Hurrah!  I arrived home tonight to find a contract from Hub magazine waiting for me for 'Unplugged', my first short story submission to that market.  I've only recently restarted submitting and writing short stories, having spent the past two years or so writing a novel, so it's nice to have some good news so soon.
Hub is a great magazine, Lee Harris and his team work hard to make sure it keeps to its weekly schedule.  67 issues so far, with #68 due out later this week.  With around 8,000 subscribers it's my biggest sale in terms of readership, which makes it even more exciting.


The leaves on the virginia creeper covering the fence have turned an amazing mixture of rose and cream, and leaves are starting to fall from the big sycamore.
Quite a few leaves have ended up in the crown of my big Dicksonia tree fern, just where they need to be.  They will be a great frost cover through the winter.
Last year strong winter winds dried out the Dicksonia fronds badly, I'm hoping this year it won't be so bad, but to be honest the plant recovered vigorously, although the new fronds aren't quite as big as last years.
All the tree ferns are still growing, if slowly, taking advantage of the late sun, rain and occasional warm day.  Fronds are emerging one at a time now, instead of the triple sets the plants like to throw mid summer.

And talking of throws, my little cycad is midway through its annual throw of leaves and apart from flowering, for cycads this is about as exciting as it gets.  These are funny little plants, obstinately sitting in the sun all summer and resolutely doing absolutely nothing.  then, at the end of the season they throw out a cluster of leaves and that's it for the year.  I do wonder what they are doing with all that sunlight.  The tree ferns in exactly the same position grow like mad.   The new cycad leaves are softa and easily damaged.  They like long, green caterpillars, each segment uncurling like a little clenched fist.  Fully grown they are tough, spiny, almost woody, and can last for years.


John Jarrold has just posted this on his web site:
John Jarrold has concluded a three-book World Rights deal for Scottish-based Finnish SF writer Hannu Rajaniemi. Hannu's debut novel (presently untitled) plus two further books were pre-empted by Simon Spanton of Gollancz for a high five-figure sum, on the basis of one chapter.
"I received this chapter from Hannu by e-mail in the morning (and loved it), mentioned it to Simon when we were talking about other matters, and three hours later I had a very strong pre-empt offer," said John Jarrold.

This is great news, not only for Hannu and John but for everyone like Hannu.  It shows these things can still happen and that means one day it might happen to you - or me.

Meanwhile - congratulations, Hannu!


So my novel's been with an agent for three months and the queries I was invited to send have gone unanswered.  Although I'm disappointed I'm not too surprised.  Agents have clients, clients have books and books are either going into print or need to be presented to publishers.  I know I'm somewhere towards the bottom of the list of priorities but you know how it is!  For one thing I want to know, one way or another.  For another he should jolly well read it anyway because it's really, really good!  He'd love it, honest!