Fiction is a Three-Edged Sword

Fiction, interactive fiction and narrative


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Cracks @ Black Static #28

I seem to have accidentally written a horror story, or close enough to one that it’s coming out in Black Static‘s latest issue, in a week or so. Here’s the cover splash, courtesy of TTA.

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For fans of the genre, Black Static gets consistently great reviews from around the horror zine scene, so it’s an honour to appear there. The big question will be, will I have the nerve to read the rest of the issue?

In other fiction-writing news, my story from last year Sleepers has been picked up to appear… elsewhere. Details on that when it comes out.


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The History of Poly-V, available on Kindle

The History of Poly-V

I recently picked up a copy of Rich Horton’s 2011 SF anthology, and was really excited to see my story The History of Poly-V in the recommended list at the back.

But the story’s a little inconvenient to get hold of, so I’ve put together an ebook version for Kindle.

I’m calling it a “sci-fi single”. Title track on the A-side, and a slighter, previously unpublished B-side story to go with. There’s also a short set of “liner notes” that discuss a little of the inspiration and history of both stories.

If you’re interested, it’s live on Amazon now; just choose your flavour.


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A quick look at strange sci-fi

Short Fiction in Theory and Practice coverIssue 1 of a new journal, Short Fiction in Theory and Practice, has been published and includes an interesting article by the co-editor of Interzone, Andy Hedgecock, on a perceived new wave of SF called “Sci-fi Strange“.

While I’m not sure about the movement – and I’m really not sure about the name, because there’s not necessarily anything strange about it – I certainly think the stated features of Strange stories sound like good things to be aiming for.

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Undum game seeks critically-minded readers for quick once-over

I’ve been doing some more work with Undum (which I’m starting to link to off this blog so frequently I should really make a category tag for it. In fact, I will).

This should mean two releases in the not-too-distant future: first, a perl script for turning a simple, easy-to-edit text format into Undum-ready javascript, including features for varying and conditional text; and secondly, a new hypertext story.

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“Story design, game design, and the truth”

This blog is meant to be about game design and story-telling: this post is about how reading my shiny new IF Theory book made me realise something about how I write static, non-interactive fiction.

I think a lot of writers would agree that one of the hardest parts of any project is starting. I’ve been thinking recently about how to come up with the germs of stories. In the past, I’ve relied on moments of inspiration, usually driven by reading, seeing or playing things I either loved, and wanted to imitate, or things I hated, and wanted to do properly.

More recently, I’ve been trying to develop a method. I wouldn’t call it a formula; it’s more of a process. But it’s closer in spirit to design than art. I’m not sure if that’s selling out, or just growing up.

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