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Matt Dovey

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

TAGS: award, free


8:00pm, 7th March 2018

Hurt and Harm: An Apology

I had a story come out on the 1st March in Galaxy's Edge: Things Said to Me in the Anxari 12 Station Bar When I Said I Wasn't a Xenosexual (and the Things I Wish I'd Had the Courage to Say in Reply). It's a small thing; only 444 words. Please don't read it if you're queer, especially genderqueer, at least not until you've read this post.

A week ago I'd have said this story was a silly thing, but it turns out that's not true. It turns out it's quite a harmful thing, fails to do the things I meant it to do, and then fails even more for other reasons I completely failed to anticipate. It's my biggest fuck up in writing, and something I need to apologise for unreservedly and explain at length.

I'm very fortunate that people have had the grace, patience and forbearance to send me private emails detailing the ways I got this so wrong and thus allow me the time to process this fully and react correctly. You know who you are, and sincerely: thank you, thank you, thank you. I'll be quoting anonymously from their emails, with permission, because they phrase it better (and more authoritatively) than I could.

And let me say this up front, because no-one should have to dig through more of my words to get to this important point: I am sorry, without deflection or excuse, for the hurt I've caused and the harm I've perpetuated. I have done both of those things, both upset people personally and contributed to stereotyped narratives that create and support real world problems for people. I'm mortified I didn't catch this one, and I can't apologise enough. I've donated my payment for this story (£25) to Mermaids UK, a UK charity supporting trans and gender nonconforming children in the UK.

This will take a few thousand words, and it'll be broadly split into two parts: the specific failures here, and the general lessons to take away. Please bear with me, because this apology is

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TAGS: apology, harm, lessons, new story, responsibilities, writing


1:15pm, 12th December 2017

Awards Eligibility 2017, Self-Care and Momentum

A little dog in the cup. I want a puppy trophy okay don't judge me.

It's that most self-conscious tiiiiime of the year!
When the writers are posting
And tweeting and hoping
You'll think of their woooooorks
It's that most self-conscious time of the year!

Yeah, it's an awards post, yeah I feel awkward about it, but I am going to use it as a springboard for a bigger discussion. Skip to that if you like, or enjoy my awkwardness as I summarise my year in publications.

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TAGS: award


10:30pm, 19th October 2017

On Offence, Harm, and Near Misses

KittenI have a story out today! The Lies I've Told to Keep You Safe went up on Daily Science Fiction today, and I'm rather proud of it, because I don't think I've ever been quite so concise in my heartbreak.

I was so very nearly ashamed of it instead. It wasn't until six hours before it went up that I had a reply from DSF saying some last-minute edits had been made; until then, I was chewing myself up over the realisation that despite all my best intentions, despite all my vocal and public efforts to the contrary, I was about to perpetuate harm and ableist stereotypes.

So I want to talk about that. About the responsibility that comes with being a writer. And I also want to include kitten pictures, because this is going to get long.

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TAGS: harm, lessons, new story, responsibilities, writing


12:47pm, 26th September 2017

Five Years On: Some Messages to Baby Writer Matt

An old man with a pocket watchIt's been five years since I received my first rejection (and more on that at the end), and by sheer coincidence I sent my 300th submission the day before the anniversary, so this seems an excellent moment for some introspection.

Here's some messages to the me of five years ago, in the hopes that some of them save you some time and grief.

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TAGS: lessons, retrospective, waffle


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About

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

But shit Hailey looked good in that dress: dark sequins and holo-vertices, the thin green lines sharp against the sheen of her black skin and juddering with the heavy beats that thumped the air.

She Glitters in the Dark

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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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The Thin White Duke grips the Motorhead's shoulders, grinning askance, a twinkle in his mismatched eyes. “They will learn. Their fear and anger is the worst of them; let us take the very best of them, their art and their passion and their creativity! We can show them how to live as their true selves, and how to accept others for their true selves. We will make them ready!”
There's a Starman Waiting in the Sky