Novellas, Science, SFF

“The Ghost of Matter”

ghost-of-matter_cover_medMy new novella’s out! It came out just yesterday, from Paper Road Press, as part of their Shortcuts series of New Zealand based speculative fiction. The other five stories in the series are fantastic, I’m so pleased to be part of it with all those fantastic authors!

1886. Two young boys disappear in the Sounds. Their mother grieves, all the music cut out of her heart; their father wanders the coast for a year, wanting and not wanting to find any part of them left behind. And their brother Ern, faced with a problem to which no solution can be found, returns to his laboratory – and to the smell of salt, soft voices in his ear, wet footprints welling seawater in the darkness.

The Ghost of Matter weaves together time and memory, physics and mystery, in this story inspired by Ernest Rutherford’s life and research.

I seem to have a real thing about Ernest Rutherford! He turned up in The August Birds last month, and now this. I’ve also got another idea for a novella involving him, and a short story. He just really fires my imagination, especially as he grew up in the same part of New Zealand as I did.

Anyway, there’s an excerpt that’s free to read over at Paper Road, so if this sounds like something you’d like go check it out!

Novellas, Science, SFF

The Ghost of Matter

Ernest_Rutherford_LOCI’m happy to say I’ve just signed the contract for a new novella! The Ghost of Matter will be published in September of this year by Paper Road Press.

If you recognise the title, you’ll know what it’s about: Ernest Rutherford, the NZ scientist described as the greatest experimentalist of his time. It’s from a quote of his – “I have broken the machine and touched the ghost of matter” – regarding his work in atomic physics. Because I tend to write sci-fi and fantasy, there’s also actual ghosts in it. Ghosts and atoms and eeriness…

The Ghost of Matter is the sixth and final story in the Shortcuts series by Paper Road Press. They’re doing a second track of literary works down the line, but these first six stories are themed round “Strange Fiction of Aotearoa New Zealand”. The first one’s already out: Mika by Lee Murray and Piper Mejia, and the rest will be released at the rate of one per month until mine shows up in September.

Novellas, SFF

SJV nomination for Trading Rosemary!

TradingRosemary_V02cIt’s been a good couple of weeks for nominations! My novella Trading Rosemary, published last year by Masque Books, has been nominated in the best novella category in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards. These are the New Zealand sci-fi/fantasy awards, named after a former prime minister of ours. Vogel ran the place in the late 19th century, and actually wrote a sci-fi novel of his own. It was a feminist sci-fi novel too, appropriate for the first country in the world to give women the vote.

Congratulations to all my fellow nominees, especially those sharing the novella category with me: Jan Goldie, Shelley Chappell, Celine Murray, Rolf Luchs and J.C. Hart!

Results of the voting will be presented at the close of the Reconaissance convention in April. Keeping my fingers crossed but really, I’m just pleased to be nominated.

Novellas, SFF

Sofie K. free up at Amazon

sofiekcover… for another couple of days at least.

See, back on the 15th of January it was Sofia Kovalevskaya’s birthday. If she were alive today, she’d be 165 years old! So, as a somewhat belated birthday present, I took advantage of Kindle’s select programme to make the novella she inspired free for a few days.

The Life in Papers of Sofie K. is a fantasy bio of Kovalevskaya, mixing maths and magical realism and monsters in the story of her life. It’s free for another day or two, I think, so if it sounds like your kind of thing, have at it.

Happy birthday, Sofie!

Novellas, Papers, SFF, Short stories

2014 In Review

It’s been a busy year, writing-wise. First – and most important! – my PhD thesis has been completed and accepted. Thank fuck. One of the case studies, “Witnessing the Waste Land: Sight, Sound and Response in Edith Sitwell’s ‘Three Poems of the Atomic Age'”, has been published in UnderCurrents: the Journal of Critical Environmental Studies.

I’ve also had my first novellas published. Trading Rosemary (January) and The Don’t Girls (October) were both published by Masque Books. I’ve also self-published two others: The Life in Papers of Sofie K. and Vita Urbis.

On top of that, I’ve had three short stories published: “Vita Urbis” (a short story that would later grow into the above novella) in the urban fantasy anthology Twisted Boulevard by Elektrik Milk Bath Press. Also “Tommy Flowers and the Glass Bells of Bletchley“, which was published in The Dark Magazine, and “The Mussel Eater“, published by The Book Smugglers.

If I’m perfectly honest, I’m fishing for awards nominations. A long shot, but it would be nice. I’m focusing primarily here on two pieces: Trading Rosemary and “The Mussel Eater”.

The Sir Julius Vogel Awards, for speculative fiction by New Zealand writers, are handed out every year Down Under, at the National Science Fiction Convention. As far as I understand, it’s free to nominate and you don’t have to be a Kiwi to do so. Both TR and TME are very NZ focussed – the first is eligible for the Novella or Novelette category, the second is eligible for the Short Story category. Nominations, if you’re feeling kind, can be sent via email to sjv_awards@sffanz.org.nz. They close on January 31st.

Secondly, the Hugos. I’m in my second and final year of eligibility for the Campbell Award. Trading Rosemary is eligible in the Best Novella category, and TME in the Best Short Story (admittedly, though, there have been so many fine short stories this year that I don’t have a lot of hopes for it there). Rosemary has been getting some positive attention from book bloggers and critics, however, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for her. If you’ve read her and liked her, please consider nominating!

All in all, a relatively successful year – especially academically. Hopefully I can now focus more on other writing now that the beast that is my thesis (540 pages, people!) has been laid to rest.