“Burning, Always Burning” at Tales to Terrify

“Btales-to-terrify-logourning, Always Burning”, a twisty, weird story I co-wrote with Felicity Dowker for the Damnation & Dames anthology, has been podcast by those wonderful people at Tales To Terrify, read by Dan Rabarts. The story required the coining of the term “paranoirmal”.

The anthology is great, available from Ticonderoga Publications here. You can find the podcast here:

http://talestoterrify.com/tales-to-terrify-171-dowker-baxter-lights-out/

Dream Shadow at Tales To Terrify

I love it when my stories get podcast. It’s so great to hear a reading of something you’ve written and to hear that reader’s interpretation of your words. In this case, those wonderful people at one of my favourite podcasts, Tales To Terrify, have just posted a fantastic reading by Graeme Dunlop of my story “Dream Shadow”. It was originally published in the Winds of Change anthology from CSFG Publishing, edited by Elizabeth Fitzgerald. It’s a bit of very Australian flavoured horror.

This is my second appearance at Tales To Terrifythey podcast my ghost western story, “Not the Worst of Sins”, last year. And this is the second story of mine that the good Mr Dunlop has narrated – he also read my “The Seven Garages of Kevin Simpson” for Pseudopod. You can find that story here.

Here’s the latest Tales To Terrify, episode 155, “Dream Shadow”.

I collate all my podcast stories and a list of my favourite podcast magazines on this page here.

Enjoy!

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Unexpected Launch at Starship Sofa

starshipsofa-logoA while ago, editor Keith Stevenson of Coeur De Lion Publications put together an anthology of science fiction short stories called Anywhere But Earth. I was really happy that he bought my story, “Unexpected Launch”, for that book. I still maintain that it’s one of the best SF anthologies out there. It’s a book that is perfect for when people say, “I don’t read SF. It’s all laser guns and space ships, right?” You say, “Hell, no!” and you slap them upside the head with Anywhere But Earth and tell them to read it. My story does have laser guns and space ships, as it happens, but not only that! And the variety of story in the antho is mind-blowing!

Anyway, buy the damn book already. Meanwhile, my story is the audio fiction today on Starship Sofa, one of the District of Wonders podcast family. This makes a hat-trick for me, because I’ve already had stories podcast by their sister outfits, Tales To Terrify and Crime City Central. I’m very happy to add the Sofa to the list. You can hear “Unexpected Launch” here and go to the Podcasts page to find all my other stories that have been podcast.

Enjoy!

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365 Shorts Success!

I’m as surprised as you are, but it seems I succeeded in the task I thought I was certain to fail. Towards the end of last year, I set myself a task to see if I could read 365 short stories in 365 days. I thought I’d never get close, but I wanted to record my short fiction reading and see how I went. Here’s the original post about it. I decided to set the year to start on December 1st 2012 so the end didn’t get lost in the Xmas/New Year shenanigans. That means the 365 days ran up until today, November 30th 2013. Instead of failing, I passed my target. I read 388 stories this year.

Now this has to be tempered with a few points of order. First and foremost, this includes podcasts. I listen to loads of short fiction podcasts – I’ve got a page all about them here. So I included listening as reading. I also included books and magazines that I’m in, but didn’t include my own story in the total count. Even so, I easily read past my limit. And it’s worth bearing in mind that my son was born at the end of October, so for just over the last month of this challenge, I’ve hardly read much at all. I think it’s fair to say I would have passed 400 if it wasn’t for that slight interruption to normal programming.

The thing this makes me realise more than anything else is that I probably read around this many stories every year. I made no special effort to make sure I hit my target. I listened to podcasts and read anthologies and magazines the same way I always do, and it turns out my personal challenge wasn’t much of a challenge after all. My eyeholes absorb that much short fiction on a regular basis regardless. Go me!

If you’re interested to see all the stories I read in the past 365 days, I’ve made a page here with all of them listed. Some were total shit, some were meh and some were absolutely outstanding. I haven’t bothered including any commentary on the list – it was a pain in the arse enough just to remember to write them all down as I went.

So it’s easy to read loads of short stories every year and you totally should. The form is fantastic, it takes hardly any time and the reward always far outweighs the effort. Unless the story was shit, of course, but that’s the risk you take. I read a story this year that won a massive award and I thought it was absolute bollocks. But that’s the beauty of art – there’s something to appeal to everyone and something to make everyone say, “That was bollocks.” You can usually find the magazines and editors whose taste gels with yours without too much effort and then you’re likely to get a hit rate of tasty yarns far higher than random sampling. But I’d recommend random sampling as well, because there are gems in every shitpile from time to time. Below, I’ll make a list of my favourite short fiction places, to get you started. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, just a shove in the right direction. Enjoy!

Great short fiction:

First and foremost, let’s get the shameless self-promotion out of the way. You can find a selection of my short fiction, free to read online, by checking out this page.

For great anthologies, check out the publications by these awesome Aussie small presses:

Ticonderoga Publications

Dark Prints Press

Coeur De Lion

(There are loads more out there.)

For excellent magazines, check out:

Abyss & Apex
Albedo One
Analog Science Fiction & Fact
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
Apex Book Company
Asimov’s Science Fiction
Aurealis Magazine
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Black Static
Chizine
Clarkesworld
Crowded Magazine
Daily Science Fiction
Escape Pod – sci-fi podcasting
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Ideomancer
Innsmouth Free Press
Interzone
Kasma SF
Lightspeed Magazine
Midnight Echo – magazine of the AHWA
Nightmare Magazine
PodCastle – fantasy fiction podcasts
Pseudopod – horror fiction podcasts
The Red Penny Papers
Shimmerzine
Strange Horizons
Ticon4
Wily Writers

Go forth, read short fiction and become a better person!*

(* May not actually make you a better person.)

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