenwriting

    a sale, and a shoot

    Chris Fletcher, editor of M-Brane SF, informed me yesterday that he wanted to buy my near-future sf short story “The Secret Names of Buildings”. So I said yes! It will appear in issue 12, which is being guest edited by Rick Novy. Again, this is a story I wrote at Clarion West. It was during week six, my last week at the workshop, and we were being mentored by sf legend Vernor Vinge. Vernor is a hard sf writer, so I wrote something I thought might benefit from his expertise. Vernor, by the way, was very generous with his time, and enjoyed geeking out with us – all his conferences…