Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Revenge Ltd

Newly added to my website is "Revenge Ltd", a piece of flash fiction weighing in at a very lean 360 words. I wrote this sometime in the early 1990's. By the time I've given you a synopsis, you could have already read it.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

eBook Formats - update

I mentioned earlier that I'd be tweaking the formats of "Spireclaw" and "The Daedalus Transfer" to make them display better on eBook readers. I've uploaded the new versions and they're accessible via the existing PDF links on my website. The pages are now 6x9 inches, and they have linked contents pages. The font size is 12pt, so all should be good now... I hope.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Altruistic aliens, selfish aliens?

Would an intelligent species help another intelligent species if it had nothing left to lose? You could describe the ending of my short story "Remnants" as a cynical one, or an optimistic one, depending on which side of bed you got out of this morning. The same question can be levelled at the humans in the story. I'll leave it to you to decide. "Remnants", my story set on one cold night in the Falkland Islands, is published today in the December/January issue of the brilliant online zine Reflection's Edge.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

eBook Formatting

I recieved an email today from an unhappy customer trying to put one of my novels on his eBook reader, only to find it wasn't tagged and was unreadable. So I delved into the details of eBook creation only to find that there are a hell of a lot more hoops to jump through than I thought, if you want to make your novel eBook reader friendly. Anyway. Apologies to anyone else who has had problems. I'm working through Adobe's checklist bit by bit and I should have new versions uploaded in the next few days.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The Daedalus Transfer - Upgraded

My free science fiction eNovel The Daedalus Transfer has had an upgrade. It was originally on one extremely long page but that wasn't doing it any favours so I've given it the same treatment as Spireclaw and put a chapter on each page, and given the whole micro-site a serious facelift. Have a read, the story should make any fans of Hard SF happy. Click here to read online or download as a PDF.

Link Frenzy

A quick thanks to Dave Tackett at the QuasarDragon blog for linking to my site, and giving Spireclaw a plug. He says he has a soft spot for story titles consisting of two unrelated words put together. Anyway, his "mensh" has led to my site being included in the MobileRead Wiki and being referenced on the MobileRead forums. Pointers to my site have popped up elsewhere too. Thanks also to David Longhorn at Supernatural Tales for putting a link on his blog page, which is great because he's Google ranked higher than me. In other words, he has more friends.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

What is Spireclaw? - Googling isn't a shortcut

I was looking at the Google Analytics for my website recently and I noticed that certain visitors had used the search term "What is Spireclaw?" as a route to my pages. Now, I'm not likely to have put up a page with all the answers on it am I? Spireclaw is a mystery novel and the fun is in the discovery. In fact, what Googlers WILL find from their search, is that Spireclaw is a mystery novel, but that's not the answer they're looking for is it. We already know that bit.

There's only one way to find out what Spireclaw REALLY is. Well, two ways actually. The first is to read the novel, and trust me that's the most enjoyable way to get to the bottom of it all. I've not bumped into anyone who's regretted making the journey. The second way is to bribe a friend who HAS read it and get them to tell you all the answers. but people like that are the sort of people who would tell you that the Jools Holland's Hootenanny is pre-recorded in November (bah humbug).

Let me leave you with this. Spireclaw is more than one thing. The question is, how those things fit together. And Google isn't going to help you with that one I'm afraid.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Spireclaw moves home

I'd hinted that I wasn't going to do it, but in the end I gave in. I spent about 4 hours yesterday relocating Spireclaw from its own dedicated website to my main site. I'm keen to get everything under one roof, and it's all pretty much done now, with the exception of this blog, which I can't move until those pesky programmers at Moonfruit build RSS functionality into SiteMaker. Anyway, the story's just as spooky as its always been, so head over to the website to read it.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Reflection's Edge accepts my story Remnants

Remnants, my story set on the Falkland Islands is based on my experiences of working there back in 1998 on an oil exploration and drilling project. It has been accepted for publication by the US based online zine Reflection's Edge. It should be appearing on their website sometime in December. Click here for their website.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The YouWriteOn! 5000

There's a lot of controversy and comment in the blogosphere about the Arts Council sponsored author site and it's arrangement with Legend Press to print 5000 authors by Christmas. Many commentators have derided it on the grounds that it is not a means to commercial success and that it is cheating authors. I wanted to have my say.

I am one of the 5000, and my novel Schaefer's Integrity is going to be printed by this scheme. The manuscript has been sitting on my computer gathering dust (so to speak) since 2002, and was doing nothing while I went on to write other things. I had submitted the novel to a handful of agents who all rejected it with the standard letter.

Schaefer's Integrity is a science fiction novel. I get the impression that sci-fi is not in fashion at the moment. I haven't seen much decent new sci-fi on my local Waterstones bookshelf lately. Sci-fi seems to live more strongly in the small press. i think the ebb and flow of enthusiasm in sci-fi is mostly led by the film industry.

I have no aspirations for the novel other than I know it is readable and enjoyable. Those who have read early drafts have told me so. People who have read my short stories, and Spireclaw have given me great feedback and have asked me when I'm going to produce my next piece.

So why not use this as a medium to enable my 89,000 word novel to be read in a way other than on a computer monitor. I know I'm not going to get a Hollywood film deal out of it, or even sell all that many copies. But it's a way of reinvigorating a piece of text I didn't know what to do with, and I'm looking forward to being able to promote it on my website.

The irony is, the more negative publicity this scheme gets from all the bloggers and forum posters out there, the more publicity the books themselves will get when they finally appear.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

"Tassenmere" to be serialised

I'm delighted to announce that my story "Last Train to Tassenmere" is to be serialised for the Gateshead talking newspaper, Focus. This is courtesy of David Longhorn who is the editor of Supernatural Tales, in which the story will also appear next Spring. I'm very grateful to David for such an opportunity. More details later. Click here for David's blog.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Version B

A young man named Lucas discovers the reason why he's addicted to fizzy drinks. It was always going to be that way. Version B, a short story which I wrote a few months back, is now available to read on my website. Click here to go straight to the page.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Bringing it all together

I stumbled across Moonfruit the other day and it was timely because I'd been looking for some web-based tools to enable me to bring my website up to date and also provide a one-stop-shop for all my stories. I was getting a bit irritated with updating so many different websites, and I needed to find a more consistent and all-encompassing home for all my writing. Oh, and I was getting sick and tied of having my forum hacked by people trying to sell things to make your willy bigger or places to lose your money. Anyway, all the links are the same as I've done some catch-alls on my domains and I'll be adding all my stories over the fullness of time. Thanks for reading this immensely boring post.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Ranfurly Review Sep 2008 Issue Out Now

Just a quick note to say the Issue 4 of the Ranfurly Review is available now for free download, with my story At Steepdean Halt lovingly placed within. Go here for the Ranfurly Review website.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Spireclaw awarded 8/10 at "Bookmark Online Reads"

This was a nice discovery to cheer me up after returning to dreary grey London after a sunny holiday in Provence. The website Bookmark Online Reads has awarded Spireclaw the highest score in the Mystery novels listing, giving it a handsome 8 out of 10. Thanks for that! Click here to visit their website.

Monday, 4 August 2008

The Darken Loop

Great news. An expired voucher for free coffee saves the world in my new short story "The Darken Loop" which has been accepted by Jupiter SF magazine for publication in the January 2009 issue. Featuring the same characters, the story is a prequel to my earlier piece "The Ceres Configuration", which was published in Jupiter back in 2004. In the five years since it began, Jupiter magazine has become widely respected in the sci-fi small press field, both in the UK and across the pond, so I'm very pleased that this story has found such a good home. Click here to go to the Jupiter SF website.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Audiobook of Spireclaw now available

I actually recorded the unabridged audiobook of Spireclaw a while ago. It's read by yours truly (obviously), the whole thing comes in at about 4 hours, and all 29 chapters are available to download as individual MP3 files so you can grab a few, stick them on your iPod and come back later for more when you're ready. I'm not sure if this is the first free online novel to be made into an audiobook as well. Perhaps it is. I hope you like it. Click here to go straight to the page the chapters are listed on. And if you haven't already read Spireclaw, what are you waiting for? Summer's here. You like to sit outside in the garden or on the beach with your headphones on. Why not listen to a free audiobook? Now's the perfect time to find out what the mystery of Spireclaw is all about.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Oil on Europa

I've just added a new short story to Binary Light. It's called Gallileo's Tides. I'd been toying with the idea for a couple of years now and was never quite sure how to end it. I hope you like it. Click here to go straight to the story.


I never thought I would do it, and God knows I've resisted it till now, but I was badgered at work yesterday by 3 colleagues asking me if I was on it. They were all in their early twenties. This is the Web 2.0 generation right? Now I feel old, ten years ago I remember getting excited about ICQ and I can see the same enthusiasm in these younger folk! So they sat and watched while I accessed my profile, which I had created a while back but had not gone any further with. Then I found that I had a whole heap of friend requests from old school pals. After that I decided to play around with the Google City thing to see how many places I've been to, which was quite fun.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Spireclaw's Global Reach

Just wanted to say a quick thank you to Linda in Dallas for allowing me to put a quote from her recent email to me on the Spireclaw homepage. It's really nice to get positive feedback from readers who've read my work and connected with it. So, thanks again Linda.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

At Steepdean Halt

I'm pleased to announce that my ghost story "At Steepdean Halt" will be published in the September 2008 issue of The Ranfurly Review. Click here for the website.

Welcome to my Blog

So I thought I'd give blogging a try seeing as I've been doing it in a rudimentary way on the Binary Light website for about 4 years. Thanks for reading.