Category Archives: short fiction

Here and there

With the publication of Cataveiro in February, I’ve been busy scribbling a few guest posts, so here’s the links, with many thanks to the bloggers who have kindly hosted me.

On The Book Plank
An author interview.

On Fantastical Librarian
A guest post on Post-Ecological Politics in The Osiris Project.

On Parmenion Books
A guest post on Life After Publication.

On Civilian Reader
A guest post on Inspiration in Translation.

On the Del Rey blog
A twist on The Ladies Survey (on women and the internet) with Kameron Hurley, Jim Hines and Tobias Buckell.

Elsewhere, the marvellous folk over at Starship Sofa have done an audio version of all the shortlisted works for this year’s BSFA Short Fiction Award, including Saga’s Children, beautifully narrated by Trendane Sparks. Here’s the link to listen.

Lastly, a lovely mention for Osiris in the latest video from vlogger Rosianna Halse Rojas – and in great company too.

I’m now in the final sprint to finish up the manuscript for Book 3 of The Osiris Project. A book recs update is well overdue here, but it will have to wait a few more weeks. I’m also persevering (wading? swimming whilst desperately trying to keep head above water? I’m not sure what the appropriate verb is for this mad genius book) with Roberto Bolaño’s epic but utterly unrelenting 2666. Thoughts to follow.

La Femme/Noir anthology

I’m delighted to say I have a short story in an upcoming La Femme/Noir duo-anthology from NewCon Press. The books will be launched at this year’s EasterCon in April.

Here’s the full table of contents – my story is part of Noir, and is titled The Crepuscular Hunter.

La Femme: 

1. Introduction — Ian Whates
2. Stephen Palmer – Palestinian Sweets
3. Frances Hardinge – Slink-Thinking                
4. Storm Constantine – A Winter Bewitchment
5. Andrew Hook – Softwood
6. Adele Kirby – Soleil
7. Stewart Hotston – Haecceity
8. John Llewellyn Probert – The Girl with No Face
9. Jonathan Oliver – High Church
10. Maura McHugh – Valerie
11. Holly Ice – Trysting Antlers
12. Ruth E.J. Booth – The Honey Trap
13. Benjanun Sriduangkaew – Elision
About the Authors


1. Introduction — Ian Whates
2. E. J. Swift – The Crepuscular Hunter
3. Adam Roberts – Gross Thousand
4. Donna Scott – The Grimoire
5. Emma Coleman – The Treehouse
6. Paula Wakefield – Red in Tooth and Claw
7. Simon Kurt Unsworth – Private Ambulance
8. Jay Caselberg – Bite Marks
9. Marie O’Regan – Inspiration Point
10. Paul Graham Raven – The Boardinghouse Heart
11. Simon Morden – Entr’acte
12. James Worrad – Silent in Her Vastness
13. Paul Kane – Grief Stricken
14. Alex Dally McFarlane – The (De)Composition of Evidence
About the Authors

Saga shortlisted!

I’m thrilled to say that Saga’s Children has been shortlisted for a BSFA Award in the short fiction category. Huge thanks to everyone who nominated the story.

The full shortlists are on the BSFA website here, with links to the stories and articles you can read online. Congratulations to all the other nominees!

Best British Fantasy 2013

THE BEST BRITISH FANTASY 2013 is now out! The collection includes my story The Complex, first printed in Interzone last year.


Salt Publishing describes the collection: “From the post-apocalyptic American West to the rural terror in New Zealand, this major anthology has evil spirits, bin-Laden style assassinations, steampunk, sexual dysfunction, a twisted version of Peter Pan, the folklore of standing stones, mermaids, alien tour guides, zombies, gruesome beasts, voice-controlled police states, environmental disasters and off world penal colonies.”

You can get a copy via Salt Publishing here.

In other news: Zeno Agency posted a cover reveal for CATAVEIRO, Book 2 of The Osiris Project, which I’m just delighted with. CATAVEIRO is scheduled for publication in the UK in February 2014.

The Lowest Heaven launch

The Lowest Heaven anthology was released on 13 June and I was thrilled to be part of the launch at the National Maritime Museum. I’ve walked around the University of Greenwich campus before but had never seen the museum, and we couldn’t have had a lovelier setting (despite the slightly alarming figureheads…)

Jared Shurin introduced the anthology and I was one of the three authors reading. First up was SF maestro Alastair Reynolds reading from A Map of Mercury (no pressure, of course, none at all). I read the opening of Saga’s Children, and Matt Jones concluded with a deliciously dark and amusing extract from The Comet’s Tale.

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Alastair Reynolds, myself and Matt Jones reading (photos by Veronica Swift)

The readings were followed by the mass signing, and general excitement as we got to see the beautiful hardback edition for the first time. Our editors Jared and Anne had been particularly sneaky and not only had none of the authors seen anyone else’s contributions, we hadn’t seen the photographs chosen to illustrate our stories either. So this was a lovely moment. (It must also be admitted that there may have been an element of authorial competitiveness in who could adorn their signature with the best spaceship/comet/random star formation. I was not winning this award.) I also seized the opportunity to ask Alastair Reynolds to sign my copy of House of Suns, a book I adore.

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Reading, group photo, the book itself looking gorgeous, and the epic table of signing (photos by James Matthews-Paul)

Thank you to everyone who came along and bought a book and said lovely things; I hope you enjoy the anthology – I know I’m looking forward to reading the rest of it!

And as if one launch wasn’t enough, there will be a *second* launch for the paperback and e-book at Forbidden Planet on Wednesday 3 July. I’ll be there with David Bryher, Lavie Tidhar, Esther Saxey, and of course les éditeurs merveilleux Jared Shurin and Anne C Perry. Facebook for the event is here. Do come!

Pre-order The Lowest Heaven

This week Pandemonium Fiction revealed the stunning artwork for The Lowest Heaven anthology. It looks absolutely gorgeous and I’m thrilled to have a story in the collection. Here’s the cover (copyright Joey Hi-Fi):


You can read an interview with artist Joey Hi-Fi over on the Royal Observatory’s website and a limited edition hardback featuring photography from the Observatory’s archive is now available to pre-order exclusively from the Observatory shop (don’t go to Amazon). Paperback and e-book editions will be released June 2013.

The full table of contents can be found on the Pandemonium Fiction website. My story is titled SAGA’S CHILDREN and is inspired by Ceres.

Progress on CATAVEIRO

A progress report, and a few updates:

Last week I sent the manuscript of CATAVEIRO, Book Two of The Osiris Project, to my editors at Night Shade Books and Del Rey UK. I’m beyond happy to have reached the stage where I can look forward to receiving editorial feedback, and coming at the MS with a fresh eye in a couple of weeks or so. All being well, CATAVEIRO is scheduled for August 2013 from Night Shade, and September 2013 from Del Rey UK.

I started some very early work on CATAVEIRO a few years ago, but in between completing my initial draft of OSIRIS and signing with Night Shade, I ended up writing a novel completely unrelated to the trilogy (now consigned to a drawer until post-Osiris Project), so one of the biggest challenges in writing the second book has been feeling my way back into a very different headspace, whilst at the same time promoting OSIRIS – another huge learning curve. It’s a balance I hope I’ll get better at over the next year, as I begin work on Book 3. Meanwhile, I owe endless thanks to my brilliant sister Kim who has read and advised on the versions I wouldn’t dare show anyone else. I keep telling her she should be an editor…

With the UK release, OSIRIS has seen some new reviews – I’ve tried to ban myself from reading them whilst completing the new manuscript, but the odd tweet, FB and email I’ve received over the last few weeks about OSIRIS has been a massive boost and an incentive to put in those final, difficult hours on the sequel – so thank you!

Anthology news – the table of contents for The Lowest Heaven anthology from Pandemonium was announced on the Pornokitsch blog on Friday, and includes my story Saga’s Children. So excited about this, and just looking at that list of contributors makes me feel immensely humbled to be a part of it. The Lowest Heaven will be published in June 2013.

Briefly, some reading recommendations from the start of the year:

Kalpa Imperial by Angélica Gorodischer – what a gorgeous piece of storytelling. I have huge envy. Gargantuan. Bring on Trafalgar. And please someone translate more of her work!
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson – well, she is one of my heroes, and this memoir doesn’t disappoint.
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil – a sinuous dream of a novel. Stories within stories within stories.
Budapest by Chico Buarque – a Brazilian ghostwriter becomes obsessed with the Hungarian language. Clever, surreal and poetical.

A couple of short stories – I loved Immersion by Aliette de Bodard and Strigoi by Lavie Tidhar, both of which I believe are available online.

Currently reading: dipping in and out of Aloft by William Langewiesche, and now well into the rather dazzling Communion Town by Sam Thompson. At some point I must write a post on some of the books that have inspired CATAVEIRO – there have been some wonderful discoveries. But that’s all for today.

Two anthologies

Two happy anthology announcements: firstly, my short story The Complex, which appeared in the January/February edition of Interzone this year, is to be included in an anthology, The Best British Fantasy 2013 from Salt Publishing, due for publication in April next year.

Secondly, I will be contributing a story to Pandemonium: The Lowest Heaven. This is the latest in the Pandemonium series (the most recent of which, A Town Called Pandemonium, is launching on 29 November and looks very awesome indeed) and is described thus by editors Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin:

The Lowest Heaven explores the furthest reaches of the Solar System with help from the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Today’s greatest science fiction authors set out on missions of discovery, with new stories inspired by our closest celestial neighbours.”

Slightly terrifyingly, the deadline for The Lowest Heaven correlates almost exactly with that for Book 2 of The Osiris Project, but I was hooked from the moment I saw the words ‘Royal Observatory Greenwich’. Some things you just can’t say no to… (I know what I’ll be doing this Christmas!)

This week’s Night Bazaar and other things

This week at the Night Bazaar we’re talking about the influence of children’s fantasy on adult fantasy. Monday’s post from Paul Tobin made a lot of really good points, but here is my slightly rambling contribution to this week’s theme:

It’s okay for kids’ books to be fantasy – why not adults?

Interzone 238 cover

IZ238 cover, art by Ben Baldwin

The Jan/Feb edition of Interzone magazine (issue 238), which featured my short story THE COMPLEX is now available over on Amazon along with lots of other back issues.

With less than a week to go until the official release date for OSIRIS, you can grab the ebook early over at Baen Ebooks along with other June releases from Night Shade Books.

And today Kirkus Reviews included OSIRIS in its list of science fiction and fantasy books for June. All very exciting!