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The editor of InterNova, Michael Iwoleit, has just informed me that he wishes to reprint my rock star/astronomy/cold fusion SF story Star in a Glass.

Star in a Glass originally appeared in Music for Another World (Mutation Press) in 2010.

Needless to say, I'm very happy with that!
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If like me you write speculative fiction that's mostly set in the present day or near future, then sooner or later you'll end up facing the problem of event-induced obsolescence. William Gibson turned to writing fiction set in the  recent past rather than the near future. I completely understand why.

To give a mundane personal example: a few years ago I realised that three of my unpublished stories contained descriptions of characters smoking in pubs, clubs and concert venues, something which was banned In the UK in 2007. So, I made some swift edits and sent them out again. One of those stories recently sold.

Even worse than that, sometimes I use real people in my stories. Believe me, that's a tactic fraught with danger. I don't recommend it, even though I continue to do it. Sigh.


Today, another of my fictional futures went away, thanks to an untimely (if much anticipated) death. Published last year in the Music for Another World anthology. Star in a Glass features a drug-raddled female vocalist, name of Diva, who was explicitly modelled on Amy Winehouse. I even gave a nod to "Dame Amy" towards the end of the story. I rather liked the idea, however improbable, that eventually she would clean up her act and become not just a member of the rock establishment, but a member of the British aristocracy. Wasn't to be. No surprise there, sadly. But I wasn't trying to predict the future, just having fun with it.

I'm no fan of Amy Winehouse's music, and like many eventually became bored reading about her antics, but I'm still sad that she died so young.

RIP
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A very nice (if tiny) review of Star in a Glass, also the anthology (Music for Another World) that it appears in:

"Vaughan Stanger's outstanding 'Star in a Glass', describing Diva's tortured and destructive rise to musical supremacy." (from www.midnightstreet.co.uk/MIDNIGHT%20STREET%2015.pdf p61)

And that wasn't even the Midnight Street's editor's favourite story!

If you love music and speculative fiction, this really is the anthology for you. It's still available for purchase (paper and electronic) here:
www.mutationpress.com/
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Nancy Fulda, the inestimable publisher of AnthologyBuilder, has announced that my SF story Star in a Glass is available for purchase here: anthologybuilder.com/viewstory.php

Plus she says good things about it, which is always pleasing. See
community.livejournal.com/anthobuilder/44938.html.

This story was originally published in the Music for Another World anthology. It's the one about a prog-metal-ballet band and their quest for performance enhancing substances... Go on, you know you want to read it ;-)


[Yes, I did wait for the 6 months of exclusivity to expire. And even after that, I did check with Mutation Press. Publisher Mark Harding was happy for me to go ahead. You can still purchase his excellent anthology here: 
www.mutationpress.com/.]
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The sound quality isn't great, but if you click this link you can watch me give my first ever reading of my own fiction, at the recent Music for Another World gig.

www.youtube.com/watch

Enjoy!

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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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