Skulls #1: “Stone Roach”/”Delays on the South Central Line”, Asimov magazine, 2011

Every time I sell a work of fiction, I buy a crystal skull. This is the one that started it.

I’d started sending out flash fiction and poetry, nervously. I’d promised myself that I’d buy something nice the first time I sold something.

I got a rejection slip from Asimov. They’re a big market, hard to crack, especially for a beginning writer. I wasn’t surprised.

Shortly afterwards, I got an e-mail from Asimov.

“Sorry, you haven’t managed to sell those poems, have you?”

I was indeed surprised.

No, I hadn’t, and yes, I was happy to sell them.

I made less than £10 out of it once I’d cashed the foreign cheque (they didn’t do Paypal at the time). I spent the money on Something Nice, namely, a skull necklace I’d had my eye on. I thought it was appropriate; skulls being the house of creativity and symbolic of the characters I’d created.

It also started a trend.

Disclaimer: A Note on Fiction

Everything in this blog is based on my real experience.

None of it is a remotely factual representation of my real experience.

You can insert your favourite argument about fiction versus objective truth, from Clifford and Marcus’ postmodern manifesto Writing Culture, to Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon, to the first chapter of Armistead Maupin’s The Night Listener. But to shorten it down: These are my real experience, but rendered into a good story.

Sometimes this means putting down my experiences exactly as I remember them—with all the subjectivity that entails.

Sometimes that means deliberate editing, for story or confidentiality reasons.

Sometimes this means I just forget things. I’ve had time to do this. It happens.

So, if you happen to be someone who find yourself here in this blog, and says, “well, I don’t remember it that way….” Then please, write a story about it.

I’ve written mine.

Your host

I am a doctor…

In 2002 I successfully defended my doctoral thesis, “Ethnicity, Transnationalism and the Workplace“, at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford. Now I’m a professor of Business Anthropology at Royal Holloway University of London.

“…of many things….”

Along the way, I’ve done other things as well, like:

becoming a science fiction writer;

Writing books, articles and talks about science fiction TV and film;

working on audio plays with half the cast of Blake’s 7 and many other exciting and talented people;

Traveling all over the world;

-Working as a historical interpreter, an auto worker, a theatrical production manager, a voice artist, an archaeologists’ assistant, a tech-support woman;

-Teaching management studies;

-[continued page 94]

“…if we could examine…”

This blog is a place for me to write about things that don’t fit well into a story or a paper. Travelogues, living-in-London-on-a-student-grant cautionary tales, Anthropology true-confessions, behind the scenes anecdotes. If you like, I’ll show you my skull collection.

Read on.

Planning to update the blog monthly; hoping to do so more frequently, but I know what my schedule is like.