‘Ghosts’ lives!

Ghosts, Horror, My fiction, Science Fiction, Short stories, Supernatural

Well, much excitement here at Allumination Central as my short story, ‘Ghosts’ has hit the streets in the latest issue of ‘Midnight Street’ – and it’s the cover story! Which I didn’t know about at all until my copy popped through the postbox, so a lovely surprise.

Anyway… the story’s about the problems of exploring haunted, abandoned weapon satellites on your own, and the cover catches its atmosphere very nicely indeed. And of course there are many other great stories in there – particularly looking forward to sitting down with the Joel Lane, Stephen Gallagher and Andrew Humphrey ones – and an interview with Neil Gaiman. Anyway, enough rambling – check it out (and order a copy for yourself) here.

Oh, and if you came here having read the story, welcome to the blog! Hope you enjoyed the story, and have fun rooting round here…

*plumps the virtual cushions, puts on welcoming music, opens a bottle or two of wine, sets out bowls of dry roast peanuts and Kettle Chips*

Our needs, character needs

Escapism, Fantasy, My fiction, Science Fiction

Well, a slightly distracted post today, as I’m at home, working on a re-draft of the novel. It’s coming together nicely; so far I’ve chopped out about 10,000 words. Key changes so far are to get rid of the very slow moving opening chapters, and sharpen up the ghostly hermaphrodite from another dimension that’s a key player in the action.

One of the key features of the book is the way that Tramaziel – the fantasised secondary world that various characters have been to, come from or just read about – is presented. As far as possible, you only see it diffracted through people; through their memories or dreams of it.

This was very interesting to write, as it gave me access to (in effect) a variety of different, albeit related, fantasy worlds. A child’s eye view of magical city is very different from an adult’s one – something that’s very interesting to play with in a book that spend a lot of time thinking about how and why we create fantasies from the realities that surround us.

And that process of fantasy creation is very interesting. Fantasy and sf often present the wondrous in a very unmediated way, showing it having the same ‘wow’ impact on story characters as it is meant to have on us as readers.

But people don’t work like that. Quite apart from the problem of familiarisation (what’s defamiliarising for us is normal world for characters), there’s the way that humans tend to build interpretations of the worlds around them according to their own emotional needs.

And our needs as f&sf readers will often be very different from the needs of characters living in the worlds we go to for escapism, excitement and awe. That’s a gap that’s not always acknowledged; but it should be, because it makes for more honest and ultimately far more textured and engaging fiction.


My fiction, Short stories

Much excitement at allumination central, as Trevor Denyer over at Midnight Street has confirmed that my short story ‘Ghosts’ (dealing with the problems involved in exploring haunted orbital nuclear missile platforms solo) will be appearing therein in late ’07 / early ’08.

I’ve got a few other stories out there, looking for homes; my post- traumatic-stress-disorder fairy story ‘Changeling’, my Renaissance artist kidnapped by pirates story ‘Fishermen’, and my deep space hallucinated anima story ‘Lost’. More on them as and when they reach port.

And of course if you fancy an immediate read, there’s always ‘Golden’ over at Infinity Plus!