2016 Roundup

So, it’s December again. A time when people traditionally look back on the year, but considering what 2016 has dealt us…in general terms at least, let’s not. More specifically, December is the time when many authors look back on their year’s output, and actually, by any standards, mine has been pretty successful.

June saw the publication of my second short story collection, Secret Language. The book, published beautifully by NewCon Press, features a bunch of stories originally from the last ten years or so plus four new pieces I wrote specifically for the collection during the Spring.

Much of the middle of the year was dedicated to editing and publishing Thirty Years of Rain, the 30th anniversary anthology by the Glasgow SF Writers’ Circle. I’m hugely proud of this book. An incredible amount of hard work was put into it by the contributors, my co-editors, Elaine and Cameron, and by Hal Duncan who did an amazing job in typesetting the book. And I believe it contains some genuinely top quality fiction. If you’re the type of person who spends their December making lists for genre award nominations, I’d honestly urge you to get a hold of this anthology. Yes, I’m totally biassed, but I think the stories in here are genuinely that good.

For myself, I had several new stories out in a variety of places. Four of them – The Bed, This Is Not A Love SongSilk Bones and The Death of Abigail Goudy – were written for Secret Language. They’re all at the dark, literary end of the fantastical spectrum, which increasingly seems to be an area I’m interested in exploring again after quite a while away from it.

In addition, Darkday Night (set in Glassholm prior to the events of The Moon King) came out in Guardbridge Books’ Myriad Lands #2, Somewhat Off The Way (a weird road trip story) was published in Ghost Highways, Rare As A Harpy’s Tear (a tragic tale of harpy grief) can be found in NewCon Press’s Now We Are Ten anniversary anthology and Foreign Bodies (a planetary science fiction tale, resurrected from an abandoned story found on an old ZIP drive) was my contribution to Thirty Years of Rain.

And what of the novel? Queen of Clouds, remember that? In last year’s round up I claimed it was pretty much done. And so I thought, but when I finally found time to read it through, I realised it wasn’t quite after all. So, the latter portion of the year has been performing a surgical rewrite. I feel improved by the experience. The book is certainly improved by the experience. Not making any promises, but it should be in the hands of my agent very soon.

Check back in twelve months and find out.

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