Visiting the Islands

I haven’t been blogging much recently — just one post in 2017 — but I’ve had good reason.

Since late last year, I’ve been working on a shared world project with a few writerly friends, gradually developing the concept and setting, before we dived in and started to write. We’re now less than a week away from launching our project, with websites, graphics, promotional materials and other efforts all waiting to explode from hiding!

Want a little taster of what we’ve been up to?


ARCHIPELAGO is a swashbuckling historical fantasy serial — think Treasure Island and Moby Dick with a hint of Master & Commander, as filtered through George R. R. Martin on a weekly basis. The project is part collaborative and part competitive: each of the contributors enter the scenario from a different point of view, exploring the unknown until we meet in the middle, where we’ll vie for supremacy (or our characters will… but who knows what will go down when things start to get heated!).

All this will be delivered to readers in a sort of online magazine format, and the ultimate result will be a novel-length adventure that weaves together our different story strands.

My collaborators are two talented sf authors from across the pond: Canada’s Charlotte Ashley, who has featured in F&SF Magazine (most recently on the cover!), PodCastle and the Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017, plus nominations for the Sunburst and Aurora Awards; and America’s Kurt Hunt, who doesn’t go in for all that website-having malarkey and yet still manages to land stories at the likes of Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies and PodCastle. Picture me as the millstone around their necks.

We know each other via, and like me both have appeared in past SFFW anthologies: Charlotte in You Are Here and Lucky or Unlucky?, and Kurt in Ecotones.

ARCHIPELAGO is launching very soon: teaser stories will appear during May, with Year One’s weekly episodes going live from the start of June. We’ll also be running a novelty Kickstarter campaign during our promo-month to help spread the word around the crowdfunding community – and I’ll be sharing links to all that over the coming weeks!

Our logo comes courtesy of writer/designer Holly Heisey — and you can find out more about their work at

The Glass Sealing




Enterprising engineer Arthur Singleton is on the verge of achieving all his dreams when they are snatched away from him. His sympathies for the plight of mistreated workers lead him to speak up in their support, but for doing so he is made a scapegoat by the heads of industry, falsely accused of inciting a riot which they orchestrated to keep the people in their place. With his reputation ruined and his career in tatters, Singleton vanishes into the squalid streets of Southwatch, determined to make a difference where it really counts: in the lives of ordinary men and women, forgotten or ignored by those who live in comfort and luxury above the Dark Cloud. 

Years later Singleton emerges from obscurity again as a secret leader in the Workers’ Movement, an underground protest organisation dedicated to challenging the status quo–but no change comes easy, especially when it threatens the profits of the wealthy. Looking down on their activities is Jocelyn Duville, heiress to a unique airborne transportation empire, who once considered Singleton more than a colleague and was an unwitting player in his wrongful disgrace. Now a darling of high society, Jocelyn is far from a conventional figure herself, refusing to simply marry and give up her independence. She has big plans for Southwatch, a proposal that will change the face of the city and write her name in the history books in the process. But her goals epitomise everything the Workers’ Movement struggles against, and they will not stand by and watch without a fight. 

However, these are not the only forces at play. Street gangs, the city government, and the strange, inhuman beings that live in Southwatch’s deep shadows all have vested interests in the outcome of the building conflict. Arthur Singleton and Jocelyn Duville will face off across a chasm of class, each wielding very different kinds of power–unaware that they are pitted against each other, and of the terrible consequences their actions will have on the city they both love.


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