Nick Wood – Jan/Feb 2014

We’re back from SA earlier this year, having gone to the Cape Town mourning concert for Nelson Mandela with my family. A huge loss indeed, but life goes on and many varied and moving tributes were made:

I finished reading Carole McDonnell’s ‘The Constant Tower’ – a fantasy epic with well-drawn characters and an implicit spiritual structure that supports rather than detracts from the elegance of the story. McDonnell’s (second) book can be found here:

As for health, I look to 2014 as the year I gain a better grip on prolonged pain. In pursuit of this, I will be attending experiential training courses in Mindfulness Based Pain Management (MBPM), focusing particularly on the breath. So it is I hope to share it with others, once I have a firm enough grasp on my own experience: I now realise a pain free life is not ‘normal’ (nor to be blandly accepted as such) but is a real privilege.

Writing wise, I’m pleased to report the resale of ‘Azania’ to an anthology of ‘Immigrant SF’, ‘How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens (2015).

I have also resold my story ‘Of Hearts and Monkeys’ to Soles series and hope to make all my dues payable to Rape Crisis in Cape Town, given the kernel for the story was the horrific concept of ‘corrective rape’. My follow up story to this, ‘The Girl Who Called the World’ has recently been published in the anthology Fierce Families’ by Crossed Genres: This is an excellent anthology focusing on speculative scenarios for QUILTBAG families, with a thoughtful article on ‘Families in the Future’ by Alex D. MacFarlane at Alex went on to write another powerful and engaging article on thinking more broadly about sexuality too, which should actually be a strength of SF, given its focus on evolving mores and the transience of cultural ‘bedrocks’:

Finally, I have written an article for pornokitch’sFriday Fives‘ sequence, due to – I believe – be published Friday 21st February. In it, I focus on the bubbling South African SF scene, of which I’m very proud to be a small part. But – for now – may 2014, the ‘year of the horse’, be a good one for you all – and may your main goals come true, too!