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Matt Dovey

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 writer of short speculative fiction. 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 →

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Audio Recording Left by the CEO of the Ranvannian Colony to Her Daughter, on the Survival Imperative of Maximising Profits

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I never pass through Chalk-Newton without turning to regard the neighbouring upland, at a point where a lane crosses the lone straight highway dividing this from the next parish; a sight which does not fail to recall the event that once happened there; and, though it may seem superfluous, at this date, to disinter more memories of village history, the whispers of that spot may claim to be preserved.

The Grave by the Handpost by Thomas Hardy
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The Moon travels endlessly above the world now, searching in vain and unable to see through the waters that tie the Lady down. And as he moves across the sky, so she yearns to be with him, the oceans swelling and shifting so they can be closer. That's how the tides begun and how they were named: yearning tide and weeping tide, lovers' tide and mourners' tide.

The Lady & the Moon