Posts about writing, and my progress (or lack thereof) in doing so.

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #60 published!


It’s taken a while to get there (it has been over a year since acceptance), but issue #60 of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine has been published. And in it, my story “I Have Heard the Mermaids Singing, Each to Each”.

I’m particularly proud of this story; a science-fiction story following a boy growing up on a watery colony world. With mermaids. Sort of. Of a fashion. The editor, Sue Bursztynski, and all of the other people behind the scenes have been a dream to work with, and have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort.

The issue is available from the ASIM website, in a variety of formats and at very reasonable prices. Check it out, and I’d love to hear what you think.

Infinite Science Fiction One – Cover Reveal


I’m not doing brilliantly with this, having already come to the table of contents reveal late, but yesterday I received final proofs for my story “Nothing Beside Remains”, which will be featuring in the anthology Infinite Science Fiction One. It looks beautiful — and so does the cover art for the anthology.

infinite science fiction one

Table of Contents for Infinite Science Fiction One

infinite acacia

Unforgivably, I seem to have missed the announcement by publisher Infinite Acacia of the table of contents for their upcoming anthology Infinite Science Fiction One the other week. Why is it unforgivable? Because my story “Nothing Beside Remains” is one of those which will be gracing its pages!

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a fantastically enthusiastic and attentive editor getting this story ready for publication, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m not sure of a release date yet, but I’ll post it as soon as I hear. In the meantime, here are the awesome writers I will be sharing pages with:

  1. “Real” by Janka Hobbs
  2. “By the Numbers” by Tim Major
  3. “Tin Soul” by Elisabeth Bannon
  4. “Six Minutes” by P. Anthony Ramanauskas
  5. “Matchmaker” by John Walters
  6. “The Wedding” by Nick Hilbourn
  7. “Slow”by Jay Wilburn
  8. “Gospel Of” by Rebecca Ann Jordan
  9. “The Silent Dead” by Dan Devine
  10. “Nothing Beside Remains” by Matthew S. Dent
  11. “The Night with Stars” by William Ledbetter
  12. “Butterflies” by Doug Tidwell
  13. “Rolling by in the Moonlight” by Liam Nicholas Pezzano
  14. “Infinity” by J.B. Rockwell

“Tacking into the Wind” sold to Emby Press!

deep sea monster hunter - leviathanIt would be entirely wrong of me to link the redesign of my blog last night to a lovely email which dropped into my inbox this morning, informing me that Emby Press have accepted one of my stories for their “Deep Sea Monster Hunter — Leviathan” anthology, wouldn’t it?

Still, positive thinking…

Yes, my story “Tacking into the Wind” is to be published in the anthology, about which I am absolutely delighted. It’s a story about a fishing trawler during the First World War, which runs up against something more deadly than German u-boats.

This is a story which I wrote a while back, and which was a lot of fun to write. Hopefully it’s fun to read, too! The research was a bit of a trial, but that’s something I always relish.

I don’t know much about the anthology yet, but the cover looks gorgeous, and it is slated for a release in the autumn of this year. I will update with more details as and when I receive them.

It’s nice to be back, though!

The Research Trap


Over the weekend, Ash introduced me to an interesting blog post from her one-time lecture and novelist David Rain, busting the “Seven Myths of Writing. I don’t usually go in for writing advice much, partly because the craft is such a personal thing. Stephen King’s “On Writing” is a book I really enjoyed, but it was “how Stephen King writes” rather than “how you should write”.

David’s approach, however, was interesting. It wasn’t advice per se, but rather challenging some common pre-conceptions. Myth number two in particular leapt out at me, “The Myth of Perfect Preparation“:

…the truth about research and planning, for fiction at least, is this: Do the minimum. Do just enough to get going, and no more… Research is a bottomless pit. If you do it without knowing where you’re going or what you need…it’ll be a long time before you write Chapter One…

Read on…

What’s in a title?


As a writer — particularly a short story writer — one of the most difficult parts of creating a story is actually naming the damn thing.

So many works-in-progress and, yes, the neglected hulks of abandoned half-completed tales, bear names such as “Black Hole Story” and “Horror #17”. Not terribly exciting, I know. Usually once the beast is completed, a title does present itself, and there are the rare gems where the title falls into place during the creation process.

But no, there is a distinct art to titles, and it’s an art which I’m very much an admirer of. Not simply in fiction — though I will say that I have particular love for Heinlein’s time-travel classic “All You Zombies”, and the Hugo-nominated “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick — but actually I find that the titles of TV series episodes are where some of the best work is to be found.

Read on…

Sale to Infinite Science Fiction!

infinite acacia

Yes, it’s been a while since I posted one of these. But my story “Nothing Beside Remains” is going to be published in the anthology Infinite Science Fiction, from Brussels-based publisher Infinite Acacia.

This is a particularly short piece, of science-fiction, set on the dusty red plains of Mars. It has an interesting personal background and source of inspiration, which I will look forward to go into a little closer to the publication date. But for now it’s nice just to be able to revel in the prospect of my words being manifested in print.

It’s a nice feeling.

Why I don’t do NaNo


Every November, it begins. Actually, the lead up begins in the second half of October, expanding the initial event by half again. Much like Christmas, actually.

Yes, it’s NaNo. To the unintiated, that’s an abreviation of NaNoWriMo. Which in turn is an abrieviation of National Novel Writing Month. I’m not entirely sure which nation it refers to, but as with most things my first guess would be the US. At its most basic level, the aim of the game is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

This means that most years, mostly by non-writer friends and occasional dabblers, I find myself being asked “Are you doing NaNo this year?” Well, the answer is invariably no, for a few reasons.

Read on…

The Way We Write: Writing on the Go

nexus 7 writing

As previously mentioned, I do a lot of my writing on the train these days.

I have a hour and a half commute to and from work Monday through Friday which (stormageddon aside) includes an hour long train journey. Getting on at the first station at each end means that I always get a seat, so it’s an excellent and regular space of time in which I can focus on whatever I like. I try to split this time between reading and writing, usually — but not exclusively — writing on the morning commute, and reading on the way home.

Since I’ve developed a little bit of a system to allow me to do this as efficiently as possible, I thought I might as well share it.

Read on…