The discerning reader will notice the gap from 1997 to 2006.It's not for want of trying and anyway, I've been busy with the novels, OK? Humph.
* Children of a Greater God, (ss) Interzone Aug '92
Written at the end of the Pratchett bit of a writing week at Fen Farm. We'd had a wonderfully funny three days, so when the teacher went away we all reacted with some really gloomy pieces. Patience is a virtue, especially in writers... There's a reprint of it in the computer game Frontier: First Encounter. I've seen it ripped off in Greek, which makes it look really spiffy with lots of alphas and omegas. It forms the first two chapters of a first drafted novel of the same name.
* Control, (ss) Tomorrow Jun '95
This is famous for including a line good enough to appear in Ansible, the Thog's Masterclass section. When The Editor found out, he never bought anything from me again. 'Sweat burst from his brow as he wrestled with his brain'. You know, I still can't really see anything wrong with it... Bloody Langford.
* Ice Maiden, (ss) Tomorrow Aug '95
I really enjoyed writing this one. Someone knowledgable even noted the quotation about dissolution in a shower of silver rings - it's good when one finds someone paying attention. However, I'm not happy with the published ending; The Editor didn't like it and it was rewritten three times, getting worse, in my opinion, each time. What's it about? It's about a nasty character who happens to be female, my reaction to the idea that 'the world would be better if women were in charge'. I think it would be the same, but then I'm just a cynic.
* The Jade Pool, (ss) Interzone Mar '92
The editor asked if this was based on an actual myth about Alexander the Great, which is flattering. Is the story SF though? Not sure, perhaps I'd put it as alternate history. Anyone wishing to brush up their Russian or Polish can find this translated and published (without permission) in those languages.
* Lift-Off, (ss) Scheherazade #15 '97
Another strong and rather monstrous woman. Maybe a theme here - I'll ask the wife.
* Lucifer Falling, (ss) Far Point #2 '91
Thank you Mary Scott, who told me to join the BSFA. In their magazine I found a new market and made my first professional sale. The artist got Upfront Sue's eyes the right colour, first sale and a big colour illo. Oh, never to be repeated joy! Another one in the computer game.
* Meditations of the Heart, (ss) Interzone Sep '94
Remember 'Horsemeat', that appalling Aldiss short? I was so cross that I wrote this as a reply. Wonder if anyone ever noticed that? And what a beezer demon, squatting malevolently in the fire, warming his photons.
* An Occupational Disease, (ss) Interzone Aug '93
On my tombstone they will record the fact that once at least I had a major success: I sold a joke to Interzone.
* Repeat After Me, (ss) Interzone Jul '96
Did anyone see the difference between the 'many (= infinitely many) worlds' view that these stories normally illustrate and the 'many but not infinitely many' in RAM? It was the whole point, but I never got any feedback.
*Change, (ss) Analog Jan/Feb 2006
Don't trust the experts.
The writer has a dilemma: until one has an agent it is difficult to persuade a publisher to look at a novel -- even the ones which take unagented submissions (send a query letter first, it's polite and saves on postage when they say no) dump it on an enormous heap of other manuscripts in the corner of the office and get the junior to look at them all when the heap shows signs of falling over. Until the writer has a novel accepted by a publisher then it is difficult to persuade an agent to take on a new writer. We're in Heller territory here.
There is a solution, or at least that's what the books and courses about starting to write would have us believe. First you sell a short story to a magazine, an agent sees the story, is overcome by excitement and voila! you are discovered.
What magazines print short fiction? SF and detective, unless you are into what is politely called erotic literature. Neither of these attract much respect, so this route is a bit of a gamble, unless, of course, you want to write SF and detective fiction. Or porn.
Children of a Greater God (see below) did actually attract an agent: alas, he expected to find Iain Banks and discovered that I'm more like H E Bates. Disappointment ensued. Back to the slushpile.