Is it possible to love Mad Max: Fury Road any more?

You know what, I think it is. I knew before I saw the film that it was made with old-school practical effects, full of skilful stunt driving and careful explosions, but without seeing the actual footage, it was hard to imagine. Watch this all the way though. My jaw dropped by the last stunt…



Represented by Jennie Goloboy

I’ve got some great news. I”m thrilled to say I’m now represented by the brilliant Jennie Goloboy of Red Sofa Literary. She’s got a final version of the currently titled ‘The Goddess of the North’ and I hope to have more news soon. If you have any questions, I can now use the classic phrase “talk to my agent”.




Where are we now?

My Clarion West 2012 classmate Alyc Helms has just released her novel ‘The Conclave of Shadows‘, the second in the Missy Master series. To mark the occasion, Alyc has conducted a number of interviews with our cohort.

For the past six weeks, I’ve been checking in with my cohort from CW2012 and asking them to talk about their CW experiences: where they were as writers before the workshop, how the workshop impacted their writing, what they’re working on now, etc. I fell a little behind in posting the interviews, so we have two Seventh Week treats.

Link to her interview with me: 

Major UK publisher aiming to support new writers from under-represented communities

Penguin Random House UK are part of the WriteNow project to find, mentor and publish new writers from under-represented communities. They ask you to explain what that means to you:

For example, you could be a writer from a socio-economically marginalised background, be a writer from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) or LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities, or have a disability.

There are 150 writer spots open over 3 workshop days held in London (Saturday 1 October 2016), Birmingham (Saturday 26 November 2016) and Manchester (Saturday 4 February 2017). Those days will give the attendees access to editors, agents, booksellers and other published authors. Ten writers will be selected who will go on to receive a year of mentorship with the end goal of publication.

How to apply?

  • They want a brief summary of your book – what’s it called, what’s it about and what makes it special? They also want 1,000 words from anywhere in the book. The 1,000 words you’re most proud of.
  • They also want 1,000 words from anywhere in the book. The 1,000 words you’re most proud of.
  • They require you to explain why you write and how you fit their criteria in feeling underrepresented in 500 words.
  • You can’t have published a book within the last 10 years through a commercial publishing house. Nor can you have an agent or publishing contract.
  • You’ll come from an under-represented background.
  • You need to be 18 or older and a UK resident.

What are they looking for? 
Fiction: They are keen to get applications from writers in the following genres: commercial fiction, women’s fiction, crime and thriller, romance, science fiction, children’s and young adult.

Non-fiction: They want to see books that help change people’s lives for the better. This could be in fields such as personal development, business, or health and fitness; writing that promotes an understanding of the world through history, social commentary or politics, or enhances happiness by exploring the natural world, philosophy or creativity.

The deadline in Friday 2nd September and you can apply here!

Where Are We Going? Some Reflections on British Horror

Nina Allan has written a great piece over at Strange Horizons. It looks at British Horror, the present and the future. She bases her thoughts on FantasyCon in Nottingham.

One of the events I was most looking forward to at last autumn’s FantasyCon in Nottingham was a panel I was invited to sit on entitled “British Horror: Present and Future.” Our brief was to explore and discuss where British horror is currently at, what the future might hold, and how and if the field is becoming more diverse. We enjoyed a spirited discussion, including some enthusiastic contributions from the audience, but with less than an hour in hand, there was never going to be enough time to cover all bases. I felt particularly disappointed that the panel became somewhat bogged down in the perennial griping about the publishing industry that tends to go on, leaving even less time for what seemed to me at the outset to be the central points of importance in the discussion: where are we going as horror readers, writers, and editors, and how and how much greater diversity—of subject matter, of stylistic approach, of influence, of gender, of sexuality, of social and ethnic background—is being encouraged within the field. I came away from Nottingham still mulling this over.

Somewhat conveniently for the purposes of this discussion, FantasyCon 2015 saw the launch of three “best of” horror anthologies: the latest (#26) in Stephen Jones’s redoubtable Best New Horror series, which has now been running for more than a quarter of a century, The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories under the editorship of Mark Morris, and the twenty-fifth anniversary reissue of Best New Horror #3, from 1991. Looking down the table of contents of this last, I encountered many familiar, well-loved names—some sadly no longer with us, some very much still writing and contributing to the literature. I want to stress right from the off how important the Best New Horror series has been to me, both as a reader and as a writer. When I began developing a professional interest in horror fiction towards the end of the 1990s, BNH was where I first started to acquaint myself with the field: who was writing, what they were writing, how they related to one another. I would read each volume cover to cover when it first appeared, adding to my knowledge and developing my taste with each new outing.

Read more…


After the Fall

I have a new short story out in After the Fall.

In a world of transhuman survival and horror, technology allows the re-shaping of bodies and minds, but also creates opportunities for oppression and puts the capability for mass destruction in the hands of everyone. Other threats lurk in the devastated habitats of the Fall, dangers both familiar and alien.

After the Fall is the first anthology from Posthuman Studios, set in the world of Eclipse Phase, their award-winning roleplaying game.

My story is called Nostalgia.

Not everyone clings to the outer frontiers of technology and transhumanism. Unlikely allies come together to protect the future from the past

The full table of contents.

Available on Kindle: Eclipse Phase: After the Fall: The Anthology of Transhuman Survival & Horror


Press Start to Play – Players Up: Chris Avellone, Marc Laidlaw, Micky Neilson

Press Start to Play is a new anthology by John Joseph Adams, with a gaming theme. Right up my street! I was lucky enough to pick three of the authors to interview.

The End Has Come: An Interview with Hugh Howey

“In the Woods” opens with a sense of mystery and confusion, almost a rebirth for the main character April. What inspired such a tense opening?

It’s a nod to the beginning of the second novel in the Wool trilogy. Here we have a survivor from the old world entering a new and much darker one. To me, that’s what apocalyptic fiction is all about: What would it feel like to be dropped into a hostile place where survival from day to day was a real ordeal?

Read more…

The End Has Come: An Interview with Will McIntosh

What was your inspiration to write this story?

Over the course of the triptych, I’ve been trying to write about an apocalypse that is relatively devoid of violence, and to focus on regular people dealing with everyday interpersonal concerns made far more complex because they’re taking place before/during/after an apocalypse. So my first story explored a man who is struggling to grow up and find his vocation in life at an age when most people have sorted all that out. The second involved a guy whose wife leaves him, and he sets off to pursue his fantasy woman and show his wife how wrong she was to leave him. For this final story, I was interested in looking at two people who have an affair in the aftermath of an apocalypse. Or maybe it’s not an affair. I guess at its core it’s a story about balancing your own happiness with the happiness of your family.

Read more…

The End Has Come: An Interview with Ken Liu

I love the format of the story. Did the story come first, then the formatting, or did the format help shape the narrative at all?

I decided from the start that I’d write all three of the stories in the series as a mix of “chat” transcripts and traditional narrative, so the format was determined at the start. The way the story is told is of course part of the *story* itself, and the two are inextricably linked.

Read more…