It’s only as I crawl feebly towards the final hours of this stinker of a year that I realise I distanced myself from this blog every bit as effectively as I did so many other parts of my life.
In fact, I got up to a few things in 2020, in spite of (first) Spain’s fairly strict lockdown measures in the middle of March and (second and ever since) my own voluntary, near-total continuing efforts to self-isolate. With only the company of my better half for direct contact in the last ten months, we’ve still been fortunate that neither of our families have been critically impacted by Covid-19, and if the price to pay for that is only seeing friends and loved ones via screens, we’ll accept small blessings.
But my purpose here isn’t to lament 2020, really. Instead, I’d like to share the handful of positives that (in my creative persona) I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing over the last twelve months.
Don’t worry, I won’t keep you long… 😉
Short Fiction – appearances and sales
Quick reminder first: as my last post described, twelve sorry months ago, I started 2020 in fine spirits due to the publication of the first issue of Cossmass Infinities, a scifi/fantasy magazine published out of Scotland, which featured my first “pro-paying” fiction sale, Second Chances, Seconds, Chance. They’re now three issues to the good, and long may they persist! It’s no easy thing keeping a zine going, as I can attest – but I’m getting ahead of myself, we’ll get back to that.
Since then, I’m delighted and astonished in equal measure to be able to say that in 2020 I went on to make two additional “pro” sales, one of which was published back at the end of October: Choose Your Battleground appeared in the Canadian eco-fic zine Little Blue Marble and was, unusually for me, not a speculative piece at all, just a plane old common-or-garden militant ecological call to arms (not really).
In addition to these, I also sold another pro story to the soon-to-appear Dark Matter Magazine, which releases its first issue early in the new year. My story, Recycle of Violence, will feature in the third issue which comes out early in the summer – I’m particularly proud of this piece, so safe to say I’ll try to remember to mention when it’s available!
And now to my other bit of news:
After a considerable period of awkward internet-based wrangling, I was finally able to take the reins as editor of Mythaxis, the understated scifi and fantasy zine originally created by my sadly departed friend Gil Williamson. With behind the scenes help from a small technical and reading team, we gave the site a stylistic overhaul and put out three issues in 2020, and are moving to a quarterly schedule in 2021.
My last ever story for the zine appears in our tribute issue to Gil, from now on I’m just going to be editing, but since then we’ve featured some great stories by authors from the UK, US, Canada, Senegal, Germany and India, and our plans for 2021 include parallel fiction projects to accompany the issues to come. I’ll share more details about that in the imminent future.
Happy New Year!
Told you I wouldn’t keep you long – hope you have a better year than the last one!