Straddling genre boundaries like an incontinent ferret...

I have a lurking habit. Well, not so much of a habit, I mean I can quit whenever I feel like, you know, I just... don’t feel like it just now. One of the places I lurk is Mr Scalzi’s Whatever. Which is where the trouble started. I was in the very final round of revisions for Dying Light – the edit where anything you change costs the publisher money and gets you a reputation for being an awkward poo head, when I came across this post. I don’t know how I managed to miss the original call to arms, but I did.

Mr S had been slated to edit an issue of that fine Science Fiction quarterly periodical: Subterranean. This was to be the ‘Big Honkin’ Sci-Fi Cliché’ issue, and as I read I thought, ‘That would be fun. Wouldn’t that be fun Stuart? You could have a go at that.’ And then I thought, ‘Bugger off brain! Leave me alone, I’ve got an edit to finish or HarperCollins are going to break my knees.’ And then my brain went all quiet for a bit. Then it started whispering again. So I wrote a story.

a finite number of typewriters

And Mr Scalzi bought it. Hurrah! MONEY! Er... I mean, ART! Yes, art... ahem... money’s not important when... Oh look! A bee!

So come the spring you’ll be able to revel in many fine tales of Sci-Fi clichédom and one of mine as well. Though I kinda cheated and shovelled in as many clichés as I could: Time travel, Martians, William Shakespeare, Pope Rickards The Forth, War... None of this ‘less is more’ – bollocks. More is more. That’s why it’s called ‘more’. Clue’s in the name.

If you’ve been reading my mindless ramblings here for a while you’ll know that Science Fiction is responsible for me being here today. If you haven’t: shame on you! HarperCollins were considering a Sci-Fi novel of mine when they caught sight of Cold Granite and thought that would be a MUCH better idea. So it’s been nice to get back to the genre that got me published. Even if it wasn’t the Sci-Fi novel that sold.

And hopefully it’ll encourage a few more people to try out the crime fiction too. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll get to go to conventions where the men dress like killer robots and the ladies wear silver bikinis...

Well, it’s a dream.