Story sale, mailing list, and Zardoz

 I haven't been keeping up with posting my newsletters to the blog, but I'll try and get back on track with that. But expect at least a month's delay before you get news from me unless I have a new book coming out.

And a reminder: if you want to hear from me regularly, sign up to my mailing list because blogs are dead and mailing lists are the new thing. You get a free novelette currently not available anywhere else (it's not even been submitted to any markets and was in fact created especially for my mailing list), and I write about writing progress, upcoming projects, books I've read and other news. 

The number of subscribers, I'm glad to say, has been climbing steadily, and it's the only guaranteed way to find out what I've been up to and what I've been working on. A new newsletter comes from me at the start of each month, and you can unsubscribe as easily as you can subscribe.

Here's a quick summary of the main points from my most recent newsletter:


I was recently interviewed by Gareth Jelley for his science-fiction interview podcast series, INTERMULTIVERSAL. There are a lot more interviews with other authors, so definitely check it out.


A few weeks back I wrote a ten-minute screenplay for a short film and submitted it to a script competition - what most screenwriters do, apparently, to get their stuff noticed. 

Last year I wrote a feature-length script, mainly to see if I could do it, based on an old and unused novel outline. I think it came out reasonably well. 

Here's the logline for the feature-length script - Hollywood-ese for a one-sentence summary: A detective investigates a series of grisly cannibalistic murders that threaten to reveal the existence of a secret society of people able to absorb the memories of the recently dead by eating their flesh

Since major publishers don't seem to be fighting their way to my door, cheque-book in hand, I might as well explore other means of telling stories for money.


I sold a short story to PS Publishing's new UK science fiction magazine project, Parsec, edited by Ian Whates.


It's looking likely I'll have a new book out sometime later this year, but a release date is far from certain. More news on that as it comes. It'll be the first time since 2016 that I'll have published a full-length novel that isn't a sequel to something else. More details as they come.


Paul Brazier, who was involved in Interzone's earliest days, has released a short e-book detailing the early meetings of the magazine's editorial staff back in the eighties when they used to meet in a Brighton bar called The Mitre.

Given how big a role Interzone played in my development as a writer, I couldn't help but buy it, even if it's just the collated minutes of different meet-ups. Back then, I'd have loved to be present at some of those pub meetings.


The sequel to Ghost Frequencies, Phantom Circuits, is past the 30,000-word mark and still steaming ahead – it's certainly going to be a longer book than the first one.

I still have to go back and write the second draft of another short novel I wrote earlier this year, The Moon Man.

Once this latest first draft is out of the way I'll be moving on to a first draft of what I'm hoping will be an epic story of outer solar system exploration, The Medusa Net.


I maintain, and will continue to maintain, that John Boorman's 1970s film ZARDOZ is one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, whether or not it happens to feature Sean Connery wearing a handlebar moustache, kinky leather boots, leather underwear and, at times, a wedding dress. THESE ARE NOT TRUE MEASUREMENTS OF ITS GREATNESS.

Anyhow, I came across this fascinating little piece on Youtube about the making of the film and it's pretty interesting. Check it out.



I've been trying to think of how on Earth to describe these books and the best I can come up with is that they read like a Bill and Ted film as scripted by HP Lovecraft. Or possibly, The Colour out of Space as directed by Kevin Smith.

Two small town idiots make use of an otherworldly drug they call "soy sauce" that allows them to see beyond the veil of normal reality into a realm of uncanny horror and monstrous intrusions into our universe. But, it must be emphasised, with an inordinate number of dick jokes included.

Personally, I found these books an absolute blast. If the idea of cosmic horror filled with dick jokes doesn't do it for you, you're probably doomed anyway.

ALL SYSTEMS RED by Martha Wells.

One of the few times I find myself agreeing with the hype: I'm not even sure how many Murderbot novellas and novels there are now, but if they're half as good as this one I'll almost certainly be buying them.


When it comes to non-fiction books about extreme physics, I'm a sucker for punishment. A great deal of this of course went sailing straight over my head, but that doesn't make it any the less fascinating.

In fact, it's extraordinary just how much truly hard science underpins Christopher Nolan's epic science-fiction film, enough so that I really need to give it a re-watch.

Apart from the very deep physics-oriented considerations that went into the film, there's also a good amount of detail here regarding the production and the development of the script along with Kip Thorne negotiating his way through Hollywood as he tries to raise interest in making a science-fiction film like no other.