The work I’m most proud of in 2020 is my article for Tor.com about portrayals of homelessness in Science Fiction and Fantasy which I think will be eligible for Related Work nominations.
I hope you can find time to read the piece as it’s a topic close to my heart and a people experiencing homelessness are part of society often overlooked.
2020 has been a good year for new short stories with seven published since January.
Old Fashioned in Lackington’s #21
Old Fashioned is a story about cocktails and cosmic horror. Imagine The Repairer of Reputations with added Orange Bitters and you’re on the right track.
Children of the Rotting Straw in Weird Horror #1
Children of the Rotting Straw was inspired by the image of the sky obscured by wicker hurdles, and grew from there into some strange Jack and the Beanstalk, woollen, scarecrow populated hybrid horror story.
No Sun to Guide the Way upcoming in Speculative City
Schwabylon in Munich no longer exists. With it’s seventies sunburst frontage, Yellow Submarine themed club, and 600,000 litre water tank containing 30 sharks it seems more like something from a Bond villain’s fever dream. Schwabylon was the inspiration for my weird fiction story No Sun to Guide the Way.
Tides Breathe When Words Are Spoken in Not One of Us #63
Tides Breath When Words Are Spoken grew out of work I did for an exhibition in Munich. The story is based around the idea of a lunar language expressed through geology.
On a Bed of Flag Leaves at Unsung Stories
Where I grew up in Harrogate the disused railway track was known as The Airy Mountains (or sometimes The Hairy Mountains) so William Allingham’s poem The Fairies has a special place in my heart. Now I’m a parent, the devastating loss hidden in verse four really resonates with me, and was the inspiration for On a Bed of Flag Leaves.
Green Grows the Grief in Shadows & Tall Trees 8
Grief features a lot in my work, and Green Grows the Grief is one of the stories where I explore loss and how we mourn. The inspiration for the setting was a compendium of abandoned greenhouses put together by Messy Nessy Chic.
The Fugue of Winter in Glass & Gardens: Solarpunk Winters
The Fugue of Winter brought together some technical ideas I put together for a project pitch. These included taking inspiration from penguins for architectural approaches to regulate building temperature. I don’t often write upbeat stories. I wanted to write a story which was about discovering and valuing the beauty of music, enough to risk everything to preserve it.