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Strong stuff

Nice but strong (et inversement)

Back in France for the year-end holidays. It shouldn’t be legal to enjoy food and drinks that much, but at the same time it’s so difficult to find the same quality in the UK that I can’t be bothered to feel guilty.

Happy holidays everyone! Best wishes for 2011! May it bring the best, after what can only be called (at best) a challenging year 2010!

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Buy me…

As mentioned previously, New Scientist published the three winners to their annual Flash Fiction competition in their Christmas & New Year edition. On pages 78-79, you will find not only my story (Atomic Dreams) but also the other two excellent finalists (Starfall, by Kevlin Henney, and Gaius Secundus ER by Shaun Fenney). And if that’s not enough to convince you, there are many more fascinating articles about beer, booze, Lego and devious ways to organize your secret Santa party. Who could ask for more?

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Now, for those of you who can’t buy New Scientist (say, because it’s not usually available in your Relais H at station Saint-Paul in central Paris), DO NOT DESPAIR! You can also read the stories on New Scientist‘s “Culture Lab” blog, here:

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/flash-fiction-competition-2010/

The blog also provides a little bit more background to the competition, including Neil Gaiman’s comments on the stories. As I am not 100% sure they will be archived by the magazine like their printed articles, I take the liberty of reproducing them here:

“I really enjoyed reading the shortlist, and was impressed by the way people folded huge stories, even things that felt like novels, into 350 words or less,” says Gaiman, “just as I was impressed by the sense of wonder that the writers generated, and the clash between the way we see the world now and the ways we’ve used to make sense of the world in the past.

“I picked Atomic Dreams as the winner, mostly for its sense of compression: a story told in headlines, a world that we don’t live in that shows us our own world through a mirror.”

(…)

“My congratulations to the finalists. You all have a great alternate past ahead of you.”

Neil Gaiman also mentions the competition on his blog here.

So here it is. This has been an amazing Christmas for me and I’m feeling very, very spoiled. Many thanks to New Scientist, many thanks to Neil Gaiman, and many thanks to all of you who can bear me when I’m distracted and grouchy and even grizzli-bear-esque because a story nags at me and I want to nail it.

Thanks for your support and HAVE A WONDERFUL 2011!!!

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Now for the record: I’m currently reading Umberto Eco’s Le Nom de la Rose (in French) and working on something for the Visions du Futur 2011 competition. But more on this later…