Long Read: The Parable Of Nehushtan, The Bronze Snake

A lot of the background research research for The Green Man has involved reading The Bible. That’s perhaps unsurprising given that the story is about a group of Benedictine, Franciscan and Dominican monks from the 14th century. One of the Biblical stories that I ended up using as a reference point in TGM is generallyContinue reading “Long Read: The Parable Of Nehushtan, The Bronze Snake”

New Short Story: Filthy Shades Of Grey

I’ve just uploaded a new story to the site, Filthy Shades Of Grey, a 2016 short story ostensibly about alien first contact, but from the perspective of a protagonist suffering from the strange and debilitating mental illness Schizoid Personality Disorder. It’s a different type of story, then, but one that I hope still is enjoyable,Continue reading “New Short Story: Filthy Shades Of Grey”

Culture War: It’s not Past vs Present, it’s rescuing your father!

The supposed “culture wars” get a lot of airtime these days. The most infuriating part of it is that, once again, everything (and I’m looking at you, Social Media) is engineered to force people into camps that are binary in their delineation, and must by definition be diametrically opposed. This reduces complex areas into zeroContinue reading “Culture War: It’s not Past vs Present, it’s rescuing your father!”

Confirmation Bias: The Green Man Problem

I’ve made some very encouraging headway in completing the first draft of my third novel, The Green Man, a speculative historical fiction set in 14th century England. As such it’s quite a dramatic departure from Man O’War and The Hole In The Sky. The differences are in one sense quite plain with respect to theContinue reading “Confirmation Bias: The Green Man Problem”

YAWB: Evolution Of A Synopsis in Four Stages

The SFF Publisher Angry Robot has opened up its 2020 open submissions window, and I’ll be submitting The Hole In The Sky. As part of the submission package they have requested a one-page synopsis of the plot. Synopses are nasty, brutish things to write, because they force you to kill your darlings; unless your storyContinue reading “YAWB: Evolution Of A Synopsis in Four Stages”

Subbing in Lockdown

From my (very) limited conversations with agents in lockdown, it seems that the literary agency sector is also taking a hit owing to Covid-19, with staff unfortunately being furloughed and laid off, as in so many sectors. This is causing response times to subs to lag, so that authors are going to have wait evenContinue reading “Subbing in Lockdown”

The Warm September of This Year

After a glorious summer, things have been returning to normality; there’s a rather wistful irony in that I usually find that I experience a spike in writing activity at the moment that my professional, day-job work becomes extremely busy. It always seems thus: at this time of year everyone gets back into the groove after the long andContinue reading “The Warm September of This Year”

Bullshit to Bullseye – Being The Writing Bull

One of the occupational hazards of writing is occasionally submitting / subjecting your work to a public critique during the drafting process. And even though this is usually done in a trustworthy space (I hesitate to use the term “safe space” with all its loaded connotations), it still can be a trial by fire. IContinue reading “Bullshit to Bullseye – Being The Writing Bull”

I’m A Seoul Man

With the World Cup only a couple of days away I’ll be clearing my schedule for, ooh, six days while I follow England’s, er, progress through the tournament. The advantage of supporting a country whose international footballing prowess lies somewhere between that of South Ossetia and the Larsen Ice Shelf is that I won’t be distracted from my writing scheduleContinue reading “I’m A Seoul Man”