reliquaries‘Reliquaries’ has appeared in the second issue of Shoreline of Infinity, a new sf magazine from Scotland,¹ and it’s available at Amazon. It’s a great name for an sf mag, and they’re looking for inspiring stories with a vision of the future, whatever direction that might take. With ‘Reliquaries’ it’s pretty much a downhill ride.

I can’t identify any one source for this story, although it does borrow a broad concept from an earlier piece of mine. It also owes something to an unusual museum I once visited in the south of Chile. Continue reading

jacinta’s lovers

Jacinta's Lovers‘Jacinta’s Lovers’ has appeared in the Love Hurts anthology from Meerkat Press,¹ who are “committed to finding and publishing exceptional, irresistible, unforgettable fiction.” So no holding back there. The anthology is available at Amazon.

‘Jacinta’s Lovers’ is science fiction with a sprinkling of fantasy fairy dust, and the broad inspiration for the story was a collection of works by the Australian poet Peter Porter. I’d planned to quote a line from the magical poem ‘An Australian Garden’ which appeared in The Rest on the Flight

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fantasy, sci fi, and the ancient mariner

Ancient MarinerFantasy and science fiction are the dominant categories under the broad speculative fiction banner, but what’s the difference between them? I started wondering about that when I re-read Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which was a source for Jacinta’s Lovers.

The Rime is one of my favourite poems, but a couple of verses have always puzzled me—

‘But why drives on that ship so fast,
Without or wave or wind ?’

‘The air is cut away before,
And closes from behind.’

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the rising

The Rising‘The Rising’ has appeared in the autumn 2014 issue of the Colored Lens, and is now freely available online. From the publishers—

By publishing short stories and serialized novellas every quarter in genres ranging from fantasy, to science fiction, to slipstream or magical realism, we hope to help our readers see the world just a bit differently.

The main source for the story was the movie A Hora da Estrela (The Hour of the Star) based on the novel of the same name by Clarice Lispector. The background for the sf component was the technique of geological surveying with a magnetohydrodynamic generator.

With some pieces, I find it difficult to identify sources or inspiration and with other pieces I find it easy, but that doesn’t mean I’m doing some sort of copying from a source. Continue reading


ambisiaAmbisia has appeared in Black Denim Lit, a new magazine with stories freely available online. One source for the piece was Erwin Schrödinger’s Cat in the Box Paradox, and like the paradox, ‘Ambisia’ takes a few liberties with quantum mechanics. Another feature of the story is that it follows the Planetary Rhyming Convention:

  • All planets in a given solar system must have rhyming names.
  • If the inhabitants have not yet evolved to spoken language or are unable to distinguish the planets, all planets are deemed to have the name ‘Ook.’

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the medusa

The Medusa‘The Medusa’ appeared in the Canadian In Places Between 2013 collection of short stories from the finalists in the Robyn Herrington Memorial Speculative Fiction Contest. The story took first place in the competition. The contest is run by the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association, who very generously help new writers by providing brief critiques of the submitted stories.

One source for ‘The Medusa’ was the curious myth of the headless mule. Continue reading

inconstant light

InconstantLightThe slightly eponymous ‘Inconstant Light’ appeared in the August 2013 issue of Plasma Frequency Magazine; it was published by Plasma Spyglass Press and was freely available online.

The magazine  aimed to publish stories which resonate, but probably not at an actual plasma frequency, which would be many megahertz and would require ionized gas rather than paper. The story is set in an alternate world where things are a bit different, and there are some mythical aspects to do with the hard-to-pronounce and mysterious Jacyuaruá, the Moon Mirror Lake.

the honimoon hotel

HonimoonHotelcropsmall3‘The Honimoon Hotel’ appeared in the Tomorrow anthology from Kayelle Press, and is available in paperback from Amazon. Kayelle Press was an Australian publisher offering speculative fiction for adults and young adults.

The Tomorrow anthology is a collection of post-apocalypse stories, and at the Honimoon Hotel the honeymoon is pretty much over.