Over the past year I’ve been an unofficial writer in residence at STIS – the science, technology and innovation studies unit in the University of Edinburgh. Most of the time that I’m there I spend quietly in an office, working on the novel-to-be. But I’ve also been talking to Dr Gill Haddow about her research on heart implants and their emotional impacts upon the people who receive them. These implants are both biological (such as valves from pigs) and mechanical (ICDs; implantable cardiac defibrillators). Do these devices make their recipients ‘cyborgs’? Are we made more or less human by non-human additions to our bodies? As a result, I wrote a short story ‘We would like you to listen to our hearts’ (as well as a commentary on the process of writing the story), and these are now posted on her blog; Animal, Mechanical and Me.
A few nice things coming up:
I’m taking part in an event at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow to celebrate National Reading Groups Day on Saturday 18th June.
And I’m giving a talk about astronomy in literature at the Birmingham Planetarium (so the talk will be accompanied by beautiful images) on 8 July – more details here.
My story ‘An Investigation into Love by Babcock and Wainwright’ was broadcast on Radio 4 recently and is still available. You may never look at a lab mouse the same way after this story… (It was first published on Lablit last year.)
My review of ‘Lois McMaster Bujold’ by Edward James is in this week’s TLS, and my review of ’15 Million Degrees: A Journey to the Heart of the Sun’ by Lucie Green is in this week’s Spectator. More reviews are in the pipeline…
And my own short story collection ‘The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space’ has had a nice write-up in the latest Gutter magazine.
Courtesy of Stuart Clark and his great blog on the science bit of the Guardian’s website, I’ve written a Q&A about Einstein and short stories.
My short story collection ‘The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space’ is long-listed for this year’s Edge Hill Short Story Prize, the UK’s only award for short story collections. The shortlist will be announced in May.
I’m thrilled to be nominated for this year’s Suffrage Science award – an annual award organised by the Medical Research Council to honour women in science around the world. Each year around 10-12 women are nominated for this award by previous nominees, and we each ‘inherit’ a beautiful piece of jewellery similar to those worn by the suffragettes.
I was nominated by Jenny Rohn, biologist, writer and editor of the website Lablit which champions the sort of fiction I write – fiction inspired by real science.
Find out more about Suffrage Science and all the nominees here.
I’m performing a specially commissioned short story about Mars exploration at the Edinburgh International Science Festival on 1 April, together with other previous New Writers Award winners Olga Wojtas and Basil Davies.
These stories are based on fictional candidates for a future Mars expedition – as created by the general public.
Come along, listen to the stories and chat with us about space missions.
UPDATE – you can now read all three of our stories on the Scottish Book Trust website (many thanks to them for organising this event!)
I’m giving a lecture at Glasgow Planetarium on Thursday 3rd March, about astronomy in literature. This’ll draw upon work by Brecht, Hardy and many other authors: see here for more info.
My short story collection ‘The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space’ was chosen as one of the Herald’s Favourite Reads of 2015, by the wonderful novelist Alice Thompson.