Episode 23 – An Interview with Cherry Potts

This week we are joined by Cherry Potts, author and founder of Arachne Press.

Cherry is the author of fantasy novel The Dowry Blade and the short story collection Mosaic of Air. Her work is often inspired by myth and fairy tales, while exploring the politics and humour found in everyday lesbian life. She is also a visiting lecturer at City University teaching creative writing.

Arachne Press was founded in 2012 and has published many YA and poetry titles as well as non-fiction and anthologies, including three collections of stories performed by Liars’ League. Arachne Press has also been at the forefront of live storytelling, running The Story Sessions events around London, and the annual midwinter Solstice Shorts festival which is branching out around the UK in December 2017.

Direct download: Episode 23

You can find our more about Cherry and her work on her website cherrypotts.co.uk and Arachne Press at arachnepress.com where details of upcoming events can also be found.

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Episode 22 – An Interview with Michael Cobley

This week we are joined by Science Fiction and Fantasy author Michael Cobley.

Mike is the author of the Humanity’s Fire space opera series and the Shadowkings epic fantasy trilogy. He is also the author of many short stories including the collection Iron Mosaic. We talked to Mike about his long career as a writer, current projects and his advice for new writers.

Direct download: Episode 22

You can find our more about Mike and his work on his website.

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Episode 21 – An Interview with Donna Scott

This week we are joined by author, editor, stand-up comedian and Chair of the British Science Fiction Association, Donna Scott.

Donna is a professional editor who has worked with many SF and Fantasy authors including the legendary Alan Moore. Her short fiction has been widely published in magazines and anthologies, and she has been given the official title of the first ‘Bard of Northampton’. In addition to her stand-up comedy she is also involved in Arts Lab Northampton and in campaigns to save local libraries from closure.


Direct download: Episode 21

You can find our more about Donna and her work on her website. Click here to learn more about the campaign for Northamptonshire libraries.

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Episode 20 – An Interview with Chris Beckett

Award-winning science fiction author Chris Beckett joined us to talk about his work.

Chris is the author of six novels and dozens of short stories in a career spanning more than 25 years. His novel Dark Eden was the winner of the 2013 Clarke award, while his short fiction collection The Turing Test won the prestigious Edge Hill prize.


Direct download: Episode 20

Chris spoke to us about his inspiration, his writing process, and the ideas behind his new novel America City which is out on 2 November.

You can find our more about Chris and his work on his website here.

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Episode 19 – NaNoWriMo 2017

Before NaNoWriMo 2017 kicks off, we are joined by Cambridge Municipal Liaison Ian Rennie to talk all about the annual 50k novel writing challenge.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, sees hundreds of thousands of people all over the world attempt to write a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November. Participation is free and open to anyone who wants to spend the month writing.

Local groups organise everything from online morale-boosting chats to in-person write-ins at cafes, libraries and venues all around the globe. ‘Cambridge Wrimos’ is the local Cambridge group for participation in NaNoWriMo, setting up planning events, social events and parties before, during, and after November, which Ian helps to organise and run.

Ian fills us in on what it’s like to take on the NaNoWriMo challenge, and why it’s so much fun to get involved. He also gives some tips for anyone thinking of taking part for 2017.


Direct download: Episode 19

Ian himself is a published writer of several short stories, and you can find out more about his work on his website.

Both Ian and Becks will be attempting NaNo this year, so do seek them out on Twitter for encouragement and advice if you want to join us and scores of others writing a novel this November!

Visit the NaNoWriMo official site!
The Cambridge regional forum is here and Cambridge Wrimos can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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Episode 18 – Small Press Day

We’re celebrating Small Press Day on 8 July by interviewing the people behind some of our favourite small press publishers.

We spoke with Mark Toner, co-founder and art director of Shoreline of Infinity about running a genre magazine and putting on live sci-fi cabaret events. We met up with Ian Whates, founder and editor at NewCon Press to talk about how he went from publishing a single anthology to building a small press that plays a vital role in giving a voice to new talent. And we chatted with Nigel Twumasi, co-founder of British Manga brand Mayamada to hear how a university t-shirt enterprise between friends gave rise to a whole universe of characters and stories.

Happy Small Press Day!

Direct download: Episode 18

On a related note, check out recent post on where to find genre SF&F short fiction here which features information about several fanastic small press publishers.

Short form speculative fiction and where to find it

To follow up on our recent podcast about short fiction in SF&F (Episode 15),  we’ve put together a list of some of the sources of speculative fiction that we have encountered. This is not a list of authors of short fiction, but rather the places where one might look to get a feel for genre (short) fiction. Some were mentioned in the episode and several listeners told us that they would like some more information. We have added details for both specific magazines we follow,  and publishers whose catalogue covers an array of formats or perhaps publish genre fiction as part of a broader catalogue. There is occasionally overlap between entries. Click the names of each item to jump to their website and find out more.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather the sources we have followed for some time to get the ball rolling. We constantly are looking for new things so we will continually update this post. Maybe you’ve got some recommendations for a magazine we haven’t listed or a publisher you’ve seen consistently produce speculative short fiction. Maybe you’ve been published somewhere and want to give them a plug! We’ve only put a few things on the list so far but we would be especially keen to get some recommendations and a short blurb (not just names!) for magazines, online fiction, flash fiction, and resources for specialist subgenres. If you have comments or suggestions for additions to this list, please get in touch via Twitter or in the comments below. … Continue reading

Episode 15 – a long chat about short fiction

We’ve just returned from Eastercon 2017 where we caught up with author Chris Butler to talk about all aspects of writing, editing and publishing short fiction in the science fiction and fantasy genre. With so much SF&F out there, short stories, anthologies and novellas are a great way to get a flavour of genre fiction. As the convention is home to the British Science Fiction Awards, we also gave our thoughts on the stories nominated for the BSFA Short Fiction award:

  • Malcolm Devlin – The End of Hope Street (Interzone #266, TTA Press)
  • Jaine Fenn – Liberty Bird (Now We Are Ten, NewCon Press)
  • Una McCormack – Taking Flight (Crises and Conflicts, NewCon Press)
  • Helen Oyeyemi – Presence (What is Not Yours is Not Yours, Picador)
  • Tade Thompson – The Apologists (Interzone #266, TTA Press)
  • Aliya Whiteley – The Arrival of Missives (Unsung Stories)

Direct download: Episode 15

Chris has published numerous short stories in magazines (e.g. Interzone, Asimov’s) and anthologies, (e.g. The Best British Fantasy 2014) as well as the novel Any Time Now and the novella The Flight of the Ravens. He recently edited the anthology The World and the Stars. Find out more about Chris and his work, by visiting his website here.