George R. R. Martin…on StarShipSofa!

Did you read that right? Yes, yes you did. I’m having trouble believing it myself, but it’s true alright. StarShipSofa has managed to procure a story by Mr. George R. R Martin himself.

How did this happen?

I’m glad you asked.

Getting this story was far from easy. In fact, it’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. GRRM is a household name, and the idea that a little scruffy guy like me, (19 years old at that) could possibly work with him, or even get a response from him, was always a long shot.

But I told myself it didn’t matter. I looked up a handful of his older stories, selected the one best suited for our podcast, and one that was unique, that being “The Men of Greywater Station”, first published in 1976, and shot over multiple requests. I basically told him who we were and what we did, gave him a pitch for adapting the story, then resigned to never hearing a thing from him. I mean, this is the guy who’s responsible for the multimillion dollar franchise, Game of Thrones. He’s basically the guy’s turned epic fantasy mainstream, sold millions of books, conned the term sexposition, and gotten countless fans weeping and moaning for the next installment of his series. Long story short: he’s the biggest writer working today, period. What hope in hell did I have?

Then one day, in the middle of my university lecture, GRRM responded. He wanted to know what sort of audio adaption it would be and how we’d do it. After scraping my brains off the ceiling, I told him the details. We talked a bit, straightened a few things out, and then he gave me the green light/go ahead. We had a George R. R. Martin story!

Only there was one problem: both the story (and the collection it appears in) are out of print (and have been since the 70s), and have never appeared online. Ever. I went back to him about this, and he offered to send me one of his own copies, or failing that, a carbon copy of the story.

So I gave him my address and that was that. Nick (our narrator) went ahead and bought the book himself, and did a smashing job of the narration. And now StarShipSofa has officially had the honour and privilege of adapting a story by King George R. R. Martin, Lord of the Literary SF/F kingdom and protector of the realm. Not only that, but this is the FIRST TIME the story has ever been online, or even available to the public, since the 1970s. No electronic file exists publicly, and certainly no audio version. Until now.

You can find the podcast here, and get some details on the episode and more, here:

I still remember reading the books for the first time watching the HBO TV series when it came out, being both thrilled and awed, horrified and swept away. I’ve been an avid fans for so many years, and at my age, with such little experience, to have had the honour of working with Mr. Martin and being entrusted with a little piece of his literary heart and soul to do it justice…no words can ever cover that. None. Ever.

So thank you, Mr. Martin. Thank you.

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Massive Announcement: First “Professional” Sale!

I’ve been quiet about this for the past week, but I can’t keep the lid on any longer.

Exactly one week ago, I signed a contract for a short story, selling it to a magazine. Which magazine, may you ask? That magazine would be Nature magazine, published by Nature Publishing Group, a division of PAN MACMILLAN/TOR!

I won’t lie, my jaw smacked the desk when I saw that Nature had accepted my story. At 19 years old, I sold fiction to a magazine published by a division of one of “Big Five”.

Phew. Wow.

So, I scrapped my brains off the wall and popped a beer in the fridge to celebrate (it was first thing in the morning, and even by Australian standards that’s a tad early). Then I saw that Nature publishes anthologies with names like Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter, Philip K. Dick and others, and that Nature is the most cited science journal in the world, with over 3 million visitors to the website per month.

And I scrubbed my brains from the ceiling one more time. I seriously couldn’t believe it. Even now, it’s a little surreal. Hell, even family, teachers and people I barely know, who don’t even read science-fiction (some don’t even read at all) know about Nature magazine.

There are no words that can express just how riveted I feel. My editor has been phenomenal in making the story the best it could possibly be. I’ve seen the page proofs and artwork, and I love it.

But I’m not getting side tracked. This is the first step in a long, long journey that I won’t be quitting any time soon.

Look for my story in a future issue. For me, I’m back to my editing and writing. And who knows? Maybe I’ll sell another story with them in the future.

Actually, scratch that. You can bet that I will.

New Publication: Grimdark Magazine Issue #2

Issue 2 of Grimdark Magazine was released earlier this month, and I’m super excited. Why? Because I have a publication in it.

This isn’t just any other venue. This a professional venue, one that’s on the standards of the SFWAs. They’ve published incredible authors such as Mark Lawrence, Adrian Tchaikovsky, but in Issue #2 of the magazine they’ve published R. Scott Bakker, Kameron Hurley, Richard K. Morgan, and more. And guess what?

I’m published there too!

Goodreads*sniffles*

I honestly can’t say how stoked I am to have my name alongside theirs. I’ve been a fan of R. Scott Bakker for a while now (reading about the controversy is books have stirred is amusing), Kameron Hurley is a Hugo award winner of incredible work that’s also been “slammed” by a someone we shall call Requires Attention. (That’s all I’ll say. Google is your friend – or in this case, your enemy), and I’m a huge follower of Richard K. Morgan and his work. He’s actually worked on the videogames Crysis 2 and Syndicate. He’s written work that’s considered to be a classic in science-fiction and fantasy. In fact, his novel, Altered Carbon, is getting turned into a film by James McTeigue, the director of V for Vendetta.

And I’m published alongside them. In a professional SF/F magazine dedicated to grimdark.

Even now I’m still busy wrapping my brain around it. Sitting in a boiling hot room, pounding away a cheap keyboard in the summer holidays, I never dreamed I’d be up to this point. And I am.

But I’m just getting started.

You can pick up the issue of the magazine here, on the home website. It’s also on Amazon, smashwords, etc, so pick where you’d like, but remember that this is a new publication that’s going pro straight out of the bat. Do what you can to support them, so grabbing it from the home website would be much better for ’em.

Also, if you could nab along to Goodreads, give it the appropriate rating, and add it to your list, that would be swell, too.

Thanks for reading, folks!

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