Monday 9 February 2015

The Scion

A Safkhet, last week.  Photography © Guy T Martland

Early December.  Last year.  I was sitting at the back of a conference hall in faceless Heathrow hotel land.  Tired because of an early start and wired because too much coffee was inter-reacting with my sleep-deprived cerebral cortex.  My phone seemed to have entered a reception black hole.  Or maybe it was jammed because of the planes, I wondered, conspiracy theories blooming in my mind.  The hotel had wifi, I noticed during a particularly dull lecture.

I pressed the email icon on my generic smartphone.  A missive had arrived from a publisher.  I opened it, wondering if it could be another rejection.  Always the optimist.  I scanned the first few lines.  Then read it again.  And again.  My science-fiction novel 'The Scion' had landed a publisher!  They were called 'Safkhet Publishing' - I'd met some of their authors at Loncon earlier in the year.  The contract was for it to be published as an eBook in the first instance.

In a break I made some excited phone calls, dropped a few texts to friends who'd read it.  The conference passed in a blur.  Then there were some drinks in London, a gig (Son of Dave) with some old friends.  I may have had one too many.  And then then next day: home, happily hungover.

So, where are we now?  Well, shortly after the email, I signed a contract with Safkhet.  Then came my final edit, working through the book, obsessively making sure I hadn't missed any glaring plot holes.  I changed some formatting to Safkhet's liking.  A few Cure lyrics were removed - even though Robert Smith nicked stuff from everyone (Mervyn Peake, Penelope Farmer to name a few), I'd read that securing permissions on their lyrics was near impossible.  I did however obtain permission to use the title of an Autechre EP as a character (thank you Warp Records!).

And then it was off for their copy edit, sent late December.  I imagine it is now slowly working its way through the machinations of the publishing world.  Somebody somewhere might even be creating a cover... When I hear more there will be further blogs.  But in the meantime, some short stories have been accepted in various places.  And I'm writing, writing, writing - mostly working on a separate novel.  But I've also cranked out the first 10K words of a loose sequel to The Scion...


You can see some great examples of these in the British Museum, like I did last week.

Sunday 1 February 2015

This Took Bloody Ages

TTBA is the Cambridge University Science Fiction Society (CUSFS) magazine.  The meaning of the TTBA acronym has changed for each issue of the magazine produced, its first issue 'Title To Be Announced' published in 1974.

I had a few stories 'Descent From Heaven' and 'The Colour Of Language' published in 1997 in 'This Took Bloody Ages'.

The CUSFS has got a brand new webpage and are adding compiling all the editions of TTBA as and when they find them.  Many have been lost in the mists of time...

You can read my offerings here: 'This Took Bloody Ages' Or you can go and read all the other available issues here: TTBA.