Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Come to Dadaoism

I'm delighted (and relieved) to announce that the novel I'm working on, The Young Dictator, is nearly finished. I've almost completed the sixth and final chapter. It feels to me as if this project has been dragging on forever, but in fact it has taken two years. It was thanks to the editor Mike Ashley that I was prodded into embarking on this book back in 2010. Anyway, more news after it's done and dusted, which hopefully will be very soon. Of course, writing a novel is only the first part of the process; the really tricky task is trying to get the thing accepted and published and read...

I'll also have news soon about The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange, which should be out later this year. The publisher has agreed to hold an auction in which bidders can appear in the big gladiatorial scene in the middle of the story and in return for pledging a sum (all money raised this way is going to charity) they may choose their weapon and the manner of their deaths. The mechanics of this are being worked out right now. Originally the idea was that the highest bidder would automatically get to win their fight, but it turns out that many people actually prefer to lose.

The Chômu Press Dadaoism anthology was released recently. I wrote a sort-of review of this volume on one of my other blogs before I had finished reading it. The main conclusion of that review (that the hilarious and hugely inventive Justin Isis story was the pick of the crop) still stands; but since then I have enjoyed many of the other pieces that I hadn't yet sampled... Katherine Khorey, Colin Insole (always very good), Brendan Connell (always brilliant), Nina Allen, Daniel Mills, Joe Simpson Walker, John Cairns, Nick Jackson, Kristine Ong Muslim (one of my favourite flash fiction writers), D.F. Lewis (a modern maestro), Paul Jessup and the extraordinary Ralph Doege (I'll be keeping my eye on him) all produce tremendous efforts. Chômu Press are one of the best independent publishers around at the moment; and Dadaoism is an excellent showcase of what they are capable of.

Oh yes, and one of my own stories is included in this book. Called 'Fighting Back', it's only four pages long and I wrote it in 2005 (it's not unusual for my work to wait seven years to see print) and it's a time travel story with a cunning conceit that I believe has never been used before.

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