I haven’t posted anything on my website for a while, so I’m pleased to have some positive news for 2022. One of my short stories will appear soon via Crystal Lake Publishing’s Patreon page as one of the shortlisted stories in their latest competition. If you want to read the stories, you can find a list of them here. The stories will appear on their website for members to read, with one new one added each day. My story will become available to read in 20 days. (It’s called Natalie’s Ghost.) CLP members can vote for the winner after all twenty stories are published. I hope you’ll check them out.
It’s hard to ignore a global pandemic, but writing about it has some problems. Many publishers have put out notices saying they don’t want any more stories on the subject because they have already been sent thousands of manuscripts. But it’s difficult to ignore something so world-changing if you write contemporary fiction.
Do you have your characters social distance/wear masks/lockdown or have them make no references to what’s currently going on?
Personally, I don’t want to write about the coronavirus. It’s depressing enough thinking about it without adding to the misery.
It’s contemporary nature could make any story and information very quickly outdated. Maybe we will find a cure next week. Maybe it will mutate into something even worse. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict the outcome.
I’m not going to make references to it in my fiction because I want to imagine a world without it being the focus of everything.
We will defeat it eventually, but until that happens I’m going to write as though it is no longer a problem.
I hope everyone out there is coping with the terrible effects of the coronavirus. It’s a worrying time for us all. Writers are probably more used to self-isolating than other people because of the nature of their work, requiring solitude during the writing process, but nobody wanted this level of social distancing. I feel like I’m venturing out into a different world every time I step outside and see people wearing face masks.
I’m hopeful, though. The situation won’t last forever. I just hope that after it’s over things don’t return to exactly how they were before. We can all live in a better world if we learn from this experience. Life after lockdown doesn’t have to be the same.
I’ve always enjoyed reading noir fiction and cyberpunk – so I was excited to find out Switchblade magazine wanted stories for a new anthology called Switchblade: Tech Noir. I was even more excited when my story Bad Score was among the ten tales selected by the editor, Scotch Rutherford.
Bad Score is a mix of hard-boiled crime story and dystopian SF, set in an America where cybernetic advancements have not created a perfect future.
The other contributors to the anthology are Callum McSorley, James Edward O’Brien, Mandi Jourdan, Hugh Lessig, Rob D. Smith, Matt Gomez, Nick Kolakowski, Eric Beetner and Alec Cizak.