New Column in Shoreline of Infinity’s International Women’s Day issue

Shoreline of Infinity has put together a special International Women’s Day edition for Issue 11. Dedicated to Ursula K. Le Guin, this edition contains brilliant stories from the likes of Aliette de Bodard and Katy Lennon (you can hear her read this wonderful story here), non-fic from Jonatha Kottler and SJ MCGeachy, and much, much more! Click here for the full line-up.

Alongside these excellent stories, articles and poetry, you’ll find Beyond the Mountains, the latest installment of my Noise and Sparks column. Written shortly before the passing of Ursula K. Le Guin, this essay explores a quote from her 1986 Bryn Mawr College commencement address, in light of Wonder Woman and the portrayal of women in mainstream genre.

If you’d like to pick up a copy, head to

Shoreline of Infinity 10, GIFCon 2018, and From Glasgow to Saturn

It’s been a while since I committed bloggery, so let’s get down to some housekeeping.

Firstly, huge congratulations to Shoreline of Infinity, who celebrated their milestone 10th issue recently. It’s testament to the hard work and persistence of Noel Chidwick, Russell Jones, Mark Toner and the rest of the team, who not only put out Scotland’s only SF magazine, but run the celebrated Event Horizon night in Edinburgh. Long may it continue!

A new issue also means a brand new column from me. ‘The Company of Bears’ is about… well, it’s there in the title really, but it gathers some thoughts on genre community that I’ve been considering for a while. You can pick up Issue 10 of Shoreline here.

Secondly, in case you’ve missed my tweets, GIFCon, aka Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations, is back again on 26th – 27th April 2018. Our call for papers is out now, and we’ve got a really thought-provoking topic for you – Escaping Escapism in Fantasy and the Fantastic.

If you’re a researcher in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and related genres, you can check out our call at – or follow the links from facebook, twitter, and instagram, where I’ll be doing social media. We’re looking forward to receiving your abstracts!

Finally, last week, the editorial team at From Glasgow to Saturn spent a massive 4.5hrs going through 70+ submissions to our upcoming issue 40. At this point, it’s usual to make noises about the quality of what was received and the difficulty of making choices. Speaking from the inside of the process this time, I have to say, it really was pretty damned tough to choose between submissions at points. We only wish we had room for more. If you submitted to this issue, you should have heard back from us by now. If you haven’t, please get in touch asap via

The Art of Empathy: New column in Shoreline of Infinity 7

Yesterday was the Spring Equinox, so that means both a new issue of Shoreline of Infinity and a new installment of my column, Noise and Sparks. This one arrives during interesting times, and for that reason, I feel like it needs a little preamble.

Some columns are tricky because you can’t decide what to write about, and some columns give you trouble because you don’t know how to write about that what. This one was like a blinding light in pitch darkness, as if there was nothing else to write about. I can’t remember when I’ve had such a clear idea of what I’ve wanted to cover – or been so terrified about doing so.

Writing about empathy in art at a time when anti-human rights movements have control of major governments across the world seems like a fool’s game. Yet I’ve never felt so strongly about its importance. Books and art and movies and music are the ways by which we learn about voices other than our own – and those ways will become ever more important as these voices become drowned out by those who should support them. Empathy is the core of truth in an artist’s work, no matter what the subject. But for those who equate empathy with agreement, this can be a controversial statement. In this column, I talk about this knot, and ways in which artists have endeavoured to untangle it in times of hatred – and a little known portrait of Hitler by a failed soldier, a man who’d later become author of one of the most celebrated Fantasy trilogies in history, Mervyn Peake.

Amongst the rest of the issue, you’ll find poetry from Jane Yolen, as well as an interview with the woman herself, stories from David L Clements, Dan Grace, and Katie Gray, the latest in Monica Burns‘ SF Caledonia series, comics and more, all wrapped in a new Stephen Pickering cover. It’s available online now.

Oh, and by the way: if you’ve not yet voted for this year’s Hugo Awards, did you know Shoreline is eligible for Best Semi-pro Zine?

Just saying.

Shoreline of Infinity 6

With all this end of year nonsense, I’d clean forgotten to post about my latest column for Shoreline of Infinity. S0 here’s a belated bump for it.


This one is called ‘Noise and Sparks: Interlude‘ – and it is, in a way. ‘Interlude’ reflects on the change of the seasons, and thoughts this provokes as we hurtle inexorably towards the year’s end.

Also in this issue, you’ll find stories by Bo Balder, Hannah Lackoff, Victoria Zelvin, Katy Lennon, Russell Jones and many more. There’s an interview with Steven Palmer, and a review of Empire Games by Charles Stross – which makes a great preview for his upcoming appearance at Shoreline’s next Event Horizon showcase in February. Chris Kelso gives a glowing review to Thirty Years of Rain, the Glasgow SF Writers Circle anthology which features my poem ‘Picture, of a Winter Afternoon.’ Additionally, this issue boasts the first of a new cover series by Stephen Pickering. So it’s well worth a look, I reckon. Click here to pick it up from the Shoreline website.