Friday, 15 September 2017

Praised with faint damning

Stumbled across this review by Eamonn Murphy of "Shooting the Messenger" within a generally upbeat write-up of "Best of British Science Fiction 2016":

Shooting The Messenger’ by Robert Bagnall features Dave Kite, an ambitious young journalist looking for a story in Pakistan, a war zone with the Taliban. I get the impression that Bagnall made this up as he went along, which you can do with a short story. It’s certainly unpredictable! I liked it. Authors having fun is something I’m glad to see in ‘the heavy industry that professional writing has become’ as Bernard Berenson wrote to Ray Bradbury.

Made it up as he went along?  Isn't that how fiction works?  Isn't that what I'm meant to do?  I'm having a bit of a 'small; far away' moment: are we saying that novels aren't made up?  I've checked the back of my wardrobe, and that's clearly made up.  What about the works of Philip K Dick - that was all real?  The Moomins are real, though - I've always known that...

(Seriously, though - much obliged)

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Up like a rocket, down like a stick

Remember my red email day?  Well, didn't take long for the Scientologists to decide that my story was good, but not good enough for the Writers of the Future Competition.  Bit of a black edge to that email.

JK Galbraith came up with the idea of the bezzel, the amount by which the world is in profit whilst an embezzler has your money but the embezzled doesn't know.  It's one of my favourite cod-scientific theories.  Subversive comedy genius.

I think I can add the idea of a bezzel hangover; the despondency resulting from having the possibility of a win snatched away.  Had I simply found out I'd been placed, I'd have been happy.  However, to have received a call telling me I was in the last eight, talked about what it may mean, what they do for the winners, only for it to come to naught...  You inevitably focus on what coulda been.

Maybe this is the anti-bezzel, the perceived negative that balances out the false positive of the bezzel itself, meaning the world is really left in balance after all.  Socio-eonomic karma.

On a more positive note, you may recall the gauntlet I threw down to anybody reading these postings to write a science fiction story on the Bard.  Well, I accepted my own challenge and here's the result, published by Daily Science Fiction.  My second success with them; nice to have repeat business.

Back to the keyboard, I guess.