TFFX – The Future Fire Ten Year Anthology – Trailer Microstory

Rather thrillingly The Future Fire are bringing out TFFX, an anthology of selected stories from the magazine to celebrate their ten-year anniversary. And even more thrillingly (for me, at any rate) they are going to include my short story Art Attack!


As part of the celebrations they’ve been asking the authors to write a microstory that takes place 10 years after the original story. And my contribution ‘2084’ is now up on the Future Fire blog site HERE

It was an interesting exercise to write a ’10 years after’ – which is also a sort of trailer for the Art Attack! story. In the event, I rather drifted away from the Art Attack universe. I didn’t want to satirise the same things twice, so the world of the story had to change accordingly. What I did keep was the rather sarcastic contemptuous attitude, and the ‘motto inserts’. Another thing I thought would be fun this time around was to make the literary allusion more explicit. Art Attack! has allusions also (or perhaps more properly called thefts) but they are so obscure they are only amusing to me. It was nice to have the chance to revisit that aspect of the original story — and this time — give the literary allusion a proper use.

On a personal note, due to too much ‘stuff’ (not interesting or varied stuff, but a lot of it), I haven’t written anything in ages — so it was great to have the prompt to do some writing, and be reminded of the fun of it.

Part and parcel of the way publishing is changing – and appropriate to an SF magazine especially — The Future Fire are running a fundraiser so the anthology is sort of pre-sold before they publish. All very interesting.


A story in ‘Songs Of Other Places’ – New Writing Scotland 32


I have a story (called Remote) in this year’s New Writing Scotland. I haven’t read any of the stories yet but it’s great to see Ever Dundas in the line up. (Another graduate of the Napier Creative Writing MA)

The inspiration for ‘Remote’ was the paradoxical nature of military drone operations. The easy assumptions are that drones are ‘clinical’ and ‘inhuman’, turning warfare into a computer game, with the pilots distanced from the human cost of their actions. However, what is striking in the reports of drone operations, is the almost intimate knowledge that the pilots have of the target populations. There is a parallel duality in IT, where computer systems are seen as impersonal, remote, and uncontrollable, yet are designed, maintained, controlled (and corrupted) by humans. I wanted to face off ‘Remote vs Intimate’ as the core of the story.

Take Tea With Turing Anthology now available as an Android App

I’m delighted that Take Tea With Turing is now available on Android. Free!!!

Here on Google Play.

Take Tea With Turing is an anthology of creative work inspired by the life and legacy of Alan Turing, edited by Viccy Adams, Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.

Tea with Turing

Writers’ Bloc at Eastercon 2014: Planet Scotland

Some of our comrades will be appearing at the 65th Eastercon, Satellite 4, this weekend.
On Friday night, Hannu Rajaniemi will be a victim guest of Horrorshow, a late night talk show hosted by Andrew J. Wilson. (22:00 – 23:30 in Castle 1)

On Sunday evening, we’ll embark for Planet Scotland, live performances of the best new Scottish SF and fantasy featuring established and up-and-coming talent from the Word Dogs and Writers’ Bloc spoken-word performance groups including Hal Duncan, Phil Raines, and Bloc comrades Mark Harding, Stuart Wallace, and Halsted M. Bernard. The event will be hosted by Andrew J. Wilson and Neil Williamson. (20:00 – 22:00 in Castle 1)

Planet Scotland