My first attempt at a literary science fiction story, An Indefinite Article, was sold to Sounds of the Night print magazine. It is published by Sam’s Dot Publishing. Sometimes, when I am on my own on a long walk along a beach, or even on an ancient footpath up in the Snowdonia hills, I play a game. I pretend I’m an ancient Roman suddenly catapulted into this future. What artefacts would I see to give me clues that I wasn’t now back in Roman times? How puzzled would I be to see a cola can, or a plastic carrier bag – the litter of today? Hence the title of my story. Not that it is an ancient Roman but the inverse – a near future man, who crashlands on a planet, maybe this one, but finds no clues, no artefacts as to era and place. I hope I wrote it with mystique and with sufficient dreamlike Show to imbue a literary feel yet maintain the conflict and tension we like to have in our science fiction. A listing of the writers in Sounds of the Night are here.
The story was critiqued in the UKAuthors a group when we stayed a week in Carmarthenshire. It was also hacked around in the BSFA Orbiters critique group – thanks to all those writers who helped hone the story.