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  • Writer's pictureJamie

The Year of the Aardvark

I sold my first short story, "The Meditation Machine", back in 2009. So 2019 is my tenth year in business as a working writer.

When I started this journey, my dream was to become a sci-fi author in the vein of Harlan Ellison or Samuel R. Delany. But a lot happened in the intervening years. Sci-fi changed and so did I. The more I wrote, the more I became convinced that sci-fi (the market, the publications and the community) just wasn't the right fit for me. While I continue to have friends in the field and still publish the odd piece or two, I have been moving in a different direction steadily since 2014, more in the direction of noir and thriller markets, as demonstrated by recent publications in Crimson Streets and Shotgun Honey and my last few novellas.

In honor of the decade milestone, I migrated my digital home from Wordpress to the custom set-up you see before you. I also retooled my website to more accurately reflect the niche I'm carving out for myself in the grey area between spec-fic and thrillers. The old domain name ( has traveled with me but the old posts have not. Should anyone wish to consult my old blog, they may do so here.

I am reliably informed that 2019 is the Year of the Pig in Chinese astrology. Because of the rotating elemental facets of Chinese zodiac animals, 2019 is apparently an 'Earth' Pig year. Basically, the year of the aardvark. For reasons too numerous to list, I am fond of aardvarks, believing them to be of an inherently heroic yet tragically misunderstood nature - one that goes way beyond ugly ducklings and orphaned swans. Imagine spending your entire life as Kristen Stewart only to awaken one morning and discover that you've become Danny DeVito. The mind reels. Yet this Kafkaesque fable typifies the experience of aardvark-kind. Aardvarks are knights - veritable paladins - forced to dress in clown costumes and eat bugs for dinner. Humiliation is the heraldry of such a beast and resilience in the face of the ridiculous, its defining characteristic. For this and many other reasons, I am very fond of aardvarks, considering them a sort of personal mascot. And so I judge this New Year to be a most auspicious one.

New publications in the pipeline for the Year of the Aardvark, include ...

  • DEATH TOLL 3: END GAME. An anthology of thriller fiction edited by Alex Shaw, Death Toll 3: End Game skews toward authors in the Anglo-British thriller scene. My contribution, "Marius & the Prisoner of Conscience" will be the second published story featuring John Marius, retired Canadian mercenary and curmudgeon who first appeared in "Marius & the Scorpion's Nest" (Crimson Streets, 9 July 2017).

  • TIME OUT. Time Out is a novella-length adaptation of a short story of the same title published in the February 2013 issue of Australia's (now defunct) Roar and Thunder sci-fi webzine. The novella tells the story of Chris, the half-human son of a race of time travelling alien refugees called Chronox who discovers that he is the only thing standing between them and the enslavement of humanity. Time Out will be published by Wolfsinger Publishing at some point later this year (date TBD).

  • Eclipsed Seasons. "Eclipsed Seasons" is a sci-fi short story set in Scotland during the Blitz. It will appear in the October 2019 issue of Abyss & Apex magazine.

In other news, I am finishing up a noir mystery novel set on Vancouver Island entitled Reaper's Advocate that I will be submitting for publication shortly. I intend to post excerpts here. Watch this space.

In the meantime, Death Toll 3: End Game goes on sale 31 January. Pick up your copy on Amazon today!

And may the Year of the Aardvark shower blessings upon you.

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