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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2018 > SUBSCRIBER SPOTLIGHT


Share your writing success stories. If you subscribe to Writing Magazine and would like to feature here, email Tina Jackson,


Space junk

‘My previous book, Nor Am I Out of It (Random House/FeedARead, 2015), was a short-story collection dealing with characters who were trying to make sense out of the so-called Troubles in Northern Ireland,’ writes subscriber Graham Andrews.

‘But The Stopgap Spaceman (ditto, 2018) doesn’t try very hard to make sense of anything all that much – except in its own demented terms, I hope. Having said that, some wee thinky bits might have slipped in here and there. Perhaps even some big thinky bits.

‘I have dedicated this just-for-fun “personal” novel to the memory of four great science-fiction writers: Philip K Dick, Murray Leinster, Eric Frank Russell, and AE van Vogt. Gene Roddenbery pillaged the books of all these writers – and a whole lot more – when he created the TV series Star Trek. As did I with Stopgap, come to think of it…

‘Paraphrasing the old Army maxim: “There’s a right way, a wrong way, and there’s my way.” I threw anything and everything that helped what the late, lamented Brian W Aldiss called the “extensively recomplicated plot” along into the mix. In other words – spoken by James Blish, who wrote the first Star Trek tie-in books – the Kitchen Sink Technique.

‘In case you’re wondering what the novel is actually about, here’s a would-be helpful hint: Ensign Todhunter Blaine of the Solterran Space Navy feels that the entire Universe has turned against him – and he might be right. Tod sets out to save only himself, but he ends up by – but I’m giving away the plot!

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About Writing Magazine

EXCLUSIVE this month, with your Writing Magazine: How to Perfect Your Submission - Tips from a Publisher Publisher, author and consultant Scott Pack offers a definitive guide to the publishing package and everything you need to include to give your manuscript submission its best chance of success. AND In this month's main magazine: Check out the latest competitions and opportunities to get published in this month's Writers' News – there's £48,800 in writing prizes to be won and over 40 opportunities to get published. Author advice • We explore ways of getting your writing to new readers, with details of how to run a memorable author event, and how to approach schools to set up school visits. • Should you be happy with a small boutique agency or hold out for a big hitter? • Will your young editor understand your older characters? • The value of listening to your characters Industry insight • Innovative publisher Clare Christian considers whether publishing needs a new business model. • Womag writers are up in arms at new rights terms from Woman’s Weekly. We explain the controversial new terms and their impact. • Why are author incomes falling? Agent Piers Blofeld calls publishers to account. • Where the weird world’s at – explore the fantasy publishing landscape. Interviews and profiles with authors of all levels, including: • Star interview with gangland crime bestseller Jessie Keane, talking about the no-holds-barred approach that makes her Queen of the Underworld. • Chick-lit bestseller Carole Matthews charts her writing day and recalls how she got her first break in Writing Magazine! • Explore the life and career of the father of modern bestsellers – Mark Twain • Novelist Kerry Fisher explains how she straddles the worlds of feelgood fiction and domestic noir