UnCommon Minds Q&A: Zen DiPietro

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My new story, Sitala, is being released in the UnCommon Minds anthology on 21st January. To celebrate, I’m interviewing some of the authors about their stories. Today, I’m talking to Zen DiPietro about Subliminal. What was the inspiration for the uncommon mind in your story? I wanted to portray someone who’s had everything about him stripped away, but still knows who he is at his core. Someone who manages to overcome his obstacles to fight for himself. It’s a metaphor for the struggle that we all face in life–the need to persevere and survive, and to use what we’ve learned to make us better. The story is a prologue to Translucid, the first full-length novel in this series. This unseen early event leads to everything else that happens, unbeknownst to the main characters. Because life is like that–a neverending cascade of events that flows from the past to the future. I wanted to show this early event, to highlight one such moment in time that touched off a series of events. What are you most proud of about the story? The structure of the story. There’s a repetitive element and I’d never written anything that unfolded that way. It was risky, and … Read More

UnCommon Minds Q&A: Ashleigh Gauch

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My new story, Sitala, is being released in the UnCommon Minds anthology on 21st January. To celebrate, I’m interviewing some of the authors about their stories. Today, I’m talking to Ashleigh Gauch about In Loving Memory. What attracted you to the UnCommon Minds project? I loved UnCommon Bodies and Origins! Although In Loving Memory was already underway when I found out about the project, reading the open call gave me the courage to turn it into an empathy story rather than sticking to the typical “machines and technology will kill us all” stereotype that dominates the genre right now. What was the inspiration for the uncommon mind in your story? I’d been playing around with the idea of an AI built entirely on human memories and emotions for some time, but Kyrkos herself was actually based on a series of interviews I did with autistic friends. When I learned how they coped with difficulties regarding reading other people and understanding tone, I used the information to help showcase how Kyrkos learned the things Lana didn’t directly teach her. I passed my story over to them before submitting it, and even though the character wasn’t an autistic human, they loved the representation and … Read More

Coming Soon – Sitala

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My first story of 2017, Sitala, is being released in the UnCommon Minds anthology on 21st January. Sitala is about a young girl called Mika. While out scavenging at the edge of a retreating ocean, she discovers the remains of a crashed spacecraft. At first, it’s just an opportunity to find salvage she can trade for food, but deep within the ship she finds unexpected life and a mind with a tale to tell and memories to share. I really enjoyed writing this story and I was very pleased when Jess and Pavarti accepted it. There are a lot of great authors in this anthology and it’s a real pleasure to appear alongside so many fantastic storytellers. The ebook is available for preorder on Amazon right now. Enter into the hidden world of the mind, where the laws of nature don’t apply and nothing is as it seems. Straight from the minds of 20 UnCommon Authors come tales of tragedy, triumph, and bittersweet gratitude. You’ll find augmented realities and mental persuasion that force you to question everything. Stories of military suspense, psychological horror, dream walkers, and psychic mediums await their turn to crawl into your head. Get UnCommon Minds Sign up for my newsletter and … Read More

Altered Perceptions is Live

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The IndieGoGo project I mentioned on Saturday is now live (now called Altered Perceptions). Here’s the video explaining a little about the project.   There’s some great rewards including dinner with Brandon Sanderson and his wife – Check it out. [Altered Perceptions is Live by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 21st April 2014]

New Anthology – Altered Perspectives

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Dan Wells (author of I am Not a Serial Killer and other splendid books) has announced a new anthology to raise funds to help his brother, Robison Wells (also an accomplished author) with his battle against mental illness. The anthology – Altered Perspectives – will contain a collection of stories, deleted chapters, alternate endings and other “bonus” material from a whole bunch of great authors, plus essays and comments from each of them about mental illness. The list of authors involved in this is pretty impressive: Ally Condie, the forewordDan Wells, the introductionAnnette Lyon, An unpublished chapter from her retelling of the Finnish fairy tale, THE KALEVALAAprilynne Pike, TBABrandon Mull, Deleted scenes from BEYONDERS 2Brandon Sanderson, five completely rewritten chapters from THE WAY OF KINGS, where Kaladin makes the opposite choice of what he makes in the published novelBree Despain, an alternate ending to THE LOST SAINT, and an alternate beginning to THE SHADOW PRINCEBrodi Ashton, the first chapter from her YA novel about an unwilling alien fighter who has to rescue the boy she lovesClaudia Gray, a deleted scene from A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOUDan Wells, the original John Cleaver free-write that inspired I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLERErin Bowman, a deleted scene from TAKENHoward Tayler, a creative non-fiction … Read More

Out Now – Only Friends

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I’m very pleased to announce that I’m appearing alongside a whole host of fantastic writers in the latest Anthology of European SF.   This one was a bit of a surprise. The anthology was released as part of EuroCon 2013 in Kiev and I wasn’t sure whether my story, Only Friends, would be included until a couple of days before the anthology was released. There’s lots of great authors in the collection – here’s the full table of contents: “The Dead Orchards” by Ian R. MacLeod (England) “Transcendent Express” by Jetse de Vries (Netherlands) “Memory Recall” by Regina Catarina (Portugal) “Digits are Cold, Numbers are Warm” by Liviu Radu (Romania) “Repeat Performances” by Car Rafala (Italy) “Bing Bing Larissa” by Cristian Mihail Teodorescu (Romania) “Rebellion” by Diana Pinguicha (Portugal) “The Server and the Dragon” by Hannu Rajaniemi (Finland) “The Royal Library” by Vladimir Arenev (Ukraine) “Only Friends” by Philip Harris (England) “Starsong” by Aliette de Bodard (France) “News from a Dwarf Universe” by Danut Ungureanu (Romania) You can download the anthology for free from here but only until May 10th. I’m not sure if it will be available after that time so if you want some great fiction from some great authors (and me), … Read More

Daily Science Fiction

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I’ve recently signed up to the Daily Science Fiction mailing list. As the name suggests, they email a new science fiction story to subscribers every weekday. Most days the stories are short (less than 1000 words) but Friday’s story is longer. Stories are also posted and archived on the website a week after their email publication and published as a monthly ebook anthology. Obviously, with so many stories nobody is going to love all of them but the short length makes them very easy to read. I’ve made the daily email one of my daily rituals and I look forward to seeing a new tale in my inbox every morning. Highlights for me over the last couple of weeks have been Butterfly Shaped Objects by George Potter, A Stitch in Space-time by Nicky Drayden and Gifted and Talented by Sadie Mattox. Well worth a look, there’s a wide variety of science fiction there so you’ll probably find something you like.

Out Now – So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains

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The new anthology – So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains is now available on Amazon. In it you’ll find my story – The Z Word – plus fifty other tales of the undead. Here’s the full table of contents: Remembering Human – Bint Arab Necropolis Burning – Robert Forrester Blissfully Ignorant – Michael C. Dick An Undead Night to Remember – K. A. Masters Quality of Life – T. Fox Dunham Remember Me – Kenneth E. Olson Undead Surveillance – Jason Papke Oh, the Dreadful Wind & Rain – Richard Jay Goldstein The Secret to Survival – T. L. Barrett Mikey – Theresa Derwin The Beginning of the End – Jack Bantry Old Louisville – Bruce L. Priddy The Return of Dale Corby – Jonathan Wood For Audrey – Nicky Peacock The Army of Al-Din – Douglas Moore Zombies are Dead – Iain Rob Wright Fractions – Dale Elster Complete Ignorance – Michael C. Dick Diary of Gerhard Koblenz – Trevor Smith The Z Word – Philip Harris A Quiet Night, a Perfect End – Annie Neugebauer The Day Danny McAllister Decided to be a Hero – Matt Nord Dry Rot – Jamal K. Luckett The Food of Love … Read More