This has indeed been a strange year in many ways. Even the weather has conspired to make this an unusual year in the UK…
Of course you can always rely on double rainbows appearing somewhere in the Uk like those below near Bath…
But we also had the delight of a rare fog bow in Rannoch Moor (Scotland) as seen below:
And then there was the very rare moonbow over Skipton (Yorkshire)….
And then there was the extremely rare fire rainbow seen over Normanton in Yorkshire…
With all these bows, you start wonder who’s been fiddling with our weather, and indeed our destiny.
For me, in a way, this has been an unusual year for me science fiction wise. I’ve had 3 short stories published –
- Swept Away, Kraxon Magazine, January 2016
- Cyber Control, Kraxon Magazine, June 2016
- AI Deniers, Explorations: Through the Wormhole anthology, August 2016
Each has their own story to it. Swept Away went from idea to publishing within a month, which was a real first for me. Cyber Control was as a result of attending an innovation conference the previous year in London. And as for AI Deniers… that would not have happened had I not been taking a break from my novel to reinvigorate my creative juices… which, by the way, turned out to be spectacularly successful.
[Kraxon magazine are currently holding a poll for the best short story they have published this year over at sffchronicles, but you have to a member to be able to vote. Voting ends 20th December – it’ll give you a chance to read some of the wonderful tales they’ve published.]
As for my C.A.T. novel, well so far this year, two of its chapters have each obtained an Honourable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest. That makes it two out of two so far this year. [I’m currently writing the 3rd chapter for this year.]
This year has not been as productive as some previous years due to illness. Let’s say I’ve been in hospital twice, but it’s now all sorted.
But other weird things have been happening in the publishing / science fiction scene.
- We had news that 2015 was the first year that saw the proportion of sales of e-publications to paper-based books drop. I’m not sure of the reason why. Don’t get me wrong. e-publications have their uses e.g. those who have sight difficulties can easily enlarge the print to be able to read the e-book. I personally prefer to read a paper-based book.
- At least two major authors were changing their pattern of book publishing to go from their usual output to something that has more commercial appeal. This is a disappointment in one sense because what they were doing was innovative.
- We had no real controversy in the UK awards scene, though the winner of the Arthur C Clarke, Adrian Tchaikovsky was caught by complete surprise by the announcement he had won [there is a photo of him in stunned disbelief on the web somewhere!]
- We’ve had some major publishers close submissions to unagented writers during the year, which I take it to be a sign of them being overwhelmed and not getting in the necessary profits to be able to employ more people.
To me, this spells out that the publishing industry acknowledge they want change, but are not really quite sure which direction they should be going in. Like rainbows, it points to promise of the future but you never know where the rainbow ends.