So, as anyone who follows me on Twitter is no doubt aware, I spent last weekend at Nine Worlds, a 3 day geek-fest convention thingumy. It was good. I approve. Would do again.

Specifically, I got to hang out with fab people, both people I know and don't get to see often enough, and people I don't know who were shiny and interesting, and go to All The Things.

The sheer abundance of sessions was kind of overwhelming, in a good way, and I'm really appreciating people's write-ups of sessions I didn't get to go to - so many threads full of so many interesting things, but I don't regret choosing any of the things I did in the end go to (not even the slot where I didn't go to any of the five different things that I wanted to go to, and instead got a foofy coffee and ate a protein bar, and sat and chatted to friends, because that was good too.)

I do kind of regret not taking time off work, which means I missed several sessions that I would have liked to go to on Friday, and had to leave mid-afternoon on Sunday to get home. Note duly taken for next year.

The only thing I did get to go to on Friday was Tony Keen's session on Writing Fantastic London - part discussion of his list of key texts, running from Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol to the Rivers of London trilogy series*, part writing exercise, and part reading / discussion of some of the participants' writings. We had about 15 mins of writing time, which left one of the participants with an impressively polished and vivid short inspired by Crossrail, and generated lots of discussion about how the transport system ties in to the fantastic-ness of the city.

I was thinking about my own stuff, and Everything Changes is, I think, my London-est story with supernatural elements. The area around Kings Cross is both inspiration, symbol, and plot element in that one, and a lot of the session discussion brought up transport and transience, and migration and crowds as aspects of London that engender fantastic fiction, so - yes.

My own writing exercise results? under the cut tag )
_____
*<strike>I can type up if anyone wants it - I have a couple of new things on my to-read list from it., personally. </strike>
The reading list is online now: http://tonykeen.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/writing-fantastic-london-reading-list.html

<b>ETA - Shiny! - Bedlam, a story by Catherine Taylor, aka the nifty Crossrail story has been posted! text or Audio    Go, read! </b>
Every year, I post a story for Halloween - a tradition that's important enough to me that I stole a few minutes away from my dear friends' wedding reception to post this one!

Many thanks to the fabulous Ms Mana for eleventh-hour assistance with this - all remaining flaws are entirely down to me, especially as I changed things since she last saw it.

Everything changes
by Alex Draven

*****

11pm finds me stepping off a train. I haven't been back in London for years and the area around King's Cross has changed almost beyond recognition.

You've still got the station, of course - stations are always good for an emotional smorgasbord, although personally, I tend to use airports these days. But the streets around the station? These days there are students and clubbers and cocktail bars mixed in with the porn shops and all these neon-plastic chain places; the teenagers that crowd them are junk food for us, just like the burgers are for them, all those candy-bright hyper-real emotions.

Used to be that dealers and hookers, and the dealers and hookers' clients, were the most regular items on the menu outside the station proper. That's why I moved on in the end. All that thin desperation and hopelessness sits sour in the stomach, and I never did have Z's taste for shame.

Read more... )

If you're interested in previous years' stories, here's the list:


Dream Come True (2004)
Thirteen Kisses (2005)
All Souls (2006)
Favour (2007) (for sale)
Soar and Raining Cats (2007)
Tradition (2008)

(plus, there are the two zombie stories. They are seasonally appropriate, but they do come with a 'you click on the link, you take responsibility for your own sanity' warning - the titles are terrifyingly accurate on these two - Zombie Incest Wrongness and the infamous necrophiliac plushy gangbang story)
Book cover for Saffron StainsI am so excited to finally see Saffron Stains in e-print.

I mean, any day you have a book come out, that's a good day, and something to get excited about, sure, but this one's extra special to me, because it features Kael and Jem who are the very first queer characters to have shown up in my head. I have been trying to tell their story for years, and finally, in Saffron Stains, I feel like I've written them a story that's good enough for them.

Saffron Stains is a British urban fantasy - Kael's an elf, Jem's half elf, half brownie, but they live in a medium sized town in the south of the UK, and neither of them have yet worked out how to use magic to pay the gas bill, or do the washing up.

There's a snippet of Kael and Jem from the opening to Saffron Stains at the Torquere website, and here's a little bonus snippet of Kael and Jem, which does not appear in the book.

behind the cut )

I'm hosting over at [livejournal.com profile] torquere_social today, if you'd like to head over and join us?
Book cover for Saffron StainsI am so excited to finally see Saffron Stains in e-print.

I mean, any day you have a book come out, that's a good day, and something to get excited about, sure, but this one's extra special to me, because it features Kael and Jem who are the very first queer characters to have shown up in my head. I have been trying to tell their story for years, and finally, in Saffron Stains, I feel like I've written them a story that's good enough for them.

Saffron Stains is a British urban fantasy - Kael's an elf, Jem's half elf, half brownie, but they live in a medium sized town in the south of the UK, and neither of them have yet worked out how to use magic to pay the gas bill, or do the washing up.

There's a snippet of Kael and Jem from the opening to Saffron Stains at the Torquere website, and here's a little bonus snippet of Kael and Jem, which does not appear in the book.

behind the cut )

I'm hosting over at [livejournal.com profile] torquere_social today, if you'd like to head over and join us?
alexdraven: (Luke - scatter_pattern)
( Oct. 18th, 2008 09:41 pm)
Back in 2005, Torquere published their second anthology of shape shifters, Shifting Too, which contained one of my stories, Sleeping Bears Lie. In 2007 that story was shortlisted for the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards, just after the anthology went out of print.

Since then the story's been extended - it's now about one-third new material - and it's just been published as a stand-alone Single Shot.

Set in Alaska, Sleeping Bears Lie is a story about how lying to keep secrets can screw things up, but then, so can telling the truth. It's about identity, and what it means to know someone, and if you need to know someone's history to love them in the present. It's about a relationship that's not easy, but might be worth it anyway.

It's an unusual perspective for me - first person present tense - but I wanted the reader to be riding long with Dan, seeing Matt through Dan's eyes.

The whole idea for the story came out of thinking about were- and shape-shifter stories, and how often, even in stories where humans aren't supposed to know anything about supernatural creatures, the person who gets involved with the werewolf / vampire / witch / etc finds out pretty early on and normally takes the news pretty calmly.

You could say this story started from a 'what if' - what if the shifter partner did hide their true selves. How would that work? Could that work?

You'll have to read Sleeping Bears Lie to find out what the answer was for Dan and Matt, but to get you started, there's an extract from the start of the book up on the Torquere site here , and a second snippet, from the following morning, under the cut tag.

Read more... )

You can buy Sleeping Bears Lie, in a variety of electronic formats, direct from the Torquere Press website for the princely sum of $2.49.

I love hearing from readers and my inbox - and comments box - are always open.

Happy reading!
alexdraven: (Luke - scatter_pattern)
( Oct. 18th, 2008 09:41 pm)
Back in 2005, Torquere published their second anthology of shape shifters, Shifting Too, which contained one of my stories, Sleeping Bears Lie. In 2007 that story was shortlisted for the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards, just after the anthology went out of print.

Since then the story's been extended - it's now about one-third new material - and it's just been published as a stand-alone Single Shot.

Set in Alaska, Sleeping Bears Lie is a story about how lying to keep secrets can screw things up, but then, so can telling the truth. It's about identity, and what it means to know someone, and if you need to know someone's history to love them in the present. It's about a relationship that's not easy, but might be worth it anyway.

It's an unusual perspective for me - first person present tense - but I wanted the reader to be riding long with Dan, seeing Matt through Dan's eyes.

The whole idea for the story came out of thinking about were- and shape-shifter stories, and how often, even in stories where humans aren't supposed to know anything about supernatural creatures, the person who gets involved with the werewolf / vampire / witch / etc finds out pretty early on and normally takes the news pretty calmly.

You could say this story started from a 'what if' - what if the shifter partner did hide their true selves. How would that work? Could that work?

You'll have to read Sleeping Bears Lie to find out what the answer was for Dan and Matt, but to get you started, there's an extract from the start of the book up on the Torquere site here , and a second snippet, from the following morning, under the cut tag.

Read more... )

You can buy Sleeping Bears Lie, in a variety of electronic formats, direct from the Torquere Press website for the princely sum of $2.49.

I love hearing from readers and my inbox - and comments box - are always open.

Happy reading!
alexdraven: (Centaurs)
( Oct. 6th, 2006 03:09 pm)
This is the first story I ever sold, something over two years ago. The anthology it was in has now gone out of print, and the contract ended. I thought about maybe trying to find the story a new press, seeing as I am pretty proud of itbut, actually, I think I want it to be avaliable to all. At this moment I'd rather hear what you think of Pet and Matthias, than try and earn a few extra dollars from them. I am awfully fond of this story.

Read, enjoy, leave comments.

***** ***** *****

Fall
By Alex Draven

***** ***** *****

"Fuck off!"

The second centaur didn’t budge.

For fuck's sake. It was too hot to move, the air heavy and about set to start pissing down with rain, and he'd left his cigarettes inside. Nigh on twenty minutes since the knock had rung through the warehouse and he still wasn't quite self-destructive enough to turn his back on a strange stallion standing in his own front drive.

"I said, fuck off. I'm not interested."

The little bastard just stood there, arms crossed, and one hind leg cocked, the very picture of relaxed patience.

It was winding him up. Another few minutes of silence and nothing had changed except his mood.

"Oh for fuck's sake. Stand there as long as you like. I've got things to do."

Pet backed up a couple of paces, shaking his head and whisking his tail, and then snagged the door, pulling it closed.

Fuck.

He let out a kick that left the walls of the warehouse ringing.

Roll on thunder.

Roll on thunder and air conditioning and Cashman's Royals, and a bottle or six of beer.

Roll on forgetting and not having ghosts from your fucking past turn up on in the front yard and look at you, like you owed it to them to live up to whatever fucked-up expectations they had. Read more... )
alexdraven: (Centaurs)
( Oct. 6th, 2006 03:09 pm)
This is the first story I ever sold, something over two years ago. The anthology it was in has now gone out of print, and the contract ended. I thought about maybe trying to find the story a new press, seeing as I am pretty proud of itbut, actually, I think I want it to be avaliable to all. At this moment I'd rather hear what you think of Pet and Matthias, than try and earn a few extra dollars from them. I am awfully fond of this story.

Read, enjoy, leave comments.

***** ***** *****

Fall
By Alex Draven

***** ***** *****

"Fuck off!"

The second centaur didn’t budge.

For fuck's sake. It was too hot to move, the air heavy and about set to start pissing down with rain, and he'd left his cigarettes inside. Nigh on twenty minutes since the knock had rung through the warehouse and he still wasn't quite self-destructive enough to turn his back on a strange stallion standing in his own front drive.

"I said, fuck off. I'm not interested."

The little bastard just stood there, arms crossed, and one hind leg cocked, the very picture of relaxed patience.

It was winding him up. Another few minutes of silence and nothing had changed except his mood.

"Oh for fuck's sake. Stand there as long as you like. I've got things to do."

Pet backed up a couple of paces, shaking his head and whisking his tail, and then snagged the door, pulling it closed.

Fuck.

He let out a kick that left the walls of the warehouse ringing.

Roll on thunder.

Roll on thunder and air conditioning and Cashman's Royals, and a bottle or six of beer.

Roll on forgetting and not having ghosts from your fucking past turn up on in the front yard and look at you, like you owed it to them to live up to whatever fucked-up expectations they had. Read more... )
Clifford squished the soft ripe apricot against the roof of his mouth. Bliss. He was holed up in his New York apartment for the long weekend, with the heating on max to keep out any thought of the bleak February weather, and well stocked with all the luxuries he could need. He lazily selected another perfect piece of fruit, and lounged back on the couch, scratching idly at the junction between thigh and groin with the other hand.

***** )
Clifford squished the soft ripe apricot against the roof of his mouth. Bliss. He was holed up in his New York apartment for the long weekend, with the heating on max to keep out any thought of the bleak February weather, and well stocked with all the luxuries he could need. He lazily selected another perfect piece of fruit, and lounged back on the couch, scratching idly at the junction between thigh and groin with the other hand.

***** )
Rob Night was kind enough to take one of my stories for Torquere Press' new anthology Shifting Too, alongside authors like BA Tortuga, Sean Michael, Julia Talbot and Sara Bell. Seven shape-shifter stories in all, and no prizes for guessing from the title what form mine take ;) They're not characters you'll have met before, but there's a snippet of 'Bears here, if you want to try a taste.

Read more... )
Rob Night was kind enough to take one of my stories for Torquere Press' new anthology Shifting Too, alongside authors like BA Tortuga, Sean Michael, Julia Talbot and Sara Bell. Seven shape-shifter stories in all, and no prizes for guessing from the title what form mine take ;) They're not characters you'll have met before, but there's a snippet of 'Bears here, if you want to try a taste.

Read more... )
Written for [livejournal.com profile] buhfly's Halloween Challenge.

***** ***** *****

It's never been the sort of event that advertises. There were no flyers, no posters, not even a few discrete lines in a specialist magazine. The only reason I found out about it is because I have a good memory even when I'm drunk. Drunk and exceedingly well fucked, in this case, and apparently my companions of the evening – old friends but not a couple, on the lookout for new blood to play with, both well hung, and sure of what they wanted – had assumed I was too far gone to be listening. It's never been the sort of event that advertises, but apparently knowing the right name and the right shop, and being willing to drop a significant amount of cash – no credit card records please – is enough to secure an invitation. Or it was, four years ago. I doubt it's that simple any more.

Read more... )
Written for [livejournal.com profile] buhfly's Halloween Challenge.

***** ***** *****

It's never been the sort of event that advertises. There were no flyers, no posters, not even a few discrete lines in a specialist magazine. The only reason I found out about it is because I have a good memory even when I'm drunk. Drunk and exceedingly well fucked, in this case, and apparently my companions of the evening – old friends but not a couple, on the lookout for new blood to play with, both well hung, and sure of what they wanted – had assumed I was too far gone to be listening. It's never been the sort of event that advertises, but apparently knowing the right name and the right shop, and being willing to drop a significant amount of cash – no credit card records please – is enough to secure an invitation. Or it was, four years ago. I doubt it's that simple any more.

Read more... )
I doubt thi is quite what you meant, bu it's what your suggestion of tactile turned up - a mismatched pair of sketches from their time apart. Their index is here and the ficlet that describes some of what happened before these scenes is here.

***** ***** ****** ****** )
I doubt thi is quite what you meant, bu it's what your suggestion of tactile turned up - a mismatched pair of sketches from their time apart. Their index is here and the ficlet that describes some of what happened before these scenes is here.

***** ***** ****** ****** )
Kael's hand on his hip was just – perfect. Slow, gentle caresses, rippling through his skin while the sun wrapped them in languor and the wind stroked the leaves overhead and the birds and the crickets and the stillness hummed in harmony. Naked under the sun's eyes, with no sense at all of time passing, only touches and brief delicate kisses. Lips on skin and locks of hair drawn over nipples and water somewhere, not so far away, adding it's own note to the melody. Drifting pollen for the working bees and gadding butterflies, and Kael's eyelashes dusting along his collarbone, flashes of sparkling eyes in between. White white teeth biting into berries and red lips. Laughter, low and real, rolling through them both for no reason save the joy of it all. No need for words or cues or wishing, only love and bliss and pleasure, stretching out from bone to skin, heart to soul, muscle to mind. Endless blue sky and sun kissed shoulders and fingers roughened just enough to feel real where they touched him, scars and calluses all part of perfection. Without time to narrow it pleasure was everything and every moment, and he came feeling cream and honey, heavy and slow and shaken, eyes wide for the sky and the shape of his lover, fingers buried some in grass and some in silk soft hair. The one smelt of the other, and the tongue touched to his could have been pure summer, perfect love, or berry juices.
Kael's hand on his hip was just – perfect. Slow, gentle caresses, rippling through his skin while the sun wrapped them in languor and the wind stroked the leaves overhead and the birds and the crickets and the stillness hummed in harmony. Naked under the sun's eyes, with no sense at all of time passing, only touches and brief delicate kisses. Lips on skin and locks of hair drawn over nipples and water somewhere, not so far away, adding it's own note to the melody. Drifting pollen for the working bees and gadding butterflies, and Kael's eyelashes dusting along his collarbone, flashes of sparkling eyes in between. White white teeth biting into berries and red lips. Laughter, low and real, rolling through them both for no reason save the joy of it all. No need for words or cues or wishing, only love and bliss and pleasure, stretching out from bone to skin, heart to soul, muscle to mind. Endless blue sky and sun kissed shoulders and fingers roughened just enough to feel real where they touched him, scars and calluses all part of perfection. Without time to narrow it pleasure was everything and every moment, and he came feeling cream and honey, heavy and slow and shaken, eyes wide for the sky and the shape of his lover, fingers buried some in grass and some in silk soft hair. The one smelt of the other, and the tongue touched to his could have been pure summer, perfect love, or berry juices.
alexdraven: close up of an eye with goth makeup (Mal)
( Sep. 13th, 2003 04:40 pm)
There was a spot on the fire escape at The Angel where the signal was good and clear at the moment. Mal more or less lived there for the next few days.

If the fire doors were open to cool the evening crowds, she got a free soundtrack of half decent tunes. When they were shut, which meant a few minutes flirting with Lesh to be get her to use her swipe card to let Mal out, there was a constant deep throbbing bass that resonated though the iron structure and up her tail bone.

Read more... )
alexdraven: close up of an eye with goth makeup (Mal)
( Sep. 13th, 2003 04:40 pm)
There was a spot on the fire escape at The Angel where the signal was good and clear at the moment. Mal more or less lived there for the next few days.

If the fire doors were open to cool the evening crowds, she got a free soundtrack of half decent tunes. When they were shut, which meant a few minutes flirting with Lesh to be get her to use her swipe card to let Mal out, there was a constant deep throbbing bass that resonated though the iron structure and up her tail bone.

Read more... )
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