Something VERY, VERY big coming to StarShipSofa

So, me and Tony have been teasing this one out over the last couple of weeks. Something MASSIVE will be docking at the StarShipSofa. What, may you ask? That, I cannot say. However, I can tell you that it includes one of the biggest and coolest authors of modern SF/F today. It was bloody hard even reaching out to them, and negotiating was akin to walking on a tightrope made out of dental floss.

But I managed to secure a story from them, and I’m over the moon, man. And so is Tony, believe me. And our narrator, Nick Camm did a cracking job of the story. He always does, but he put everything he had into it.

And I can also tell you that getting the green light was only half the deal. Getting hold of the story was another matter entirely. It was extremely unconventional, and all four of us, (that being me, Tony, Nick and the author in question) had to work hard to get it done. But now it’s complete and I’m super stoked to hear the response.

Come on, tell us, I can hear you whining. Nope. Sorry, no go. Approximately only five or six people are aware of what’s coming, and we plan to keep it that way. Yes, it really is that big. I can guarantee with my life that you know this author and the work that they’ve done. But my lips are sealed.

Look out for it on Wednesday! June 3rd will be the day!

Until then…..


Interview with Jeremy Szal (StarShipSofa)

I was interviewed for Stuart Flynn’s blog about my work as an assistant editor for StarShipSofa. I probably said something I shouldn’t have, but that’s part of the fun.

S.C. Flynn

It’s almost closing time at the pub and I’m still trading beers with Jeremy Szal, assistant editor of Hugo award-winning podcast StarShipSofa.

SCy-Fy: Jeremy, I guess we should finally start this interview before they throw us out. How do you prepare for a show?

JS: There’s a lot to it, actually. If I happen across a story I like, I contact the author to get permission for audio rights – if it’s a submission, this part is obviously skipped. If I get the green light, I find an appropriate narrator to match the story. I take it to them, and if they accept the job, I give them a timeframe. After nagging and following up, usually with not so thinly-veiled threats – bringing a dog into the equation works well – I get the episode file back. I listen to it to make sure the quality is up to…

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It’s that time of year again….

Some days I love uni. I love going there, meeting up with friends, attending great lectures, having lunch together and (sometimes) finding that spot where I can bathe in the winter sun  and read a book.

And other times I really, really hate it. Replace really with an expletive and you get the general gist of it. Droll lectures, horrendous readings to do, completely impractical ways in which you’re taught to write (I’d like to think I’ve got SOME notion of how to kick a story into shape, but apparently I either need to take drugs, be extremely political, or just try to re-revolutionize the entire process of penning a story in order to make something of value), amoung countless other things.

Oh yeah, then there’s the work load.

I’ve got so much end of semester work to do it’s like I’ve got weights fastened to my feet. I just came off a four-day film shoot, which in all honesty, was incredibly fun (but incredibly difficult, with brutally long days). And now I’ve got almost 12,000 words in essay questions to write up, assignments to hand in, summaries to scratch together, and more stuff that I’ve probably forgotten about. Hell, I’ve even delayed buying my Playstation 4 until I can clear all this work off my desk.

But frankly, it’s not the difficultly of the work that’s strenuous. It’s the mental-space that it takes up. The 3500 word essay looming over you might not be that hard of a job to knock into something comprehensible, but it’s just all cramming in my brain, occupying space that I honestly don’t have room for. There’s agents to query, novels to write (I’m half-way through my 4th one), short stories to write and submit, copy edits to go over, reviews to write up, people to contact, interviews to conduct, stories to solicit, and so much more. Again, none of this is particularly difficult. It’s just the mental space that it occupies. The straw that broke the camel’s back. And there are a lot of straws on my back.

I’m sure I’m going to miss university when I’m done. Hell, I’m sort of not looking forward to it already. I’ve enjoyed the three years I’ve spent there, and it’s going to be so hard to walk away. But at the end of the day, I’ll be damned if I choose to go to a lecture instead of querying an agent, or tightening a chapter on a novel. I’ve got so many things I want to do and catch up with, so many projects to start and finish, but I need to shut them out just for a little while longer while I wrap all this up. I wish I didn’t have to, but since when does anyone always get what they want? And I’m not entirely sure anyone should.

I’ll be hanging in there.

Published…in Nature!

Well. This is a little late. Half a week, to be exact. But as they say, better late than never, eh?

Anyway, a few days ago my first professional story was published by Nature magazine over on their Physics subdivision. There’s a link there, but I’ll give you another one here, because I’m awesome like that.

This is my first professional level, SWFA-level publication, and so far the results have been incredible. Getting a pro sale at 19 is cool enough, but the amount of work and effort my editors and publicists have gone to has been incredible. I’ve had tweets all week, cover art, blog posts on the story behind the story, and even excerpts posted.

I’ve had bad editors. I’ve had good editors. And then there are these guys – the sort that extend the hand and take incredibly good care of you. I can’t thank Colin and the team over to Nature enough for picking me up and buying my story. And to be published under Pan Macmillan, too!

And then, there’s the cover art.


Seriously, that’s some really, really awesome stuff. And as I said, they’ve been shooting out tweets like these all week…

CEUIuyLXIAAOHJl.jpg large…and I hadn’t even seen the physical copy of the magazine yet! Speaking of which, if you’re interested in chasing it up, it’s in Nature Physics: May 2015, Volume 11 No 5

But anyway, do check it out. I’ve had some feedback – both from fellow writers (who I admire very much) and randoms online, and I’ve been overwhelmed by their kind words. And to be published in Nature…I’m never getting over that. In fact, I know a veteran SF writer who told me he knew nuclear physicists and other scientists who would sell their own grandmothers into slavery to get a shot at being published in Nature.

Well, my granny had better learn how to swing a pickaxe, or she won’t last long in those mines!


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