The Hükk Hunts

As part of my work, I was asked if I could put together a short story to illustrate a new set of models: a deadly bounty hunter, the Hükk.

The Hükk evolved as hunters amidst the mountains and thick forests of their homeworld, developing intelligence to keep others of their kind away and to effectively hunt increasingly more cunning prey. When their planet was opened to the cosmos by the arrival of explorers during the 2nd Age (it is said) of the Antarean Nexus (in the panhuman timeline), they found their cunning was fully appreciated in seeking out a new prey – miscreants, criminals and outlaws of the major, interstellar civilisations.

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The punk publishing revolution, the Publishing Con, and how Amazon freed authors from serfdom

A new book from one of my BCU lecturers, Andy Conway, who was always very keen on the Amazon model.

Source: The punk publishing revolution, the Publishing Con, and how Amazon freed authors from serfdom

Professor Hallux and the Lalalas

A very talented friend of mine from the BCU MA, Nicky Tate, has recently produced her first book. She’s written plenty of radio scripts for children, but this is her blog describing how Professor Hallux and the LaLaLas came to life.

Well done Nicky. 🙂

Nicky Tate

1.pngI’m pleased that my chapter book for children, Professor Hallux and the Lalalas has finally made it into the world.  It’s been a long journey and one which has taught me an awful lot about writing.

Yonks and yonks ago I devised the characters of Professor Hallux for Fun Kids.  We wanted a character who could explain science and medical matters to our young listeners.  Originally the boss suggested he could be a stereotypical dotty old professor but I suggested someone more like Doctor Who – younger, and more unhinged.  I also added a sidekick pink robot Nurse Nanobot, who I’ve been changing to plain Nanobot over the years – a girlie sidekick is, after all, rather sexist, and that she’s a subordinate makes it worse.  (In my defence I’ve invented a county shit ton of female science characters: Techno Mum, Amy Aviation, Marina Venturer, K-Mistry Chemistry Superhero to…

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September 2016 Submission Statement

A blog well-worth checking out from Aeryn Rudel, this particular post specifically about his rejections – and acceptances – this month. It makes for interesting reading and, perhaps unintuitively, is highly encouraging. At its core his message is ‘keep writing, keep submitting’: rejections happen.

I’d also recommend looking through’s other posts, especially another recent post covering social media presence.


September was a solid month, and my progress with short story submissions was much less sloth-like than previous months. It’s a mixed bag this time, with rejections, acceptances, and some noteworthy publications.

September Report Card

  • Submissions Sent: 7
  • Rejections: 5*
  • Acceptances: 1
  • Other:…
  • Publications: 2

*Three (3) of these rejections were for submissions sent in September.


Here we go. This is what Rejectomancy is all about! Five rejections this month; let’s have a look.

Rejection 1: 9/3/16

Thank you for your submission to XXX. 

We regret that we are unable to publish “XXX” We are grateful for the opportunity to consider it, and we wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere. 

A common form rejection from one of the bigger horror markets. Nothing much to see here, really, and I’ve received this exact rejection numerous times. This will be a running theme for September, by the way.


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I am Cyborg

I never thought I’d be able to write that title. During my UG studies, I’d been fascinated by the Frankenstein, by the other, partially-not-human, and the bioethical considerations that arise from artificially modifying humans. And now, after cataract surgery, I find I am carrying round two implants that restore to me my lost vision.

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The Adverb Problem and Why Authors Should Care

I was asked about things like this recently and lo, this appeared in my inbox. An interesting post by Ryan Lanz about why adverbs (-ly words) can be an indication of a sign of weakness in writing – force-feeding (telling) the reader rather than guiding (showing) them.

Thanks, Ryan.

A Writer's Path


by Gary Smailes

In this article I will set out to explain why so many famous authors (Stephen King being perhaps the most vocal) warn other authors against the use of adverbs. In fact, King’s hatred of adverbs is so intense that he’s been quoted as saying, “Adverbs are evil.” You will discover the role of adverbs in fiction writing, and I’ll demonstrate why removing adverbs from your writing will make your book more enjoyable to read. In short, I’ll explain just why adverbs are evil.

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