Friday 26 April 2013

Writing the Future at the Royal Society, London

I'm looking forward to my day out this Wednesday (1st May) when I'll be attending the mini conference, Writing the Future. 

"The afternoon is designed as a series of creative short presentations and panels themed around the transformative power of science, technology, communication and the human imagination.
Fast, forward-facing and fantastically futuristic, Write The Future condenses the best bits of a typical two-day conference into a single afternoon of compelling content, inspired by the life and work of science fiction author, inventor and futurist Sir Arthur C. Clarke."

The topics include:

  • Wrangling Shamans, Snake Oil and Science Fiction. 
  • Kinking Reality and Imagining the Future. 
  • Don't Feed the Lizard Brain. Surviving the Social Media Comedown
  • Free Your Words and Your Mind Will Follow. Language as Technology and Ludwig’s Talking Lion
  • The Bionic City of the Future
  • Botworld. A Printer That Prints Its Own Face, and How The Web Won't Stay Trapped Behind Glass
  • Future Now

If any one would like to join me you ARC have announced a discount code,  "whatthefuture"  via twitter: that gives you a discount bringing the cost down to £35 for the afternoon.


Saturday 13 April 2013

New Story up at Dark Expanse

My story, Light Bringer, can be read at the Dark Expanse website. The Dark Expanse galaxy is home to a multiplayer online strategy game.

Dark Expanse© is a free-to-play, real-time, massive multi-player online strategy game of galactic conquest. Local commanders develop their resources, improve their planets, colonize new worlds, research new technologies and build space fleets while defending their territory and conquering enemy worlds. Choose your friends and allies carefully because mutual offensive, defensive and navigational capabilities can be achieved through combining forces with other commanders.

The creators have commissioned a number of writers to develop the lore of the Dark Expanse galaxy.

This was a first for me, as it was set in a shared world. So parts of the story were already in place. My story for instance was based on a gaseous species called the Methenes who had already some defined racial traits. And as other writers to were also writing stories set in the Dark Expanse galaxy we needed to co-ordinate details (which we did via a private forum).

It was a very interesting experience. The fact that I was working in an established world actually made the story easier to write. Has anyone else written in shared world environment?

I hope you like the story, or maybe you'd prefer to play the game. Either way, enjoy.

Monday 8 April 2013

My Story to Appear in the Art and Words Collaborative Show

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, she of the lovely dark story in Clarkesworld,  is curating the Arts And Words Collaborative Show. 

My flash, and regular readers might remember it, 'The Unmoveable Sky' is going to inspire a piece of art. I'm going to write a bit of flash or a poem inspired by another artist's painting.

Eleven artists and eleven writers. Then all the contributor's stories, poems and art are going to be displayed in a gallery in Fort Worth.

Wow. How much fun is that?

Cupid complaining to Venus. - Lucas Cranach the Elder
Have you ever been inspired by a visual prompt?  Sounds like a nice idea doesn't it? Wandering a gallery seeking out inspiration.

Maybe I'll also write a story inspired by my avatar, 'Venus Complaining to Cupid' by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Short Story Markets: New Scientist's Arc

All you writers of short science fiction, have you been subbing to Arc? In fact, as you can see from the guidelines below it doesn't have to be science fiction your story just has to have some bearing on the future.
But I imagine that mundane science fiction (that's near future, realistic science fiction) will be well recieved. 
They've published some of the biggest names in the genre. And *whistle* look at the pay. That's the highest pay I've seen on an open call.

Arc 1.4: Forever alone drone
You can buy past issues at Amazon for £4.99 if you're interested in reading what they've bought before. I just got 1.4. It's a good read too

But knowing what they like and writing it. Aha. That's a different kettle of fish. But onwards! I did sell a story to them when they were running the competitions. So you never know. 
They also buy poetry (hmmm interesting) and non fiction. 

From the guidelines:

Arc publishes short stories over 5000 words.
On acceptance, it pays a flat fee of £1500 (c. US$2370) for first world serial rights

We publish stories that have some bearing on the future. You don't need to write science fiction to do that -- all we're interested in is your vision, your skill, and your ability to move us.
We like technology and science, but we love people. The stories we're looking for will explore their anxieties, their joys and fears. We don't publish fantasy and if you send us anything with even a whiff of steampunk about it we will come round and burn down your house.
This submission engine is for fiction only. Arc also publishes features, essays and poetry. Please contact us before submitting these as we have very specific requirements and we usually commission this work.
Our boilerplate rates are
for essays under 1500 words    £250
for features over 2000 words £500
£75 per page for poetry and experimental work.
We commission news pieces and reviews for our blog at We pay £30 per blogpost. If you're interested in contributing, tweet or DM us at @arcfinity.