Failure is not an option

Had the chance through my day job to write a book review. It is published in Nature Physics, and I’m reviewing the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus award winning The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. Check it out! The act of going back over consumed fiction and picking critically at the bones is gratifying, but I prefer the consumption to the dissection. You can check out my review here: :

Further reading:

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of Ghost Talkers, The Glamourist Histories series, and the Lady Astronaut duology. She is a cast member of the award-wining podcast Writing Excuses and also a four-time Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction appears in, and Asimov’s. Mary Robinette, a professional puppeteer, lives in Nashville. Visit her online at



HELLO. October? Already? Of course. It is time for spooky stories! Check out the writing tab, specifically the stories HAAR, the Londnr Folklore series (GHOST, COVEN, DRYAD, VAMPYR). THE OSSUARY TRACT is the most hardcore horror I’ve written (interdimensional emotion vampires hidden in stories), a novelette of about ten thousand words originally published by The Pigeonhole. Unfortunately that book is now out of print- but I’ve regained all the rights! Considering alternate homes for it now. I love October.

What is up? Major personal news. It is some pretty wild stuff, will announce properly when dust is settled, but the short version is relocation and a lot more time to write over the next four years. I’m also going to Maine shortly, so going to hit up Salem and some deep dark forests.

WRITING. DRAFT 3 of the fantasy novel is a couple days from completion, following some beautiful feedback from my beta readers. This is the one I’m taking to agents, so fingers crossed. submitted a few short stories but outside of work all of my focus is on these edits. Can’t wait to get this out there in the world.

PLAYING- Untitled Goose Game. it is wonderful

LISTENING- Pity Boy by Mal Blum. It absolutely slaps

Reading- Boundless by R.A. Salvatore. Book 32 of the Drizzt series, and gosh it has made me fear wasps

The Ainu Iomante ceremony (bear sending). Japanese scroll painting, circa 1870..jpg

Next to the big kids

The latest anthology I’m in STILL WORLDS TURNING is in Brick Lane Books top ten books for July, so that is cool. Pick up a copy there, or here

What else? Starting to hound agents about the fantasy novel, generally being cool





It is here! Still Worlds Turning, an anthology curated by the lovely No Alibi Press in Northern Ireland, has now launched. My story HIGHGATE is a short piece about love, dialectical materialism, and nature’s disregard for the works of humankind. There are some great writers in this collection, I’ll be reading at the London launch on Wednesday July 31st, Brick Lane Books, 7pm. Should be a lot of fun!

This month I’ve been in China with work where I finally finished Cixin Liu’s Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy with Death’s End- reading this by the river in Shanghai was a superb way to spend time. I striuggled with elements of the first two books, but the grandiosity and utter commiitment to the central conceits carried me through and I’m glad they did. Then back to reality- reality being attending the Arthur C. Clarke awards (which were great), recording our new D&D game for The Lost Lighthouse, editing my fantasy novel that I am deeply in love with, and considering some more esoteric platforms for putting out an older experimental novel I wrote and a horror novelette (THE OSSUARY TRACT) that originally appeared in a collection now out of print.

What else? Reading historical sources about strange lights in the sky. Reading books about treasure hunting, ancient warfare, and climate change. Life is strange, and fun.


The jab is followed by a cross

Oh boy, movement in so many directions.

Highgate will be in the No Alibi Press short story collection coming out in June (more details to follow).

Drafts on the fantasy novel continue, from the skeletal draft one there is now the muscular draft two, sinews and tendons and vasculature firmly in place. Had feedback from a couple of lovely alpha readers. Draft two will go to a larger cohort of beta readers . It is my favourite piece I’ve ever written. So the summer will be spent tweaking and adjusting, finessing and preparing.

Unexpectedly, an older piece I wrote several years ago (gulls, madness, snow, fire) that has languished in a drawer has received a little attention after a harsh butcher’s block edit. Enough attention from a couple of directions to make me consider it again as perhaps something that may yet see the light.

Work has been hectic, at one point I was in Spain, America, Italy, then back to Spain in the course of a month. Despite that the edits rolled on, and now I am more stationary I can turn the heat up.

I also walked the Cape Wrath Trail, 230 miles of peat bogs, moors, mountains and glens. It was fantastic- the time to think at length, with no distraction but the next placement of a foot, the next view of blue sky and granite.

LISTENING: In League With Dragons by The Mountain Goats

READING: Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar

PLAYING: FF7 was just released on the Switch, and I am a weak man. Looking forward to finding a chocobo



A story I wrote called Highgate will appear in the new anthology from No Alibi Press titled STILL WORLDS TURNING , out in June 2019

Dope dope dope dope dope. I like this story. It is simple and sweet.

Writing: edits on the novel, edits on the novel, ed-d-d-d-d-its on the novel. Adding more wolf punching as per beta feedback

Reading: Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Listening: (You’re Better) Than Ever by illuminati hotties

Journey before destination

Short story of mine, The Once and Future Book, was shortlisted for the FutureBook Future Fiction short story competition 2018 . There are some really great stories in the shortlist that I recommend checking out.

…and, at the FutureBook 2018 conference on Friday…

I won!

I gave a short reading from the story and then took part in a panel discussion on the future of the book with Anna Jean Hughes (Founder and editorial Director of The Pigeonhole), Aki Schilz (Editorial Services Manager at The Literary Consultancy), Anwen Hoosen (Founder of Bird Literary agency), and Natasha Bardon (Publishing Director at HarperVoyager)

An incredible panel of people- I had a great time, though we maybe went a little far down the rabbit-hole of AI (entirely my fault).

The prize judges were Tom Hunter, (Director of the Arthur C. Clarke award (!)), Anna Jean Hughes (Founder and editorial Director of The Pigeonhole), and Molly Flatt (Author/journalist/consultant/Associate Editor of Futurebook) whose enthusiasm was a delight to see.

Overall a very positive experience- read some great stories and met some very interesting people. I should enter more competitions!

The Once and Future Book; The Rust Child

Short story of mine, The Once and Future Book, has been shortlisted for the FutureBook Future Fiction short story competition 2018

Futurebook is the annual conference on the future of publishing run by The Bookseller. i’ll be at the conference on November 30th to find out who wins!

You can check out the story on The Pigeonhole platform (they published Scaremongrel, a horror anthology i was in a few year back that includes my story The Ossuary Tract)

What else? Pitched a novelette to a small publisher. 1st draft of the novel I’ve been working on this autumn is pretty much done. Forward motion!

Currently reading: Stormlight archive by Brandon Sanderson

Currently listening: Bought to Rot by Laura Jane Grace & the devouring mothers

ORIGINS; Lights in the forest

Ohhhh cool. 

The Blue Fox appears in Londnr Magazine ISSUE #0- ORIGINS - rabid foxes, superheroes, East London. This is Londnr's first print issue and I'm very happy to be included.


I've also been working on a longer form piece (making myself buckle down instead of the usual dallying with short stuff). I'm loving it. Excited about the characters, the world, and process. More to be seen!





Positive noise; library fiction; double feature

Oh I am bad at updating things. What is going on?

An Act Of Faith was published in Issue 21 of OpenPen magazine

Another episode of PENCAST has gone up, sporadic and janky and a pleasure as ever

Two (two!) pieces should be coming out in the first print issue of a cool magazine very shortly, but more to come on that

In deeper waters, out of sight, larger things move unseen

Fountains & Sirens; Old Fantasy

A new year! The second episode of Pencast is up- check it out for some nice stories.

I also realised I've never set up a link to an old fantasy story of mine 'A prophesised death', hosted by The Lost Lighthouse. It was written as a companion piece to the Total Reroll: Equinox podcast. It also should really be Prophesied rather than prophesised, which I will fix at some point...

Lots of stuff happening here- a script is underway after a successful first pitch; stories under submission, and commissioned; longer pieces either being resurrected or begun.


Ghost, CR5; Austrian Cinephiles; Delayed Audio

Cane Hill Asylum sat in south London for decades, in turn bustling and desolate. It is a place with the peculiar geography of reality that fiction often lacks; lens-crafters in the tunnels below; fire and urban explorers; grave pits. It is the setting of a story of mine recently published on Ghost, CR5. This story is the 4th in the series of London Folklore pieces I've been commissioned to write. I've been researching and writing about folklore from different angles (Scottish, British, and global) for a few years and its been a recurring theme in my work. This series has offered the chance to dig deep into London specifically, and has been incredibly interesting to research and fun to write.

Great news about the Audiophile short film- it has been selected for the K3 Film Festival in Austria where it will be having its international premiere on December 15th. Those guys did an incredible job. We are aiming to submit this to a variety of film festivals over the coming year so fingers crossed it keeps building momentum. I'm working with Emanuele, who directed the short film based on Audiophile, on a new project- it is ambitious and fun but for now, hush hush.

I've finished recording Episode 2 of PENCAST with Sean Preston, so that will hopefully be dropping shortly. It is delayed, of course, so delayed. The aim was to publish with the quarterly issues of OpenPen magazine, but with the rate of audio submissions (and the rate of me getting my act together) it is more sporadic than I had ever dared worry about. It will arrive in due course, packed to the gills with lovely ficiton.

It isn't work if you enjoy it.

READING: The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane- a beautiful book 

LISTENING: Hamilton (Broadway cast recordings)


Dryad, Vampyr, Coven...

Its been a grip.

Two new stories in the London folklore series that started with Dryad, N4 are now up on Londnr

Vampyr, N6  is a bleakly comic horror set in the verdant wilderness of Highgate cemetery

Coven, SW9 is  a quick romp as we see some witches facing the patriarchy in Brixton market

There are a couple more to come in this series, and a few longer pieces now completed (but we will see what form their release takes)


What else? An opportunity has arisen to pitch something a bit different in form, which I am very excited about- even if it goes nowhere, the act in and of itself is gratifying. It will be in collaboration with some cool people I've worked with previously, and we are getting the gears in motion. 

Aside from that? Secret projects and machinations! There is the thing with the android and the violence and the pumpkin seeds, the thing with the antlers, the thing with the horse and the water and the salt, and a few others besides.

Reading- The Three-Body problem by Cixin Liu, Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Listening- Black Byrd by Donald Byrd


Dryad, N4

The first in a series of 'London Folklore' stories I am doing for Londnr has been released- Dryad, N4

The series will be five stories, telling some urban folktales around London. I'm pretty hyped about this project it is fair to say, and Londnr

Also, a story I recorded last summer for OpenPen has been released- Amir's Artisan Spiders 

So two new bits of fiction for you- one to watch and listen, and one to read!


It is raining, so good day for ducks

PENCAST Episode 1: A branch made of audio

PENCAST episode 1 just went up! Over 200 people listened to our pilot episode at the end of the year, and so finally we are moving forward. There are some great piece on here from some very interesting writers- check it out! 

Aside from that, the upcoming short urban legends I've been commissioned to write has been expanded from three stories to five- so great!


All good all good all good.

Reading- Raymond Carver, Fires

Listening- Pavement, Carrot Rope

Audiophile Redux

What what what what what

Today is an exciting day. I'm heading to Oxford for the premiere of a short film based on my story Audiophile, which was one of the winners of BBC's Opening Lines competition a couple years back. Emanuele Biasiol has adapted the story, you can check out some pictures and a teaser trailer if you check out the 'Pictures' or 'Video' tabs on this site.

So hey that is exciting right? A bit surreal from my end.

The pilot podcast with Open Pen magazine- Pencast has had a lovely response- the official first episode is still percolating mainly due to some technical issues on my end, but we have a heap of interesting content so its a matter of 'when' rather than 'if'.

What else? Submitted to some competitions, submitted to some magazines. Written 2 of 3 urban fantasy stories for a commission by a cool website (more to be announced soon on that front). The writing is ongoing, there are the edits of the old book and the fresh additions to the new book and the new short stories and the old short stories. What else?

Book reviews: The Lost Lighthouse

Pop culture podcast: The Weekly Rapture

D&D podcast: Total Reroll

D&D text adventure: The Cursed Tomb


READING: This Is Memorial Device- David Keenan

LISTENING: Belle & Sebastian- Fold your hand child, you walk like a peasant

Pilot Light

Oh my days. What is up.

I just launched a new podcast with the lads from Open Pen magazine- Pencast , showcasing short fiction, poetry, interviews etc. We've had a great response to our pilot episode- can't wait to keep moving. Check it out- it is rough around the edges, but has some great content in there.  The Weekly Rapture pop-culture and Total Reroll: Equinox D&D 5e casts keep on rolling- if you haven't jumped on the Total Reroll bandwagon yet, our new season is a fresh start in a new world and is a great point to jump on. The new season is a mix of classic fantasy, wild west, and a little steampunk. We've been having a heap of fun playing it. I've been remiss in my book/game reviewing for The Lost Lighthouse, but hopefully now life is calming down I'll be able to get some more of my contributions flowing.

Other news? Take Flight is with some lovely editors, and I've had some great feedback from a small cadre of dedicated and lovely beta-readers. The new novel is a wild, ridiculous thing, that I am rather in lvoe with- now begins the slow process of editing it into a palatable shape. I've started up the short story engine again, aiming to hit the new year with a bang.

What else, what else? It is cold and grey in London, just how I like it. Life is good- I'm shortly (very shortly) getting married, and I started a new job as associate editor at a science journal last month. All is well in my world.

Writing- short stories- I've been playing with some 'genre' fiction shorts, and loving it

Listening- Belle & Sebastian back catalogue, Nasseau Colliseum by Lifter Puller

Reading- Iron Council by China Miéville, Pablo Neruda's collected works


Kelpies etc

It's been odd not polishing short stories. Since the beginning of the year I decided to focus on two things- a complete heavy edit of my novel Take Flight, with an eye to taking it to some agents in the Autumn, and completing the first draft of my new novel (the title of which is currently only known by three people- you are not one of them). This means that things have been quiet on the short story front as I try and wrangle these two large projects to a close. I've still been writing short stories, but they linger as drafts, waiting for me to take the time to fix them up and send them out. Which of course means fewer live events- a temporary state of being. Take Flight  is currently out with some beta-readers, and thus far the feedback has been phenomenal. It was a sprawling chaotic novel, but I think the pacing has picked up enough now to carry through the reader. 

No despair! I still have two film projects based around my short stories underway- one nearing completion (the draft is very tasty, the edit so close to completion...) and one at a tentative beginning.

In the meantime I've been co-hosting The Weekly Rapture pop culture podcast with my friend Adam Beech, which makes me engage with the world of games, books, and films in a way I could too easily stop otherwise.

Aims for autumn? Send out Take Flight to some interested parties. Edit a pile of short stories and get them submitted. Finish the new book.

Writing- New Novel, which involves the final usage off about three years of sporadic research into all kinds of esoteric folklore and legends.

Listening- Low Teens, new album from Every Time I Die

Reading- Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

Final point- Square Space has an e-commerce tool. Thinking about putting up a pay-per-prose option, bespoke micro-fiction and short stories for a set fee. Reckon there is much call for that? 


Production notes

A few months of concentration has yeilded some very cool results!

I've seen the first edit of the short story video project I mentioned previously- It's looking very cool, can't wait to tellk you more about it.

I'm now one of the co-hosts on the pop culture podcast The Weekly Rapture, hosted by The Lost Lighthouse (Who also host our D&D podcast Total Reroll).

I have also been continuing my series of book reviews for The Lost Lighthouse, most recently I reviewed Dodge & Burn by Seraphina Madsen.

What else what else? A few cool short story projects based around audio are in production and underway, there is a tentative short film of one of my old pieces in pre-pre-pre-production, and as always I'm writing away.

Currently working on a big edit of my old novel (snow, madness, etc), and just killing the first draft of the new one (monsters, Scotland, etc). So I'm a happy guy!