Tag Archives: Science fiction

Anthology eBook version available

If You Could Only See Yourself and other stories, the Science Fiction anthology, is now available in eBook form, priced at £5.99.

EBook and paperback versions can be obtained from at the following links:

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Anthology published

Finally, the wait is over. The Science Fiction Anthology paperback has been published and is available through Lulu.com

If You Could Only See Yourself and Other Stories (ISBN 9781291055450) features 18 new science fiction short stories and costs £9.99 (+p&p).

We hope everyone will enjoy reading the book, which has an impressive range of fantastic stories from an internationally diverse group of talented writers. Thanks to everyone who participated in the competition.

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The Writers: Moya Green, author of Consider the Ant

Moya was born in Scotland, grew up in Manchester and now lives in Tamworth, Staffs. She has been writing short stories for years, and is at present working on a humorous novel, The Apotheosis of Jabez Pigstock. More of her work may be found on her website www.allwritemoya.com

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If You Could Only See Yourself and other stories, the Science Fiction anthology now available:

Paperback: http://goo.gl/9zbao

eBook: http://goo.gl/iSdWm

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The Writers: Tom C B Williams, author of ANNA

Tom C B Williams has been published in Pen Pusher 7,  Tales of the Decongested: Volume 2 and Pangea: An Anthology of Stories from Around the Globe. His story ‘You’re Dead’ was featured by BBC Radio 4 in their ‘Ones to Watch’ series. If Tom was a better designer, ANNA would be an interactive story app; as it is, he’s very happy with paper and ink.

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If You Could Only See Yourself and other stories, the Science Fiction anthology now available:

Paperback: http://goo.gl/9zbao

eBook: http://goo.gl/iSdWm

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The Writers: Winner Julian Gyll-Murray, author of If Only You Could See Yourself

Julian Gyll-Murray decided to write the same time he learnt to read, and spent his childhood making up stories. After working in a chocolate shop in Brussels and teaching in Thailand, 2012 saw Julian return home to plant his feet in English soil, and his head back in the clouds…

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If You Could Only See Yourself and other stories, the Science Fiction anthology now available:

Paperback: http://goo.gl/9zbao

eBook: http://goo.gl/iSdWm

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John Steinbeck on the impossible question: How to write a good short story

“I have written a great many stories and I still don’t know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances.”

In 1963, John Steinbeck revealed his conviction that there was no magic formula for writing a good short story but that the work must first be created and then judged on its merits. Has anything change?

Dear Writer:

Although it must be a thousand years ago that I sat in a class in story writing at Stanford, I remember the experience very clearly. I was bright-eyes and bushy-brained and prepared to absorb the secret formula for writing good short stories, even great short stories. This illusion was canceled very quickly. The only way to write a good short story, we were told, is to write a good short story. Only after it is written can it be taken apart to see how it was done. It is a most difficult form, as we were told, and the proof lies in how very few great short stories there are in the world.

The basic rule given us was simple and heartbreaking. A story to be effective had to convey something from the writer to the reader, and the power of its offering was the measure of its excellence. Outside of that, there were no rules. A story could be about anything and could use any means and any technique at all – so long as it was effective. As a subhead to this rule, it seemed to be necessary for the writer to know what he wanted to say, in short, what he was talking about. As an exercise we were to try reducing the meat of our story to one sentence, for only then could we know it well enough to enlarge it to three- or six- or ten-thousand words.

So there went the magic formula, the secret ingredient. With no more than that, we were set on the desolate, lonely path of the writer. And we must have turned in some abysmally bad stories. If I had expected to be discovered in a full bloom of excellence, the grades given my efforts quickly disillusioned me. And if I felt unjustly criticized, the judgments of editors for many years afterward upheld my teacher’s side, not mine. The low grades on my college stories were echoed in the rejection slips, in the hundreds of rejection slips.

It seemed unfair. I could read a fine story and could even know how it was done. Why could I not then do it myself? Well, I couldn’t, and maybe it’s because no two stories dare be alike. Over the years I have written a great many stories and I still don’t know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances.

If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.

It is not so very hard to judge a story after it is written, but, after many years, to start a story still scares me to death. I will go so far as to say that the writer who not scared is happily unaware of the remote and tantalizing majesty of the medium.

I remember one last piece of advice given me. It was during the exuberance of the rich and frantic ’20s, and I was going out into that world to try and to be a writer.

I was told, “It’s going to take a long time, and you haven’t got any money. Maybe it would be better if you could go to Europe.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because in Europe poverty is a misfortune, but in America it is shameful. I wonder whether or not you can stand the shame of being poor.”

It wasn’t too long afterward that the depression came. Then everyone was poor and it was no shame anymore. And so I will never know whether or not I could have stood it. But surely my teacher was right about one thing. It took a long time – a very long time. And it is still going on, and it has never got easier.

She told me it wouldn’t.

A budding science fiction short story writer? Enter our competition

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Richard Harland: How to write Sci-Fi, horror, fantasy and popular fiction

Richard Harland, author of World Shaker and numerous other titles took four months out of his writing schedule to create a list of tips for writers of fantasy, science fiction, horror and popular fiction. It’s a must-read for any writer in the genres.

Take part in the Words Just Words Science Fiction Short Story Prize. Write a story of up to 3,500 words and win a prize of up to £50, as well as seeing your story published in our anthology. Terms and Conditions apply.

 

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