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Matt Dovey

A photo of Matt Dovey, smiling, dressed in a white shirt, black waistcoat and purple tie, photographed against an out-of-focus background of leaves

Matt Dovey is a writer of science fiction and fantasy short stories. He is very tall, very British, and most likely drinking a cup of tea right now. Although his surname rhymes with “Dopey”, any other similarities to the dwarf are purely coincidental.

He is an associate editor at PodCastle, a member of Codex Writers and the Villa Diodati writers group, and gives far too much attention to his Twitter. You can start reading stories now, for free: there's 21 to choose from so far, but if you're not sure where to start he'd recommend The Bone Poet & God for fantasy or The Ghosts of Europa Will Keep You Trapped in a Prison You Make for Yourself for science fiction. You can also listen to him narrate others' stories, or find out more about him.

Latest story

Michelle smiled, exhausted, as her baby's cry filled the hospital room. The lights above her were harsh and cold, and the sheets beneath her were tangled and scratchy, soaked in her sweat and stinking of iodine, but none of that mattered against such a beautiful sound. She heard it so rarely--just once a year.

Consequences of a Statistical Approach Towards a Utilitarian Utopia: A Selection of Potential Outcomes

7:32pm, 29th January 2020

On 2019, and awards, and the stupid ways my brain works

Ceci n'est pas une awards post.This is an awards post. This is not an awards post.

I've been putting this off for ages (I'm what, two months past everyone else?) because I don't know how to write it. But maybe I just need to write it and accept that it will be as messy and tangled as my thoughts on the subject.

Here is the lede unburied: I am not putting myself forward for awards consideration any more.

Though I'm not going to decline nominations, or be displeased in the slightest, or stop rounding up what I achieved in a year.

Messy and tangled.

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TAGS: award


11:25am, 9th August 2019

Collected Updates

A Lego man wearing a baseball cap and holding a spade stands by a yellow flowerIt's August, and I've made zero new posts so far this year. Ouch.

In my defence, it has been a year. As was 2018. As was 2017. Hmm. But it'll let up at some point, right?

Right?

Herewith, then, a few overdue updates collected together as briefly as I can manage (he says, laughing)

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TAGS: Dublin2019, interview, new story


1:27pm, 26th November 2018

Awards Eligibility 2018

A brown bear walks away from the camera, through some trees lining a slope(Updated 3rd January 2019, because one last story snuck into the year right at the death.)

Good grief, how is it that time again already?

In brief--and I really can keep it brief this year--my best story this year (IMHO) is The Bone Poet & God, which is still only available in the Sword & Sonnet anthology, so you can only read it if you buy that. Which you should! But let's be honest: a story still exclusive to an anthology is not a story with much chance in a world filled with more free online stuff than any one person can read. So it goes.

For clarity, I'm also no longer eligible for the Campbell. Many excellent people are, but I, alas, am now too grizzled and embittered a veteran to be considered a newcomer.

But there's always some introspection to be done too, isn't there? Circumstance means this post will form something of a counterpart to last year's post, moreso than you'd expect from simply being a post of a similar nature. We'll do stories first, waffling after.

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TAGS: award


3:20pm, 20th August 2018

New story: “The Bone Poet & God” in Sword and Sonnet

Cover for the Sword and Sonnet anthology: a battlepoet, armed with a large book and a fistful of fire, faces away from the viewer in a flooded library. Something scaled and monstrous moves through the knee-deep waterIt is an all-too-rare delight to write something with a specific aim in mind and have that pan out. To sell something where you hoped to sell it. To be involved in a project you desperately want to be a part of. And, more than that, to have the story come out the way you'd hoped it would, when it was just a shining, nebulous dream in your head, a shifting canvas of possible scenes and emotional moments.

Because most of the time when I actually sit down to write, that floating cloud of possibility resplendent with golden sunlight and soaring birds collapses into a dreary grey raincloud low overhead. A Tuesday sort of cloud. There's something particularly banal and dull about Tuesdays, even more so than Mondays. By the time you get to Tuesday you can't even muster the energy to hate it. That sort of cloud. Anyway.

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TAGS: new story


9:23pm, 31st May 2018

Homebrew Wine Recipes for One Favourable Effect, That Effect being Drunkeness, from the Dog-eared Notebook of the Author

A collection of empty wine bottles and a demijohn"Write what you know," they say. Easier said than done with sci-fi & fantasy though, innit? I've never actually worked in a magic cotton factory or cut a barbarian's knob off or run experiments on a Jovian moonbase.

But I have brewed wine--lots and lots of wine--and now I've written a story about brewing wine, too! (When I say now, I mean it was published three months ago. I am not very good at timely blog posts.) And whilst I can't guarantee the magical effects of the recipes in that story (though you never know), I can guarantee that all the recipes are real recipes, describing a real method, and would get you real wine at the end of the day. Probably real drunk, too.

The story doesn't make the recipes particularly readable, though, and some of the quantities are a bit off (my fault, sorry), so here's a proper breakdown of the four recipes. And don't worry: unlike the story, you can just use tap water.

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TAGS: homebrew, new story


5:28pm, 13th March 2018

Event Horizon 2018 - the Campbell Anthology

Event Horizon 2018 anthology cover As with last year, Jake Kerr of Shirtsleeve Press has very kindly compiled the free anthology of stories from the Campbell eligible authors. The John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer is awarded alongside the Hugos, for the best new writer (defined as having their first professional publication in the preceding two years). That, astute reader, includes me, in my second and final year of eligibility.

This year's anthology--available for free again--has nearly a quarter of a million words' worth of fiction from 58 authors. Print editions should follow shortly, but for now you need only exchange your email address to get a DRM-free ePub, MOBI or PDF copy of the book. The anthology is only available for a short while--until the Campbell is awarded at Worldcon, sometime this summer--so get on it while you can!

Event Horizon 2018--a free anthology of authors eligible for the John W. Campbell award

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TAGS: award, free


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Matt Dovey is a professional writer of short science fiction & fantasy. He is very tall, very British, and probably drinking a cup of tea right now. His surname rhymes with “Dopey”, but any other similarities to the dwarf are purely coincidental. More →

Latest Story

"Sorry sir," said the Moderator. "Pain is easier to invoke, and longer lasting. Have a happy day!"

Consequences of a Statistical Approach Towards a Utilitarian Utopia: A Selection of Potential Outcomes

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Narrations

Mark's next door neighbour and business partner Pat kept telling him that power flowed through his veins. He took a breath and closed his eyes, trying to will the power back out again and into the ash wand in his outstretched hand. He pointed it at Pat's door. A narrow beam of blue light squeezed out of the end and hit the lock. Nothing happened. Sighing, he folded the wand and put it in his pocket. He took out his key and let himself into her house.

Psychopomps by Judith Field
Far Fetched Fables #181

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My mother always said, "People think winter is death. But they're wrong. Winter is potential." Her gift, and now mine, is this: to see potential. To turn life's misfortunes to what goodness I can.

Winter Witch