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Two Stories Published Today!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

I don't know, you wait ages to get something published and then two successes come along at once*.

My short story Seek Alternative Route is published over in Issue 2 of lit. mag. Spilling Ink Review today. It's the tale of two men from different worlds who meet in a traffic jam and find they have more in common than they imagined. No aliens, zombies or wizards are involved. Weird, I know. Here's a brief excerpt :

Up ahead, a suit had got out of a silver Mercedes and was gesturing at the traffic as if the whole thing had been staged to inconvenience him. He would have been powerfully built once, a rugby-player type, but now the curve of his belly protruded farther than his chest. Heart-attack shape. Pig grinned. The Merc had a personalized number plate, NE1L 3, the 1 written so that it looked like the letter I. Wanker. Did it rankle with him that he couldn’t afford NE1L 2 or NE1L 1? He had cruised by a mile or two back. Now they were almost together. It felt like a victory of sorts.

You can read the full shebang here, along with all the other damn fine fiction, poetry and nonfiction in the issue.

Meanwhile, over in Electric Spec, my SF short story Remembrance Day also sees the light of day today. They describe the piece as an "emotional military" tale, which I guess sums it up although I wasn't aware it was particularly military - nor even particularly emotional - when I wrote it. I think it's a story about identity, but who am I to say? Aliens definitely are involved in this one. Here's a taster :

He returned the gun to its place behind the bar. He kept an assortment of weaponry there but usually the zapper was enough. When he looked up she was standing at the bar in front of him.
‘Hi, Mag.’
Up close, she looked good. In fact she looked fantastic. Time had been hard on him, he knew. Time and war. She stood tall and unblemished. Her eyes, her lips, the cut of her hair all finely-featured, all perfect. By contrast, he felt like he was lashed together from slabs of rough metal. Her smile cut right into him, effortlessly deeper and sharper than the Martian’s knife.
‘Drink?’ he asked.

There are five other stories in the edition, ranging from fantasy to SF, along with an interview with Urban Fantasy author Jeanne Stein. You can read it in all its glory here.

Days like this make all the rejection, all the banging your head against the walls of indifference, all the crap involved in being a writer worthwhile. A good day here at Spellmaking Towers.

* This is a joke about buses that readers in the UK will understand. Apologies if it doesn't translate to your locale.


  1. Two! In one day! Yay, go Simon!

    I'll pop over and visit the stories as soon as I get the chance.

    Oh, and did I say: Yay!


    I've printed off the stories so I can read them on my commute home tonight! :-)

    Well done you!!!

    Take care

  3. fairyhedgehog,

    Thanks! Yay indeed!

  4. That is just SO COOL!! Way to go Simon!

  5. Old Kitty,

    Gosh - I hope they make your commute a little more bearable!

    Many thanks,


  6. Karen,

    Many thanks - it is cool, especially as they're such wildly different stories.

  7. Congratulations Simon! How exciting, but you know they say these things come in three's.

    Loved your snip bits. Look forward to reading them.

    A big bualadh bos!

  8. Yes, very different! But both very fine in their different ways. congratulations, Simon!

  9. Ann,

    Thanks. I don't even know what a bualadh bos is, but it sounds like a good thing!


    Well, small beer compared to your triumph, but many thanks.

  10. Woo-hoo! as we say in the American West. Very exciting.

    #1 may not be about aliens, but it's fun to note how alien UK slang sounds to Americans. Lots of things in that paragraph that need a bit of translation. For example--in the US a "Merc" is a Mercury--an old clunker. When I first got to the UK, I couldn't figure out why my editor kept bragging about his "Merc" so proudly.

  11. Anne,

    Thanks for the Woo-hoo. I think that works this side of the Atlantic too! A very interesting point about alien UK slang. I love "old clunker"; it's perfect but no-one would say that over here.

  12. Congratulations Simon!! Two in one day - way to go!

  13. That is so awesome, Simon. You are certainly rocking the Sci-Fi world right now!

  14. I love reading good news. Two in one day is definitely worth smiling about...maybe even doing a little dance when no one is looking. Or when everyone is looking, I suppose that's up to you.

  15. Thanks Donna! I still think it could rock more ...

  16. Renee,

    Oh there's definitely been a bit of both!

  17. Simon, my hat is officially off to you. Can't wait to read 'em!

  18. Thanks Milo, I appreciate it, especially as I understand it will be *slightly* galling it wasn't me congratulating you. Next time!

  19. They're both good stories.

    I particularly like Remembrance Day and I like the way you ended it.

    Great stuff!

  20. fairyhedgehog,

    Thanks for reading them. SAR is more open-ended, I guess, with RD having a clearer ending. Not sure which I prefer!

  21. Wow, man; good stuff! Really liked the POV switches in the first one, but would have given the second one 5 stars if I could: sci-fi at its best.

  22. Milo,

    I'm delighted you liked 'em. I like POV switches I must admit; I find them quite exhilirating. I know we're not supposed to do it mid-chapter but I say "meh" to that!

    "sci-fi" at its best - it's very good of you to say so. I really appreciate it.


I'd love to know what you think.