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My most recent effort, which I freely admit was prompted by finding this cover in the AnthologyBuilder picture library. More evidence of the genius that is Frank Wu, if you ask me.

Nancy Fulda, proprietor of AnthologyBuilder must have liked the line-up I put together, because she made this book her Anthology of the Week shortly after I created it.

Best story? Impossible to say, but if Liz Holliday's 'All of Me' doesn't make you cry then I don't know what will.

Available for the discounted price of $13.95 plus p&p from:
anthologybuilder.com/view_template.php
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This anthology doesn't only contain stories about climbing mountains, although you'll find splendid examples of that particular sub-genre here, including one of mine; but there also stories that happen to be set in upland locales, or on a high-altitude balloon, or on a space elevator.... Anywhere, in fact, that's "on high".

If I had to recommend just one story in this anthology it would be Matthew S. Rotundo's Ascension, which is giddy-making in all the right ways. It's a fabulous piece of work. There are also very fine stories by M. K. Hobson and Jaine Fenn, amongst others.

If you'd like to purchase this anthology, it is available at
anthologybuilder.com/view_template.php for $14.95 plus p&p.
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I've subscribed to Interzone since Issue 1, which was published way back in 1982. Since then, it has retained its status as one of the best SF magazines published anywhere. Seeing one of my stories appear in it, in 2003, was a career high for me.

I assembled Planet Interzone as a way of a thanking David Pringle, who published and edited the magazine for most of its long history, also Andy Cox and co (of TTA Press fame) who have done a brilliant job since taking over in 2004. The anthology contains some wonderful stories, with particular favourites by David Langford, Nicola Griffith, Gareth L Powell and David Redd, but my biggest thrill was to be able to include the undeservedly obscure (and frankly wonderful) The Finn by Sue Thomason.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of this anthology, which contains 17 stories, it's available
here for $14.95 plus P&P.
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Two years ago, I compiled Kill Your Darlings in honour of my dear friend Jaine's successful ascent to pro-dom, as signified by the publication of her first novel (Principles of Angels) by Gollancz. Since then more books have appeared. A successful career is well under way. Long may it continue.

As well as including four of Jaine's excellent stories, I took the opportunity to interleave four stories by other members of the One Step Beyond writers' group, of which Jaine was (and remains) a founder member. These include works by [livejournal.com profile] lizholliday, Mike Lewis, Heather Lindsley and, um, me. Terrific writers the lot of them. Well, all except one of them ;-)


Anyone who has read much of Jaine's fiction will understand why I chose that title. M. K. Hobson's wonderful illustration matches it perfectly.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of this anthology, it's available
here for $14.95 plus P&P.
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Paradoxical Pasts contains twelve reprinted stories on the theme of alternate history. It probably goes without saying that some of my favourite books and stories tell tales of a past gone weird, or of a strange-seeming future that derived from some obscure point of diversion. Keith Roberts's Pavane remains my personal favourite at novel-length.

My favourite story in this collection is Ted Kosmatka's The Phrophet of Flores
. Before I included it in this anthology I hadn't read it; now I think of it as one of the best SF stories I've ever read. Yes, it's that good.

The cover art is by Frank Wu. A perfect fit to the anthology's theme and gloriously witty to boot. I am happy to confirm that the cover looks even better in printed form.

Nancy Fulda, AnthologyBuilder's founder and owner, was kind enough to feature this anthology not long after I completed it.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of this anthology, it's available
here at the discounted price of $13.95 plus P&P.
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Two Degrees of Separation was the first anthology I assembled using AnthologyBuilder. It contains 18 reprinted stories written by friends of mine and friends of those friends, plus me of course; hence the title. Having bought and read the book, I am happy to confirm that the standard of printing and the quality of the stories is very high.

My favourite stories include Hitting the Skids in Pixeltown by
[info]matthewsrotundo, This is the Universe by [info]lizholliday and  On the Deck of the Flying Bomb by David Redd.

It would be remiss of me if I didn't state just how much I love Robert Hole, Jr.'s picture. It's probably my favourite on AnthologyBuilder.

Two Degrees of Separation currently stands at Number Eight in the sales-ranked list of anthologies at AnthologyBuilder.com

If you'd like to purchase a copy of this anthology, it's available
here at the discounted price of $13.95 plus P&P.
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Needless to say, I had a lot of fun during my short trip to Glasgow. The highlight, of course, was the Music for Another World gig at The Universal on Thursday evening. I read an extract from Star in a Glass, which seemed to go pretty well, especially considering that I've not read my work in public before. Everyone was very friendly. It was great to meet Mark Harding (editor/publisher), plus fellow MfAW authors Neil Williamson, Jim Steel and Sean Martin, also other notable local writers like Hal Duncan. And then there were the delightfully retro musical delights of Markee de Saw and Bert Finkle. The former is delightful (and hugely talented); the latter bears an uncanny resemblence to Neil (who is also hugely talented, of course).

I expect there will be some photos and clips from the gig
here in due course, to accompany those from the first event in the series, which was held last year.

Glasgow is a vibrant, culturally rich city. I explored the Necropolis, ploughed through as many of the (excellent) galleries and museums as I could manage before exhaustion set in, drank a load of beer (thanks, guys), and came home happy. I hope to go again some day, to meet-up with my new-found friends and continue the campaign of cultural absorption.
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I'm delighted to learn that Neil Williamson's story, Arrhythmia, has made it through to the shortlist (of four) for the BSFA short fiction award.

neilwilliamson.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/bsfa-award-shortlist/

As well as a thoroughly well deserved nod for Neil, this is a superb result for Mutation Press, given that Music for Another World was its first publication. Editor/publisher Mark Harding has done a wonderful job with the book. What can I say other than "go buy it!" If you want a taster, Neil's story is available for download on the web site (www.mutationpress.com/).

Also worth noting that all four categories of the BSFA award have very strong-looking shortlists: vectoreditors.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/2010-bsfa-awards-shortlists-2/

(In passing, I should add that I was thrilled to have my own MfAW story nominated for the award too, one of three stories from the anthology that were so recognised.)
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(Advisory: X-Posted to Facebook)

It's doubtless uncool to do an in-depth review of an anthology that contains a story of one's own, so I'll restrict myself to a brief note here.

It's fair to say that I enjoyed every story in Music for Another World, to a greater or lesser extent. Every one of them was well-written and had an interesting take on what music means to "us". Even those that didn't quite gel were still worth my time. Overall, I’d give this book a 4* review, which is high for a themed anthology. My favourite piece is Shostakovich Ensemble, The, by Jim Steel, but there were several others vying for that accolade, mostly written by authors I'm not familiar with (always a good sign). I do hope that Jim writes some more stories (or even a novel) in the alternate history that his story alludes to so skilfully. 

Production standards for this book are very high, especially considering that Mutation Press is a one-man operation. I found very few typos and only a handful of exceedingly minor formatting problems, none of which detracted from the reading experience. The cover is stunning.

And finally: Is it my imagination, or does the book's back cover somewhat resemble that of King Crimson’s Larks’ Tongues in Aspic album? (Which just happens to be a favourite album of mine.) The background colour, text font and colour, the general layout – all look oddly familiar. Or am I just experiencing one of those face-in-the-pizza effects that the editor, Mark Harding, refers to in his introduction?

Available to purchase here: www.mutationpress.com



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You can buy the book here: www.mutationpress.com/

(Or you can find it on Amazon.)

This handsome-looking anthology contains my story, Star in a Glass, plus lots of enticing work by some very fine writers, including [livejournal.com profile] aliettedb of this parish.

Happy reading!

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