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Showing posts from December, 2011

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams . . .

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Twelve months ago I was in a bad place. The New Year was looming, I had some personal problems that were kicking my behind, and my writing career was not progressing the way I'd hoped. Then, on Jan 2nd, I received a late night phone call from America. It was Joni Labaqui from the Writers of the Future Contest. The story I had entered almost four months previous (and which, to be honest, I had forgotten about) had reached the final 8 of the quarter. Ms Labaqui assured me that my story was really good and that I was a talented writer. I almost cried. As it happens, the story didn't make the all-important Final 3 but shortly after I went on to sell it to Realms of Fantasy Magazine*. [*That's another story.]

Anyhoo, this episode taught me a couple of things. One, I can do this. I've "got the chops", as they say. Two, I started telling myself to stop waiting around for things to happen. Make your own opportunities. At the time, I didn't quite know what that mea…

Probability and Chaos

Probability and Chaos'If you jump,' the cop bellowed, fighting to be heard over the buffeting wind, 'you’ll be dead before you hit the ground.'The jumper, a young man in a white lab coat, glanced over the ledge on which he was standing, taking in the endless tiers of sky-traffic coursing by in every direction below them. The young scientist let out a short, high-pitched laugh. 'You would think so, wouldn’t you?' he shouted to the cop.'What are you talking about?' said Officer Pullman. 'If you throw yourself into that traffic, the odds of surviving are a million to one!'The young scientist smiled grimly. 'Actually, the odds are 123,570-to one, to be precise.' He observed the puzzled expression on the officer’s face. 'That’s my field of research - probability and chaos. You’re quite right that the odds against me not being hit by a single vehicle during my descent are considerable. But for the last six months I’ve been working night an…

The View from the Bridge

“Potential suicide, Golden Gate Bridge. Officer needs assistance.”Sergeant Harris studied the figure in his rear view mirror. Dark clothing, black raincoat, raised hood. It was a miracle Harris had seen him through the thrashing rain. But this wasn’t the first time he’d come across someone loitering conspicuously at that particular spot. In his ten years on the beat there’d been a dozen suicides there; he’d attended two of them himself. The first one had jumped - a middle-aged woman driven to despair after ten years in an abusive relationship. Harris had never really gotten over her death. He could still remember the feel of her dress as it slipped through his fingers. Helpless, he’d watched her fall - silent, graceful - into the roiling waters below.He’d made a promise to himself that day - he would never let it happen again. Thankfully, the one which followed, a young man, had been pulled back from the brink. Afterwards, Harris had asked him why he’d chosen to jump from the Golden …

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Star Pilot

JOURNAL ENTRY #3138 Date: 11/04/2199 Time: 1046This is Cory Dealth, captain and pilot of the cargo freighter, Alexa. I’ve just chartered the final leg of our course for Delta Centauri, but I’m certain that I won’t reach journey’s end alive. I am in the grip of “the Sorrow”, “the Loneliness”, “the Pilot’s Despair”; it doesn’t matter what you call it, I know it has only one cure — death.Continue reading the story here: Planet Magazine