Clarion West offers workshops for writers preparing for professional careers in science fiction and fantasy. In 2012 my good friend Georgina Kamsika attended Clarions six-week writing workshop.

This year I am participating in the Clarion West sponsored write-a-thon. From June 23rd to August 2nd I’ll be aiming to write a large chunk of work, and earn some money in sponsorship for Clarion.

You can find out more by visiting my Clarion page.


Bang. And all is silent.

I’d like to say that was that. I’d like to say that the last thing I saw was the disturbance in the crowds and then there was peace. The sunlight gleaming off the pristine barrel. A flash of light. I’d like to say it was like that.

I saw the crazy, then the gun. The flash of light followed quickly by the sound of a backfire. Then the world slowed, as if fate insisted on showing me my final moments in slow motion.

The bullet hurtles through the air at 300 metres per second, but taking an age to reach its final destination. Tiny specks of dirt are flung into the air as it spins, like inhabitants escaping a falling satellite.

It strikes just above my right eye. There’s no pain, no searing agony. For the briefest moment there’s an intense heat that reminds me of those drunken student games were some joker would heat a knife and touch it to your skin.

There’s a smell of burning rubber, but that could just be the factory across the plaza.

My eyesight goes first, the bullet tearing through neurons that took millennia to evolve. It only heightens the other senses. A metallic taste drifts across my tongue. Or is it blood?

I’m still standing, I think, but my upper body no longer feels properly attached to my legs anymore. There’s feeling, but no control.

The bullet emerges from the top of my skull, slowed but not finished on its journey. It embeds itself into an ornate clock behind the podium. The only innocent victim in this sorry affair.