Back in the Saddle

The first weeks after the Xmas break have been so intensely busy for me that my feet have barely touched the ground. Constructively busy however, which is good.

I wrote my first professional blog post last week for Guardian Unlimited. Following the tremendous response to Sam Jordison’s look at the Hugo Award’s, I pitched a few ideas for science fiction and fantasy blog posts to the Guardian eds and they said yes. It was very exciting to go ‘above the line’ on a blog I’ve read for some time, not least because it actually pays! I’m looking forward to pitching a few more ideas over the next couple of months but have to be careful not to let the cheap thrill of reaching hundreds if not thousands of readers distract me from my career as an unknown fiction writer. You can see the problem.

Also in the world of non-fiction I’m continuing my reviewing for The Fix. I’ve recently posted a review of Farrago’s Wainscot and will be reviewing one of the ‘Big 3’ genre magainzines for the next few months – Fantasy  & Science Fiction. F&SF is my favourite of the big three (the other two being Asimov’s and Analogue) but its been interesting comparing it to the small press and online publications that I have reveiwed or read recently,  I think this might be an interesting angle to take in the review.

I have been a little undisciplined with the writing in the last two months. Foreign and domestic holidays followed by  a slew of freelance work meant I’ve had to put the novel on hold until February, although I start back in earnest in February once the Writing Industries Conference is out of the way. I have been working on a number of short stories instead so the time hasn’t been wasted. The first to be finished will be ‘The Great Western Pile’ which is a steam-punk, hard SF spy story. i’ve had great fun writing it and with luck will finish it over the weekend.

Following my ‘Week of Rejection’ between X-Mas and New Year I got right back in the saddle and got everything back out on the market. ‘Rings’ AKA ‘My Zombie Lovesick Boy Band’ is at Weird Tales, ‘Meat’ is with Strange Horizons, ‘Circes’ and ‘Momentum’ are both with audio podcasts (The Drabblecast and Escape Pod respectively) and ‘Horizon’ came back from Ideomancer with another rejection. ‘Horizon’ is my problem child at the moment, but I have faith it will find a good home eventually.

Back to ‘Great Western Pile’ anyway. If I get the first draft done over the weekend I’ll post an extract to the blog.

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.


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