Monday, July 21, 2008

It's Alive!

The three or four people that might still check in here once in a while have noted that it’s been awfully quiet in May and June. So a quick update near the end of July.

First of all: the training centre of the company where I work has moved house in June and July, while at the same time the already planned training sessions (and they're planned a year in advance) had to continue. Hence a very hectic period in which less urgent (read: not directly income generating) diversions like writing and blogging fell by the wayside. This is also the reason I decided not to run an email reading period (in May) for Interzone, as I had no time to read submissions, and response times would have gone through the roof.

I'm going on holiday by the end of the week (more about that in the next two posts), and then we have settled in our new working home. Now a quick update of things that happened in the past couple of months:


  • My story “The Third Scholar” has appeared in the “SF Waxes Philosophical” anthology edited by Ahmed A. Kahn, released by ZC Books. The anthology has been reviewed at Andromeda Spaceways (where the ‘cosmological virtuosity’ is admired, but the ‘occasional flippancy of tone’ and the ‘lack of descriptive detail’ diminish ‘the feeling of reality necessary to properly engage the reader’. I am now whipping my frivolous self with realistic descriptions), and mentioned on Ted Kosmatka’s blog.

    • My story “City Beneath the Surface” has appeared in Postscripts #14. Postscripts #14 has been reviewed in The Fix (which states I avoid ‘going down the obvious routes’: for instance my humour is ‘something subtler’, although the reviewer ‘did groan at one joke’), and to my surprise I received a couple of emails where people were very complimentary about the story.

    • My story “Cultural Clashes in Cádiz” (which originally appeared in Creative Guy Publishing’s Amityville House of Pancakes vol. 1, which is not available anymore) is slated to appear in “A Mosque Among the Stars”: an anthology featuring SF and fantasy stories that portray Islam and/or Muslims in a positive light.

    • “Transcendence Express” (originally in Hub #2 -- the last print version -- reprinted online in Hub #44, and available as a podcast on Escape Pod #122) is longlisted on the British Fantasy Award for short story, together with 45 other stories (with some very good IZ stories among them). Nice, although it probably won't make the shortlist. Possibly more news on the story later (like 2009), which I can’t discuss yet.

    • Apparently “Qubit Conflicts” received an honourable mention in the Dozois Year’s Best SF #25, and Dozois even mentioned me -- however shortly -- as a writer to watch in an SF Signal Mind Meld. Maybe Gardner needs to check his prescriptions?

    • My interview with Greg Egan -- flippantly titled ‘Beyond the Veil of Reality’ -- was published in Interzone #216 (indeed: a Greg Egan interview in the ‘mundane SF’ special. Life is full of frivolous ironies). Eamonn Murphy on SFCrowsnest called it ‘quite interesting’, while Blue Tyson called it ‘excellent’.

            • My usual column about writing in the BSFA’s Focus (for Focus #52) was about ‘writing about what you don’t know’, and got mixed up with Dev Agarwal’s piece. Martin McGrath is mortified about this misattribution, while I am merely amused (only those who do nothing make no mistakes). Should be good for a beer and a laugh at a Con near you.

            Apart from that, my fiction writing has slowed to a trickle, and the very few (two) stories that I have doing the rounds consistently keep getting rejected.

            Next week I’m travelling to Novosibirsk for the August 1 solar eclipse, and the week after that I’m going to Denver to attend Denvention. More about that in the next two posts.