Where I’m Coming From…The Stories I Love

I read a lot of science fiction when I was younger. In truth, I read little else. Stories set in the world I recognised around me seemed too mundane; I wanted imagination-stretching, mind-bending tales of adventure in the made-up realm.

So I grew up on Heinlein, Farmer, Asimov, Le Guin, Ellison, Pohl…the list goes on.

Later, I fell out of the SF habit. Did it get dull, or did I? I don’t know. I still dipped in occasionally, but I mainly moved on to crime fiction, non-fiction, the occasional ghost story.

Recently, I have come back to SF. I was led by my writing – after years of ghost stories and horror fiction, I found myself writing SF. Not very well, but I found myself enjoying it.  I also soon realised that a lot of things I was thinking about had already been written, earlier and better by other writers. The SF world had moved on since I drifted away from it.

I didn’t entirely abandon the field: I find I have read 10 of the Hugo-winning novels since 1986. But I have read 17 of the winners from the 20 years before that.

So, I’m setting out to explore the treasures that I have largely missed in the past nearly two decades while my attention has been elsewhere. I apologise for being so behind the game, but as penance I’ll write about the books as I catch up with them.

Let me know of the books you think I really must not miss, and I’ll try to read them.

Coming Soon – Fifty One

For some reason, the fine people at Filles Vertes Publishing are quite taken with my time travel romance story, ‘Fifty One’. It’s a simple story: boy (born in 2010) meets girl (who dies in 1944), and they fall in love in Blitz-era London. Boy discovers that girl is due to be blown up before the war ends, and risks life, the universe and everything to save her.

The book grew out of a short story that won a ‘Dark Tales’ magazine contest some time ago. That story was essentially a ghost story about a young woman killed by a flying bomb in a south London street market in 1944. The novel takes the same real-life incident, but leaps off into an action-packed, heart-aching and mind-bending romp through time. As one reader said, it’s a love story ship in a time travel bottle!

I’m having a lot of fun getting the book ready for publication: editing, looking at cover art, and all that jazz. I’ll post updates here as we work our way through the process.