To Serve a King: A swashbuckling sci-fi short story…

To celebrate getting my short story published in the New Accelerator magazine, I have decided to put it out as a blog post. Enjoy…

To Serve a King

The pressgangs never came around here. Why would they? Pickings for naval impressment were slim in Albany. As one of the kingdom’s more remote regions and situated near the petering end of the Good Hope trade wind, the place was populated mostly by farmers. Granted, there were plenty of scrapyarders and a handful of metal workers here, but experienced sailors were few and far between.

And yet, the dreaded pressgangs had arrived.

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So I got something published…

I’ve not been posting on here as frequently as I would like, and whilst I’m not going to apologise (after all, the only person that really affects is me) I will tell you that I shall endeavour to keep future postings a little more frequent than of late.

So then, trying to get an agent to take on my debut novel is proving about as impossible as I expected. In response to that I’m currently rejigging my story – especially those notorious “first three chapters” that agents ask for – and will be embarking on a second wave of attack in the near future. Right now, though, at least I have some good news to impart…

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 18.02.24It turns out that The New Accelerator magazine took a liking to a short story of mine and has decided to publish it.

The adventure is set in the same swashbuckling sci-fi world as my novel, and centres around a young lad who is pressed into service onboard a starship. Life aboard a solar-sailing ship tuns out to be nothing like he expected, and we follow his subsequent attempts to get away.

This short story was, in part, an experiment to see if I could convince readers of my maritime sci-fi world… and it appears that I can. Great. Additionally, it has given me confidence in the concept of my novel and the faith to go and get that published.

The New Accelerator is a bi-monthly compendium of sci-fi shorts, ten in each issue, written by authors from around the globe. My story appears in Issue 3, just in case you’re interested.

The magazine is only recently launched (which probably helped my case a lot!) but a few of the writers are excellent. I am incredibly proud to share the pages with some of these guys and certainly chuffed that somebody took up one of my stories.

This is definitely a feeling I could get used to…

Thanks for reading

My first adventure into sic-fi… (sic)

Following an auto-correct glitch one day, I was suddenly faced with the prospect of a new sub-genre: ‘sic-fi‘ (you see what happened, yes?). Anyway, I thought to myself that ‘sic-fi’ — or ‘sickfi‘ — may make for interesting writing and decided to try my hand at a little sic-fi flash fiction.

WARNING: THIS DOES EXACTLY WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN AND IS AN INDULGENCE INTO GORE, FILTH AND DEPRAVITY (WITH A LITTLE SCI-FI THROWN IN TOO) IF YOU’RE SQUEEMISH OR EASILY OFFENDED, IT’S PROBABLY BEST IF YOU GO AND READ ONE OF MY POSTS ON SELF-PUBLISHING INSTEAD…

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Chipping away at MY genre.

So I’ve just had another dent in my bid to become the biggest sci-fi author ever born (or something like that) as I watch what I thought was a new concept and perhaps even a new genre go to the proverbial dogs.

Actually, it’s not that bad, and I’m not so naive to think I’d created a completely new genre. But still…

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 19.23.46Nobody said it’s easy getting a story published, and I’m expecting my fair share of knock-backs when I eventually do set upon the task of trying to get a publisher. But I hadn’t expected to receive any knock-backs quite this soon in the process.

You see, when I initially came up with the particular genre of sci-fi I wanted to write, I thought the idea may be a little novel (pardon the pun). Not unique, perhaps, but at least different.

That – as it happens — is apparently not the case. It has been cruelly demonstrated over the previous few months that others may have already had the same idea as me, dagnabbit.

Still, looking at things optimistically, I’ve done my best to see the positives in all of this.

But I’ll get to that in a second…

After I’ve had a moan…

Ok, so deep down I knew I was never going to find anything entirely original. In all honesty, I just really wanted to write this book. In the back of my mind, though, was always the hope that perhaps there was something new in my novel, and that this would stand me in good stead to get people interested in reading it.

Nevertheless, to find something so close to what I have written is a blow.

But before I continue, it might be prudent to quickly explain what my genre is. Continue reading

The importance of paying attention to coincidences…

I’ve talked about character names on this blog before, and you may recall that I get many of my names from gravestones.

Well, in relation to that, a funny thing happened the other day… or not so much funny, but more such a striking coincidence that I really just had to pick it up and run with it.

So here’s what happened… Continue reading

Finding the joy of writing again

So I’ve just been composing a chapter that I had in mind for book one and really wanted to write, but could never squeeze in, which was a shame because the hero saves a whole star system from being discovered by those dastardly Brits and their Royal Navy and everyone cheers and whoops, pats him on the back and gives him their babies to kiss. Great stuff.

Anyway, after looking forward to writing this so much, I’ve somehow managed to find a place for it at the beginning of book two. And I’m very pleased to say that it hasn’t disappointed.

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Plagiarism..? I see no plagiarism

History buffs out there may recognise the quote I’ve adapted for the title of this post: Admiral Nelson is said to have uttered it at the battle of Copenhagen when he put the telescope to his missing eye and said he could, ‘see no ships’. What a witty man he must have been.

He was also a very eloquent man and one who spoke many a phrase worth stealing for my book. In fact, I have already nicked some additional quotes of his and adapted them for my own use…

…and herein lies my conundrum:

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