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Neal Asher
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 06:37 am:   

I thought it would be an idea to separate out a short story thread here.

Once again I've sold Snow in the Desert (nice double meaning there), this time for translation in a Czech SF magazine called Ikarie. This story was previously published in Spectrum SF 8 and Hartwell & Cramer's Year's Best SF 8.
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Gregg
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 04:41 pm:   

Hey Neal, looks like you sold to Gardner Dozois just in time--he's stepping down as editor of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. The notice on their website says that all sales up to this point will be honored, so we should still see your upcoming Asimov's stories. Somehow, though, I think the gender change at the top editor position at Asimov's will not increase your chances for future sales there (unless she likes stories where lots of things get smashed, blown up, chased, maimed, etc., as I and your other faithful fans do). I'll have to look around at the Asimov's boards to see if she's ever posted any opinions on your stories or novels.
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 11:08 pm:   

Hi Neal, just wanted to drop a line and tell you I really enjoyed your story in the June ASIMOV'S. The characters were excellent and the future war backdrop was mind-boggling, almost Stapledonian. Can we look forward to more stories set in that world?

Chris Dodson
Journal: The Passion of the Chris
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Neal
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 01:32 am:   

Gregg, bugger, that's a shame, but at least my CV can say 'published by Gardner Dozois'. There's only one way for me to find out I guess and that's to send her a story. Who is taking over by the way?
There's also a change at Interzone: David Pringle is passing it on to TTA publisher Andy Cox.

Chris, thanks for that. I have to say that the future war backdrop of The Veteran is only in that story at present. Trouble is I've got so many backdrops to work with: the time war of Cowl, the runcible universe, The Owner scenario from stories in The Engineer, and different backdrops from many other different stories ... and my unpublished fantasy. I may use it. If Macmillan keep supplying the contracts I'll keep supplying the books!

Excellent reviews are now appearing of the US edition of The Skinner: New York Times, Science Fiction Weekly http://www.scifi.com , Entertainment Weekly, and Kirkus. As Chris Tarrant says on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, "It's all going worryingly well."
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Gregg
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 05:41 pm:   

The new editor at Asimov's has actually been there longer than Gardner, and she was the number two editor behind him. Her name is Sheila Williams. Both she and Gardner claim he is sticking around for awhile as a contributing editor.

Of course you're right, Neal--the only way to find out if she likes your stuff is to send her something. Go for it!
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Neal
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 12:28 am:   

Must do, at present Paul Fraser at Spectrum SF has two of my stories, but it seems likely to me that we won't be seeing that magazine again. I'll probably bang one off to Asimov's and the other off to Tony Lee's (Zone SF) Premonitions, which is relaunching.
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Gregg
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 04:05 pm:   

Yeah, I read somewhere (another board I think) a posting from an author who had something published in Spectrum SF that Paul Fraser lost more and more money every issue and has finally moved on to other endeavors. Even the Spectrum SF website, long dormant, is now gone.

I hope you can get those stories back and sell them somewhere else. Those are "Acephalous Dreams" and "Garp and Geronamid"?
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Neal
Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 06:21 am:   

Those are the two. No contract has been signed so I see no reason why I shouldn't send them elsewhere. Bloody shame, though. Spectrum SF was/is about the best SF magazine in Britain.
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 07:06 am:   

Neal --

F&SF would be a wonderful destination for one of your stories...

I read and enjoyed your recent story in Asimovs, and I'm looking forward to the arrival of my copy of THE SKINNER, on route from Amazon.

John Joseph Adams
Editorial Assistant
Fantasy & Science Fiction
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Neal
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 12:39 am:   

Thanks for that John,
I may well send one of them in your direction. I know Gordon Van Gelder does the nicest rejection letters!
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Neal
Posted on Sunday, May 02, 2004 - 05:38 am:   

John, Hope you enjoy The Skinner. I've now forwarded 'Garp and Geronamid' to F&SF. All the best.
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Neal Asher
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 03:29 am:   

My stories The Thrake and Watchcrab, in Hadrosaur Tales magazine and on the Agony Column site respectively, received honourable mention in Gardner Dozois's 21st Annual Year's Best Science fiction.
http://trashotron.com/agony/
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nealasher
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 12:52 pm:   

My short story “Strood”, which appeared in Asimov’s, was on the ‘nearly made it’ list for The Year’s Best SF 22 edited by Gardner Dozois. However it has made it into The Year’s Best Science Fiction #10 edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer.
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nealasher
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 05:03 am:   

My story 'The Veteran', which originally appeared in Asimov's, is now appearing in Hayakawa's (Japanese publisher) SF magazine, May 2005 issue, sold on March 25.
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Jay Caselberg
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 06:37 am:   

Hey Neal. Nice. How did you get into Hayakawa?
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nealasher
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 07:15 am:   

Hello Jay, there's a guy who appears on various message boards who directed their attention towards me (which is rather nice considering I've not yet appeared in Japan). He likes to get British writers noticed over there. I've let him know about your query.
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nealasher
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 07:20 am:   

Here's another one: 'Strood' (mentioned above) will be appearing ESLI (IF), the eldest SF & fantasy periodical in Russia.
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Jay Caselberg
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 09:15 am:   

Mucho thanks, Neal. See you soon, somewhere, I hope.
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montmorency
Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 10:22 am:   

Jay, I was given a chance to do a feature on British SF, and I chose stories by Neal, Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Liz Williams.

I'll check your short stories, but before that, I'll read your novels which I already have.
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Jay Caselberg
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 01:35 am:   

Ah many thanks. I have quite a number up on www.fictionwise.com writing both as Jay Caselberg and James A. Hartley.
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nealasher
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 08:31 am:   

My short story 'The Gabble' has been accepted by Sheila Williams at Asimov's, which will follow on nicely from 'Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck' -- also accepted by same.
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nealasher
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 06:41 am:   

Just had my story 'Garp & Geronamid' accepted for Interzone. There may also be an interview to go along with it.
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Neal Asher
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 08:54 am:   

Ah, it would seem my short story 'Mason's Rats' which was published a little while ago in Asimov's, is to be published in David Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer's 'Year's Best SF 11'.
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E Thomas
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 08:37 pm:   

Congratulations. There seemed to be a huge discrepancy in reviews of that particular story. I was one of those who enjoyed reading it. Can't get much weirder and more entertaining than technologically developed rats.*

*Okay, I admit I lied here. I ask that all SF writers to go out and continue to prove my words wrong, including the owner of this board. :-)
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Neal Asher
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 04:59 am:   

You should check out what Mr Truesdale has to say about it in his 'Dave's Corner' editorial on Tangent Online (and the subsequent replies a few pages in on the forums). I'm apparently a left-wing animal activist, possibly with links to al qeda and the world-wide plot to destroy sf.
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JKS
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 10:44 am:   

So, freely speculating here, an appearance in 'Year's Best', means Asimov's should pick up the next two 'Mason' stories, no? Which means eventually you'll be dragged, kicking and screaming no doubt, into writing a new 'Mason' story.

Say it's so.

By the way, Amazon.com does have 'Engineer Reconditioned' listed as available (three week delivery). I tried ordering it at the end of October (26th) but on November 25 Amazon told me " that it is not available from any of our sources at this time." Oh well.

Best in '06 to you and yours,

Jonathan
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E Thomas
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 11:14 am:   

...and the world-wide plot to destroy sf.

Neal Asher, destroying SF, one crossbow-toting rat at a time. :-)
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 03:48 pm:   

Dave called you a Left Wing Animal Activst, Neal?

LOL. Now that is pretty funny. Also not true, but pretty funny nonetheless.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Neal Asher
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 01:40 am:   

Steven, he didn't precisely call me that, but the implication is there: http://www.tangentonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=409&Itemi d=285

Mmm, I may also be appearing in Gardner Dozois's anthology too...
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JKS
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 07:31 am:   

Heh, heh, heh! It is pretty funny! Especially reading Dave, with typically Boomer self-involvement, get all hot and bothered by the 'suit'.

You got the wrong era, partner. You don't like 'suit'? Substitute 'Eastern City Slicker' and the whole conceit falls neatly into place.

It's, like, a frontier sf story, man. Taciturn, somewhat grim farmer becomes so dehumanized by a modernistic mechanical world that he finds he has more in common with a tribe of evolving rats. Far out, eh!

Personally I always hear echoes of Sergio Leon's soundtrack to 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' when I read it. :-)

Regards,

Jonathan

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Neal Asher
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 08:14 am:   

For more amusement you should check out the forum discussions (about page 4) with Patrick Samphire defending the rats etc. I particularly like Mr Truesdale's demand of me that I, in the public interest, reveal who accepted that story for Asimov's. Unless of course I have some reason to hide...
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 10:41 am:   

Wow, that is one harsh review, Neal. It seems a bit over the top.

I don't know, I read the story when it came out and I didn't react violently to it (though I often do with others, furthermore I tend to keep most of those reactions to myself). I didn't see any political message in it at all.

It makes you wonder if he isn't writing reviews like that to drum up readership for Tangent.

Ah, well.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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E Thomas
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 10:33 pm:   

Okay, now that everyone's talked about it, I've got to go read this review...
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E Thomas
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 11:13 pm:   

Yep, that's a pretty typical Dave Truesdale review when he gets upset. It did cause me to laugh a few times, though. Man, something about that story really pushed a few of his buttons. He REALLY hates rats.

S.F. Murphy: I didn't see any political message in it at all.

If I may toss my interpretation into the pot, I actually did see somewhat of a political comment underlying part of the story, but not what Dave saw (the man only hating the guy because he had a suit). I associated the suit with corporate business, but in the "make money and screw the little people kind of way." The Suit didn't care about the guy's grain; he cared about sucking him dry for all he was worth. Furthermore, in a Microsoft-kind of way, the ORIGINAL technology wasn't good enough, so then he had to "upgrade" to the newer model...they didn't make it right in the first place! (Our narrator didn't just not like the guy because of his suit, by the way; amongst many other things, the Suit was incredibly callous about his cat getting killed.)

Ironically, one of my favorite parts of the story is that part Dave quotes about the look of fatalism in their eyes. I'm mean, that's just perfect. It makes you want to laugh out loud and save the poor rats all at once.

Still, I'm surprised at how seriously Dave took the fictionally technologically advanced rats as a worldwide threat. Obviously (in my opinion) there is intentional ludicrousness going on in this story, and that should also be taken into consideration if you're going to try to analyze it.

You know, reading some of the first couple of comments, I have to agree with Jim Van Pelt. No matter what he says, people certainly respond to Dave Truesdale's reviews, and he draws a lot of people out of the woodwork who would normally not discuss the stories they read in depth or as passionately as they do in response to his rants. You probably have more input on this story that most authors do on their recently published short SF.
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E Thomas
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 11:20 pm:   

Dave Truesdale (to Patrick Samphire): Your major mistake is continuously attempting to anthropomorphize rats.

Okay, now this made me laugh HARD. What story did he READ?
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Neal Asher
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 12:50 am:   

Yup, your interpretation of Mason's reaction to suits is right, just as I say in my reply on the forum. But the fact is that Dave seems to be looking for hooks on which to hang his rants. It's all quite strange. I know that somewhere on the Internet there's a review of Mason's Rats (from when it first appeared in booklet form, in a collection of three) that is longer than the story itself. It must be something about rats that keys into some deep level of the psyche of some people ... mmm, rats in the attic.
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R.Wilder
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 08:36 am:   

Rats love pizza!
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Neal Asher
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 02:03 am:   

My story 'Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck' (also published in Asimov's) has been taken by Gardner Dozois for his 'Year's Best' collection too.
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JKS
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 09:01 am:   

And what do I find when I flip to the new Locus Recommended Reading for '05?

Novelettes:
'Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck', and *ahem*,

Short Stories: 'Mason's Rats'.

Whoops! Someone check Dave; I think he's having a conniption!

Congrats Neal!

best,

Jonathan
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Neal Asher
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 09:10 am:   

And there was me going, "Bugger, Brass Man didn't get on the list." Seeing those stories there cheered me up immensely, and advances my plot to destroy world SF. (Strokes fluffy white cat and chuckles menacingly).
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JKS
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 11:01 am:   

'Asher, Brass Man' was easy enough to type in for Locus' Best SF Novel.
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Neal Asher
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 01:45 am:   

In a break between books, I decided to sit down and produce some short stories. Maybe because I’m now more used to writing at length, these stories grew in the telling so I ended up with Alien Archaeology at 21,000 words and Owner Space at 18,000 words. I hesitate to call them ‘short’ since the stories I have submitted to magazines have usually fallen between 5,000 and 15,000 words. The good news is that though it’s long, Sheila Williams at Asimov’s has accepted Alien Archaeology.
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Neal Asher
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 02:10 am:   

Hey, check out Escape Pod and listen to Steve Ely reading my short story The Veteran.

http://escapepod.org/2007/08/09/ep118-the-veteran/

Seated on a bollard, the man contemplatively removed his pipe, as if to tamp it down or relight it. Instead, he placed it stem down in the top pocket of his shirt, then reached up and pressed his fingers against his cheekbone and forehead. His face came away from his hairline, round behind his ears, down to a point just above his Adam’s apple. The inside of his mouth and much of his sinus were also part of the prosthesis, so only bare eyeballs in the upper jut of his skull remained – the rest being the black spikes and plates of bio-interfaces.

Very enjoyable -- they were suderdiles not superdiles, but I've no problem with that!

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