I’m chuffed. Once Upon A Parsec has been shortlisted for a BFS 2020 award. This Book of Alien Fairy Tales was edited by David Gullen and published by NewCon Press and it’s where Alpha42 and the Space Hermits live.
The challenge was to write a non-human fairy tale or myth and I have to say it was surprisingly difficult. I chose an AI myth which meant I had to think especially carefully about the protagonist. Alpha42 was the result and I have to say I did develop strong feelings for Alpha42, probably because there’s quite a personal angle to the story.
Here’s hoping that Once Upon A Parsec wins this wonderful award.
Once Upon A Parsec: “Have you ever wondered what the fairy tales of alien cultures are like? For hundreds of years scholars and writers have collected and retold folk and fairy stories from around our world. They are not alone. On distant planets alien chroniclers have done the same. For just as our world is steeped in legends and half-remembered truths of the mystic and the magical, so are theirs.”
With less than a week to go before Biohacked & Begging is released, the interviews have started. One of the recurring questions is about the inspiration behind the collection. There is a long answer, which can be found on a previous post Prodding and poking the possible, but the short answer is, “to entertain.”
The second story in the collection is Mr Enhancement, wonderfully illustrated by Kim Hutson above, and written specifically for the Enfield Literary Festival as part of The Clockhouse London Writers Presents.
I took the inspiration from the performance artist Stelarc, who famously has an ear on his arm. Here’s an extract from his biography: “[…] has visually probed and acoustically amplified his body. He has made three films of the inside of his body. Between 1976-1988 he completed 26 body suspension performances with hooks into the skin. He has used medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, Virtual Reality systems, the Internet and biotechnology to engineer intimate and involuntary interfaces with the body. He explores Alternate Anatomical Architectures with augmented and extended body constructs.”
As you can imagine, I was really chuffed when Stelarc agreed to read an advance copy of Biohacked & Begging and doubly chuffed when he gave me this quote for the cover: “Can humans remain ‘more than digital, more than flesh’ with detachable limbs, multiple ears, implants that can be hacked and nanobots that can be ingested? These thoroughly enjoyable and contestable futures explore the personal and political implications of fleshy and messy encounters with contentious technology and the epidemic of algorithms.”
I hope you enjoy the collection as much as Stelarc did.
Biohacked & Begging is published on 12 April, but you can pre-order from Amazon now.
Press release available here and on request.
Art: Mr Enhancement by Kim Hutson @batfacedgirlart
Following on from my last post, a few things I’ve been working on are taking shape. The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted the new covers are here, and I’m loving them.
Also, the publication of the first volume of near-future fiction from Virtual Futures has arrived. I’m one of the editors along with Dan O’Hara and Tom Ward and although it’s taken a while to come to fruition the results are worth it. It’s a fantastic volume of eighteen stories from the 2017 series of fiction events, including The Never-Ending Nanobot Nectar from me. As the back cover blurb says, “When tomorrow has become a question mark — filled with as much malice as promise — can science fiction be a means of exploring the answer?”
You can pre-order the kindle version from Amazon up until the 5 March when it’s published, and that’s when the paperback version becomes available too (from all good book retailers).
I fully recommend it (but then I would, wouldn’t I).