Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 and 2014

2012 was a great year for me as far as publication was concerned, but 2013 seemed to slow down a little.  Even so, there's been a fair amount to celebrate.

Perhaps the biggest thing out was The Triarchy's Emissary, issued by a new South African epublisher, Fox & Raven.  This was a story I wrote several years ago for a shared-world anthology that collapsed before it was complete.  We created the world between us, and I've always been proud of the story I wrote for it, even though no-one was accepting it, so I'm grateful to Marius for putting it out and delighted to be helping Fox & Raven get off the ground.  Coincidentally, another contributor to the anthology also had an acceptance for her anthology story at around the same time, which was wonderful.

Following the publication of The Treason of Memory (still available) at the end of 2012, Musa Publishing have accepted The Lone and Level Sands, my secondary-world Indiana Jones style story about archaeologists, desert countries and ancient, haunted temples.  I don't have a publication date for it yet, but I look forward to getting to work on it.

Besides The Triarchy's Emissary, I've only had one story newly published this year — River God in the excellent magazine The Colored Lens, a story that combines fantasy with ecology and owes a little in influence to John Boorman's haunting film The Emerald Forest.

I've also had two reprints, though.  A Deed Without a Name, which featured during 2012 in Penumbra's Shakespeare-themed edition, reappeared in The Best of Penumbra Vol. 1, while Just Deserts featured in Leslianne Wilder's anthology Trespass (available from and  This story about Eltava and the spoilt princess from hell was first published by Quantum Muse in 2007, and I was a little mortified to find they'd published it as "Just Desserts".  Well, there was meant to be a pun along those lines, as it involved cannibals (just like the other pun referring to its setting in a desert) but I'm delighted, among other reasons, that it's now available under the correct title.

On the downside,, who published At An Uncertain Hour, have closed down.  Kris always ran it as a one-man-band, and he needed more time for other parts of his life, such as his family.  I wish him all the best, and many thanks for putting the book out.

The positive from this is that all rights have reverted to me, so I'm free to self-publish a new edition.  I have mixed feelings about self-publication — while it's a great option, much of what's put out seems in dire need of professional input — but as At An Uncertain Hour has already been extensively edited by StoneGarden, I see no reason not to go ahead.  I'm hoping it'll be back in print early in the new year.

Away from fiction, Fantasy Faction published my article series this year on The Chaotic Champion, a concept about the nature of heroes in fiction I began as a book in the mid-1990s but lost to a computer crash.  I've finally got around to writing it, although in a much shorter version than the original concept.  Still, it seemed to go down well, so who knows?  I may yet expand it into a book.  Links to all my Fantasy Faction articles can be found on my website.

On the writing front, the big news is that I've finally finished my trilogy The Winter Legend.  Well, apart from all the extensive rewrites, of course, but it still feels incredible to have a complete version of the project I first conceived nearly forty-five years ago.

I've now started on my next novel, with the working title at the moment The Empire of Nandesh, which is both sequel to At An Uncertain Hour and prequel to The Winter Legend.  Just to make it more difficult for myself, I'm writing it in four separate first-persons, with extensive flashbacks in all of them, in the same sort of style as At An Uncertain Hour.  Well, I wouldn't want to get bored, would I?

I only wrote four shorter pieces this year, though one was a novella — The Dweller in the Crack, a story about Karaghr and Failiu, whose tales could be viewed as my most successful series, since all three of the stories so far have been published, including The Temple of Taak-Resh.  This one, currently 26,000 words, still needs to be stretched and hacked into shape on the Procrustean Bed of revision, but I'm looking forward to having it finished.

So, onward to 2014.  As I said, I'm hoping to have At An Uncertain Hour back in print (physical and virtual) early in the year, and I have one outstanding story to come — The Lady of the House in the February/March issue of Plasma Frequency.

The Tryst Flame, the first part of the trilogy, has been to a few agents and will be knocking on the doors of many more in the new year.  The other two parts will need to be pulled into shape at some stage, but my priorities for now are to finish the draft of The Empire of Nandesh and get The Dweller in the Crack in a fit state for submission.  And hopefully there'll be other story ideas waiting to ambush me.

Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope all your projects turn out to be twice as successful as you planned.

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