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Of Novels and Novellas

Thursday, 24 February 2011

My SF novelette The Armageddon Machine has had well over 4000 downloads over on Feedbooks now, which is mighty encouraging. I figure this has to be invaluable if I was ever to post the opening few chapters of a novel as well : if readers like the shorter stuff enough they might be interested enough to try a longer work too ...

Meanwhile, I did have some cool feedback from a reader of the story just recently :

The only bad thing is that it's so short. This would be a great full-length novel.

Aargh! I'd love to turn this into a novel-length piece but I figure I'll probably need at least one other lifetime to write all the novels I'd like to write. Perhaps one day. But this has prompted me to provide a quick update on the state of play with the novel-length fiction I'm working on.

Hedge Witch (fantasy) - currently on submission. An indie publisher I'd really like to work with is currently considering the full manuscript. Please cross fingers for me!

Engn (SF) - currently being edited. I completed a good draft of this late last year. Really want to get it into a submissable state some time this year ...

Godstar (SF) - just a bunch of notes and scribblings as we speak. Late at night, when it's quiet, I can hear it crying out to be written.

And, just to make things really interesting, I've also started work on a new and completely unrelated novella, this time as part of an actual publishing deal. No contract signed yet, but this will be a proper arrangement with advances and royalties. Exciting stuff for me. More details to come when things are a little more concrete ...


  1. Ooh exciting news, Simon. Good luck on those two projects.

    Have you always been a novel writer? I'm thinking about myself. I love the short stuff and really struggle at the longer length and I wondered what your progression was.

  2. A publishing deal?!?!?!!? Oh wow!!! CONGRATULATIONS!! And stop being so quiet about this!!! This is really good news!!!!


    p.s. Yay too for your Armageddon story!!!


  3. Just downloaded Armageddon for Gizmo - he's been getting hungry lately. Speaking for myself, the only drawback so far to W1S1 has been how it's gotten in the way of my novels. I keep telling myself I'll have the summer to get back on track. And congrats on the publishing deal! Can't wait to read more about THAT.

  4. Congratulations on the publishing deal!

    Good luck with your projects.

  5. Deborah,

    Many thanks; it is exciting.

    I haven't always been a novel writer although I always knew I would be eventually, if that makes sense. For a long time I just wrote short fiction and then, one day, I knew it was time to sit down to start a novel. Actually it was a very particular event that triggered it : my wife broke her leg badly and for some reason that was the spur. Maybe I suddenly felt mortal too!

  6. Old Kitty,

    Yes. Well, kind of. It's slightly non-standard, which is absolutely cool because it really suits me. But, as I say, I'll explain more when things are a little more concrete.

    And you're right, of course, about being too quiet. Story of my life. I'm afraid I might be slightly too British to be much good as self-publicity!

  7. Milo,

    Hey, thanks. I'd have been more than happy to send a free copy! Hope Gizmo likes it.

    And I do agree about Write1Sub1 : fantastic for short fiction, novels less so. Perhaps we nned a scheme that works for novel chapters too somehow?

    And, for me, summers are worse : kids off (wonderful in other ways of course), but very little writing done ...

  8. Thanks Golden Eagle. Hopefully it'll all work out ...

  9. You are such an inspiration, Simon. I'm off to download The Armageddon Machine and then to kick my butt for not getting on with my own novel this week!

  10. Ellie,

    Well, it would be more inspirational if I'd finished my novel too!

  11. That all sounds very promising. (My fingers are crossed!)

  12. Thanks fairyhdgehog. Hopefully that will do it!


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