I’ve just come back from my first holiday outside the house since 2019, namely a week in Whitby, Yorkshire.
Unexpectedly, Whitby turns out to be very much like the overlapping cities in China Mieville’s novel The City and the City (Wikipedia link if you haven’t read it and want a quick summary). In that you are either Here For A Seaside Holiday, or you are a Goth. And people from both groups walk in the same spaces, go to the same attractions, eat at the same restaurants, and yet do not acknowledge each other’s existence.
This insight brought to you after the umpteenth time of being blanked by a citizen of Ul Seaside, since apparently I live in Gothzel, and to see me would cause them to commit Breach.
This is also not a matter of self-assigning necessarily, nor is it possible to belong to both Whitby simultaneously. I expected to be able to speak with the citizens of Ul Seaside at least when I was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, but it seems that if those jeans are purple and the T-shirt depicts Dolores Abernathy from the television series Westworld, you are too Goth for Ul Seaside and are immediately consigned to Gothzel.
There seems to be one time when it’s legitimately possible to do this (apart from if you’re a shopkeeper, who seem to be able to sell to anyone), and that’s when you’re admiring someone’s dog. You can cross over and say “who’s a lovely Staffie then?” But after that it’s back to your Whitby, and stay there.
To celebrate the re-launch of Driving Ambition as an independent publication, I’m selling the ebook at $2.99/local equivalent for the month of November. Click the link for a tale of murder, labour relations and self-driving cars at an unbelievably low rate!
Print copies are also available; contact me via the form on the left-hand side of the page for details.
This one had an interesting genesis. I woke up one morning with the first line, “the problem with sentient battle tanks is their drivers” running through my head, and the story just unfolded from that line.
Just to let you know that we’re now in the last 5 days of the story bundle. It won’t be around forever, so if you want to buy my novel Driving Ambition plus a ton of other great books for the price of a trade paperback, go here while you still can.
Driving Ambition is one of many great books in the Bundoran Buddies book bundle! For just $15, less than the price of a trade paperback these days, you get 12 books, by the likes of Robert Sawyer, Tanya Huff, Brad C Anderson and Madeline Ashby, and, well, I’m in there too.
Also, self-driving-car bonus: one of the anthologies in the bundle, Lazarus Risen, includes “Seal”, my story about sentient care-home robots going horribly wrong.
You get a car, and you get a car, and everybody gets a car! I’m making my BSFA Award-shortlisted story “Jolene“, first published in Interzone 283, available for free online. Click the title to download it and read what really happens to a cowboy when his wife, dog and truck have all left him….
….well, that’s all you need to know! I’m super chuffed. If you’re a BSFA member and you liked the story (it’s the one about the country singer whose wife, dog and truck have all left him, and you can read it in Interzone 283), then do please vote for it at this link.
Catching up on events since I’ve been away– this is a sneak preview of the title page for “Jolene”, a story of self-driving cars, murder and country music, which will be appearing in Interzone 283, available from all good booksellers from September.
I’m back! Between attending Worldcon, attending the Royal Geographical Society conference and teaching in Singapore, I’ve been busy of late. As a start on updating you on my activities, I include a video of me presenting my paper “Comparing Colonialisms in The Terror“, contrasting the treatment of colonialism in Dan Simmons’ 2008 novel and AMC’s 2018 adaptation. You can read the draft paper on my Academia.edu site here.