Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Shogi Golem

Maybe I promised there would be no more pictures of monsters, but I'm making an exception now to celebrate the news that I've already sold Twisthorn Bellow to the publisher I submitted it to... I started writing my novel at the end of January, finished it seven weeks later and sold it one month after that, making this one of my fastest and smoothest projects. If only all of them could go that way! And the publisher wants to bring it out this year, perhaps as early as September. How nice not to wait many years for a completed manuscript to see print!

The photo I have chosen to signify the occasion shows the blue golem himself in the middle of a game of shogi against the Sweet Tamarind Hand. Shogi is the golem's favourite board game, though he also enjoys xiangqi, hnefatafl, chaturanga, mancala and Cluedo. In this particular game the Sweet Tamarind Hand is winning but there seems to be some cheating going on. Why grow flesh fingers when you can grow strange sticky fruit ones instead? That's the outlook of the Sweet Tamarind Hand.

Tamarinds also symbolise the fact I've just completed a sequel to 'The Furious Walnuts', a tale I wrote back in 1995. I had no plans whatsoever to create a sequel, it was purely spontaneous. The sequel is called 'The Smutty Tamarinds' and has been submitted to a forthcoming Futurist anthology... I have lately been busy writing several stories for several new anthologies. Various unpublished stories are appearing online too: for example, this ezine has an unusual structure, namely two contrasting pieces from each featured writer, one realistic, one fantastical. So it features one of my rare realistic pieces ('In the Sink') as well as something more typically whimsical ('The Juice of Days'). I'm pleased with both tales and consider them to accurately represent the two extremes of my 'vision'.

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