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Fables from the Fountain

This anthology collects original short stories paying tribute to Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s classic Tales from the White Hart.

Featuring internationally recognised authors such as Stephen Baxter, Ian Watson,
Neil Gaiman, Liz Williams, Charles Stross and Adam Roberts, among many others, the book is set in The Fountain, a traditional London pub just off Chancery Lane in Holborn. This is the place where writers, scientists and science-fiction fans regularly meet to swap anecdotes, tell tall tales, and "maybe, just maybe, save the world..."

Somewhere in the middle of all this excellence, I have a story called "The Last Man in Space" that momentarily shifts the focus to Edinburgh to tell the tale of a
top-secret Caledonian rocket programme
that was hushed up after a 1966 trial at
Woomera
went very, very wrong:

The whole terrible business was covered up, obviously, and then almost all the records were either shredded, burned, or buried as landfill. But what goes around comes around, as they say...

My story evolved from ideas that I contributed to the Alba ad Astra project, which was a collaboration between Madeleine Shepherd and Writers' Bloc. I performed the original version at an event at Odyssey 2010, the British National Science Fiction Convention. "The Last Man in Space" won the Tales from the White Hart: Scientific Tall Stories competition and my prizes were a rather fine crystal eagle and an invitation to contribute to this book.

Fables from the Fountain
will be published to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Arthur C. Clarke Award. This anthology is produced in part to raise funds for the prize, which lost its sponsor last year due to the closure of Sir Arthur’s publishing company. The book will be released May 2011
as an A5 paperback. There will also be a dust-jacketed hardback, limited to just 200 copies, each individually numbered and signed by all the authors.
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