Friday 5 August 2011

Friday Flash - A Hero Comes Along

I've taken this story down as it's now out for submission!

Thursday 4 August 2011

Are digital magazine subscriptions the future?

I came across this post on the io9 blog, and actually went "SQUEE!" when I read the announcement. It seems that the seminal fiction magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, is going digital. It'll be available for the Kindle, with both a stripped down free option, or a subscription to all of the content for just $12 a year. Yes, that's six issues for $12. By comparison, the print version of the same subscription is $35.97. In the UK, it'll cost 99p a month for the digital subscription.

To be honest, I think digital subscriptions are the way forward. As most people know, I'm in the process of packing things up ahead of a big move, and the storage of magazines is a real headache for me. Yes, it's nice to be able to flick through things but once I've read it, what do I do with it? I don't always want to recycle the issue in case I want to refer to it in future but there comes a point where you're just storing an awful lot of paper. To me, digital solves the problem. I can access an archive whenever I want, but I don't have to worry about finding the space to store physical copies.

Besides, you can't argue with a price like that - effectively £1.98 an issue! I used to subscribe to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction a while back but I didn't renew precisely because I was paying a lot of money for something I couldn't find the room to store. Now I can have it delivered to my Kindle app on either my Netbook or smartphone, I might just subscribe again. It stands to reason that if I can be swayed, so can others, and getting people to read short story magazines can only benefit writers.

What do you think? Do you think digital subscriptions will help bring people back to short fiction?

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Western Whodunnit Dust and Death available now

Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventures books from when you were a kid? You were dropped into a narrative scenario, and the choices you made at the end of each page determined the course of the story. Well, they're back. Sort of. Here we have the online version! Read the story, and click the link of the option you want to follow. So very simple - with hundreds of possible stories available.

Our CYOA overlady Annie Evett has blogged about the process of collaborative writing here but if you want to get stuck into Dust and Death, you can read the premise here. The blurb reads thus;

When new deputy arrives into Cyotta Falls, only one person suspects his true purpose. They will do everything in their power to ensure Daniel is kept permanently quiet.
After a landowner dies in front of him and the Sheriff quickly announces it as natural causes, Daniel begins to suspect Cyotta Falls holds its own secrets. With most town folk under suspicion, Daniel must unravel the tight community to uncover its stories. Toss in saloon fights, a travelling freak show, a whiff of black magic and questionable railway land buyers sniffing around, there is a recipe for Western Intrigue which can only be solved by you.

It's a Western, which is naturally a genre close to my heart (especially with the impending release of The Guns of Retribution), and I've contributed several story threads, as well as a teaser, The Painted Man.

Just £3 ($4.99 US or $4.50 AUS) buys you access to ALL of the story threads. Bargain!

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Review Policy

You may have noticed that I've reviewed a fair few works of fiction lately. Most of them are by writers that I talk to online, and whose work I want to champion. Sometimes I'll review books by writers I don't know, and sometimes I review books about writing - I'm tricksy like that. Now, I know there are arguments against writing reviews, since a) a bad review could earn a black mark against your name with future publishing companies and other writers and b) you don't want to look like you're just sucking up to the people you know.

That's why I wanted to make it clear that I'll only post a review on my blog if I feel I can award the book four or five blunt pencils - for fiction, I want to help spread the word about enjoyable writing, and for non-fiction, I want to help people find books that may be useful to them.

I also post the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, which is obviously important for the millions of book buyers who don't read my blog. However I restrict myself to only reviewing the books I like because I want to help promote the writers I know. Besides, why waste my time reviewing a book I didn't enjoy when I could be start to read a new book that I'll love? Obviously, that's not to say that if you're a writer I know and I haven't reviewed your book yet that I don't like it - chances are, I just haven't gotten to it.

Here's a recap of some reviews I've already done, listed in alphabetical order. Treat yourself, and check them out.

Blood Picnic and Other Stories by Tony Noland
From Dark Places by Emma Newman
Jailbait Justice by Danny Hogan
Just My Blood Type by Carrie Clevenger and Nerine Dorman
Must Love Dragons by Monica Marier
The Soulkeepers by G.P.Ching
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

Monday 1 August 2011

Photo Prompt 44

Latest prompt, ready and waiting.

If you want to use the prompt, all I ask is that you include a link to this entry and a credit to me for the photograph, and that you post a link to your story in the comments box below so I can see what you've come up with! If you don't comment on this entry, then I can't comment on your story.

The 44th prompt is Chairs in the Greenwood.

Chairs in the Greenwood

All photo prompts are my own photography - you can find more of it on Flickr. You can also buy my prints from Deviantart. 20% of all proceeds go to charity - the other 80% go towards my PhD fees!