Rest assured that I have been busy beavering away on stories and novels for Warhammer 40,000 and the Horus Heresy, but I am very pleased to announce that a short story of mine will be featured in the forthcoming Legends 2 anthology from NewCon Press. Along with the first book (pictured above) this complilation is a celebration of the writing of the late David Gemmell, in content and style. The editor, Ian Whates, is the man behind Newcon Press, and as well as direct from NewCon the book will be available on the independent and small press site Spacewitch.
I first met Ian quite a while ago, as we are stable buddies with Angry Robot books. I have bumped into Ian at various events on and off since then, but it was at Andromeda in Birmingham over a year ago that I had the chance to sit down and have a good chat. Ian invited me to submit a story for the follow-up to Legends and I am delighted he accepted my story The Blessed and the Cursed.
While I would never claim any equal ground with David Gemmell, I hope my contribution will match the spirit of his writing – I have been a fan since I first read Legend so many years ago.
I met David Gemmell when I first started writing for Black Library. He held a signing at Waterstone’s in Nottingham and my first couple of stories had been published in Inferno magazine. Joining the queue, my mind was full of the great things I would say – I was a writer, he was a writer, what could be simpler? When I got to the front a fright took me, I thrust my book towards David and blurted something like ‘I really like your work!’ before fleeing. From that moment on I have always had a deep thanks and respect for the folks that attend events like Edge.Lit and the Black Library Weekender who get stuff signed, even if they don’t say anything!
The collection is formally launched at Nine Worlds Geekfest at the beginning of August, to coincide with the newly-moved David Gemmell Legends awards. I’ll be there, so if you pick up a copy and see me, don’t be afraid to say hello.
As well as that great news, I have some other short fiction announcements. Just before Christmas the Reality Bites anthology, edited by Alex Davis, was released. This collection features a near-future military SF story of mine entitled End Transmission. I had a lot of fun writing it and hope to return to that setting again.
Speaking of events such as Edge.Lit, there are two books being launched this year to which I am a contributor. The first is We Can Improve You, containing my short story Driver Not Found. Here’s what the publishers at Boo Books have to say:
We are all born with the potential to be great, through the wonders bestowed upon us by nature. But, as technology advances, why should we settle for those simple gifts we were born with? Why shouldn’t the future see humanity become more?
We Can Improve You explores the theme of augmentation, and what happens when science and technology combine with flesh and blood. Often surprising, sometimes startling, occasionally funny but always thought-provoking, We Can Improve You brings together a range of stories that might just become real some day…
The second is Nice Day for a Picnic, published by Knightwatch books. Set around the borderlands of Shropshire, my tale A Wild Affair is a nice change of format from the majority of my work, being part-prose and part-epistolic. I’m really intrigued to find out what people make of it.
As well as these I have some other irons warming in the fires, including a future project with Grimdark magazine, a pitch for a story in Sharkpunk 2 and an as-yet secret project being helmed by the lovely and prolific Jonathan Green.
The Big Lesson
There are lots of magazines and small press publishers crying for good content. In this digital age the rise of short fiction has created more opportunities than ever before to get your words into print (or onto a screen, at the least). I know that I have the advantage of having doors opened by my previous work, but nothing beats huting down the opportunities and submitting. You could be a published author sooner than you think. And if that doesn’t get you excited about short fiction, have a read of this article from Ian Whates.
Twitter and Facebook are great places to find out about open submissions and submissions windows, and once you start following a few e-zines and publishers you’ll find more – it’s a closeknit community after all. And although it’s tempting to hog all the opportunities, it’s important that writers help out each other – if you spot a submission opportunity, share it with others!