One thing I always do when I start a new writing project – if possible – is go out and take some reference photos. I usually don’t actually use them that specifically – I rarely describe something featured in the pictures in precise detail – but I do find having them to hand, or even the act of taking them, helps me build atmosphere when writing. At least it does usually; it’s not a precise science by any means.
My first post here in 2012 – meaning it’s been about six months since Paintwork was first realeased. Madness. 2011 was a busy year for me – especially the second half – but it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.
Anyway, 2012 is here and Paintwork is still picking up some great reviews. Just this week Johann Carlisle pasted a wonderfully thoughtful and enthusisatic review over at the excellent Future Fire – one of my favourite SF ‘zines:
Had a lot of fun this weekend when I returned as a guest on the Beta Male Experience podcast, alongside host Corey and the ever-entertaining Ed Sizemore. In the first half of the show you can hear us discussing the movies we’ve seen recently, before moving on to talk about my new book Paintwork. It’s a fairly spoiler-free chat, where I answer the guys’ questions and go into quite a bit of detail about the ideas, influences and technology behind the stories. Well worth a listen, even if I say so myself. Plus Ed and Corey are always great value – go check it out now.
I was both shocked and thrilled to discover this week that my short story “Havana Augmented” has been nominated for the prestigious British Science Fiction Association Award for Short Fiction.
The story was published almost exactly a year ago in the anthology Ergosphere, which can be found at most good online book retailers – or available to download for free as a PDF, although you are encouraged to make a donation to the Haiti disaster fund. Seeing as the situation over there seems to be little better – perhaps distressingly worse – almost a year later, it is still a very worthy cause that deserves your money.
Something different to kick off the second half of 2010, and to show what I’m going to be up to for the next few months. A teaser for my current project – and debut novel – God’s Switch, hopefully being published in 2011.
Simon gazed down across Bristol’s abandoned office blocks, silently wishing for the sound of sirens to shatter his boredom.
It’s not even Christmas yet, but for me 2010 has already got off to a good start. January 1st sees the publication of my story Havana Augmented – a tale of globalization, celebrity gamers, augmented reality and non-existent mech battles. If you have an interest in video games, science fiction or anime then hopefully you’ll enjoy it – you can check out a brief extract below.
The name Natsuhiko Kyogoku is probably unfamiliar to most anime fans, but the novelist has already had one of his works adapted – Madhouse’s 2008 series Mōryō no Hako – with a second, Loups-Garous, being adapted into a movie by Production IG and due for release in 2010. An expert in Japanese folklore tales and yōkai, the supernatural creatures that inhabit them, Kyogoku-san is best known in Japan for his award winning mystery novels. Unfamiliar with his work myself until now, I was intrigued when US publisher Vertical Inc sent me a review copy of his debut novel – and the first to be translated into English – The Summer of The Ubume.
If any of you have read the extract from my short story Paparazzi, you’ll remember a couple of the characters communicating with each other using something called a ‘Voice-Free Choker’ – a neck band that picks up nerve signals to the larynx and converts them into text or speech. Well, this morning I stumbled across this video at New Scientist of someone demonstrating what appears to be exactly that technology:
Here we go…the first 2000 odd words of my latest story ‘Paparazzi’, hopefully for your enjoyment. Let me know what you think in the comments section…
I can’t put the full thing up yet because of the aforementioned possible publishing deal, but if you want to read more or are interested in publishing it yourself, let me know.