I’m taking a break until the new year, but I’m delighted to be able to offer an e-book copy of my novelette, Strigoi, first published in Interzone #242, September 2012, as a free download. My thanks to Andy Cox at Interzone for allowing me to put this up, and to my cover artist, Warwick Fraser-Coombe, for letting me use his illustration of the story from Interzone.
Download free e-book:
My Central Station novelette, “Strigoi” is coming out in the next issue of Interzone magazine (#242) in September, illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe. Here’s the – pretty gorgeous! – title spread.
A few recent short story sales:
My latest story, “The Indignity of Rain” – the first, chronologically, of the Central Station stories, is in the latest issue of Interzone.
The smell of rain caught them unprepared. It was spring, there was that smell of jasmine and it mixed with the hum of electric buses and there were solar gilders in the sky, like flocks of birds. Ameliah Ko was doing a Kwasa-Kwasa remix of a Susan Wong cover of Do You Wanna Dance. It had began to rain in silver sheets, almost silently, the rain swallowed the sound of gunshots and it drenched the burning buggie down the street, and the old homeless guy taking a shit by the dumpster, with his grey pants around his ankles, got caught in it, his one roll of toilet paper in his hand, and he cursed but quietly. He was used to the indignity of rain.
This blog’s a bit quiet recently… I’ve been toying with some political posts but can’t get the energy to write them. I’m mostly working on a novel at the moment (or, well, three, to be honest), so it’s taking up a fair bit of time.
Anyway, one of those novel projects in the “mosaic” novel Central Station, which I talked about a little before. It’s made up of stories that add up to a unified narrative. Or that’s the idea anyway! The first of those stories to be published was The Smell of Orange Groves in Clarkesworld (and in a couple of the Year’s Bests anthologies), and the second was “Under the Eaves” in Robots: The Recent A.I.
A third one, “The Lord of Discarded Things” is forthcoming in Strange Horizons.
I’m glad to say the fourth to be picked up – but the first of the series, chronologically – “The Indignity of Rain” – has just been picked up by Interzone magazine, possibly for the very next issue. I love Interzone, and I still get a real kick every time I have a story there!
I’m very excited by the Central Station project, which is slowly edging towards completion. Now if only I could do a cook book!
I was riding through the lowlands, the horse’s hooves scattering dry dust into the air. An inflamed red sun hovered on the horizon like a damaged eye, leaking tears of yellow and blue and tendrils of puss-like white clouds. A group of men in the distance were hanging Osama. I stopped my horse on the crest of the hill and looked down. They were too busy, drunk with power and excitement, to notice me.
That was a mistake.
There were around seven of them. They were dressed in torn green clothes, like uniforms. The Osama was between them. They had formed a circle around it. One of them had a rope.
Here’s the title page of “The Last Osama”, coming very soon in the November issue of Interzone Magazine. Art is by Steve Hambidge. Click to embiggen, as the kids say!
Very glad to say my 7000 word story “The Last Osama” will be published soon in Interzone. “The Last Osama” is my own personal postscript to the novel and the two short stories, “My Travels with Al-Qaeda” and “Wrong Number”.
In other Osama news, Strange Horizons has a long, in-depth review of the novel by Michael Levy, concluding that:
Moving seamlessly between intense realism and equally intense surrealism, Osama is a powerful and disturbing political fantasy by a talent who deserves the attention of all serious readers.
Glad to say my latest story to be up at Escape Pod is The Insurance Agent, first published in Interzone. It is read by Christian Brady.
The bar was packed and everyone was watching the Nixon-Reagan match. The fighters were reflected off the bar’s grainy wood countertop and the tables’ gleaming surfaces and seemed to melt as they flickered down the legs of the scattered chairs. The bar was called the Godhead, which had a lot to do with why I was there. It was a bit of an unfair fight as Reagan was young, pre-presidency, circa-World War Two, while Nixon was heavy-set, older: people were exchanging odds and betting with the bar’s internal gaming system and the general opinion seemed to be that though Reagan was in better shape Nixon was meaner.
I wasn’t there for the match.
The Godhead was on Pulau Sepanggar, one of the satellite islands off Borneo, hence nominally under Malaysian federal authority but in practice in a free zone that had stronger ties to the Brunei Sultanate. It was a convenient place to meet, providing easy access to the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and, of course, Singapore, which resented the island’s role as a growing business centre yet found it useful at the same time.
She wore a smart business suit and a smart communication system that looked like what it was, which was a custom-made gold bracelet on her left arm. She wore smart shades and I was taking a bet that she wasn’t watching the fight. She was drinking a generic Cola but there was nothing generic about her. I slid into a chair beside her and waited for her shades to turn transparent and notice me.
‘Drink, Mr. Turner?’
I liked the name Turner. It was Anglo-Saxon generic, a mid-level executive’s name, white as beige. ‘Call me James,’ I said. I liked James too. You could tell what a James Turner did just by hearing his name. The rest of me was tailor-made for the name, had been for some time: I had the kind of tan that suggested I had been East for just long enough to have acquired it, black hair that was short but not too short and had a decent but not overly-expensive cut, pale blue eyes behind shades that cost a lot of money to look like a knock-off.
There was a suggestion of a smile in the corners of her mouth and she said, ‘I don’t think I will.’
‘Mr. Turner, then,’ I said. ‘One name’s good as another.’ – continue reading, or listen in audio!