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Posts Tagged ‘Automatic Diamanté’

IMG_2819I was just looking through Gardner Dozois’ Best New Science Fiction 31st Edition (published in the UK as The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 27th Edition) and nearly fell off my chair when I noticed that my story Automatic Diamanté had got an honourable mention. I’d had no idea that it had snuck into the book at all. There the title was nestling between works by Charlie Stross, Rachael Swirsky, Lavie Tidhar and Adrian Tchaikovsky. All I have to do now is make it into the actual table of contents.IMG_2820

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I’ve just finished listening to the audio adaptation of Automatic Diamanté featured in last week’s episode of the Hugo award winning Starship Sofa podcast.

In the hands (and vocal cords) of the very talented Nick Camm I had the odd feeling of not having written the thing at all. Nick’s wonderful narration managed to bring new levels of both creepiness and empathy to the central character. (Moreover, his pronunciation of Chalchiuhtlicue is faultless.)

I heartily recommend subscribing to the podcast if you haven’t already (it’s free).

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So, somewhat amazingly, my story Automatic Diamanté came second in the James White Award, placed after Shannon Fay‘s “You First Meet the Devil at a Church Fete”! Congratulations to

Me on stage with Sarah Newton, 'science fiction behemoth' Stephen Baxter, Paul Cornell and Donna Scott.

Me on stage with Sarah Newton,’science fiction behemoth’ Stephen Baxter, Paul Cornell and Donna Scott.

Shannon and a big thank you to the judges: Hugo nominated Aliette de Bodard, Hugo Winner Ian McDonald and the Interzone editors Andy Cox and Andy Hedgecock.

Speaking of which, the Interzone editors said so many positive things about my story I’m beginning to wonder whether a crumpled fiver found its way into my submission:

“Our initial response to Automatic Diamanté was that it is smart, dark and engaging. Our next reaction was that it’s the work of a talented writer who we would hope and expect to hear from in the future. It tackles big ideas of self, identity and consciousness: these are ambitious themes for a short story, and they carry a risk that narrative can collapse under the weight of philosophical speculation and be reduced to the status of ‘thought experiment’. But this is an adroit piece of writing that avoids this pitfall through its wit, its emotional resonance and the controlled energy of its language.”

Thanks also to everyone for all the kind words of congratulations, both on the interwebs and at the event (which was part of the BSFA awards ceremony at this year’s Eastercon) as well as to those who were kind enough to forgive me shambling onto stage to give an impromptu speech (based largely it must be said on my previous blog post). Chuffed doesn’t really cover it (so you have to excuse the blowing of one’s own trumpet). Likewise, if you want to see the judges’ feedback on both stories it’s here (so you can see I didn’t make it up or get my missus to claim to be a judge, write nice things on a napkin & present it to me with dinner).

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