I had a wonderful time last Wednesday night reading from the Unsung Stories edition of Déjà Vu. The event formed part of the Writing Comes Alive programme, which is sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University.
It’s always a bit tricky making these occasions interesting. My golden rules were to read short extracts (two, totalling about twenty minutes) and be as friendly as possible during the question-and-answer session.
Many thanks to the Sidney Cooper Gallery, Andrew Palmer for compering, and Craig Dadds for all his support.
On Saturday morning I received a second story rejection from a big-name science fiction magazine, and thought, screw it, I’ll just publish the thing as a Kindle ebook. I present ‘A Solitude of Space’. It’s a hard SF short story of the kind I like to read. I’m really pleased with the way this one turned out.
In it, Commander Harald Sternberg of the spacecraft ‘Beautiful Not’ is thirty-thousand light years from Earth when his life is threatened by a burst of matter from a nearby star. Soon enough, it becomes clear that the threat is to humanity itself.
I’m delighted to say that I’ll be attending the Loebner Prize in Bletchley Park (home of WWII cryptographic efforts) as a judge. The prize is based on the famous ‘Imitation Game’ suggested by Alan Turing as an objective test of machine intelligence. The idea is that a computer program communicates with human judges via a text interface. The job of the program is to make its responses difficult to distinguish from those of a human. I’ll let you know how I get on.