Wednesday 5 June 2024

Fission #4 - something I hope we can all come together over

...because I'm offering the cure to ennui.  In the shape of my story, Formula 719: The Cure for Ennui, which you can find in Fission #4 from the British Science Fiction Association.  The cover is below, and look whose name leads?! It's even elevated above everyone else! Ain't the alphabet and odd-numbered lists great?  Available... well, they haven't said, but this month or next.


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You're here, so surely you know how to do that?


My Thoughts are with You. Your Thoughts are with the Authorities for Calibration Against Societal Norms.

Award-nominated science fiction and slipstream author Robert Bagnall’s second anthology of twenty-four stories, variously bleak, funny, bleakly funny or – very occasionally – optimistic.


  

2084 - The Meschera Bandwidth

2084. The world remains at war.

In the Eurasian desert, twenty-year old Adnan emerges from a coma with memories of a strictly ordered city of steel and glass, and a woman he loved.

The city is the Dome, and the woman... is Adnan's secret to keep.

Adnan learns what the Dome is, and what his role really was within it. He learns why everybody fears the Sickness more than the troopers. And he learns why he is the only one who can stop the war.

Persuaded to re-enter the Dome to implant a virus that will bring the war machine to its knees, the resistance think that Adnan is returning to free the many - but really he wants to free the one.

24 0s & a 2

Twenty-four slipstream stories.  Frequently absurd, often minimifidian, occasionally heroic.
“Brilliant stories, well written!” (five stars, Amazon).

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Doubly Best of British

Two announcements today, which I'd like you imagine being made by Queen Victoria whilst waving a union flag in each hand.  Because it's all very British.

Firstly, my story 'Thus With a Kiss I Die', first run off printing presses somewhere deep in the colonies, has been picked for the 2024 edition of The Best of British Science Fiction - confusingly titled Best of British Science Fiction 2023.  It's my fifth appearance since the series first appeared in 2017 with, yes, '2016' on the cover.  Not for me to reason why.

Pre-order it here.


Secondly, my tale 'Formula 719 - A Cure for Ennui' has been chosen for the fourth edition of Fission, the British Science Fiction Association's anthology.

Both are due out this summer.

Three cheers for Albion, and I'll tell my man to clean your kit.

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Click on the images or search on Amazon.
You're here, so surely you know how to do that?


My Thoughts are with You. Your Thoughts are with the Authorities for Calibration Against Societal Norms.

Award-nominated science fiction and slipstream author Robert Bagnall’s second anthology of twenty-four stories, variously bleak, funny, bleakly funny or – very occasionally – optimistic.


  

2084 - The Meschera Bandwidth

2084. The world remains at war.

In the Eurasian desert, twenty-year old Adnan emerges from a coma with memories of a strictly ordered city of steel and glass, and a woman he loved.

The city is the Dome, and the woman... is Adnan's secret to keep.

Adnan learns what the Dome is, and what his role really was within it. He learns why everybody fears the Sickness more than the troopers. And he learns why he is the only one who can stop the war.

Persuaded to re-enter the Dome to implant a virus that will bring the war machine to its knees, the resistance think that Adnan is returning to free the many - but really he wants to free the one.

24 0s & a 2

Twenty-four slipstream stories.  Frequently absurd, often minimifidian, occasionally heroic.
“Brilliant stories, well written!” (five stars, Amazon).

Friday 12 April 2024

Is half a psychopomp better than no psychopomp?

I really don't know whether this tale is heroic, pathetic, or ironic.
I've just had my story Charabanc accepted for Parsec Ink's next Triangulation anthology, theme: Hospitium, the Greco-Roman concept of hospitality, where both the guest and host have an obligation to treat the other with kindness and respect. Bring out the bunting. Hurrah for me. Etc., etc.

That's the heroic bit over.

Charabanc started off as a story about Black Shuck, then turned into an updating off the old legend of the phantom coach, updating the coach-and-four itself to a 1952 Foden PVD6, with Black Shuck sleeping on a seat behind the driver. In it, the bus drives on across the moor, into the storm, forever, with each passenger picked up becoming the next driver. They are, quite literally, psychopomps, guiders of souls to the afterlife. The story covered one soul, from flagging down the bus to finding himself in the driving seat, driving into the endless night...

The acceptance only came after the editors reached out to me to say they were minded to offer it a place in the collection, but only if they could cut the entire second half of the story - the part with the passenger from the first half now the driver.

I've accepted many editorial changes across the eighty-odd stories I've sold, from rewrites changing the point of view to new titles requested by the editor. But this was quite a fundamental change to the story itself - so was it pathetic to agree? Have I lost my principles? Sold out?!

I don't think so. Except, maybe, to the selling out bit, if you mean by that not being totally deaf to what your readers and buyers, editors and publishers, want. Fine if you want to be an artist with a capital A, just publish your own work in your own way, and don't trouble the market. Collaboration remains a dirty word. 

And it's not like I need the money, all $30 or so this sale will bring. Why not hold out to broadcast my 'vision' uncompromised by the venal views of Big Publishing?  Because selling short fiction is a lot like fishing; it's the challenge of throwing out the bait and seeing what bites. One day I'll land a Clarkesworld, Asimov's, or Lightspeed. But not today, and not with this story. Better to be happy with a semi-pro bite, even if it comes with conditions, than to wait at the water's edge forever.

Better half a psychopomp in the hand, than one in the bush and all that. 

And the ironic? Well, having been a c.1000-word story for most of its life, and having racked up forty-odd rejections at various nearness of miss, I rewrote it to 2000 words to give it a bit more heft. Ditching the second half, of course brought it crashing back to 1000 words, which was what was needed to get it over the line. Apparently.

#

Click on the images or search on Amazon.
You're here, so surely you know how to do that?


My Thoughts are with You. Your Thoughts are with the Authorities for Calibration Against Societal Norms.

Award-nominated science fiction and slipstream author Robert Bagnall’s second anthology of twenty-four stories, variously bleak, funny, bleakly funny or – very occasionally – optimistic.


  

2084 - The Meschera Bandwidth

2084. The world remains at war.

In the Eurasian desert, twenty-year old Adnan emerges from a coma with memories of a strictly ordered city of steel and glass, and a woman he loved.

The city is the Dome, and the woman... is Adnan's secret to keep.

Adnan learns what the Dome is, and what his role really was within it. He learns why everybody fears the Sickness more than the troopers. And he learns why he is the only one who can stop the war.

Persuaded to re-enter the Dome to implant a virus that will bring the war machine to its knees, the resistance think that Adnan is returning to free the many - but really he wants to free the one.

24 0s & a 2

Twenty-four slipstream stories.  Frequently absurd, often minimifidian, occasionally heroic.
“Brilliant stories, well written!” (five stars, Amazon).

Friday 5 April 2024

TexArcana

Released on 17th June by Lunarian Press, TexArcana, an anthology of Texas-set fantasy stories, includes 'Death of a Medicine Man', a reprint of one of my first published stories, from 2012, in the short-lived, long-forgotten, and almost unobtainable magazine Crimson Fog. Nice to know it's getting another airing.


#

Click on the images or search on Amazon.
You're here, so surely you know how to do that?


My Thoughts are with You. Your Thoughts are with the Authorities for Calibration Against Societal Norms.

Award-nominated science fiction and slipstream author Robert Bagnall’s second anthology of twenty-four stories, variously bleak, funny, bleakly funny or – very occasionally – optimistic.


  

2084 - The Meschera Bandwidth

2084. The world remains at war.

In the Eurasian desert, twenty-year old Adnan emerges from a coma with memories of a strictly ordered city of steel and glass, and a woman he loved.

The city is the Dome, and the woman... is Adnan's secret to keep.

Adnan learns what the Dome is, and what his role really was within it. He learns why everybody fears the Sickness more than the troopers. And he learns why he is the only one who can stop the war.

Persuaded to re-enter the Dome to implant a virus that will bring the war machine to its knees, the resistance think that Adnan is returning to free the many - but really he wants to free the one.

24 0s & a 2

Twenty-four slipstream stories.  Frequently absurd, often minimifidian, occasionally heroic.
“Brilliant stories, well written!” (five stars, Amazon).

Sunday 24 March 2024

Heaven or Hell

You'll find my drabble of that name in the latest offering from Shacklebound Books, available from 29th March 2024 from Amazon.


#

Click on the images or search on Amazon.
You're here, so surely you know how to do that?


My Thoughts are with You. Your Thoughts are with the Authorities for Calibration Against Societal Norms.

Award-nominated science fiction and slipstream author Robert Bagnall’s second anthology of twenty-four stories, variously bleak, funny, bleakly funny or – very occasionally – optimistic.


  

2084 - The Meschera Bandwidth

2084. The world remains at war.

In the Eurasian desert, twenty-year old Adnan emerges from a coma with memories of a strictly ordered city of steel and glass, and a woman he loved.

The city is the Dome, and the woman... is Adnan's secret to keep.

Adnan learns what the Dome is, and what his role really was within it. He learns why everybody fears the Sickness more than the troopers. And he learns why he is the only one who can stop the war.

Persuaded to re-enter the Dome to implant a virus that will bring the war machine to its knees, the resistance think that Adnan is returning to free the many - but really he wants to free the one.

24 0s & a 2

Twenty-four slipstream stories.  Frequently absurd, often minimifidian, occasionally heroic.
“Brilliant stories, well written!” (five stars, Amazon).

Friday 1 March 2024

AI, Robot

AI, Robot, from JayHenge now available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, or, well... all of them, I think.  Inside you'll find my story "How Did They get You?"



#

Click on the images or search on Amazon.
You're here, so surely you know how to do that?

My Thoughts are with You. Your Thoughts are with the Authorities for Calibration Against Societal Norms.

Award-nominated science fiction and slipstream author Robert Bagnall’s second anthology of twenty-four stories, variously bleak, funny, bleakly funny or – very occasionally – optimistic.


  

2084 - The Meschera Bandwidth

2084. The world remains at war.

In the Eurasian desert, twenty-year old Adnan emerges from a coma with memories of a strictly ordered city of steel and glass, and a woman he loved.

The city is the Dome, and the woman... is Adnan's secret to keep.

Adnan learns what the Dome is, and what his role really was within it. He learns why everybody fears the Sickness more than the troopers. And he learns why he is the only one who can stop the war.

Persuaded to re-enter the Dome to implant a virus that will bring the war machine to its knees, the resistance think that Adnan is returning to free the many - but really he wants to free the one.

24 0s & a 2

Twenty-four slipstream stories.  Frequently absurd, often minimifidian, occasionally heroic.
“Brilliant stories, well written!” (five stars, Amazon).

Monday 26 February 2024

Auntie

"Auntie" - now on Sci Fi shorts.


#

Click on the images or search on Amazon.
You're here, so surely you know how to do that?

My Thoughts are with You. Your Thoughts are with the Authorities for Calibration Against Societal Norms.

Award-nominated science fiction and slipstream author Robert Bagnall’s second anthology of twenty-four stories, variously bleak, funny, bleakly funny or – very occasionally – optimistic.


  

2084 - The Meschera Bandwidth

2084. The world remains at war.

In the Eurasian desert, twenty-year old Adnan emerges from a coma with memories of a strictly ordered city of steel and glass, and a woman he loved.

The city is the Dome, and the woman... is Adnan's secret to keep.

Adnan learns what the Dome is, and what his role really was within it. He learns why everybody fears the Sickness more than the troopers. And he learns why he is the only one who can stop the war.

Persuaded to re-enter the Dome to implant a virus that will bring the war machine to its knees, the resistance think that Adnan is returning to free the many - but really he wants to free the one.

24 0s & a 2

Twenty-four slipstream stories.  Frequently absurd, often minimifidian, occasionally heroic.
“Brilliant stories, well written!” (five stars, Amazon).