Now Playing: The Who
I just got news of another sale, which is not the worst way to start a wednesday. A new short story of mine, "Soiree" (I'd add the accent over the "e" if I knew how to) will appear next year in an anthology being edited by Ian Whates to commemorate fifty years of the British Science Fiction Association. It's a resolutely science fictional tale about what happens when a slow starship is overtaken on its way to a distant solar system - a ripe theme going all the way back to AE Van Vogt's Far Centaurus.
It's been a pretty good year for short fiction for me - the tally so far is "The Six Directions of Space", "The Manastodon Broadcasts", "The Fixation", "The Receivers" and "Soiree", none of which will appear before 2008. I am now working on another novella length piece for Jonathan Strahan's Godlike Machines, but I won't finish this before the New Year.
I'd been fairly prolific in the late nineties, but my short fiction output had tailed off once I began to get into novel writing, and specifically writing novels to contract. By the time I was on my third or fourth novel I was lucky to find time to write one story a year. Clawing back the space to do more short fiction was one of the motivating factors that led to me giving up my day job, so I'm glad it seems to be working. Of course, we are also in a time when the anthology market is booming, which also helps.
Writing novels, as I've said on more than one occasion, can feel like painting the Forth Bridge, an arduous task calling for a broad brush and a lot of stamina. Writing short fiction is more like putting a ship in a bottle. That's how it feels to me, anyway - and with several commissions due in 2008, I hope it will turn out to be another productive year.
Reading: just finished A Dream of Wessex, by Christopher Priest (very good, eerily prophetic in many details) and an interesting article by Malcolm Gladwell in the November 12th New Yorker about criminal profiling methods and why they may be almost entirely valueless. Listening: Blood on the Tracks, Dylan.