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Matt Dovey

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


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 slightly dreary grey raincloud low overheard. 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


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


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


12:32pm, 20th June 2017

Stories, stories, everywhere

The author, hard at work. (Image shows a child writing with crayons)I am habitually terrible at writing blog posts in a timely fashion (I'm just as bad with the mailing list) and so I have not posted about all the stories I've had out lately. I've had a lot out in the last couple of months, some of them my favourite things. It's been a good year so far!

Here we go:

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TAGS: new story


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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 →

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Two corners, three, it's still on them, four, six, nine. Then Vik stumbles, trips, scuffs across the floor. When he picks himself up, his fibrous face mask is torn and shredded.

Remember to Breathe

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"You look like shit."

I cleaned myself up in the room and rinsed my mouth with some whisky from the mini-bar, but I obviously show signs of the afternoon.

"Like you care."

Ravello Steps by Chris Barnham
Tales to Terrify #381

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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