I have said before that there are no friendly divorces, but I am currently observing one with no rancour (and very little expense). Unfortunately this is not mine. Mine is painful, expensive and hate-filled. It may sound like an exaggeration, and six years ago I would not have believed it possible, but it is the one sad fact of my life today. For the past five years the reality of divorce (or separation which comes first) has occupied a large part of my brain (there wasn’t all that much space in there to begin with) to the extent that I have written only two short stories in the past three years. If this is some weird sort of writers’ block I’ll accept that, but it also extends through my entire life stopping me from doing all sorts of stuff.
About the only productive/writing/SF thing that I’ve been able to keep together is Albedo One, which some of you may know. This has only been possible with the help of some generous souls in the broader SF community – some of whom are past attendees of Milford and who are still contributing their services. I have to say a heartfelt thank-you to them and the others around the world who have helped by generously donating their time and skills. I will be forever grateful.
On a more cheerful note, the magazine is approaching its fiftieth issue and we find ourselves with a few quid in the kitty, enough to make some sort of splash with a landmark issue. So I thought I would give a heads-up to Milford alumni: we’re looking for short stories and we’re prepared to pay you professional rates. Big deal, I hear you say. Well, it is a big deal for us. We will have struggled through 25 years at an average two issues per year (as of 2018) and we would love to mark the half-century of issues and the quarter-century of years with an outstanding collection of fiction.
Obviously we would love to see submissions for our anniversary issue from anyone who attended Milford. We would be grateful if those reading the blog could pass on the news to past attendees and suggest that they submit. I would really love to feature a story that was workshopped at Milford. If any one of you has a friend who attended Milford that you feel might be worthy of being interviewed for issue fifty, we’d be pleased to hear your proposal. We have featured interviews previously with Anne McCaffrey, Colin Harvey, Charles Stross, Robert Holdstock and Alastair Reynolds to name but a few. So, if your mate matches up to that lot give us a shout (even if they never attended), as we’d accept an interview conducted by a Milfordite.
Can you see a theme here? We really want to hear from you. We’ve also featured fiction from the likes of Anne McCaffrey, Liz Williams, Colin Harvey, Guy Martland and Dave Gullen. Funnily enough, only three of the names checked above were at Milford with me, and one of those had been published in Albedo One long before that. I would be honoured to add to that list. We will be annoying everyone whose email is in our possession and encouraging them to make this the best issue of the magazine ever. The way to do that is to send us your best work. There are at least six slots available at present. Submit early and submit often. Send submissions to email@example.com and mark them Fiction Submission Milford in the subject line or Milford Enquiry for interview ideas or anything else you think we might be interested in.
Bob Neilson has lived in his native Dublin, with a couple of short exceptions, for his entire life. His short fiction has appeared extensively in professional and small press markets and has had three radio plays performed in Ireland. He also presented a SF radio show for a year. He has had two short story collections published, Without Honour (1997, Aeon Press) and That’s Entertainment (2007, Elastic Press) as well as comics and a graphic novel. His non-fiction book on the properties of crystals is a best-seller in the UK and Ireland. He is the editor of Albedo One magazine. Visit his site at www.bobneilson.org for more information.