This is obviously a great shame, and not just because it closes off another avenue of submissions for me (although that's all the more disappointing since the company's Bernice Summerfield range has also reduced its print output. Bah). For with Short Trips gone any number of new writers will be losing a valuable opportunity to blood themselves. Recent anthologies have given a host of fresh talents their big breaks, notablyHow The Doctor Changed My Life, a book peopled entirely by previously unpublished writers. What's more, positive reviews for the last three or four volumes suggested that the series was undergoing something of a renaissance.
But ultimately it's out of BF's hands - their licence to publish the books is expiring, it's the end of the line. Simple as that.
If there's a bright side, it's that all the books in the range will be on sale at vastly reduced prices, starting May 1. It's a chance to pick up some great stories on the cheap and you'd be a fool to miss out. Plus, of course, it'll be your last chance to catch my tales inThe History of ChristmasandTransmissions, if you've not done so already. I'll certainly be grabbing another HoC after a postal stuff-up a couple of years back meant I only received one contributor copy - got to rectify that before they go out of print forever!
That's what I've been suffering from for the last few days - when you get tonsilitis and you don't have any tonsils, you've got to call it something, I suppose. Anyway, it smuggled itself in under the guise of the flu, and has only just been seen off by some very strong anti-biotics. Fun times.
For all that, there've been a few things bubbling under, workwise. The unnamed project I mentioned a month or two back has moved on slightly in that I now have a co-conspirator to talk to. The job's something I've never done before, so it's nice to have someone along who knows the ropes. I imagine an announcement will be forthcoming. Soon. Maybe.
I've also been asked to work on a couple of other things, one of which is a short story for a collection with a very left-field theme. Well, I've not seen a brief like it before. Should be interesting.
And I've given a polish to an olde storie for resubmission to a well-regarded Australian publication. I've just shot it off to some wise heads for a critique, so we'll see how that goes.
Ah, conventions. So much fun at the time ... But like aeroplanes, where you're stuck in a confined space while everyone's breath is recycled around you, you never know what you'll come away with.
In my case, flu.
Started to spiral into illness on Saturday, and Sunday was a complete write-off. Today I'm achy but functioning - the burning throat's a bonus.
Anyway, Swancon. That was quite enjoyable actually. Turned up nice and early to watch my fellow Voices scribesShane Jiraiya CummingsandMartin Livingstaking part in a panel on horror writing, then settled down for some lunch, beers and a chat. Almost everyone there'd been at this writing lark for longer than I have, and gave me some very good advice about available markets to pitch to now that I've got a bit of time on my hands. I'll be looking into all that once I'm not-sick.
The signing itself was, at least, more of a success than Spinal Tap's ill-fated public appearance. The organisers contrived to sit the four Voices authors on different tables, and even after a reshuffle we only managed to get three of us grouped together - Martin, Sonia Marcon and myself.
But for all that we sold a couple of books, had a laugh and no one threw fruit at us. So I'd call that a win.
Next up - a rewrite and polish on a story I was talked into resubmitting for an upcoming anthology ... even though it's been knocked back twice. Third time's the charm, right?