Blog: September to December 2017: Unifying Work and Fiction

Well, AZANIAN BRIDGES (AB) has done well for itself.

Shortlisted for FOUR major awards, viz. British Science Fiction Award (BSFA) for Best SF Novel, 2016; Nommo Award for Best African SF Novel 2016; (deservedly won by Tade Thompson’s ROSEWATER); Sidewise Award for Best Alternative History, 2016 and the John W Campbell Award for Best SF Novel in English, 2016.

And, as the dust settles on AB, I have completed my next novel, a near future Solarpunk thriller, tentatively titled WATER MUST FALL (WMF). At 90K in length, it’s almost a third longer than AB. This one is set wider too – California, Cape Town, KZN in South Africa and Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s out with some kind and skilled beta readers at the moment, with any changes to be done in December and a launch planned towards agents and publishers in 2018 – hopefully with a 2019 publication date. No longer than that, as the future is eaten up very quickly nowadays.

In the meantime I’ve published a couple of academic papers, in the South African Journal of Psychology and the British Journal of Health Psychology. One on deconstructing and decentring Whiteness in clinical psychology training, the other on chronic pelvic pain in men. It’s available via Academia Edu, but mail me if you want a copy.

Back at work at the University and negotiating work, writing, pain and disability, I’m looking for a way to streamline my efforts and reduce daily fatigue. So one of my planned chapters in a new edited non-fiction book, on dispersing clinical psychology more effectively, focuses on trying to induce wellness and positive behavioural change through fiction. Anne Goodwin, another psychologist who writes fiction, has interviewed me on writing AB as a clinical psychologist here

I’ve also suggested the SFWA consider a disability working group to assist writers and cons with issues and resources around managing pain and access. For my sins, I may have to generate some work and momentum on this project, but may consider linking up with the creative writing course at the University of my work.

It’s time for us to all join hands – working alone and in silos only ends up in defeat, in the dystopian onslaught of the modern world. Glimmers of hope still abound though – recent developments in Zimbabwe for example, which are hopefully a shot across the bow, for the current South African presidency too. So, to the end of another Gregorian year – and to a 2018, where we keep joining hands and both conserve, and share, our waters.

Nick Wood
November 2017